Here’s a battle between two lovely ladies for your reading pleasure. What do Leia Organa and Turanga Leela have in common, you ask?
Leela and Leia kind of sound alike, that’s what.
On to the battle!
Physicality. One is a young Carrie Fisher with either really long hair or a late 20th-century weave. The other is a Cyclops that is also a cartoon. Winner? Hey, who doesn’t find cartoons attractive? … Seriously, though, it’s a tie.
Is an interstellar space princess? Again with the redundancy, but I really enjoy saying “interstellar space.” Anywho, you know who’s an interstellar space princess? Princess Leia! Princess Leia is an interstellar space princess. Winner? Princess Leia!
Is a sewer-dwelling mutant? Hey, Leela doesn’t live in the sewers! But her parents do, and sometimes she visits, so we’ll call it “close enough.” Winner? Turanga Leela!
Has a ray gun? Everybody in the future has ray guns! Also, people living long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away. They also have ray guns. Winner? Everybody wins when they’ve got ray guns!
Has a better romantic interest? Princess Leia’s romantic interest is Han Solo. They’ve got a will-they-or-won’t-they thing going on, and it turns out they totally will, and everybody went squeeeeee! Han Solo is an interstellar space pirate who looks like a young Harrison Ford. Turanga Leela’s romantic is Philip J. Fry, a sweet-natured, slightly dim 20th century boy who ended up in the future through a wacky series of misadventures. Well, okay, just the one misadventure, really. Winner? As with Kara Thrace before him, anybody who goes up against a young Harrison Ford is going to come up just a wee bit short. Princess Leia.
Travels through space? In the future and also, apparently, in the past, everybody travels through space.
Winner? It’s a tie.
Looks good in a Slave Leia costume? If you’d think the winner would be obvious, then you haven’t see this image before:
Winner? Another tie!
Fights an epic evil? If by “fights an epic evil,” you mean “delivers packages to other planets,” then, yes, Turanga Leela fights an epic evil. But you don’t mean that, so: Winner? Princess Leia.
Pilots an interstellar delivery ship? Man, if there’s one thing Star Wars fans would love to see, it would be Princess Leia piloting an interstellar delivery ship. Unfortunately, she doesn’t, so they can’t. Winner? Turanga Leela.
Overall winner? Princess Leia coasts in to the finish line with a slight lead by having the good fortune to fall in love with Han Solo. (I’m not sure why I went with the finish line metaphor, because then these would be fictional character races, not fictional character battles, but we’ll just chalk that one up to creative license, eh?)
“Hey, baby, when I kill all humans, I’m going to save you for last.”
Everybody loves a mad scientist. And lucky you! You just so happen to be dating one! … You think.
Let’s just make sure, shall we?
1. Oh, your boyfriend is mad, all right. Very mad indeed. But it turns out that instead of science, his obsession is millinery.
Interesting story! The famous courtesan Kitty Fisher was a milliner before she became a courtesan. Later, she died of lead poisoning due to the ingredients in the popular face makeup of the time.
(Shut up! Learning things is fun!)
2. Your boyfriend is mad, and also a scientist. Also, he has a pet monster.
And sometimes, people call the monster by your boyfriend’s name.
3. OK, your boyfriend is a scientist, AND he’s mad, and he’s also really, really old.
And from the future!
4. Madness is a trait of your boyfriend’s, and maybe he’s a scientist, but probably not. Also, his name is Max.
And he’s Mel Gibson before he went mad.
5. So let’s say your boyfriend is a genius scientist who happens to be mad. Should you feel badly about two-timing him with his evil self?
6.Your boyfriend’s mad, a scientist, and Edison hates him soooo much.
He’s probably just jealous that they’ll get David Bowie to portray him in the movies.
7. For your birthday, he got you a puppy.
And its DNA had been spliced with a human’s, and it’s miserable, and you’re miserable, and you all live miserably together on an island.
8. He travels to other universes!
And has a pet cow.
9. He might be mad, he’s definitely a warrior, and he battles evil.
And hangs out with Warwick Davis.
(It’s a Willow reference. Get it?)
10. He travels through time in elegant fashion, and has awesome (?) hair.
Some folks might say you could do better than dating Doc Brown, but some folks are crazy.
There you go. Unless you’re dating the Mad Hatter, Mad Max or Madmartigan, then you’re definitely dating a mad scientist. I hope this helped you. I know it helped me.
Guys, I know it’s hard out there in the dating world, what with all the ladies dating the vampires and werewolves and what-have-you. And what have you got for mythical creatures? Ha! Mermaids, if you’re lucky.
But the good news is: you have found a girl. She seems nice, doesn’t she? But lately, you’ve noticed, she’s acting a bit … well … mutated.
So perhaps you’re dating a mutant?
Let’s find out.
1. Does your special lady friend have the power to read your mind and also turn her body into diamond-like substance, rendering her almost impossible to harm?
That doesn’t seem fair, you know. Maybe if she wasn’t hogging all the superpowers, there’d be more left for the rest of us.
2. Can she walk through walls?
Not in a ghosty way, more like in a telephase-y kind of way?
3. When you kiss, does she absorb your life energy?
Possibly sending you into a coma, depending on said kiss’s intensity?
4. Can she control the elements of nature?
And does she have a kind of stupid name?
5. Does she sometimes get possessed by something called the Phoenix Force and then try to destroy the universe or something?
Also, did she kill you in the third X-Men movie and you immediately rebounded to Superman’s ex-girlfriend?
6. Do people keep asking you why you’re two- and three-timing your girlfriend, and where did all those hot ladies come from anyway, and what do they see in you?
“Guys, she’s a shapeshifter,” you protest, and they roll their eyes?
7. Does she have a band, sometimes roller-skates, likes disco and pretty lights?
And does she have a ridiculously bad superhero name?
8. Speaking of pretty lights, can she create plasma explosions?
Also, did she later lose her mutant powers and get turned into a vampire and … really? Gods, no wonder I don’t read any X-Men series.
9. Is she scarlet and also a witch?
You could do worse.
10. Does she only have one eye and live in the future?
Stop dating her! She and Phillip J. Fry are meant to be together, dammit!
So, to answer your question: Yes, without a doubt, you are absolutely dating a mutant.
… And fake boobs!
Which is why, today, we’re wondering: What became of Pamela Anderson (occasionally Lee)?
Of course, first we have to find out what started Pamela Anderson (sometimes Lee).
(Why? Because I said so, that’s why.)
Pamela Anderson was born as Pamela Anderson, which makes sense, because who changes their name to Pamela Anderson? Anyway, she was born Canadian and lived Canadian for as many as 21 years before being discovered at some sort of sports event. I’d say hockey, since it’s Canada, but Wikipedia says she was taken down to the “field” after being shown on the stadium television, and I don’t think hockey has fields. So maybe baseball or Non-American football or something. Or lacrosse. Lacrosse has fields, possibly.
But the point isn’t what sporting event she was discovered at, the point is that she was discovered. Discovered like a pretty girl in a tight shirt.
Thus began her modeling career. She posed for Playboy, and was Playmate of the month and then decided to get breast implants, like why bother at that point, though, right? But bother she did. And it was apparently the kick in the rear that her career needed, as she scored a role on Home Improvement in the early ’90s as the Tool Time Girl, and, no, I never watched that show, so I don’t know what that means. But I’m sure it’s wonderful and wasn’t demeaning at all.
After two years of tool timing, Anderson was cast in Baywatch, which was later adapted into a slow-motion movie for which she won an Oscar. Or I’m thinking of Futurama here, and you should ignore everything after the word “Baywatch.” Baywatch was famed for its believable characters, witty dialogue and thought-provoking … oh, wait, I’m thinking of Futurama again. Baywatch was best known for BOOBS! Slow motion, bouncing, jiggling, wiggling, wobbling BOOBS.
(Thank God Anderson got those breast implants.)
In 1994, she earned a starring role in Raw Justice, and 1996 brought Barb Wire. Wikipedia describes Barb Wire as a thinly-veiled remake of Casablanca, and I just don’t believe that at all.
Then, in 1998, Anderson starred in the very excellent V.I.P. (short for Valerie Iron Protection, or something like that). I loved that show. It was sheer TV brilliance, what with the foxy glasses chick, the foxy tough chick, the other foxy tough chick, Anderson as the foxy ditzy chick and also some guy who went around looking like a food addict at the best buffet ever. (I know you thought I was joking earlier, but I really did enjoy V.I.P. True confessions!)
In 2003, she returned to the beaches for a Baywatch movie, which I guess didn’t win any Oscars, but you’d have to ask someone from the 31st century for sure.
In 2004, Anderson appeared nude on the cover of Playboy, the first time she had ever been photographed nude, which confuses me, because I assumed that’s what you did when you were the centerfold, like in that J. Geils Band song. Also in 2004, Anderson wrote a book called Star and signed autographs at Wal-Mart, which actually makes a lot of sense to me, because way more people go to Wal-Mart than to bookstores. She followed it up with Star Struck, which I have also never heard of.
At some point, Anderson was married to Tommy Lee from Motley Crue and later to Kid Rock, but I don’t care about those guys, so I don’t feel like documenting the dates of those marriages. Because lazy. Unfortunately for Anderson, though, during her time with Lee, they shared needles and she contracted Hepatitis C, which is not funny at all, and is really depressing.
Moving right along, IMDb says that Anderson got her breast implants removed in 1999, but doesn’t mention when she got new ones. Also, Anderson is involved with PETA and posed nude in a store window to protest wearing fur. That sounds chilly to me.
TV credits to Anderson’s name, in addition to V.I.P. and Baywatch, include Stripperella (causing me more Futurama confusion, because I thought that was Leela’s superhero name, until I remembered that was Clobberella) and Stacked. It was about a bookstore, don’t be dirty.
Since then, she’s appeared in 2008′s Blonde and Blonder as (worst character name EVER) Dee Twiddle (and shut up, I get the Alice in Wonderland reference, and it still sucks), Superhero Movie as Invisible Girl and Hollywood & Wine in 2008. In 2010, she had a role as Female Guest in Hotel in The Commuter, and in 2011 she was in A Russell Peters Christmas Special. No, I don’t know who that is, either.
So there you go: Probably more than you ever wanted to know about Pamela Anderson (no longer Lee).
It’s a battle of two mad scientists!
In one corner, we have Futurama’s Prof. Farnsworth, the oldest, crotchetiest, maddest scientist you’ve ever seen!
In the other corner, we have Fringe’s Walter Bishop, the not quite as old and crotchety but certainly equally as mad scientist!
(Have you ever come across a madder scientist than these guys?)
Let’s see who comes out on top or, alternately, who keels over and dies first!
Physicality. Prof. Farnsworth is a cartoon character and an American one at that. Those guys are hardly ever attractive. Also, his head resembles an eggplant.
Walter Bishop is a dignified looking man with great hair and variable posture. Winner? Walter Bishop.
Has nearly destroyed an alternate universe? Why, yes, as a matter of fact! Prof. Farnsworth created and nearly destroyed an alternate universe, while in the same instance, his alternate counterpart simultaneously created and nearly destroyed our universe! Science is hard! Walter Bishop nearly destroyed the alternate universe (we’ll call it Universe A) when he went to rescue his alternate son from his alternate death. Winner? It’s a tie!
Has an interstellar spaceship? Prof. Farnsworth has an interstellar spaceship. Walter Bishop takes a lot of acid. It’s not quite the same thing. Winner? Prof. Farnsworth.
Has a better relationship with his relatives? Prof. Farnsworth has one living relative, his great (to the 30th degree) uncle Philip J. Fry from the 20th century. He constantly sends Fry on extremely dangerous missions and probably has tried to kill him in his sleep when no one was looking. Prof. Farnsworth also has a clone, but I’m not sure that’s the same thing as a “relative.” Walter Bishop has (as far as I can tell) one living relative, his son, Peter. Actually, it’s not really his son, since his son died and he replaced him with the alternate universe Peter. Still, they get along okay, when Peter can get past the whole “you kidnapped me from an alternate universe” issue. Winner? Errrrr … Walter?
Lives in a cooler city? Prof. Farnsworth lives in New New York, which was built upon the ruins of Old New York, which hosts sewer monsters and mutants galore. Also robots. Walter Bishop lives in Boston, which has a really cool comic book store that I went to one time. Also, lots of crazy things happen there like shapeshifters come to visit and stuff. Winner? Well, because most of the cool stuff happening in Boston seems to end up with someone dying horribly, we’re giving this one to Prof. Farnsworth, who lives in a city where people only sometimes end up dying horribly.
Has a better lab assistant? Walter Bishop’s lab assistant is the beautiful Astrid Farnsworth, which is possibly a coincidence but maybe not. (She’s actually an FBI agent, but she’s always stuck in the lab with the guy, assisting him, so it counts.) Prof. Farnsworth’s lab assistant is whomever he can get a hold of at the time, so it varies from Fry to Bender to Dr. Zoidberg and the rest of them, which is pretty cool. Still, Astrid is awfully sweet and awfully pretty. Winner? Walter Bishop.
Sports a better fashion sense? Prof. Farnsworth is generally found wearing a white lab coat and his bedroom slippers. Once, in the past, he wore a zoot suit.
Walter Bishop has a habit of wearing worn-out old sweaters or nothing but socks. Winner? We’re all losers here.
Has saved more people than he’s killed? Prof. Farnsworth’s delivery company has a motto: “Our crew is replaceable. Your package isn’t.” As such, he’s gone through several crews already and, as a mad scientist, is probably responsible for tons of deaths he’ll never admit to. Walter Bishop has doomed the alternate universe, as well as invented a bunch of stuff that people in our universe use for killing. Sure, now he’s on a team that’s trying to save the universe and the other universe, but has he really managed to reach a karmic balance here? Winner? We’ll give this one to Walter. At least he’s trying.
Has reached his 17th decade? You know who’s really old? Prof. Farnsworth is really old. He’s, like, in his 170s. 170s divided by 10 is 17 decades! Walter Bishop is not that old because he’s not from the future. Or is he? No, he’s not. Well, except for that one episode in Season Three, but whatever. Winner? Prof. Farnsworth.
Has created an actual, working time machine? Eh, not so much. Prof. Farnsworth traveled through time accidentally, created a non-working time machine and then created the “only going to the future” time machine, which he was forced to travel in through two incarnations of our universe. I mean, I guess that counts as “working,” but the “going back in the past” thing would be pretty nice too. Walter Bishop sent some pieces of a doomsday machine back in time, but not via a time machine he had created. Rather, it was a worm hole that led back to some dinosaur era (shut up, I don’t care which one it was). Winner? Prof. Farnsworth, kind of.
Wow, this one’s gotten a bit long. Let’s move on to a tie-breaker, shall we?
The tie-breaking question: Which of these two mad scientists has a more frightening alternate universe counterpart? Walter Bishop’s alternate universe counterpart is Walternate (a name Walter himself coined, proving that, deep down, he is a fanboy at heart), the Secretary of Defense who is willing to do anything (except experiment on children) to save his universe. Prof. Farnsworth’s alternate universe counterparts are sundry and varied, and include the one with no eyes. Which is frightening, but not as frightening as that Twilight Zone movie where the girl didn’t have a mouth. Winner? Walter, because the professor’s alternate universe counterparts really were intended to be played for comedic effect.
Overall winner? Walter Bishop, but only just barely.
All right, so you’re not dating a werewolf or a vampire or any of those things. But something seems a little bit off about your new boyfriend and you just can’t quite put your finger on it.
Well, maybe he’s a robot!
Here’s a list of 10 ways to be sure, possibly.
1. Does he want to destroy humanity?
It’s true that a lot of robots want to destroy humanity, except for the wussy Asimov ones, but you could just as easily be dating Magneto.
2. Does he come from the future?
Some robots come from the future.
3. When you prick him, does he not bleed?
I just really wanted to get that one in there.
4. Can he do things that normal, non-robotic human beings can’t do?
Like enjoy a life as a mechanical man?
5. Can he transform into an automobile, jet or possibly a (*snicker*) cassette deck?
Transformers are robots, aren’t they?
6. Does he sometimes call your family “those puny humans”?
And then he crushes your brother’s car with his bare fist?
7. Do his funeral pre-arrangements consist of “downloading into a new body”?
8. Can he time travel?
Some robots can time travel.
9. Does he go for long periods of time without eating, drinking or breathing, say, like, the entire time you’ve known him?
This is a good hint that your boyfriend doesn’t need to do any of those things and, thus, is a robot.
10. Last, but not least: Is your boyfriend constantly looking for loopholes in Asimov’s laws so he can do something about his pesky neighbors?
Seriously, honey, if he was a regular human being, he’d've already shot them for letting their dog poop on his lawn for the 12th time this week.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a fictional character battle, and I blame several things, most especially my job, because I am blaming my job for everything that sucks right now, including natural disasters. Somehow the fault of my job, yes.
But now I have a spare moment, and of course, I’m thinking about robots. (Because when I’m not thinking about robots, I’m thinking about ninja. And when I’m not thinking about ninja, it’s zombies. And when it’s not them, it’s Takeshi Kaneshiro. And when it’s not Takeshi Kaneshiro, it’s thinking about cajoling my artists friends into drawing Elijah Snow as portrayed by Takeshi Kaneshiro.)
And, of course, one of the best robots ever is Futurama’s Bender.
Another kind of robot is the Cylon Centurion, which, while not as hot as the Tricia Helfer model or the model that married Starbuck, still has its redeeming qualities.
Let’s see what those are, shall we?
Let the battle commence!
Physicality. Bender is a robot. The Cylon Centurion is a robot. While I’m sure they’re both well-designed pieces of technology, neither of them is really as sexy as a 1968 Mustang. Winner? Eh, Bender?
Wants to kill all humans? Oh man, does Bender want to kill all humans. (Who doesn’t, really, though?) In fact, his mantra is “kill all humans,” which is coincidentally quite similar to his pickup line: “Hey, baby, wanna kill all humans?” On the other hand, the Cylons brought about the end of (most of) humanity, leaving us only with the whiny (yet hot!) Lee “Apollo” Adama and the stupid (yet hot!) Karl “Helo” Agathon.
And a few other people, but I’m tired of trying how to remember the spelling of their names, so Madame President, Gaeta and Admiral Adama it is. Boy, those Cylons sure killed a lot of humans. Winner? The Cylon Centurion, because it makes things happen. (Things being, of course, mass genocide.)
Is more evil? As previously mentioned, the Cylons sure killed a lot of humans. But Bender is evil. There’s no getting around it. He even went to Robot Hell, which actually seems like a kind of fun hell to visit, but I imagine the constant singing would get grating after an eternity.
Also, in the episode with Bender’s “evil twin,” it turns out that Bender was the evil twin, so, yeah. Winner? Bender.
Lives long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away? And doesn’t even have to hang out with lame robots like C-3PO? (Dammit, where does that hyphen go? Too lazy to google! Must! Press! On!) Well, Bender lives in the future, or else the show would be called Pastarama, although maybe not that, because then it would be about ravioli.
According to Battlestar Galactica mythology, we are all descended from the adorable offspring of two of the hottest characters on the show: Helo and Athena. Which means that the show was set in the past, and also in a galaxy far, far away. (It means that because all the characters traveled to earth from a galaxy far, far away.) Winner? Cylon Centurion.
To make things fair, lives in the future? Bender is a robot that lives in the future! Thank God for the future! Where’s my damn hoverboard? Winner? Bender.
Has better friends? Bender’s best friend is Philip J. Fry, time traveler. OK, I call him that, but he actually only travels through time on occasion, and usually with the rest of his spaceship crew, but he was born in the 20th century and this is my blog, so time traveler it is.
Bender also spends variable amounts of time with the ass-kicking cyclops Leela (voiced by the equally ass-kicking Katey Sagal), the lobster-esque Dr. Zoidberg, Amy the really, really, really rich intern, and Professor Farnsworth. Oh, and Hermes, the Jamaican bureaucrat. Those people (beings?) are awesome, and I would like to spend time with all of them, except for Dr. Zoidberg, because I hate crustaceans. They are so gross. Does a Cylon Centurion even have friends? I mean, maybe they hang out with the various Model 6s and 8s, playing cards and trying on lipstick, but I just don’t see it. Winner? Bender.
Has a better theme song? The Cylon Centurion lives on a show where all the music is composed by my hero, Bear McCreary (who is currently slumming on The Cape, Bear, I’m so sorry, hopefully television will create another show worthy of your talents someday!). But Bender is on a show with the Futurama theme song. Don’t make me choose. (Note: I realize that, actually, I am making me choose, but I still blame my job for that.) Winner? I’m sorry, I kind of thought I would pick the Futurama theme because it’s just so catchy and all, but I can’t betray the awesome Bear McCreary! It’s a tie.
Makes time with beautiful robot ladies? Bender is always hooking up with the robot ladies, or man-ladies or lady-men, whatever. Also, during his brief time as a transsexual, he dated star of screen and stage (probably not stage, actually, but it sounded good) Calculon.
However, the Cylon Centurion gets to hang out with lady robots who look like Grace Park, Tricia Helfer and Lucy Lawless. Even if it’s completely platonic, have you seen those ladies? Winner? Cylon Centurion.
Best name? Bender’s name is Bender Bending Rodriguez. The Cylon Centurion is probably called Cylon Centurion, which isn’t really so much a name as a description. Winner? Bender.
Overall winner? Bender, but he wouldn’t have won if he’d gone up against Sam Anders, because a pretty man beats a funny robot every time in my book, hands down.
Because they’re both green, I guess.
(Seriously, if you have suggestions for a fictional character battle, let me know. If it’s a character I know nothing about, I’m willing to fake it.)
On to the battle!
Physicality. The Swamp Thing is a green swamp creature formed of plants that has a bit of a human-like shape, but mostly looks like plants. The Hypnotoad is a toad. Now, I don’t usually find toads appealing, and I have this dreadful fear of running over the one that lives in the front yard with the lawn mower, but in this case for some reason Hypnotoad. Winner? Hypnotoad.
Has superpowers? In the original Swamp Thing series, Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson’s creation was less of a plant god and more of a crime-fighting plant creature. That all changed when Alan Moore got ‘hold of the title and said, “Hey, why not awesome this up a bit?”, and then he did. The Alan Moore Swamp Thing could control all forms of plant life, and even create new bodies for himself to inhabit anywhere that plants grew, by simply (simply?) transferring his consciousness to them. However, the Hypnotoad Hypnotoad. Winner? Hypnotoad.
Used to be human? Wein and Wrightson’s Swamp Thing was the transformed Alec Holland who, yes, used to be human. But then that magnificent bastard Alan Moore got ‘hold of the title, and suddenly the Swamp Thing was just a bunch of plants that thought they were Alec Holland. (It makes sense if you read it. Well, maybe it doesn’t make sense, exactly, but you just go with the flow.) The Hypnotoad was never Hypnotoad. Winner? The Hypnotoad.
Is from the future? The Swamp Thing is an elemental, and basically unkillable, but he’s not from the future. The Hypnotoad stars on Futurama, which almost has the word future in the title, and is set in the 30th century, so Hypnotoad. (Hey! You were going to win anyway, you damned hypnotic Hypnotoad.) Winner? Hypnotoad.
Made it with a hot chick? Through some powerful psychotropic plants of some sort, the swamp thing and Abigail Arcane, who later became Abigail Holland, and somehow they had a baby. I, uh, stopped reading the series after Moore’s run on it, so I have no idea how the whole plants impregnating human woman thing happened, and I’m not sure I want to know. On the other hand, Hypnotoad. Winner? Hypnotoad.
Is the bestest, most awesome, most wonderful character ever? Hypnotoad. Winner? The Hypnotoad.
Overall winner? Hey, for a one-note joke on this here blog, the Hypnotoad comes out ahead. Winner? Hypnotoad.