These top security comic books have characters and superheroes we love because they protect and defend, much like our law enforcement. Could superheroes inspire fans to go into security careers, the same way shows like CSI created a whole generation of investigators? The box office of the last two decades has been dominated by comic book-based superheroes, starting in 2002 with Sony Pictures and the Columbia Pictures release of Spider-Man. This movie grossed more than $200 million worldwide and led to 2 sequels, a reboot, and a whole new life in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
This interest continued with the 2005 release of the Warner Bros Picture 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. And Marvel was just getting started. Major movie studios have movies based on comic books scheduled as far as the eye can see.
Why are Security Professionals Inspired by Superheroes?
When you think of superheroes, you think of individuals who are willing to put their lives on the line to protect others without thinking about what it will cost them. Superheroes are willing to make the hard choices, go above and beyond the call of duty. They get done what normal authorities cannot accomplish. They put people first, and the bad guys get what they deserve, punishment.
This is the same with Security professionals in the field. In many ways, these Security Professionals inspired by Superheroes, are doing just that. Here are ten superheroes who have inspired the call to become the top security professionals of the modern age. You will also find these professionals working as super hackers to top detectives, intelligent philanthropists to ultimate spies. Wherever the call is, they are the ones putting their lives on hold to bring peace to this world.
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.
1. Oracle: Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl
Created by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino in 1967, the name Batgirl stuck until 1988. For twenty-one years she was Batman’s unofficial sidekick. Barbara Gordon was named after her mother. Starting in 1989, and until 2011, she was also known as Oracle. After she was injured by the Joker, which left her paralyzed, she put her computer detective skills to use to help Batman fight crime from behind a computer screen.
Having studied cyber security in college, Barbara became a great asset to Batman and other superheroes. This was an interesting way of not only changing her role as a superhero but also showcasing the real up-and-coming cybersecurity profession through comics. And this is one reason why Oracle makes the list first as the Comic book heroes to inspire your security career.
2. Bruce Wayne aka Batman
Batman has been many things over. nearly a century of crime-fighting stories, but he was conceived as one of the greatest detectives in comics. He was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger in 1939. When he is not Batman, Bruce Wayne runs his father’s company, Wayne industries. With the help of a technological arsenal and cool vehicles, Batman provokes fear in the criminals of Gotham City. Although hidden in the background, He works beside Commissioner Gordon.
Batman is an achievable persona, in the sense that he is rich and a great detective, however, not so much the vigilante part. Bruce Wayne is also a well-known philanthropist and a goofy playboy. This is of course part of his well-thought-out plan. A way to disguise himself from the rest of the citizens in Gotham City. As far as Batman, a good detective can make a positive impact on society, no matter how corrupt the society in the city seems to be.
3. Commissioner Gordon
Commissioner Gordon is the police commissioner of the Gotham City Police Department. Securing the city is his top priority, and he does just that, with the help of Batman. He not only fights police corruption but helps Batman and keeps the everyday citizens of Gotham City safe. In a fictional city like Gotham, which is based in NYC, it takes a strong well-developed person to rise above and make his mark.
Jim Gordon is just such a person. Not only is he a loving husband to his wife Barbara and father of a daughter of the same name; he loves his family just as much as he loves his career in law enforcement. Although he does hate the fact his work takes time away from his family, it is a sacrifice he is willing to make.
4. Matt Murdock aka Daredevil
Matthew Murdock is known as Daredevil. He grew up in poverty in Hell’s Kitchen. Between studying hard and training at his father’s gym, he was taunted by his school peers and given the nickname Daredevil. Matt Murdock eventually became a lawyer by day and vigilante by night, using the moniker Daredevil given to him as a child. Even though he fights crime as a vigilante, let us focus on the lawyer aspect of his career. Today lawyers can be the true superheroes in a person’s life. They help individuals get the justice they deserve. A good lawyer has honor, integrity, and truth.
They also advise their client on what their legal rights are and obligations while in court. Some may consider lawyers as attorneys as well. Since many times they seem interchangeable. As for the Daredevil, he wants what is right for his clients and if it does not happen in court (as the lawyer), he becomes the “Daredevil” to make sure they get what is rightly theirs, no manner the cause.
5. Tony Stark aka Ironman
Another great security professional is Ironman. Tony Stark is the current owner of Stark Industries, which was started by his father Howard Stark. He is not only a genius but also a billionaire and CEO of Stark Industries. He was wounded and captured while in Afghanistan. While in captivity, he built an armored suit to help keep him alive and used it to escape. Once free, he decided to use his new armored suit to help people and became Ironman. Tony Stark has a keen mind. If he can visualize it, he can build it. He is all about security, securing not only our nation but also our world. Being wounded in Afghanistan gave him a new perspective on life and changed the way he runs Stark Industries.
Iron Man is an American comic superhero who first appeared in 1963 in Tales of Suspense no. 39. His creation was the official work of four people: writer and editor Stan Lee, who worked on the plot of the first story; his brother Larry Lieber, who also scripted the first story; artist Don Heck, who penciled the first storyboards. Jack Kirby was the inspirational designer of Iron Man’s original armored battle suit in 1963.
6. Frank Castle aka Punisher
In the comics, Castle was a war veteran, a father, and a husband. Until one fateful day when his wife and child happen to witness a mob hit. His wife and child were gunned down and Frank Castle vowed vengeance on the people who killed his family and became the Punisher. Of course, in our world, we just cannot go out and kill people, whether for protection reasons or other personal reasons. There will be consequences. In the comics, however, the Punisher fights for those who need protection. He protects people who find themselves in the crosshairs of danger. Bodyguard comes to mind when I think about the Punisher. Or, possibly Secret Service agent.
Some may think of him as the Mechanic, aka a person who does black ops for different agencies. An Infiltration specialist is also a good option for anyone who has a military background. The Punisher was created by artists John Romita Sr., Ross Andru, and writer Gerry Conway.
7. Peter Quill aka Star-Lord
As an interplanetary policeman, Quill is the son of human Meredith Quill and Alien being J’son. As a young boy, he became fascinated by the wonders of outer space and desired to learn more about the universe. Being a human hybrid gives Peter Quill extraordinary abilities. Although our world does not necessarily have this type of “galaxy protectors” yet, one day in the future perhaps we will have an interplanetary police force keeping the peace throughout our solar system and beyond.
We do however have security professionals that work not just domestically but also internationally. The CIA is one of those agencies that work outside the USA, most of the time. And, Officially, they cannot spy on American citizens. Although, many believe they do. Star-Lord was created in January of 1976 and debuted in the Marvel Preview #4 the same year by Steve Englehart and Steve Gan.
8. Green Lantern
Since Green Lantern is part of an interstellar law enforcement agency, practically anybody can become Green Lantern. Throughout the Comics, there also have been numerous ones over the years; some black, some white, some women, and even alien beings have, in a manner of speaking, picked up the torch from other parts of the universe. Everyone that has an explorer bone in their body can relate to the Green Lantern. The fact is, maybe someday, humans will traverse the universe and may need an interstellar law enforcement agency in our future.
This “agency” is also similar to Peter Quill, except this agency spans many galaxies across our universe. Having the magic ring and superpowers would be nice, just not in our reality. Green Lantern first appeared in what people call the Golden Age of Comic Books in the “All-American Comics” at #16, the brainchild of Martin Nodell, who created the original Green Lantern (initially using the name Mart Dellon) while collaborating with Bill Finger in July of 1940.
9. Black Widow
Natasha Romanova aka Black Widow is an ex-KGB agent who defected to the United States and now works for S.H.I.E.L.D., which is the Marvel Comics version of the C.I.A. Can a person grow up and be a spy? Sure, why not. The idea of working undercover and always hiding your true identity is something that spies go through. It is definitely a stressful and intense position. However, it is not always as glamorous as James Bond makes it look. Yet, it can be a rewarding career just the same. Growing up to be a KGB agent is not every Russian girl’s fantasy.
Natasha is an orphan and agencies love to make orphans agents, similar to the background of James Bond, who is a fictional spy for MI6. Not all agents are orphans, though. Black Widow was created by Stan Lee, the editor, and plotter, along with scripter Don Rico, and artist Don Heck while working on the graphic magazine Tales of Suspense #52, in which the character debuted in April 1964.
10. Nick Fury
Marcus Johnson aka Nick Fury Jr. is the son of Nia Jones and Nick Fury. This is the current Nick Fury, not only shown in comic books but also in the MCU. He is the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fury also protects the world from evil, along with the other “Avengers”. He directs his agents under him to their assignments, and to protect individuals or whatever or whoever needs protecting. As the current Nick Fury, he has had setbacks and wins under his belt. From prison breaks to alien invasions to tyrants snapping their fingers and killing half of the world’s population along with its superheroes.
Only time will tell if he lives up to the legacy of his father. Some may consider Nick fury as a counterintelligence operative, in some way. Nick Fury was initially conceived by writer/artist Jack Kirby and writer Stan Lee at Marvel Studios in May of 1963. Fury first appeared in graphic magazine Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #1 in May of that same year.
The Connection between Security Professionals and Superheroes
Security can mean different things to different individuals. A normal deadbolt on a front door provides a family in the suburbs with a certain amount of security. While a full surveillance system can provide that same family 24/7 security when it is connected to 911 services. Whether you are a soldier, policeman, private investigator, spy, or computer specialist, there are true security professionals inspired by Superheroes.
All these individual career professions provide people security in some way, shape, or form. And the demand for this field is constantly growing each year. People look to superheroes because they are soul-searching for aspects of the superheroes in them.
People long to live in peace, in a secure world. Not everyone wants to see the world burn, or in constant chaos. Not everyone wants to subjugate people and enslave the populous in a worldwide police state. Especially since our own reality of the word “security” seems to be in question lately. However, security is still a necessity for a lot of businesses, private corporations, and individuals in general. Why? Because people’s personal information needs to be safe and secure.
Companies work hard to keep client information safe and secure. If there are people who wish to do others harm, we will always need individuals in the security field. And these are the true superheroes, those keeping the innocent safe from harm.
Are Today’s Security Professionals Inspired by Superheroes, and if so, how?
I believe many children look up to superheroes as the mighty defender of the world, the protector of mankind. We want to idolize a person that is greater than ourselves. That will make the good flourish and the bad to get what’s coming to them. In the comic world, the hero almost always wins, and the villains are sent away. However, we live in the real world. There is no man (or woman) that can do everything a superhero from the comics can do.
Yet, those working in security professions can look up to these “superheroes” to learn compassion, knowing the difference between bad and good, and what is morally right. As a security professional, your goal should be like the same type of role model that your favorite superhero is or strives to be. Unless of course, you’re the kind of person that looks up to the villains in the story.
Anyhow, the real examples of superheroes of our world go beyond just securing our Nation’s infrastructure. They are Mothers, Fathers, Teachers, Coaches, and Mentors; ordinary people wanting to make a positive impact on the world today. Some work among law enforcement while others may find employment with places such as the DHS, NSA, or the FBI. Security professionals can aspire to have super-like attitudes, though. This will, in fact, help provide enthusiastic behaviors that can inspire more ordinary people to go the extra mile, aid those less fortunate, and bring hope to a world that is full of uncertainty.
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