The U.N's appearance in comics and fiction has been long and colorful -- and often cartoonish. From The Simpsons (which mocked the global organization as a dysfunctional do-nothing) to the Animatrix (the prequel to the Wachowski brothers' film series, The Matrix, in which the U.N. signed away humanity's collective will to a new set of machine overlords) it's been a checkered history.
More frequently, it's the United Nations in need of a savior. Foreign Policy's Colum Lynch details the escapades of the latest group of superheroes to grace Turtle Bay -- in DC Comic's reincarnated Justice League International -- but the history of heroes working with the U.N. goes much further back.
In 1965, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby developed the Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-enforcement Division, also known by the convenient acronym S.H.I.E.L.D. Lead by the gritty and battle-hardened Colonel Fury, they battled their evil rival, HYDRA, commanded by the former Nazi Baron Strucker. The writers note that S.H.I.E.L.D has the full backing of the U.N. General Assembly for its operations. And perhaps to be in close proximity to Turtle Bay, the organization's headquarters were located on the Upper East Side of New York, with easy access to a helipad, among other technological amenities.