Clockwise from top: Steel Collar, Technospike, Infomorph, Bitmap, Wirehead. Killobyte not pictured. Daredevil #326 (Mar 1994)
|First appearance|| Daredevil vol. 1, #326 |
|Created by|| D. G. Chichester |
|Place of origin||Formerly the New York Botanical Garden|
|Partnerships|| Bitmap |
System Crash is a fictional group of supervillains appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. They first appeared in Daredevil vol. 1, #326 (Mar 1994), and were created by D. G. Chichester, Scott McDaniel, and Bill Oakley.
Fictional team history
The members of System Crash all started their criminal careers as hackers before taking the leap into supervillainy. Beyond that, little is known about their origins.
They are first seen employed by Baron Strucker, who wanted to improve the public image of HYDRA, normally thought of as a terrorist organization. To that end, System Crash was supposed to take control of the internet and use it to cause chaos. Strucker also employed the criminal hacker Knowbot to obtain technology that allowed the United States government to secretly access information on any computer. According to Strucker, once he blocked this technology, it would lead the federal government to use Gestapo techniques on its citizenry to re-acquire this unilateral access to their information, leading to mass anarchy, from which HYDRA would profit.
System Crash operative Killobyte was detailed to protect Knowbot as he accessed this information. However, the intrusion was discovered, and Captain America was dispatched to stop it. After Knowbot accomplished his mission and finished sending Strucker the encrypted information, Killobyte killed them both with an electrical discharge to prevent Captain America from discovering who they worked for.
System Crash next helped cybercriminal Cobol Charlie blow up the Staten Island Ferry, killing 33 passengers. System Crash member Bitmap then killed Charlie to keep the team's involvement secret. They did take public credit for the blast, but claimed to be a group of terrorists called the "Silicon Pirates". Meanwhile, Wirehead and Steel Collar stole Killobyte's body from S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. Wirehead took over the Empire State Building, which HYDRA used as a platform for snipers to fire into the crowds below. Order was restored by Daredevil and Silver Sable, although Wirehead managed to escape.
Again, credit for the attack on the Empire State Building was taken by the "Silicon Pirates". Next, Infomorph, Steel Collar and Technospike burglarized an office of Rand-Meachum, but were caught in the act by Daredevil, Iron Fist and Captain America. Nevertheless, the criminals managed to escape with the company's hard drive. Meanwhile, Baron Strucker met with the brother of the dead Killobyte, and convinced him to carry on his brother's criminal career under that name. System Crash then flew with Strucker to Bosnia to destroy the "Genesis Coalition", a splinter group of HYDRA posing as their erstwhile parent.
Steel Collar and the new Killobyte attacked a group of National Guardsmen, again ostensibly as the terrorist "Silicon Pirates", but were chased off by Daredevil and Gambit. Requiring help in breaking the encryption on the information Knowbot had stolen, Bitmap broke hacker Sinclair Spectrum out of The Tombs in Manhattan. Daredevil, noticing traces of a rare plant during his last encounter with the group, traced their hideout to the New York Botanical Garden. He and Captain America engaged the villains, but the latter was captured while Daredevil escaped.
Daredevil tracked System Crash's new location to a ship near Liberty Island. He helped Captain America escape from them, and destroyed the ship, presumably killing Bitmap, Technospike and Killobyte in the process. The two then tracked Sinclair Spectrum and the remaining members of System Crash (Wirehead, Steel Collar, Infomorph) to New Jersey. Wirehead and Infomorph were captured by the heroes, while Steel Collar committed suicide.
- Bitmap - Made of some sort of liquid held together by a containment suit. He has the ability to shape his liquid body into different forms to attack people. In a confrontation with Daredevil, his liquid form fell into the waters of Upper New York Bay. He has not been seen since.
- Infomorph - Able to mimic the form and, to an extent, the abilities of other beings. She is not completely in control of this ability, as she is once forced by Daredevil to acquire the mental patterns of an entire hive of insects, which left her temporarily debilitated. She was last seen defeated by Captain America and Daredevil, who presumably turned her over to law enforcement officials.
- Killobyte (Lester) - A HYDRA operative who quit for unknown reasons, and his younger brother Joey took up the mantle of Killobyte. After this brother was killed, Lester was convinced by Baron Strucker to return to HYDRA and resume the role of Killobyte. He was on board System Crash's airship when it crashed into Upper New York Bay. He has not been seen since. As Killobyte, he used some sort of technological weapon that could emit electricity strong enough to kill a man.
- Killobyte (Joey) - Admired his older brother Lester, and so took up the mantle of Killobyte when his brother left HYDRA. Committed suicide to avoid capture by Captain America. He wielded the same technology as his brother.
- Steel Collar - A cyborg possessing superhuman strength, albeit one who lamented his lost humanity. He was often referred to by his teammates as a "robot", an epithet which Steel Collar loathed. When cornered by Daredevil and Captain America, he appeared to hold Sinclair Spectrum (for whom he had developed some feelings) hostage, but after securing a promise from Daredevil that he would not be charged with any crimes, he killed himself.
- Technospike - Wore a kind of exoskeleton that electrified a pair of long metal cables at his wrists, similar to the powers of the Constrictor. He was on board System Crash's airship when it crashed into Upper New York Bay. He has not been seen since.
- Wirehead - Wore a helmet that showed him the world as if it were an MUD, and through which he received instructions from his "Dungeon Master". He could make weapons materialize instantly in his hand, as if he were a video-game character switching through his inventory. He was last seen defeated by Captain America and Daredevil, who destroyed Wirehead's helmet, and who presumably turned him over to law enforcement officials.