One of the best part of the ‘Star Wars’ prequels was in seeing how many additional tricks, gimmicks, gadgets and tools they could stuff into R2-D2, from rocket boosters to force-field generators to a built-in microwave, making him a true all-purpose hero.  It’s one of the reasons I love V.I.N.Cent, the cute robot from ‘The Black Hole’, as well, with his extensible limbs, hidden blades and lasers and additional arms and such, and one of the reasons that Rumblebee (from the Modern City arc of our own Critical Hit podcast) was so much fun.  I like a character who thinks and plots and builds and creates her way out of a situation, leading to today’s Swiss Army query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) used to love Iron Man for exactly that reason, as many adventures forced him to build or adapt new tools for the task at hand, asking: Which all-purpose hero is the most versatile adventurer of them all?


About Author

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.


  1. if you imagine a hero going up against every imaginable trope-y threat there is, there’s a good chance Hellboy ticks all the boxes. Superman and Captain America might have punched out nazis, evil aliens, super-powered villains, but they ain’t ever faced down a cthulhu. John Constantine and Dr. Strange might have plenty of experience battling otherworldly/demonic threats, but a big dumb tough guy like Rhino or Lobo might be able to get the drop on them before they can finish an incantation, and i wouldn’t put money on either hero winning a fistfight. Hellboy might just be the guy who splits the difference between every kind of hero, no matter what kind of threat he has to face down.

  2. Daniel Langsdale on

    The Doctor knows Venusian Aikido, is well versed in temporal-spatial physics, can reverse the polarity of the neutron flow and titivate the fronds, and build a fully functioning sonic screwdriver in an early 21st Century Earth machine shop.

  3. Doc Savage or Perry Rhodan, either one of those pulp novel characters that faced bug eyed monsters, built a nuclear reactor from a junk pile and other miraculous feats.

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