Character Close Up

Countess Valentina Allegra de Fontaine

Or “Val.” A S.H.I.E.L.D. operative, a Hydra informant, or possibly both? The woman known as Valentina has played for both sides in her storied history as a sleeper agent and spy. Supposedly cut from an influential European family, “La Contessa’s” connections, and loyalties, remain mysterious.

TALES OF A TRIPLE AGENT

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First Appearance

in Strange Tales (1951) #159

Valentina tosses Nick Fury, and his sexist stereotypes, head over heels during a sparring demonstration at a S.H.I.E.L.D. academy. An unforgettable impression for Fury and readers alike!

The Backstory

in Strange Tales (1951) #162

Following her Judo strike down in issue #159, the Countess bonds with soon-to-be-partner Nick Fury by sharing her origin: After both her parents died during their fight for the Resistance, Valentina took up their cause as an espionage agent for S.H.I.E.L.D.

The Partnership Begins

in Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1968) #2

The first flickers of romance burned bright in the ‘ish that saw Director Fury “go steady” with his main squeeze Val. Guest-starring Jimmy Woo.

Femme Force

in Captain America (1968) #145

Valentina steps up to lead Femme Force, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s female-only division, after showing Sharon Carter her true colors. An infiltration from the inside has Agent 13 and Agent 14 springing into action against Hydra.

Versus Nightshade

in Captain America (1968) #189

Read through issue #190! When a sneak attack by the villainous Nightshade incapacitates a handful of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, Val, Captain America, and Falcon team up to restore the peace.

Liaison of S.H.I.E.L.D.

in Union Jack (2006) #1

On the road to 2008’s SECRET INVASION, readers learned that the Valentina that starred in this series as S.H.I.E.L.D.’s UK liaison was actually a Skrull impostor!

Madame Hydra?

in Secret Warriors (2009) #6

Grab the Countess’ complete (twisted) history in this character-defining run by writer Jonathan Hickman. Kicking off the grand reveal of her ties to the evil organization Leviathan, Valentina unmasks as the new Madame Hydra!

The Flashback

in Secret Warriors (2009) #14

A power plot decades in the making! Learn how Val first became indoctrinated as a triple agent for Leviathan, drawing on her formative ties to Hydra and her earliest betrayal(s) of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Enemy of Fury

in Secret Warriors (2009) #28

The stakes are personal when Val turns herself over for an interrogation by Nick Fury. But it is made clear that this is not the last we’ll see of the Countess...