Sunday, September 08, 2013

Top 10 Boy Geniuses in Fiction

As far as this list is concerned, what I mean by “boy” here are those that haven’t hit their teenage years yet.  Thus, they should be 12 years old or below.  Oh, some of them might have got to reach adolescence during the run of their respective stories, but they should have at least have been in their pre-teens or childhood during their introduction in the story. 

Stewart Gilligan Griffin, or “Stewie” for short, is the youngest “boy genius” character in this list for he is merely a year old!  But despite of his very young age, he is already capable of speaking properly and is highly literate.  He is already an expert in physics and mechanical engineering, and he can build science fiction-type of gadgetries and mechanisms (e.g. mind control device, weather control machine, teleportation machine, robots, laser guns, clones, time machines, etc.).  However, he still retains some adorable limitations and qualities of a baby, like adoring the Teletubbies, talking to his teddy bear as if it is alive, and believing someone truly disappears when playing Peekaboo.         

Stewie is quite an interesting character.  But he’s also a disturbing one.  Stewie is not only a genius, but a mad genius obsessed with violence and world domination, an archetypal quality of a villain.  He has done countless violent and criminal acts, from robbery to killing.  Moreover, he is also passionate on committing matricide someday.  Yikes!  

Thus, for that reason – plus I never am a fan of Family Guy anyway – Stewie only takes the last spot.  


While most of the characters here are geniuses in terms of scientific or mental aspects, Ryoma Echizen, however, is a genius in terms of playing a sport.  Ryoma is a 12-year old tennis prodigy, whose father is a former legendary pro tennis player.  Because of his great talent, even though he was merely a middle school freshman, he was able to become a regular member of his school’s tennis club.  He possesses a rich arsenal of special shots and abilities, and continues to evolve and improve as a tennis player for he can learn new techniques after only observing them being done a few times.                


At first, I thought of Jimmy Neutron as a mere attempt to ripoff the character that got the number 2 in this list.  It might be that the number 2 of this list had a hand in the inspiration of this character’s creation, but I found that Jimmy has his own charm and uniqueness as a “boy genius” character.  In fact, Jimmy has had, probably, more interesting successes and adventures than the number 2 of this list. 

Jimmy Neutron has an IQ of 210, and at a young age, he has already been capable of endeavoring in “nuclear scientist”-level of science projects and building extremely high-tech inventions.  However, there are times that his inventions would go terribly wrong and would create quite a big mess, but Jimmy – with the help of his friends – would eventually figure out a way to make things right again.          


Sharing the 6 and 7 spots are the titular characters of the fantastic animated TV series, Phineas and Ferb.  Phineas and Ferb are stepbrothers who both possess high aptitude in building complex contraptions.  To fight boredom during their summer vacation, the two of them – with Phineas usually taking the lead – by doing an outlandish project (e.g. a roller coaster in their backyard) each day.  Between the two, Phineas is more of the designer while Ferb is more of the builder. 

Encyclopedia Brown is included in my “Top 10 Odd Detectives in Fiction” list.  Here’s what I got to say about him and his intellect:
     Leroy Brown is very intelligent and he retains massive amounts of facts from the books he read.  He was even likened to “a complete library walking around in sneakers.”  For that he was given the nickname, “Encyclopedia Brown.”  With his intelligence, he always wants to be helpful to others.  As a walking encyclopedia, he graciously answers whatever questions are thrown at him.  But he always waited a moment to answer – pretending to think – since if he answers too quickly, he is afraid that people will not like him for sounding too smart.
     Possessing a rich range of information and facts comes highly invaluable to Brown in solving his cases.  He easily finds significance on seemingly mundane details of a case but are in fact vital for its solution.  He has shown versatility in handling cases of different kinds – ranging from petty offenses and misdemeanors (particularly between children) to those serious and criminal in nature.  
    It is even implied that it was because of Encyclopedia Brown that criminals are always caught in Leroy’s town, Idaville.  His father is the chief of police in the town.  And during their family’s dinner time, Chief Brown would present his hard cases to his son.  Before they leave the table, Encyclopedia has already provided the solution. 


In a society where a two-child policy is strictly imposed, Ender – the youngest of three children – has been degradingly labeled as a “third.”  Thus, he was constantly downed and bullied.  The harshness of his situation would make him independent at a very young age. However, despite being a “third”, Ender proved to be a brilliant military strategist.  Having his education in Battle School, where child prodigies are trained to become commanders for humanity’s war against Formics or “Buggers”, Ender excelled among the lot.  The military, being aware of his talents, eventually made him a real commander of the human forces, disguising this fact to him by misleading him that the battles he was on were mere simulations.


The Boy Wonder.  Several have come under Batman’s tutelage and have taken the mantle of “Robin”:  Dick Grayson (who would become “Nightwing”), Jason Todd (who would become “Red Hood”), Tim Drake (who would become the most beloved “Robin” of all time, and has taken the mantle of “Red Robin”), and Damien Wayne (currently deceased; but has the birthright to take the mantle of his father, Bruce, as Batman; and is my favorite Robin).  They have different personalities and have their own different strengths as characters and as Robins (except Jason Todd, who was unremarkable and annoying as “Robin”), but all of them have been, more or less, boy geniuses.  All Robins started out as children, but they have already shown superior athletic and cognitive talents even in a young age.  And as they grew up, with Batman’s training and with their own experiences as superheroes, they became smarter, more skillful and versatile, and better heroes (except Jason Todd, who is more of an anti-heroic a-hole).       


Dexter, even if he has a fragile and short stature, is a massive genius.  He has an impressive secret laboratory that he can access from a secret door behind the bookcase of his room, where he houses and makes his inventions.  He is constantly pestered by his sister, Dee Dee, whose clumsy ways often causes damages and destruction in Dexter’s lab.      

Dexter could be the earliest “boy genius” character I have ever encountered in fiction, thus, his impact as a character had been significant for he was greatly appealing due to the novelty brought by such kind of character (“boy genius”) at that time.  That past appeal still lingers, hence, he gets a high spot on this list.


I was 12 years-old, and it was during that time that I got introduced to both Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl – who were, at that time, were 12-year olds, too – at the same time.  Thus, I was able to compare them.  And between the two, it was Artemis Fowl who I found as the superior character.  I liked Harry Potter, but I found him a generic, unremarkable hero.  Artemis Fowl, however, was an intriguing, multi-faceted character.   

Like Harry, Artemis had to deal with the supernatural.  But instead of magic, Artemis heavily relies on technology, his bodyguard, and – most importantly – his genius intellect to achieve his goals.  Even as a 12-year old, Artemis was already a cold criminal mastermind capable of formulating brilliant strategies and orchestrating elaborate operations.  He has been described as a “plotter” and a “schemer”, possessing “the ability to visualize a hypothetical situation and calculate the likely outcomes.”  He is versatile in several skills and is knowledgeable of a wide range of fields. 

At first, the schemes of Artemis – displaying his criminal nature – were for the purpose of obtaining wealth and glory.  He antagonized the fairies for that purpose.  He eventually won against them – due to being able to stay steps ahead of the fairies most of the time.  However, as he grows older and with each passing adventure, Artemis’ selfishness would gradually lessen, and would even gain some friends and allies belonging to the fairy community.       

Artemis Fowl is not only my most favorite boy genius in fiction, but he’s one of my most favorite fictional characters ever.  Thus, I’m glad that a movie is (finally!) going to be made.  

No comments: