Ever since the first fanboys gathered around the fire to share tales of far off galaxies and fair maidens, there were those that would debate the merit of those tales when compared to others.Â (Me, I imagine two cavemen coming to blows over which Mammoth hunter would be better suited to save the tribe from a saber tooth tiger… Picargh or Kurk?) As our genre has grown these debates have become more and more complicated, with more characters vying for supremacy in an ever increasing metaverse of fandom. Want to start a bar brawl (or slave Leia pillow fight, pictured above) at the next con you go to? Here’s my picks for 8 timeless fanboy debates that are sure to get the blood pumping (in no particular order):
Kirk vs Picard
This is of course, the great granddaddy of all fan debates. A classic tale of the renegade vs. the straight arrow. It’s so compelling because there are so many layers to consider… Who is the better officer? Does knowing when to throw out the rulebook give you an advantage? Who is most likely to save the universe if seducing a beautiful woman is required? The topic is forbidden on game night at my house for a reason.
Superman vs. the Incredible Hulk
This argument has been around for much longer than Kirk vs. Picard, because it is a classic case of irresistible force vs. immovable object. Hulk gets stronger the angrier he gets, and Kryptonians can survive a direct hit from an asteroid. While this has been done a few times in the comics, I think that the best resolution to this fight ended with Superman just bracing himself, and letting Hulk hit him until he calmed down and changed back into Banner. Now that’s class.
Han Solo vs Mal Reynolds
This is a great debate primarily because Han and Mal are almost direct reflections of one another. I think in many ways the story of Mal Reynolds is how Han would have wound up had the rebellion lost the civil war. One can imagine Han having to eke out a living in the outer rim after the war just trying to keep the Falcon flying, and getting into brawls with off duty stormtroopers he catches making dirty jokes about princess Leia. Serenity vs the Falcon is no contest… The Millennium Falcon is in all ways the superior ship…(ahem… weapons?) but if Han and Mal found each themselves facing each other alone on the dust of some backward world, who’s coming off that rock alive?
Death Star vs Borg cube
The edge might seem obviously to lean toward the Death Star in terms of sheer firepower, but the Borg have it all over the empire in terms of tenacity.Â Data says at one point (blanking on the episode) that it would take destroying 70% of a Borg cube to just disable it. The Death Star’s primary weapon works great on planets and Mon Calamari cruisers, but Cubes are far less dense than either. Would it even work on the Borg cube before the Borg analyzed All it would take would be one boarding party, and the Empire would find itself up to its armpits in Borg in no time. Again this is one with many layers… Would the Borg be able to adapt to imperial technology fast enough? If Darth Vader is aboard the Death Star, does it make a difference?
Wolverine vs. the Predator
I’m sure anyone would agree that Wolverine’s skull and spine would make a pretty impressive adornment to any Predator’s trophy room. But what chance does a Predator have of actually making the kill? Wolverine’s enhanced sense of smell might very well be the deciding factor here, as it could negate the advantage of the Predator cloaking technology.
Star Destroyer vs. The Enterprise (1701-d) vs. Galactica
This one might seem like a no-brainer at first glance, but can make for some interesting late night gaming discussions. Although the Enterprise has technologically superior weaponry, Both the Star Destroyer and Galactica are capable of launching several squadrons of fighter craft, giving the Enterprise multiple targets to contend with while they blast away at their shields. Galactica is certainly able to take more of a pounding from the Enterprise than the Star Destroyer is, and the twelve colonies undoubtedly train their officers better than the Empire.
Data vs. R2D2
When I first heard about this one it seemed kind of silly, until the friend that suggested it qualified the matchup with “Who would be more likely to be Time magazine’s man of the year?” At first glance Data seems the more likely of the two, but when you consider that Artoo was partially responsible for at least three major republic victories and was wounded in combat during the battle of Yavin, it becomes far less clear cut. Another point was that as sidekicks, who would you rather have as your wingman in a bar… Mr. “Fully Functional” or Mr. “look at how cute he beeps?”
Batman vs. Captain America
Although the JLA/Avengers crossover event a few years ago promised to answer this one, it never really did. Batman says at one point that it’s conceivable that Cap would beat him, but it would take a long time. Other crossovers have given us still more cop-outs with no clear cut winner. Personally, I think this one would come down to ethics… Batman isn’t afraid to fight dirty if he has to, and that gives him the edge.
I undoubtedly have left out a few good ones… What’s your favorite fanboy debate?