There was a time, in the 1960s, when all the good guys needed was an acronym, some cool gadgets and maybe a catsuit or two to be cool.  Sadly, the days of Matt Helm, Mrs. Peel and Ilya Kuryaken are far behind us in the new post-modern cynical age.  I’ve been complaining for a couple of years now about the fact that all super spy agencies in pop culture are now corrupt and evil, and it’s starting to feel like I’m just another old man yelling at a cloud, but I miss the heyday of SHIELD.  I miss watches with lasers, belts which double as parachutes and petticoats that have a full chem lab built into them, and so decided that perhaps we should look back in fondness with today’s undercover query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) will always vote the super-agents of T.H.U.N.D.E.R., thanks to the stellar work of Wally Wood and company (and also Iron Maiden) asking: Which fictional super spy is the coolest of all?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. competency aside (in which case the coolest spies are often the worst at their supposed jobs)….it’s hard not to say Bond or Black Widow. that we haven’t already gotten a Black Widow trilogy mirroring the Cap movies is one of the sadder parts of the MCU.

    my underrated pick is probably Michael Caine as Harry Palmer though. understated, grim and sardonic.

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