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mygif

The now-fallow blog Stuff Geeks Love addressed this in a much more sardonic way– but I suspect that when it boils right down to it, the craving for validation isn’t limited to geeks.

Heck, even voting/competition for ‘best of’ isn’t peculiar to geeks. Beauty pageants and their kin go back a long, long ways.

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mygif

I don’t know what they were expecting. In a previous tournament, River from Firefly beat Batman. Cmon now, if the fanboyism is that strong, of course Serenity’s gonna win

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Candlejack said on April 17th, 2011 at 2:27 pm

You make it sound like the victory wouldn’t have been the result of fanboyism if Batman had won, coren.

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Despite the fact that it contains two completely unnecessary scenes, I have always felt that Mortal Kombat was a better film than Jurassic Park.

I completely agree with you that nerds need validation for their appreciation for geekery, but so do other groups as Top Ten Lists, and variations thereof, permeate every cultural group (sports, business, music, racing). Even now I am sorely tempted to list my favorite film of the genre, but I resist for the sake of rising above this primal need.

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Actually, it makes sense for River from Firefly to beat Batman. As a telepath, not only would she know what he’s going to do before he does it, but she would be able to learn all his martial arts styles from his living brain. Yes, he outweighs her, but she could pick up aikido and other styles that use the opponent’s strength against them. (And let’s face it, Robin consistently beats the crap out of guys with double his body mass anyway.)

If anything, I’d say Batman is a far better example of fanboy enthusiasm outweighing common sense. How many times have we heard people explaining how Batman could totally take Superman in a fight, despite the fact that Superman wouldn’t even need to leave low-earth orbit to kick his ass? Batman is the poster-boy for “I don’t care how powerful so-and-so is, Batman is cooler and therefore must always win.”

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Illuyankas said on April 17th, 2011 at 2:35 pm

A similar thing was done by Suvudu with sci-fi/fantasy characters going head to head, with Rand Al’Thor from the Wheel of Time winning last time against Jaime Lannister (who beat Cthulu on the way in, so clearly fanboys > logic) and it is very very obviously slanted towards I LIKES HIM THE BESTESTS SO I VOTES FOR HIM.

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Chalkwhite said on April 17th, 2011 at 2:40 pm

As a dual diagnosis geek (sci-fi and sports), I have to stand up for my jock-strapped brethren. When sci-fi nerds make lists of all time greats movies/shows/comics/whatevers, they are fabricating competition. Various works are not directly opposed, but instead engaged in the more abstract competition for market share/popularity, and even then, that only really matters to the creators.

Sports teams, on the other hand, are in direct competition. That’s why, actually, I’d much rather have a heated debate about sports than about anything fictional- the sports debates get resolved.

Right now in the NBA Playoffs, my Chicago Bulls are getting the chance to prove that they’re better than everyone else. If they lose, they will be empirically worse than at least one other team. Sure, there will be some fans saying that it was the refs or whatever, but the vast majority will admit that the winner of a series is the best team. A competition like this io9 thing, on the other hand, is just more sound and fury- nothing will ever be resolved. I understand that it’s a past-time for millions of people, but it gets tiring for me.

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VoodooBen said on April 17th, 2011 at 3:06 pm

“I have long ago accepted that my unquestioning adoration of “Jason X” and “Mortal Kombat” and “Kung Pow: Enter the Fist” is never going to be reciprocated by even other sci-fi fans, and I’m okay with that. ”

Dude, I have an unabashed love for the first and third films there, and I enjoy watching the second quite a bit.

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mygif

If it’s a popularity contest it’s a popularity contest. If it’s an “If they fought, who would win?” it’s a completely different beast.

That being said, I don’t really like Firefly or Serenity at all.

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mygif

@Chalkwhite: Sorry, but I’m going to have to call you on this; there are plenty of “fabricated competitions” in the sports geekery world. Questions like “Who’s better, the ’98 Bulls or the ’02 Lakers?” or “Who would win in a match-up between the Steel Curtain defense and the Greatest Show on Turf?” are just as unresolvable and driven by fannish passion as “Could Superman lift Thor’s hammer?” or “Which is a better movie, ‘WALL-E’ or ‘Aliens’?”

I will agree that it’s nice that some of the inevitable prognostication and debate is settled on the field of play, but sports geeks really can’t claim the moral high ground, here. :)

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Chalkwhite said on April 17th, 2011 at 5:56 pm

You’re absolutely right about those sorts of hypotheticals, but I guess I would say that they play a smaller part in sports fandom than in fiction fandom. And along with the objectivity of wins and loss come the added benefits of statistics, which make even hypothetical comparisons more grounded in reality.

No one would say, for instance, that this year’s Timberwolves are as good as the ’86 Celtics- there are myriad statistical counters to that argument, starting with W-L and proceeding down the line. Comparing (just for example) Alien and Kung Pow: Enter the Fist, you have purely aesthetic criteria to choose from- even though the decision may be obvious to most, there aren’t statistics or facts beyond individual judgment. Even saying that it’s on a critic’s list of Great Movies, or won this or that award, is still just an appeal to authority as opposed to an objective reality.

I enjoy both of my fields of geekery, and I’m really not trying to say that sports debates are better or more worthwhile or whatever than any other sorts of arguments. Just trying to point out how they’re different.

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mygif

I absolutely adore both Jason X and Mortal Kombat.

Apparently I should go watch Kung Pow.

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There was a long period of time where Mortal Kombat was the only good video game movie, mainly because the people who made the movie understood that a Mortal Kombat movie is about action sequences and fights, not plot.

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@Thok: And really awesome music with remarkably dumb lyrics.

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@John Seavey:

I think it’s been categorically proven that Batman can beat Superman because Batman fights dirty, while Superman inherently does not. Also, Green K ring.

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@Guglio: Again, see previous statement about a) low-earth orbit, and b) fanboys constructing absurd justifications as to why a man who could whip an asteroid at supersonic speeds from literally miles away with enough precisely-considered force to knock Batman unconscious instead of killing him is somehow vulnerable to a weapon whose effective range is less than ten feet…that, and “fighting dirty”. I’m aware that stories have been written where Batman wins, but that’s mainly because a fanboy who gets a job writing comics doesn’t stop being a fanboy. :)

@Chalkwhite: Statistics aren’t so much enders of debate as beginners; Bill Russell, for example, won eleven NBA Championships. Michael Jordan won only six. Oddly enough, the debate over which is the better player is not considered definitively settled by statistics. :) Anytime two players didn’t play in the same era, there is a never-ending argument about the quality of the competition those players faced, the differing rules they played under, the culture of the game during that period, et cetera et cetera ad infinitum. I agree, it’s easier to compare hypotheticals in sports than in movies, but that actually makes those comparisons more common, not less.

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mygif

Bah, the real action this March was Muppet Madness. It got pretty hot at the end, I’m telling you.

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Y’know, I’ve not seen any other Friday the 13th movies, but I loved Jason X when I saw it on SciFi way back, though I didn’t get to see it to completion. Also, I’ve yet to meet anybody who’s seen Kung Pow who didn’t love it; I really don’t think it’s anything to be ashamed of.

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Hey Chalkwhite,

Who would win in a curling match, Green Bay Packers or the Chicago Bulls?

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Cespinarve said on April 18th, 2011 at 12:35 am

Kung Pow is a brilliant comedy that is tarnished only by that stupid, stupid scene with the cow, that i’m sure wasn’t even funny when it aired. MAtrix jokes ARE NOT FUNNY- although i’d accept the argument that it was really a callback to films that were slowing down time years before The Matrix. In any case, the cow scene was bad, bad, bad.

Rest of the movie kicks ass, though “Holy Crap, did you see that? he just, like, punched a whole through that guy! How do you even do that?”

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Nothing gets through the Steel Curtain. Not even Batman with prep time.

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@Illuyankas
A similar thing was done by Suvudu with sci-fi/fantasy characters going head to head, with Rand Al’Thor from the Wheel of Time winning last time against Jaime Lannister

Suvudu’s brackets were kind of fucked, though, right from the start. You had *four* deities in the lists, and three of them (Aslan, Gandalf, and Cthulhu) were Jesus-figures who died for redeem the sins of their constituents in a metaphorical fashion.

The fourth, Rand Al’Thor, is a nigh-omnipotent being who is literally incapable of being defeated by anyone except his prophesied opponent. And who can, with a thought, erase most opponents *backwards in time* so they stop existing before he attacks them.

And that tournament? Stuck God, in order, against Locke Lamora (a monkey with a stick), Drizzt Do’Urden (a monkey with two sticks), Roland The Gunslinger (a monkey with two slightly-ranged sticks), and Jaime Lannister (a monkey with a stick).

Jaime legitimately slaughtered Hermione Granger and felt bad about it, but stood no chance against God. That’s just kind of how narratives GO, once you involve God.

The tournament involved four different incarnations of God, among the various non-God heroes – and three of them are self-sacrificing Gods, even Aslan/Mithras. OF COURSE the only omnipotent being to not kill himself on command won. Sheesh.

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@supergp

Not even Batman with prep time.

You’ve used Batman, which means that DC has editorial control and has approved your story in advance. Had they not done so, you would not be able to use Batman.

DC editorial rules indicate that Batman can beat ANYONE, no matter what, given prep time, and without prep time Batman can SURVIVE anyone, no matter what, in order to gain prep time and thus beat them.

Therefore, either Batman exists in your story and automatically wins outright by editorial fiat, or Batman was never ever at any point even remotely involved in your story and thus did not lose.

Batman Beats Everyone By Definition, Because If He Didn’t Beat Them He Would Not Appear – but that’s not a sign that Batman is a good or interesting or worthwhile character. It’s yet another reason why Batman is boring.

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mygif

But Batman fights psychics all the time, and has been shown to have tricks to counter them.

I mean, I get the whole over-exaggerated thing, but psychics are a thing he deals with often. Countermeasures are less of a stretch than usual. Mental blocks, lead lined headpiece, whatever.

Unless we’re talking movie Batman. River would kick his posterior, granted.

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John/candlejack – while it may be true that there are a lot of Batman fanboys as well, it’s Batman canon that he’s pretty much not stoppable by anything short of Superman levels of power. River doesn’t come anywhere close (and as pointed out by Bret, this isn’t Batman’s first time at the psychic dance).

And don’t get me started on the Suvudu contest. You wanna talk about rampant fanboyism…these things always turn into popularity contests, not true who would win in a fights – no way does one handed Lanister beat Temeraire, at all (not that I think Haplo or Polgara would have fallen to Temeraire, but hey)

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Illuyankas said on April 18th, 2011 at 8:17 am

They’d be better off doing a mage-only and fighter-only contest separately. Besides, it almost came down to popularity over sense this year, with Perrin (dude with hammer) up against Quick Ben (extremely powerful mage and utter bastard) and Jon Snow (dude with sword and wolf) against Vin (little battlehardened girl with superhuman strength, ability to predict movements and command over metals, like, say, the ones a sword is made of). Yes, Quick Ben versus Vin and Perrin versus Jon Snow were more sensible matchups for the final and third place fights, but the four shouldn’t have been in the same tournament.

Also this year had Martin the Warrior.

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Die Macher said on April 18th, 2011 at 9:45 am

Wasn’t there a scene in the first Crisis on Infinite Earths where it’s the gigantic Smackdown To End All Smackdowns, and the non-superpowered heroes are standing around uselessly, and Robin asks “Geez, what can we do?” and Batman essentially says “Sweet fuck-all, Robin.”

I guess Batman didn’t get enough prep time to single-handedly take down the Anti-Monitor. But if he’d had prep time, then OH BOY!

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mygif

I think a lot of people here are, ironically, exaggerating Batman’s abilities in the same way his fanboys do. Simply put, memetic mutation aside, he’s really not that good, in the hands of most writers. Take the Superman fight from HUSH, for instance. Bats wins that one by the skin of his teeth, and he knows it; while he gets his licks in, they don’t actually do much, and he spends most of the fight desperately improvising ways not to get himself (and Catwoman) killed. The ONLY reason he survived that was because Supes (who already has long experience with mind control) was fighting Poison Ivy’s hold the whole time and subconsciously holding back, and he specifically mentions this.

Now granted, Bats is not always handled this well (see the conclusion of the HUSH storyline :P), but it shows how Bats can go toe-to-toe with people infinitely stronger than him but stay within the realm of possibility. I do think shooting Darkseid in the chest a bit much though.

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Kid Kyoto said on April 18th, 2011 at 1:19 pm

One problem is there’s 2 Batmen. There’s solo comics Batman who fights mental patients and mobsters and usally comes out with some wounds of his own.

Then there’s JLA/team up Batman who gets in fist fights with Darkseid and comes out on top.

I like to think they’re 2 seperate characters and it helps keep me sane.

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Die Macher said on April 18th, 2011 at 1:31 pm

However, your example of choice is from a story that ends with a counter-example, and then you reference Batman v. Darkseid. I don’t think people are exaggerating all that much.

And Batman KNEW that Superman would be fighting mind-control during that fight; it was part of his prep work. :-)

How about Batman v. Jaime Lassiter v. Lester B. Pearson v. the ’98 Bulls?

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Die Macher said on April 18th, 2011 at 1:32 pm

sorry, my last comment was re: Rbx5.

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Mortal Kombat is one of the best beer and pizza films ever made.

It’s also one of the films I and my friends watched so many times in the 90s that we can quote entire reams of dialogue (although admittedly, with MK, there’s not that much to quote. The $400 sunglasses line is about it).

The others I remember offhand are Aliens, Predator, Highlander, Pump Up The Volume,Heathers, and Army of Darkness.

If Jason X and Kung Pow fit into that list, I might have to track them down…

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mygif

GEHT TOO THAH CHOPPAAHH!!!!!!!!

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Silcrist said on April 18th, 2011 at 4:17 pm

@John

>i>Suvudu’s brackets were kind of fucked, though, right from the start. You had *four* deities in the lists, and three of them (Aslan, Gandalf, and Cthulhu) were Jesus-figures who died for redeem the sins of their constituents in a metaphorical fashion.

Umm… Cthulhu? I’m not familiar with the Suvudu poll, but I’m wondering if you meant someone else. I’ve never really seen Cthulhu as a Jesus figure.

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@rbx5: I agree completely; when the company that publishes Batman has enshrined into canon the schoolyard belief that “Batman can beat anyone”, the fanboys have taken over the asylum. :) It’s like the way Lobo, an indestructible super-regenerating badass who can take on Superman in single combat, lost to Wolverine in a contest Peter David couldn’t even show because he couldn’t think of any plausible way for Wolverine to win.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a “I hate Batman and Superman/Lobo/River Song is cooler” rant, either; merely pointing out that to argue that Batman, an ordinary human being with martial arts training, can defeat an alien who can literally move faster than the human brain can process motion is to be arguing from an emotional attachment to the character rather than any kind of logic. :)

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mygif

I AM A GREAT MAGICIAN, YOUR SHIRT IS RED!

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In all fairness where the Jaime Lannister/Cthulhu matchup is concerned, IIRC the way that Lannister won that was to kill the priests that were trying to wake up Cthulhu from his eternal slumber.

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ladypeyton said on April 20th, 2011 at 4:45 pm

It’s been my observation that it is physically impossible for any fandom to beat a Whedon fandom in an online competition that lasts an amount of time equal to or greater than one hour. Whedon fandom is simply too active on the internet. All it takes is one post on Whedonesque which will the be forwarded and reforwarded to thousands of active whedon based forums and will spur the browncoats, spuffies, bangels, angel fans , dollhouse fans, and buffy fans to stop bickering amongst themselves like rabid hyenas just long enough to work together to push Whedon’s project to the top of the pile.

The only internet based fandom more active and rabid than whedonites are the Supernatural fans and they are a frightening.

And I say this as a loyal and devoted fan of all the projects listed above.

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Candlejack said on April 20th, 2011 at 10:41 pm

The problem I have with the whole “Batman beats Superman because Batman fights dirty” line is that, if they’re fighting, it usually means Superman has gone evil for some reason. And an evil Superman should have no objection to destroying Batman from orbit, before Batman even knows he’s gone evil.

In fact, if I were Superman, and I had just become evil, Batman would be second on my list. (First would be Martian Manhunter, so he couldn’t warn everybody else I had become evil. Third would be Zatanna, because magic. And fourth would be Aquaman, because nobody ever gives that guy any respect.)

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Number five, then, needs to be Billy Batson. Because we’ve seen a lot of versions of that fight too.

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[…] this, however, plenty of gamers have taken up the banner of nerd supremacy (or, if you like, competitive geekery), proclaiming the innate superiority of Ameritrash or Euro. Which is silly, really, because a game […]

mygif

I looked at the brackets and even the selection of “sci-fi” films is odd. Comic book movies count as sci-fi, I can understand, but it’s a weaker connection than for films like “Blade Runner” or “Star Trek”. And then there is a weird mix of cult titles and oddities along side mainstream favourites.

I understand why they are doing it – pageviews are the best kind of views! – but it’s a badly structured competition from the get go.

… and “Firefly” wasn’t that good. It wasn’t a bad movie, but it wasn’t an instant classic either.

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