Over the past 10 years, we have seen a steady increase in interest in comic book based superheroes. This started in 2002 with Sony Pictures and Columbia Pictures release of Spider-Man. This movie grossed more than $200 million worldwide and led to 2 sequels and a reboot. This interest continued with the 2005 release of the Warner Bros. Picture’s movie Batman Begins and the 2 subsequent films, The Dark Knight in 2008 and The Dark Knight Rises in 2012. In the end, the Batman films each earned more than $1 billion worldwide. Additionally, we have seen a whole host of other superhero movies, including 2 Superman movies, a GI Joe movie, 3 Iron Man movies, a Punisher movie, a Thor movie, multiple Hulk movies, and the superhero ensemble piece The Avengers movie. Major movie studios have movies based on comic books scheduled into the 1st quarter of this century.
One of the universal reasons for people’s love of comic books is the fact that the superhero is often charged with the responsibility to protect, defend, and speak for the weak. He has the ability to stand for those who cannot stand for themselves. In a sense, the superhero is the security guard of the community, city, town, country, or planet he lives on. With that in mind, it is only appropriate that a top 10 list be made of comic books that are related to security work.
When people think about security work, one of the 1st groups of people that come into their mind is soldiers. Soldiers, whether they are deployed abroad or providing protection within their nation’s borders, are the ultimate security guard. They receive specialized training, and they have the self-sacrificing spirit that allows them to put their life on the line for others.
Created in the year 1940, Captain America is the epitome of what a World War II era soldier was. With his iconic red white and blue star-studded shield, Captain America stood as a representation of the American serviceman of the time. Along with his sidekick Bucky, Captain America stared down what would be the biggest threats to the United States security at the time, namely the Nazis and the Japanese. For the past 7 decades, Captain America’s character has stood guard ensuring world security.
Created in the year 1940 by famed writer Bill Finger and renowned comic book artist Martin Nodell, the Green Lantern is a great example of a comic book hero who does security work. The Green Lantern receives his power from a power ring and a lantern. The Green Lantern is one of many individuals who form the intergalactic security force known as the Green Lantern Corps. Each lantern is given the responsibility to patrol and secure a section of the universe. The Green Lantern’s patrol area is sector 2814. Talk about a large patrol route.
What could be more related to security work than being an actual police detective? With this in mind, Dick Tracy comics are 8 on our list of comic books related to security work. Chester Gould presented the character Dick Tracy to the world on October 4, 1931. This hard-hitting, no nonsense detective was a hit with audiences. Dick Tracy’s goal was to keep the streets of his town safe from the vile villains who tried to disrupt the life of everyday citizens. Prominent in Chester Gould’s writing were characters whose evil was so pronounced that it actually became apparent in the deformities on their faces. Armed with a pistol, a radio watch, and a whole slew of security related tools, Dick Tracy was more than a match for any villain that his crime-ridden city could produce.
While definitely not suited for younger readers, the Punisher Max comic series, created in 2010, is an excellent example of a character who takes his security work seriously. In this rendition of Punisher’s story, gone are the campy costumes and one-liners that made the Punisher often nothing more than a cliché. These have been replaced with a serious arsenal of weapons and knives that the Punisher effectively uses to work his way through a long list of drug dealers, gangsters, and sex traffickers. Far from being the typical hero, this vigilante takes it upon himself to secure the city.
In April 1964, the world was first introduced to the red clad, visually impaired superhero known as the Daredevil. Through this creation of Stan Lee and Bill Everett, we find a man who takes his security work extremely seriously. Blinded by a radioactive substance, Matt Murdock the altered ego of The Daredevil, is blessed with super senses that allow him to hear, smell, and sense what is going on around him in a supercharged way. The Daredevil methodically patrols the streets at night, exacting his own form of vengeance upon those who choose to break the law. In true security guard fashion, he is armed with a collection of weapons perfect for nighttime work.
Armed with horrific secrets and a set of nunchucks, this antihero does his best to keep the world as he knows it safe. This dynamic character walks the same tightrope that many security workers walk every day. Stuck between the constant demands put upon him by his FBI handlers, and doing what he feels is right, Officer Dashiell Bad Horse is resolved to make the world a better place even if it means he leaves a collection of bodies in his wake.
Comic books are full of ensemble groups that work as a team with the main goal of securing the masses. Three of the more popular teams of this sort are Marvel’s Avengers, the Fantastic 4, and DC Comic’s Justice League. Each one of these groups has their headquarters where they plan and organize their patrol work for the night. Each one of these groups has a lead patrolman that tells the other patrolman what to do. Each of these groups is full of people who are willing to give everything they have to guarantee that others are safe. These groups represent the best of security guards and security workers.
A large portion of individuals who choose to do security work do so because they have seen or experienced acts of violence in the past. These acts of violence have spurred them on to want to protect the weak and the innocent. The Crow, created in 1989 by the artist James O’barr, ranks highly on our security related comic book list. In the aftermath of the horrendous murder of his fiancée and his own death, the title character comes back to avenge his death and, in true security worker fashion, to protect others from experiencing a similar fate.
In May of 1939 the world was introduced to a character that would forever stand as the ultimate example of a night watchman. The Dark Knight, the Caped Crusader, The World’s Greatest Detective, would all be names given to the character that was originally named The Bat-Man. Armed with a stash of high tech weapons, Bruce Wayne’s altered ego combs the streets of Gotham city at night with just one goal. He wants to protect its citizens from the evil scum that is eating at Gotham City’s underbelly. Artist Bob Kane, and subsequent artists, have brought this night watchman to life in a way that is permanently etched in the psyche of modern society.
Dubbed the Guardian of Truth, Justice, and the American Way, no other superhero exemplifies the protective spirit, the self-sacrifing, and the clear-cut sense of right and wrong often associated with security work, police work, and military service like Superman. Born on the doomed planet of Krypton, Superman was sent to earth by his parents with the hopes that he would one day protect the world that we live on from suffering a similar fate. This iconic guardian of right has showed us for more than half a century why he deserves to be number one on any list of comic books related to security work.
There are a whole host of other common folks that could have been included in this list. Spider-Man, GI Joe, The Watchmen, The X-Men, and Teen Titans, could all easily fit into the above-mentioned list. As long as there is injustice in the world and as long as there are innocent people who need protection, people will be fascinated by stories of superheroes who dedicate their lives to protecting the weak. These stories will then spur others on to become real-life heroes who, although they do not have super powers, will dedicate themselves to protecting those who cannot protect themselves.