Thursday, April 1, 2010

He Rode a Blazing Saddle...

All right, let see what question pops out of my Movie Tavern Mug this time.

"In a fight between a cyborg cowboy and an Italian mobster with armor that the creatures from Predator are equipped with, who would win?"

Mug, are you high? I mean, I'm more than willing to address all sorts of cross-time, cross-canon "what if" grudge matches, but this one makes no damn sense.

First of all, members of organized crime rings can have all sorts of assignments, most of them non-combatant as a primary role. They'd have to be to run a sufficiently large organized crime ring. Depending on the activities of your particular mob, you need accountants, money launderers (guys who can turn that money you stole from that bank into money you can use without raising suspicions), lawyers, information brokers, and many more. Even if the Predator armor was tailored to fit them, and they were at least given instruction and practice on the proper utilization, that does not a primary combatant make. And even if it's a more "active" mobster, they can have a wide range of talents. For example, an assassin or hitman would probably attempt combat than a petty thug or leg breaker running a protection racket, with or without Predator armor and weaponry.

Secondly, we have no established capabilities for the cyborg cowboy. In various fictional universes, cyborg it something of a broad term. It can be as simple as an optical enhancement, such as those used by Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: First Contact, or it can be as complex as potentially having your memories and personality imprinted on a set of EPROMs and loaded into a robot body, as is possibly the case with X-Men villain Donald Pierce. And depending on the setting, cybernetics can have a wide range of levels of efficiency. For example, in the Battletech Universe (BIG GODDAMN ROBOTS!), pilot Justin Allard loses an arm to have it replaced with a cybernetic which is ugly, slow, and has poor fine motor control, forcing him to rely on a special experimental device within the arm to continue piloting. In contrast, in Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker's new hand is almost identical to his flesh and blood one. What exactly do the cybernetics in the cowboy permit him to do? Do they turn him into a sleek, man-sized arsenal that moves with reflexes and processes sensation with such speed that it would make the Flash envious? Or is it a pair of gigantic, clunky legs that barely permit him mobility? What can he do?

While these cross canon combat matches can be fun, we can only come up with a reasonable conclusion if there is some sort of context for their capabilities. For example, take one of the more common ones (albeit a bit of a mismatch if neither of them are holding back) that comes up: Spider-Man versus Batman. We know that Batman is a world class martial artist and Olympic level athlete, whereas Spider-Man has a precognitive danger sense wired directly into his reflexes, can jump several stories, and can pick up and toss a Buick. Hell, even Bambi versus Godzilla we had a rough idea of what the two combatants were capable of. But as the question stands, we have no idea of the combat capabilities of the combatants, so we can't make a guess. Unless...cybernetic cowboy...

Do I hear it? Could it be?


Winner: Quickman. He'd be too swift for the mobster's human reflexes, and could theoretically take out the mobster before he had a chance to activate the active camo (or even after, seeing as how Quickman can go upwards of MACH 5).

Well, that's all for now. This is J. K. Lantern, signing off!


  1. The answer to any hypothetical in which the participants are armed with "armor that the creatures from Predator are equipped with" the ultimate result is, "the Predators predate everyone and get their damn armor back."

    And then blow themselves up for no reason, 'cause there ain't no victory like a Pyrrhic victory, 'cause a Pyrrhic victory's da bomb!

  2. I asked for a carefully reasoned analysis, not an editorial. Damn You.

    P.S. Everyone knows that the default cybernetic cowboy is steam-powered, has a forearm gattling gun, a gamblers spirit, a devil-may-care attitude, and generally increased strength and durability at the cost of some mobility. And a launchable chainlink lasso.

    P.P.S. All italian mobsters are italian, and thus love fighting with people, accountants or not.

  3. In addition, the default cybernetic cowboy is played by Yul Brynner.