Thursday Night Bar Fight #6: The League Of Gentlepeople That Are As Extraordinary As Possible Without Alan Moore Suing Us for Trademark Infringement

Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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234 Responses

  1. Shazbot5 says:

    Does Shaq qualify as a superhero or do I have to say “Steel” or “Kazaam”? Because a healthy, young Shaq could help with that whole Lakers thing.Report

  2. Alan Scott says:

    So this is not the first time I’ve been down this road. I think the last time I had this discussion, it was pointed out that Moore’s LoEG was less Justice League and more Suicide Squad. Less Avengers and more Thunderbolts.

    That is, a team of villains doing heroic things.

    That last discussion was also focused on characters from the 80s. The team I cam up with: Hannibal Lecter, Carrie White, Selina Kyle, a T-800 series Terminator, and the Goblin KingReport

  3. Shazbot5 says:

    My A Team:

    1. Gandalf
    (I mean, he seems to have more magical power than he uses AND he seems to be a good strategist for the rest of the group. Can also take Phil Jackson role on Lakers.)

    2. James Bond
    (Lacks super powers, but will be needed for espionage and recon and looking cool, given the inherent nerdiness of the group as a whole. Good wiley, poker-playing GM for Lakers team, too.)

    3. Spiderman
    (Super science knowledge and very good at taking moral responsibilty. In fights, very good at saving innocents and is really hard to hurt, kill, or capture. And best defensive guard since Gary Peyton.)

    4. Superman*
    (I thought about the Hulk or whatever, but Superman is basically God incarnate, especially as he is often described, but even if I get watered down Supe, I can’t lose a fight. Will break Chamberlain’s record by scoring 100000000000 baskets in a game, partially by spinning the ball so fast he goes back in time.)

    5. Jean Grey
    (Super psychic ability is what is missing here and I like her potential. Should be able to control Kobe either through telepathic manipulation, resulting in better shot selection, or like a pupppet with telekenesis.)

    My list is too comic-booky for my taste, and too male. Also sad that there are too few good female and non-white choices in general.

    * Maybe you should stipulate that picking Superman is picking a weaker version of Superman, otherwise he is too obvious a choice.Report

    • Matty in reply to Shazbot5 says:

      Maybe full strength Superman is caught by the no gods rule.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Matty says:

        Jean Grey, esp. after transforming into Phoenix, may also be problematic under that rule.Report

        • Ryan Noonan in reply to Burt Likko says:

          Neither Superman nor Jean Grey is a god or demigod. You could possibly argue that Phoenix is a religious figure to *someone* (the Shi’ar?), but that’s a massive stretch.Report

        • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Burt Likko says:

          You never take someone with the Kryptonite problem.Report

          • It’s a good thing Kryptonite DOESN’T EXIST. Or are we to assume that the aliens have this same device, and that they’d use it to get a wad of Kryptonite?Report

            • Tod Kelly in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

              This is a really excellent point, and underscores a flaw in several choices I’ve seen.

              To wit: The Imaginotoriumator spits out a hero/superhero; it does not remake reality in our universe. So for example, if you choose Iron Man you absolutely get the suit, but there are no Stark Industries to use for capital.

              Choosing Han Solo doesn’t get you the Millennium Falcon, choosing the Doctor doesn’t get you the TARDIS, choosing Spock doesn’t get you the Federation of Planets.Report

              • Just Me in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                That is why we don’t choose River Song at the same time. River Song will bring the TARDIS to the Doctor.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                To wit: The Imaginotoriumator spits out a hero/superhero; it does not remake reality in our universe.

                As mentioned downstream, this is (as I read it) inconsistent. Superman requires that there be different physics, as he routinely violates things like conservation of momentum and mass/energy, molecular binding forces, etc. So either none of his interesting powers work when he gets here, or we get a modified universe in which momentum and mass/energy no longer have to be conserved. Maybe we don’t get the constructs; but reality sure as hell has to change.Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Exactly right. According the Standard Model, each goodon must be paired with a badon, excluding any God Particles, which cause no end of trouble.

                But in the theoretical and widely discounted GUTSS (Grand Unified Theory of Supersymmetric Superheroes) model, the Conservative Charge of each goodon might be paired with a Superbad Charge of each badon. A frightening thought which causes parts of me to clench up most horribly.Report

              • I admit that if we get the reality to support the powers, I am no longer able to objectively pick superheroes for the team based solely on their effectiveness. I want a reality where I have a shot at acquiring said powers. To that end, I will tend to support characters such as Doctor Strange, in whose reality it appears that pretty much anyone who receives proper training can become a sorcerer.

                And I want Mike Schilling to be able to acquire powers also, because we need more superheroes that also have mad punning skills.Report

      • Dan Miller in reply to Matty says:

        If you go by Neil Gaiman rules, that’s definitely the case.Report

    • Marchmaine in reply to Shazbot5 says:

      Gandalf is technically an angelic being, I think he violates the anti-divinity rule. I’m a little embarrassed to know that and throw the flag.Report

      • Ryan Noonan in reply to Marchmaine says:

        Gandalf is also really weirdly committed to NOT DOING ANYTHING HELPFUL. I could see you getting into the middle of the final showdown with the bad guys, and he’d be like, “Wait wait wait, let’s get a Wal-Mart greeter to handle this for us. We’re too powerful, and it’s only the entire world that’s at stake here.”Report

      • North in reply to Marchmaine says:

        I must sorrowfully concur with Marchmaine. Gandalf is effectively an angel and I also share Marchmaine’s embaressment at loving the Silmarillion enough to know that.Report

        • Shazbot5 in reply to North says:

          Wait, what about The Almighty Thor from the comic books?

          Why is magical hero out of bounds?

          BTW, Gandalf is not really a Maiar, which are lesser deities in the Tolkien universe, compared to the Valar.

          He seems to have been a Maiar named Olorin when he was in Valinor. But the Vala sent him to Middle-Earth along with others who became the Istari, a.k.a. wizards.

          The Istari can be destroyed, as Saruman is destroyed. They are not God like, even in the way Saruman is god-like.

          So I can’t see how you would rule Gandalf out and anyone magical, even Obi-Wan Kenobi, out.Report

      • Plinko in reply to Marchmaine says:

        I’ll one up you and say he’s a Maiar. However, he’s part of a group of beings created by Illuvatar after the creation of the world that would include Saruman and Sauron – but so would the the first generation of Elves and Men.
        He’s of a later-created lesser type of angel-analog than Tom Bombadil or Melkor(curses I can’t remember the names of that group now).
        He’s neither God nor demi-God – I think this would need a careful reading of the rules.Report

    • Kimmi in reply to Shazbot5 says:

      -1 for Gandalf.
      Please specify:
      Gandalf the Gray
      Gandalf the WhiteReport

  4. Alan Scott says:

    Here’s a take that’s a bit more heroic and a bit more modern than the one I posted above:

    Team Lead: Elliot Spencer (Leverage)
    Occult Expert: Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)
    Tech Expert: Dr. Henry Deacon (Eureka)
    Big Gun: Jaime Reyes (Blue Beetle/DC Comics)
    Infiltration Expert: Annie Walker (Covert Affairs)

    I tried to stick with stuff from the last decade that takes place in the present day and ostensibly in the real world. I think the task becomes easier and more boring if you can pick characters that have been around for fifty years like Superman and James bond.

    The tricky bit is that so many of even our modern fictional characters come from the past, the future, or completely made-up worlds. As cool as River Tam would be, how’s she gonna get here from the firefly universe.Report

  5. NewDealer says:

    1. Wolverine: He heals fast and the claws come in Handy.

    2. Jean Grey: The psychic stuff.

    3. Spider-Man: I’ve always liked Spider-Man

    4. Nick Fury: As played by Samuel L. Jackson.

    5. Iron Man: He has all the cool tech stuff.

    My team is all Marvel, all the time.Report

  6. James Hanley says:

    I just can’t get past the ridiculously unrealistic assumption of this post. How are we supposed to suspend belief enough to pretend that the Lakers missing the playoffs is “sad”?

    That aside, I’m going with the Power Puff girls. They were all created simultaneously in the same test tube, so I think one imaginathingamajigger can make them, and we’ll have three for the price of one.

    Then I’d add Frozone, because he’s the coolest dude out there.

    I’ll let others select the other three.Report

  7. Kazzy says:

    Well… First and foremost, we need to identify female candidates, perhaps with a binder of sort. How would we look to the alien race if we fought them with only men? On that same note, we should identify heroes of color, gay heroes, and, ideally, one with a handicap. We’ll also want ideological diversity and a variety of religions represented.


    I don’t have much to add here since I don’t know much about comics. Superman seems like a no brainer. If we could reverse engineer and than mass produce the suit, a case can be made for Iron man; otherwise, he’s not “super” enough. Other traits I’d look for would be “magic” (e.g., Can we unleash Harry Potter and that killing curse?), the ability to manipulate time (freeze everyone and then walk around and bop them on the head), and mind control (have the human baddies fight the aliens).

    If you’re giving enough latitude, I’d go with Genie from “Aladdin”.Report

  8. BlaiseP says:

    That first picture is NOT what I needed to see when refreshing this tab. It just wasn’t. Not before my first cup of coffee. I am stunned into silent horror.

    Surely the Evil Committee Of Not-At-All Nice People will not be a trivial team to beat.Report

  9. Burt Likko says:

    I’m going to give this question very serious thought this morning. In the meantime, big, big, big, big props for the Mystery Men clip. “Don’t mess with the volcano, my man, ’cause I will go Pompeii on your… butt.”Report

  10. Ryan Noonan says:

    Superman is clearly a no-brainer. Not only does he have all the super strength, invincibility, flight, X-ray vision stuff, but people forget that he’s also really fast (the Superman vs. Flash question remains outstanding, I believe) and super-intelligent (his fast brain is like a super computer or something insane like that). He’s also totally selfless, so he’d mesh well with any set of personalities.

    I’m tempted to also include Batman, even if that’s a little too Justice League-y. He has the means to tackle all kinds of non-super-villain issues using both his money and the fact that he’s, you know, the World’s Greatest Detective.

    I like the mental powers angle a couple of people have mentioned as well. I’m torn between Professor X’s experience and control and Jean Grey’s raw power (and additional telekinesis, which is probably not actually useful in most situations). I think the fact that Jean isn’t a sociopath is probably the tiebreaker here.

    Two more… Hmm… People have mentioned Harry Potter, but that seems weird given that you could just go with Dumbledore instead. The upper limit of Dumbledore’s power is much higher than Harry’s at any point in the actual series (modulo Voldemort-killing, which is way too specific a skill to build a team around), and it’s also much weirder. His toolbox for dealing with crazy situations is presumably quite large.

    And I’ll take Luke Skywalker for the last spot. Seems like an obvious choice.

    Possible alternates: Samus Aran is a nice choice if we want some diversity combined with sheer ass-kicking. Still, the whole thing is kind of combat heavy. Do we need a more intellectual approach? Maybe Data from Star Trek, who doubles as a pretty sweet linguist if you need such a thing (and isn’t useless for everything else like C-3PO). I’ve also always felt like Forge from the X-Men, whose mutant power is INVENTING ANYTHING HE WANTS, is sort of under-appreciated.

    Okay, that’s eight people. Whoops.Report

    • James Hanley in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

      Luke Skywalker? Come on, let’s take Obi Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu, or Yoda, unless we’re hoping to whine the bad guys to death.Report

      • Actually, Yoda is solid. I like that pick. I took Luke because his ceiling is higher than all of the others, but that’s falling into the same Harry Potter trap I already evaded once.

        Obi Wan is incapable of forethought, so he’s clearly out, and Windu is only good for combat (at which he excels, but we already have fishing Superman here).Report

        • James Hanley in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

          Obi Wan is incapable of forethought,

          Please to explain?Report

          • He got Qui-Gon killed because he didn’t seem to think RUNNING FASTER was going to be important, he basically bitched at Anakin all the time instead of training him, he at no point paid any attention at all to what his apprentice was doing with his free time, and he decided “Oh, I’ll just chop your legs off and leave you here,” which is extremely careless (not to mention super sadistic). His training of Luke was pretty much equally careless. He appeared on Hoth to tell Luke to go see Yoda on the off-chance that he didn’t die in the snow. He LIED to Luke about Vader being his father without realizing that Vader could just tell Luke and completely destabilize the master/apprentice relationship. He also somehow forgot about Leia’s existence sometime between ROTS and ESB.

            He’s just a hopeless and careless strategist on pretty much all levels.Report

    • Alan Scott in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

      On choosing Dumbledore:
      Spoilers: He’s dead. Per the canon timeline, he’s been dead for more than a decade. I picked Hermione for my list, because I think her superior knowledge beats Harry’s raw power, and because I didn’t want my team to be all men. I was strongly considering Draco. Almost as strong as Harry Potter and just a more interesting character within the context of a team like this. Because let’s face it. It’s not really about saving the world. It’s about entertaining us in the process.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

      New timeline, the Flash is faster. He’s been incorporating some of the Speed Force Formulae into his technique. Superman may have had brute strength going for him in the 50’s and 60’s, but the Flash has achieved Quantum Speeds while Superman merely gets from here to there really fast.Report

      • lincoln's beard in reply to Jaybird says:

        Note that in the JLA/Avengers Crossover (admittedly several reboots ago), the Speed Force wasn’t present on Earth-616, so its entirely possible that the Flash wouldn’t be able to access it here, either.Report

  11. LeeEsq says:

    We need a good balance of intelligence, strength, power, and emotional balance to deal with this threat becasue we don’t want anybodies personal dramas affecting the balance. This leaves us with three options as I see it.

    Option A is the Fantastic Four plus somebody from the DC Canon, either Superman or Wonder Woman. The Fantastic Four know how to work well has a team, are used to dealing with mad scientists, super villains, and alien invasions. They also have a good balance of powers and Mr. Fantastic’s super-intelligence and science. Superman and Wonder Woman are both the functional equivalent of deities and won’t bring too much personal drama to the struggle. Wonder Woman would add a nice gender balance but Superman’s sheer power is going to be really useful in this scenario.

    Option B will be a to assemble a combination of superheroes from Marvel and DC that have the right combination of smarts, intelligence, power, and riches (so they can contribute their own resources). I’d say in Option B, Superman is a must because of the the immense power and wide range of skills he has. Plus his moral purity and friendly demeanor would be necessary to keep the team in check. Than I’d pick Iron Man. His flaw his his tendency to be a playboy and egotist but he is very intelligent, powerful, and has material resources to contribute because I believe that Stark Industries is a power of Iron Man. Batman is also a must. He doesn’t have superpower in the classic sense and he has a lot of personal drama issues. However, he is very skilled, has the resources of Wayne Industries, and his capable of strategic thinking. Thats a must in this scenario. We need some women so we get a proper balance. I’d argue that we create Invisible Woman for her defensive capabilities and She-Hulk.

    Option C is to recreate the functional equivalent of deities if we can’t recreate deities. That means Superman, the Green Lantern, Marvel’s Thor (who is aliens), Dr. Strange, and the Doctor.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to LeeEsq says:

      I struggle with any non-super options. We already have super brilliant people and multi-billionaires. No need to create them. I mean, this machine WILL MAKE REAL SUPERHEROES! Why choose folks who aren’t even super in their fictional universes?Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Kazzy says:

        Iron Man and Batman are real superheroes and the benefit of their wealth is that its a frankly unrealistic levels and already directed towards fighting bad people. In this case, resources are superpowers. We also want superheroes that are capable of thinking rather than the dumb muscles ones.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to LeeEsq says:

          Do you think that Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, et al wouldn’t put their fortunes towards fighting evil if defeat meant death or enslavement?

          I don’t object to a balance of intelligence and strength within the force but Iron Man and Batman are both just regular Joes in suits. Unless we can replicate Iron Man’s suit once we have a real working model, I don’t know that they really offer us anything. Batman in particular is probably no more useful than a really, really well trained and brilliantly strategic military person. Plus he can’t doge lasers, which I assume the aliens will employ.Report

          • LeeEsq in reply to Kazzy says:

            Considering how much our rich are behaving in the real world, no I don’t believe that the many of the super-rich will voluntarily depart with their money even to fight evil. Most likely, they will simply find away to get the rest of us to pay while asking for more tax cuts and government contracts.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Dr. Manhattan is also out; as much a functional deity as Green Lantern becomes.

      I’d like the smarts of Ozymandias but obviously he’s out too since … um, everyone’s read Watchmen already, right?Report

    • NewDealer in reply to LeeEsq says:

      The Doctor, good choice. I forgot about the Doctor.Report

  12. Kimmi says:

    Gon, Leorio, Killua, Kurapika, and Hisoka.
    May not be the strongest team out there, but at least these are people who know how to work together.Report

  13. Rod Engelsman says:

    Okay, so maybe I’m going off the reservation here, but my picks are:

    1. Doctor Who — Seriously… is there really any other choice for fending off the alien horde? He plays with them a bit and then reads them the riot act about Earth being under his protection by dint of some mumbo-jumbo Accords and they just run away.

    2. Michael Weston — He’s like the bastard love-child of James Bond and McGyver. And he’s American! Go Team USA!! He can do basically anything Bond can do without the aid of Q’s gadgets and the backing of MI-6. (or is it 5? I always get them mixed up.)

    3. Q — Michael Weston WITH James Bond gadgets!!?? Awesome squared.

    4. Merlin — I figure the good Doctor can just pop back in the Tardis and drag Merlin back from the time of Myth and Legend. Someone else suggested Harry Potter, but really, Merlin’s the original and besides… Harry isn’t real.

    5. President Obama — I hear he’s not bad at a pick-up game and with all those Secret Service dudes giving everybody the stink-eye nobody’s going to be willing to foul him. He’ll totally rule under the boards.Report

  14. LeeEsq says:

    Question: Are hot nerd-wish fulfillment girlfriends and wives considered an innate talent and power of superheroes? If yes than we need to create Spider-Man so we get Mary Jane Watson-Parker to.Report

  15. NewDealer says:

    I’m changing my line up:

    1. The Doctor-This is a great choice and I can’t believe I forgot him. He is brilliant, comes up with clever solutions, plus he has The Tardis so constant Mulligans.

    2. Spider-Man

    3. Jean Grey

    4. River Song

    5. Nick Fury-Still the Samuel L. Jackson versionReport

    • Just Me in reply to NewDealer says:

      How about Jack Harkness? You get a two fer one with the Face of Boe.Report

      • NewDealer in reply to Just Me says:

        Face of Boe fails the god rule.Report

      • Please. Look where his bravado got Ianto.Report

        • Just Me in reply to Russell Saunders says:

          Ugh, I hate Torchwood with a passion! That was one spin off that didn’t have to happen. I watched a few episodes and really really disliked it. My thinking is that Jack Harkness can not die. He is going to work out great for those times when you need to send someone in on a suicide mission where there is no hope for survival. As the Face of Boe he has lived billions of years, has untold experience that could benefit the team.Report

          • I actually rather enjoyed “Torchwood,” with the exception of the “Children of Men” series (of which we shall not speak).

            I liked that it was tonally darker than “Dr. Who,” and also earthbound.Report

            • Just Me in reply to Russell Saunders says:

              I know plenty of people who love Torchwood, I personally disliked most of the characters that were portrayed on it.Report

              • Chris in reply to Just Me says:

                I have a difficult time making it through an episode of Torchwood. The characters, who are supposed to be elite members of a top secret anti-supernatural/extraterrestrial stuff force, don’t seem the least bit elite, and are actually kind of annoying.

                On the other hand, I have a bit of a crush on Eve Myles, so every time I see the show is on, I’m torn. Watch, and be annoyed, or not watch, and miss listening to Eve Myles’ sexy Welsh accent?Report

          • Rod Engelsman in reply to Just Me says:

            Jack’s a good choice. (And I really, really like Torchwood.) Not being able to die is handy. I thought about including Blade (the Vampire with a sword) for the same reason. I mean… I guess Blade can die but it’s really, really hard to kill a vamp.Report

  16. North says:

    Being a consummate nerd I’m going throw out my own picks:

    -Echoing much of the consensus Superman is a no brainer. He’s massively powerful physically and also quite outstandingly moral. He works well in a group. Much of the rest of the group composition then can be designed to cover his gaps.

    -Batman is a tempting choice as his brains and cynicism would balance out Superman’s credulousness and tendency to not be very bright. Nick Fury, however, is also brilliant, a clever tactician and even more ruthless than Batman. He also is skilled in navigating/manipulating Federal bureaucracy structures. A big plus for government work.

    -Dr Strange is a personal favorite of mine. Also magic is an area where both Fury and Superman are highly vulnerable. The Sorcerer Supreme is not only strong in magic but highly versatile in it as well as very learned and generally knowledgeable in matters arcane which heightens the odds he could make his magic work here. (runners up Gandalf, Dumbledor and Harry Potter were eliminated in order because of being: A an angel, B in poor health and C a minor~we’d doing government work here!)

    -With brawn, brains and magic covered we have only one remaining gap and that’s psionics. A powerful psychic is needed to help protect the spongy brains of our team from mental damage. While Phoenix is powerful I will elect to choose the safer bet of Professor X who is both a psychiatrist, notoriously level headed and very telepathically powerful.Report

  17. Jaybird says:

    If we could get Lex Luthor without Superman acting as thorn in his side, maybe we’d have a decent gadgeteer. So I thought about doing a Top Five with those kinda guys but only got as far as Lex Luthor, Doctor Doom… um… before realizing that a lot of these guys aren’t exactly team players.Report

  18. 1) Superman, because duh.

    2) Storm. Gonna want to be able to manipulate weather patterns on a massive scale to thwart invading alien hordes.

    3) Mystique (when she’s in one of her sorta-good phases). Because who else could so successfully infiltrate an Evil Committee?

    4) Jean Gray. Because superawesome telekinesis and telepathy will come in handy in their own right, and also to keep Mystique in line.

    5) Cypher. Because to get the whole world working together, gonna need a whole lot of talking to each other.Report

  19. carr1on says:

    Elric of Melnibone with Stormbringer. For the win, peeps!!!!Report

  20. Pub Editor says:

    Does the Imaginotoriumator bring anything with the hero? Does Luke bring a lightsaber with him, or does he have to build one when he gets here? Does the Doctor bring TARDIS and his gadgets with him?

    I started thinking along these lines when I thought: if we brought Daenerys Targaryan, does she bring dragons with her?Report

  21. Chris says:

    It’s rare in life that I feel insufficiently geeky, but…

    Thanks, Tod.Report

  22. zic says:

    I like homegrown heros. (plus I don’t watch a lot of TV or read comic books,)


    Jaybird. Cause he’s as homegrown as they come, and he’s known for disarming attackers — grabbing their weapons as they scratch their heads trying to figure out what he just said.

    Kimmie. Because she sees things nobody else does; essential for putting together a sound plan of attack that considers all the improbabilities.

    Mike Schilling: Keeps the team’s spirits up. Deep knowledge of crazy things. Knows lots of jokes.

    Nob Akimoto: He’s young, he’s smart, he’ll be able to keep on going when everyone else needs to catch their breath. At the end of the day, the fate of the world will rest on Nob’s shoulders.

    The last slot is difficult. I considered Russel Saunders for healing skills, but he doesn’t know adult ankles. Patrick Cahalan for general all-around smarts, but I’m not sure this crew gets to talk their way out, and I’ve already got that covered with JB. Rose would be a good choice, but she’s pretty busy caring for her family and it might be an imposition. Kazzy. hmmm possibility; particularly if the team needs to battle hordes of tots unhappy with the future we’ve laid. Tod’s on the injured-reserve list. Mark Thompson might be a good choice if he resembles his avatar. Mad Rocket Scientist might provide that essential handy-man Angus McGyver element. Mike Dwyer because he’s a classic American hero. I considered each and every one of you, if you’ve commented a few times.

    And then it dawns on me that we need someone fearless, willing to tread into any situation without regard for self; a regular John Henry mountain of a man or woman, willing to sacrifice herself to save others from their own foolishness.

    George Turner. And I hope his heroic duties attract the attentions of Charlize Theron, and she’ll take him to be her second or third husband.Report

  23. Pinky says:

    I’m going with an all-anime team.

    Ichigo Kurosaki (Bleach) – Pretty much the invincible fighter. If you fight him, you better hope he wins, because if he loses he’s going to come back stronger and destroy you.

    Kisuke Urahara (Bleach) – Ichigo’s sometimes mentor. Tough in a fight, but also a great tactician and spell-caster, and a top-notch scientist/inventor to boot.

    Major Motuko Kusanagi (Ghost in the Shell) – Hand-to-hand combat and firearms skill, but her main contribution to the team is as a hacker.

    Hiraga Saito (Familiar of Zero) – Can master any weapon in the universe by touching it. That’s going to be handy against mysterious aliens.

    Lelouch Lamperouge (Code Geass) – Master strategist and psychologist. Has limited mind control powers. Not a bad pilot.

    Lelouch is in charge, with Urahara as his second. The other three are on the front lines.Report

  24. lincoln's beard says:

    I’ve got a few nerdy objections to some previously-voiced ideas in this thread:

    1. As explained in the setup: “that actual hero emerges”, “with the innate talents and powers their fictional counterparts had”. From our perspective, what we have here is a machine that instantiates real instances of fictional characters. From the perspective of the fictional character, however, what we’re looking at it is a machine which rips them away from everything and everyone they know and love and strands them on a strange alternate Earth. Odds are good that any hero we created would spend a great deal of time trying to get back to his or her own reality. We’d therefore want to try to pick a character that would either recognize our Earth as very close to or identical to the fictional Earth of origin, or who wouldn’t be fazed by spending some time doing heroics in an alternate reality. Any villain we instantiated in hopes of convincing them to act on our behalf might well decide that we’re a soft target universe and become more of a problem than a solution. Ask the Beyonder whether he regrets summoning Dr. Doom.

    2. Furthermore, as far as we’re informed, this machine only creates the character, and perhaps their gear, not all of their contingent context. So, we get Batman and his utility belt, but Gotham doesn’t appear somewhere, with a Bat-cave and a Bat-computer and a giant penny. The machine also doesn’t create a Wayne Enterprises or a First Bank of Gotham, so our freshly-minted Batman isn’t a billionaire here. Same for Tony Stark — the vast technological and economic infrastructure necessary to outfit, repair, and maintain the Iron Man armor won’t be created by this machine. To reiterate, we’re stranding these characters in an alternate reality, with only what they’re carrying.

    3. Perhaps a more important concern is that many of the fictional universes inhabited by these characters obey very different physical laws than our own. I think it’s safe to say that some of the feats performed by fictional superheroes are simply not possible according to the laws of physics in this universe. Unless we’re willing to hope that this machine not only creates these fictional characters but also fundamentally alters the laws of physics, some of what, say Superman, routinely does in his stories is just not going to be possible here. This, I think, is an argument in favor of a technology/intelligence based hero, rather than a superpowered mutant or alien.

    4. Along those same lines, we have it on good authority that magic doesn’t work in this universe. By bringing in Harry Potter, Gandalf, or Doctor Strange, we’re taking a real risk that they’ll walk out as just another LARPer. This is especially important to remember when dealing with magic users who rely on power borrowed or purchased (at great cost) from other fictional beings. Sure, we can make Doctor Strange, but we don’t get the Vishanti. The Crimson Bands of Cyttorak are not going to work in a universe with no Cyttorak.

    5. There’s still a pretty good chance that even if he walked out of the machine with just his sonic screwdriver, the Doctor could summon up his blue phone box and also save our reality, even if our laws of physics are different than those in his home universe. He might even find the idea that we’d created him out of fictional materials quite engaging.

    Based on the above concerns, I think we’re safest bringing in the Doctor, and then a bunch of non-superpowered, but highly skilled humans from nearby fictional universes: James Bond, et al.Report

    • Kimmi in reply to lincoln's beard says:

      Or you could fetch people from dystopias. When your homeworld sucks really hard, and this one is nice, why not fight to save this one?

      Ender do ya?Report

    • Shazbot5 in reply to lincoln's beard says:

      Also, you could gamble on choosing Neo from The Matrix on the offhand possibility that we are in the Matrix. But if we aren’t in the Matrix, he would just be a handsome guy with a plug in his head. The cool thing is that choosing Neo would tell us whether this is the Matrix or not, which we can’t know otherwise. Take that Cartesian Evil Demon!Report

    • Perhaps a more important concern is that many of the fictional universes inhabited by these characters obey very different physical laws than our own…. Along those same lines, we have it on good authority that magic doesn’t work in this universe.

      The rules read, “Lastly, the real heroes will emerge with the innate talents and powers their fictional counterparts had, but they will not possess the characters’ luck or winning narrative.” I take that to mean that we can assume bringing the heroes into the world necessarily modifies our universe’s physics so that their powers work — no matter how implausible it is that, say, some modification of human DNA enables invisibility, teleportation, and a variety of ways to violate conservation of mass and energy. And presumably no matter how inconsistent the necessary changes to physics might be.

      Given that, and considering just the Star Trek universe, any of Scotty, Geordi, or Data would be enormously more valuable than Kirk. Not only do they bring the necessary “new physics” with them, but they have the knowledge to build things like controlled gravity (things stick to the decks in the non-accelerating non-rotating Enterprise), some sort of reactionless drive (impulse power), and circumvention of that pesky universal speed limit (warp drive, FTL communications over interstellar distances).

      Just assume that magic works, and all these entities can either manipulate it directly or build machinery that manipulates it. Then it’s a choice of which manipulators you want. Superman’s extensive collection of abilities, which don’t work in the vicinity of a red dwarf star? Data’s tech? Doctor Strange’s abilities, which can apparently be taught to most anyone? Personally, I’d rather Data or Doctor Strange, since that leaves open the possibility that I can do it too.Report

      • lincoln's beard in reply to Michael Cain says:

        If the machine can alter the fundamental laws of physics of this universe, I don’t see why we’re wasting that power on bringing fictional characters into reality.

        With regard to Star Trek engineers — where are these guys going to get all of the exotic materials and energy sources they need to work their technical magic here in the 21st century? We don’t have any known sources of dilithium, tritanium, or verterium cortenide. Additionally, they’re going to be constrained by the temporal prime directive, so they’re likely going to be unwilling to help us, and forced to spend most of their effort attempting to return to their own time.

        I also disagree, as outlined above, that Doctor Strange has much in the way of innate magical ability, since most of his “power” is borrowed from mystical entities. We’d have to assume that he’d be able to access those sources of power here in our universe. I don’t think that’s a safe bet.Report

    • Jeff No-Last-Name in reply to lincoln's beard says:

      The physics of the the Superman’s earth are **supposed** to be the same as ours. So his powers should work here as well as they do on Marvel-World.Report

      • Superman routinely violates various fundamental conservation laws — mass/energy, momentum, etc. Not to mention speed-of-light. IIRC, he has periodically survived being at the center of large nuclear explosions — which contradicts our understanding of molecular binding forces. Plus there’s the whole “it works differently in the vicinity of any red star” bit. If physics is the same in the two universes, then we have no idea how physics really works.Report

      • lincoln's beard in reply to Jeff No-Last-Name says:

        I can’t tell if you’re subtly trolling the nerds by referring to Superman’s home universe as “Marvel-World”. If so, well done.

        If not, let me take this opportunity to let you know that you should probably refer to that space as “Prime Earth”, which is a merger of the post-Crisis Earth-0, Earth-13, and Earth-50 universes.

        This is probably also an excellent time to bring up the further complicating fact that DC Comics continuity has been rebooted so many times that our jury-rigged machine would probably go up in smoke if we gave it such a non-specific instruction as “Superman”.Report

  25. Kimmi says:


    … also, give Kiki some sugar (which as an easily findable substance on this earth, should supercharge the ferret quite nicely).Report

  26. Tod Kelly says:

    As an actual rule, I don’t normally throw down of TBFs. But what the hell.

    1. Superman – Because, to quote Russell, “Duh.”

    2. She-Hulk – That we’ll need some fighting skills is a no-brainer, but in today’s post-9/11 world we’ll probably want probably need someone that can traverse the baffling intricacies of international law. She-Hulk brings both.

    3. The Doctor – Even without the benefit of a TARDIS, is there any kind of alien he doesn’t have experience vanquishing?

    4. Green Lantern, John Stewart version – The Green Lantern because the ring allows us to not worry about manufacturing needs. The John Stewart version because it would provide some quality racial diversity, because even Hal Jordan says John Stewart is the better GL, and because he could introduce us to Steven Colbert.

    5. Indiana Jones – Why? Because he’s Indiana Fishin’ Jones, that’s why.Report

  27. Patrick Cahalan says:

    Galactus, The Watcher, Thanos, Odin (Marvel Universe incarnation), Dream/Death (from the Sandman)… I’m assuming these guys are all out of bounds.

    I agree with the analysis up above that Gandalf is out of bounds. We need a mage. More on that below.

    I’m assuming The Silver Surfer is out of bounds, as he’s imbued with the Power Cosmic and thus qualifies as a demigod, being immortal and bound to the underlying fabric of the Universe and all. If he’s okay, I’m putting him in if only for recon abilities. Plus, he’s taken out alien spaceship armadas all by hisself.

    Wow, so late to this thread. Okay.

    No Superman. Nobody with a vulnerability like that. If you’re going to pick a Tank, you take The Hulk (the Secret Wars iteration, where he has his brains).

    I would second North’s suggestion of Dr. Strange, but Dr. Fate from DC would work as well. Magic is probably not on the incoming horde’s skill list, so we win outright, and if it is we need one of the two Dr.s Magic to even have a chance.

    Reed Richards, because he’s widely understood as inhumanly smart. Dude can pilot an alien spacecraft and astrogate his way back to Earth when plopping down in the chair he’s never seen before. Also: easily as good of an inventor as Tony Stark. Gadgeteering is necessary. He’s Spock plus Scotty.

    Professor X. We’ve got Magic, we need Psionics. Tanks and blasters don’t do you no good against the power systems that ignore the standard model of physics. Phoenix would work, but I think she’s out of bounds if she’s actually Phoenix (see logic above for the Surfer) and if she’s not and she’s just Jean Grey, Professor X is the more powerful telepath.

    Doctor Who is a no-brainer. In the world of paranormals, the trump cards are Magician, Psionicist, Teleporter, and Temporal Mungifier.

    So I’ve got the Sorceror Supreme of Earth, the Biggest Brain on Earth, somebody who (with Cerebro and the Brain providing amplifying gadgets) could just brainjelly an incoming army, a Time Lord.

    Lila Cheney. Combine her with Professor Xavier doing a Vulcan Mind Meld with the Doctor and you can teleport the whole team, instantaneously, anywhere in the Milky Way Galaxy as long as it’s least a couple of light-years away from Earth.

    So you have Dr. Strange and Professor X mask a little ship built by Dr. Who and Reed, they fly close enough for Professor X to mind-meld the enemy commander (using Dr. Strange’s magic to get through any pesky mind-blocking technologies), get him to open the landing bay, everybody walks to the bridge and Lily Cheney teleports the whole command crew a bazillion miles away. Rinse and repeat.Report

    • Even if Gandalf were in bounds, you obviously take Dr. Strange. Gandalf is largely worthless in a fight due to his own ideas about what he’s allowed to contribute.

      A lot of people have mentioned Reed Richards and just mostly made me feel bad about not realizing how obvious he is.Report

      • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

        With the exception of Lila, every one on my list has already thwarted either an alien invasion or a demonic one with at most partial contributions from a couple of others playing largely bit parts.

        You don’t really need the Thing, the Human Torch, and the Invisible Girl if you have this team backing up Reed. You don’t really need the X-men if you have this team backing up Professor X. You don’t really need anybody if you have Dr. Fate/Strange or Dr. Who.

        There’s a lot of overkill, here.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

        Like I said in my intial post, it might be worth it to bring over the entire Fantastic Four plus somebody else. Not only do you get Reed Richards, but you get two first class bruisers and ace pilots, and Invisible Woman for defense. They already know how to work as a team and faced alien invasions, super villains, and evil scientists before. With Superman, they’ll practically be invulnerable.Report

      • lincoln's beard in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

        I think you might have some of the same concerns with Doctor Strange. He’s the Sorcerer Supreme of his own universe, not of ours, so he may have little or no interest or ability to do much for us.Report

    • Shazbot5 in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

      Lynne Cheney has the power of commanding Dick Cheney, which makes her a super villain, like the Emperor commanding Darth Vader.Report

    • North in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

      I considered Dr. Fate but if any villain could be expected to wriggle his way through this side that damned Witch Boy avatar of Chaos and his wretched cat would be it.Report

    • lincoln's beard in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

      “No Superman. Nobody with a vulnerability like that.” — I assume you’re referring to Kryptonite, which I’ll remind you is a fictional element, and won’t be present on our Earth, unless we also bring over the villain Metallo, who has a Kryptonite heart.

      I guess you might also be referring to Superman’s other vulnerability, magic. This is also not a real concern in this universe.Report

      • Patrick Cahalan in reply to lincoln's beard says:

        I would assume that if the fictional character can function in our universe then, at the very least, the laws of physics would not be suspended.

        So Tod pointing out that “it doesn’t change the rest of our universe” means, to me, that our universe is already capable of expressing whatever they can do in terms that are consistent with our universe.

        If Professor X can exist, and his powers function, then psionic powers exist and there’s an explanation for them that’s consistent with the rest of the universe.

        Which means the aliens might have ’em. Or magic. Or Doctor Strange comes out of the machine and he has lots of funky things to say but his magic don’t work 🙂

        So if Superman can exist, then he’s still got a weakness to Kryptonite. Kryptonite might not exist in this world… but Superman isn’t technically weakened by Kryptonite. He’s weakened by whatever radiation Kryptonite gives off. And that radiation, itself… that band of the EM spectrum, that exists.

        I’m pretty sure aliens can manage to generate that particular form of radiation through trying.

        Hell, for all we know, in our universe, Kryptonite’s radiation is analogous to EM radiation in the 802.11 spectrum of the band, and wifi turns Supes into a puddle of Jell-o.Report

  28. Murali says:

    If we’re going to do wizards we do Harry Dresden.

    If we allowed fantasy worlds and not just urban fantasy, then we have Gaius Octavian (Tavi) or for that matter Belgarion. I would have gone for Sparhawk, but Anakha is a God, Bhelliom is a kind of Existence beyond Gods and nerfed Sparhawk is a middle aged man in a sui of armour.

    Belgarion beats Tavi on sheer power (The orb of aldur mounted on the sword of riva basically means you can do anything including singlehandedly take out an entire alien fleet), but Tavi is smarter, cannier, a better strategist and leader. Garion is as dumb as a stump. Q: is the Orb of Aldur allowed?

    Let’s talk about anime and manga.

    Uzumaki Naruto is a solid choice even if bit of a loose canon. Fairly versatile.
    Zaraki Kenpachi if you want the scariest duelist. (Although he may be ruled out because he is a Shinigami)

    Comic books

    I would go for superman, but we seem to be able to find cryptonite everywhere nowadays. The incredible Hulk is good, but we really need wolverine and prof X.

    So, the line up is

    1. Prof X
    2. Belgarion
    3. Naruto
    4. Harry Dresden
    5. WolverineReport

    • LeeEsq in reply to Murali says:

      Belgarion, who gets autocorrected to Bulgarian, isn’t dumb pet se. He suffers from Superman’s problem, that he is so powerful he doesn’t need to think about strategy.Report

  29. John Howard Griffin says:

    In the interests of approaching this from a different perspective, and limiting myself in my answer:

    Ponyo (I assume Granmamare is not a viable choice)

  30. Patrick Cahalan says:

    Belgarion is a good choice but I don’t know that you can assume he’d have the Orb. If he does, I think he kinda passes into Demigod territory.

    I mean, if you can kill a god, I think you qualify as demigod territory.Report

  31. Shazbot5 says:

    Okay, can we have a long, nerdish discussion and a ruling on whether Gandalf is in bounds. Because, IMO, the mere fact that he has magical power and some sort of past as a divine being doesn’t make him a god in the relevant sense of the “no gods rule.”

    My reductio: In the Silmarilion, Luthien is the daughter of Melian, who is Maia. Is Luthien a divine being because she has a causal history that traces back to a divine being? If so, then her son is divine, and his kids, and their kids, all the way down to… Aragorn (and also Arwen, which is kind of gross.). But Aragorn is not divine, nor is Arwen, so we have a problem if all beings causally descended from divine beings are divine themselves.

    I submit that Gandalf is not a god, or even angelic being, or a Maia, even though he used to be one in the past. He is some kind of avatar or weakened version of a Maia, more fragile and frail. IMO, the idea is that the Vala couldn’t just send a god to kick Sauron’s god-butt, because then you’d have a new Sauron in control of middle earth. (The Vala seem concerned, for whatever philosophical reasons, about making sure there are no gods in Middle Earth, only in Valinor or outside of the world, which means they can’t send a god to Middle Earth to get rid of the god who is already there.) The solution is to send a being who isn’t quite god like, but has some powers to help the humans. Thus, you get Saruman, Gandalf. Radighast, and the two lost Blue Wizards in the east, a.k.a. the Istari.

    Moreover, in terms of power and invincibilty, Gandalf is less powerful and more fragile than many other plausible picks, and so if the spirit of the no gods rule is to prevent too-powerful beings, then Gandalf fits with the spirit of the rules, too, not just the letter.Report

  32. I know basically squat about comics. More than half of the answers here are nonsense syllables to me. Pass.Report

  33. Plinko says:

    I’m not a comics guy, either, so I’ll sub what little bits of sci-fi I’m comfortable with. I assume magic doesn’t work but that pseudoscience probably will.
    Superman is boring. Heck, superheroes are boring in general, I’m avoiding them.

    1. Paul Atreides – Prescience is gonna be good, of course open question on whether or not he can affect the future. If nothing else the leadership skills are going to be important as no tank is gonna finish out the entire alien army on his own. The Voice probably won’t work but it won’t hurt. Leto II is too vulnerable to water to risk having him despite some clear advantages.

    2. Orphu of Io – I’m taking a flyer that biomechanicals are acceptable as long as they’re sentient and autonomous. If we’re fighting aliens, someone that is capable of heavy combat in space might be critical. Keeping in the Dan Simmons arena, I’d rather take The Shrike, but I’m 99% sure she’s only possible thanks to a technological connection to an alternate dimension that isn’t coming through the Imaginatoriumator.

    3. Akira – Mega psionic powers? Check. Willing to sacrifice his life for the good of humanity? Check. More stable and sane than Tetsuo? Check.

    4. Green Lantern – OK, I’m enough of a geek one to know one of those rings is a pretty big trump card.

    5. I feel good about my list, so I’ll throw in Jake the Dog just because you never know when shape shifting is gonna be useful. Plus, bacon pancakes.Report

    • North in reply to Plinko says:

      Adventure Time!!Report

      • Plinko in reply to North says:

        I was thinking all afternoon that you wouldn’t do too badly with just AT characters.

        PB, FP, Jake, Marcy and Billy, you’re fairly well stocked with firepower, brains and super powers. You could always sub in Simon for one and pick up more magic as long as you’re willing to deal with him eventually becoming the Ice King.Report

  34. Russell M says:

    1.Superman because well.. superman!

    2.the doctor. for so many reasons above.

    3. for magic i was all about Dr. Fate until i was reminded of Belgarion. so Belgarion. because we may need a god killer and with the orb there is more or less nothing he can’t do.

    4.John Stewart Green Lantern. because with the ring there is so much ulitilty. shielding, interstellar transport, and long range blasting ability. plus John takes orders well and is a very team guy. need some glue to hold such different people together.

    5.for a tech guy i am torn. either reed richards, forge, or tony stark, because he built an arc reactor IN A CAVE, With Scraps!! thats techno-magey there.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Russell M says:

      If we want somebody whose a powerful magic user but are worried about what they could bring over, why not Belgarath or Polgara. They don’t have the Orb of Aldur but each is more adapt at using the Will and the Word than Belgarion.Report

      • Murali in reply to LeeEsq says:

        We don’t need subtlety, we need raw power and belgarion has them both beat on that measure even without the Orb. Though, if the Orb cannot come along then we can switch to the alternative: Gaius Octavian, first lord of AleraReport

        • James K in reply to Murali says:

          But doesn’t his power rely on the Furies that are local to his world? In our world would he have any power at all?Report

          • Murali in reply to James K says:

            Presumably there may be some as yet undiscovered law of nature which allows Tavi the use of furies which we have no access toReport

            • James K in reply to Murali says:

              I was always under the impression that the furies were endemic to Alera. After all, the Alerans came from Earth, but didn’t gain furycrafting until after they arrived there.Report

              • Murali in reply to James K says:

                That’s true, but hopefully there is a translation device. Tavi was of course always badass even without furies. Well, if not Tavi or Belgarion then for raw and versatile power, how about Rand al Thor?Report

              • James K in reply to Murali says:

                He’s a little unstable for my liking, plus at some point the fact he can’t bring himself to fight a woman is going to be a problem.

                As I noted in my post below, by choice for magic user would be Esme Weatherwax or Methods of Rationality Quirrel.Report

              • Murali in reply to James K says:

                As of bk 13 he’s got most of his instyability under control. MoR quirrel is kind of evil. Weatherwax is good, but I’m looking for someone who can set whole armies on fire. Esme’s talent does not run in that direction. Although I would add at least +20 to her intimidate roll.Report

              • James K in reply to Murali says:

                We don’t need magic to incinerate armies. Conventional military ordinance is more than capable of that. In a world where satellite-guided rocket artillery exists, the ability to throw a fireball is not that impressive. You want someone who is good at subtle magic, like Weatherwax.Report

              • Murali in reply to Murali says:

                I assumed that our conventional military was unable to handle either the alien invasions or the world domination plot. That’s why you needed someone who by himself could outclass all the military power on earth or for that matter that possessed by the invasion force. And also, its not just hurling fireballs. The people I have proposed are all capable of annihilating entire armies on their own.Report

              • James K in reply to Murali says:

                On the army-incinerating front, I don’t think Rand Al’Thor can do anything an ICBM can’t (except Balefire, but I’m not sure we want him throwing that around).Report

              • Russell M in reply to James K says:

                second on rand being unstable.

                also he seems to be carrying around to much PEG(Party Endangering Gullibility)Report

      • Russell M in reply to LeeEsq says:

        oddly enough about an hour after putting up my list i had to argue with myself that Belgarion is a better choice then Belgarath. but i decided that the God-killing power contained in the orb would be more useful then the experience of Mister wolf or Aunt Pol.Report

  35. KatherineMW says:

    I’m cautious about making recommendations, as I’m not well-informed on this subject, but I’ll give it a try. A lot of the suggestions seem have the same problem as the 2006 Canadian Olympic Men’s Hockey Team – lots of thought about what skills we want, not so much about how these people would work as a team. With only 5, there needs to be a decent level of cooperation. Especially an issue when it comes to the types who don’t play well with others (Wolverine, Iron Man). If you pick Superman you need a team of reasonably like-minded people who won’t regard him as a complete goody-two-shoes.

    1. Jean Grey. Telepathy + telekinesis is the superpower jackpot, to my mind, and Jean seems fairly good at getting along with people generally. Telepathic coordination between group members also very useful.

    2. John Stewart. I know very little about the Green Lantern mythos other than seeing the (crummy) Hal Jordan movie and picking up general information online, but a ring that can create pretty near anything has a lot of possibilities, if used with enough creativity. And my team includes plenty of creativity. I don’t think you really need a tech person if you have a Green Lantern, because you can just get the ring to make something that does whatever you need.

    3. We need someone on strategy-tactics. Due to teamwork issues, we need someone who’s able to trust the abilities of others and who isn’t a dick, so Batman’s out. I’ll pick Tavi (from the Codex Alera), since he’s very good at outside-the-box thinking.

    4. Aang. Extremely versatile power set, high degree of optimism, very friendly, quite creative, and could prompt some defections among less-completely-evil members or minions of the Evil Committee who have qualms about going all-out fighting a 12-year-old. Would probably come up with suggestions for applications of the Green Lantern ring that most Green Lanterns wouldn’t think of. I think everyone on my list wouldn’t have issues with his age once they realized how skilled and good-hearted he is.

    5. More knowledge would really come in handy here, because we need someone with the ability to teleport and bring others with them so that everyone can be deployed where they’re most needed in a timely fashion. However, since I can’t think of someone for that, super-speed is the next best thing. Superman has that in addition to many other powers, is also personable and a good team member (and would probably be overall team leader, as a position distinct from team tactician), and brings an extra dose of top-level power that we need for dealing with the alien invasion.Report

  36. b-psycho says:

    I just wanted to note a well deserved “WTF?” at the opening image. That is all.

    My favorite characters were never exactly superheroes anyway. I doubt that The Punisher, Spider Jerusalem from Transmetropolitan, Tommy Monaghan from Hitman, Lobo, & Jesse Custer from Preacher would save jack shit.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to b-psycho says:

      Oooh! Oooh!!!! Henry Reardon, John Galt, Dagny Taggart, and we can have a couple more engineers show up!

      At least the economy will work until the aliens invade!Report

    • Russell M in reply to b-psycho says:

      i dont know. If we put a big enough bounty on the alien swarm lobo would be all over that sweet sweet money. throw in some mai-tai’s and a couple of dancing girls and the only question is WHAT ALIEN INVADERS!Report

  37. James K says:

    I have a couple of options, based on whether my A choice would be willing to go along:

    First, a magical specialist. My first choice is the Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality version of Quirinus Quirrel. My only problem is that I’m not sure he be willing to help. In that case my second option is Esme Weatherwax from the Discworld. In both cases they bring considerable intellectual gifts and knowledge along with their magical power.

    Second, a real heavy hitter. My first choice is Dr Manhattan from Watchmen, but once again I’m not sure he’d help. My second choice is Superman, he’s not as good, but probably good enough.

    Third a non-magical expert. There’s no question for me that The Doctor is the best pick here. even without the TARDIS you do not bet against him.

    Fourth, I want a powerful and insightful intellect. My first choice would be a Mind from the Culture (there are any number who are named characters in the novels), especially since most of them have a giant uber-powerful spaceship for a body. On the assumption that’s cheating, I’ll go for Mycroft Holmes (for preference the Guy Ritchie version since it’s also Steven Fry)

    Finally, with such a diverse group we need a leader who can get them working as a team. The best candidate I can think of is Commander Shepard from Mass Effect. She is an effective and charismatic leader who will keep the team working together, and ensure the team retains the support of the international community.Report

  38. Markahuna says:

    Rodan, Mothra, Manda, Baragon, Godzilla.

    Releasing giant monsters should work to defeat the evil doers.
    If not then at least the world could unite behind trying to destroy the monsters before they stepped all over the major cities of the world.

    (Gandalf, Wolverine…pshaw.)Report

  39. LK says:

    Marvel’s Scarlet Witch (from the era when she was sane.) In addition to having magical powers, she has the ability to alter probability, so the Evil Committee’s best laid plans will “gang aft agley.”

    Marvel’s Sue Storm Richards: The power of invisibility and a force field that can protect the team from attack. Further, in a fight, she can project the force field so that it serves as an offensive weapon.

    The Hulk: The madder he gets, the stronger he gets. Modern Evil folk more than likely commit chicanery without end to increase his anger. The comics don’t seem to indicate an upper limit.

    Captain America: The shield is hokey and he uses it ways that violate the laws of physics, but someone needs to lead this group. His fighting skills equal Spiderman, Nick Fury, Kirk and other mere mortals.

    Wonder Woman-Strength, speed, fighting skill, lasso to coerce confessions without torture–no need for the mind readers.Report

    • Patrick Cahalan in reply to LK says:

      The Hulk is an interesting case. According to the original Handbook of the Marvel Universe, there was in fact no upper limit to The Hulk’s strength. In raw power, The Hulk literally is the strongest one there is.Report