This week: Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley, late of the Nostromo, vs. Captain Malcom Reynolds of the Firefly class spaceship Serenity. Ms. “Get away from her, you bitch” vs. Mr. “If your hand touches metal, I swear by my pretty floral bonnet I will end you”. Let’s get it on like the Yuuzhan Vong.
Our first true “tough one” of the bracket. Ripley is no slouch, having taken on countless Aliens. She’s used to mixing it up, and coming out on top, regardless of the odds. On the other hand, Mal is a scrapper. He never really gets ahead, but he always wins. He’s also underestimated by almost everyone. He presents a charming face, and an ‘aw shucks’ attitude, but make no mistake, he’ll kill you in a heartbeat. And I don’t even want to hear any of that “Mal is too much of a gentleman to harm a lady.” Bullshit. If his life is on the line, he won’t hesitate.
The horn goes, and Mal and Ripley both make their way for the gun pole. Mal gets to his gun first, and begins shooting. He’s close to the mark, but just misses. Ripley gets her gun/flamethrower dealie, but also a shot in the leg for her trouble. Thus begins the longest battle in arena history. Mal chases, Ripley stays a step ahead, with her injured leg slowing her down. Finally, Mal comes around the the post, Ripley fires off a desperation burst, catching Mal with the flamethrower. His hair is singed, and he’s pissed.
“Lady, I’m getting awful tired of this. Let’s settle it”. Ripley steps out from behind the post, limping as she does so. Mal says “On the count of three..”. Both of them, knowing better fire immediately. The flamethrower mangles Mal’s face some more, possibly destroying his good looks permanently, and he catches a round in his shoulder. Ripley takes two to the chest, and collapses. Mal falls to the ground, and passes out. Ripley falls as well. She doesn’t get back up.
Winner: Mal, by the slimmest of margins.
This one poses more questions than there are good answers for. Questions like: How are they going to get a giant mech style loading machine on a tiny platform? Would the otherwise gallant Captain Mal dig deep and kill an essentially innocent woman? More importantly, would he be wearing a pretty floral bonnet when he did so?
In times of uncertainty, we must always turn to the comforting rigidity of mathematics…
I think it’s fair to say that Ripley defeating not just AN Alien…but several ALIENS and then their giant Queen translates to…
So we must then postulate, having never had one aboard Serenity whether or not Captain Mal would in fact vanquish an Alien…or several… or their Queen. I seem to recall in the last episode, Mal and his whole crew almost got completely wiped out by one guy. Since we postulate that a number of Aliens could beat one guy we have to assume
Mal < Aliens
Ripley >Aliens, and Aliens> Mal therefore Ripley >Mal.
Hooray for Math!
But wait! Is this specious logic at work?
After all Mal< Aliens might be an erroneous supposition, based on the fact that Mal has fought and defeated Reavers, who are in there own rapey cannibally way almost as fearsome as aliens. No acid for blood, but on the whole pretty terrifying. But unless we actually saw a Serenity Crew vs. Alien Mash up, we’d have no way of knowing. All we know is that they would have our money and our asses would be in the seats opening day.
So in the face of the failures of Math and Logical Philosophy…let us turn to out old stand by Science!
FACT OF SCIENCE: Ripley’s finishing move is pressing a button and watching her adversary get sucked out of an airlock. She’s a master of the art of Vogon-Fu. Thing is…there aren’t any airlocks in the arena, folks. The scientific method would demand rigorous testing, but most reputable scientists would be likely to theorize a Mal Wins Scenario.
All of which leads to one undeniable conclusion.
I’m Tbinnsing the shit out of this article because I haven’t got the first clue who would win . I’m about 20 seconds away from a coin toss here.
Wait a minute… Joss Whedon actually CREATED Mal and wrote an Alien movie! Let’s just ask him!
JOSS: I never wrote an Alien film
TONY: Yes, yes you did.
JOSS: No I didn’t, I’m very busy directing the Avengers go away…
TONY: Dude, we know you wrote Alien Resurrection…
JOSS: LA LA LA LA LA I DID NOT WRITE THAT IT NEVER HAPPENED LA LA LA LA!!!!!
Well, clearly Joss is not going to help me.
So let’s assume that Ripley’s weapon is that bad ass pulse rifle with the blow torch/grenade launcher attachment, and Mal’s trusty sidearm is there as well.
Buzzer sounds, Mal swears in Chinese, as the smart and determined Ripley bolts for the weapons…It’s neck and neck up to the platform…Mal’s hand grabs for the pisto…REAVERS!!!!!
REAVERS!!!!! OH GOD RUN RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! REAVERS…
Ughhh alright FINE I’ll make a decision.
Ummm Mal wins. Because…uhhh…Oh okay how about this…Mal wins because he is a soldier trained in hand to hand, and Ripley a determined survivor…which cancels that out.
Okay…here it is. The Winner is Ripley. Because Joss Whedon kills off beloved characters, and Ripley keeps coming back, even after death. And Because Mal would die rather than kill an innocent woman.
Yes. Mal dies rather than break principal and Ripley survives. That feels right.
There. Ripley. I said it, I stand by it.
LOSER: Guys who can’t make a decision
Cub Reporter Keith
Ripley knows the stakes. She has been down this road before. Some faceless inter-planetary corp with its own agenda has put her in harm’s way again. She looks across the arena to see Malcom Reynolds, captain of the Serenity, smiling back at her.
“I’ll just charm the little lady into giving up,” Mal thinks, “no need for her to get her pretty head blowed off.”
“What an @$$hole,” Ripley says under her breath.
Up on the pedestal are Mal’s signature sidearm and Ripley’s most iconic weapon, the 15-foot tall zero-gee landing bay mech.
“What the hell am I going to do with that even if I got to it?” Ripley asks no one in particular.
Thankfully for the Cub Reporter, Ripley doesn’t know she is being controlled by an omnipotent writer creating all of this from his memory of the Alien film fest he had about 5 years back. She would kick his Cubby butt.
“You won’t need it. You just have to strike hard and fast.” She looks down to see that Bishop’s head is sitting near her. There is no more explanation for this than there is any other time Bishop suddenly shows up to give her expository information.
Ripley stalks toward Mal, grabbing the closest loose rock, ever the improviser.
“Let’s us work out some peaceable solution to this here conundrum, what say?” Mal says in a nearly incomprehensible mish-mash of dialogue styles.
“I don’t even care who sent you, Reynolds. I’m tried of being used.”
Ripley is only a few feet away and towers over Reynolds, mostly because your narrator thinks she is taller than she really is. She’s really 2 inches shorter than Mal, but that isn’t the picture in my head. If you don’t like it, just pretend I said they were eye to eye or something.
Ripley winds back with her small rock that doesn’t count as a weapon. Mal smiles, knowing what comes next.
But it doesn’t come. Because in every single episode of Firefly when Mal gets into a spot like this Zoe comes along and saves him. Or the Serenity comes blasting up from behind a cliff to surprise everyone. Or Wash makes a distracting quip. Or River kills a whole bunch of people with her brain.
None of that happens. Mal is alone. Which is why he gets his head bashed in by Ripley who is way cooler.
Loser: Cub Reporter Keith who now has to explain why he visits a site from work that has this much TBinns’ing
Follow Keith on Twitter at CubReporterK and listen to his comic book podcast at www.wetalkcomics.podomatic.com
So Ripley moves on to battle Indiana Jones in the next round. Tune in next week for Sarah Connor vs John McClane. Have something to say? Probably. Do so below.