Best Beard Battle

The amazing Winona found a photo of a guy she aptly dubbed “Batman Goatee Guy,” whose facial hair is probably the most impressive (not to mention the nerdiest) I’ve ever seen:

That’s a remarkable beard, no question.  The level of detail, the creativity, the lushness, and of course the unabashed nerdiness are all worthy of appreciation.  But it made me think about other noteworthy beards that have staked their claim to fame in this new epoch of facial hair, specifically the one on the face of Seneca Crane, as played by Wes Bentley in “The Hunger Games:”

I mean, that is an awe-inspiring beard: the swoops and the points, the obsessively even length, the rich color…this beard has it all, even its own memes.

But wait, wasn’t there a similarly over-produced beard a few years ago?

That’s from the awesomely terrible “Wild Wild West,” also known as one of the worst movies of 1999.  Can a movie really be that bad, though, when it has facial hair as glorious as that in it?  Bonus points for growing on the face of Kenneth Branagh.

Another old-school beard with respectable sculptured tidiness belongs to Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber in “Die Hard:”

What a sexy, sexy Eurovillain beard.  Not as fancy as the others, but flawless in execution – as one would expect from a Eurovillain.

Ooh, and speaking of sexy:

Tony Stark’s beard isn’t nearly as flashy as some of the others on this list, but come on, no ordinary human being can pull off that.  You need a certain level of not-giving-a-*** that only the richest and best-looking of philanthropic genius d-bags can achieve.

And finally, an icon in the hirsute world of facial topiaries, the touchstone by which all other pirate beards are judged, the beard that launched a new era in Johnny Depp’s career and gave rise to a character that will live on with the likes Darth Vader and Tony Montana:

This one is definitely on the more slovenly end of the scale, but there seems to be a pretty high degree of maintenance involved in a double-stranded, braided, beaded goatee.  Especially if you’re a pirate and you just don’t groom that much to begin with.

So which beard (WARNING: pun approaching) makes the cut? (Har.)

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