Friday, December 10, 2010

Jack Reacher vs Mitch Rapp Fistfight Part Two

A few years ago I posed the question "If Mitch Rapp and Jack Reacher got in a fistfight, who'd win?" It prompted quite a few replies and since both Vince Flynn and Lee Child have new books, I figured it was worth revisiting. I just finished Child's newest Reacher book Worth Dying For, and for me the verdict is in. Jack Reacher is the ultimate tough guy. I am still waiting for the new Mitch Rapp thriller American Assassin. But it would have to completely blow me away to surpass Reacher.

I know I complained about the last book and how it ended with a cliffhanger, but I have no complaints about this one (my wife might complain after I completely neglected her and the kids for a few days with my head stuck in the book). I love how Reacher describes every minute detail of every fight. You never question if he will persevere, but you are dying to know how.

The original blog was about how real we like our characters. One commenter noted that Mitch Rapp is more pragmatic but also more of a jerk, whereas Reacher is more irresponsible and being a drifter was bothersome. I think Reacher being a nicer guy makes me like him more, and his hobo ways make him more mythic and mysterious. Rapp, being more real and human makes me not like him as much.

There are a lot of other tough guys out there. And though I think Reacher and Rapp are the best, many others are good too. Let us know who else you like and why. I have listed a few tough guys I have liked below.

Dave Robicheaux by James Lee Burke
Scot Harvath by Brad Thor
Jack Ryan by Tom Clancy
Bob Lee Swagger by Stephen Hunter
Alex Hawke by Ted Bell
Elvis Cole and Joe Pike by Robert Crais

(And what is it with all the author's one-syllable names?)


Linda K. said...

I have to agree that Jack Reacher is the king of tough guys. There's just something about how little he carries versus how much he is able to accomplish.

Now Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan is another story. He is so not a tough guy. He pretty much fell into the spy job, became President by default, and wimped out in the end by having two weird young guys appear and take over his covert ops. What's that about?

Anonymous said...

Agreed Linda... Jack would pummel Mitch. But just don't let Mitch get to a gun....

Amit Ahuja said...

jack all the way. also regarding weapons, he is the best shot in the whole marines so rapp wouldn't stand a chance. 1 thing rapp can do is run, and reacher can't

Anonymous said...

you are all missing the ultimate retro hero> Try Earl Swagger in Pale Horse Coming. Bobs father

Anonymous said...

Mitch would prevail after a bloody affair. Tough guys and killers are in a different category. Speed, decides the action if both parties are very knowledgeable. Rapp is faster, Reacher is bigger and stronger, win to speed.

Shane Ivey said...

Rapp all the way. Yes Reacher is well trained but his job was to be a cop and occasionally deal with a physical altercation. Mitch isn't just some regular soldier, he is quite arguably the greatest assassin alive. Throughout the books navy seals who are no doubt the most deadly human beings on the planet refer to Rapp and his skills because he is so good at it.

Clark H said...

its not even close... I have just finished a circuit of reading all of the main tough guy books. Jack Reacher may be the best brawler, and an incredible sniper(even though he really only uses his sniper skills in one book - Die Trying), Mitch Rapp is without a doubt the toughest of all the tough guys... He is a KILLER, and accomplishes things in his books that are on a completely different scale, and against a completely different threat than mostly the hill billies and wanna be's that Reacher tangles with.

All that being said, as far as all the books go Rapp is the scariest, But Scot Harvath's books by Brad Thor are likely the most believable... Scot gets his ass kicked some, and is only capable of doing so much... but as a fictional character, Mitch Rapp is standing alone at the top of the pile.

Anonymous said...

Reacher is the best.He tells you what he is going to do to you, and then he does it. But think about this: Reacher, Rapp, Horvath, and Bob Lee Swagger as America's darkest of the dark "kill teams"....our country is back on TOP!

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