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Which Comic Character Is the Greatest Engineer? 316

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the evil-geniuses-for-a-better-tomorrow dept.
ptorrone writes "From Bruce Wayne to Lex Luthor to Tony Stark — the most popular comic heroes are more than just beefy guys in skin tight suits, they're also business persons, titans of industry and brilliant engineers. While there will always be a lot of debate on who is the strongest or fastest, MAKE has an overview of their 14 top comic book engineers, scientists and hackers."
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Which Comic Character Is the Greatest Engineer?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2011 @07:14PM (#35751612)

    Also missing from the list is Retardo. Hes the guy who makes up all the stupid internet Top 10 type of lists.

  • My vote... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Q-Hack! (37846) * on Thursday April 07, 2011 @07:14PM (#35751618)

    Wiley Coyote... Super Genius.

    Though, his reliance on ACME for equipment, should be reconsidered.

       

    • Wiley Coyote... Super Genius.

      Though, his reliance on ACME for equipment, should be reconsidered.

      Yes well, aren't we all dogged by shitty suppliers.

    • Wile E. Cyote is more like a script kiddie; he just uses the products without much change.

      • Re:My vote... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @11:01PM (#35753266) Homepage

        Wile E. Cyote is more like a script kiddie; he just uses the products without much change.

        Script kiddy?? I don't think so.

        The ACME Catalog didn't show him how to take the roller skates, bicycle helmet, #3 solid rocket booster, 200 feet of rope, a pulley system, an umbrella and a ramp ... put it altogether, and end getting burned, dropped off a cliff, crushed and then rained on (with accompanying lightining strike).

        Wil E. Coyote is a frigging Rube Goldberg machine waiting to happen. He didn't just run something as shipped ... He put it together into amazingly strange combinations.

        Script kiddie? You, sir, did not watch NEARLY enough Bugs Bunny growing up. (And, I, apparently far too much. ;-p)

        • by russotto (537200)
          Road Runner was the best hacker. He not only figured out exactly what Wile E. Coyote was going to do with those Acme products, he used his position as President of Acme to sabotage the products so they would fail in the most amusing way possible.
          • by gstoddart (321705)

            Road Runner was the best hacker.

            See, I never really could empathize with the Road Runner.

            I always found it far more hilarious to see Wile E. Coyote get his ass handed to him by Bugs Bunny than the Road Runner.

            When Bugs decided you needed to be taught a lesson, he made damned sure you knew he was teaching it to you. ;-)

        • by Bacon Bits (926911) on Friday April 08, 2011 @04:21AM (#35754762)

          He didn't just run something as shipped ... He put it together into amazingly strange combinations.

          Oh, he writes Perl, then.

      • Re:My vote... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by budgenator (254554) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @11:03PM (#35753270) Journal

        Wile should get extra points for being an old-school hacker, every Acme product he used was for a purpose unintended by the manufacturer.

    • by guspasho (941623)

      Can one be considered great if every single one of his "inventions" fails spectacularly?

      • This thread is full of WIN. My first thought was Batman, No superhuman abilities, strictly devices. But, Wile E. Coyote, an example of the total failure of technology.
      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Can one be considered great if every single one of his "inventions" fails spectacularly?

        Was Lex Luthor still a genius if he was always foiled in his plans?

        Did Pinky still call him Brain [wikipedia.org]? None of his schemes worked out.

        Hell, Blofeld [wikipedia.org] had sharks and frickin' lasers. He lost to Bond how many times?

        Measure not the "inventions", but the opponent.

        Wile E. Coyote may well have been a super genius, but he never was the match for the Road Runner.

    • Re:My vote... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Master Moose (1243274) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @07:34PM (#35751796) Homepage

      Am I the only one that would get frustrated that he would always give up with the equipment after just one attempt?

      He usually had a *sound* plan with a sure-fire method which was thwarted by poor execution or random variables that statically would not affect a 2nd, 3rd or 4th attempt at the same method.

      • I think there were a few occasions where he tried multiple times. An attempt at launching himself with a giant rubber band, for example, was repeated until he got things right (after being crushed and caught up in the rubber band on different occasions) and actually caught up to the Road Runner. However, he hadn't the foresight to take into account... something. I forget what happened, but it of course did not go well for him.

    • Re:My vote... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by skeptikos (220748) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @07:34PM (#35751798)

      Wiley Coyote... Super Genius.

      Though, his reliance on ACME for equipment, should be reconsidered.

       

      I always thought that Wiley Coyote depicts very well the agony of working as an engineer. The laws of nature seem to work against you. Murphy's laws are against you. The tools/equipment do not behave according to the specs, and tend to fail at the worst possible time. Good ideas fail because of implementation details or even bad luck. Yet, you cannot let the problem go, you have to fix it! One last try, ok, maybe another one!

      • At least if you ask Grant Morrison. [wordpress.com]

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        I always thought that Wiley Coyote depicts very well the agony of working as an engineer.

        It's more like Moby Dick or something equally obsessive. Think of the Road Runner as unobtanium or the Grail. ;-)

        Of course, deep down, we're all rooting for him to catch the little bugger. And, really ... if he had the money to order all of that crap from ACME, why didn't he just order a pizza?

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      Wiley Coyote... Super Genius.

      Though, his reliance on ACME for equipment, should be reconsidered.

       

      You have my sword.

    • by MrHanky (141717)

      Minnie Mouse. Since social engineering is the most noble kind of engineering.

      • by syousef (465911)

        Minnie Mouse. Since social engineering is the most noble kind of engineering.

        Careful of that slippery slope. Once you start considering social engineering and mouseketeers there's a risk that Britney Spears will be named best engineer here on slashdot. Of course at that point the universe would no longer be able to sustain the paradox and would implode!

  • by kuzb (724081)

    Since when did Lex Luthor become a hero?

  • Greatest Engineer (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2011 @07:19PM (#35751654)

    DILBERT!!!

  • by guspasho (941623)

    Forge [wikipedia.org]

  • by Moof123 (1292134) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @07:22PM (#35751672)

    Just saying,

    There are days i envy Dilbert, his company is better run than some I have worked at.

  • by eflester (715184) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @07:23PM (#35751682)
    It's probably Alice. Although Wally is my personal hero.
    • Agreed.

      "Why haven't you returned my calls?"
      "I tried, but when I put the phone to my ear, it pressed my tragus over my ear hole and I couldn't hear a thing."

      I'm going to use this someday.

    • by javelinco (652113)
      Come on guys! It's Asok the Intern [wikipedia.org]! He has super powers! And he's humble! And he's an engineer! And he's a comic (well, in one)!
  • Dilton Doliey (Score:4, Insightful)

    by metlin (258108) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @07:23PM (#35751684) Journal

    I know this sounds weird, but one of the first "geeky" comics character I was blown away by was Dilton Doiley [wikipedia.org], part of Archie's crew, in the Strange Science editions [comicvine.com].

      It was short, it was funny, and he was a geek who got the girl. All these other guys are great, but they had supernatural powers or wealth, or other things going for them. Dilton just... conducted home experiments! Of course, he had his own lab, but still, as a regular kid, you could aspire to be him.

    The other character I remember from childhood, of course, was Tom Swift [wikipedia.org]. Amazingly inspirational -- although, not a lot of comics of him out there (I've seen a few, but not many).

    • Until this day I never met anybody aspired to be Dilton.

      I mean, even Jughead had a girl chasing him.

      • by metlin (258108)

        It's a stupid reason to like a character because he had girls after him -- especially if getting girls wasn't a problem in school anyway (or for that matter, at any point in life).

        You like fiction because it inspires you, and Dilton inspired me. Girls and relationships were... too much like real life.

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      Pfft. Dilton wasn't a patch on Calvin.

    • I know this sounds weird, but one of the first "geeky" comics character I was blown away by was Dilton Doiley [wikipedia.org], part of Archie's crew, in the Strange Science editions [comicvine.com].

      It was short, it was funny, and he was a geek who got the girl. All these other guys are great, but they had supernatural powers or wealth, or other things going for them. Dilton just... conducted home experiments! Of course, he had his own lab, but still, as a regular kid, you could aspire to be him.

      The other character I remember from childhood, of course, was Tom Swift [wikipedia.org]. Amazingly inspirational -- although, not a lot of comics of him out there (I've seen a few, but not many).

      Wow - somebody else who knows of Tom Swift.

      Which series did you like more, the original, or the one with Tom Jr?

      Repelletrons FTW!

  • The correct answer is Wally, from Dilbert. He saved the Apollo 13 mission and invented the cursor [dilbert.com]. Easily, the answer to your question of

    Which Comic Character Is The Greatest Engineer?

  • Gyro Gearloose and Ludwig Von Drake

    and of course Rodney Copperbottom

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      Gyro Gearloose and Ludwig Von Drake

      and of course Rodney Copperbottom

      Somewhere I have a Captain Marvel where he performs nuclear fusion to create an invulnerable material, with his bare hands.

  • Easy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland @ y a hoo.com> on Thursday April 07, 2011 @07:31PM (#35751774) Homepage Journal

    Girl Genius.

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      Girl Genius.

      Ah, but she's a shadow of her mother Lucretia Mongfish, Barry Heterodyne, Bill Heterodyne or Baron Wolfenbach .. well dang, there's buckets of geniuses in there!

      • Re:Easy (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sapphire wyvern (1153271) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @09:03PM (#35752428)

        Nonsense. Agatha's far more powerful (albeit still less experienced) than Lucrezia Mongfish or the Heterodyne Boys. She made _mechanical Sparks_ as one of her very first projects! And she's clearly outclassing Gilgamesh and Tarvek, who are both first-rate Sparks in their own right.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by nbast (525275)
      Clearly. I thought of Agatha Heterodyne immediately when I saw the post.

      http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php [girlgeniusonline.com] for those unfamiliar with the Folios' genius.
  • Professor Butts...a name probably not as well known as his creator [wikipedia.org].
    • by jd (1658)

      Rube Goldberg wasn't as good as Heath Robinson, in my honest opinion, and the best Professor of all time has to be Professor Brainstawm.

  • Stone De Croze, the Original Guernseyman. The rest had the benefit of education, textbooks and suppliers. Stone De Croze invented stuff before inventing had been invented.

  • by captjc (453680) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @07:43PM (#35751884)

    Star Trek has been a comic franchise since the 70's. It is only fair that Scotty should be on that list.

    Now, if only MacGyver had a comic book...

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      Star Trek has been a comic franchise since the 70's. It is only fair that Scotty should be on that list.

      Nah, he kenna change the laws of physics.

    • by Nyeerrmm (940927)

      I've always preferred O'Brien when it comes to Star Trek engineers -- an ordinary family man who is occasionally called on to go above and beyond at times.

      Of course Geordi is just a plain old nerd, so there's a lot of identification there.

  • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @07:44PM (#35751896)

    My vote would have been for Alice. She's the top engineer in her company, she's developed patents that earned her company 2 billion dollars in revenue, and her fist-of-death is legendary. All this after she overcame the handicap of being a woman....

  • Bulma from Dragon Ball/Dragon Ball Z!

    The only woman Vegeta fears...

  • TMNT (Score:4, Informative)

    by asylumx (881307) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @07:56PM (#35751988)
    Come on, can't forget Donatello!
  • .... Doctor Impossible.
  • Easy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @08:09PM (#35752084)

    Gadget Hackwrench

    http://rangerwiki.net/images/e/e9/Gadget_extra_parts.jpg [rangerwiki.net]

    Yes, there is a Chip & Dale's Rescue Ranger's wiki site. God bless you, Intertoobs.

    • by Hartree (191324)

      You beat me too it.

      Besides, what other cartoon engineer has her own religion in Russia.

      Hey, I've seen far worse things worshipped.

  • by blair1q (305137) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @08:13PM (#35752120) Journal

    I was going to say they left out Dr. Manhattan, but then they included Ozymandias.

    (galactically huge spoilers here)

    Hard choice there. They say Ozymandias out-smarted Manhattan, but really he merely got him out of the way long enough to succeed at his plan. And failed to kill him, which was part of his original plan. If Manhattan had known of the plan, and it had become a battle of wits, it's no question who'd win. But since by the time Manhattan knew of it it had already occurred, Manhattan merely had to accept it as logical. Which, in fact, he might have done anyway if Ozymandias had merely included him in on it. Manhattan wasn't emotional about humanity and didn't become concerned about humanity until Ozymandias displaced him, giving Laurie a reason to think Manhattan had to be convinced to come home.

    So Ozymandias probably chose the wrong strategy with Manhattan. And not remembering that Manhattan was capable of reforming his intrinsic field was a massive joke.

    Yup. Manhattan. If it's a matter of engineering, and not sneaky politics, he wins this whole thing without lifting a finger.

  • to bad macgyver is not a Comic Character as he would top all of the people listed hear.

  • Everyone in the Marvel Universe gets their cool stuff from him, even Tony Stark...

    And what about Victor Von Doom/Dr Doom?

  • What other engineer can take a cardboard box, turn it into a transmorgifier, then make it into a time travel machine and then make it into a duplicator? Not to mention that, when he added an ethicator to his duplicator, he built in a moral compromise spectral release phantasmatron. Sheer genius!

    http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/2011/04/05/

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @09:07PM (#35752462) Homepage

    Specifically, his webbing, which is entirely Peter Parker's creation (regardless of what the movie suggested). I mean, that and all his playing around with advanced physics and chemistry.

  • There are other aliens on his list, so this is fair game. First they created an army of super robots to enforce justice in the form of the Manhunters. Then they created the ultimate weapons and power sources in the Green Lantern rings and power batteries. And never underestimate the social engineering skill it takes in building an organization made up of hundreds of races, genders and species in the Green Lantern Corps.
  • Or maybe it should be Penny...

  • by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @09:27PM (#35752606) Journal
    Ash from Army of Darkness. The dude invents a working artificial hand in just a few days, using midevil engineering supplies.
  • by Culture20 (968837) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @09:36PM (#35752662)

    Missing from the list [...] Ray Palmer (The Ant) [...] I think maybe Professor X could make it in, but 14 was quite a bit

    Ray Palmer is the Atom.
    Professor X has little to no technical expertise. The Danger Room was made by his space alien girlfriend.
    Ozymandias didn't do most of the work for his "engineering", he just set up a pyramid scheme of scientists and engineers (including Dr. M), and put it all together.
    Forge makes stuff all the time. He's constantly whipping up new crap that he dismantles later.
    Reed Richards? He regularly invents "Science!" stuff, and a lot of it becomes mainstream in the Marvel universe (like the water breathing pills and unstable molecule suits). All the superheros come to _him_ whenever they have an issue.
    Best of all: Dr. Doom. He's invented devices in less than a day that steal Silver Surfer's Cosmic Power, The Cosmic Cube's power, and The Effing Beyonder's powers.

  • by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Thursday April 07, 2011 @10:39PM (#35753124) Homepage
    All that engineering talent and still Reed Richards is Still Useless [tvtropes.org].
  • by Sporkinum (655143) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @10:50PM (#35753192)

    Dr. Jonas Venture was pretty awesome. Shame that Dr. Thaddeus "Rusty" Venture tried to use those coat tails to make a name for himself. Albino computer scientist Pete White and hydrocephalic "boy genius" Master Billy Quizboy have more raw talent than "Rusty".

  • He's a super genius engineer, and also technically a supervillain. Right now he is building a giant underground lair under Greg Dean's apartment. Other inventions have been time machines, spacecraft, supercomputers, you name it.
  • Have a look at the other side of the Ocean: Professor Cuthbert Calculus: Realistic moon rocket in the mid-1950s, color TV, mini submarine, ...
  • That is all.

    LK

  • Missing:

    Elroy Jetson

    Tinker from Speed Buggy (He build a frigging sentient dune buggy)

    Rhinox from Transformer: Beast Wars

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