Ned from Spider-Man: Homecoming had it right. Every hero, villain, or franchise needs its "guy in the chair." Hacking the Internet, giving instruction to partners "out in the field," preventing a missile launch from a computer console - the guy in the chair does it all. During tense moments in action, this secondary character provides support to the main hero by just sitting in the chair while looking at various monitors, talking into a headset, and quickly typing into a keyboard. Sure, they provide vital information, but guys in the chair are cool simply because they look so technologically savvy.
The guy in the chair trope has become a staple in all of popular culture. Several of the best superhero movies have a guy in the chair. Cable and network TV have dozens of shows with a guy in the chair. There are issues upon issues of comic books with a guy in the chair. Sometimes, the guy in the chair isn't a guy or even a human! Check out this list of some of the more prominent guys in the chair within popular fiction and vote up the best ones.
What's better than having getting help from a guy in the chair? Getting help from a guy in the chair that's really just a computer program in your high-tech robot suit. The JARVIS artificial intelligence serves as Tony Stark's guy in the chair. JARVIS calculates outcomes, provides instant research, and assists Tony when he is in the field as Iron Man. The only difference is that the voice Tony hears isn't from a computer wizard, but from the computer itself.
Appears In: Iron Man 3
The breakout character from Spider-Man: Homecoming is the inspiration for this list, so he has to be on it, right? Ned helps Spidey not only as his best friend and confidant, but eventually lives out his goal of being his guy in the chair by helping Spider-Man thwart the Vulture's plans from using the computers in Midtown High's library. Way to go, Ned!
Appears In: Marvel Universe
When a gunshot from the Joker paralyzed her from the waist down, Barbara Gordon was forced to retire as Batgirl. However, that did not mean she retired from crime fighting. As Oracle, Gordon became a valuable asset to Batman, Nightwing, and other Bat Family members as a researcher and hacker, able to intercept police calls and provide crucial information. She even served as a team leader of her own group of vigilantes, the Birds of Prey. Many comic fans argue that they missed Batgirl, but Oracle is a more effective and interesting character in the comics.
Appears In: Marvel Universe
Queen Consolidated's computer whiz just so happens to be one of Green Arrow's most treasured allies. Over the course of the Arrow TV series, Smoak transforms from "that quirky girl from the IT department" into the field commander for several of Star City's vigilantes. Not a bad upgrade.
Appears In: Arrow