Outright Classic Geek Picks: The Super Spy
This week sees the debut of the seventh and final season of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. In response, I’ve assembled a team of the best and brightest geeks to select their favorite elements in the world of the super spy. Check out their favorite top secret comics, movies, books and more. But be fast. This Geek Pick will self destruct in 5 seconds…
Don: A Controversial Pick
This is the classic and historical story line of when Terra, a young hero in training, gains the trust of the Teen Titans and spies on them for their deadliest foe: Deathstroke the Terminator. Trust is severed, hearts are broken, and a young life is lost. This series also has the 1st appearance of Dick Grayson leaving his Robin persona behind and becoming Nightwing. Masterfully written and edited by the legendary duo of Marv Wolfman and George Pérez with artwork by Pérez, Romeo Tanghal, Dick Giordano, Mike DeCarlo and Adrienne Roy. It was also a bit controversial for DC with the fact that Deathstroke, a middle aged man, was having a sexual relationship with Terra, a 16-year-old. This series will take your heart on a roller coaster ride of emotions. If you’ve never read it, take a chance on it today. It’s considered one of the best, if not the best, Teen Titans stories ever written.
‘The Judas Contract”, Tales of the Teen Titans #42-#44 & Tales of the Teen Titans Annual 3. DC Comics April-July 1984.
Written by Marv Wolfman
Art by George Perez
Sean: Spy Vs Spy
Whatever happened to this, I want to bring it back.
Spy Vs. Spy was created by Antonio Prohias. A regular feature of MAD Magazine, Spy Vs. Spy debuted in #60, January 1961.
Thomas: Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD
Marvel’s answer to James Bond, Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D! This is it the beginning of Nick’s own full length book with all the pulse pounding action 1968 could handle. Written an illustrated by the original bad boy of comics Jim “I’ll throw your ass out that window if I don’t get paid!” Steranko. Featuring the first silent opening in a mainstream comic as Fury breaks into an enemy fortress. This is the one that started it all!
Nick Fury first appeared in comics in the pages of Sgt. Fury and His Howling’ Commandos #1 (May, 1963) Later that year, Fury’s career as a spy began as a CIA Agent in the pages of Fantastic Four #21. His time as an Agent of SHIELD began Strange Tales #165 (August, 1965).
Tom: Agents of SHIELD Season 4
I’m gonna go with Agents of Shield Season 4. This is the best and my favorite season of the show. This season managed to introduce the supernatural into the ‘MCU’ seamlessly. Also, this is the season that brought the Robbie Reyes incarnation of Ghost Rider to live-action. This season was great and one of my favorite spy mediums.
Starring: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet
2017’s Season 4 is available on Amazon Prime.
Leroy- Plus that season introduced The Darkhold too!
Tony: I am Not a Number!
There are so many spy franchises I could pick. Who am I kidding? I have to go with my all-time favorite- The Prisoner! Patrick McGoohan is Number 6, a retired spy who finds himself unable to leave the espionage game. But not by choice. He’s been kidnapped by the secretive village to find out all of the secrets that he acquired over the years. The show only ran for 17 episodes. But they were glorious episodes!
Once you watch all 17 episodes, be sure to read 1987’s Shattered Visage (DC Comics) and Titan Comics’ The Prisoner: The Uncertainty Machine from 2017-18 for the rest of the story.
William: Burn Notice
The USA Series Burn Notice! I loved this series of course because Bruce Campbell was the icing on the cake. This was an action packed espionage series about a spy getting burnt and trying to figure out how it happened. He even drives a hella cool muscle car his dad left him.
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Jeffrey Donovan, and Gabrielle Anwar
Burn Notice aired for 7 seasons plus a TV-movie on USA Network.
Joe: From Paris With Love
One of my favorite espionage movies is From Paris With Love. Directed by Pierre Morel and starring John Travolta & Jonathan Rhys Meyers. This movie portrays a more modern take on classic spy films. It’s got a lot of action scenes and thrilling moments. Travolta is hilarious as the bad ass Charlie Wax. He and Meyers have great on screen chemistry together as well. The movie is a lot of fun, and if you happen to get the DVD, check out the extras. There are several featurettes in which experts and former operatives talk about the history of spycraft.
Directed by Pierre Morel
Produced by Lionsgate Films, 2010.
Angel: North by Northwest
I love Alfred Hitchcock, and Cary Grant, so this is a double win film for me. Grant’s character, Roger Thornhill, is mistaken for a government agent and pursued by a ruthless spy, Vandamm, and his associates. While being hunted across the country, he meets a beautiful and mysterious woman named Eve. The movie is full of iconic actions scenes, and was even used in one of my cinema classes as an example of Hitchcock’s storyboard process. The plane scene is unforgettable. It’s a classic, well loved, and one of my favorites.
Starring: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason
Produced by MGM, 1959
Sean: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
This wasn’t a big performer, but man this revival was well done and everything I wish the newer Bond films would get into. This is what it’s about.
Thomas: That movie made me say damn Henry Cavell could be the next James Bond!
Kevin: One of the most underrated movies of the past decade. Love this one.
Starring: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander
Directed by Guy Ritchie
Produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, 2015.
Leroy: A Film Series That Changed Genres
I know the American audience stopped paying attention to this franchise a while ago, but they have now evolved into full fledge spy movies. Once street racing car thieves now they travel the world doing secret missions overthrowing nuclear arms dealers and would-be world conquerors.
So far, there have been 8 films in the series produced by Universal Studios.
Starring Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Tyrese Gibson.
Jan: A Different Kind of Spy Movie
I love Con-Air. While the Nicolas Cage film isn’t your typical spy movie, there’s a lot of cloak and dagger stuff going on here. When prisoners take over a prison transfer plane, Cage must act like he’s one of the bad guys in order to save the guards and his cell mate from certain death. There’s all kinds of decent and coded messages and twists that make this action adventure blockbuster be my choice over anything else in the traditional sense of spy films.
Starring: Nicolas Cage, John Malkovich, Ving Rhames, John Cusack
Directed by Simon West
Produced by Touchstone Pictures, John Bruckheimer Films, 1997
Raven: Spies Like Us
I would have to choose Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase’s twist on Undercover agents in Spies Like Us.
Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Donna Dixon, Vanessa Angel
Directed by John Landis
Produced by Warner Bros, 1985
Tarah: Bond, James Bond…
Huge huge James Bond fan here. I love the franchise and the series . My favourites of the films include Casino Royale with Daniel Craig , The Man With the Golden Gun, Octopussy with Roger Moore , Tomorrow Never Dies and Die another Day. My favourite Bond Actor will always be the late great Roger Moore. Such a fantastic series and look forward to when the new film finally releases!
Thomas: Bond, More James Bond…
I guess me and Tarah Bleier have completely different take on Bonds. While I liked Roger Moore I thought he was no Connery. My favs are From Russia w Love, Goldfinger, The Spy who Loved Me (w Moore), The Living Daylights (w Dalton) and On Her Magesty’s Secret Service ( w Lazenby) Craig is a whole new ballgame though and are easily the best Bond movies in 30 years w the exception of his second outing they have all be great.
Eli: Revenge of the Ninja
Ninjas are spies, technically. And this movie is dope!
Starring Sho Kosugi, Kieth Vitale, Virgil Frye
Directed by Sam Firstenberg
Produced by The Cannon Group, 1983
Video Games and More…
Kevin: Splinter Cell
The entire Splinter Cell series. A pioneer in the stealth genre whose later entries that were more action oriented still managed to be fantastic experiences and I have NO IDEA why Ubisoft isn’t making more of these games. We need Sam Fisher now more than ever.
John Lee: Goldeneye
I got dibs on 007 Golden Eye for the N64. It helped to spawn the FPS games we know today & in all honesty stole much to much time from me in my sophomore year of college. Slappers Only, absolute ban on Odd Job, & claims of screen cheating were all staples of that year. Man that was the best worst idea ever!
Zack: Eye of the Needle
Before Ken Follett made his fantastic series about the building of a castle in feudal England, he was a pretty great spy novelist. This book, about a pilot’s wife who slowly realizes her new lover might be a Nazi trying to inform the Germans that D-Day is coming.is one of his best. The movie version of the film is with Donald Sutherland is also great.
Zack also recommends: Most of Graham Greene’s work, like The Comedians, The Quiet American, and Our Man In Havana, are great as well.