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Deep Cover

Stories exploring the best of espionage in fiction

All Stories
An illustration shows a woman surrounded by spy gadgets

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  • The Verge

Where have all the spy gadgets gone?

9 great spy-themed board games for the budding secret agent

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When Tintin entered the Cold War

Inside the Bourne Stuntacular, the theme park take on high-impact spycraft

Decoding the Rosetta Stone of spy movies

Hollywood turned spy fiction’s most hard-boiled killer into Austin Powers

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The US hunt for truth serum during WWII shaped our superheroes

Metal Gear Solid meets Tom Clancy in this dark and stylish spy anime

The Mission: Impossible masks are almost a reality

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How Cuba’s Street Network used spy tech to access pop culture

A disguise hides even more than identity in Asian American spy stories

Resident Evil’s Ada Wong goes head-to-head with sexpionage stereotypes

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From Russia with Love’s spy watch is movie history and a DIY obsession

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15 years ago, the NSA spied on World of Warcraft — but did a leak change anything?

Spielberg confronted the Israel-Palestine conflict to make his Bond movie

An illustration shows a man wearing spy glasses looking at various screens

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Everything spy movies get right (and wrong) about smart glasses

In the year 2000, everyone wanted a female James Bond

11 great spy shows to watch right now

4 reasons to tune into new spy series Citadel

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Deep Cover main illustration: Kyle Ellingson

Polygon is diving into the world of espionage throughout fiction and pop culture history with Deep Cover, a two-week special issue covering all sorts of spy stories and gadgets. Don’t dust off your Austin Powers DVDs for this one, though — this time around, we’re looking at the grounded worlds of true-to-life spycraft.

We’re talking to creatives about how they designed intelligence operations that feel real — or, at least, satisfying. And we’re diving into the tech that fictional spies have used to get an edge, and how it’s crossed over into real life — as well as how some of the most absurd gimmicks employed in fictional spy stories have sometimes actually been inspired by real-life operations.