SPIES LIKE WE, vol. 3: Danger Zone

An irresponsible, alcoholic, cartoon misogynist who never learns a lesson and always comes out on top. Yes, this could describe James Bond. Yes, it could describe my own fictional spy, Declan Bruce. But today it describes Sterling Malory Archer, the animated TV spy who’s realer than the real thing. Archer combines all the skill of a highly functioning spy with all the depravity of a highly functioning alcoholic. He is Declan Bruce’s closest match in terms of sheer bombastic character, but that’s why Spies Like We exists. We simply must know who would win.

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BIOGRAPHY: Sterling Archer was born into the spy business. His mother was an infamous Cold Warrior playing dozens of deadly games all across the globe. Unfortunately, she lost track of who Sterling’s father actually was, so she raised the boy on her own, ritually scarring his psyche with mind games and ping pong paddles. Archer’s youth was lonely, confined to boarding schools, his heroin-addled butler Woodhouse, and a Brazilian au pair who took his virginity at the age of twelve. But thanks to his mother’s strategic and dysfunctional parenting, Archer grew into a very capable spy. She gave him the codename “Duchess” after her dog, which she clearly loved more than him.

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TACTICS: Archer possesses a unique skill that he calls “situational awareness.” In any given predicament, Archer can never be counted out. Neither the splash of his enemies’ blood on his face or death-defying escapes seem to bother Archer as much as everyday inconveniences do. For a highly trained spy, Archer’s methods are undercut by unbalanced emotions. The verbal abuse and dysfunction on display in his everyday relationships often cut deeper than shooting pirates in the face point-blank.

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STYLE: Sterling Archer lives the high life. He has easy access to money, clothes, beautiful women, cool spy gadgets, and was even able to meet his idol, Burt Reynolds. But while traveling the world and indulging his every whim, Archer has become vain and self-centered. The shallowest of feelings are monumental to him, and only when these emotions affect him specifically. Archer is a finely tuned killing machine, but only if you can get him to care about a particular fight. When the situation has become this drastic, he will enter an epic and vengeful state known as RAMPAGE.

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COULD 00X KICK HIS ARSE?: Archer is one of the most popular animated television characters in the world right now. I spent this entire article promoting his skills and savvy, and I’m here to tell you that my guy would kick his arse. Declan Magpie Bruce, Agent 00X, has no time for silly shenanigans or juvenile jokes. Where Archer is irresponsible, Bruce is dedicated. While Archer finds ways to evade defeat, Bruce kicks defeat in its face and snatches victory from its shattered jaws. One of Archer’s deadliest weapons is his biting wit, making jokes or insults towards friends and enemies alike. Declan Bruce is British, so his sense of humor and insults are second to none (British people have the best curse words IN THE WORLD). In short, Declan Bruce doesn’t have time for cocktails and nailing girls in the men’s room when he should be chasing after ninjas. Ze State gives Bruce mission after mission, and he is often eager to move on to the next one. There is no sense of laziness or nonchalance in his character, just pure righteous fury with singular purpose. That said, Archer’s HR Rep, Pam, would make a great fight of it.

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