I don’t know if it started with District 9, which sparked a mini-controversy over its portrayal of Nigerian gangsters, but blogfriend Bunmi Oloruntoba’s been tracking the portrayals of Nigerians as supervillians in news and popular culture, and his most recent find is the best yet: a blogger who tricks Nigerian 419 scammers into dressing up like superheroes, and has turned the experience into a comic book.I don’t that Nigerian 419 scammers are really worthy of being our age’s super-villains. They’re harmful, for sure, even devastating to the people they trick. It’s undeniably corrosive to have an economy where so many people are involved in scams — or illegal activity period, and Nigeria’s not the only country you can say that about. But they’re not internationally nefarious — they’re not The Greek in The Wire, they’re not the specter of the Chinese in the Red Dawn remake. No one can be that individually powerful, and while it’s certainly possible we could have another Germany under Hitler, I think it’s unlikely. No, Nigerian 419 scammers are only powerful enough to be a meme, to be subject counterscams like this, and fodder for jokes on shows like 30 Rock. I don’t know that there’s enough genuine fear there to motivate more portrayals of them as a menace.