Marvel’s Top 10 Secret Agents

Marvel has some of the greatest secret agents and spies across the Multiverse, from S.W.O.R.D. to S.H.I.E.L.D. and every secret weapoon in between. And with the MCU’s Phase 5 bringing us the Disney+ series Secret Invasion (summer 2023!) as well as Thunderbolts, we should get to know all the best spies ahead of time.

Let’s look through our scopes and take a shot at Marvel’s top 10 secret agents.

Moon Knight

Real Name: Marc Spector

Main Organization: CIA

Weapon of Choice: Crescent Darts are his most recognizable weapons, but Moon Knight is a master of most traditional weapons. His extensive training and his divine empowerment allow him to adapt to any situation.

Biggest Failure: In the comics, it’s sometimes unclear what is a hallucination and what is real. After all, the CIA experimented heavily on Marc himself. On top of that, his dissociative identity disorder often makes it difficult for Marc to to keep track of all the details of his life. With all the dangers of being a super hero, it’s no wonder he’s died a lot — at least twice. Luckily, Khonshu pretty consistently brings him back to life. There’s always a silver lining around the moon.

Biggest Success: While Marc Spector spent many years as a U.S. Marine and mercenary for the CIA, his greatest success is perhaps uncovering all the corruption within the CIA. On multiple occasions, Moon Knight uncovers secret experiments and illegal activity that consistently harm fellow soldiers and spies.

Agent Coulson

Real Name: Phillip Coulson

Main Organization: S.H.I.E.L.D.

Weapon of Choice: It would be simple to say that Agent Coulson’s favorite weapon is his trusty handgun, but it wouldn’t be accurate to the way that he thinks. Coulson’s weapon of choice would be the Avengers themselves. He imagines his strategies like a rifle and the heroes like his bullets.

Biggest Failure: During the Heroes Reborn event, Phil Coulson wanted to live in a world where the Avengers never existed. In an angry and weak moment, he made a deal with Mephisto to obtain the Pandemonium Cube and warp reality itself. All along, he never realized that he was just a pawn in Mephisto’s true plan.

Biggest Success: During the Secret Empire event, Agent Coulson was the first to truly realize that Captain America had been replaced with a an alternate timeline fascist Steve Rogers. It takes an incredible strategist to think faster than an enhanced super soldier.

The Winter Soldier

Real Name: James “Bucky” Barnes

Main Organization: S.H.I.E.L.D.

Weapon of Choice: Without a doubt, Bucky Barnes will always be known for the use of his Bionic Arm. It allows his super strength, and can constantly be improved with new technology.

Biggest Failure: While it was by no means his own fault, Bucky was captured by the Soviets and used as an international assassin. The Winter Soldier committed countless atrocities while under their control.

Biggest Success: Bucky continues to better himself, knowing that he can’t change the past but he can work to do better in the present. He fights against evil and stands for what’s right, even taking up the mantle of Captain America more than once.

Black Widow

Real Name: Natalia Alianovna Romanova

Main Organization: S.H.I.E.L.D.

Weapon of Choice: Black Widow‘s gauntlets give her countless spy tools: communication devices, ranged weapons, and her iconic Widow’s Bite which can stun even the most powerful opponents.

Biggest Failure: In the Ultimates Universe, Black Widow and Iron Man are engaged. If that’s not bad enough, she dismantles the Avengers before killing Edwin Jarvis, Hawkeye’s family, and countless innocents.

Biggest Success: For years, Black Widow was tortured and manipulated at the Red Room facility. After years cloning, brain-washing, and hurting countless women, Black Widow was able to destroy the facility.

White Widow

Real Name: Yelena Belova

Main Organization: S.H.I.E.L.D.

Weapon of Choice: Yelena’s strength is the ability to learn how other people fight. She’s learned to use Black Widow’s gauntlets just as well as she’s learned to use Falcon’s mechanical wings. Versatility can be a secret agent’s most useful ability.

Biggest Failure: Yelena was subjected to much of the same conditioning as Black Widow. Though she was even more deadly than Natasha, she was still was no match for the Avengers. Even when A.I.M. gave her the powers of a Super-Adaptoid, she still wasn’t strong enough to best Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Biggest Success: The best thing she ever did was break free from the Red Room and work with Black Widow. She became the White Widow and helps train young spies for S.H.I.E.L.D.

Abigail Brand

Real Name: Abigail Thanriaguiaxus

Main Organization: S.W.O.R.D.

Weapon of Choice: Since she’s a mutant, Abigail’s pyrokinetic abilities are particularly useful up close. However, she’s most commonly seen blasting her laser guns.

Biggest Failure: Abigail will do anything and everything to protect the Earth. There’s no line she won’t cross, and no person she wouldn’t kill. While her dedication is admirable, her lack of limits make it hard for her to work as a part of a team — she can never be fully trusted.

Biggest Success: Agent Brand was able to save Mister Fantastic from a Skrull ship that even he couldn’t escape. She discovered multiple Skrull secrets and was able to relay them all to Nick Fury. Her efforts helped save the day.

Maria Hill

Real Name: Maria Hill

Main Organization: S.H.I.E.L.D.

Weapon of Choice: When you run one of the largest secret operations in the entire world, you’re bound to make a few enemies. Maria keeps herself safe with cleverly placed Life-Model Decoys, robots that perfectly impersonate her. They also help her control the organization a little bit better since she can be in more than one place at any given moment.

Biggest Failure: Her desire for organization and order sometimes goes too far. At one point, Agent Hill used fragments of the Cosmic Cube with the intent to rewrite reality itself to fit the vision of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the U.S. government. Captain America quickly discovered her plot and shut her down.

Biggest Success: Maria Hill has operated S.H.I.E.L.D. even more successfully than Nick Fury. She runs a tight ship, and consistently chooses the path that she feels will help the most people. Her efforts have saved the world countless times.


Real Name: Raven Darkhölme

Main Organization: Quiet Council of Krakoa

Weapon of Choice: Mystique can shapeshift into nearly any form. With such an ability, she can be a spy in any room with any crowd. Her combat skills are equivalent to Black Widow’s and her strategy makes her unstoppable.

Biggest Failure: Mystique has always fought for mutants. She has worked alongside the Brotherhood of Mutants, and accordingly, she has hurt many X-Men.

Biggest Success: Mystique is naturally suspicious, and when Magneto and Professor X insist that they’re unable to bring back Mystique’s wife Destiny, she knew something was wrong. Tricking the Quiet Council, and fighting against Moira MacTaggert, she was able to get Destiny back. As the nation of Krakoa faces its biggest challenges yet, she will undoubtedly be a central figure in saving all of mutantkind.

Nick Fury

Real Name: Nick Fury

Main Organization: S.H.I.E.L.D.

Weapon of Choice: A gun, plain and simple.

Biggest Failure: Like many spies on this list, Fury has been brainwashed and manipulated into working for evil. He helped steal a Cosmic Cube shard for nefarious purposes.

Biggest Success: Perhaps his greatest success as a leader is trusting those with more experience, skills, and abilities than himself. He consistently puts together teams that save the day. And while he leads well, he also picked an excellent successor in Maria Hill.

The Skrulls

Main Organization: Skrull Empire

Weapon of Choice: Every single Skrull can shapeshift and modify their strength and abilities accordingly. They’re impossibly powerful — and even harder to detect.

Biggest Failure: Attempting to take over the Earth on Nick Fury’s watch.

Biggest Success: Taking over countless worlds and galaxies without even batting an eye.

Who is your favorite secret agent in the Marvel Multiverse? Are you excited for Secret Invasion and Thunderbolts?

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