Murder for hire doesn't have to be sexy, but it's just more fun that way. And the best assassins are almost always sexy, using their sexual allure to confuse their prey and delight everyone else.
Here's our list of the 10 sexiest assassins from science fiction, fantasy and comics.
Note: We tried to confine this list to just people who kill people as their primary occupation, not just amateurs and part-timers. No bounty hunters who sometimes bring 'em back dead, no spies who occasionally kill.
10) Kai (Lexx)
Why he's a deadly killer: He spent 2000 years as a Divine Assassin, killing for his Divine Shadow, and he killed all sorts of people, and never showed any mercy.
Why he's sexy: He's undead. He's kind of gothy. He's got a totally insane hairdo, and a weirdly impassive face.
9) Laura (Mnemosyne)
Why she's a deadly killer: She's the best assassin, hired to kill the immortal Rin by the evil Apos.
Why she's sexy: She has a habit of putting people into bondage, and she's rocking the dominatrix vibe, from what I've seen. Check out this awesome trailer.
8) Nikita (Nikita and La Femme Nikita)
Why she's a deadly killer: In all her incarnations, Nikita is the best assassin from a secret government organization, which trains her to use stealth and cleverness to kill people who need killing. She's an expert in martial arts and all types of ordnance.
Why she's sexy: She uses her sexiness as one item in her arsenal, frequently dressing in hawt outfits to distract people while she commits the perfect murder.
7) Valentine D'Eath (2000 A.D.)
Why he's a deadly killer: He's the universe's best elite assassin, hired to kill Shakara, the group mind of the executed Shakara race. Besides the cool name, Valentine D'Eath is a stone cold killer, who manages to assassinate the Growlian President with a psionically tuned bullet while simultaneously having sex.
Why he's sexy: If the "assassinating with a psionic bullet while simultaneously having sex" thing doesn't do it for you, there's also the cool hair and the green diamondy eyes. And the fact that he's lovers and comrades with the multiverse-powered assassin Phaze, and also recruits another member of his assassin crew, a sentient galaxy, by beating him at cards.
6) Lady Shiva (DC Comics)
Why she's a deadly killer: She's like the best assassin in the DC Universe, pretty much, and she's trained almost all of the good guys despite being kind of a bad guy. Including most of Batman's sidekicks — and even Batman himself, after his nearly career-ending back injury in Knightfall.
Why she's sexy: Because she gives no quarter, and kills with her bare hands. And because she knows how to rock a long coat.
5) Sayid Jarrah (Lost)
Why he's a deadly killer: Sayid mostly became a full-time assassin during the long period off the Island, where he joined up with Ben Linus and went around offing whoever Ben told him to. Usually over golf — because golf, too, can be a deadly game.
Why he's sexy: Because he's Sayid! Arguably the second sexiest character on Lost, after Sawyer. And for some reason, when he went into the assassin game, he just became 1000 times suaver and more dapper. (Maybe partly because he wasn't stuck on an island any more.) There are a lot of natty suits and sweet seductions in the whole "Sayid: Assassin" saga.
4) Mara Jade (Star Wars: Expanded Universe)
Why she's a deadly killer: Before she became Luke Skywalker's wife and a valued part of the New Jedi Order (not to be confused with New Order) Mara Jade was Emperor Palpatine's top assassin, the Emperor's Hand. She killed Jedi, rebels and corrupt Imperial officials without any mercy or compunction.
Why she's sexy: Leather halter top! Also she's always depicted as being calmly badass, sleek and elegant, killing with a lightsaber or a blaster. And she has awesome red hair, that gets totally wild and metal when Death Stars blow up. Image via Future Class X.
3) The Terminator (Movies)
Why he's a deadly killer: He's the unstoppable killer robot from the future, man! He's sent back in time to wipe out Sarah Connor, and he'll fuck up a police station or a disco or anybody who gets in his way.
Why he's sexy: He arrives naked, thanks to the nudists-only time travel device. And he later rocks an awesome trenchcoat and chunky 1980s sunglasses.
2) Fox (Wanted)
Why she's a deadly killer: She's the best member of a secret league of assassins whose victims are chosen by a magic loom of fate. And she's got the superhuman ability to "curve" a bullet, making it hit her intended target even if a giant side of beef is in the way. Or possibly another person.
Why she's sexy: She's Angelina Jolie. Plus, when we first meet her in the movie, she's suave, unflappable and capable of doing all sorts of insane contortions to shoot people while laying on the hood of a car. And she's always happy to show off her badass tattoos when she's in the magical healing baths.
1) Elektra (Marvel Comics).
Why she's a deadly killer: She trained with the Hand, a sect of mystical ninjas, to become the baddest assassin around, and later became the top killer for the Kingpin, New York's crime lord. Even death couldn't stop her, because she came back as an even more formidable zombie ninja. In her hands, a sai the most lethal weapon around.
Why she's sexy: In spite of the whole "ninja" thing, Elektra is not stealthy at all. Instead, she's totally eye-catching in her red outfit with the exposed legs and the low-cut top. And she's always thirsty for combat and ready to deal death. And what could be sexier than that?