Tag Archives: Smartest Person

Dude Review: The Incredible Hercules: Assault On New Olympus

by Richard

I think I might have mentioned it before, but comic books are what helped to form a very large portion of my ethical outlook. Spider-Man taught me that those who are strong have the responsibility to help those who aren’t. Batman taught me to work with what you have (even though most people aren’t going to be billionaire obsessives with a full support team.)

I thought I’d done all the learning I needed to do from comic books. Turns out I was wrong. The Incredible Hercules still had a few things to teach us all.

Amadeus Cho is the seventh-smartest person in the world. He’s been hanging with Hercules, righting wrongs and helping to make the world a better place. Unfortunately, Hercules’ mom, Hera, is also trying to make the world a better place and, in her mind, that means wiping out humanity and starting over again.

Seems like a pretty clear-cut philosophical difference that could be easily settled through the traditional methods of beating each other on the head until one being gives in. Unfortunately for humanity, Hera is backed by a number of the other gods in her pantheon, as well as the terrifying Titan Typhon. Hercules has a smart kid and a few of his pals in the Avengers.

What Herc doesn’t know is that his sister, Pallas Athena, has been training Amadeus Cho to replace Hercules as the new prince of power, the protector of humanity. Sounds great. It’s just too bad there can only be one Prince of Power at a time. Which means for Amadeus to take over, Hercules has to be dead.

All of which means it’s time for Herc to make a head-on assault on Hera’s headquarters, New Olympus. Amadeus spends most of the assault trying to protect his friend, which irritates Hercules no end. And here’s the teachable moment. Amadeus confronts Hercules with his worry and Herc tells him, basically, chill out, dude.

“Everybody dies,” Hercules said. “But not everybody lives. Stop worrying all the time.”

Worrying won’t change things. Live life. Enjoy life. Fight for life. When it ends, it ends. Now, I’m not endorsing a fatalistic outlook, but rather one that embraces change and ending, while showing off the best you can get out of life.

All of which makes for a great comic book.

The fight scenes are amazing. As is the entire last half of the book. Full of humor and pathos and betrayal.

If you’ve been following these reviews, you’ll know how much I’m enjoying them. This book doesn’t disappoint.

Go out and pick this up. Five dudes out of five. Again.


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Dude Review: The Incredible Hercules: The Mighty Thorcules

by Richard

I’m going to keep reviewing these until at least one of you drops by the comments section to let me know that you actually bought a collection of the best comic book being published today. And, no, that’s not damning with faint praise. I love The Incredible Hercules: The Mighty Thorcules. It pushes all my buttons. It’s got humor, mythology, humor, butt kicking and smart alekry up the wazzoo. In short, it’s incredible. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) Oh, yeah. And this collection has the best sound effect ever committed to paper. Take a look.

Come on! How can you not love the purple nurple of the gods?

Let me explain. For reasons too complicated to go into right now, the Incredible Hercules has to pose as his rival, the Mighty Thor (hence the title) and, this being a superhero comic, the two get into a fight. Now, Thor isn’t used to fighting bare chested. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem. But, see, Hercules isn’t above fighting dirty to win and is willing to give out a purple nurple (notice the sound effect “nurp” is, in fact, purple).

Being a serialized comic book, this could be a bit confusing, if it weren’t for the fact that The Incredible Hercules has the most inventive and fun recap pages ever speeding people up to brought. Basically, Herc has to impersonate Thor to stop an invasion of Earth by some particularly dire elves. Things do not go as planned and Thor has to impersonate Herc to stop the whole thing. Once again, things do not go as planned.

Dude! That hurts just looking at it.

Thor, normally one of the most noble fair-fightingest of the Marvel universe takes well to playing the part of Hercules. Perhaps too well. And, of course, notice the sound effect which, if sounded out, will sound suspiciously like nut crack. Hmm. Wonder where they got the idea for that sound effect? (To get a better look at this and the next picture, make with the clicky to enlargen.) [What? That’s a word, right?]

In the series, Herc has been accompanied by a young genius named Amadeus Cho, the seventh-smartest person on the planet. And someone who has even worse impulse control than the notoriously scatterbrained Hercules. In alternating issues, this collection follows Cho as he tries to find out what really happened when his parents were killed.

He’s looking for the man who planted the bomb, not so much for revenge, but to find out if his sister is really alive and, if so, where she is. When Cho finally does find the mastermind behind his personal tragedy, he’s confronted by an aged, bitter and more than slightly insane version of himself and forced into a no-win, life-or-death situation. His solution to the dilemma is uniquely his own.

Because this is a comic book, I wanted to say a little bit about the art. Reilly Brown on the epic Thorcules arc is absolutely fantastic. I mean, you get the expressions you’ve been hoping for when someone describes the action. While Rodney Buchemi doesn’t quite reach those heights on the Amadeus Cho sections, it still does a nice job of telling the story.

In all, I’ll give this book five (5) dudes out of five. It’s, sorry again, incredible. Go out and buy it now. Read it and laugh.

Otherwise. . . Well, let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be you.Let's run it up the flagpole and see who salutes.

Or your underwear.

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On The Advisability Of Tooting Horns, Yours And Others

by Richard

I know this is going to be hard to believe. Really I do. Aren’t most of us dudes reliable estimators of our own abilities? Of course we are. Well, maybe not. According to a British researcher, it’s dudes who consistently overestimate their own brainpower, while women tend to underestimate their own and that of other women.

Hm. Men all braggy and women self-effacing. Why does that sound so familiar?

Anyway. Adrian Furnham, a professor of psychology at University College London, has looked at studies conducted over the course of the last 30 years and found some interesting stuff.

Universally, men tend to score higher on certain specialized skills, such as spatial awareness. In the real world, that means they might be better at reading maps or navigating. Women score higher in terms of language development and emotional intelligence. But most experts agree there is no real, important overall difference when it comes to gender and intelligence.

So, that’s all well and good. There are some actual, measurable differences between male and female intellect. However, what I’m interested in is perceived intelligence, that is, how smart we think we are.

It’s what we call the male hubris and female humility effect. Men are more confident about their IQ. These studies show that on average, women underestimate their IQ scores by about five points while men overestimate their own IQs. Since these studies were international in scope, the results were essentially the same whether women were from Argentina, America, Britain, Japan or Zimbabwe.

Not only that, but women across generations tend to think of men as smarter than women.

Men aren’t more clever or smarter. But since they think they are, they are more confident about their abilities. These self-beliefs, however, may be highly adaptive. Who gets a job? A bright woman who doesn’t think she’s smart, or a not-so-bright man who believes he’s capable of anything? Arrogance and hubris are not attractive qualities, but confident, self-belief may be. Certainly, underestimating abilities might hurt you. There’s a good quote from one of your countrymen, Henry Ford. He says: “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.” And that is what is troublesome. Beliefs may be more important than actual ability in certain settings.

So, according to this dude, self-deception can actually work for you. Seems a good thing to know. Not that I really needed it since I’m always the smartest person in the room. But then, I’m sure you knew I was going to say that.

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