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John Byrne
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Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 11 August 2019 at 7:10am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Came across a blog discussing* the infamous Colossus-pulling-stump scene that was the last straw that got me to quit X-MEN. Someone comments that it's pretty ridiculous that Colossus should have been written having trouble pulling up that stump, since his strength is in the "100 ton range". Somebody else immediately jumps in to "correct" this, saying Colossus is "actually" in the 75/80 ton range.

AS IF THAT MAKES ANY DIFFERENCE!!

I mean, seriously. This points to the degree to which super powers have become ordinary in the minds of too many readers. When characters are pushed up to these levels, there's no frame of reference. If a character can lift 100 tons, what in any normal day-to-day activity should have any effect on him/her?

I think back to when the Super Skrull was introduced. and he was established as being able to lift fifteen tons--three times as much as the Thing. To my 14 (or whatever) year old self, that was really impressive. I could comprehend fifteen tons, and I could comprehend five.

(Oh, and on that tree stump matter? Key that Colossus isn't have a whole lot of trouble? SPEED LINES!!)

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* Much of the discussion turns on what a big cry baby I am, quitting over such a minor point. Missing, in other words, the cumulative effect of at least one of those "minor points" EVERY ISSUE!

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 11 August 2019 at 8:21am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I do myself still love the old graspable strength-levels.

Back in the 1960s, Cyclops was the most powerful of the X-Men (not including Prof X) and his beams were considered one of the most powerful forces in the Marvel superhero world. In their first battle with the Blob, Cyclops did this...

He not only stopped a charging bull elephant, a 13,000 lb behemoth, but blasted it backwards what looks like 35 feet away and into the ground!

In that same issue, the Beast took on a huge gorilla, face to face, and ended up flipping the creature in the air, twirling its 350 lb bulk with his big feet, no problem -- I mean, ...no problem! Man alive!

Amazing, but comprehensible!


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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 11 August 2019 at 8:33am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I'm with you, Michael. I used to wonder if Marvel felt like it had to increase the strength levels of its characters because of how powerful DC's were.
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 11 August 2019 at 10:24am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

What I thought was outrageous was during SECRET WARS, when the Hulk....with Bruce's mind, to boot....held up a friggin' mountain range that was dropped on top of the heroes.


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John Byrne
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Posted: 11 August 2019 at 11:57am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Yes. Written by the same guy who said Wolverine healing almost instantly after being machine gunned by the Hellfire goons was “unrealistic”, and who decried the “Marvel adrenaline surge” that sometimes allowed characters to exceed their supposed limits.

“Do what I say...”

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Stéphane Garrelie
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Posted: 11 August 2019 at 1:31pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

That might have been every issue, but this one* was the first one that me and a friend of mine couldn't believe.
Before that never saw a problem, but there, that simply wasn't believable.

*The tree stump 


Edited by Stéphane Garrelie on 11 August 2019 at 1:35pm
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 11 August 2019 at 2:39pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Stan Lee made an error in the '60s when he had the Stranger or the Leader (both?) claim that the Hulk's strength was "virtually limitless" or had "no apparent upper limit" or something to that effect.

The Superman Error all over again.
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Andy Mokler
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Posted: 11 August 2019 at 3:26pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Would someone post the page or list the issue number of the Colossus action?  I'm unfamiliar with it.
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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 11 August 2019 at 3:36pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply


 QUOTE:
Stan Lee made an error in the '60s when he had the Stranger or the Leader (both?) claim that the Hulk's strength was "virtually limitless" or had "no apparent upper limit" or something to that effect.


I don't have a problem with that sort of thing. It becomes an issue when the characters routinely perform feats of strengths that are truly beyond comprehension.
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 11 August 2019 at 4:21pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I like how the movie UNBREAKABLE showed David Dunn realizing he had super-strength, struggling bench-pressing 300 pounds...then 400 pounds...then 500 pounds...

That was obviously realistic to me.  My strength (or at least the expression of my strength) increases as needed.  Carrying 20 pounds seems heavy...until I need to lift 100 pounds, then I try harder.  It's not the "adrenaline surge," it's just you expend the energy you need to.  The Sub-Mariner can be threatened by fighting Tiger Shark, but then, going up against the Hulk, he can hold his own--but he's trying harder!  The question is--How LONG can he go up against the Hulk?  He could probably fight Tiger Shark all day long, but less so against the Hulk.


Edited by Eric Jansen on 11 August 2019 at 4:22pm
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Mike Norris
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Posted: 11 August 2019 at 5:03pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

X-Men 140
  
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Marin Balabanov
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Posted: 12 August 2019 at 7:46am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I still love those pages. Beautiful and clear composition, crisp rendering.
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