So being on the road bound for the AWP conference in LA means I’ll be missing tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead (and avidly avoiding any social media where spoilers could happen). To make up for this lack of zombies in my life, I’ve been thinking about which fictional characters would be best suited for the apocalypse. Mind you, we’re not necessarily talking about a zombie apocalypse here. Whether it’s the desolate loneliness of The Road or I Am Legend or the feudal savagery of Mad Max, surviving post-apocalypse takes a certain set of skills, and after much painstaking consideration, I’ve determined the 11 fictional characters I think would make the best team.
I set two rules as I embarked on this thought experiment:
1) Only one character from a given franchise (I can’t just take the whole X-Men team)
2) No characters from apocalypse survival books, shows, or movies (because that’s cheating)
So without further ado, my Apocalypse survival dream team:
The War Doctor (Doctor Who)
I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t take advantage of Time Lord technology (and a TARDIS). The Doctor would be happy to help—given how much he loves Earth and humans, he’d probably show up as soon as the world started ending. Of all the Doctor’s regenerations, the War Doctor has the best mentality for a survival situation. He knows he can’t save everybody and he’s willing to make the tough choices.
Odo (Star Trek: Deep Space 9)
The security chief of Deep Space 9 is a shape-shifter, undoubtedly a useful talent in dealing with a whole host of threats. He doesn’t need to eat, another helpful attribute when resources are scarce. Along with his physical attributes, Odo can read people better than most true humanoids. Having spent many years thinking he was the only one of his kind—and under the hostile eye of the Cardassians—Odo knows a thing or two about surviving.
Nynaeve (The Wheel of Time)
Medical supplies aren’t easy to come by in the apocalypse and trained doctors are an even rarer commodity. Trained in the Yellow Ajah of the Aes Sedai (the Healing powers branch of the magic users in the Wheel of Time series) Nynaeve is the strongest healer her world has seen in centuries. She could keep everyone in tip-top shape, no antibiotics needed. She also knows how to forage for herbs, and thanks to her strength in the One Power, would be a powerful asset in a fight.
Liet-Kynes was born and raised among the Fremen—arguably a harsher survival scenario than those presented in most apocalypses. Even more valuable, though, is Kynes’ green thumb. As the Imperial Planetologist to Arrakis, Kynes helped make green things grow in the harshest desert climate. Even if we’re talking nuclear fallout he could figure out a way to make the fields flourish.
Beetee (The Hunger Games)
The collapse of our technology-infused society would leave behind millions of computers, phones, and other machines. Useless to most people, but to an inventor and tinkerer like Beetee it’s the raw material for all kinds of gadgets and tools. Beetee survived two Hunger Games and an armed revolution by virtue of his ingenuity; regardless of its nature, the apocalypse would probably be just another day at the office.
Beatrix Kiddo (Kill Bill)
Over the course of the Kill Bill movies, the Bride is shot in the head, buried alive, and faces off against a mob of angry Japanese assassins. She’s a trained assassin herself, just as deadly with her bare hands as she is with a blade or gun. The tenacity with which she pursues her revenge through the movies shows she won’t give up, either, when things are tough.
Luke Cage (Cage, Jessica Jones)
If we’re talking a zombie apocalypse, Cage’s unbreakable skin means he doesn’t have to worry about getting bitten. Super strength adds to his usefulness and badassery. Cage is one of those roving super-heroes of the Marvel universe. Sometimes he’s the star and he can handle shit on his own, but he also teamed up with the Fantastic Four, the Defenders, and the Avengers at various points, showing he’s just as good as part of a team as he is solo.
Built-in weapons are a handy thing to have when it’s every man for himself. The adamantium skeleton and super speedy healing would be pretty handy, too, and while the idea of a zombie Wolverine is pretty damn terrifying, he’s too good of a survivor to ever let himself be turned.
Daenerys Stormborn (with her dragons) (A Song of Ice and Fire)
The intimidation factor of three fire-breathing dragons alone is worth the trouble of keeping them fed. Even if the Mother of Dragons didn’t have her children, though, she’s pretty badass in her own right. When she was sold to Khal Drogo as a teenager, Dany was little more than a slave; within a few months, she was a queen. Dany’s a natural leader who’s been in survival mode since she was born, giving her the ability to adapt to any situation.
Huckleberry Finn (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer)
Even a child in the 1800s knows how to survive without technology better than a modern person, and Huck Finn is no normal kid. He’s been outside society his entire life; the apocalypse won’t be much of an adjustment. Throughout his adventures, Huck is also pretty good at getting himself out of trouble—and though he typically is the one who got himself into it in the first place, the rest of the group should be able to help keep him in line.
Angus MacGyver (MacGyver)
Not only would MacGyver probably solve the apocalypse with a drinking straw and a paperclip, he’s got mad skills that would keep him—and everyone around him—alive. He knows how to think on his feet and use the tools and resources at hand to solve the problem. The fact that he uses violence only as the last resort also makes him a great moral compass, a necessary figure in any apocalypse survival scenario.
…and with those 11 guys (and gals) at my side, I’m pretty confident I’ll come through the apocalypse just fine. Who would you take with you to the end of the world? I’m sure I’m missing someone obvious, so let me know in the comments!