As I recently re-read my collection of Planetary, also known as One of the Best Damned Comic Books Ever!, I saved for last the great Planetary/Batman crossover: Night on Earth. Actually, I didn’t really save it for last. I read it first and then read it again after I’d read the others.
Because it’s awesome, that’s why.
Because Jakita Wagner meets Batman (finally!) and she says (not word for word, but kind of paraphrase-y): “Sometimes beating a man dressed in a bat fetish costume is the only thing keeping me sane.”
God bless you, Jakita Wagner, the world would be a better place if more people would just admit that.
Also, because it’s a multiverse tale, you get to enjoy not just one, not just two, but several (shut up, math is hard) Batmans! Batmen? From the classic Bob Kane vision to Adam West as Batman to Frank Miller to a whole bunch of Batmen (Batmans?) I don’t even recognize, you’ve got a Batman for every discerning taste.
Also, Elijah Snow is there, and Elijah Snow makes everything awesome.
So, you should read Planetary/Batman: Night on Earth.
Especially if you’re everyone.
Ever since I mentioned it in my last Holmes face-off, I’ve been wondering how the genius detective would fare against the genius mystery archeologist. So I’ve decided to go ahead and have two of my favorite fictional characters ever in the whole world meet in battle. And by battle, I mean, you know, a list of things that I like about them.
At any rate: Sherlock Holmes! Versus! Elijah Snow!
Oh, God, how can I ever choose?
Physicality. Sherlock Holmes is a tall, gangly and somewhat homely fellow, except when he’s played by the dashing Robert Downing Jr. and the exceedingly beautiful Benedict Cumberbatch. Elijah Snow is a white fox who looks hella good in a white suit. Winner? *sob* I just … I just can’t … They’re both so … it’s a tie.
Has superpowers? Elijah Snow has the superpower of heat subtraction, which is basically the ability to make things colder than a witch’s tit after she’s been sunbathing nude in February. Sherlock Holmes has the superpower of being smarter than you. I’m not sure that’s a real superpower. Winner? Elijah Snow.
Was trained by a genius detective? Hey, you know who was trained by a genius detective? Elijah Snow. Elijah Snow was trained by a genius detective. Winner? Elijah Snow.
Is the genius detective who did said training? Hey, you know who was the genius detective who trained Elijah Snow? Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes is that genius detective. Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
Thus it is implied that someone perhaps didn’t need any training to become a genius detective? That’s not actually a question. Shut up. You shut up. Maybe we should all shut up. Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
Is more than a century old? Elijah Snow is more than a century old, and he looks really good for his age too.
Stars in stories that transcend the ages? Sherlock Holmes the character is more than a century old too! Also, he will never die. Like Santa Claus! (What? It’s almost Christmas.) Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
Looks good in a white suit? Right now, I would like to put it out into the world that someone should dress Benedict Cumberbatch in a white suit for an episode of Sherlock. Until then, our winner is the always-stylish Elijah Snow.
Can work a deerstalker cap like no one’s business? I don’t care if the deerstalker cap wasn’t originally canon, people can’t think of Holmes without thinking of deerstalker caps, even if they don’t know that they’re called deerstalker caps. Kind of like I didn’t know Trilby hats were called Trilby hats until this fall. I know! I went so much of my life without knowing that! Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
Has a better sidekick? Elijah Snow actually has two sidekicks: the beautiful and deadly Jakita Wagner and The Drummer, who is crazy and can communicate with electronics and stuff. I love those guys! But Sherlock Holmes has Watson. Watson is Watson! It’s just … I can’t … don’t make me! Winner? A tie.
Has traversed the multiverse? I said it that way so it rhymed. Elijah Snow has gone to a couple of alternate earths, which is way more traversing of the multiverse than the rest of us have gotten around to, so it counts. Sherlock Holmes lives in fictional 1800s London, which, yeah, doesn’t have magic spaceships or whatever yet. Winner? Elijah Snow.
Oh, yeah, but who’s done more traveling by hansom cab? When I was but a wee little lass reading Sherlock Holmes stories, I always thought he and Watson were traveling in attractive cabs. Ha, ha, I was really stupid. Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
So it’s totally a tie. So it is.
Are you planning to do anything about that? Well, I … GAH! Why am I putting myself through this? I love these guys sooooo much! How could I choose? How could I possibly ever???
Sooooo, no tiebreaker then? *sniff*
Are you just going to keep crying? Maybe.
*Sigh*. No. No, I’m fine. Let’s go on, then. Let’s do this.
Let’s. The tie-breaking, heartbreaking final absolutely last question: Who currently stars on a show airing on the BBC? Wow, that seems really biased. Kind of like, maybe deep down, I always wanted Sherlock Holmes to take this thing. Winner? Sherlock “The Undefeatable” Holmes.
Overall winner? Sherlock Holmes, mostly because he is my all-time favorite fictional character in the whole world ever, and partially because it’s winter now so things that make me colder are pissing me off.
At the request of the lovely jennibennyfan, I now present this fictional character battle between Sherlock Holmes, the best fictional detective EVAH and Sheldon Cooper, a guy on a show I have never watched.
Prepare for the lopsidedness!
Physicality. Sherlock Holmes and Sheldon Cooper are both tall and thin. However, Benedict Cumberbatch is ever so attractive. Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
Is on a sitcom? Sheldon Cooper is a character on the Big Bang Theory, which is a sitcom! Sherlock Holmes is not currently on a sitcom, although who knows what the future may hold. Winner? Sheldon Cooper.
Has a girlfriend? You know who doesn’t have a girlfriend, Guy Ritchie? Sherlock Holmes doesn’t, hasn’t and NEVER WILL. Sheldon Cooper is, I guess, kind of dating Blossom maybe, but I don’t know. Still, that’s closer than never dating Irene Adler, you stupidheads. Winner? Sheldon Cooper.
Suffers from a mental illness? Sherlock Holmes and Sheldon Cooper both display slightly autistic/OCD/sociopathic traits. So, yeah, they probably both mad as hatters. Winners? It’s a tie.
Is the best fictional detective of our, or any, generation? As I previously mentioned, Sherlock Holmes is the best fictional detective EVAH! Sheldon Cooper is some kind of genius scientist. Even if he turned to solving crimes, Sherlock Holmes is my favorite forever. Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
Has a undying bond of loyalty with one special person? Sheldon Cooper’s best friend is Darlene’s boyfriend from Roseanne. (As an aside, I was so relieved when I figured that out, because I kept seeing ads for Big Bang Theory and being all I know I recognize the curly-haired guy, but who is he? Oh, right, it’s whatsisname! Yeah, good ol’ whatsisname.) They are roommates who share a (decidedly small) circle of friends. You know who else is roommates? Sherlock Holmes and his bestie John Watson is roommates. They don’t share a circle of friends, because Sherlock Holmes only needs one friend and that is Watson. If he would ever like a second friend, I would like to put in a nomination for it to be me. I wouldn’t bring much to the table, except for food. Which two struggling bachelors would need. Call me, guys! Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
Fights evil on a regular basis? If Sherlock Holmes wasn’t busy fighting evil, he would probably be evil. So I guess fictional London can be grateful for that. Sheldon Cooper is a genius scientist, who maybe fights evil electrons, but I’m not sure there really is such a thing. Also, he stalked Stan Lee. That’s just awful. Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
Has a weakness for his mum? I say mum to make it sound more British, but really, Sherlock Holmes hardly ever mentions his family, except for Mycroft, and only when he absolutely has to. So if he’s close with his mother, nobody knows it. On the other hand, Sheldon’s mother has been described as his Kryptonite. Which makes it sound like she is totally his weakness, don’t you think? Winner? Sheldon Cooper.
Has a deadly adversary? Sheldon Cooper has a long list of enemies, much like myself, but no one’s actively tried to murderize him yet, so … he’s cool, I guess. Sherlock Holmes has made enemies of most of fictional London’s fictional evildoers, including Moriarty and that guy with great aim, whose name escapes me right now. Anyway, people are always trying to kill the hell out of Sherlock Holmes. But never succeeding because he is the best. Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
Better fashion sense? Sheldon Cooper dresses like a wanker. There. I said it. Sherlock Holmes, on the BBC’s Sherlock, dresses quite snazzily and I wish he would come give clothing lessons to all the men I know. Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
This has gone on longer than I expected. I hope you’re happy, jennibennyfan.
Overall winner? In a completely unsurprising non-upset, Sherlock Holmes takes yet another fictional character battle.
Dear future boyfriend,
First off, I just want to say that you are such a catch! I mean, here you are: a guy who puts up with me! I am so lucky to have you, future boyfriend, and I just want you to know that. I love your (insert adjective here) and the way you (verb). (Note to self: add descriptors once you actually meet future boyfriend.)
But there’s a few things you need to know, and I have incorporated them here into this handy list. It’s a list of things that I will always love more than you.
1. Elijah Snow. No matter how awesome you are, future boyfriend, unless you were trained in the art of detecting at the knee of the best fictional detective ever (Sherlock Holmes), you cannot compare to Elijah Snow.
Ooooh, and also, you would have to never, ever age, and have the power to freeze stuff and then shatter the hell out of it.
2. Speaking of the best fictional detective ever: Sherlock Holmes. It’s true, future boyfriend, that there are not many things in this world that I love more than Sherlock Holmes, and I would have to include you on the list (of things that I do not).
3. Chuck. That show is so cute and I love it (more than you). I hope, if there is a fifth season, it doesn’t suck as bad as the fifth seasons of other shows I used to love, House, I’m looking at you.
4. Eric Elbogen. Unless future boyfriend and Eric Elbogen are one in the same (pardon me while I laugh at my audacity!), there is just no measuring up to a guy who has written a song about playing Ms. Pac-man.
5. Lone Wolf and Cub. No, future boyfriend, you will never be as awesome as one of the best manga series ever, and I hope you don’t mind if I ask to be alone while I read my copies.
6. Spike Spiegel. I shouldn’t have to explain why Spike Spiegel is more awesome than you, should I? Fine: he’s tall, thin, tragic yet always has a snappy comeback, and practices jeet kune do. Also, he has a spaceship and is a bounty hunter. In space. He’s a bounty hunter in space.
7. Cowboy Bebop. Spike Spiegel is a character in the best anime ever, and I will always, always love that anime more than you.
8. “Roslin and Adama.” Bear McCreary wrote one of the world’s most beautiful pieces of music for the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, and I just can’t imagine that you could possibly make me feel the way it does.
9. Bulkogi. Man, bulkogi is good. I wish we had a decent Korean joint around here.
10. Japan. Japan is crazy and awesome. You, future boyfriend, might be crazy and awesome too, but are you the birthplace of the ninja? No. No, you are not.
Gods, why didn’t I think of this before now? I mean, it’s so obvious! The Invisible Man. The Invisible Woman. It’s like it was looking me right in the face and I couldn’t even see it.
Here’s some background: The Invisible Man is a novel by Ralph Ellison that I never read. Also, and more to the point of this blog, The Invisible Man is the titular character in an H.G. Wells science fiction novella. He’s also known as Griffin. Because when you’re invisible you don’t need more than one name, that’s why. The Invisible Woman is Sue Storm, and was created by Stan Lee, just like the universe was.
Now you know, and quoting G.I. Joe is half the battle.
The other half is this fictional character battle!
Physicality. Well, this is hard. They’re both invisible. I mean, Jesus, how am I supposed to judge their looks? Oooooh, I think you’re slightly more invisible? But seriously, folks, once the Invisible Man went invisible, he never went back. Sue Storm, on the other hand, can fade in and out of visibility all the time, and when she fades into it (is that like fading into you?), she’s a hot blonde, because she lives in a comic book, where boobs are eternally perky. Winner? The Invisible Woman.
Better origin? Someday, I want my own origin story that’s much more interesting than “Mommy and Daddy got in the back seat of the car together and, after a few moments of magic, etc., etc.” Until then, please enjoy the origin of Sue Storm, which involves space travel and gamma rays or cosmic storms or something! That’s right, before she was a superhero, she was an astronaut, which is like being a superhero who has to wear diapers. The Invisible Man carries out some sort of scientic procedure to make himself invisible, which is definitely more awesome than anything I did today, but slightly less awesome than space travel and cosmic storms. Winner? The Invisible Woman.
Smacked more bitches up? That is totally a thing I’m going to be saying constantly now. In any case, The Invisible Woman fights for truth, justice and the American way, or whatever the hell it is that superheroes do nowadays, I don’t know. I’m sure she’s smacked up all sorts of bitchy villains. The Invisible Man actually got smacked to death by a bunch of irate villagers he had been tormenting, so my secret plot to have him win a category has not come to fruition. Winner? The Invisible Woman.
Has some sociopathic tendencies? Now, I don’t know much about the Invisible Woman, other than that I just love what Warren Ellis did with her in Planetary, but if she’s on the side of the good guys, she’s probably not a sociopath. (Or if she is, she’s a remarkably patient one.) The Invisible Man is often described as having been driven mad by his invisibility, committing naked crimes willy-nilly (he had to be naked; he didn’t invisibilize his clothes. Yes, that’s a word I just made up. Welcome to the dictionary (eventually), invisibilize!). That theory falls apart when you realize he got the money for his invisibility experiment by stealing it from his father, which led the man to suicide, which means The Invisible Man was a bit of a dick from the get-go. Also a sociopath. Winner? The Invisible Man.
Was in an Alan Moore comic book? I don’t think Alan Moore ever wrote any issues of Fantastic Four, but I’m sure someone who is geekier than I will correct me if I’m wrong. At any rate, Griffin the Invisible Man wins just for being in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen when he was never a comic book character to begin with. Winner? The Invisible Man.
Has actual superpowers? The Invisible Man just runs about (nakedly) invisible all the day long. His feet hurt. He’s cold. He’s hungry. If he eats anything, people can totally see it being digested, which is an awesome visual, but not actually. The Invisible Woman can throw invisible force fields or something, I don’t know, but she’ll hurt you. She’ll hurt you good. Winner? The Invisible Woman.
Used to be known by a lamer moniker? I love the word moniker, much like mannikin for little person. Something about the Ms and the Ks, I guess. The Invisible Woman used to be known as The Invisible Girl, and that’s not when she was, like, 7, or something. That’s pretty lame. Winner? The Invisible Girl/Woman.
Wanted to become an invisible tyrant, ruling with an invisible, yet tyrannical, fist? The Invisible Man wanted to create something known as Reign of Terror (First Year of the Invisible Man). I don’t know what Sue Storm’s up to nowadays. Reign of terror? Perhaps. But probably not. Winner? The Invisible Man.
Overall winner? Despite my fondness for sociopaths, The Invisible Woman takes this one. That makes me sad.
Today, I launch a new category on this site, wherein I propose to fictional characters. Yes, I know they’re just make-believe. I love them anyway. No, mom, it’s not my love of fictional characters that keeps me from meaningful relationships, it’s my crippling commitment issues.
Moving right along, let’s start off with a fictional character I’ve already proposed marriage to a couple of times on Hollywood Hates Me: Planetary’s Elijah Snow.
Dear Elijah Snow,
Let’s get married.
I’ve given this a lot of thought, and I think I would be perfect for you. Sure, you’re a character in a comic book who is over 100 years old and has superpowers and I’m a real person who is not that old and my only superpower is being snarky, but just hear me out.
We would be perfect together.
Your power is to make things cold? I’m always cold!
You’re a two-dimensional figure? Coincidentally enough, I am also very two-dimensional! (It’s kind of a joke. Work with me here, Elijah Snow.)
You’re 110 years old, but you look quite a bit younger? I totally have a thing for older men! (I also have a thing for younger men, but that’s got naught to do with you, Elijah Snow!)
In addition, you’re fighting to save the world from evil and you also keep archives of your doings! Hey! I love to write. I could totally come along with you on your adventures and write things down. Please protect me from the crossfire, Elijah Snow. You wouldn’t want your lovely bride to die tragically. Or, ooooh! Maybe you do. Maybe I could die tragically as you hold me in your arms and cry, “NOOOOOOOOO!” Except I don’t think you would actually do that, unless Warren Ellis gives the rights to Planetary to a lesser writer.
Also, I think me and Jakita Wagner would get along like a house on fire. That’s a thing old people say, right? “Get along like a house on fire”? Should I stop emphasizing your age here? Is that kind of ruining my argument for our future bliss?
Because I think we could be very happy together. Even if you’re one of the evil incarnations from an alternate universe where you’ve killed Superman. ‘Cause you know what, Elijah Snow? I’ve never really liked Superman. So it’s okay! Let’s get married!
I forgot to mention I enjoy baking. And since I would be married to one of the richest men in the world, I wouldn’t have to work (except for when I follow you on your adventures and write stuff down about it, stuff like, OMG, my sexy silver fox husband was soooo awesome when he saved the world today, and Jakita Wagner’s hair was totally cute!) and I would bake all the time.
I assume, since you’re a superhero and drawn on paper to boot, that dieting isn’t an issue.
And we could have a white wedding! Your hair, my gown, snow! It would be perfect.
Please marry me, Elijah Snow. We would be perfect together.
Q. Sooooo, I see you picked up the last issue of Planetary.
Yeah, I know Frank Miller’s already done it, and with much cooler art too, but I thought it was about time I had a matchup between comic book characters that other people have actually heard of.
By the way, you should really have read Planetary and Death Note by now, and I fervently hope that you do. Especially Planetary. What a great series. Sighhhh … Oh, Elijah Snow, you are the best comic book character ever.
Erm, except for Superman and Batman, of course, who will now battle it out for bestest ever (est).
Physicality. Whooo boy, this is a tough one. You’ve got plenty of different artists’ perspectives on these two gents, but they tend to agree on this: these boys are smokin’ hot. I mean, Bruce Wayne (that’s Batman, for the non-comic book … you know what? Everyone knows that, even my mom. If you didn’t know it, get off the internets now!) doesn’t have a playboy persona just because he’s fabulously wealthy, which he totally is, but also because he’s one fine specimen of human male (that works out constantly). Superman’s got the blue-eyed, dark-haired (errr, Supes does have blue eyes, right? I always assumed he had blue eyes) thing going on, plus that spit-curl. The winner? Batman, because fabulous wealth always makes a man more attractive.
Ass-kicking ability. The sad thing here is both men are burdened by a silly moral code that prevents them from kicking ass unto death, so we have to be satisfied with some half-assed ass-kickings. (Yes, I am trying to use the word “ass” as often as possible, why do you ass …k?) Batman is trained in, like, 200 different martial arts and I think he does some gymnastics too (Editor’s note: why aren’t you googling these facts, Lokifire?), and Superman is an alien with superhuman abilities. On a scale of 1 to “Beating your face in,” these two vigilantes are both on the “And I did it with my pinky finger” end of the scale. However, superhuman abilities tend to beat the pinnacle of human abilities, so, no matter how much Bats can bench-press, Superman is our winner.
Ability to commit. What’s this category doing in a superhero matchup, you ask? Hey, it’s my blog. I can make up whatever categories I want and you can’t stop me. I could even have a category where I compare their toenail cutting ability (winner? Batman, ’cause you know he gets his butler to do it for him). This category, however, is just a gimme for our boy Superman, who has a thing for lovely ladies (whose initials are also L.L., just like lovely ladies, and Mr. Cool J), but has remained faithful to Lois Lane for lo these many years. Batman is a commitment-phobe, and that’s all there is to it.
Errrr, let’s call this one a tie.
Detective skills? Look, I’ve got nothing against Superman, but he’s not really the brightest bulb in the aliens who fell to earth pack and, boy, that simile kind of went to hell on me, didn’t it? Batman, on the other hand, we might as well match up against Sherlock Holmes and call it a day. Although he’s no Elijah Snow, who was trained by Sherlock Holmes, and read Planetary already. Winner? Bats.
Best costume? Look, Bats, the whole goth thing is so over, you know? Real 1990s, maybe the oughts. Emo’s the thing now. On the other hand, Superman is wearing his underwear on the outside of his pants and they are bright red. Winner? Batman.
Most tragic origin? Both Superman and Batman are orphans. That’s just really, really sad. Terribly, tremendously sad. Sad, sad, sad. On the other hand, Superman was just a baby when his parents bit the big one, and Batman witnessed his parents getting murdered to death (like there’s another way to get murdered, right?) in front of his eyes. On yet another hand, however, Superman’s entire planet blew up. Then again, he was adopted by really nice farm folk who taught him to help people and other good old American values (God Bless the USA!!) and Batman dedicated his life to revenge. Winner? Batman again.
Coolest villain? Superman’s got Lex Luthor, who was voted president at some point in the DC Universe’s sketchy history. The Batman’s got the Joker, who is completely sociopathic. They’re both evil, but the Joker is awfully iconic. What’ve you got going for you, Lex? You’re bald? Lots of men are bald, Lex. Winner? Batman again again.
Most likely to break that silly moral code and kill your ass dead? Hee, hee, I said “kill your ass dead.” Um, I mean, Batman! Superman is the opposite of conflicted. He’s proflicted. Winner? Batman, ’cause, in the right (or wrong, I guess) circumstances, he would twist your damned head off.
I could keep going. But Batman’s just going to win some more.
In conclusion, Batman wins. He is the Dark Knight, after all, and Superman is just a glorified Boy Scout.