The Culper Ring is a fictional covert operations agency featured in the DC Comics Vertigo imprint comic book series Y: The Last Man. The historical Culper Ring was created during the American Revolution as a secret spy ring under the direct command of George Washington. In fiction, it has existed under every subsequent U.S. President.
The Culper Ring worked to prevent crises and skirmishes between global factions and nations, prior to the events which form the basis of the series (the death of every man on earth except one). They are also alleged to have engaged in political assassinations and other extralegal ‘dirty tricks’ at the behest of various U.S. Presidents. While very little is currently known about the group, it is clear that agents were trained from a young age in a special school or operations camp. Once the initial training was completed, an agent then moved to field work under a senior agent.
Their activities included the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, rigging the 1968 presidential election and recovering the lost tragedies of Aeschylus and the Amulet of Helene. In 1977, Jimmy Carter restructured the group, resulting in the establishment of a hard-line splinter group, the Setauket Ring. One of the main characters in the series, known only as Agent 355, reveals (in issue 28) that her commanding agent, Agent 1033, trained her and was her mentor before they became involved in a romantic relationship. Each male agent is given a prime number to identify them.
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