blinkytreefrog: (Default)
[personal profile] blinkytreefrog posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Hello again :-). I used to post to scans_daily fairly regularly when it was back on LJ, but I drifted off for a bit and then the big 'kerfuffle' happened and all of my posts disappeared into the wide blue yonder. D'oh.

Anyway, something I did a few times way back when was a series of lists with commentary and appropriate scans. The only one still up is the one I did on insane characters, because I stuck that up on my own lj as well. Since I've been drifting back to comic fandom, I figure now would be a good time to do another. Lists are cool! :-)

I like genius characters. There's something very satisfying about a conflict that's more mental than physical, and something very interesting about someone who can think rings around the other characters. Sensible, normal geniuses, however, have never been as fascinating to me as those that are just a little bit... weird :-).

So! A few points:
1) I did have evil geniuses in here at first, but really, there's so many of them I could probably give them a list of their own later. Therefore, while there are ex-criminals, characters who are sort of in the middle, and (several) characters whose methods are questionable at times, this is not a list of full-on evildoers.
2) All of the characters originated in comics, and all are just a wee bit out there. It might be that they are your traditional eccentric scientist, they might use their intelligence in very strange ways, they might be incredibly intelligent but completely oblivious when it comes to social niceties, or it might be that they're perfectly aware of social niceties, they just don't understand why people would bother.
3) Finally, while this list is generally in order of increasing oddballness, this is a list of my favourite oddball geniuses. There may well be many characters who are smarter or weirder out there. Feel free to post scans of them; the more the merrier :-).

By the way, my favourites tend to be fairly specific to the companies I read, so this list has five characters from DC, two from an independent comic (the same one, actually), one from a European series, one from Wildstorm and one from a Manga series. Feel free to speculate :-).



10. Piper/Hartley Rathaway

Who?
My favourite ever gay socialist ex-criminal who's too smart for his own good. Piper used to be a foe of the Flash, and then reformed and became one of Wally West's best friends. Then his life turned to crap and he's now probably got about six different types of post-traumatic disorder. *pats poor Piper*

How are they a genius?
He was always a genius at sonics. After all, he created a hypnotic flute and pursued a criminal career using every type of woodwind instrument out there. Also all the brass ones. During Mark Waid's Flash run, however, he was promoted to Wally's tech support and ably dealt with everything from computer viruses to forcefields to earpiece scanners to... tapping into the Batphone?





Errr... I really hope that's a joke.

Why are they a bit oddball?


Umm, yeah. So, I know fighting the Flash meant that you had to be original in your criminal doings, but some of Piper's shenanigans were weird even for the silver age. You don't wanna see the one where he steals the pipes of Pan and starts turning into a Satyr. And don't even start on the costume. Then there's...



The telling thing is that even reformed, he had a tendency to look back on his criminal career with a wistful nostalgia rather than, say, going "Jesus, what was I thinking?"

And finally, there's the whole point where he decided to take the Piper thing too far:



Hey, I like rats too. I just like them in small doses.

9. Professor Calculus

Who?
Tintin's best eccentric inventor/scientist friend. The Professor has a big brain, a fondness for creating things, and the hearing of... someone who is very deaf. He insists that he is merely a little hard of hearing in one ear. Everyone else disagrees.

How are they a genius?
At first the Professor seems to just be a slightly talented, if strange, inventor, one who's determined to press his really weird ideas on Tintin and Captain Haddock despite the fact that they are not actually interested:



But gradually it became clear that he's a genius at... pretty much everything he really sets his mind to. From the shark submarine:



To a rocket ship to the moon!



Why are they a bit oddball?
Well, there's the fact that he mishears almost everything he hears and rarely admits that this could be a problem:



But you could argue that this is a minor eccentricity. His real oddballness comes from his the fact that he's quite willing to give any invention a try, and not all of them are quite as successful as they could be.







Ow?

Next up: two suspiciously similar, and yet differently dysfunctional, characters.

Date: 2011-01-03 01:52 pm (UTC)
frutepye: (Default)
From: [personal profile] frutepye
After reading the Wally West Flash series I loved the Piper. And the part where he sees Iris and Linda's like "so five minutes ago" is just great.

Date: 2011-01-03 02:03 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Always loved the Super-Calcacolor scene, especially Captain Haddock trying to point out that colour TV already existed! :)

Welcome back to the fold, and you may want to add the appropriate tags! :)

Date: 2011-01-03 04:13 pm (UTC)
jarodrussell: (Doctor Developer)
From: [personal profile] jarodrussell
Why do I suspect we'll be seeing Gyro Gearloose or Gadget Hackwrench soon?

Wishful thinking on your part.

Quite right!

Good, post. Mark Waid's run on Flash was about the only time when I was a Flash fan, and I remember thinking it was cool he had an ex-villain as his tech guy. In fact, now that I think about it, in subtle ways I'd never thought about, I guess Piper influenced my reformed mad scientists kink. Hmm. Very good post!

Date: 2011-01-03 05:47 pm (UTC)
ejne7: Comic art illustration of a Latina cop (Default)
From: [personal profile] ejne7
This is an awesome concept and a great introduction to the characters. Once we've met all ten can we get someone to write them as a superteam?

Date: 2011-01-03 06:04 pm (UTC)
grazzt: (Default)
From: [personal profile] grazzt
I think Piper's high point in mad science was when he accidentally created life out of sound.

Date: 2011-01-03 08:11 pm (UTC)
zyriex: Best Spiders Ever (Default)
From: [personal profile] zyriex
Wait, what? Anyone have scans of that?

Date: 2011-01-03 08:52 pm (UTC)
karunya: This reverend puts the "fun" back into "funeral" (Default)
From: [personal profile] karunya
Ditteaux. The things that I could do with that concept in fanfic... *drools*

Date: 2011-01-04 04:58 am (UTC)
grazzt: (Default)
From: [personal profile] grazzt
I believe it happened in Secret Origins (vol. 2) #41. The issue was a Rogues' spotlight, using the framing device of an amnesiac who is certain he's one of the Rogues, but can't remember which one. So Paul Gambi (the Rogues' tailor) recounts their origins in an effort to trigger the amnesiac's memory.

In any case, there's a subplot about Piper's new life form.

Date: 2011-01-04 05:07 am (UTC)
arbre_rieur: (Default)
From: [personal profile] arbre_rieur
You know, it's really impressive how that series kept finding creative, new framework devices to re-tell origins.

Date: 2011-01-03 08:39 pm (UTC)
morgana006: Deadpool spilling coffee on his mask (Default)
From: [personal profile] morgana006
Oh hey, I remember you. Your posts introduced me to the awesomeness that is Piper. Welcome back!

Date: 2011-01-03 08:55 pm (UTC)
karunya: This reverend puts the "fun" back into "funeral" (Default)
From: [personal profile] karunya
Not only can Piper talk and blow his horn at the same time (absolutely NOT as double-entendrish as it sounds!), but in the last scan page, he can play a complex wind instrument while wearing heavy gloves. I always heard that fingerless gloves were originally invented for marching band members (my DH uses them when we go Christmas caroling!). But Piper is so cool that he just works his magic with arctic-grade handwear on!

Date: 2011-01-03 10:52 pm (UTC)
digitalraven: (Default)
From: [personal profile] digitalraven
Will Magnus and T.O.Morrow next?

They were aces in 52...

Date: 2011-01-04 12:15 am (UTC)
bradhanon: (Supervillain)
From: [personal profile] bradhanon
Hell yeah, Cuthbert Calculus represent! I grew up on those books. I think my favorite Calculus moment was when he attempted to demonstrate his mastery of savate:

Calculus

Date: 2011-01-04 09:40 pm (UTC)
nefrekeptah: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nefrekeptah
Oh my heavens yes. Adventures of Tintin is the one book I would check out every single time I went to the library, no matter how many times I had read it before.

My personal favorite Calculus scene is when Captain Haddok makes the mistake of saying he's "Acting the Goat", and the utter shitstorm that follows

Date: 2011-01-04 04:04 am (UTC)
retro_nouveau: AARP Bruce (70)
From: [personal profile] retro_nouveau
Hartley is on a couple of my lists, too.

Not 1 Marvel out of 10? None oddball enough, maybe.

Iris must like oddball-genius-types, also? XD Wile E. Coyote, Super-Genius. I like the way that rolls out. Wile E. Coyote, Super-Genius!

So how cool is Linda to pick up some Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs for Wally.

Date: 2011-01-04 04:53 am (UTC)
sianmink: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sianmink
Yay Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs

Date: 2011-01-04 05:20 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
Calculus is a good choice, all right - I don't think there's any 'Tintin' fan who doesn't have a soft spot for good ol' Cuthbert. He'd be absolutely maddening to be around in real life, but that somehow just makes him more endearing in fiction.
I can't think of any others offhand, but I'm sure they'll be very obvious choices as you post them - the ones I've heard of, anyway.

Date: 2011-01-04 01:34 pm (UTC)
rdfox: Joker asking Tim Drake, "'Sup?" from Paul Dini's "Slay Ride" (Default)
From: [personal profile] rdfox
I know everyone is trying to pretend the whole mess never happened, but...

Personally, I still say that Piper's crowning moment came at the (first and best) climactic finale of Countdown. Not just that he destroyed Apokalips to stop Darkseid's plans--that he did so in classic Heroic Sacrifice manner, knowing it would kill him, and he went out playing Freddie Mercury's "fuck you!" to impending death.

Yeah. THAT is how you go out as a musician. You don't just stop the bad guys cold, you don't just stop them cold by willingly throwing away your own life, you stop them cold while telling the whole world that you don't give a damn that you're gonna die.

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