Poll Position: Super Cribs

With a tip-of-the-cap to Mark Engblom's "Comic Coverage" for many of the graphics and the general idea, I present to you our weekly geeky conundrum:


Discussion to follow!

  • Justice League Watchtower

    When you want to reinforce the idea that you're "super" and thus above the petty concerns of mortal man, nothing serves better than taking your headquarters into outer space. Packed to the rafters -- oh yes, every satellite has rafters, it's a little-known rocket scientist requirement -- with technological goodies like instant teleportation and a groovy workout room, this is the perfect place for your harried hero to retire after a long day of suffering the presence of the squalid masses of dreary old Earth.

  • Doctor Doom's Latverian Castle

    Reed Richards got a building, so Doom built a castle.

    Reed Richards has a city who loves him, so Doom got a country.

    You have to admire a guy who isn't content just with a building, but instead gets an entire nation of people to worship him as their liege. That means he basically has mountains, rivers, seas, and vast tracts of land as his "headquarters". Pretty awesome.

  • Magento's Asteroid M

    Like the Justice League with an edge, Magento also uses his HQ to flaunt his superiority over common humans. Only with Magento, he could drop it on their heads and wipe out all life in the process. I'd like to see a satellite do that! The battles between the X-Men and Magneto in and around Asteroid M are some of the best in comics history, which should probably be taken into consideration. But I could never quite understand where this giant asteroid came from. Did Magneto fly out to the asteroid belt one afternoon and drag it back? And if he can do that, why bother with all the picayune little plots for world domination, when he could just threaten the entire planet with destruction by dropping mile-wide rocks on it to get what he wants?

  • Xavier's School for Gifted Children

    On one hand, it's just a big school out in the country. On the other hand, a supersonic Blackbird jet can fly out from under the swimming pool! If my school offered that I might have graduated.

  • Legion of Doom

    Only Lex "I'm evil because I'm bald" Luthor could hatch a scheme to design one of the most awesome looking headquarters in history ("Make it look like Darth Vader's head!"), only to then bury it in a swamp.

  • The Death Star

    Ok, sure, the Death Star was in a movie and not a comic book. But they did eventually make a Star Wars comic, bucko! And it's the freaking Death Star!

  • Superman's Fortress of Solitude

    I grew up with the "Giant gold key" version of the Fortress, which competed with the Bat Cave to see who could stuff the most memorabilia inside its walls. Apparently even Golden Age Superman didn't have super design sense. But the idea of this god-like figure needing a retreat from the cares of the world was fantastic. Batman's HQ was very much an office, because Batman doesn't ever go off duty. Work is relaxation to Bats! But Superman doesn't need an office. He's Superman. He can do everything he needs to do wearing nothing but a smile if he wants. So it makes sense that his Fortress would be a retreat, a place to chill out and relax.

    My favorite part of that Fortress, of course, was the key, which was "disguised" as a navigational aid for overflying planes. Like that wouldn't raise any questions.

    "Uh, tower, I'm flying over the deserted Arctic ice caps and there's a big giant gold arrow. But it's pointing left and I want to go straight, what should I do?"
    "Don't question the giant arrow, Bob."

  • Batman's Bat Cave

    Arguably the definitive super-hero lair, you have to admire the sheer Bat-craziness this thing represents. I mentioned before that Batman never relaxes, so it makes sense that his HQ would be a working office, jammed with equipment to help him fight crime even better. But he took it to the next level by basically making it a shrine to his Bat-awesomeness. "Look, this is a giant penny from that time I totally kicked the Joker's ass. I'm awesome. Wait, Bat-Self, do you need even more self-reassurance as to your might? Well let's walk this way, my friend!"

    I think you can make a great case that Batman is the most jacked-up, psychologically speaking, of all the major super heroes, and the Bat Cave would be Exhibit A in that argument. Buried underground, sunk in bat-feces, surrounded by reminders of his worth, with no room for joy or happiness or relaxation. Just work.

  • Avengers' Mansion

    Nothing says "We fight for you, little guy!" like living in a mansion. In the middle of Manhattan. Why not just base yourself at a spa or the Four Seasons and call it a day? Jeez, they even have a butler. Can you imagine Batman with a ... oh, wait.

  • Fantastic Four's Baxter Building

    To me, the Baxter Building is a great outward manifestation of Reed Richards -- square, packed with machines that go "ping", and boring. If he had any sense of humor at all, that bad boy would stretch.

Since Batman wins everything, I bet the Bat Cave takes top honors here. Which might be appropriate, since it's pretty cool.

But for me, I have to go with the Legion of Doom's "Hall of Doom". They're living in Darth Vader's head, people! And then it buries itself in a swamp!

I grant you, I have a hard time imagining a more impractical location for a villainous lair. I mean, I grew up in Louisiana and I can attest to the fact that there aren't a whole lot of banks or high-tech companies ripe for raiding in the vicinity of a swamp. Plus it stinks. And how do you get there without attracting attention? I guarantee you, while a talking gorilla might not make much of a splash walking into the New York City airport, that same gorilla is going to get a whole lot of Cajuns riled up when he flies in for Lex's latest committee meeting.

And Cajuns have guns, folks.

What about you, what would be your favorite?

29 Responses to Poll Position: Super Cribs

  1. Dan says:

    Jeff, no Teen Titan’s Tower? 😉

  2. P.F. Bruns says:

    “Magento” should be “Magneto,” despite some of his more questionably colored costumes. 😉

  3. Gero says:

    If you’re going with the Avengers on this one, you should use the Triskellion (sp?) from the Ultimate version. Much cooler than the mansion from the main universe…

  4. Gene says:

    For the Avengers, I preferred the briefly used Hydro Base – An artificial island.

    But for the purposes of this poll, I went with Asteroid M. Seems more versatile to me for some reason. Plus, I think Magneto kept it hidden from the people of earth…Cloaked? Magnetic fields? I don’t recall.

    Unless of course they sent Bruce Willis up to deal with it……

  5. Frevoli says:

    I went with death star, although there are other notable bases worth mentioning… such as the Shield hellicarrier or Tracy Island

  6. X-stacy says:

    Normally I try to stay away from voting for Batman, because Batman gets enough votes. But come on. The Bat-cave is the best headquarters ever. If I had a huge cave filled with giant coins and animatronic dinosaurs, where the bats were trained never to crap on my stuff and a butler had to clean up after me…well, I probably wouldn’t fight any crime because I’d be too busy playing with my toys.

  7. McKnight57 says:

    As much as I love the idea of the Fortress of Solitude being jam-packed full of goodies, you have to consider that it’s literally at the ass end of the world. It may not take him that long to get there since he’s Superman and can fly, but for the rest of us, unless we’re takin’ a good 6 months to a year off, the trips there and back would be wasted time.

    As far as the Bat Cave, imagine how hard it would be to keep your kid sidekicks from messing with or climbing on things, not to mention trying to steal the Batmobile or Bat-Copter when you tell them to stay home from any particular mission. I mean, considering he met Jason Todd when the kid had the Batmobile on blocks, I’d say that’s the one you gotta worry about. Not to mention the possibility of earthquakes where your home and all of your collectibles can fall and crush you. Then there’s the giant penny, imagine that getting loose and chasing you around Raiders of the Lost Ark style.

    I gotta go with Doom on this one. Having a whole country of people who worship you and the giant castle, kinda beats out most of the others. The other folks have a fairly limited area in which to call their headquarters. Doom gets a whole country in the middle of Europe to just cruise through like its his backyard, which it basically is. And with being comes certain . . . privileges with the local beauties. Put that in your Bat-Pipe and smoke it.

  8. Arioch says:

    Well, I just love the Justice League Watchtower. IMO, it’s the perfect headquarters for a team, allowing you to watchover all of earth and get down quickly if need be.
    Also, IIRC, it doubles as a mini-death star, with its own death ray!

  9. MScat says:

    Im just going to throw this out there with no offense meant but…every poll we’ve had that features Batman as an option he wins. Which means a) The majority of people that read this LOVE Batman. b) Batman is the answer to every question…not unlike Chuck Norris. or c) All of the above

    Im thinking c 😉

  10. Gene says:

    Actually, the last poll of Batman vs. Wolverine was still at 50/50 last I checked…..

    Other than that one , you are right – Batman usually wins any poll he is apart of.

    Plus, you know Alfred prowls through the batcave when the Bats is out, dressing up in some of the villain costumes……

  11. Myro says:

    I’m pretty much contractually obligated to vote for Doom on this one, in order to ensure a slightly less laborious life when Doom takes over. Although, I have to admit, being Lord and Master of your own country is pretty sweet, given the diplomatic immunity that comes with it and all. It’s pretty much the perfect staging point when you want to strive for world domination.

    Still, I also have to point this out. Space station the size of a moon> Asteroid magnetically suspended in orbit over Earth> Satellite in the shape of a tower.

  12. Joshua says:

    DOOM: As an unworthy scribe of Doom–The Ever-Dominate–His Magnificence will not be taking part in this week’s poll; though his name is involved. Rather, he would remind you all that since *ahem* “The Clown” won Greatest Villain of All Time, his foretold vengeance will be delivered in due time.

    He would also have me tell you that he will be delivering said vindication while riding astride a subjugated, bridled Old One while a choir of Valkyries extol, in rapt harmony, Doom’s greatness. And during so, the heavens will collapse in on themselves, the seas transmogrified to ash, and all-manner of nameless terror will be your companion until such time that you confess, and I quote His Excellence, “Doom, Our Undisputed Lord, we– The Worthless Hordes– admit that none compares to you.”

    That is right after he deals with Richards. And the Avengers. And several years worth of Marvel Heroes.


  13. EnderX says:

    Going to have to go with Superman’s Fortress on this one – the Silver Age version, to be more specific. As Jeff pointed out, the thing was just as crammed with gizmos, doo-dads, and ‘souvenirs’ as the Bat-cave, but also contained an alien zoo, a working (if tiny) alien city Supes would sometimes visit, and within said city, a full squadron of miniaturized backup rescuers should something happen to him. And dozens of robot duplicates for use in confusing the wits out of Lois, Perry, Jimmy, etc. The Fortress takes the cake on this one.

    Oh, and ‘Free Latveria!’

  14. Rendu says:

    The Bat-Cave gets points for being the archetypal super-hero HQ, but the Baxter Building makes sense- it’s a base of operations, not a museum.

    The Watchtower (and the JLA satellite before that) are awesome, but impractical. Who thought it was a good idea to have to teleport into Outer Space just to work monitor duty? (Although it did inspire one of my favorite “mainstream comics” lines from Alan Moore: “In a house above the world, the Over-People dwell.”

  15. With Doom, a man’s castle is his home. With Mr. Fantastic, the Baxter building is an office. I can understand the Fortress of Solitude not having stairs because Superman can fly. Still, he’s one of the most nauseatingly politically correct heroes out there. So where is the wheelchair access?

    The Batcave is more than a secret lair. It’s insight into Batman’s psyche. He wouldn’t be on “Cribs: Superhero Style.” He would be on “Hoarders.”

  16. William A. Peterson says:

    Joshua, very well put!
    But, it’s Magneto, not Doom, who has “The Toad” for a lackey! 😉
    However, I went with the Watchtower…
    The Death Star has it’s uses, but, let’s face it…
    It was infiltrated by an old man, a teenaged Moisture Farmer, and a Scruffy Looking Nerf-Herder! 😀

  17. Novak says:

    Let me bw the first to make a case for the Baxter Building.

    The first good point over more then half the others is the fact that it is in the city and you can have food delivered. After a day of throwing cars and burning up the sky you are going to want some deep dish.

    The second point is that with crime in the city you are going to want to be near work on floating in space or at the top of the world. The first on the scene gets all the tv time.

    The third point is that with the Baxter Building you can rent out the bottom floors and make some cash. Just make sure to put in a clause about not being liable for acts of an extra dimensional nature.

  18. Zaheelee says:

    William A.(16): Don’t forget the Walking Carpet with a crossbow!

    Joshua(12): You have been a very good scribe, and I believe that Lord Doom should give you a promotion or something (that is, if that is what Lord Doom so wishes…).

  19. Nick Hentschel says:

    Later…. at the HALL OF JUSTICE…….

  20. Kalkin says:

    I don’t understand, why Batcave is so highly rated in the poll. The cave has stalagmites (or was it stalagtites) hanging from ceiling ready to fall on your head at any moment, it has bats nesting all over it that produce endless amounts of smelly guano and carry rabies, and finally it must be very damp and wet environment. All those gadgets must be rusted through and all those files and wax dummies must be covered in mold that spreads spores. Batman must spend a fortune on astma medication.

  21. Whit says:

    Went with the School for Gifted Children because of the whole “hidden in plain sight” angle–kind of shows just how smart the folks behind it are.

  22. Whit says:

    @20: “Alfred, get me the Bat-Histoplasmosis-Treatment from the Bat-Medicine-Cabinet.” 😀

  23. Me, Myself & I says:

    What I like about the School for Gifted Children is that they have built in succession planning for future generations once the older more experienced hero’s grow old or fall out of the game so to speak, etc. It is the only headquarters that takes into consideration training, educating and mentoring the world at large to make it a better place rather than just fighting the bd guys.

  24. Joe says:

    MMI(23): You have a point, but i’m afraid i’m gonna have to pick the FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE! It was like the first ever true super-HQ.

  25. X-stacy says:

    Kalkin, did you know that cows are statistically more likely to be rabid than bats are? And I’m convinced that Batman’s got them house-trained (cave-trained?) so they’re probably the only bats in the world that crap all over people’s cars (gangster’s cars) like pigeons instead of messing the cave.

    For the damp cave problem, I’ve got nothin’. It’s possible to have dry caves which formed before the water table retreated in any given area, but given his location next to the sea (or at least a really big lake, depending on whether Gotham is New York or Chicago this month), that seems a little unlikely in this instance.

  26. Joshua says:

    @Whit (21)– Considering that mutants are a persecuted lot, it wasn’t so much that Xavier was being clever but out of necessity used the whole “School for Gifted Children” front to keep his mutant underground from prying eyes. Maybe that’s what you were trying to convey, if so…my bad. 😉

    Now, I loves me some Fortress of Solitude. Leave it to Superman to pimp an igloo, then have the balls to leave a garish, humongous key outside the door in plain sight, effectively telling every villain on the planet that you are so insignificant a threat that I can leave my place unlocked because you really don’t want to caught breaking into it.

    @X-stacy (25)- I could actually see Adam West’s Batman training his bats to leave guano dollops on the windshields and hoods of thugs everywhere. Evil-doers beware! 🙂

  27. Kountkill says:

    My personal favorite was the half out of the ground rocketship used by the original Legion of Superheroes, that then became the HQ for the Legion of Substitute Heroes. How much more impractical can a base get?
    But, if we’re deciding the greatest base I would say Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum, just because he has spells that keep people from even noticing it as anything other than as a normal brownstone. That’s one heck of a defense system.

  28. Novak says:

    Just to add the group because they are back benchers how about the Great Lake Avengers Headquarters.

  29. Kalkin says:

    Cows might have a higher individual odds of carrying rabies than bats, but how are you going to stuff 20 million of them into a cave? And if he could, Batman could easily outrun rapid cows. Small size, ability to fly and massive swarms make rapid bats much more dangerous, even if smaller percentage of them carried the disease. I’m not sure if there was vaccine for rabies, but bats breed faster than Batman can vaccinate them. Well, he could but then he wouldn’t have the time to chase after Joker all the time.