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    The Five Greatest Spies Fiction Has Ever Seen.

    There have been many great spies in books, television, and film over the years, but we have selected the best from their number. Below are five spies that stand out from the rest, unique in their resourcefulness, self-reliance, and sheer audacity. Some are fanciful, others are gritty and realistic, but they are all truly iconic.

    5. Jack McColl

    Facebook: jackofspies / Via

    Jack McColl, hero of David Downing's Jack of Spies, is a traveling car salesman, a natural linguist, a cunning observer, and an agent for a nascent British intelligence service working on the eve of the First World War. Operating alone and often on his own initiative, McColl uses his ingenuity, skill with languages, and tremendous self-reliance to get the job done despite the overwhelming odds against him.

    4. The Scarlet Pimpernel


    The Scarlet Pimpernel is the alter ego of Sir Percy Blakeney, a late 18th Century English nobleman who conceals his covert activities behind the disguise of a fop. As the Pimpernel, Blakeney uses intellect and daring to rescue French aristocrats from the guillotine and outwit the Revolutionary authorities.

    3. Modesty Blaise


    The eponymous heroine of the Modesty Blaise comic strip, Modesty is a self-made woman: beginning as a child refugee, she took control of a gang in Tangiers and built it into an international crime syndicate, before retiring to enjoy a life of leisure. To stave off the boredom of luxury, she periodically does work for the British Secret Service, carrying out her objectives with the skill and ingenuity of a criminal mastermind.

    2. John Drake


    The hero of the 1960s television show Danger Man, Drake is the everyman's spy. He rarely kills, he doesn't always win, and he almost never gets the girl. But John Drake is a skilled professional and though he faces challenges at every turn, he gets the job done with ingenuity and style.

    1. James Bond / Via

    Arguably the single most famous spy in fiction, Ian Fleming's Bond is cool and capable. Though the character has changed over the course of multiple books and films, the core Bond is a blend of danger and sex appeal that rests at the heart of spy fiction.

    Do you agree with this list? If not, list your top greatest spies of all time in the comments.