The allure of spies are undeniable. From James Bond, to Jason Bourne, we love to read about their globe trotting adventures. Yet when it comes to women spies in comic books, the female of the species is more deadly than the man. Here are ten of the deadliest lad spies to ever grace the comic book page:
Though Bobbi Morse has often been a very public figure as a non-powered, but athletically inclined member of The Avengers, she started out as Agent 19 of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel Comics elite secret spy organization. Recently, she’s also been the head of the World Counter-Terrorism Agency (WCA), which takes out potential threats before they can become more terroristy or threaty. These are all words, guys. Real words, too.
Another agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., Maria Hill took over the organization when super-spy number one Nick Fury was forced out of the organization. Though she wasn’t the best at being in charge, she’s shown her butt kicking skills time and again, taking out Iron Man’s arch-enemy The Controller all by herself in recent issues of his comic, and jumping into the fray at the Siege of Asgard without a second thought.
First introduced in a long running comic strip in 1963, Modesty Blaise is a young woman with no memory who fights against the secret criminal organization “The Network…” Even though she’s their creator. Teaming up with the British Secret Service, Blaise doesn’t hesitate to get into a fistfight with villains big and small, though her Colt .32 is never far from her side.
Originally Bruce Wayne’s bodyguard that one time he was accused of murder, Bordeaux was given plastic surgery, and hired by the DC Universe’s elite agency Checkmate. Then she was infected with the OMAC virus, which turned her into a cyborg… And then she was captured by the now-evil Checkmate. However, with formidable hand-to-hand skills, and also some robot skills, Bordeaux is no one to be trifled with.
The leader of a team of all-girl spies, Jet Dream was launched in the pages of Gold Key’s Man From Uncle comic book. By day, she was a Hollywood stuntwoman. By night, she was a spy, working for the “good guys.” By afternoon, she was cancelled.
TV and Movie star Rashida Jones launched a killer female spy book from Oni Press, and I know this is going to blow your mind a bit, but the main character KIND OF looks like Rashida Jones. Kaboom, I know, right? Anyway, the idea is, a Paris Hilton type heiress uses her globetrotting and frequent disappearances as a cover for her life as an elite spy. Kind of like a lady Bruce Wayne, a bit, but without all the dead parents.
There have been two Spy Smashers in the DC Universe, but the one we’re most concerned with is Katarina Armstrong, one of super-hacker Oracle’s archenemies… Except Oracle is doing the illegal stuff, and Spy Smasher is the one on the side of right. But she’s kind of a jerk about it, too, so… Anywho, Spy Smasher works for the US government, but always pops up being on the “bad” side of conflicts, and always for a different agency. And she has no qualms about killing…
Who better to have as a spy than someone who can change their appearance at will? Saves money on disguises and ripped tuxes, for one thing. For another, frequent X-Men villain Mystique made the perfect lead in Brian K. Vaughan’s underrated reinvention of the character. Professor X was her M, sending her on missions too delicate for his team of X-Men. The title was quickly cancelled, but we’ll always have a soft spot for this interpretation of Raven.
Alan Moore’s seminal League of Extraordinary Gentlemen found Mina Harker – one of the survivors of Bram Stoker’s Dracula – putting together an elite team of fictional characters for British Intelligence, to battle one of the greatest villains of the Victorian era. Harker, despite being a woman in what is very much a man’s world, more than holds her own with monsters like The Invisible Man, and Mr. Hyde. Also, she makes a darn good spy, what with being sort of a vampire and all.
Natasha Romanova has been a double agent so often, she’s probably working for everyone at the same time. Though in recent years she’s been an ally of The Avengers, and sometimes bed partner of Captain America (Bucky Barnes version), Natasha is the female James Bond, traveling the globe with her guns, skin-tight suit, and license to kill. You don’t get much more deadly than a spy named after a spider who kills its mates, and Natasha lives up to the moniker.