?Science has taught us many things over the years: one day we’ll all have lightsabers; making age inappropriate friends with kooky old Doctors/Professors will always result in time-traveling shenanigans; and cyborgs are FUCKING AWESOME.
Whether they’re regular people who’ve been rebuilt after a horrific accident as superpowered crime fighters, sexy advanced fleshbots created to tend to our every whim, develop independent thought and eventually overthrow us, or just meat-covered robots sent back in time to kill all of mankind, cyborgs are cool.
But what is it that so fascinates us about this unholy fusion of flesh and steel? Will science ever reach a level so advanced that super strong cyborgs become a reality? At what point does a person become more machine than man, losing that intangible spark of humanity we call a soul? These are questions this article will endeavor not to answer in any way, shape or form. Let us instead discuss the eight cyborgs we’ve arbitrarily decided are the coolest. Androids and robots need not apply.
8) Raiden, Metal Gear Solid
Everything you need to know about Raiden can be summed up in two words: “Cyborg Ninja”. BOOM. Most people become significantly less cool after having their head and spine ripped from their body, what with the being extremely dead and all, but not Raiden. He went with option B instead: undergo exoskeletal enhancement surgery and become a total hard ass. How hard, you ask? At one stage, Raiden fought an elite team of powersuited lady soldiers to a standstill. On his own. With no arms. Holding a sword in his mouth.
7) Inspector Gadget
We could talk all day about how lovably inept Gadget is, or about how awesome all of his GO, GO, GADGETS are. But it’s actually completely possible to scientifically prove that Gadget is cool without even mentioning any of those things. He’s an eccentric, much older, trench coat wearing gentleman who is constantly hanging out with a 12 year old girl and a dog and nobody seems to think it’s worth putting him on a government watch list. Therefore, he must be cool… right?
6) Steve Austin, The Six Million Dollar Man
“We can rebuild him. We have the technology… better than he was before. Better. Stronger. Faster.” Steve Austin makes the list for this tagline alone, but more importantly for the super cool noise his bionic powers made. Sure, six million dollars doesn’t buy you a lot of bionics these days, but back in 1974 it got you cutting edge robolegs, arm and an eye. As an added bonus, you were also in the ’70s, which were literally bursting with attractive women willing to practice free love with hunky superpowered cyborg ex-astronaut secret agents. Like they’re soooo special.
The future of law enforcement looks pretty grim if you live in Detroit of the near future (i.e. the mid-1990’s), particularly if you’re a cop who enjoys things like spending time with your family and not being literally shot to pieces with shotguns. That is, until you get turned into Robocop, a super strong, almost invincible, deadly accurate cyborg who almost single-handedly somehow wipes out crime in the entire city, despite the fact that he moves more slowly than most glaciers. But what really makes Robocop awesome is his gun holstering flair, his deadpan delivery and the feeling that underneath all of that armor is guy who just wants to get back to his family. Make the statue, Detroit!
4) Seven of Nine, Star Trek: Voyager
There is one rule on Federation starships that everyone knows but no one mentions: there must always be a logic-driven, monotone, emotionless crewmember who comments on the foibles of his/her human colleagues whilst him/herself trying to become more human, who solves all of the ship’s problems and gradually becomes the star of every single episode. Yes, it’s a long rule. That’s why they don’t bring it up all the time. Seven of Nine is the Spock/Data/Tuvok of Star Trek: Voyager, but cooler because she’s Borg, a race of implacable cybernetically enhanced organisms intent on assimilating the entire universe into their collective. And no, of course Seven’s not only on this list just because she’s incredibly hot. But now that you mention it, resistance of her feminine cyborg wily charms is futile.
3) Cable, X-Men
If position on this list was decided based on shoulder to waist ratio or the prodigious use of ridiculously oversized weaponry, Nathan Summers would be number one hands down. In his earliest appearances in New Mutants and X-Force, Cable was made immediately cool by his “take no prisoners” attitude and the mystique surrounding his origins. Plus the shoulder pads, obviously. Since then, Cable’s back-story has become so convoluted you need a PhD in Advanced Quantum Mechanics to understand it, but he still has a sweet glowing eye and awesome off-and-on telekinetic, telepathic and technopathic superpowers. Bonus points for being the first X-Person to custom make an X-themed baby carrier. Now that’s dedication.
2) The Daleks, Doctor Who
The Daleks have to make this list for sheer staying power alone. They’ve been the Doctor’s greatest foe for almost 50 years, waging war against him throughout all of time and space. And given how often the Time Lord Victorious has sent them packing, you’ve got to admire their perseverance. A lesser species would have given up by now and just settled down on a little retirement planet somewhere to exterminate a nice cup of tea and some scones. But not the Daleks. Over the years they’ve had numerous leaders, face lifts and even learnt how to LEVITAAATE (take THAT, stairs!) but they’ve always remained true to the dream of EXTERMINATING! everyone in the universe. You have to respect that.
1) Darth Vader, Star Wars
He comes from a galaxy far, far away, yet almost everyone on our planet knows him by sight, and by the sound of that voice. In fact, given that Darth Vader is available in toy form, on lunchboxes, bed sheets and there’s at least three mini-Vaders to a street every Halloween, it’s arguable that he’s the most famous fictional character of every time. The thing is, there’s a reason for it. In fact, there’s many. Perhaps it’s because his temptation, fall and ultimate redemption are classic themes as old as time itself. Possibly it’s that despite being a scary looking supervillain, there’s something about his tale that’s just so essentially human. Bah, who are we kidding? The guy looks (and sounds!) BAD ASS! He has cyborg powers! And an awesome laser sword! And magic powers! It doesn’t get any cooler than that.