Reader Interview #1: Start with a bang

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 donโ€™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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195 responses to “Reader Interview #1: Start with a bang”

  1. Courtney Avatar

    Well, I know he’s not really a super hero, but he’s pretty kick-ass in all categories: Edward Elric from the Fullmetal Alchemist series. Ed can turn his metal prosthetic arm into a shield to stop bullets; he’s smart and cunning, so kidnapping is no problem; and he can transmute the helicopter into anything he wanted (as long as it followed the Law of Equivalent Exchange).

  2. Anna Avatar

    It took me a while to think. And then I thought, the answer is obvious! Jason Bourne is the only answer for me. He’s super smart, and has the ultimate butt-kicking combat skills. But most importantly, he’s down-to-earth (so I can enjoy his company while we’re destroying all the bad guys). He isn’t really a super-hero, in the sense of science fiction, but he’s plenty super enough for me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Holly Avatar

      Yeah. Jason Bourne would work. ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. MyTricksterGod Avatar

    I know in a situation like that, I would have absolute faith in putting life in the hands of Holly Lisle.
    I dont think anyone can handle a helicopter chase quite like Holly.

    But seeing as how she’d most likely be too busy with other fabricated kinds of chases, my backup would be none other then Sora, from Kingdom Hearts.
    That’s a boy that knows how to handle any situation, who’s with me?

  4. Eileen Avatar

    Oh and Harry potter. If you can fly a Nimbus 2000 (broom) surely you can master a helicopter. And he could stupify the machine gunners. And teach me a few spells on the way. Although he is a little young. Maybe I should ask Dumbledore instead.

    My son (13) chooses Joker from Batman with his laughing gas to knock off the baddies.
    My daughter (11) chooses Eragon! She thinks Saphira’s armour is bullet proof. She’ll probably find out it’s not.
    My son (7) chooses Magneto Man. The machine guns would be deactivated by his magnets and he’s very good at climbing.
    My daughter (4) chooses Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story. Hey, who wouldn’t.

  5. Eileen Avatar

    My personal hero is INDA, from Sherwood Smith’s fantasy series (INDA, THE FOX etc). She is a brilliant author with great world building skills, politics and amazingly real heroes.
    Inda is resourceful, strong and an incredible strategist, as well as running a fleet of anti-pirate ships that most assumed were pirates. He is loyal, lethal and loving. He has battle skills on land, in politics and with people. But his strategies would enable him to disarm the machine gunners, fly the helicopter and ensure the kidnapping attempt was botched.
    Second to him I’d choose Jackie Chan, so I could laugh on the way!
    I also like some of the heros from Holly Lisle’s World Gate series, Pete, Lauren and Molly, but also the Guy with the hammer (Thor or Odin?) who turns up to help them all. Although it’s sad he has to ditch his partner without her knowing why, it does add to the story. He would be an amazing ally.

    But, just to put the cat among the pigeons….
    No one has mentioned Edward or Jacob or even Emmett Cullen from Twilight!! (Gasp, shock, horror!!!)
    I personally wouldn’t class them as my superheroes, but many teenagers do!

    1. sallie Avatar

      Nick Knight/Barnabas Collins/Spike … if need a vampire, I want one with angst and power … and no twinkles .. … The Dracula from the Marvel universe was incredible, but … no, not a super hero. And yes, Spike of the Buffy-verse has a comic, I read part of the story online the other day, and he was actually the good guy …

    2. Stephani Avatar

      Gotta love Deadpool, but I’d be worried the voiceover text would tell him to leave me since I couldn’t pay or something. I’d rather my rescuer didn’t have a strong psychosis.

    3. Stephani Avatar

      Please ignore my other reply, something glitched…

      I didn’t even consider the Meyerpires, but Alice would definitely be a top pick. Energetic, adorable, super fast, bulletproof, and can see the future? Yes, please. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. sallie Avatar

    Jaw drops … argh! Too many superheroes! My first thought was Harry Dresden, I have a weakness for magic and he is phenomenal. But old line superheros? While Bats and Supes are wonderful, I think I’d like to sidekick Green Arrow or Green Lantern or … wait for it … Luke Cage, Hero for Hire … and his able partner Iron Fist. (I was thinking Shang Chi for a while, but he lost innocents now and then … ) Kidnappers had issues with Luke and Iron Fist, they seldom managed to complete the mission with those two interfering. (And being a complete wuss, I want something muscular and somewhat more than human defending me .. LOL)

  7. deb Avatar

    There is always the modified Terminator – he could take a hail of bullets and still be back for more.

  8. Simon Avatar

    Well, it might be a bit boring answer but Superman is the obvious choice. Not because he is my favourite superhero but because no other superhero I know of can lift a planet and fly fast enough to be effected by relativistic speed measuring while at the same time being virtually indestructible. And since no one mentioned any kryptonite; saving me would be a walk in the park for him. He also tries not to kill people which I think is a good thing even if they do try to kidnap me.

  9. A. G. Nguyen Avatar
    A. G. Nguyen

    I would probably go with the Flash since he’s my favourite superhero! Plus he’ll beat up everyone within seconds since he’s so fast! Despite the fact that if he does carry me, I’ll probably suffer from motion sickness! He’ll still be great company since he’s a very easygoing and happy character! Doesn’t really matter which Flash (although it would be awesome if it were Wally or Barry), because all of the Flashes are great.

    But if I couldn’t get the Flash to accompany me, there’s always Green Lantern (Kyle), or the Question (Vic Sage)!

  10. Shari Avatar

    I’d pick Captain Jack of Torchwood fame. He is fearless because he can’t die (at least not in the original series), and so handsome that if we don’t manage to escape, at least he’ll distract me from the inevitable!

    1. sallie Avatar

      And Jack is soooooooooooo definitely toothsome, so his grin will keep you from worrying no matter how bad it gets …

  11. Rory Avatar

    Sailor Moon. She might not do so well against a human enemy with guns that she can’t poof away with her magic tiara, but still… if the kidnappers got me, I could die knowing I met Sailor Moon.

  12. Jennifer Avatar

    My superhero would be Mr. Reese from “Person of Interest” played so convincingly by Jim Caviezel. He’s smart, discerning, great instincts, and can kiss azz and shoot the wings off a fly! Plus, he’s great to look at!

  13. GabbieM Avatar

    Liam Devlin – the Irish hero of Jack Higgins thrillers. Although semi-retired, Liam still has the fire of adventure burning within his soul. Knowing I have read all of Higgin’s books Liam, long ago, committed himself to my safety and protection. One look from those piercing blue eyes – one flash of that devilish smile and I would be oblivious to all danger – to all villians, even to all chocolate. Liam can fly anything that uses air – and if it has wings and breathes he can charm it out of the sky. Villains tremble at his name and surrender without a sound (and if they do make a sound it isn’t for long!) There hasn’t been a weapon made he can’t master – a bomb he can’t disarm with string and chewing gum and, should he by some miracle of fate suffer injury, he wil simply stitch himself up and walk home – without a limp! I will revive after the event to find myself back in his secluded cottage. Lying in front a roaring fire, sipping mulled wine, Liam and I will review the nights events before, finally…alright – you can all leave now, I can handle this part on my own

  14. Martha Pearson Avatar
    Martha Pearson

    I’d pick someone I could keep up with or at least Someone down to Earth. DC Comic’s “The Question” has been a favorite of mine. He’s a detective, a martial arts master and he’s got no face whatsoever yet he can see, hear, and well he’s like crossing Sherlock Holmes with Dick Tracy and a Schizophrenic but hey for him his weaknesses prove to boost his assets. He’s an introspective superhero.

  15. Sunny Avatar

    James Bond! I think he glides through situations with such charisma and wouldn’t mind being a bond girl for one night.

  16. lorraine Avatar

    I’d pick Paul Bunyan just to see how a gigantic lumberjack would deal with all of that. Judging by the legends about him, he’d come up with some improbable scheme that would not only work, but generate some new features in the terrain as well.

    Plus it would be pretty cool to meet a giant blue ox.

  17. Valerie Avatar

    I was going to say the Doctor, but someone else already chose him. I think I’ll have to say Illyana, instead. Teleportation disks, soul swords, magic and minions could come in handy.

  18. Nancy Doyle Avatar

    My superhero, the person I’d most want to have my back in a firefight, is Sarah Connor, T2. Yes, I know she is not an actual superhero, but she does know someone with superhuman powers. She is focused, intellegent, fierce, and wears kick-ass military duds. Her values are simple: save humanity from itself whether we deserve it or not!

  19. Jordan Avatar

    I wound have to say Nightcrawler; he as the ability to teleport and meld into the shadows. He would quickly dispatch all the bad guys before they even saw him. He would also make sure the night was full of jokes and entertainment.

  20. Doug Avatar

    As a male I’d have to pick Sheena, Queen of the Jungle or Wonder Woman. They both made me hot when I was a kid.

  21. Rebecca Avatar

    I agree, Batman. He’s one of the few super heroes who doesn’t have any powers, per say; it’s all physical strength that he himself had to earn. He has devices and gadgets.
    Oh, and surviving is nice, too.

  22. Lisa Avatar

    Captain Jack Harkness. Not quite the Doctor, but sometimes better. He saves the world in his own way, with a bit of a roguish tilt to it. And he’d flirt with me the entire time.

  23. Ad Avatar

    I’d like to be saved by Damon Salvatore. Besides the fact that he’s a vampire, he’s a smart, crazy and impulsive character. He’s my option because he has it all: confidence, intelligence, surprise, suspense, originality, humor and he’s good looking, too.

  24. Christel Avatar

    Eversince I was a little girl, my one and only superhero was, and always will be, Optimus Prime! Whatever thugs, mobsters or Decepticons would try to ruin the evening, he’ll protect me (and all others humans around, no doubt) from whatever they’d try to fire at us. Okay, so he canโ€™t fly. No problem, because in no time, heโ€™s got back-up from Autobots who can!

    And if I donโ€™t get to pick him because heโ€™s nothing close to human, Iโ€™ll gladly take NCISโ€™ Jethro Gibbs along any day: after what heโ€™s survived, a night like that would be just another day on the job ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Stephani Avatar

      I’d trust Gibbs with my life. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d trust any of them with my life (excepting maybe Mike Franks, he seems like he wouldn’t put up with my cowardice.)

    2. Samantha Avatar

      Oh I forgot Gibbs I can’t believe that. Yeah NCIS team would be epic especially if Ziva went back to her more kick ass Mossad style.

    3. Felicia Fredlund Avatar

      Gibbs! Oh, how could I forget him. Hmmm, which would come first for me: Gibbs or John McClane? Tough choice.

      I can’t decide!

  25. Faith Avatar

    Well, because I’m not exactly a fan of stereotypical superheroes, I’m going to have to go with the Doctor on this one. Tenth regeneration, to be precise. Me, David Tennant, and a fully-operational TARDIS! Those silly helicopters wouldn’t stand a chance! We could just warp somewhere awesome (and hopefully not life-threatening and/or world-destroying) and spend a pleasant evening conversing about the state of affairs in 1969. Or we could stay and save all the helpless people while looking absolutely kick-ass. Regardless, Ten will spend the whole evening making hilarious jokes and acting adorable- all while sporting an epic British accent. I think I’ve said enough.

  26. Carol Avatar

    My first thought was The Great and Powerful Turtle from Wildcards, because he’s all about the protection. The great big floating tank lacks subtlety though, and also interferes with communication, assuming I’m not riding inside. So Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman is the second thought, or Jean Grey or Rachel Summers. The criteria being bullet and general physical assault prevention (for a companion, not just personal invulnerability like Superman) plus pursuit capabilities for the helicopter chase.

  27. Robert Santa Maria Avatar
    Robert Santa Maria

    When it comes to superheroes I’m very old school. I grew up in the “resurgence era” when DC and Marvel brought back it’s 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s superheroes.

    While I agree wholeheartedly with you, Holly, on the Dark Knight (and Frank Miller), I immediately thought of two very extreme heroes.

    The first is The Spectre (the Jim Corrigan years). Created by “A Voice in Heaven” and sent to be the spirit of retribution on earth, bullets and a helicopter are no sweat for this guy. Plus, he will punish the evildoers with some pretty extreme horrors.

    My other less extreme (but only a bit) choice is the The Shadow. As Phillip Jose Farmer once said, The Shadow’s motto was “The only good crook is a dead crook”.

    The Shadow was one of the inspiration for Batman (and even met him in the Denny O’Neil era); though the violence and gun play was toned down as Batman grew more popular with younger kids.

    Either way it would be a night to remember.

  28. Bryden Yeo Avatar

    The great Kazoo from the Flintstones. :)Me and my hubby would be the two dumb dumbs ๐Ÿ™‚ and we would wish ourselves out of trouble in many zany ways, somehow making it safely home with baddies in jail in half an hour to put our many children to bed. ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Alice Avatar

    Bugs Bunny. He’s completely impervious to, well, anything. Logic and reason are completely optional, and are typically given the heave-ho in favor of just having a good time. His asides are priceless, his joie-de-vivre unmatched, and we share a love of carrots — it would be a blast! (If not several blasts …) –Alice ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Jane Avatar

    Hmmm, well, he’s not really classified as a superhero…but what situation couldn’t McGyver get out of? Plus, he’s kinda cute…

  31. Zach Ricks Avatar

    Because I write some superhero fiction, I’m trying to keep my own characters out of this…

    My first impulse is to pick something really obscure like The Badger, but when you get right down to it, with the helicopter chase and the machine guns, you need to bring in Deadpool. All the healing capacity of Wolverine PLUS the rampant insanity of The Badger, plus healthy doses of guns and grenades.

  32. Felicia Binks Avatar
    Felicia Binks

    Hi Holly,
    my immediate response was my favourite tv star from a police drama. Why? Because this guy has real grit which is something I am very much drawn to….and of course he is rather handy with a 9mm gun. But I told myself, he is not a super hero. So who would I choose? Well it would have to be Wolverine. My choice has to do with the who behind the Wolverine character and that is Hugh Jackman, an Australian. In the situation you described where I am actually kidnapped by these gunmen, I want to be rescued by a very buff, rugged Australian who totally understands that as an Australian woman, I am no mere damsel in distress ready to kiss the hero, I want to get in a helicopter, chase the bad guys across the sky, capture at least one alive and then have my turn at kicking him where it hurts. Then of course we would sit back and drink a nice cold beer…..Austrlian of course!

  33. Jasmine Brown Avatar
    Jasmine Brown

    My superhero would be The Bride, from Kill Bill vols 1+2. She could really kick some villian behind and for me I would that type of courage with me during my kidnapping ordeal. We would shoot at the bad guys together the esape by helicopter all while looking sexy and feminine while we kick some major villian ass :)…then we would wind down with drinks and discuss the crazy events of the day while polishing our guns for whatever tomorrow may bring!!yeah umm hmm

  34. Mary Davis Avatar
    Mary Davis

    Traditional superhero? Well, there’s only one that I would choose, mainly because she doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty if needed. She can kick butt, she is cold and calculating, and once her mind is on the hunt – watch out! So, my choice is…Elektra. Close second is Wonder Woman – she does have an invisable airplane.

  35. Chris Olson Avatar
    Chris Olson

    Iron Man. A billionaire playboy genius. After he builds a device from wherever the kidnappers take us and takes them out (or, just whip out the Iron Man suit form the case) he can use his billions to make me my own super suit so he doesn’t have to rescue me again …

    … ah, a man can dream, can’t he?

  36. Jean Avatar

    She’s not a superhero, but I can’t imagine anybody messing with me if I had Inuit by my side.

  37. hula lula Avatar
    hula lula

    Gotta be Superman cuz he can do ANYTHING better than anyone.
    AND you get Clark Kent in the deal!

  38. Charlotte Henley Babb Avatar

    I’d choose Lady Claire Trevelan, from Shelley Adima’s Lady of Devices, because she has an electrick ray gun, she can build her own airships with her gang of street children, and she can not only drive a steam-powered car, but take it apart and put it back together. She’s 18 and has just barely managed to escape being married off to a destitute lord as she hides out, teaching her gang to win at poker and read and write.

  39. Susan Kelly Avatar
    Susan Kelly

    Wonder Woman. I want to talk feminism with her.

  40. Maestro Avatar

    Without a doubt, from the television show back in the day…drum roll, please: secret agent Angus MacGyver, as played by Richard Dean Anderson in the television series created by Lee David Zlotoff, with Henry Winkler and John Rich as executive producers.

    1. He always got out of any situation.
    2. He did so with a timely and inventive thought process.
    3. Most folks now identify duct tape as “MacGyver” tape. What better endorsement than to have an all-purpose get-the-show-back-on-the-road product line with your character’s name on it?

  41. Kassandra Avatar

    I’d choose Superman. He’s the all American hero and he’s just like me {minus the fact that he has super powers and is a boy}. Superman is awkward and simple, but will definitely win in a fight.

  42. JoAnn Meaker Avatar
    JoAnn Meaker

    “Rapunzel, Rapunzel. Let down your hair.” I would choose Rapunzel from the Disney movie Tangled. She’s a strong female – not about to wait for any male to come around and save her. Have you seen what she can do with her hair? Enough said.

    1. Stephani Avatar

      Plus, if you get shot, she could heal you, and maybe teach you how to weild a frying pan. ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. Donald E. Allen Avatar
    Donald E. Allen

    First off, thank goodness that the prove you are human math question was easy …. OK, now, My first choice hero would be Gordy Brewer. Who? Gordy Brewer, the hero in the 2002 film Collateral Damage. Gordy was played by Arnold. That is however quite BORING, so let me think outside the box a bit. Oh, I know, Emma Peel heroine of the Avengers series. Played on TV by Diana Rigg. You did say in your question that the kidnapping happened at the end of the date, didn’t you?

    1. Holly Avatar

      ๐Ÿ˜€ I didnโ€™t actually mention it being a date at all. I was thinking more along the lines of โ€œIโ€™ve had advance warning that Iโ€™m going to have a difficult evening. Who will I ask to ride shotgun?โ€

      But your approach works too. And the kidnapping was decidedly the last thing mentioned.

  44. Nan Wolf Avatar
    Nan Wolf

    Mine would have to be Nightcrawler of the X-Men: he’s courtly, swashbuckling, witty: plus I’d love to pet that blue fur. (He is my first blue furry crush.) His ability to teleport along with his skills as a gymnast should get us past any number of flying bullets and rogue helicopters. When the fighting was over he would say, “Liebchen, are you all right?” And I would jauntily answer, “Never better!” (Bonus: I would finally get to hear what “Bamf!” actually sounds like.)

  45. Ayla Avatar

    Rinsewind and his luggage from the Discworld series. luggage is a magic chest with an attitude and its owner Rinsewind is a coward that always manages to live threw the situations he is put in, usually by running into a bigger problem.

  46. Chelsea Avatar

    I would choose Wonder Woman because she’s smart, has super strength, her bracelets can block the bullets and she can fly (at least the Comics I read growing up, she could fly). After we take care of the bad guys, we could talk about the Greek gods and Paradise Island. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’d also pick Storm from the X-Men. She’s smart and can control the weather and fly. She could take care of the guns and the helicopter with her powers.

  47. Sif Traustadottir Avatar
    Sif Traustadottir

    By the Power of Grayskull! I canยดt believe nobody has claimed He-Man! He-man is a free spirit with a passion for adventure, just like me ๐Ÿ™‚ We would have a great time fighting bad guys in awesome sword fights, that are a lot cooler than machine guns. I would teach him how to fly the helicopter and afterwards we would have a romantic candle lit dinner in Castle Grayskull.

  48. Che Anderson Avatar
    Che Anderson

    I think I would have to go with Zorro. He’s intelligent, dashing, clever and not afraid to stand up for what he believes in. I imagine he’d be able to think up strategies for dealing with machine guns and that helicopter is useless for chasing you if you duck into a jungle, concrete or otherwise. After the smoke clears he can join me for a delightful dinner and evening of dancing.

  49. TYRONE Avatar

    I would go with Nathan from “The Misfits”. He would draw all the ire onto himself with his abrasive personality and he would keep you laughing.

  50. Ray Johnson Avatar
    Ray Johnson

    The machine guns and helicopter chase force me to rule out all the most fun choices, because no matter how good they are at what they do, it’s hard to imagine any of the heroes of Arthurian Britain or ancient Ireland, or any dashing cavalier, coping with a threat so far beyond their ability to imagine. Which makes me sad. What kind of world have we made, that such legendary heroes are obsolete? ๐Ÿ™

    After overheating a few circuits in my brain, I finally came up with Nicodemus Legend, of the short lived TV show Legend. As well as brains, and an ability to tap his friend Janos Christoff Bartok for fascinating and useful gadgetry, Nicodemus has the brains not to be too heroic. He’d rather live to fight another day than rush in just to show off. To top that off, he’d be fun to meet, and if I have to go through that sort of rough evening, I might as well have some fun at the same time…

    1. Sharon Avatar

      How cool. My thoughts were caught between Nicodemus and Jim West of Wild Wild West. But Jim West would have been too high maintentance with his penchant for preening for the ladies. You chose wisely.

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