Know Your Idols

Handbook for the Apocalypse: Riddley Walker

by Katemandi, Last Girl on Earth

Apocalyptic fans the world over mourned this week: Russell Hoban has left us to our fates on this earth. Wordy wordy wordsmith Will Self has called Hoban his hero and called Riddley Walker “perhaps the post-nuclear-apocalypse novel sans pareil” and it is an epithet well-earned.

Told in the fractured post-nuclear apocalyptic English of a twelve year old just reaching his rite of passage, the novel offers an indelible image of the blighted world to come and demonstrates the importance of keeping your Punch and Judy puppets close to hand.

In its pages you will find optimum tips for surviving the apocalyptic future, making coal, hunting wildlife with a spear, exploring the archeology of the past world and of course, the undying importance of storytelling as the way we make sense of even the most destructive world.

Trubba not and watch out for the arga warga.

Know Your Idols #19 Officer Aeryn Sun

by Honeybadger

When John Crichton is pulled through a worm hole and ends up in a parallel universe accidentally causing the death of a Peacekeeper Captains brother it’s Aeryn Sun who pleads his case, admittedly on the grounds that he is helpless and stupid, but still.

What’s her deal?
Sun is a Sebacean, so looks human but isn’t and she was born into the Peacekeeper Corp. Her defense of Crichton gets her expelled from the only life she has ever known on the grounds of contamination. It also lands her on the run with a group of criminals on the Leviathan Moya. She’s tough, brave, resourceful and loyal and gradually learns to deal with life outside the military. Although technically this isn’t an apocalypse Crichton is removed from our world and Sun’s universe is comparable to many post apoc versions of space.

All seasons of Farscape!

She Says:
‘Pull it out, point it like a gun and shoot!’
‘And that’s the sound of our ship Moya under pressure. And this is the sound of an AKR maximum load ammo pack being chambered into a full grade full range pulse pistol.’
‘I’ll torture him, then I’ll kill him.’

Aeryn Sun is a tough military chick who will kill without hesitation for her friends. A sentiment I can admire.

HoneyBadger out

Know Your Idols #18: Charly Baltimore

by Katemandi, Last Girl on Earth

You wake up in suburbia but something tells you it might not be where you belong. You can’t remember the rest of your life and you settle into being a teacher and a mom and bake for the PTA. Then one day you discover a brilliant skill with knives. You’re a chef!

Oh, wait — you’re not. You’re a killer.

Geena Davis’s turn as Charly Baltimore in The Long Kiss Goodnight offers an excellent role model for the post-apocalyptic woman (Davis herself is no slouch as a role model, too). See her trade witticisms with Samuel L. Jackson, survive torture and Craig Bierko. Charly kicks, shoots, knifes, skates, loves her husband and daughter and drinks vodka neat. Brava.

And the film is great fun, too. Consider it part of your holiday training.

Know your Idols #17: Max Guevara (X5-452)

by Kaitharshayr

Max is a genetically enhanced transgenic super-soldier, she’s passionate, sassy, smart and tough. She’s been through more in her early years than anyone would go through in the entire lives, and yet she still cares for others, and will fight to protect both their lives and their rights.

Whats her deal:
Max, and her fellow X5s were created by Manticore, a secret government programme, her DNA has been mixed with feline DNA, which gives her a lot of what could be termed superhero abilities, enhanced strength, speed, stamina, eyesight, hearing, immune system and a very high I.Q to name but a few. She’s also highly trained in several different types of combat as well as infiltration and computers. When she was still a child Max and 11 other X5’s managed to escape from Manticore, however Max got separated from them and while she did escape she doesn’t know what happened to the others.

Since then America has been turned into a 3rd world country after terrorists detonated an EMP in the atmosphere, which throws the country into utter chaos as it destroys much of the countries computer and communications network. All Max wants is to be able to live a normal life and to be reunited with her brother and sister X5s, however Manticore is determined to recapture them, at any cost. While trying to stay hidden from Colonel Lydecker, the man in charge of the unit trying to recapture the X5s for Manticore, Max works for Jam Pony a bicycle currier service by day, and in her spare time finds herself helping Logan Cale (a.k.a Eyes Only) a cyber-journalist trying to fight corruption in the post apocalypse.

ResearchDark Angel Seasons 1&2

She says:
‘Girls kick ass; says so on a t-shirt ‘
‘Kendra, this is a motorcycle. Its sole reason for being is to go fast, very fast. Not for you to use as a clothesline. Now, make no mistake. I love you as a friend and a roommate, but I love my motorcycle more. Stay away from the bike, okay?’
‘I had to have radical emergency amateur brain surgery to remove a nanochip from my cerebellum before I stroked from a neurochemical overload. ‘
Logan: Isn’t it against the superhero code to use your powers to take advantage of we mere mortals?
Max: Yeah, and I’m not done taking advantage, either.

Max is tough and determined, but underneath it all she has a heart of gold, she’s not as ruthless as she pretends to be. She will do what she can to protect those she loves, even at risk to herself. And while she isn’t afraid to give any would be attackers a good beating, she abhors guns. In the series its unclear what’s happened to the rest of the world it is clear at least that America is suffering its own apocalypse, and Max is a definite survivor, a good resourceful person to have on any team.

Know your Idols #16 – Niobe

by battleaxebunny

The problem with prophecies is that they always tend to be a bit on the vague side and who in their right mind would trust a Chosen One? Evidence suggests that half the people in the Matrix would (and we make no comment about what this says about their mental stability) but Niobe is not so easily sold. Nevertheless, despite some decidedly hinky plans, she has enough belief in her comrades to step up and give them the benefit of her considerable talents.

What’s her deal?

Niobe is one of the human batteries released from captivity from the bio-electric farms run by the machine overlords. When inside the Matrix she’s got some serious combat skills, and outside of the Matrix her piloting skills are unmatched.

As captain of the Logos she has the benefit of the smallest and most manoeuvrable ship in the Zion fleet – but give her a fat-assed ship like the Hammer and she’ll consistently do the impossible. She performs evasive feats that no other pilot has previously dared and is willing to try even the maddest of plans.

Surrounded by strong willed and highly opinionated individuals she steers her own course, alway choosing to follow the best tactical path and managing to achieve her goals (even if her ship gets a little dinged in the process).

Matrix: Reloaded movie (2003)
Matrix: Revolutions movie (2003)

She Says:
‘What if all this, the prophecy, everything is bullshit?’
‘Don’t even think of trying to tell me what I can or can not do with my ship after that little speech.’
‘Some things in this world never change. .. Luckily… some things do.’

She isn’t afraid to stand up and be counted, even if it means committing to courses of action that her nearest and dearest aren’t keen on. She’s highly skilled and will dare everything to make sure her people stay safe so you’ll definitely want her with you when the machines takes over.

battleaxebunny out.

Know Your Idols #14 Private Benjamin

by HoneyBadger

Ok so Private Benjamin didn’t survive or even face an apocalypse, but she is further proof that even a spoiled little fluff of a thing can grow up, toughen up and be ready for war.

What’s her deal?
Judy Benjamin is a bored, spoilt rich girl and she joins the army after seeing recruitment posters saying they send you to exotic places. She arrives with trunks full of make up and heaps of attitude and expectation to basic training where she gets a rude awakening. Through the film, she finds herself, toughs it out, becomes a good Private and valuable part of the team. Since she’s played by Goldie Hawn she also manages to look cute in fatigues.

It’s all about her personal journey rather than her ass kicking, but she is transformed from a useless socialite into a tough soldier and if she can do it any of us can. Although of course this was the 80’s so there is a lot of silliness in the film.

In fairness to Benjamin, she has had some tough breaks, her husband dies on their wedding night and she has to deal with sexual harassment in the army, so while this is in many ways a decidedly silly movie, there are still useful lessons to learn from our girl.

Research: Private Benjamin 1980

She says:
Oh god, you can’t mean me. I worked the night shift! Go check out the bathroom, it’s FABULOUS.
Don’t bad French artists have telephones?
Has anybody ever died from basic?

Judy Benjamin demonstrates the adaptability, spirit and remarkable inner toughness that ever apocalypse girl needs to be able to call on when the worst happens.

Honeybadger out.

Know your Idols #13 – Martha Jones

by battleaxebunny

Doctor, time travelling tourist, freedom fighter, inspiration for Shakespeare, freelance alien hunter… Martha’s a woman of many talents. Her apocalypse lasted a year, and when it was over, a temporal reset ensured that hardly anyone remembered what she had done for the world. But during that year she was awesome, and continued to be so for long after.

What’s her deal?
Starting out a medical student from London, Martha’s experience of being teleported to the moon by a bunch of rhino-headed alien cops kicked off her adventures with a mad-man in a blue box. During this time she saved many lives, stopped several alien invasions and other related shenanigans and dealt, in a grown up manner, with a serious case of unrequited crush-hood.

When a deranged Time Lord (not the aforementioned mad-man…another one) took over the world with his army of mutated future-human flying cyborg balls of death, it was Martha Jones who was instrumental in thwarting his plans. She walked what was left of the world, working with the resistance and getting the survivors ready for the time when they’d all be needed to pull Plan Tinkerbell. (Safer not to question why the Time Lords come up with these bizarre plans, just let them get on with it…)

She was also fully prepared to destroy the Earth to stop a Dalek apocalypse and was only stopped by the Daleks teleporting her away at the last minute.

Doctor Who (new) series 3 and 4

She Says:
‘I can’t just be a passenger anymore.’
‘Know your enemy.’
‘No weapons, just words.’
‘Now then. I’m Dr. Martha Jones. Who the hell are you?’

Gutsy and determined, she meets every challenge with aplomb and a deadpan quip. She’s adept at figuring things out, highly skilled in the medical field and has plenty of experience in the art of surviving when the rest of the world has gone a bit tits-up . Martha Jones is a natural hero of the Apocalypse.

battleaxebunny out

Know Your Idols #12 – Major Eden Sinclair

by battleaxebunny

Major Eden Sinclair is the Department of Domestic Security officer who gets picked to lead a team of soldiers and medical researchers on a desperate mission into the Scottish wastelands. Given what an unrelenting hard-ass she is, it’s no surprise that she’s the one that survives when everyone else falls to the axes and arrows of outrageous misfortune.

What’s her deal?
Welcome to the Scottish Apocalypse! In the world of Doomsday, Scotland has been walled off and quarantined after a lethal virus outbreak. As a child, Eden was one of the last to be evacuated and has since grown up to be a seriously ass-kicking soldier with a cybernetic eye she can pop out whenever she needs to see around corners or record incriminating video.

After London gets hit with the virus, she heads up the team who get sent to Scotland to search out survivors and the doctor who was working on a cure. But while she’s dedicated to her mission, she’s also got her own personal agenda – wanting to search out the home she barely remembers to reconnect with her long lost childhood.

But nothing in life is ever simple – there’s the small matter of Canaris, the power behind the English throne, who wants to use the new virus outbreak to his advantage; and then there’s the crazed Glaswegian cannibals and the mad scientist with his castle of medieval cosplay thugs to deal with. Luckily she’s good at multi-tasking.

Doomsday movie (2008)

She Says:
‘There’s something you don’t see every day.’
‘Same shit, different era.’
‘I’ll tell you what I’ve lost, I’ve lost my bloody mind.’
‘If you’re hungry, have a piece of your friend.’

She’s tough, resourceful, stony under pressure, lethal in combat and adept at improvising weapons from broken gadgetry. Utterly ruthless, she’ll keep her mind firmly fixed on her target and once the job is done thinks far enough ahead to prepare for future trouble (for example, getting the support of a small army of mad Scottish bastards just in case her enemies are stupid enough to go after her again.)
When the apocalypse hits, you definitely want Eden Sinclair on your side.

battleaxebunny out.

Know your Idols #11 Hermione Granger

by Honeybadger

Super smart, calm, collected, the linchpin of our heroic trio, the muggle born book worm and witch is peacemaker between her friends as well as the voice of reason. Although the Harry Potter series doesn’t technically present and apocalypse it’s clear that Voldemort and his death eaters want to wipe out us non magic folks.

What’s her deal?
Born to human parents Hermione is a witch and finds herself at Hogwarts as Harry Potter starts there and the dark lord starts trying to make his come back. She brings book smarts from the of but as things progress shows tremendous resolve, courage and loyalty. As things get tough so does Hermione. We see her growing up from 11 to about 18 in the series and becoming an ass kicker as well as a book worm.

Research :
Harry Potter books 1-7
Harry Potter movies 1-8

She says:
Is that really what my hair looks like from the back?
You! You foul, loathsome, evil little cockroach!

Face it, she knows all the right flicks of the wand, isn’t afraid of getting a little dirty, looks hot in a posh frock and called Malfoy the things we all wanted to call him. Without our girl this would have been a very short series of books, with the impetuous boys getting killed and Voldemort taking over the world.

Honeybadger out

Know Your Idols #9 – Starbuck

by Honeybadger

Starbuck started life as a man, but brushing over that she is now the hottest, cigar smokin’, poker playin’ ass kickin’ member of the Battlestar Galactica crew.

What’s her deal?
Once a pyramid ball player, now a Viper pilot, Starbucks planet was destroyed by a robot race called ‘Cylons’ she’s a survivor and a pilot on Battlestar Galactica as it tries to find the planet where they believe humanity began. The Cylons want to wipe them out, there are too many people and too few resources and there are enemies among them. It’s a battle to survive every day. Starbuck is beautiful, tough and smart.

Battlestar Galactica Series: 2004 – 2009

She Says:
Me in a dress is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
That’s my Raptor wranglers, always looking for new and interesting ways to get killed.
Fear gets you killed. Anger keeps you alive.

I love Starbuck, she is my favourite thing about the series and balances sexy and tough brilliantly. This girl makes me want to light a cigar and pick a fight. Also, her world has actually ended, in a blinding and undeniable flash of light, any of her friends could actually be cylons and the only person who really knows anything has one of the things living in his head.