Everybody is online now. Everybody. I earned the enmity of a teacher at college when he asked us to guess his age. Apparently using the electoral role to find his details was against the rules. With so much data on the web, it’s easier to do online banking than visit an actual bank. We could visit the Mona Lisa in a museum but for the virtual tours we’re offered now. Suppose that it all went done one day? Or worse, something rose up and took control of it all. Marvel and DC comics have covered their own apocalypses but none would be worse for the modern day than their AI creations rising to the fore. Here’s some of the best – or worst – to come off the pages.
Created by Hank Pym as an experiment in intelligent robots, Ultron hypnotized his creator into forgetting that he existed and began upgrading his systems. Quickly establishing himself as an enemy of the Avengers, Ultron would plague them dozens of times over the years. Most notably, it would create Vision and spread like a plague through various other AI to escape and rebuild itself. Ultron has merged with Hank Pym and now become one being. Pym appears to be in charge with Ultron caring for their body but time will tell if there is any of the evil Ultron still in there.
Following the murder of Sue Dibny, Batman slowly remembered what the Justice League had done to Doctor Light. No longer trusting the team, he constructed Brother Eye – a semi-autonomous AI to monitor the other heroes for signs of them overstepping their authority. Launching it into orbit, he equipped the satellite with anti-detection stealth systems to avoid being found. Maxwell Lord later learned of and found a way to hack into Brother Eye. He reprogrammed it to work with him and better use the OMACs. Batman was forced to destroy it with the assistance of a team of heroes but parts of it survived through to Final Crisis.
Created for the New 52, Victor Stone realised that he could watch every superhuman on the planet with his new hardware. Realising that it would be an invasion of privacy, he created programs to passively monitor them for him. But the program grew, assimilating code from hackers and viruses that it encountered. When Atomica realised what was happening, she helped it grow into full sentience and offered it a place on the Crime Syndicate. Now calling itself Grid, this AI can link itself to every computer on the planet.
Pronounced Killgore, this intelligence originates from the Pleides sector. It consumed it’s home planet before searching for another to support it. Attacked by something known as the Meta#sker, it was trapped in a vibrational limbo and ended up near Salt Lake City. Following an encounter with the newly appointed Flash of Wally West, it escaped the limbo it was in and decided to conquer Earth, quickly hiding in the power grid. Only by convincing the entire planet to turn off their power grids could Wally lure it out into a corporeal form. Although it has been defeated several times, it has constantly escaped.