Reader Interview #1: Start with a bang
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Superheroes on the Town

Superheroes on the Town

I’m starting something new on my weblog. I want to get to know the folks who read my work, and I decided to do it in an offbeat way. Once a month, (on the third Wednesday of every month, to be precise) I’m going present one interview question, and I’d like to read your best and most sincere answer. These will be hard-hitting, get-to-the-core-issue questions, the kind that back in the day made interviewees on 60 Minutes sweat.

Well, no, not really. I intend these to be interesting and fun, actually, and I’m looking forward to seeing what you say.

This week’s question:

Which superhero would you pick to accompany you if you knew your evening was going to end in a kidnapping attempt, thugs with machine guns, and at least one helicopter chase, and why?

(My answer? Batman, but only as written by Frank Miller, who comes up with the best lines ever, because I want to survive the night, but I want to do it with a steady stream of cool one-liners to listen to while we kick ass and don’t bother taking names.)

You can pick any superhero, no matter how popular or how obscure, from any culture, any medium, and any time period. Just be sure to say what makes that superhero the one you’d want at your side an a particularly exciting night.

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Reader Interview #1: Start with a bang — 193 Comments

  1. Hmm… If it was a hero/heroine from a book I would have to say Angela from Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance books. Yes, she is super. Yes, she is a heroine. Comic book ‘superheroes’ have nothing on her. She kicks butt, is uber kooky and if that wasn’t enough – she’s always accompanied by a werecat! Two-for-one. Oh yeah!

    Otherwise, Gaara from Naruto Shippuden (who would want to take on a sand demon?), or Tin Tin because he’s awesome – ‘nuf said.

  2. Well, you took my answer- Batman- for as soon as you said kidnapping. Who better than the Dark Knight Detective? Backup would be Wolverine- his covert ops background, tracking skills, healing abilities and willingness to put an end to things makes him pretty good alternate. Hmmm. Batman/Wolverine sounds like a decent crossover story…

  3. I’d have to go with Matt Wagner’s Grendel. That guy is simply a force of nature. I’d definitely put in my own work in the rescue, but by the time I put one bad guy down, the entire area would be littered with corpses and the helicopter grounded…

  4. Well, of course it’d be Spiderman. He can do anything and he’d swoop down grab me right out of the depths of danger and death.

  5. I would have to say Wolverine. There is no way he’d let anyone harm a woman he was protecting and he’d be hell to face in combat with those adamantium claws, plus his quick healing would have him facing them head on.

  6. I’d have to say Captain Reynolds from Firefly. He doesn’t seem that talented/heroic at first glance, but somehow he always ends up on top. Plus, he’s not so powerful he could take out all the bad guys himself; I want some fun too :)

    If we’re looking for genuine superheroes (ie people with superpowers), I’d go with Peter Petrelli from Heroes. He kicks ass, but he’s so human, just a guy with serious problems trying to do the right thing. Definitely easier to spend some time in captivity with than an automaton like Superman.

    • How interesting, Julian. As I started reading everyone’s suggestions, Captain Reynolds is exactly the hero who came to my mind. I must admit I don’t know much about “super heroes” (Batman, Superman et al) and quite frankly in the Batman movie it was The Joker I batted for! Batman just seemed like a cardboard cutout in a silly costume.

  7. “Here I come to save the day!”
    Mighty Mouse. He’s not big on anything, but he sure packs a pile of punches. With his lasso he’ll rope and tie that nasty helicopter full of evil cats. Machine gun bullets will bounce off his chest and he’ll break up any kidnapping schemes. With the villains all subdued we’ll sing his theme song.
    Then, sharing a chunk of brie, we’ll sit and watch re-runs of the Mickey Mouse Club.

  8. Ok Holly, all smart ass aside, and without comments on days of the week… I would probably go with Colonel Jack O’Neill of StarGate as portrayed by Richard Dean Anderson. Not a superhero you might think but Anderson was also Mcguiver (spelling?) and has a lot of funny one liners as well. I had also considered John McLane from Die Hard because he kicks so much ass he had Samuel L Jackson grabbing the holy sh!! bar in fear and shot down a helicopter with a car. Also a lot of funny one liners. If you insist on a superhero from the classic definition, probably young Obi Wan Kenobi because his force powers, dedication to his cause and lightsaber skills rock.

  9. Though not a superhero in the comic book sense, I’d have to go with Indiana Jones. In fact, I’d might be tempted to hire a gang of kidnappers-thugs-assassins-bad people just so Indy could rescue me. I’m not really the “oooh I need to be rescued” type, but in his case, I’d make an exception!

  10. Since my knowledge of traditional superheros is at about 5% I soon realized it was off the beaten track for me! After dithering over how brave I was feeling (and sneaking, sneaky glances at other peoples answers)I realized there was only one conclusion to reach. River Tam.

    I thought to myself. Experience with mysterious kidnappers and kidnapping? Check. Experience beating up thugs with guns, degenerates with si-fi tech, and wackos with really sharp teeth? Check. Ability to fly (or you know non-corporeally posses)various flying machines? Check. Also exhibits the envious talents of being morbid and creepifying, knowing what’s going to happen before it does, totally kicking ass, and she can kill you with her brain; all while somehow managing to be both angelic and endearing. What’s not to love?

  11. Donkey from Shrek. We would be hopless but by sheer luck we would survive. We would have a lot of laughs and do it all to a great sound track. And if we really screwed up we’d just wait for the rest of the cast of Shrek to turn up, knowing our friends would never let us down!

  12. I’d chose Kick-Ass because then I’d get Hit-Girl and Big Daddy and between the three of them I should survive the night and have one hell of time doing it.

  13. Black Widow, because she’s just plain amazing. She’s smart and has all the deadly skills, and she’d be fun to banter with. I like arguing for fun. Though I wouldn’t mind Hawkeye either.

  14. Sheesh! Doesn’t anyone remember the really great super-heroes of yesteryear anymore? My personal favorite happens to be Odysseus: bold, courageous, clever Odysseus. Machine-gun toting pugs could never outsmart the inventor of the Trojan Horse; protected by the gods, no helicopter would dare threaten him; and when all the action was over, he’d reward the whole team with long years of long nights in the love nests of the goddesses. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Wolverine and all the rest will have a hard time matching that legacy!

    • OK, now I have an insane mental picture of small, frog faced dogs with breathing problems highly armed and dangerous … pugs? in pinstriped suits … I am in so much trouble mentally …

    • In all my love for Odysseus and for all his cleverness, I still don’t think I would want him coming to my rescue. While the man can sneak, fight or talk his way out of just about any situation and into just about any goddess’ bed, generally it’s him escaping as the sole survivor. While I have no doubts the Son of Laertes could get himself out of a kidnapping, machines guns and a helicopter chase I am less sure of his ability to get me out in one unchewed, unblasted, undrowned and otherwise undead piece (or he actually might be able to manage undead. But I would much prefer alive. Much.)

  15. My choice? No doubt…Professor X. I love the fact that he’s so powerful even though he’s confined to a wheelchair…and conversely, I like the fact that no matter how powerful he is, he can’t fix his own problem….but he doesn’t let that sour him on people. And Professor X is a man of great discernment. He’d be able to figure out why someone would want to kidnap someone as inoffensive as myself.

  16. He’s not exactly a “superhero” per se, but I would choose the Doctor. Preferably in his ninth incarnation, but I’m not picky. :) As to the reason… Well. He’s the Doctor. He prances about the Universe saving worlds and rewriting time with nothing more than a sonic screwdriver and his brain, and sometimes he doesn’t even need the screwdriver. If there’s one fictional character I would blindly trust with my life, it’s him.
    Plus, if one is with the Doctor, chances are that the kidnapping, thugs and helicopter chase will take place on another planet, or in the future, or both.

  17. I would have to choose Steve Austin, the six million dollar man. If, by some twist of fate, we weren’t able to fight our way out of trouble, then we could have hot steamy…chocolate while we plotted our escape.

  18. Oh, such a tough one. My first response is to go with Thor (the movie version) so I can ask him to walk around shirtless. *Dreamy* Then I considered Spiderman, whom I love but who gets a little too emo at times. Or Nightwing, who is pretty smart and he’s learned from the best, though he still isn’t quite as good as Batman. But my final answer is Harry Dresden (who is in a graphic novel, so he counts). I’m going with Harry because he is relentless, because he loves to protect women (me), because he’s charming and sweet, and because in the end, no matter how bad the situation gets, he finds a way to come out on top. I’d love to see him be a bad-ass, and then join him to chow down on pizza and beer afterwards.

  19. I’d definitely take The Phantom. Don’t care whether he’s the comic strip version or the Billy Zane movie version. He’s ripped, resourceful, and mysterious. Who can resist a man in purple spandex and a mask when he moves like that? Plus he’s got a cool white horse and wolf as companions AND he talks to his dad’s ghost. To top it all off, he’s educated and polite, so after we got through kicking ass, we could have a truly decent conversation over a midnight dinner.

  20. I want Riddick — he’d take them all on with a ray gun made from three paperclips and an old iPod, not treat me like I’m made of glass, and not yack my ear off.

  21. If we’re talking American comics superheroes, I feel like Kitty Pryde’s ability to phase through solid matter would be singularly useful in both the kidnapping rescue and dodging machine guns. Well, either her or Nightcrawler who could just teleport us away from everything.

    If we wander into the realm of Japanese manga heroes, Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece. Because he’s made of rubber (meaning bullets bounce right off) and he’s too dumb to ever give up, which makes him unstoppable. :D

  22. I think mine would have to be Venom, so big, so bad, and not afraid to go through some good guys to get to the bad guys. Like “Spider Man” but without the morals. We’d be watching out for them but of course they’d come out from nowhere and surprise us, as the villains that they are. We,d act quickly, dodging bullets, maybe feed them back, or just throw a car at them and call them girlie names to get them ripped. I’d love to do that. He’d say things in his dual voice and I’d third and fourth them with my own duality. The helicopter would stalk around the rooftops shooting at all of us cause we’re all the same, outcasts. I would placate the bird by clipping it’s wings, they’d come at us from the ground and Venom would more than likely kill them for getting in the way, but oh well. There would be close combat involving all the curses that only the battle born could deliver without being second guessed. Things would be flying, people would be flying, just like when we were kids, and in the end we would be left injured and standing above them spitting blood and saying “Now, bug off” with our dual voices trailing our words like the ghosts that they must surly be. People would just then be creeping out of their hiding places, looking at us with awe, “you just saved the president” they would say. We’d just look at them and turn, if they only knew. We’d be on our way. The bad guys will find another way. We’ll be there then too.

  23. Superman – because, really, wouldn’t flying be cool? And, with his day job at the Daily News, he may well be an interesting conversationalist, up on current events.

  24. Wonder Woman (as in Linda Carter, the one and only WW), of course. Not only is she a super hero, but she has great style, an excellent sense of fashion and changes outfits more often than a gay man. :D She is the ultimate icon and hero of many a gay boy.

  25. Yeah, it would have to be Batman, the version in the Arkham Asylum video game. Batman is just plain awesome, plus his voice is both threatening yet calming at the same time, not to mention the fact that he’s rich and can almost fly. It’s awesome.

  26. Hellboy. Because I like my tough guys a little tortured and sensitive and smart, and A LOT paranormal. He’s not very good with guns, but he’s huge and can simply block the bullets. The guy’s practically indestructible. I think it’s the whole “from Hell” thing. Plus I’d love to hang out with him and his BPRD (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense) friends at the end of the action-packed evening.

  27. Lisbeth Salander. She could handle it all and then some.

    “Don’t ever fight with Lisbeth Salander. Her attitude towards the rest of the world is that if someone threatens her with a gun, she’ll get a bigger gun.”
    ― Stieg Larsson, The Girl Who Played With Fire

  28. I’d have to with Rogue when she still had Ms. Marvels powers. I think she would be good company until the action started and then she’s all action!
    Tanya

  29. Tarzan, because he was inventive. He would figure out a way to deal with the machine guns and the helicopter, after which he would whisk me safely off to the jungle, where urban-type kidnappers would never dare to go.

  30. Cat Woman! Yes, I know she’s kind of a villain, but she’d still save me. And she has nine lives and a whip. She’d probably claw through the ropes and then we’d break out together.

    Of course, after she rescued me I’d have to ask her if I can crack the whip, just for fun.

  31. Comic books were forbidden when I was growing up, so this question is going to have to be handled by my TV/movie viewing brain. My guess is that Jackie Chan is not considered a superhero, which is a shame, because I’d enjoy an adventure with him, and John Steed is busy or retired, so, I gotta go with Iron Man. I understand what he does, and why, and his background is a stretch to the credibility but no strain on the understanding. I’m a fair hand with a soldering iron myself, so I’d be able to contribute something to the evening besides just picking up the tab for coffee afterwards. So, Iron Man.

    Did somebody up there say Aqua Man? How about Electra Woman or Wonder Twins? :lol:

  32. No fair, you got to pick first! I would simply have to have Batman beside me. Not only would he dispatch the evil doers with little aid from real super powers, his brilliant mind would amuse and entertain me throughout the adventure. Also I’ve always yearned to take supper by candlelight with the unmasked hero . . . in his batcave.
    JCC

  33. I’d probably pick someone low powered enough to be fun rescuing, but competent and smart enough to be fun to have an adventure with. Wait, who said *I* was the one the kidnappers are attempting to grab? ;)

    Since I can outgun the average thug with a machine gun, and fly a helicopter in a pinch, I think I’d do OK rescuing some superhero if push came to shove. Why pick someone like Superman who would steal all the thunder and fun from the night? My hunch says Shadowcat would be fun to hang out with for an evening – the right mix of brains, competence, and a power that isn’t out of the stratosphere.

  34. Superman! If I’m going to have to deal with bullets flying and helicopter chases, who needs tools when you can have a fast, bullet-proof, flying superhero. Then, when it is all over, we could just fly around. Soaring without man made items or a parachute, that would make my day.

  35. Holly, your weltaunschaung (world-view), energy, CODE of action, creativity , and work ethic happier than the 7 dwarfs’ Hi-Ho–I sip like a tonic!!
    Love your e-mails.
    May your generosity of spirit be returned to you in health, success and lots of money!!!

    You GIVE with joy

    Thank you thank you thank you

    Carole Weaver-Linsner, New York

  36. Jean Gray of the Uncanny X-Men. She could read the kidnappers’ minds to find out where they are going, and who wanted the kidnapping. She would use She would use her mental powers to confuse the pursuers and they chase and fire their guns. And afterwards, she would use her mental powers to find the best pizzeria in the city to celebrate the escape.

  37. Honestly all I got from this was your weeks use a lot of Wednesdays “on the third Wednesday of every week, to be precise.” Sorry, but I read that and couldn’t make it through the rest for laughing and trying to come up with smart @@@ remarks like “so you really don’t want to take to people?” In the comments I seen something about Batman but I don’t think he operates on a three wednesday a week week, like the rest of us he uses just one. :)

  38. I think I’d have to go with V from V for Vendetta, the book not the movie. I’ve always been intrigued by what’s under the mask and I think he’s one of the only super heroes who doesn’t have an alter-ego. He just is. Plus I’m a Brit and he’s a very British hero. If my superhero was allowed a side-kick to help him out, it’s got to be Hawkeye. The perfect combo of brooding and one-liners and a wonderful aim with a bow.

  39. I’m so chock-full of stupid male pride that I wouldn’t want to be saved. How could I ever live that down? I’d rather die in a blaze of super-heated half-molten copper in glorious martyrdom inspiring legions of zealous nutcases to flock to banners with my name blazoned across them, twitching enthusiastically in a brisk wind as they march forth to conquer in my name and avenge my death.

    Either that or Wonder Woman. She’s really hot.

    • I didn’t say you had to be saved. :D Hey, I’m with you. In my version, I’m in there kicking ass WITH Batman. What fun would standing on the sidelines be?

  40. My first pick was Superman, since he’s indestructible and could easily rescue me in a matter of seconds. But I thought that would be cheating… so I thought of Batman. But everyone would pick him since he’s cool.

    So I’ve chosen Sherlock Holmes. Not only is he witty, smart, and hysterical(I guess that counts as witty)but it’d be hilarious just to watch him out-wit the bad guys, confuse the, and somehow with uncanny Sherlock luck, get rescued by Watson at last minute.

    So I guess that technically makes Watson my rescuer….and Sherlock isn’t a “super hero” to begin with. But I had never classified Super Heroes as only people with super powers. I always thought they could be normal people too. Oh well, Sherlock Holmes is my choice.

  41. Well I would have said Batman too. I love the Dark Knight graphic novel. And if he looked like Christian Bale it would be fine with me but since he is taken I would have to say Spiderman. All that climbing up walls and swinging around buildings is something I always wanted to do. Superman is a little to goody two shoes for me. I do like me a bad boy for sure. Spidey is a little bit more of both.

  42. Wolverine I think, only in civvies rather than that ghastly yellow and black lycra, because it would cheer him up to kick some arse.

    Or if not Wolverine, because I live the wrong side of the Pond, SuperTed, who comes from Cardiff is equally kick ass and makes a fine cup of tea.

  43. Yes. The answer is Batman. Always Batman. Why? Because Batman!

    Ok, reasons why on a serious note… he’s the most efficient superhero in the history of ever so, as you said, I’d have a good chance of surviving. We would probably get through the night with very limited conversation (thereby limiting my opportunities for social awkwardness…although, knowing me? Probably not) And come on, who wouldn’t want to be escorted by the Dark Knight? It’d make a hell of a story…

    Cons…his rogue gallery is the most sinister. So, one can only hope none of them actually show up.

  44. The obvious answer would be Wonder Woman. She can do the bullets & bracelets thing, has that magic lasso, and the invisible plane to chase the helicopter. AND she looks really good in that costume!

  45. Spiderman. Because and ONLY because I think seeing a helicopter caught in a giant spider web would be the awesomest thing in the history of ever.

    On the other hand, Aquaman might be fun. Just to see him grit his teeth and think about how talking to fish is the lamest superpower in the history of ever.

  46. Pssht. There is only one correct response here: Wolverine. You get all the darkness and snappy lines of the Dark Knight, along with cursing, cigars, and adamantium claws. I’d spend a few moments taunting Wolvie about never being able to close the deal with Jean Grey, get him all ginned up into berzerker mode, then offer him a light for his Cohiba and watch the fur fly. Afterwards we’d hit a seedy bar for a couple of Bombay Sapphires and prowl for unattainable women. Oh, and I did I mention the adamantium claws…?

    • I’m with him. Wolverine is the only answer to this question as far as I’m concerned. Then again the comic canon version has been my #1 hero since I was about 12 years old… that’s a long time. They destroyed him in the movie version so I’m not a huge fan of the movies, but comic canon Wolverine would stand with me, kicking butt and not bothering to take names. He’s the best at what he does and what he does isn’t very nice but he does it with style and some great one liners to keep the fun going.

  47. Well, of course it should be Batman, but you already chose him, so I’d go with Scott Pilgrim (I just saw the movie, I’m a fan). He would battle his opponents with martial art moves, 1up lives, with the Zelda music in background, he would be unbeatable, as all those guys in manga seem to be (falling from great heights and not feeling a thing, getting punched in the face and still making a pun, and so on), he’d jump so high to reach the helicopter and save me from my evil exes (ok, or from the bad guys), and still rock on his bass. ^^

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