"He's not a child! He's a lethal weapon!"
A hero with all of the style, panache and gadgetry of James Bond
, the Teen Superspy
exists to save the world (or maybe just the kids) from megalomaniacs bent on world domination. And he'll do it all without being old enough to have a martini. Or drive. And he'll still have to find time to do his homework.
The Teen Superspy
is the implausibly young
agent of secret agency. Perhaps she's been trained from birth
for this role. Perhaps she's carrying the legacy of a missing or dead parent. Perhaps the government figures no one will suspect children of being secret agents. Perhaps they were just in the wrong place at the right time. Whatever the case, expect them to have an arsenal of high-tech spy gadgets disguised as typical teen paraphernalia
Compare Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World
. Remove all the wish fulfillment and whimsy from this trope, and you'd end up with something closer to Child Soldier
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Anime and Manga
- Spy Boy and his Japanese counterpart, Spygirl. Admittedly, Spyboy got his ass kicked when he met Spyguy...
- Danny Chase, Creator's Pet of the Teen Titans, was a former agent of the CBI... as he never tired of telling his team-mates.
- Archie Comics examples:
- At the height of the spy craze in the 60s, Archie published stories about "The Man from R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.", featuring Archie and his pals as secret agents.
- More recently Betty and Veronica have appeared as "Agents B & V", clad in the requisite Spy Catsuits, working for a secret organisation run by Mr. Lodge with Dilton Doiley acting as their resident Gadgeteer Genius.
- The post-Zero Hour Invisible Kid from Legion of Super-Heroes.
- Secret Warriors
- Alex Rider. He was secretly trained from birth — and, by "secretly", we mean not even Alex himself was aware that the activities in question were training — to carry the legacy of his uncle. Because he is in the wrong place in the wrong time, he is recruited early because no one will suspect a child.
- And in the third book, we learn that the CIA tried to do the same thing and failed miserably, with their teen super-spy getting killed almost immediately on his first mission. Alex succeeds because he is just very, very good at what he does, and very, very, very lucky.
- In The Finishing School Series, the protagonist Sophronia Temminnick is a Spirited Young Lady who is recruited by an espionage school masquerading as a charm school.
- The CHERUB Series. CHERUB tries a lot harder to be realistic than most other versions of Teen Superspy.
- The Spy High series of novels
- The Gallagher Girls book series trains teenage girls to be spies.
- Miles Vorkosigan starts out this way, though he gets to just shy of 30 before his career as a spy comes to an end.
- He is definitely a wrong-place/wrong-time variant. His first 'mission' started out as a vacation after washing out of the local Barrayaran military acadamy and he only contacted his government after they filed treason charges over the whole Private Army Thing.
- Alianne in the Daughter of the Lioness books is a borderline example. While she is the spymaster for a very successful rebellion and later government, she has this as her main job (she's 17), lacks any special gadgets (Medieval society) and relies on traditional, entirely un-flashy techniques, like feeding the mole and carefully asking questions. So, while she is indeed a teenager and a very capable spy, she isn't working the way we'd expect her to at all.note
- James Bond has a spin-off series called Young Bond, which is about him becoming a teen spy. He only acts the part proper in the fifth novel, By Royal Command.
- Artemis Fowl is one, albeit self-employed. No government agencies for him - Artemis has the style and the gadgets. Juliet is another, and even joins a SWAT team in The Eternity Code.
- Kim is a moderate example. He starts off in a plausible non-super way as a Street Urchin who is used by a passing spy to carry messages for him. The only thing super about him is his ability to flawlessly enter every culture in India.
- Phoenix in Red Handed is training to be an alien hunter.
- During the James Bond-inspired '60s superspy craze, Grosset & Dunlap published a hardcover kids' series of the adventures of Christopher Cool, TEEN Agent. The Top-secret Educational Espionage Network kept the free world safe from the evil machinations of TOAD.
- Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk has a group of these as Villain Protagonists. They were sent to America by a totalitarian commie-Nazi regime with a mission to destroy the US government.
- The Alpha Force series of novels by Chris Ryan has a Multinational Team of kids who work for a covert agency after being shipwrecked together in the first novel, "Survival".
- The 9-year-old lead character in Joe 90.
- Super Spy Twilight from Twilight Sparkle's Secret Shipfic Folder. Granted, the "teen" part is debatable, but the actual Twilight has been writing fics since childhood so it's not entirely implausible.
- Raz becomes this at the end of Psychonauts; a psychic secret agent.
- Sakazaki Yuuya in Hatoful Boyfriend turns out to be one investigating Dr. Iwamine Shuu and the Hawk Party. If the player completes his route, the heroine runs away with him and it's implied that they become partners.
- Rouge the Bat from the Sonic the Hedgehog series is a master thief who works for the G.U.N. military force. She's also 18 years old.
- Teen T-Girl Cookie Jarr is one of Jet Dream's main characters . Her Spin-Off series It's Cookie! focuses on her exploits as leader of the J.E.T. T.E.E.N. organization of teenaged NATO operatives. She also encounters several teen superspies from other agencies, including Brian Bell, "the CIA's top Teenagent," and enemy spies "He-She Svetlana" of the KGB and Captain Boris Volkov, "the Red Army's top Saboteen."
- Spy6teen features sixteen year old, Cally Calhoon, who works for a hi-tech government agency called MK Black between classes.