Witterquick vs. Cryotek: The Eternal Debate
It is an argument that has dominated pop culture for nearly 30 years. Who is the better character, the speedy Witter Quick, or the brawny Cryotek? Geeks have fought for nearly one hour on end, nations have gone to war, aliens have invaded planets over this most heated of debates. Now there may be one or two of you that might not be familiar with these characters, and for those few readers, I shall explain further.
The ‘80s was a landmark decade for animated children’s entertainment. For every hit like Transformers and Jem, there were cartoons that didn’t quite make it, like Inhumanoids and the subject of today’s discussion, Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light. Visionaries told the tale of a futuristic land with advanced technology, until suddenly the lights went out. After the mysterious worldwide loss of power rendered them incapable of using their machines, this society evolved into a place proliferate with armor-clad knights. One day, a powerful wizard named Merklynn issued a challenge to the populace. Whoever could complete the perilous journey to his mountaintop domain, would be granted great power. Those that made it became Visionaries, Knights of the Magical Light, and gained the powers of animal totems assigned to them by Merklynn. Two of the more popular knights were Witterquick, imbued with the power of the cheetah, and Cryotek, sporting the power of the bear. But who was better?
Despite the Visionaries being quite popular with myself and my fellow fourth graders, it only lasted one season. The comic book fared even worse, only lasting 6 issues, despite it featuring work by longtime comic book writer Gerry Conway, and the debut of Mark Bagley on art. (The toys were pretty cool, with the action figures containing holograms in their chest,representing the character’s animal totem. It was definitely the best use of hologram technology in the decade. Unfortunately, they didn’t figure out a way to represent their animals in toy form. I can only assume that this is why it failed.) Using the comic book as my guide, as well as my patented lack of effort or research, I will finally answer the unanswerable.
There is only one proper way to determine this most crucial of life’s questions, and that is “Dr. Jack” breakdown style.
BEST ANIMAL TOTEM: Cheetah vs Bear
I like a good bear as much as the next guy. My favorite NFL team is the Chicago Bears. The local zoo here has Bush Dogs, that look like dogs with bear faces, and I want to steal one and raise it as my own.
But the Cheetah is the best land-based animal on the face of the Earth. The choice is obvious.
BEST NAME: Witterquick vs Cryotek
Neither name really fully encapsulates the character, but Witter sounds too much like whittle, which makes him sound like he carves wood really fast all day long.
BETTER FIRST APPEARANCE
Witterquick earns the power of the cheetah by using his speed to outrun a tunnel of collapsing blades.
Cryotek fights his mortal enemy Cindarr and is really strong.
WINNER: Witter Quick
Witterquick has the full face mask and a nice red and gray color scheme. Cryotek has an even better color scheme, blue and red, but his armor is just too busy and his helmet looks like it has two big braids.
WINNER: Witter Quick
The everlasting debate between speed and strength. (The two most coveted of childhood physical traits.) Throughout the comic series, Witterquick is constantly using his speed to stick and move on opponents to great effect. (Being one of the faster kids in my school, I remember it being a regular occurrence to race the occasional classmate, to reaffirm my speed. Jerry Seinfeld, I was not.) Cryotek spends a lot of time running into things and getting knocked down. In Witterquick’s spotlight issue of the comic series, he easily defeats Cryotek’s mortal enemy Cindarr, making this decision academic.
WINNER: Witter Quick
Witter Quick is almost tricked into releasing an evil sorceress thanks to a few wet dreams. Cryotek romances the one female on the team, Galadria, to great effect.
(There were so few females in each of these ‘80s cartoons, that I always thought it was unfair when one of the males was romantically linked to them. It was always the worse ones too, like Flint, or Tigra. I’m not saying the female should be having sex with all the guys, like Smurfette; I’m saying they should be on their own. Independent heroes in their own right. Stupid Flint.)
BETTER SOLO COMIC STORY
Witterquick headlined the fourth issue of the short-lived series. Like I said before, he was nearly seduced into releasing an evil witch from her magic imprisonment, before he and Cindarr have to work together to prevent her escape. Who among us hasn’t been seduced by an evil witch before (or wanted to be, sigh, Karnilla) so for that he can be forgiven.
In the very next issue, Cryotek and Galadria are sent on a mission to recover a magic totem, and fail. Cryotek spends most of the time complaining that his bear totem might be overwhelming his dull personality, but hey, he gets the girl, so… he and Flint can suck it.
BETTER STAFF POWER
As well as animal totem powers, some of the knights were granted magical staffs with different special abilities. Cryotek’s staff let loose a powerful force bolt in the form of an arrow. Witter Quick’s gave him supersonic speed on the level of the Flash.
Winner: Witter Quick
To activate the powers of their staffs, the knights must recite a magic oath.
Witter Quick’s oath is, “sheathe these feet in the driving gale—make swift these legs, o’er land I sail!” Cryotek’s oath, “three suns aligned, pour forth their light, and fell the archer’s bow with might!”
This almost goes without saying.
WINNER: Witter Quick
FINAL STANDINGS: 7- 2 in favor of Witter Quick
THE OVERALL WINNER IS... Virulina!!! (Virulina was the female for the evil team, and she had the totem of the shark, which is Earth's greatest animal. Her name looks like they took the work virus, and added lina on the end to make it a woman's name. There is nothing about any of that that doesn't scream win.)
After all these decades of endless debate, finally a clear and decisive winner has been determined. I am humbled, yet also arrogantly proud, of my admittedly major role in settling this age-old quandary. It only took a bit of unbiased comparison on a point-by-point basis to show, once and for all, that Witter Quick is definitely the superior character to Cryotek. Let us all rejoice in the glory that is him.
Next week, probably something even worse.