Noah Bennet vs. Benjamin Linus

“Heroes'” original bad-ass dad takes on the patriarch of “Lost.”

Even in the midst of newlyweddom, mid-semester shennanigans, and the current economic crisis, some things are just worth blogging about. My wife and I could not reach a consensus on Gandalf vs. Dumbledore, but we did make some progress on pitting TV’s two best dads against each other.

Noah Bennet would do anything to protect his daughter. He quit his job as a secret agent when the Company threatened her life. He later reenlisted in order to catch the supervillains who would threaten her. He has no superpowers because he does not need them. All he needs is a gun, a few ninja moves, and Plans A through C. If Bruce Wayne had enough emotional stability to settle down and raise a family, he would dream of being a man like Noah Bennet. In a bind, all Claire-bear really needs to do is shut up and trust her father. (Of course, she usually doesn’t and drama ensues. That’s why it’s TV.)

Benjamin Linus failed to save his daughter, but it was not for lack of trying. Some might call him a manipulative weasel. Maybe. But that’s only half the story. He has been the fearless leader of the native tribe inhabiting the Island. He can bend space and time if need be. He could convince a dozen of aircrash victims to stay on the Island rather than seek rescue. Okay, so he failed to convince the evil special ops forces to release his daughter. His revenge resulted in him slitting a man’s throat and blowing up a boat full of innocent civilians. But he has his own fare share of ninja moves and, beneath the mousy exterior, lies a force to be reckoned with. Did I mention that he killed his own father (and all of dad’s co-workers) in a poison gas attack?

Who would win in a fight? They’ve got a lot in common. Both:
-always have a plan
-ends always justify means
-possess the power of persuasion
-have ninja moves
-fiercely protective of their adoptive daughters

Ben “is a little crazier,” write Mutantreviewers, discussing Heroes vs. Lost. Maybe. But Bennet seems to be cooler under pressure. He’s better with a gun and equally capable at hand-to-hand combat. Ben’s greatest strength is getting other people to do his dirty work. He is a leader, however disreputable. Bennet is more of a loner, who would prefer to work with a trusted partner or alone. Ben relies more on verbal manipulation, but I doubt Bennet would be subject to his wiles. Unless they’re on the Island, my money’s on Bennet. And even if they were…. But, then again, Noah Bennet was the only one my wife could conceive of possibly beating Dumbledore.

Published in: on October 16, 2008 at 11:39 am  Comments (9)  
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X-Men vs. Heroes

I’m sure this has been done to death elsewhere, but what the heck.  It hasn’t been done by me.  Now that there have been three X-Men movies, with a slew of prequels on the way, and now that the second season of Heroes is very done, I think we can step back and assess.

(*I rely both on the X-Men movies and on my reading in late 1980s/early 1990s of The Uncanny X-Men, issues #201-301; I ignore the recent Heroes spin-off comic.)

Which is better, the X-Men or the t.v. show Heroes?  Let me count the reasons.

In the X-Men‘s favor: they were first, they have solid leadership (especially under Professor X), Magneto is a compelling villian, Wolverine captures better than any other the wild side of the male soul, Storm makes a solid heir to the Professor’s throne and makes Hallie Berry look like a decent actress again, and only this franchise could pull together Patrick Stewark vs. Ian McKellan.

In Heroes‘s favor: Noah Bennett might be the most-bad-ass-dad of all time, the show has brought non-initiates (i.e., non-nerds) to the superhero table, the first season  was amazing, Hiro Nakamura  is like the best-Japanese-friend I never had, and the show is just plain fun.

To the X-Men’s discredit: the third movie was terrible, the uniforms are silly, and — maybe it’s the school — but teen angst keeps peeing on my fun-fire.

To Heroes‘s discredit: Peter Petrelli is a dumb-ass many times over, Mohinder Suresh waffles more than a bad senator, the little girl (what’s her name?) is creepy, Alejandro, and — let’s face it — much of the cast is very annoying much of the time, when you stop to think about it.  Claire!  Monica!  Nathan!  Can’t y’all get your act together?  Plus, the second season was only so-so.

What they have in common: a grasp of moral ambiguity, the importance of teamwork, and of “family” in all its forms.  Oh yeah, and good and evil mutants with superpowers.

The Verdict:  More heroes = more fun.  I’m glad we have both franchises, but, at the end of the day, I’m happy saying that Stan Lee is a genius.  Kring has yet to prove himself.  Go X-Men.