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British superheroes vs American superheroes (fictional)

Who doesn’t love a superhero story! The super big action, the super big adventure, the super mega big explosions. Ever notice how superhero stories almost always happen in America, and most superheroes are American. Maybe because America is a super big. I must admit I’ve never noticed, I’m too busy enjoying the super big explosions. My friend Richard pointed out the lack of British superheroes and British settings so with that in mind I’ve put together a selection of British vs American super skilled and super powered characters.

Alien hero – 
The Doctor vs Thor

These two spacemen have adopted Earth as their second home and spend most of their time defending us Earthlings from Alien invasions.

Practically immortal the Doctor has rejuvenated 11 times and is a seriously complex character. Armed with a sonic screwdriver and several lifetimes of experience he’s a handy guy to have around in a crisis.  Just don’t expect to live through it. He’s great at saving humanity but has a bit of trouble when it comes to individuals.

Thor is the Asgardian god of thunder and possesses the enchanted hammer Mjolnir. He can save everyone but will destroy most of New York in the process. Possibly immortal he not only battles aliens but gods, demons and ancient mythical creatures.

Favourite – Personally I prefer the Doctor, I may not survive but at least he will let me get in on the action.

In a fight – These two would battle each other till the end of eternity, occasionally joining forces to stop a super alien villian.

Superspy -James Bond vs Jason Bourne

Super suave and super skilled, these two bad boys are dangerous to be around, especially if you are female!

James Bond, licence to kill, everything he does is for Queen and Country. He has an arsenal of super spy gadgets to save the Commonwealth, and occasionally America. Favourite weapon – Walther PPK, favourite car- Aston Martin, favourite drink – Martini shaken not stirred. This super suave spy lacks one thing, a conscious.

Jason Bourne doesn’t have a super spy car, a super spy weapon, a super spy job or even his memory! He does have a serious set of super skills. He doesn’t need a gun or even a knife, he can kill you with a tea towel. He has got a few psychological issues like a super severe conscious, not an ideal trait for a professional super assassin spy.

Favourite -This is a tough one. How can a girl choose? Either way I will probably end up dead!

In a fight – Jason would beat James after a long hard fight, but he would feel really bad about it afterwards.

Feral hero -Tarzan vs Wolverine

Wild, ferocious, barely civilised, these two untameable fighters are a force to be reckoned with.

Tarzan was created by an American writer, he was born and raised in Africa, and French is the first language he learned to speak, but he is an English Lord so I’ve put him on team Britain. His keen senses and formidable physique have been perfectly adapted to life in a hostile African jungle. He can snap the neck of a bull ape as easily as a twig. Add his ability to talk to animals and a black cruel humour, the local natives fear him believing he is a jungle demon or god. No human could survive alone in the darkest depths of Africa.

James Logan aka Wolverine is a mutant with the ability to regenerate giving him extended longevity. Armed with super human senses, super agility, and a super grumpy personality his retractable claws and entire skeleton was plated with adamantium by a secret goverment agency turning him into Weapon X. He’s the best there is at what he does, but what he does best isn’t very nice.

Favourite – Another tough one. I love them both.

In a fight – Wolverine would win, but only because of his regenerative powers.

Armoured hero – Lancelot vs Iron Man

The old school and the next generation knight in shining armour. These two have more in common then you’d think.

Tony Stark is Iron Man. Take away the suit and what is he. Genius, playboy, billionaire, philanthropist. 

Sir Lancelot, knight of camelot, heir to the fairy kingdom ruled by the Lady of the Lake, champion of the sword and lance, lover of Queen Guinevere (among others). Take away the armour and what is he? Genius, playboy, billionaire, philanthropist. 

Favourite – Personally I’ve never liked Lancelot and I’m not to keen on Iron Man either. 

In a fight – No contest, Iron Man will turn Lancelot into a tin of soup. 

Vigilante hero – Robin Hood vs Batman

When the system fails, when injustice rules supreme, a hero will step forward and take matters into his own hands, righting wrongs and fighting for the good of the people.

Bruce Wayne aka Batman, traumatized by the death of his parents he fights the crime lords ruling Gotham City. Aided by his trusted butler Alfred and an inexhaustible amount of money to build a batcave and lots of high tech equipment, he strikes fears into ordinary criminals. (Cue cool super villians). But no matter how many criminals he defeats he still finds no peace.

Robin Hood, expert bowman, master of disguise, rebel, and thief. He battled the most despicable organisation of all time, the Tax Man. Robbing from the rich and giving to the poor with his merry band of men, life in Sherwood Forest is one long party. Enter the dastardly villainous Sheriff of Nottingham.

Favourite – Robin Hood. I love archery, I love forests, I hate paying tax. I would love to be one of his merry men.

 In a fight – I don’t think these two would ever find a reason to fight each other. 

Super Intellect Hero – Sherlock Holmes vs Professer X

With brains the size of a small planet no one can match these super masterminds.

Professor Charles Xavier, the worlds most powerful psychic mutant. He can read your deepest thoughts, manipulate your memories and control your mind. But he only uses his powers for good and to promote peace.

Sherlock Holmes, super slueth and the worlds greatest consulting detective. His powers of deduction are superior in everyway. He doesn’t need psychic powers to manipulate your brain, he uses psychology and your own weaknesses against you.

 Favourite – Sherlock Holmes. According to his philosophy anyone can learn how to harness and use their powers of deductive reasoning.

In a fight – This will be a battle of the mind. A game of chess ending in stalemate. 

Super female hero – Lara Croft vs Wonder Woman.

Every now and then someone realises the lack of leading female characters and creates a super woman. Sometimes they don’t get it quite right. 

Wonder Woman, the Amazonian princess who leaves Paradise Island to save humanity from themselves. Armed with a variety of mystical weapons like the Lasso of Truth, Indestructible Bracelets and a telepathic Tiara she kicks butt and looks great doing it. Super athletic, super strong, and super smart Wonder Woman was the first comic book female superhero. My only problem is her costume, its strapless. That bodice would have to be strapped around her so tight to stay up she wouldn’t be able to breathe let alone fight!

 (I was struggling to find a British counterpart, thanks to my nephew for suggesting Lara.)

Lara Croft has been reinvented a few times during her comparatively short existence. Created for a video game she is a beautiful, intelligent, and athletic archaeologist adventurer. Her backstory has changed a few times but she is generally held to be a member of the British aristocracy. In the first game version her boobs were impossibly big but she was wearing appropriate clothes for digging around in dusty old tombs and fighting whatever supernatural disaster she unleashed. The latest edition of the Tomb Raider games see Lara Croft with more realistic dimensions. Her favourite choice of weapon is two pistols. She did pinch Thors hammer once too.

Favourite – I’ve never played any Tomb Raider games or seen the films. I watched a 1980s Wonder Woman film and wasn’t impressed. After reading up some more about the creative process behind these two super women I have altered my opinion slightly but I still don’t know either well enough to choose a favourite. 

In a fight – This would be one hell of a cat fight. Lara would start it, Wonder Woman would finish it, and an uneasy truce would follow.

Which are your favourites and who do you think would win head to head.

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Review of Tarzan of the Apes and The return of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Many people are more familiar with Disneys animated version of Tarzan, and the original tv series staring Johnny Weissmuller with his iconic jungle call. If they read the book they would be in for a surprise. 

The two books follow the life of John Clayton, named Tarzan by the apes who adopt him as a baby, through his childhood in the jungle and his journey to becoming a ‘civilised’ man. Burroughs does a credible job in the first book ‘Tarzan of the Apes’ making a hostile jungle existence believable and explaining some of the nagging questions that have dogged me about Tarzan. The main one being why he has no beard. I enjoyed the descriptions of the African jungle, the beauty and the danger. It truly is a savage garden. Tarzans jungle existence is brutal and while Burroughs writing isn’t as graphic as some of todays authors, he portrays the darker sides of humanity effectively. Cannibalism, torture, murder, betrayal, and greed are ever present in both books but Burroughs balances out these vices with plenty of virtues, honour, self sacrifice, friendship and love which makes the whole a pleasent read and not depressing.

The second book ‘The Return of Tarzan’ is more like a series of short stories. If you read it like a periodical once a month then it’s probably very exciting.  Read all at once and it gets repetative. 

Lets remember these books are pulp fiction from the 1910s. Lock your political correctness in a cupboard, put your brain in neutral, and enjoy an adventure from a bygone era where men were either heroes or cowards and women spent their time fainting or falling into danger!

Burroughs novels are full of evocative descriptions of the African continent, fast paced action and adventure, and provide a fascinating insight into social attitudes during the beginning of the 20th century.

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