Brimstone. PHOTO: Cybercrime Magazine.

Which Superhero Would Be The Best Cybercrime Fighter?

Batman had the most votes at a popular comic book expo

David Braue

Melbourne, Australia – Jan. 12, 2023

Forget the Penguin, General Zod, and Thanos: if a superhero were to be tasked with fighting cybercriminals instead of supervillains, which one would be most effective?

This was the question Cybercrime Magazine posited to attendees at the recent Long Island Comic Book Expo, where hundreds of comic-book enthusiasts converged on the Huntington Hilton for a weekend of catchups, chats with special guests, cosplay, merchandise sales from 125 vendors across 25,000 square feet, and more.

Their verdict?

“Around 90 percent of the answers were Batman,” laughed Sam White, a video producer on the Cybersecurity Ventures team, who joined senior audio engineer Kyle Haglund to cover the event for Cybercrime Magazine.

“Everybody thought Batman was the man to go,” White explained. “He’s got the Batcave, with the fixed monitors and all the gadgets to hack into stuff easily.”

Batman “would be able to infiltrate and backtrack to wherever their lair is,” attendee Keith Williams said, with fellow attendee Nick Merino flagging the likelihood of a “physical beatdown” once he did so.

“They’ve got to find a way to remember not to do it again,” Williams said. “I think being in a hospital for a few weeks would do that.”

There were a few write-ins, with Mister Fantastic getting nominated by one attendee because “he’s a really smart guy,” White added, while attendee Matt Logides noted that “Mastermind can control their minds, and just get in their heads and stop them from doing what they do.”

Also nominated was Oracle — the alter ego of Barbara Gordon in DC Comics — who in one storyline “ends up in a wheelchair and becomes eyes and ears using computers, the Internet, and using cyber,” Codakhrome Comic Shop owner Doctor Chopper said.

For every superhero there must, of course, be a villain — and when asked which supervillain would be most likely to become a cybercriminal, Doctor Doom came out ahead.

“He’s this really sinister character who is also very smart,” White explained. “He’s often given a speech, and [is so convincing] that you can halfway agree with what he’s saying.”

Thoughts on superheroes aside, the event — which debuted in August 2017 and, in November, was revived for the first time since 2019, thanks to the pandemic — was an opportunity for like-minded enthusiasts to get together and explore their shared passion.

The organizers “do a really great job to bring in good artists and good vendors,” said Doctor Chopper. “It’s always amazing whenever [organizer Greg Aiossa] announces who’s coming, because of the anticipation of who I’m going to get to meet next.”

Cyber awareness is high

And while it might seem like a tenuous connection, the comic community proved surprisingly aware of issues around cybersecurity — with wrestler and actor Brimstone recounting the challenges he has faced with Instagram scammers making fake lookalike accounts and trying to fleece fans of their hard-earned dollars.

“It was an eye opener that everybody is affected by cybercrime,” White explains, “even if it’s as minimal as someone impersonating you on Instagram.”

“It’s definitely becoming more mainstream.”

Many attendees were old-school and “didn’t know much” about cybercrime, Haglund said, “but we had a few people who gave us really great answers that really showed a pretty in-depth knowledge of cybersecurity in general.”

“I was impressed with the amount of cyber literacy that many of these vendors, and the people that we interviewed, had.”

In many ways, growing engagement with cybersecurity concepts has become inevitable for the comic-book crowd, which is based around creativity and has changed dramatically in a world where intellectual property exists in a highly fluid environment.

That change works both ways, one attendee noted, with art imitating life as the comics themselves introduce cyber and other technology-related concepts.

“It’s amazing when you have computer and cyber technology things incorporated in these storylines,” Doctor Chopper noted. “Seeing them bring technology, seeing them bring computers in the world of information that we live in and have every day — bringing that into comic books is so refreshing.”

David Braue is an award-winning technology writer based in Melbourne, Australia.

Go here to read all of David’s Cybercrime Magazine articles.