Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Real Life Super Hero Top trumps

At around the age of ten I stopped pouring battery acid on spiders and forcing them to bite me, as I realised that except for Bruce Lee's secret crime-solving ghost, super heroes don't actually exist.

But...THEY DO.

Imagine my sheer joy when costumed crime fighters started appearing around the world. It was finally happening! Others didn't seem as excited and I'll agree that in most cases it was an unusual choice to go down the route of having no riches, powers, secret identities or abdominal muscles. But it didn't matter to me then and it doesn't now. As long as there are people dressing up like maniacs and 'fighting crime', the world I live in is a step closer to being the world I want to live in.

Obviously, this phenomenon will come to a grinding halt as soon as someone is beaten to death, but for now let's both enjoy it.

As an introduction to anyone that doesn't read important news, I thought I'd run down a couple of the main players on the 'Real Superhero' scene and feed them into my top trumps generator. The results were interesting, not least as I had no idea that machinery could commit suicide.

I've provided the top trumps in a 'cut out and keep' form, so Christmas presents can be a no-brainer this year.

Phoenix Jones

Phoenix Jones was the first Real Life Superhero to hit the news and still remains one of the best. He has an awesome costume, is a real-life cage fighter, and is not afraid to pepper spray arguing strangers in the eyes. Also, there's a video of him kicking the crap out of an aggressive drunk while cops watch and (don't) high five.

He loses points for revealing his identity so early on, but retains a few bonus points for actually having a believable superhero alter-ego.

Phoenix scores high in the sidekick desirability factor (whether or not I want to be his sidekick), but gets an average score for a name that could feasibly be a detective in a novel about sexual vampires.

His suit cost ten grand and absolutely looks the part but...accenting body armour with trainers?! The police might be big fans...but the FASHION POLICE SURE AREN'T! OH ZING PHOENIX!

The Statesman:

One of the first in Britain, The Statesman was a banker who decided to 'give something back to the people'. This came in the form of exterminating crime in Birmingham, a task just slightly less achievable than teaching your stomach to digest gravel.

After The Statesman's identity was revealed, his girlfriend confessed to having suspicions, due to 'odd items of clothing'. If my girlfriend found pieces of body-shaped latex lying around I'd have just pretended I was in a sex club with her sister (possibly the only time when this is less awkward than the truth).

His costume is good, though he loses points for instantly revealing his identity, having the name of a boring newspaper and for doing interviews sat next to his mum.

Knight Warrior and Knight Maiden

The snaggle-toothed Knight Warrior's costume was bought for him by his mum and his face was bought for him by a wholly inadequate hygiene regime. However in defiance of all natural rules, Knight Warrior attracted a mate.

This pleases me, though I admit to being jealous of them  My girlfriend is incredibly understanding, but that's partly as she has no idea about the extent of my illness. She's pretty convinced that my comic collection is limited to three boxes. If she ever decides to investigate why our mattress feels like four thousand compressed issues of Spider-man I'm FUCKED.


Thanatos takes an immediate nosedive in points for his costume. For a start he's wearing a Watchmen badge and a Batman belt. That's the super hero equivalent of wearing socks with sandals! Also he's 66. That's the Superhero equivalent of being 66.

He has kept his identity secret so gains points, but nobody really gives a crap so he loses most of them again.

Basically what we have in Thanatos is a creepy old man that hides is identity and feels most comfortable 'amongst the dead'. Check Savilles grave. CHECK. SAVILLES. GRAVE.

Phantom Zero

According to his official biography 'while others focus on the end result, Phantom Zero is more interested in the journey.' The other thing Phantom Zero is more interested in is sprinkling bacon on his donuts.

I'm not saying that keeping in shape is a must, but it's probably not a good sign when rockets can't take off anymore due to your gravitational pull. While phoenix Jones was treating a copy of Punisher as his instruction booklet, Phantom zero accidentally picked up a Waffle House menu.

In terms of career successes, Phantom Zero says 'Trying my hardest to keep my promises to people who have trusted me. '
Hmm. OK I'll admit that I want my superheroes to be less 'mentoring upset girls' and more 'throwing a robot lizard into the sun', but I guess it's a start. In terms of being a lovely chap, Phantom Zero is the top trump. Sadly the top trump generator never made a 'being a nice man' category, mainly because it likes to focus on things people give a shit about.

Phantom Zero has kept his identity pretty safely under wraps, so he gets points for that. But if you ever go to New Jersey, hear a police siren and then see a three hundred kilogram man bolt into a public urinal and start to panic-apply makeup then you've probably cracked the code.


“Like the night, I cannot be proven or disproven to certain degrees; and also much like the night, when morning comes, there will be no trace of me.”

Although Nyx sets out to prove that women shouldn't be allowed to be superheros by coming out with this kind of nonsense, she is attractive.

Nyx worries about her female counterparts not being take seriously in the Super Hero community: “We can do just as good a job,” she points out, “so it’s important to be viewed as a person, not just some chick.”
I'd find it easier to take her comments to heart if the top half of her costume couldn't best be described as 'a tit window'.

She scores highly for costume and keeping her identity a secret, but she loses points for talking about herself the whole time. I mean, I do that, but at least I have the good manners to be frigging hilarious.

The Shadow:

A genuine contender. When others on this list were putting an emphasis on having the best eyeliner, The Shadow was taking the time to powerlift and silently seeth.
A man who describes a childhood of bullying and misunderstandings has grown up to dress in an armoured ninja outfit and own semi-legal weapons. This just screams Batman at me.

Then there was the testimony of a witness about the shadow seeing a Scottish man breaking into a car and 'headbutting him to the ground'. This just screams First Murder on YouTube at me.

The Shadow's main downfall is his family life. By all accounts he appears to have a very nice wife and two children. This is against the rules. You can be a happy brightly-coloured superhero and have a nice wife, sure. You absolutely cannot be a post 1990's gritty-reboot superhero without your family being wiped out. However, there is still time for a horrific series of events to set this man on a path to becoming my greatest hero.

The Shadow is the top trump. Partly because he ticks the most boxes, and partly because if he ever learns to read and sees this I'm worried he'll perceive me as a nemesis.


There are literally bajillions of Real Life Superheroes out there and choosing which to review was a complex process with many criteria, the most important being whether or not they had a full body picture on Google images.

I thought I'd quickly run down a couple of my other favourites for you in case you wanted to further study their teachings.

Torquay's premier superhero, The Dark Spartan boasts one of the best costumes. Unfortunately he also boasts being a bit prone to mental breakdowns. Still, seems like a nice chap.

There are so many of these guys names with black in them. Black Void, The Black, Black Stranger, Black Noir (this means 'Black Black' for blacks sake...).
Black void makes the list for, in his first ever interview, instantly admitting he has Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

It takes balls to name yourself after a dildo. Welcome aboard, kid.

Thursday, 8 November 2012


Great stories need great characters. Across all types of genre there are absolutely stand-out series that tick every box. But sometimes a franchise becomes too awesome, and threatens to implode the universe, which is when universal-balance-wizards have to step in and create a character that levels things out (seen below using their trade mark spell).

I've scoured their archives and brought you their greatest work in creating characters that almost destroyed great franchises, across the mediums of Cartoons, Films, Games, TV and Comics ('The Quintrangle of Nutrition' as I call them). 
The results suprised me! Actually they didn't.


Dungeons and Dragons was a cartoon from the 80s. And every single second of every episode was insane. The premise of the story was that a bunch of kids went on a roller coaster and got sucked into a magical universe because NOTHING. There was never any explanation as to why they ended up in a different world. As it was a show about magic it would have been pretty easy to throw in a line about being summoned by a mage, but I guess the writers were too busy failing to open their schizophrenia medicines.

The opening scenes were a heady mix; a five headed dragon, half-demon riding a flying horse and cryptic dwarf. Oh, and a useless little pile of white shit with a horn.

Just as viewers thought they had stumbled across the perfect recipe, the final ingredient was a rat turd. Uni was a baby unicorn that did nothing but cower, repeat her own name and alert monsters to where the heroes were hiding.

She did in one episode possess the power to teleport, but this made her at least a tiny bit useful and angered the balance-wizards. Plus, utilising this power again would have gone against the production staff's strict rules about not having any kind of continuity, therefore her power was dropped.

It's worth noting that Uni beat off stiff competition from Orco and Snarf to excel in her category, because at least they NEVER had the potential to be arousing.


Navi is the leading argument for legalising suicide in Singapore and the reason the Taliban hate western civilisation.

For those of you that never bothered playing the best game ever made, or are a girl, Navi is the name of a ‘helper’ fairy in ZELDA: THE OCARINA OF TIME. You play an elf called Link and Navi is given to him to help him on his quest with useful advice and information. Unfortunately, in fairy culture being given to an elf is our equivalent of being sold into sex trafficking, meaning that Navi decided to substitute ‘help’ for ‘being the most fucking annoying thing in the universe’.

Most characters have a loop of stock phrases that they'll randomly repeat throughout a game. Navi had two and holy crap did she use them.

'Hey!'. 'Listen!'. Over and over and over again. You see, Navi was meant to keep you on track by reminding you of what you were doing next in the game. Unfortunately for everyone who didn't like hating life, the programmers had done their testing on how often people needed reminding on a gibbon with Alzheimer's disease.  What this effectively meant was that for every 10 seconds you played the game, you heard this phrase for eleven seconds. 

To this day if a high pitched voice ever says 'Hey' and 'Listen' within 30 minutes of each other around me I hit the owner until we're both crying.

Navi is the only reason I stopped playing this game for breaks and didn't fail my A-levels. 
Actually it was because my dad hid the console, but my point stands.


Let's get one thing straight: there's nothing wrong with being gay. Let's get another one thing straight: there's so much wrong with being a creepy little weirdo in shiny pants and elf shoes.

Robin is the worst thing ever to appear in pictorial form, and I include the Mein Kampf colouring book. Everything is wrong. Batman is one of the best American comic characters ever, but he also requires the most suspension of disbelief. He has no powers! You can just about get through believing his stories are real by imagining what a gruelling life he's had and that he has infinite money to back up his mental illness. Add Robin to the mix and it just pushes the books into ridiculous; there is just NO WORLD where Batman would want to hang out with Robin! THINK ABOUT IT! It's like Clint Eastwood calling up Jedward to talk about how much his vagina was aching.

In the 80s DC comics had their first phone-in to let the readers decide the fate of a major character. They weren’t sure if many peope would call – it was the first time something like this had been done with a comic character. Let's just say if it had been a phone-in for something useful like curing stuff, we'd have had to bring spores back from Mars to invent new diseases. People called in their thousands to beg for the teenage orphan to be murdered. And the result? Robin got battered to death with a crowbar two issues later. As you’re probably figuring out, there was no real winner here.

Haha! It's playing a funny game! Still, we have a job to do firing squad.

For a generation, Star Wars represented the apex of entertainment. Original characters, an endlessly quotable script and state of the art special effects made this genre-busting box office smash a winner for the entire family. Fans of the trilogy waited almost two decades for the next in the series and flocked to its opening like pigeons on a chip.

As the film progressed the sense that something was wrong was easily ignored for the first 30 minutes with plenty of lasers and spaceships to take our mind off the dreadful dialogue. But then, around 45 minutes into the film we were introduced to a vaguely racist cartoon rabbit thing called Jar Jar Binks. And suddenly the dreadful dialogue became very noticeable indeed.

This is the point that the Star Wars franchise became damaged beyond repair and started a downward slide into disastrous ridicule. The only slight positive was to focus on the fact that never again would George Lucas be able to take a beloved product and turn into such an abomination.


Everything to do with HEROES after series 1.

What did they do?