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[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

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

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.


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


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