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Ask Chris #3: Battle of the Super-Geniuses, the Seven Evil Exes, and Reading While Intoxicated

Here at ComicsAlliance, we value our readership and are always open to what the masses of Internet readers have to say. That’s why we’ve given Senior Writer Chris Sims the punishment pleasure of stepping into the grand tradition of the Answer Man as he responds to your reader questions!

Q: Who’s smarter? Mr. Fantastic or Lex Luthor?via email

A: When you spend six years working in a comic book store, you pretty much become an expert in the “Hey, who would win in a fight” game by default, especially since the answer is always Batman. This is one of the first times I’ve ever been asked who’s smarter, though, but I’ve got to say that I should’ve seen it coming after I opened up this column with a question about Wonder Man and Red Tornado that eventually just turned into “okay, but who do you hate less?”

With Reed Richards and Lex Luthor, I think it’s fair to say that they’re pretty evenly matched up: The smartest guy in the Marvel Universe and the guy who set the standard for Evil Genius super-villains. Between the two of them, they’ve mastered time travel, death rays, teleportation, cloning, and a litany of other super-scientific achievements that get to a point where trying to figure out which one is the most impressive is pointless. There’s no way to figure out which one’s smarter.

So you have to figure out which one is dumber.Reed’s had his share of bad decisisions — making an evil uncontrollable cyborg clone of Thor is probably in the top ten dumbest things anyone has ever done in the Marvel universe, but at least he can split the blame for that with four other guys and Mark Millar — but it’s not hard to suss out his dumbest moment, because it’s in the issue that ushered in the Marvel Universe.

That is a guy who wanted to beat the commies into space so badly that he dragged his best friend, his girlfriend, and her teenage kid brother into orbit in an untested ship, which ended up turning one of them into an orange rock monster. Admittedly, Ben was a pilot, so his presence was at least sort of necessary, but Sue and Johnny? Was there necessary hot rod expertise required for the mission that outweighed the fact that he was rocketing a teenager into potentially deadly space radiation?

Luthor, on the other hand, has built his entire villainous career out of fighting this guy:

Seriously, all Lex Luthor does is fight the most powerful person in the face of the planet, which is not only ridiculous in and of itself, but is pretty unreasonably short-sighted. Say he wins (which he won’t): What happens next time Earth needs to be shoved out of orbit to avoid a passing meteor? What, is Lex going to throw some Hostess fruit pies at it and hope for the best? Dude is just not thinking this through.

Reed might’ve made a dumb choice, but at least it worked out for the best. So sorry, Lex, but you just don’t stack up.

Q: Which Evil Ex-boyfriend do you most identify with? And show your work. theMightyGar

A: I’m going to go ahead and assume that you’re talking about the bad guys from “Scott Pilgrim” and not just, you know, evil ex-boyfriends in general, in which case I’m unfortunately bound by the rules of talking about comics on the Internet to correct you: It’s the Seven Evil Exes. Although considering I’d have a pretty rough time identifying with Roxy Richter anyway, you’re probably on the right track.

I’d like to be able to claim someone as cool as Lucas Lee or Todd Ingram, but there’s no way I’d get anyone to buy that. I may have logged countless hours in “Tony Hawk Pro Skater” for the Dreamcast, but I never got the hang of it in real life, and despite what you may have heard, I never blew a hole in the moon with my psychic powers.

No, I think for me, the one to relate to is Evil Ex #1, Matthew Patel.

I may not have an army of demon hipster chicks (yet), but I do have an affection for big, “Space Channel 5″-esque dance-fights and Team Rocket-ish rhymes, and I conduct an awful lot of my business over email.

Q: Do some comics get prettier at closing time? Ever had 1 or 7 White Russians and thought, “Cry For Justice, c’mon over”?timcity

A: I’ve considered playing a drinking game with issues of “Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen” where I’d take a shot every time something crazy happened, but as I realized I’d probably be comatose by the time the second story hit, I gave up on it. Generally speaking, I don’t mix drinking and comiics reading.

My pal Tug, however, once spent an afternoon with a six-pack and a complete run of DC’s “Zero Hour: Crisis In Time,” and by the time Green Arrow had to shoot Hal Jordan, killing his former best friend in order to save the universe, he was literally in tears, overcome by the emotion of it. And I’m not gonna lie, if I could go back and experience “Zero Hour” again, that’d be the way I’d want to do it.

And now, the quick hits:

Q: What do you think is the greatest horror comic series of all time?sonofether

A: I’m actually not a huge horror fan, but for sheer artistic talent, it’s hard to argue with the guys that were putting out those original EC horror books, like “Tales From the Crypt” and “Vault of Horror.” The stories are formulaic, but the art is just gorgeous. For more modern stuff, I’m really like “Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service,” but depending on how loose you want to get with your definition of horror, I’d back “Hellboy” all the way. Which leads us to…

Q: How totally rad do you reckon the Hellboy/ Luc
hadore monster fighting comic will be?
Sean_Hollenhors

A: I think it’s going to be rad to the max. So much so that it’ll actually make it okay to say “rad to the max” again.

Q: Who is your favorite Writer/Artist? Walt Simonson, John Byrne, Bill Willingham, Rob Liefeld… via email

A: Simonson, hands down. For me, it’s tough to beat Frank Miller, but Simonson’s “Thor” is about as perfect as comic books get.

Q: Being that it is now Spring, and I am a young man, my fancy has lightly turned to thoughts of love. I would like to know what you’d do if put in charge of editing an anthology of Romance stories with every writer, artist, and character in the industry at you beck and call?

A: Three words: All Coover Comics.


Q: Do you like the banner I made you?
teamsmithy

A: How could I not?

That’s all we’ve got for this week, but if you’d like to have your question answered on ComicsAlliance, tag it on twitter with “#askchris” or send us an email with “Ask Chris” in the subject line!

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