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

  1. Emese Avatar

    I would choose Sherlock Homes (the Robert Downey Jr-kind). He is smart, can fight and could give a kind of an intellectual experience as well.

  2. liberty Avatar

    From personal experience I pick the Hulk because he reminds me of my dad. I always felt safe with my dad. Even during his chaotic smashing up furniture and punching holes in walls I intuitively knew no one would ever hurt me under the care of my tortured father. So I pick the Hulk.

  3. Liberty Avatar

    I pick the Hulk because he reminds me of my dad. I always felt safe with my dad. Even during his chaotic smashing up furniture and punching holes in walls I intuitively knew no one would ever hurt me under the care of my tortured father. So I pick the Hulk.

  4. dragon Avatar

    I’ve already given one answer, but I didn’t give my first answer for some reason … Slapstick. High school kid who got sucked into a dimension of clowns and returned with a pair of clown gloves that turns him into a cartoon clown, with all the powers of a cartoon … he’s indestructible, he has a completely insane sense of humor and he’s the only hero who ever tried to put out Ghost Rider’s head in an honest mistake … He’s also been the two little eyes and soles of his shoes, from which he recovered two frames later. Kidnappers? Helicopter chase? Mundane for this hero who will provide slapstick comedy, a snappy line of patter and success, all for the price of admission. And, since I’m old enough to be his grandmother, no foolish entanglements because I enjoy his company.

  5. Voidjumper Avatar

    Skulduggery Pleasant. (The Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy)
    For much the same reasons as yours.
    He’s cool, suave, debonair sprouts the driest one-liners and makes even the malicious bad guy make a fool of themselves by just talking to them.
    Oh, and he’s an insanely powerful sorcerer. But whatever.

  6. jinxed Avatar

    He isn’t always the hero but I’d choose Spike from Buddy the vampire slayer. He’s perfect to look at. Fights like no ones business. He was tortured by a god and never wavered. Smokes, drinks, enjoys all the pleasures while proving his worth and saving the girl he loves. He can’t die cause he is already dead and damn that accent can really get me going and the things he says can’t be topped.

    1. jinxed Avatar

      Sorry that should say Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That’s the trouble with using a smart phone to post. They aren’t smart enough.

      1. Mike Avatar

        I’m thinking maybe this could be a new character, Buddy the Vampire Slayer. He’s like that one guy you always see in your local pub, sitting at the end of the bar, nursing a beer in the middle of the afternoon, no one remembers his name, just calls him ‘buddy’. He used to be a famous super hero, a little out of shape now, down on his luck, hasn’t had a call-out for a long time, new slayer has to track him down and convince him to train her. Sort of like Lee Marvin in Cat Ballou.

  7. Ariel Avatar

    Normally for superhero questions, I say my favorite superhero is Atticus Finch. The way he sticks to his beliefs is definitely a superpower, but I don’t think I’d want him with me for an adventure that involves machine guns and helicopters.

    So for this one, I think I’d have to go with Spiderman from the musical. I’m a theater geek, and I think that musical numbers can improve almost anything. Something that combines musical numbers with helicopters, machine guns, and kidnappings sounds like fun to me.

    And if Spidey’s not available, my second choice would be someone from the military like Navy SEALS or Marines. I feel like they could handle themselves in most situations, and I can’t think of anyone I’d trust more with my rescue if I’m the one getting kidnapped.

  8. Danzier Avatar

    Wow, I thought I knew about superheroes… I may have been mistaken! All my favorites are already picked, and all for reasons for which I approve. I’m stranded, dateless, on a night which must involve mayhem…

    …so I think I will be the one *doing* the kidnapping. Oh never fear, I’ve got some great reasons… It’s not really kidnapping, it’s a rescue attempt! And my hero of choice is: Larry-Boy, with his Super Suction Ears! I don’t want to steal anyone else’s choice (nor do I care to burn in a flame war over why I like this or that one) and how many superheroes must manipulate everything with their eyebrows because they don’t have arms??? Plus, nobody’s picked him yet. Life this evening will be silly, full of music and laughter and adventure, and we will all come out well in the end. Plus, this means at least one helicopter is being piloted by a pair of peas who speak with French accents, and a tomato who worries too much. πŸ˜€

  9. DragonsLady (aka Francine) Avatar
    DragonsLady (aka Francine)

    My hero of choice is Spock. He’s intelligent, he’s good looking, he’s irresistible, he’s super strong; he can out-think any villain from any planet known or not. Plus I can fantasize while being rescued that I’d be the only woman who could mesmerize him and turn him into the hot, sexy babe I know he is. Of course we might have to go back (or is it forward) in time to a period when we both were in our prime and not in the sunset years of our lives.

  10. R.C, Mann Avatar
    R.C, Mann

    I’d have to say Supergirl. She can fly, she’s bulletproof, and faster than bullets anyway. Plus she hot.

    This brings up something I have wondered about. Fan fiction – yes, no, or do it in private and don’t let anybody know about it? What’s your opinion?

    I think fan fiction has a rich and honored tradition. A connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court was fanfic. Poul Anderson wrote more than one book with borrowings from Shakespeare that certainly amount to facfic. Of course, and fantasy story that uses ancient mythology, references ancient legends like Beowulf, or incorporates things like fairies can rightfully be called fanfic.

    But some people preach that you should never touch fanfic. Others say that admitting to it will destroy your credibility with editors. Is this true? Is it only established authors who can get away with stuff like that? She us beginners keep it a deep, dark secret?

    1. R.C. Mann Avatar
      R.C. Mann

      Whoops. I didn’t run a search on your site re: the subject until now. No offense intended. I just wondered about your opinion. Now I know.

  11. Karen Avatar

    I also totally approve of River Tam. Knowing what people are about to do before they do it is very handy in any situation.

  12. Karen Avatar

    I’d go with Drizzt Do’Urden. He is the embodiment of goodness (all the more poignant as he is dark elf) and extremely proficient with his scimitars, inherent magic, and that neat twist of intellect that often makes the difference in any fight. Also, with his conscience, I could be sure no one would get killed who didn’t unquestionably deserve it. And Drizzt would sacrifice himself before letting anyone good get hurt — not that I’d let him πŸ™‚

  13. Mike Avatar

    I think I’d have to go with The Tick. Always amused me to watch him in cartoons, such a big loveable goof. Would be loads of fun being in an adventure with him – and he does usually save the day in spite of himself.

  14. Felicia Fredlund Avatar

    I would choose John McClane from the Die Hard movies. He kicks ass and manage to make it funny with his “Yippi kay yey!” (how does one spell that?). And how he manages to destroy helicopters with cars. He takes what he haves handy and kicks ass.

    1. Danzier Avatar

      You’re close imho. I’ve seen it “Yippi-ki-yay” and “Yippi-ki-ay”. I don’t know that there is a right spelling for that one.

  15. Frederick Gonzalez Avatar
    Frederick Gonzalez

    Magneto. Magnetism provides the best solution to the machine guns and the helicopter.

  16. Cheryl Avatar

    It has to be Buffy — but only if she’s got a Spike off-sider. Talk about smart cracks and banter! And it would be worth any number of attacks and kidnappings to hang out watching Spike do his stuff!

    1. Holly Avatar

      I miss Spike. SO much more fun than Angel.

      1. Mike Avatar

        And I loved Spike’s girlfriend – Dru. So deliciously wicked, and a lovely accent.

  17. Torrie Burke Avatar
    Torrie Burke

    Hands down, I’d want to be with Frank Castle, aka the Punisher (70’s-90’s versions are good, after that, meh). He’s got every toy he can find and a great mind in Microchip to back him up. Then again, he didn’t do such a great job protecting his own family way back in the day…

  18. Anthony Poindexter Avatar
    Anthony Poindexter

    I would pick Electra. What thug in their right mind would mess with you if Electra was on your arm. It would be a kick butt from the start and besides what a babe.

  19. Stephanie Avatar

    Interesting question, and even more interesting choices. First I asked hubby, he doesn’t know.

    My 8 year old son would choose Bumblebee from transformers because he’s really good at saving the good guys.

    My 4 year old daughter said she would choose R2D2 from star wars because he has a taser and is really good at staying alive.

    I would choose Indiana Jones. He rocks at getting out of tough situations with a great sense of humor.

    But the 8 year old says Bumblebee is stronger than Indiana or R2D2!

    Stephanie and Family

  20. Lynda Miller Avatar
    Lynda Miller

    Wonder Woman is the one for me! She has that great golden lasso and those wonderful bracelets that defect bullets. How could anyone forget her???? She would lasso that helicopter and pulllit down, while forcing bullets back onto the thugs. Yep! She is for mme!

  21. Parrish Avatar

    When you said superhero, Batman jumped into my visions and it was a nice vision. But then the intrigue of a mystery summoned up Sherlock Holmes because he has all of Scotland Yard behind him. Batman and Sherlock were taken so I thought of my beloved Captain Jean Luke Picard because he is so ethical and moral in dealing with villains, but that would be total overkill, especially with other starships beside the Enterprise.

    I CHOOSE CONAN THE BARBARIAN because it would be so nice to see pure brain and physical strength overtake modern machines and modern weapons. Plus, Red Sonja would accompany him and there would be a little kissing.

    (I think I’m going to enjoy reading these each month. The above answers were super fun to read. Thanks Holly. Oh yeah, and I could see how this could help a writer when planning to write a super hero. *wink)

  22. Ileana Mackenzie Avatar
    Ileana Mackenzie

    It would be Black Widow for me. She is my favorite superhero and she proves that females can do extra ordinary things too. She is very skill full. She is part of the Avengers, right? So, I trust her in saving my life. πŸ™‚

  23. olaf78 Avatar

    I choose Dor from Gaiman’s Neverwhere simply because she’d be able to open a door into anywhere and get me out of the kidnapping scenerio. Also the Marquis the Carabas would not be too far away either, and if anyone can get out of any scrape it’d be him. There is always the danger of course that I’d stop existing in the World Above, but every traumatic event has its price doesn’t it?
    Speaking of doors perhaps Roland of Gilead – cartridges knows he’s a man to have in your corner in times of trouble. And no matter how deliriously oily his world became, I’d take the chance to see the Dark tower myself.

  24. Addy Grace Avatar
    Addy Grace

    Although, not a superhero in the traditional sense, I would choose Sherlock Holmes. While he may not stack up to the more popular superheroes in terms of super powers, his powers of deductive reasoning more than compensate. Because, let’s face it, things go wrong, even with a superhero at your side (otherwise, how would they ever be able to rescue the damsel in distress later in the movie) so, at least I could be confident that if Holmes couldn’t actually prevent the abduction, I would rest assured that he would, indeed, find me in the end, and bring the villain to justice.

  25. Amira Avatar

    He’s not a superhero, but I’d have to pick Jack Reacher. He’s just the coolest. He’s big, he’s strong, and he always wins.

  26. Jennie Avatar

    Ok, I’d definitely have to go with the Doctor, either 9th or 10th, because the whole kidnapping, machine gun, helicopter thing would just be a small part of an average day in which the real bad guys are from another planet and flying space ships rather than copters. We’d save the world, again, and do it all without firing a shot at anyone. And then we’d hop back in the TARDIS for the next crazy day after popping over to Cardiff for some chips.

  27. Holly Avatar

    I don’t know very many superheroes from comic books, but my first thought was, “Well, of course it has to be Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkerie.” Magic, bravery, hero-ness, and common sense. What could go wrong?

  28. Mark Avatar

    I’d go with a Green Lantern. Any of ’em will do since the GL ring can do anything (so rescues and ‘copter chases and machine guns are no problem. lol)

  29. TheRedheadRiter Avatar

    If you listen very carefully, you will be able to hear the song…


    Spiderman, Spiderman,
    Does whatever a spider can
    Spins a web, any size,
    Catches thieves just like flies
    Look Out!
    Here comes the Spiderman.

    Yeah!!!! LOL I love Spiderman. No. I LOVE Spiderman! He has been my superhero and I grew up wanting to marry him.

    Dreams die hard y’all

  30. 1 L Loyd Avatar
    1 L Loyd

    Batman, first and foremost. Although I would probably take O’Neal’s Batman over Miller’s, less grim.

    Then Wolverine, especially the early version from the comic books — short, stocky, with attitude.

    Follow that with Indiana Jones. Wins by never quitting.

  31. Nancy Parsons Avatar
    Nancy Parsons

    I’d have to choose Acheron from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series of novels. Not only is he multi-talented in his own right, from wise council to awesome kick-ass techniques, he has backup from the entire band of Dark Hunters and assorted were animals.

  32. Elena Kazz Avatar
    Elena Kazz

    Is Buffy the Vampire Slayer okay for a superhero? Technically she does not have any inhuman powers, but she does have superhuman powers. I know, I know that your description does not include a couple of bad vampire boys but she’s a hell of a fighter when it comes to any stuff, not only blood-sucking, brain-lacking creatures. Plus, we would look lovely together both being short blondies with no visible abs or biceps BUT able to kick a** particularly unexpectedly and hard.
    If Buffy is not available, plese send some genetic mix of Batman, Sailor Moon, that little girl from Kick-Ass and a helicopter. Thank you.

    1. Holly Avatar

      Oh, Buffy definitely counts. πŸ˜€

      And as a huge Joss Whedon fan, I have to cheer your choice.

  33. Tom Alberti Avatar
    Tom Alberti

    My superhero would be Superman. Not only is he a man of steel and faster than a bullet, I imagine the culprit to think twice with someone walking with a man with dark tights and a red cape. Besides, if the evening went well, I may get a free subscription to the Daily Planet.

  34. Hugh Avatar

    I have read all the responses thus far and must admit I don’t know anything about any of the superheroes mentioned. Actually, that’s not quite true. I know about Odysseus and Sherlock Holmes, but it’s obvious I’m woefully undereducated on popular American culture. I suppose some research is required. I like research…
    My pick, would probably be Queen Elizabeth I, survivor against impossible odds to become the ruler of England in an era when women just didn’t do things like that. She outmanouvered her opponents, domestic and foreign, kept her land at peace (except for the Armada thing, and look where that got the Spanish). What a woman!

    1. Mila Avatar

      I dig that!

  35. Celise Avatar

    I would do a Girl’s Night Out with Storm from X-Men and Buffy from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. Storm could whip up a tornado or something as a distraction and Buffy is hella-scary-good with a stake.

  36. Anando Vivek Avatar

    I’d have to go with Capt Jack Harkness. An immortal action hero, he’s sentimental and well-meaning, but will turn ruthless and cutthroat in a heartbeat when necessary. Vastly entertaining, and he’s got access to alien technology. Plus he’ll mess with the thugs by flirting with them. Then afterwards we’d pick up a few girls and/or a couple more guys. There’s no reason the night has to END with the kidnapping attempt. >:D

  37. WickerChair Avatar

    Call me crazy, but I think the Dirty Pair would be the ultimate response. Just don’t send me the property damage bill afterward.

  38. Samantha Avatar

    Hmm super hero question and The Avengers coming out at the end of the month, certainly brings them to mind. I’m a sucker for comic book movies but perhaps being on the other side of the pond never saw the comics themselves. Therefore my answer is based on the movies.

    I really liked previous posters suggestion of Sherlock Holmes – “capacity to spit at back of head removed” – he’s so quirky and in the films a good fighter. Mind you Robert Downey Jr. Has the midas touch as Iron Man would also be incredible.

    However, I think my answer would have to be Storm. She’s my favourite character from the X-Men, powerful but still normal. She could bring the chopper down in a rainstorm but we’d have to fight together to take the thugs. I always felt she needed more love in the movies (what is this fascination with Jean Grey?) the third movie doesn’t count as it was bad.

    Although I think Jack Bristow would be pretty great (Alias) he’s a secret hero, no-one knows when he saves the day but if he didn’t we’d be dead. Him rather than Sydney as I can’t stand her whining. Recurring theme of mine actually I nearly always prefer supporting characters, they’re just much more interesting somehow.

  39. Mauen Avatar

    I’ve only read a few of the answers people have given, but so far, one choice that should be at the top of many people’s list is Deadpool.
    While not technically a hero, (considered an anti-hero) the “Merc with a Mouth,” who will kill pretty much anyone who gets in his way while cracking-wise, is very appealing. With a variety of powers, and a few psychological problems, given him by the Weapon X project, Deapool is one of the deadliest comicbook characters (barring those who have “god” powers).
    In short, Deadpool is the ideal candidate, even with his insanity. You just have to make sure to be on his good side, or he might turn on you instead.

  40. Christobel Gardner Avatar
    Christobel Gardner

    There’s only one superhero I’d have around. Harry Potter would do nicely. All we would need would be his wand to thwack the enemy and his broomstick to whisk us away out of danger.

  41. Mila Avatar

    Strange as it may sound, the Little Prince. Because with him, it would sure be an unforgettable adventure; he wouldn’t be able to protect me of course, but all the gunshots and fires etc. would suddenly gain a new, deeper, exciting perspective I’ve never seen before. Yep, if the Little Prince was with me, I would rejoice in the danger. I could perceive it as a natural part of life then; nothing to fear, even if they killed us, we, for a precious moment, were really alive.

  42. Stephani Avatar

    I’d probably have to go with Barbara Gordon, either as Batgirl or Oracle. She’s so calm and smart, I know she can do whatever needs to be done. If we’re talking teen Barb, she might grappling-hook us to safety. Adult Barb would hack into whatever she needed to, streetlight cams, my cell phone, and get everything set up perfectly.

  43. Marvin Harvest Avatar
    Marvin Harvest

    There are superheroes and there are superdoopers. but the person I’d pick to help me if an armed gang was going to attempt a kidnapping that would also include a helicopter chase would be none other than Herman Shleffelberger. Hymie prefers to stay out of the lime light so only a few people know that he was the co inventor of the invisible cape. He eschews the fame that his scientific genius could easily bring him, and prefers the simple life of a very wealthy and anonymous philanthropist. Added to all this is his unbelievable sense of humor. One liners that would even cause guys like Robin Williams to stop and listen. So how is it that Hymie could out perform guys like Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne? Well, Hy doesn’t need a disguise like the simple eye gasses Kent uses to hide his true identity. Nor does see the necessity to slip ’round the corner like Bruce does whenever he leaves his mansion. No, Hymie always has his close and ever ready invisible cape to avoid circumstances that require escape and evasion. As for practical jokes, the opportunities are endless.
    So I ask you, Who will the machine gun armed thugs with a helicopter going to kidnap if they cannot see their prey? And, What chance would they have against a wit like Hymie once he wrecks their lives with practical jokes that seem to come from nowhere? Stuff like putting sugar in the ‘copter’s gas tank. Or like tying their right and left shoe laces together so they’ll trip when they try to walk. Stealing the bullets from their guns is always high on Hy’s list. Then, how about hiding behind a door, and when the enter the room shout BOO! Man, that’ll get em for sure.
    If it ever happens that I am alerted to the chance that a machine gun armed gang with a helicopter is planning to kidnap me, it’s not the police I’d ask for help. It would be Herman Shleffelberger.

  44. Jason Maurer Avatar
    Jason Maurer

    I’d go with Robin, though specifically the second Robin, Tim Drake, in his Red Robin days. He’s got enough forward-thinking abilities that he’d probably be able to avoid the helicopter chase and take us both to the pursuer’s hideout without them ever knowing, find some way to utterly ruin their plans both retrospectively and prospectively, capture them and deposit them in Arkham or Blackgate, and then shoot the shit over a beer at Wayne Manor afterwards.

  45. Courtney Avatar

    I would want Chuck (Intersect in his head) with Sarah and Casey tagging along–maybe with Morgan as well. I miss you, Chuck!

    1. Courtney Avatar

      P.S. This scenario is similar to what has happened so many on the Chuck TV show, but it just makes all the more sense to me. Chuck vs. The Helicopter anyone?

  46. Johanna Avatar

    This is tricky. My first instinct was Buffy the Slayer because I would love to fight evil with her, and then go get ice cream and chat. However, in the described situation, I might be better off with someone bullet proof. So in that case, I would pick Wonder Woman. She’d use her bracelets to deflect the bullets and easily outmatch the helicopter with her invisible jet. Then she could lasso the lead thug to get him to confess the truth about who was behind the kidnapping plot. Day = Saved.


    My first choice would be Superman. He can fly and stop any bullets fired at him.

  48. Barbara Avatar

    Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin. Neither of them are afraid to kick you know what and they are sophisticated enough to blend in with any crowd. No one would guess that they are dangerous weapons in and of themselves whether they have any weapons on them or not. And, they are extremely intelligent; so they would make good conversationalists during the experience. Plus, they have enough underworld connections to be able to know all the really cool ways to get out of Dodge.

  49. Karl Avatar

    Not sure if it has already been said but I would choose Deadpool (Wade Winston Wilson) even though I know he is really a mercenary and not even classed as a hero I think it would be fun. Plus who can beat a guy you can’t kill. By the way just so people know I’m not talking the X-Man version of Wade where they turn him into a Deadpool and Weapon X crossbreed, but the original comic book style Deadpool.

  50. Jeremy Trylch Avatar
    Jeremy Trylch

    Silver Surfer… yeah, flying is cool, but hangin’ ten while evading and bringing down a chopper–that’s style.

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