Spies and assassins have been big at the movies this year. The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Spectre, Spy, Hitman, Kingsman, Mission Impossible, the year has been full of these stories. If they have sparked your interest in characters of this sort, you can continue exploring them through an array of comics ranging from classic characters to more modern offerings.
Mockingbird: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary by Chelsea Cain with art by Joelle Jones – Bobbi Morse, a.k.a. Mockingbird, is a top agent at S.H.I.E.L.D., but a murder means that her work as an agent has to take a backseat to ensuring that justice is done. This one-shot is a great introduction to the character and is perfect for anyone who was curious about her when she popped up in Hawkeye.
Angela: Asgard’s Assassin by Kieron Gillen with art by Marguerite Bennett – Though she grew up in the Tenth Realm, Heven, and was trained to hate Asgard completely, Angela is secretly Thor’s sister. When she can no longer live in either realm, Angela is left to find her own path in life even while trying to determine what everyone wants from her. Fans of Thor and Loki will want to read this series to learn more about Asgard’s children.
Frenemy of the State by Rashida Jones, Christina Weir, and Nunzio DeFilippis with illustrations by Jeff Wamester – Fans of Parks & Recreation take note! Rashida Jones co-authored a comic book miniseries with Christina Weir, and Nunzio DeFilippis! The series tells the story of Ariana Von Holmberg, an heiress who also happens to be a secret CIA agent. Follow her travels around the world as she combines social engagements with secret missions.
Ladykiller by Jamie S. Rich with art by Joelle Jones – This book answers the question of what would happen if you combined a stereotypical 1960’s housewife and an assassin. Unbeknownst to her husband, Josie Schuller is an assassin who organizes her hits around her household chores. The darkest of black comedies and wonderful artwork come together to create a very engaging and fully developed world in this book.
Butterfly by Arash Amel and Marguerite Bennett with art by Antonio Fuso and Stefano Simeone – Butterfly is the codename of a secret agent with no other identity. When she finds herself framed for a crime she didn’t commit, Butterfly goes on the run, ending up finding her supposedly-dead father along the way. Check out this story for a combination of family, secrets, and spying.
Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl – I’ll admit it, including this one is cheating a bit. Though not a comic book, Black Widow is such an iconic Marvel comic character, that I decided to add it to the list anyway. In this story, Stohl, the co-author of the Beautiful Creatures series, brings readers into Natasha Romanoff’s world. This is a great option for long-time fans of the Marvel Universe as well as those who have never given it a try before!
I love these sorts of characters, so let me know if you have any other recommendations I should check out!
— Carli Spina, currently reading iZombie by Chris Roberson with art by Michael Allred