Created by the late great Cuban exile Antonio Prohíos for MAD magazine in 1961, at the height of the Cold War, "Spy vs. Spy" has waged a never-ending battle between...well...it's not quite good vs. evil. It's not even democracy vs. communism. It is, in fact, only and forever just spy versus spy:
Along with the elaborate, Rube Goldberg-esque machinations of each spy to trap, crush, or destroy each other, there's another important continuing element: nobody ever wins. Yes, although the Black Spy might triumph one month (or, see above), you only have to wait to see the tables turned on the world spy stage:
Prohíos passed away in 1998, but the Spy vs. Spy saga continues in MAD in the capable hands of Peter Kuper. The Spies have moved on to other media as well. But the basic premise remains the same:
You can learn a lot from a pair o' spies. Just like David Lightman taught WOPR that in war games, "the only winning move is not to play," Spy vs. Spy taught me that in espionage, the only winning move is to hit your opponent over the head with a spring-loaded mallet cunningly concealed inside a fake bomb. With role models like these two, who says the Cold War is over?
Nobody does it better/Makes me feel sad for the rest/Nobody does it half as good as you/Bahlactus, you're the best.