Book Reviews

Hero vs. Hero: Captain Blood vs. Archie Goodwin

Back again for our new round of hero vs hero.  Literary crush vs. literary crush.  Captain Blood has, so far, taken the win for the first two rounds.

Captain Blood: once a slave then a pirate then a … what it a governor?  Something like that, but ultimately, Captain Blood is the lover of his heroine.

Anyhoo, lovely Captain Blood, literary crush.

captain bloodimages

So, Captain Blood versus Archie Goodwin.  Who the heck is Archie you ask?  Well, he’s the man about town for the brilliant Nero Wolfe.  Together those two men are the righters of wrongs, solvers of crimes of a whole-freaking-bunch of books and stories.  Wolfe lurks in his home sending out minions in order to solve crimes and his number one man is the clever, energetic, and charming Goodwin.


Archie first appeared in 1934.  For the sheer number of stories, Archie is the clear winner.  But he’s got his pluses and minuses like all our heroes.  Like Captain Blood, Archie is intelligent, energetic, strong, and charming.  Captain Blood is the commanding hero of his tale.  Unlike Captain Blood, Archie reports to another.   

But who would you choose?!??!?!?

Archie, though heroic, needs Wolfe to solve crimes.  But is that such a problem?  We don’t live in a vacuum and people need each other.  Maybe the real win there is that Archie is the member of a family of men who solve crimes, right wrongs, and generally outdo other teams.  Like the police   Or the FBI.  Or whatnot.  It is only when Captain Blood works with others that his story goes wrong.  The inability to judge and work with other men is surely a problem.

But then again, Archie lives in Wolfe’s home.  Who wants to have a literary crush on a character who only has a bedroom?

The problem with good ole Archie?  He is the hero of a number of stories where the writer previously determined that he would never change the set up.  You can read a Wolfe-Goodwin story in any order and nothing materially will change to the back story, so it isn’t necessary to read in order.  Which means Goodwin is the constant, free-wheeling charmer.  Yes, he’s more appealing in every way than Captain Blood.  If only because he was from an age where men took women dancing, bathed regularly, etc.  So charming or not, no woman will ever fully entice Goodwin.

So the faithful and constant Blood or the charming and un-pin-downable Goodwin?  Could you capture Goodwin’s heart, he’d be the winner of this round of literary crush.  No question.  Mmmm, Goodwin.  But since the nature of his character is that he’ll never be caught  I’ll have to give it to Captain Blood once again.

For me…fidelity and commitment wins over dancing.



7 thoughts on “Hero vs. Hero: Captain Blood vs. Archie Goodwin”

  1. Just like to put in my 2-cents… I feel like Captain Blood does just fine for the most part when he’s in a group! After all, he’s the one who managed to lead everyone out of slavery, and then led them truly as their pirate captain for a few years! It was only when his lady showed up that he started going down hill… Anyway, everyone has an opinion… Love the post though! (And Captain Blood) 😉

  2. Yeah, I love Captain Blood. But he’s no Mr. Darcy. 🙂 It is like he’s all smooth and noble when he’s dealing with evil pirates or jerkhole navy dudes and then all fumbling around his lady love. That being said…his book was super fun, and I look forward to the sequel. Archie though. He’s smooth with the ladies and smooth around other dudes. But as far as love goes…Archie’s a losing bet.

    1. Verrry true! Mr. Darcy does indeed, trounce all 😛 And don’t all good heroes start to fumble and bumble when their lady love is around? And even if they don’t show it I feel like they’re like that on the inside. Or that’s the impression I got anyway… 😀 I’ve actually never heard of Archie before… But now i’m super intrigued! What book is he from? I don’t believe you mentioned it…?

      1. Archie Goodwin is from the Nero Wolfe series. They’re designed to be read out of order. I’ve only read about 3-4 of them. But, I watched the whole A&E series. That was lovely. And super true to the books.

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