“The argument that was made is that Cthulhu’s big power is that he can drive anyone insane, but Captain Jack is already insane,” he said. “Cthulhu can go underwater, but Jack Sparrow is dead, so he can go under the water, too — he’s really sort of the perfect hero to fight Cthulhu.”
The question was posed to Maxey years ago at DragonCon, the largest fantasy and science fiction convention, in a panel that he was moderating.
On Saturday, Maxey will moderate a similar panel, this time at the Orange County Public Library with local authors Samantha Bryant and Leigh Statham partaking in the age-old discussion: which hero would win in a showdown?
The format is simple: audience members can nominate three heroes, comic book or otherwise, online. At the event, two at a time will be randomly selected by Maxey. From there, the authors debate on who would win in a fight and audience members join in the discussion.
“I think it’s going to be fun,” said Bryant. “It’ll be like dinnertime conversation at my house — but with adults.”
Jessica Arnold, the event coordinator and Orange County adult and teen services librarian, said the event is meant to entice high school graduates, 20-somethings and 30-somethings to become more involved in their library at a time when generally they find entertainment elsewhere.
“One of the things that we try to do at the library is bring people together, people who have similar interests — right now, it’s such a high point for these fandoms with all the comic book movies coming out,” she said.
“We’re trying to tap into that and bring people together who are excited about these things.”
While debating who would win in a fight isn’t expressly literary, Bryant said that she hopes it’s a catalyst that connects the pop culture to the library materials.
“Anything that gets them into the library to remind them how great our library is and how much there is to explore is a good thing,” she said. “When the library can connect to things that are popular to reading, connect that they’re about stories, then people can come into this event and find books about those characters in our library.”
While Superman versus Batman and power dynamics of Marvel heroes will likely be called into question, the authors said they hope more women are mentioned.
“I always thought people underestimate Wonder Woman — the stars on her underwear doesn’t mean she can’t kick your butt,” Bryant said.
For Maxey, the event will be a chance to do what he loves most.
“The thing I really enjoy is hanging out with nerds, and I mean that with nothing but pure affection,” he said.
“Getting a room full of people engaged in who’s the better captain, Han Solo or Captain Kirk — that’s the sort of fun, B.S., pointless argument that instills the imagination.”