If you’ve been following the Major Spoilers crew on social media (and, seriously, you should, we’re fun), you’ve probably run into my occasional treatises about the gray areas that exist around the edges of superherodom. My latest deliberation has been on the nature of Nick Fury, army sergeant and head of S.H.I.E.L.D. He’s the type of guy who would ride a rocket cycle, shirtless, through a brick wall to get to a climactic gun battle with his evil brother, but IS HE A SUPERHERO? I say “No,” but with the caveat that Nicholas is one of the most impressive examples of a non-powered action hero, perhaps the greatest in comic history, which leads us to today’s two-fisted query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) would once again like to point out that Batman *IS* a superhero, and has always been a superhero, and thus is ineligible, asking: Who is the coolest non-superhero action hero of them all?

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. Dan Langsdale
    February 12, 2015 at 11:43 am — Reply


    Taking on threats from organized crime, pirates, big business; travelling the world over, and to the moon as well; surrounded by a supporting cast of a drunken sailor, Scottland Yard detectives, and man’s best best friend. Tintin is often down, but always bounces back & comes out on top.

  2. Alisha
    February 12, 2015 at 12:14 pm — Reply

    Despite all the lackluster and heartbreakingly bad sequels, I’m going with a tie between Connor and Duncan MacLeod of the “Highlander” franchise. The good entries of the franchise are almost good enough to make up for the crap-tastic-ness of the majority of sequels (key word: ALMOST), and I can’t really think of anything cooler than immortals that fight with swords, can’t die unless beheaded and make an awesome lightning light show of power transference when they die.

    Except maybe some vampires (and I mean VAMPIRES, not sparkly things that drink blood) or The Doctor.

  3. Ram_evilspaceknight
    February 12, 2015 at 12:34 pm — Reply

    Joe Dredd – everyone loves a b*stard.

    • Rob
      February 12, 2015 at 5:34 pm — Reply

      Hmm, Dredd is pretty super if not exactly a hero, what with all his gadgets, colourful costume and invincible plot armour.

      How about Dan Dare?

  4. Doctor Dinosaur
    February 12, 2015 at 12:48 pm — Reply

    All action heroes are superheroes. John McClane would have been dead a thousand times were this not the case.

  5. Neal
    February 12, 2015 at 2:22 pm — Reply

    Bond or Holmes, clearly.

    • Slappy
      February 13, 2015 at 12:03 pm — Reply

      Bond – Yes
      Holmes in his original stories was rarely involved in action whether it be fisticuffs or gunplay. He would have Watson bring his service revolver in the event of mortal peril and only fought Moriarity once.

  6. February 12, 2015 at 2:54 pm — Reply

    Anyone called “Snake”. That may be Kurt Russell from Escape From New York or Snake from Metal Gear video game series, which is actually loosely based on the former.

  7. Oldcomicfan
    February 12, 2015 at 9:09 pm — Reply

    I like how in your lead in picture Nick Fury is aiming his gun with his blind eye…. But in answer to your question, I’d pick Captain Kirk. He’s in command of the Enterprise! He gets all the girls! He always wins out! He’s survived being cancelled twice, a nearly twenty year hiatus, getting old and fat, and even William Shatner’s directing could not kill off Kirk! My God, I just realized…. he’s the 25th Century’s equivalent of a cockroach!!!

  8. Slappy
    February 13, 2015 at 12:06 pm — Reply

    To work with the Poll of the Week, I choose Colonel Steve Austin.
    SOooo he crashed and was made better by 6M worth of junk. He is still a super spy and great without using his Bionics.

  9. Ian
    February 13, 2015 at 10:04 pm — Reply

    Eisner’s Spirit!

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