You guys, I really wish new Sherlock episodes would start airing soon.
Anyway, here’s a fictional character battle between two criminal masterminds, because while the boss’s away, the mice will update their blogs.
In one corner, we have Lex Luthor, the nemesis of Superman, a super-powered alien being who happens to look like a person. In the other corner we have James “Jim” Moriarty, the nemesis of Sherlock Holmes, a regular human being who has the superpower of being a crime-solving machine.
Who shall win? We’ll find out … once I come up with some categories.
Let’s rock and roll!
Physicality. Lex Luthor is a very, very bald man. I have nothing against very, very bald men, unless they have funny-shaped heads, I guess, but then I’d still blame that on a tiny birth canal or an overeager doctor with a nasty pair of forceps. Still, Lex Luthor is super bald. James Moriarty is sometimes an evil old man in disguise as a math professor, and other times he’s a flamboyant, well-dressed kind of freaky-looking guy.
Winner? Ummmm … Moriarty?
Has a superior nemesis? You’d think Lex Luthor, the guy with the super-powered alien being to … is there a verb form of nemesis? Nemesate? … anyway, you’d think the guy going up against the invincible superhero would have a leg up in the “superior nemesis” portion of this competition, but here’s the thing: Superman is no Sherlock Holmes, am I right?
Is more evil? Lex Luthor is pretty evil, although he’d never admit it. Well, I guess he might, if it was one of those campy Superman comics from the olden days. He does all sorts of evil things that I can’t think of because … I don’t really read Superman comics, I guess. Oooh, but in one of the Superman movies, he wants to flood half of America so he can sell beachfront property in Arizona or someplace. That’s pretty evil. Moriarty also is rather evil, because Sherlock Holmes told me so. He calls him the “Napoleon of Crime,” even! Now, that’s either a dig at his height or he’s a 19th-century supervillain.
Winner? It’s a tie.
Gets elected president? I’m pretty sure, in some story arc, Lex Luthor gets elected president. Also, they don’t have presidents in England.
Winner? Lex Luthor.
Has a cooler ringtone? I don’t know what Lex Luthor’s ringtone is, but I can’t imagine it’s cooler than the Bee Gees, amiright?
Faces his nemesis in mano-a-mano battle and dies? The thing about Superman is that he doesn’t kill people.
Sherlock Holmes hardly ever does it either, but he does seem totally willing to toss you over the side of a waterfall if that’s what’ll stop your evil works.
Winner of this oddly specific category? Moriarty.
Balder? Hey, have I mentioned that Lex Luthor is a very, very bald man?
Winner? Lex Luthor.
Overall winner? Yeah, I gotta wrap this thing up before the boss comes back. The winner, by virtue of proximity to Sherlock Holmes: Professor Moriarty!
“Honey, you’re so sweet, I’d turn back time for you.”
Remember the Superman movies? (The good ones, I mean, not that tedious reboot by Bryan Singer.) (And by the good ones, I mean the first two and parts of the third one, but only for the nostalgia value.)
They told us we would believe a man could fly, and they were right.
But that’s not what we’re here to talk about today. Or read about. Or whatever. No, we’re here for Jimmy Olsen, also known as the actor Marc McClure, who was also in Back to the Future, which I don’t remember at all.
McClure’s career started in 1975 with a guest shot on the television series Emergency!, which I can only assume was an awesome show because of the exclamation point! It’s not just an emergency, it’s an Emergency! Moving right along, his next role was on The Cop and The Kid, which was either about a scrappy orphan and his policeman buddy, or a cop who owns a goat. Of course, then you’d've thunk they’d have gone with the more insulting The Pig and The Goat, so it’s probably the first one.
He also had a role in the movie Freaky Friday, and I guess I didn’t realize that movie was older than me. But it is. Good to know.
Other notable roles in the 1970s included guest spots on Happy Days and Eight is Enough. OK, maybe not so much “notable roles” as just plain old “roles,” but the important thing is, in 1978, McClure was cast as the photographer friend of the man of steel in Superman.
That plum role was enough to get him … oh. More roles intelevision movies. Well, shoot. Ooooh, ooooh, but in 1979, he had a starring role in a TV series called California Fever as a teenager enjoying the Southern California lifestyle. If it was a reality show, it would still be airing today, but it wasn’t, so it only ran for 10 episodes.
But that’s OK, because Superman II!
And then moving right along to 1981′s Strange Behavior, which is about a scientist turning good kids into murderers, because there just weren’t enough teen killers in the early ’80s, apparently. Then ’82′s Pandemonium, which is about a Mountie tracking a killer at a cheerleading camp. Phil Hartman was in that one, too, but I still wouldn’t recommend it.
Then Superman III! And Supergirl! McClure was the only actor from the Superman films to appear in Supergirl, which was awfully nice of him.
He then went on to a guest role on Trapper John, MD, which I only mention because the character’s name was Luther, which is probably some sort of homage to Lex Luthor, but who knows.
Then he played Dave McFly in Back to the Future. Was Dave McFly Marty’s cousin or something? I seriously can’t remember this character at all.
Oooh, then he was on a couple of episodes of Hunter, and does anyone else remember that show? I loved that show when I was a kid.
Then between Superman IV and Back to the Future III, there was something called Amazon Women on the Moon, as well as several other movies that I don’t feel like mentioning.
The ’90s brought him a guest-starring role heyday, with appearances on Beverly Hills, 90210; Sister, Sister; and Nash Bridges. I never watched any of those shows, but good for them for employing Jimmy Olsen. He also had roles in Apollo 13 and That Thing You Do!, both of which were popular movies at the time and I also didn’t see.
In 2003, he was in Freaky Friday, so I guess that was the remake or something? I didn’t realize Lindsay Lohan was that old. I mean, she looks haggard and all, but I always assumed that was the rampant drug abuse.
Anyway, he continued his guest-starring streak, with roles on The Shield, ER and Cold Case, as well as Smallville in 2008, which always did like throwing fans a bone and giving roles to the old movie cast.
(What do you mean it’s still not canceled? Are you sure?)
Also in 2008, he had a role in Proud American and in Frost/Nixon.
And what’s he been doing since then?
Well, that’s a good question, because I don’t know. He does appear to be alive, but that’s really all I know. I’m sorry I have failed you all.
The heavens rejoiced and a chorus of angels went “Ahhhhhhhh” because, you guys, I totally finally went to the movies for the first time in over a year this weekend!
And, yes, I saw The Warrior’s Way because what else was I going to see? Tron hasn’t opened yet!
So here’s my impressions, a.k.a. an actual movie review!
First off: I love Dong-Gun Jang a little. Especially when he’s wearing old-fashioned pinstriped pants, a trenchcoat and slaying his enemies with a sword. (Even if my friend I went to the movie with suffers from Asian-man blindness: he thought we were watching a Jackie Chan flick the whole time. “I wondered why he looked so good for his age,” he said.)
Secondly: The action scenes were exactly as awesome as I thought they would be, and some of them were, in fact, quite beautiful. I especially liked the way they would speed up some scenes to emphasize how fast our hero the master warrior was.
Thirdly: Holy cow, the baby in that film is totally the cutest baby ever. (“They probably grew it in a lab,” my friend said.)
Fourthly: I finally remembered who Kate Bosworth (the movie’s romantic interest/token fighter chick) is, and it is best explained via anecdote.
One day, at work, the telephone rang, and it was Margo Kidder on the line.
“This is Margo Kidder from Livingston,” she said.
“You mean Margo Kidder from Superman,” I corrected her.
Margo Kidder: “Yeah, sure, whatever.”
Me: “You’re Lois Lane! Superman’s girlfriend!”
Margo Kidder: “Er, yes.”
Me: “You were a much better Lois Lane than Kate Bosworth.” (I didn’t actually say it in bold, though, I just put it in bold so you guys would get that was the point of this anecdote.)
Margo Kidder: “That’s very sweet.”
Me: “And true!”
Margo Kidder: “Anyway, I was calling about this editorial your paper ran…”
Me: “So is it true you’ve gone completely wacko?”
Margo Kidder: “… Can I speak to your supervisor?”
(Note: portions of this conversation, mostly that last bit, were probably made up for dramatic purposes. Especially that last bit, ’cause I would never insult Lois Lane on the phone, unless it was the Kate Bosworth one. Then she deserves it, ’cause she sucked.)
Fiftly: There was, I thought, a lot of unnecessary exposition and dialogue. (“Less talkin’ and more stabbin’,” I said to my friend.)
Sixthly: They totally cut the “Ninjas. Damn.” line, so don’t go in expecting to see that part. ‘Cause you won’t.
My overall impression is that it was a good movie, but would’ve been better served by being watched at home so I could fast-forward past the boring, boring talking scenes and repeated the pretty, pretty fight scenes.
So Bad Ash is like the bad version of Evil Dead Ash, who isn’t really all that good when you think about it. And Bizarro was conceived as the mirror image of Superman, because someone had been reading a lot of Jung at the time.
Which alternate version of a hero will come out on top?
And do you even care?
(Of course you do.)
On to the battle!
Physicality: Bad Ash looks a lot like Bruce Campbell until he gets boomsticked to death and then re-animated by an incorrect reading of the Necronomicon.
(I’m just going to call it Book of the Dead from now on, ’cause screw Latin.) Then he looks more like a zombie. Bizarro looks like if Superman was in a really bad fire and had the world’s worst plastic surgeon try to repair his skin, using the skin of an albino who is also made of glass. Winner? Bad Ash, for at least looking like Bruce Campbell for a few minutes.
Wreaks more havoc? I feel like this is a category in a lot of these things, but I find havoc-wreaking to be an awesome quality in a fictional character. (It’s a much less awesome quality in a politician, but they all seem to possess it to some degree. Ha, ha, political jokes — over.) Bad Ash sends the Deadites to attack the village that Ash is protecting, and I’m not sure why we stopped calling them Candarian demons in Army of Darkness, but whatever. However, his plans are thwarted because Ash has a chainsaw hand. Well, he has some sort of robotic armor hand in Army of Darkness, which is cool, but the chainsaw hand is cooler. Bizarro wreaks all sorts of havoc, whether on purpose or by trying to imitate Superman. Winner? Bizarro, because have you seen what he’s done to grammar??
More evil? Bad Ash is so evil he’s got “Bad” in his name, and not like “Bad” when people mean “good.” More like “just plain mean” bad. Bizarro is just a confused, tragic character who mangles grammar. (I really can’t forgive him for that.) Winner? Bad Ash.
Leads a legion of the undead? Hey, they don’t call it “Army of Darkness” for nothing. Winner? Bad Ash.
Is a more sympathetic character? Bad Ash, evil though he is, is mostly played for laughs because, by Army of Darkness, everyone realized the Evil Dead franchise was actually a comedic series. Bizarro has been created by, like, every Superman villain out there, because when they came up with the concept for Superman, they forgot that having an all-powerful hero makes for some pretty anti-climactic fight scenes, so all the villains are kind of wimptacular next to the world’s biggest boy scout. Thus, Bizarro, who has all of Superman’s powers and none of his good qualities, is born. The poor, sympathetic bastard. He didn’t even ask to be born! No one asked him! Winner? Bizarro.
Dies a more spectacular death? First, Bad Ash gets shot and buried and then resurrected. Then, he gets torched. Then, he gets his hand chopped off. Even more then, he gets catapulted into the air and blown up with a sackful of gunpowder. Explode-y! Bizarro has been offed in a variety of ways, one of which includes a midair collision with Superman. But was there an explosion? Science says no. Winner? Bad Ash.
Is played by Bruce Campbell in a film? Winner? Bad Ash.
The overall winner in this (slightly) (biased) battle? Bad Ash.
Recently, you’ve noticed a lot of girls in your class are dating vampires, werewolves and even the occasional Egyptian mummy.
Well, bully for them, you think, but I’ve got bigger problems than that.
That’s right. While those girls are busily dating movie monsters who have recently turned emo for some reason, you suspect you’re dating a superhero. And not just any superhero. The superest hero-est of them all: Superman.
Well, are you?
Here’s 10 ways to find out:
1. Is your boyfriend a reporter? With today’s economy and the uncertain state of the traditional newspaper, the only people who are reporters are either 1) terrified; 2) have their superhero-ing to fall back on when things go bad.
2. Does your boyfriend look remarkably like Superman, except he wears glasses and occasionally stammers? Stammering shouldn’t change how your boyfriend looks, I don’t care how confident Superman is. And if you can’t recognize your boyfriend when he’s not wearing glasses, then you are the worst girlfriend ever.
3. But say you are the worst girlfriend ever. Is your boyfriend incredibly resistant to the idea of wearing contacts? Does he have ridiculous excuses for being resistant? Like: “Contacts make my eyes sweat”?
4. Whenever Superman saves someone, is your boyfriend nowhere to be found? He could just be a coward. Some people hide when there is danger. But if he returns immediately after the danger is over and acts surprised that there was any danger at all, then he either doesn’t want you to remark on his cowardice or is actually Superman.
5. Does he wear red and blue a lot? And yellow? Is there some yellow in there? Does he act like he’s getting away with something sneaky when he’s wearing red and blue?
6. Does he refuse to dress up as Superman for Halloween, even though you think he’d make a really cute Superman? It could be because Superman wears his skivvies on the outside, and some guys just don’t go for that sort of thing.
7. Does your boyfriend have friends named Diana Prince, Bruce Wayne and Oliver Queen? It’s either a remarkable coincidence, or they’ve already formed a Justice League.
8. Speaking of names, does your boyfriend go by Clark Kent or some variation thereof? If so, that’s a dead giveaway.
9. Did your boyfriend date a Lana Lang before he met you? And is your name Lois?
10. And, most importantly, does your boyfriend have superpowers? Specifically, Superman’s superpowers, which are variable and include making teeny little Supermans in some issues?
If your answer to all, most or some of these questions is yes, you can rest assured that you are probably dating Superman maybe.
As a child, I played a game called “Superheroes” a lot. Basically, it involved my brother and I running around and hitting each other and saying, “No, I have lightning powers” or “No, I can phase through walls.”
The basic rule was: we weren’t supposed to have the same superpower as anybody else playing. This became problematic when our friends came over, because all the good powers got used up pretty fast. (Another rule was: you can’t be Superman, because that’s major unfair.)
Here’s some lame powers that if Stan Lee came up and was like, “Hey! Superpowers! You want some?”, I would have to be all: “No thank you, Mr. Stan Lee, a god among men, sir.”
1. Mind-reading. Sure, every X-man who can read your mind also has some telekinetic abilities as well, but before Jean Grey went all Dark Phoenix on our asses, she could do what? Bend spoons? And, if you’re the unfortunate X-man who can do naught but mind-read, you’re going to know the rest of your more ass-kicking teammates are thinking about how incredibly lame you are, and possibly how those pants emphasize your fat ass.
2. Time travel. There’s nothing wrong with traveling in time. In theory. But you put it into practice and what have you got? Hiro from Heroes, that’s what you’ve got! Always traveling to the past to try to fix things and making them lamer. Also traveling to the future to try to fix things and making them lamer. He might as well just stay in the present and be satisfied making it lame. Or start using his samurai sword! Jeez! Wait, what was my point here? Oh, yeah, my point was this: What good does it do you to be able to travel in time if you can’t do anything useful once you get to where you’re going, like fire laser beams from your eyes or something?
3. Invulnerability. Now, everybody wants to be Wolverine when they grow up. I mean, how cool is that? You’re a short Canadian with some supra-nasty hair, but the hot chicks still dig you, am I right, Storm and Jean Grey? Plus you’ve got the whole snikt! factor going. What could be better??! Errr, can you ever, you know, die? Wolverine’s been beat up pretty good and probably laying there with his legs in one pile and his torso in another and wishing for death, but he knows eventually, he’s going to have to drag his tattered remains back over to those legs and try to hook together. Plus, he’s lost everyone he ever loved because he is an unaging, undying freak. Thank god for that amnesia, or he’d be the mopiest X-man ever.
4. Whatever that power is that Dazzler has. Look, I don’t care how pretty the sparkly lights are that you make with your synth-crap music, if your superpower requires your supermoniker to be “Dazzler,” you have been saddled with the lamest power of all.
5. Having giant wings. Sure, you can fly like the birds and all, but where the hell do you store those things? Also, are you any good in a fight now that you have ginormous wings? No, you are not. In fact, you’re a big, fat, winged target for the other supers with far, far superior superpowers. Frak you, giant wings.
6. Turning your body into ice. I’ve already given Iceman a hard time for this, and, really, kid should take a lesson from the far superior Elijah Snow on how to use his powers, but why, why, WHY would you want to turn your body into ice? It’s like, hey! What’s more breakable than the human body? Ooooh, ice! I know, I’ll turn into that!
7. X-ray vision. This power would be all right when combined with several other powers, such as super-strength to punch the hell out of the wall you just x-ray visioned through or the power of super-thievery, but on its own? Ooooh, I can see through stuff. Ooooh. (The “Oooohs” are sarcastic.)
8. Shrinking. Batman never said, “Criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot, so I shall shrink down to actual bat-size to fight them.” You know why he never said that? ‘Cause that’s stupid. Ant-man, Atom-man and the rest of you, sure you can get into places that the rest of your super-powered friends can’t, but those places aren’t very awesome anyway, plus, now a rat can kick your ass. So lame.
9. Invisibility. First off, you’ve got the whole “scientifically speaking, you’d actually be blind while you’re invisible,” but what does science have to do with superpowers? Nothing. So, anyway, you’re invisible. Now what? Are you stronger? Faster? Shooting laser beams from your eyes?? No? In fact, you’re more likely to get hit by friendly fire now that your teammates can’t see you? How useful! I mean, c’mon, they didn’t give Sue Storm the ability to make force fields somehow because being invisible is so awesome.
10. Being Aqua-man. Hey! Guys! Wanna fight me?! Come get me! Yeah! Come in the water! Where the sea creatures do my bidding! Come on! What are you, chicken? You’re chicken, aren’t you? You know, we call dolphins the “chicken of the sea”! Or is that tuna? Anyway, c’mon! Let’s go! Just hop in the water! We’ll fight! I’ll whomp you good! Just hop in the water! Hey! No! Stop walking away! Stop! Walking! Away!
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.