The mythology of “cool” is a strange and nebulous beastie.  From my perspective, as a child of the 70s, I immediately think of Henry Winkler’s Fonz as the epitome of self-confident actualization, but my elders could easily make arguments for the likes of James Dean, Humphrey Bogart, or even the legendary Achilles.  Whomever or whatever you deem to be the perfect indicator of self-possession, we can all agree: We know it when we see it.  Exposure in my tween years to the exploits of daredevil biker and erstwhile cowboy Johnny Blaze (aka the original motorcyclin’ Ghost Rider) has cemented him as one of, if not THE first image that comes to mind when someone asks me to define that damn-near meaningless term, with Sky Masterson and Captain Okona close behind.  All in all, admiration of those with their metaphorical $#!+ together is universal (*coughHanSolocough*) which in turn begs a query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) notes that the definitions in play are going to be very vague and subjective, and is kind of find with that, asking: Who’s the most inherently cool character in all of pop culture?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. October 16, 2013 at 12:04 pm — Reply

    Heeeeeeeey,it’s Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli and if you don’t agree, you can go sit on it. The Fonz has always been the epitome of cool to me since I was a kid. Vinny Babarino and Spike Spiegel are my runner-ups.

  2. October 16, 2013 at 12:11 pm — Reply

    And let’s not forget Buckaroo Banzai.

  3. October 16, 2013 at 1:06 pm — Reply

    Well for me it was always Gambit. He always seems so cool. (maybe cause I grew up with the 90s X-Men)

    • SmarkingOut Adam
      October 16, 2013 at 3:03 pm — Reply

      Amen. Gotta be Gambit.

  4. October 16, 2013 at 1:12 pm — Reply

    Han Solo. No question. And he shot first!

    • B.V.K
      October 16, 2013 at 7:42 pm — Reply

      Yes and yes

  5. Jam Master J
    October 16, 2013 at 1:18 pm — Reply

    well that would be Shaft (Richard Roundtree version). He’s the cat that won’t cop out when there’s danger all about.

    A close runner-up is Steve McQueen’s Bullitt.

  6. October 16, 2013 at 1:53 pm — Reply

    A tie between Han Solo, The Fonz and Steven Hyde.

  7. Arbor Day
    October 16, 2013 at 1:59 pm — Reply

    Abed Nadir. Cool. Cool, cool, cool.

  8. October 16, 2013 at 2:58 pm — Reply

    Barney Stinson, because he’s awesome, duh (I hope you read that in his voice)
    I am going with a different type of cool, I am going with coolest idea for a superhero. Firestorm. He’s two people in one, one that runs the brains and at times acts as the conscience, and the other acts as the brawn of the two. His powers are able to create anything out of anything else, I mean, he technically is the most powerful and coolest superhero ever.

  9. Frank
    October 16, 2013 at 8:43 pm — Reply

    Comic wise, Puck from Alpha Flight. Cool, calm, collected – and a cool uniform to boot.

  10. October 17, 2013 at 8:40 am — Reply

    That John Constantine is a pretty cool cat.

  11. Kirby
    October 17, 2013 at 9:59 am — Reply

    Hellboy combines my favorite aspects of pop-culture a little detective, a little fantasy, and a dash of horror.

  12. October 17, 2013 at 1:25 pm — Reply

    Samuel L. Jackson as (let’s face it he’s Samuel L. Jackson in everything)

    …because he exudes this cool exterior where nothing seems to phase his character, most of the time. (even when he’s getting shot at)

    • October 17, 2013 at 2:45 pm — Reply

      I still claim that Mace Windu and Nick Fury probably have a wallet just like Jules Winnfield.

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