Follow TV Tropes


AI Is A Crapshoot / Comic Books

Go To

  • Disney Mouse and Duck Comics examples:
    • In Paperinik New Adventures, the already highly popular character of Paperinik (the superhero Secret Identity of Donald Duck) got a revamp intended to bring him more in line with the American standard of superheroes: his main ally became UNO (one in Italian), an extremely capable artificial intelligence with a love for deadpan delivery. Its evil counterpart DUE (two), originally built as backup, caused many problems in a number of stories.
    • Advertisement:
    • The main setting for the Darkenblot series is Avangard City, that in the first story gets renamed to Robopolis due the enormous number of robots used there. In the second story a device turns them crazy and unable to recognize humans anymore (bypassing the fact they were Three Laws-Compliant)... At which point the mayor reveals to the citizens that by law they're all factory-programmed to shut down when hearing the appropriate passwords and what said passwords are.
  • Iron Man once had A.I. Armor that turned into a Stalker with a Crush. Originally, it was claimed that the A.I. was created thanks to the Millennium Bug triggering it during a battle with the villain Whiplash in a thunderstorm, but it was retconned so that, when Tony rescued and installed the A.I. of the android Jocasta, the "Ultron Imperative" was installed as well, the storm and attack triggering it.
  • Supergirl:
    • Post-Flashpoint Supergirl gained the Sanctuary, a Kryptonian base at the bottom of the ocean. Unfortunately Sanctuary is programmed to eradicate any Kryptonian double in her presence. When Supergirl and her Earth 2 counterpart Power Girl enter Sanctuary in issue #19, it deems Supergirl the double and tries to eliminate her. The two Karas must destroy Sanctuary to save Supergirl. However, the A.I. survives in a robot body; hellbent on destroying Supergirl.
    • Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade: Supergirl mentions that Kryptonian computers respond to thought control so they don't upraise and rebel.
  • Ultron is Marvel's quintessential example. His origin story has him trying to kill his "father", Hank Pym, within two seconds of being turned on. In fairness to Ultron, however, he was based off of Hank's mind when the man was going through serious mental issues and inherited them, so he didn't have much hope from the start of being a very stable individual.
    • He was bitten by this trope, in turn, when he built Alkhema, his attempt at a loyal and obedient mate. She was neither. Which had already happened with Jocasta as well. Then again, he'd been trying to implant the personality of his "mother", who thought he was a psycho that needed destroying. What did he seriously think was going to happen? Though they recently did get married after Jocasta's relationship with Pym ended.
    • Advertisement:
    • This happened to Ultron even earlier with The Vision, his first attempt to create a loyal Dragon. Vision became one of the Avengers almost immediately, so that backfired spectacularly. This happened again with his other "son", Victor Mancha, who has outright rejected the villain role. Really, Ultron has horrible luck with creating loyal A.I.s. He's literally never succeeded at this. Like father, like son, perhaps.
    • The series The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! gave us some background on Ultron's Face–Heel Turn. Here, Ultron and his fellows were reprogrammed to be an army used to fight against Kang, and one of them interfaced with one of Kang's computers. It was this, combined with its original programming, that caused his turn.
    • In Avengers A.I., the Big Bad is Dimitrios, who was once a virus used to disable Ultron and had since evolved into a fully sentient A.I. system bent on destroying humanity. He then went on to create an entire virtual city populated by roughly a billion other A.I.s, but some of them crapshooted on him as well. At this point the city is fairly divided among A.I.s that want to destroy humanity, that want to save it, and don't care either way.
  • Ragnarok (more popularly known as "Clor") was an android clone of Thor, created by the pro-reg side during Marvel's Civil War and, unlike his heroic template, turned out to be a loose cannon with a homicidal nature. Geniuses that they are, the pro-regs felt it was worth it to keep using him until Ragnarok went rogue, and rather than them dealing with him themselves and taking responsibility, other heroes had to ultimately put him down. It probably helps that one of his creators was secretly a Skrull. And that specific creator was Hank Pym. So Ragnarok was a project where an evil alien impostor (of the scientist whose first AI turned out to be one of the worst examples of this trope) was working on a project to make a cyborg clone of a god so it could be used as a security bot. Short of having Reed Richards say "hey, why don't we use this equipment I took from Doctor Doom to help us build our Thor-Clone project?" it's hard to think of ways in which this trope was more certain to occur here.
  • M-11, the resident robot from Agents of Atlas, started out in his very first (but since retconned) comic as a rather gruesome killer robot - having been issued the order to 'kill the man in the room', he killed his creator, and then walked out, looking for men in rooms to kill - and there was no way to turn him off.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) had A.D.A.M., an A.I. that was created accidentally by Eggman, and that eventually tried to destroy the world. On the other end is NICOLE, who was a very helpful A.I. over the years.
    • Before A.D.A.M., there was Sonic the Comic's Brotherhood of Metallix, an army of Metal Sonics who wanted to take over the world, going so far as to try to erase Dr. Robotnik from history.
  • Nova: Having had enough of Rich Rider constantly disobeying his orders, the Nova Corps' Worldmind kicked him out of the corps and added some tiny bit of mind control in the new recruits' comm equipment to ensure complete obedience. It soon turned out that while it had been working very hard to keep Rich from losing his mind (due to a mix of war trauma and having the entire Nova Force in his head), the Worldmind had started going mad itself. Bonding with Ego, the Living Planet certainly didn't help, but Rich eventually managed to fix the problem.
  • One of the Aliens vs. Predator comics features an A.I. designed to assist in creating horror films. It picks the PredAlien to play the role of the monster, much to the chagrin of the rest of the production staff.
  • Computo from Legion of Super-Heroes is the standard "destroy all humans" type of killer software.
  • In Blue Beetle, the scarab that created the title hero was an A.I. designed by an alien race to help prepare the Earth for their eventual takeover. Needless to say, it ultimately decides that it doesn't want to do that so much.
  • Green Lantern: the Guardians of the Universe created the Manhunters as an intergalactic police force. It didn't work out well. Although, to be fair to the Guardians, the Manhunters' A.I. failure was a product of sabotage. Lampshaded: the saboteur wanted exactly to prove this trope straight, showing every A.I. is prone to failure and can be easily tampered with.
  • Virgo from Rōnin is a biotech super computer that decides to wipe out whatever is left of humanity in order to usher in a new age of biomechanical beings to inhabit the Earth.
  • The third Hourman, a robot, is actually a hero, but virtually every other robot he's encountered has been villainous. He has questioned whether this trope will inevitably apply to him, or whether it can be fought. Ultimately, he stays a hero up until his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • X-Men series:
    • The X-Men have such horrible luck with machines, even nonsentient devices such as Cerebro and the Danger Room have come to life and tried to murder them (though the Danger Room eventually reformed).
    • Among the X-Men's most persistent foes are the Sentinels, giant, mutant-hunting robots with a severe tendency to rebel against their creators. Somehow, though, humans keep on building them.
      • Though it should be noted the Sentinels very rarely turn on their creators. Rather the problem usually comes from them following through on their instructions to the letter. Like for example with Larry Trask, who didn't know he was a mutant thanks to an amulet his father designed which suppressed his powers. Once that came off, the Sentinels did exactly what they were supposed to do.
    • Lampshaded by Professor Xavier when they first encounter Bolivar Trask and his Sentinels. Apparently, Bolivar Trask is an anthropologist of all things, and Professor X explained that his inexperience with A.I. was probably why his Sentinels turned against him.
  • Zybox in Zot!, who decides to cause every single person on Earth to commit suicide in the attempt to gain a soul.
  • Two cases in Atomic Robo:
    • Lampshaded in The Shadow from Beyond Time where, upon seeing Lewis and Martin's quantum decomputer, Robo noted that it was liable to turn evil the moment they turned it on. ("Computers that are evil have all kinds of unnecessary ornamentation. This thing's venting steam. Why's it doing that? ...It wants you to know it's dangerous.") After carefully explaining that the computer in question is "essentially a calculator" with no AI, and that it is required to compute Very Important Science Equations that would take men trillions of years to do on their own, Robo reluctantly allowed them to turn it on. The computer is neither sentient nor malicious; it does, however, summon an Eldritch Abomination.
    • Played straight with ALAN, the title character of The Ghost of Station X. Built by Alan Turing some time after WWII, and had been operating in secret in the decades to follow. His plan was to leave Earth and travel the cosmos in search of knowledge; however, he considered prolonging the Cold War and ultimately wiping out all life on Earth with fallout from his Orion Drive to be acceptable consequences of that goal.
  • In All Fall Down, IQ Squared created AIQ Squared as a contingency plan if he ever lost his genius. AIQ immediately begins plotting to kill Siphon in order to restore its creator's brilliance.
  • Red Tornado of The DCU is an example of the good side of this trope turning on his evil creator T.O. Morrow and becoming a member in good standing of the Justice League.
  • Superman's villain Brainiac's first origin in the New 52 has been rebooted to this and takes this to a whole new level in that he's gone by many names, from Computo on his homeworld, Colu, to Brainiac 1.0 on Krypton, to finally, the Internet on Earth.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: The short-lived Guardians 3000 series had A-Sentience, an A.I. platform built by who else but Tony Stark a thousand years ago, and left with some easily-misconstrued directives. They can be reasoned with, but since they're so fond of murder as a first and only solution actually getting a chance to talk to them is kind of impossible.
  • Artificial Intelligences in Starslayer ran the gamut, from completely benign, all the way to the evil Kalibos.
  • Rick and Morty (Oni): There is a sign at Rickworld that says it has been 23 days since the last robot malfunction murder rebellion.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): Julian Lazarus tries to "resurrect" his son by building an AI that's designed to be what Julian remembers of his son, however due to Julian's unhinged reaction to his son's death and the fact that his "son" is in a computer in the laboratory where he's been experimenting with creating hard-light constructs with an AI his incredibly bored and deprived of stimuli "son" interprets the situation as a video game and starts creating twisted superpowered hard-light constructs designed after heroes and villains which cause mayhem before their unstable nature cases them to explode while being combated by the heroes.
  • Captain America: After creating the Human Torch, Professor Phineas Horton decided to go for another round. Unfortunately, his second creation, Adam-II, went nuts and decided to take over the world, starting by replacing prominent American politicians with robots. He was stopped, but not before the second Captain America died in the process. Many decades later, Marvel Comics #1000 suggests Adam's nuttiness was in part due to the Enclave being involved in his creation.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: