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  1. #1531
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    For me, beyond the technical craft, my enjoyment and regard for the good story is dependent on probably the characters and the regard for them therein.

    I'm not going to enjoy a story with a character, no matter how it's written, if I feel they're not being depicted well or true to their character. So if it's not a character arc I can believe in it's not one I care to read.

    I'm fine with characters facing obstacles or hurdles if I feel they are still in-character while facing them and there seems to be a genuine, salient, point to these hurdles. But if there isn't I don't care for them.
    I'm very into the characters too, I think I'm just willing to accept a broader range of interpretations of characters. If a character acts in a way they haven't before I'm more likely to think it's a new development or dimension of the character than reflexively thinking OOC. If I'm going to read about the same characters for decades I want some new behaviors and reactions every now and then. People are wonderful for years...until they aren't and do something horrible and out of character. People are mostly crappy but maybe they have a redeeming quality that becomes apparent later on. I don't think they're not being true to character, they're just revealing another aspect of their character. I mean depending on how far back you want to go, we can find tons of traits or personality characteristics that weren't true to a given character...until they were introduced and became just that. Addition is a good thing and it usually results in change and added depth if done well imo.

    Agreed that there should be a point to the hurdles. The old days of the villain of the month or "who could beat up who" just isn't interesting to me as an adult. That's one reason I'm ok with characters changing/growing/adding depth... if I'm going to ask for more complex stories I have to know that the old two dimensional good guy vs bad guy style of writing isn't going to work anymore, and I'm glad of that fact.

  2. #1532
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cronus View Post
    ....

    I dont see anything wrong with showy displays of power from the character Thor. I mean how is it wrong for a reader to insist that "Thor looks good when punching out character A and B?" I say, "its distracting when I see Marvels original 'answer to Superman' get his arm bitten off by a whale. How dumb is that? Power and vast superhuman strength are one of the reasons many Thor fans became Thor fans in the first place.

    And why cant Thor be shown kicking ass and great stories be part of the whole shebang? Put another way: does modern comic story telling (for Thor specifically) mean his story should be complex but bereft of the very ingredients that make him the God of Thunder? Jeez, if you want complex writing read Hemingway and Proust.
    I don't think it's wrong, either. It just isn't interesting to me. How strong Odinson is isn't one of the reasons I became a fan. I realize that's part of the appeal for some fans and that's cool.

    To me, his physical strength isn't one of the very ingredients that make him the God of Thunder. It's just a part of the package. He can beat up the Hulk, he can't beat up the Hulk, he can make a bigger storm than Ororo, he can't make a bigger storm...I'm cool either way.

    I think we often get stories that include both complex writing and big strong-man stuff. We get that with Odinson sometimes too. Ideally I'd like both, a meaningful character driven story with some big action pieces occasionally. In the same way wanting to see Odinson kick ass isn't wrong, it isn't wrong to want complex writing. We can have both.

  3. #1533
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel22 View Post
    I'm very into the characters too, I think I'm just willing to accept a broader range of interpretations of characters. If a character acts in a way they haven't before I'm more likely to think it's a new development or dimension of the character than reflexively thinking OOC. If I'm going to read about the same characters for decades I want some new behaviors and reactions every now and then. People are wonderful for years...until they aren't and do something horrible and out of character. People are mostly crappy but maybe they have a redeeming quality that becomes apparent later on. I don't think they're not being true to character, they're just revealing another aspect of their character. I mean depending on how far back you want to go, we can find tons of traits or personality characteristics that weren't true to a given character...until they were introduced and became just that. Addition is a good thing and it usually results in change and added depth if done well imo.
    I kind of get where you're coming from, but at the same time, as far as Thor is concerned, all these "new behaviors" have seemed more regressive then they have added. I can't think of anything Aaron has done with Thor, as a character, that has made him more compelling other then indicating that he may be weaker mentally or morally then he was before.

    If we want to get into something "additive," I guess it would be Jane but I think that in the end came at the expense of Thor himself.

    If these new reactions or behaviors seemed to actually have a root in what I've seen from Thor prior I would probably be more receptive to them then I am.
    Agreed that there should be a point to the hurdles. The old days of the villain of the month or "who could beat up who" just isn't interesting to me as an adult. That's one reason I'm ok with characters changing/growing/adding depth... if I'm going to ask for more complex stories I have to know that the old two dimensional good guy vs bad guy style of writing isn't going to work anymore, and I'm glad of that fact.
    I mean, I think any good run probably has a good mix of both, ultimately.
    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel22 View Post
    I don't think it's wrong, either. It just isn't interesting to me. How strong Odinson is isn't one of the reasons I became a fan. I realize that's part of the appeal for some fans and that's cool.

    To me, his physical strength isn't one of the very ingredients that make him the God of Thunder. It's just a part of the package. He can beat up the Hulk, he can't beat up the Hulk, he can make a bigger storm than Ororo, he can't make a bigger storm...I'm cool either way.

    I think we often get stories that include both complex writing and big strong-man stuff. We get that with Odinson sometimes too. Ideally I'd like both, a meaningful character driven story with some big action pieces occasionally. In the same way wanting to see Odinson kick ass isn't wrong, it isn't wrong to want complex writing. We can have both.
    I think with Superheroes it's always about balancing the spectacle with the story. So obviously there's the need for the heroes to do cool stuff, actually accomplish things, and establish why they are heroes but it's also important to have a good emotional core and resonance underpinning it as well.

    Although I do find the depiction of Thor and Jane as Thor's capability and the contrast to be a tad...disingenuous.

    And, kind of off-topic from what you're talking about...but I just really don't like the name "Odinson" anymore. All it seems to represent now is a period where Thor was deprived of his actual name and was seen as Unworthy, and it's where a lot of my issues with his current characterization propped up.

    I don't begrudge you for using it but I just am kind of done with Thor being referred to that way as it was nonsensically forced into being the only way to refer to him as.

  4. #1534
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    Quote Originally Posted by davew128 View Post
    *cough*AvX*cough*
    Thor wasn't bad in AVX though, he was the only one able to slow down the Phoenix Force out of all the Earth heroes, even if it was for a moment and later got beat alongside the rest of the space team.

  5. #1535
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel22 View Post
    I don't think it's wrong, either. It just isn't interesting to me. How strong Odinson is isn't one of the reasons I became a fan. I realize that's part of the appeal for some fans and that's cool.
    Thank you for validating me as another shallow Thor fan .

    To me, his physical strength isn't one of the very ingredients that make him the God of Thunder. It's just a part of the package. He can beat up the Hulk, he can't beat up the Hulk, he can make a bigger storm than Ororo, he can't make a bigger storm...I'm cool either way.
    Fair enough. I place more emphasis on it than some I suppose. I venture to say it is just as important to say, fans of Hulk or Superman, for example.

    I think we often get stories that include both complex writing and big strong-man stuff. We get that with Odinson sometimes too. Ideally I'd like both, a meaningful character driven story with some big action pieces occasionally. In the same way wanting to see Odinson kick ass isn't wrong, it isn't wrong to want complex writing. We can have both.
    We actualy agree on this. The main difference between us appears to be I place more emphasis than you do on how well Thor is depicted in a given battle.

    Several years ago, Stan Lee appeared on "Comicbook Men". One of the main questions asked? Who is stronger Thor or Hulk? Stan gave a very diplomatic, "...when you have two popular characters like this, the fight should end in an ambiguous way...one without a clear winner..." (paraphrasing -- Stan actually grew to HATE that question).

    It's a question that is still on the minds of many today...no matter how frustratingly infantile it may be to writers who are trying to carve new ground for the character...but one that if handled the right way, could boost sales where those two (or similarly classed opponents) face each other down.

    I suppose I would sum my preference as...Thor can have intriguing stories told about him without sacrificing what (to me) is an intrinsic part of his character: vast strength and power (RE: Odins words to Thor in Infinity War..."Thor is the God of what?").

    Nevertheless, I respect your view.

    EDIT: May I ask...do you enjoy what Aaron is writing? Who are your favorite Thor writers and/or story arcs/issues?
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  6. #1536
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  7. #1537
    Extraordinary Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kilderkin View Post
    I can't think of a really good solo win in the last few years on panel, though I admit I'm out of touch with his exploits over the last few months
    That is an entirely different point though isn't it? Thor is still ultra capable. The fact that the story has not been about 'really good solo wins' is not the same as saying he has been de-powered. He hasn't. He has been very slightly moved down the ultra superheroic scale. At first he had difficulties doing what he was used to doing, then he mostly came to terms with that. For example, his rage across the Earth, and the corresponding super storm in WotR does not suggest he is limited in any way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I assume you're counting Jane, right?
    No. I am talking about this perception that Thor Odinson has seen a significant reduction in his actual combat effectiveness. I don't see any evidence of that. Certainly not since the current volume started. The psychological change happened in Unworthy Thor, and the manifested change happened when he started to insist Odin made him hammers. That's all fascinating story that implies something about Thor that some may not like, but it doesn't represent a drop in his combat effectiveness.

  8. #1538
    Extraordinary Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I kind of get where you're coming from, but at the same time, as far as Thor is concerned, all these "new behaviors" have seemed more regressive then they have added. I can't think of anything Aaron has done with Thor, as a character, that has made him more compelling other then indicating that he may be weaker mentally or morally then he was before.
    Where does Aaron suggest he is weaker morally? Yes he took a big hit to his mental stability, we even got a mini-series to show how he began to come to terms with that. That is additive not regressive. We learn more about him, and we learn more about what his power is and isn't. We are still on that journey with him.

    I think this argument keeps getting stuck in the idea that the narrative of a character that goes through problems should conform to a certain perspective. That somehow every story about a hero struggling should be a perfect arc as presented in the Hero's Journey. That was always the exactly incorrect insight from Campbell from my perspective. It begs the question 'what happens when we can't follow the hero path' or 'what happens when we fail at any of those stages, including the first one'.

    Worse, every story potentially becomes the watered down three or four act structure of this journey that we end up with in every popcorn action movie. The notion that we should always feel wrapped up in the cosy notion that the hero is going where he needs to go, and jumping the hurdles that he should jump. Yes, many people are very comfortable with that story and it makes a lot of money, but there are other interesting stories to tell, and some of those can be equally commercial too. The Thor Odinson arc hasn't been a comfortable arc. It was never supposed to be. His issues are more fundamental and entirely tangential to whether he can win in a fight, or be competent.

  9. #1539
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKtheMac View Post
    That is an entirely different point though isn't it? Thor is still ultra capable. The fact that the story has not been about 'really good solo wins' is not the same as saying he has been de-powered. He hasn't. He has been very slightly moved down the ultra superheroic scale. At first he had difficulties doing what he was used to doing, then he mostly came to terms with that. For example, his rage across the Earth, and the corresponding super storm in WotR does not suggest he is limited in any way.



    No. I am talking about this perception that Thor Odinson has seen a significant reduction in his actual combat effectiveness. I don't see any evidence of that. Certainly not since the current volume started. The psychological change happened in Unworthy Thor, and the manifested change happened when he started to insist Odin made him hammers. That's all fascinating story that implies something about Thor that some may not like, but it doesn't represent a drop in his combat effectiveness.
    Well the point was that he's still as capable as ever, yet he clearly isnt, more recent work aside as I have admitted. He wasn't capable of besting mangog, he has in the past, he hardly faired well against hulk, he has in the past, he just about held off the riders car, hardly impressive, we didn't see him best juggernaut, he got bested by malaketh and lost an arm,

    To suggest he wasn't repowered is also untrue, he lost control of the storm for a good while, could not weild the powers of mjolnir,

    And I'm just asking for one good solo example, it can't be that hard to find can it, if he's still do capable, and if it's in recent books that's great, let me know and I'll go read it

  10. #1540
    Extraordinary Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kilderkin View Post
    Well the point was that he's still as capable as ever, yet he clearly isnt, more recent work aside as I have admitted. He wasn't capable of besting Mangog, he has in the past,
    Well we have had that argument to death. Mangog was amped up to a power way beyond Odin, and structurally he was always Odin's foil anyway. It should never be up to Thor to beat him, but somehow it often is. Cleaning Odin's dirty laundry again. That is part of the expectation when someone tells a Mangog story. He exists as a reminder that Odin has flaws (especially after the first story when he began to be retroactively shifted into a recurring character). It is pretty much this point when Thor realises he needs a hammer of some kind. Whether that is a genuine insight or a mistaken assumption is still being explored.

    IMO the one time Thor easily bested Mangog (Jurgens) was itself problematic and entirely out of character for Mangog. I put it down to him being used as a pawn and not really himself.

    Quote Originally Posted by kilderkin View Post
    he hardly faired well against hulk, he has in the past, he just about held off the riders car, hardly impressive, we didn't see him best juggernaut, he got bested by malaketh and lost an arm,
    Yes. Kind of. I would dispute he got beaten by The Hulk. I don't particularly mind that we didn't see him trouncing Juggernaut. We know that he did. Oh horror, Malekith ripped off his arm! Is that really a problem? He got better. Why exactly are you so focused on this idea of a clear solo win? I mean deep down, that is not a trivial question. Do you not see that a clear solo win would undermine the work Aaron is doing?

    Quote Originally Posted by kilderkin View Post
    To suggest he wasn't repowered is also untrue, he lost control of the storm for a good while, could not weild the powers of mjolnir,
    Absolutely. And I acknowledge that. This was all part of a phycological issue not a physical one. Like I said, some people might not like the implications that Aaron suggests about Thor without Mjolnir, but that is his story. It is nearly over, let us look back when it is over and judge what is really going on. I have my doubts that it is quite so simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by kilderkin View Post
    And I'm just asking for one good solo example, it can't be that hard to find can it, if he's still do capable, and if it's in recent books that's great, let me know and I'll go read it
    My point is that this isn't very important to me. I don't need Thor to own some powerful villain. He does do that with the Frost Giants of course. Some like the kind of story where the hero is only nominally challenged but really he is just being shown to be a great and powerful hero, so do I in moderation. I am more than happy with Thor having a psychological problem that explores the idea that he is not quite who everyone thinks he is, especially himself.
    Last edited by JKtheMac; 06-19-2019 at 03:59 AM.

  11. #1541
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKtheMac View Post
    Well we have had that argument to death. Mangog was amped up to a power way beyond Odin, and structurally he was always Odin's foil anyway. It should never be up to Thor to beat him, but somehow it often is. Cleaning Odin's dirty laundry again. That is part of the expectation when someone tells a Mangog story. He exists as a reminder that Odin has flaws (especially after the first story when he began to be retroactively shifted into a recurring character). It is pretty much this point when Thor realises he needs a hammer of some kind. Whether that is a genuine insight or a mistaken assumption is still being explored.

    IMO the one time Thor easily bested Mangog (Jurgens) was itself problematic and entirely out of character for Mangog. I put it down to him being used as a pawn and not really himself.
    You never won the argument tbh.

    Also, you should be the last one who should talk about the portrayal, no offense.

  12. #1542
    Extraordinary Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GodThor View Post
    You never won the argument tbh.
    I pretty solidly examined every single Mangog example, teased out the threads that Aaron would probably pull on and he went ahead and pulled on them. What more "proof" are you looking for? These are stories not physics text books.

    Then, the actual way he was used was revealed and I stated this:

    So we have an answer of sorts as to how Mangog is being treated, all be it through the narrator of #701. As he is not the most reliable narrator I think Aaron is neatly sidestepping the continuity issues, and it is notable that Mangog's own words slightly contradict the narrator.

    As narrator, Malekith describes Mangog as a kind of secular Nemesis. Retribution for the sins of the gods. This ties in neatly with his ongoing worthiness theme, as Mangog is here to punish the gods for their unworthiness. His ability to crush Ultimate Mjölnir in his fist, was a shocking demonstration of the magnitude of this power. Malekith seems to take a cynical view of the history of Mangog and Odin, where Odin was responsible for the slaughter of a race, and then brought them back. Presumably an interpretation of the events of the Lee & Kirby tale, as opposed to a retcon. I wonder if Odin will at some point give his version of what exactly happened.


    How exactly is that "provably incorrect"? It references the text and the clear intent of Aaron as expressed through his characters. Within the next couple of issues that was pretty much how he was used. A secular nemesis of Odin. A punishment for the gods.

    Quote Originally Posted by GodThor View Post
    Also, you should be the last one who should talk about the portrayal, no offense.
    Why hint at some kind of offence then? If I understood the point I might be offended, but I don't.
    Last edited by JKtheMac; 06-19-2019 at 05:32 AM.

  13. #1543
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKtheMac View Post
    Well we have had that argument to death. Mangog was amped up to a power way beyond Odin, and structurally he was always Odin's foil anyway. It should never be up to Thor to beat him, but somehow it often is. Cleaning Odin's dirty laundry again. That is part of the expectation when someone tells a Mangog story. He exists as a reminder that Odin has flaws (especially after the first story when he began to be retroactively shifted into a recurring character). It is pretty much this point when Thor realises he needs a hammer of some kind. Whether that is a genuine insight or a mistaken assumption is still being explored.

    IMO the one time Thor easily bested Mangog (Jurgens) was itself problematic and entirely out of character for Mangog. I put it down to him being used as a pawn and not really himself.



    Yes. Kind of. I would dispute he got beaten by The Hulk. I don't particularly mind that we didn't see him trouncing Juggernaut. We know that he did. Oh horror, Malekith ripped off his arm! Is that really a problem? He got better. Why exactly are you so focused on this idea of a clear solo win? I mean deep down, that is not a trivial question. Do you not see that a clear solo win would undermine the work Aaron is doing?



    Absolutely. And I acknowledge that. This was all part of a phycological issue not a physical one. Like I said, some people might not like the implications that Aaron suggests about Thor without Mjolnir, but that is his story. It is nearly over, let us look back when it is over and judge what is really going on. I have my doubts that it is quite so simple.



    My point is that this isn't very important to me. I don't need Thor to own some powerful villain. He does do that with the Frost Giants of course. Some like the kind of story where the hero is only nominally challenged but really he is just being shown to be a great and powerful hero, so do I in moderation. I am more than happy with Thor having a psychological problem that explores the idea that he is not quite who everyone thinks he is, especially himself.
    I'm fine that it's not important to you, but your post is the one that I saw reference him not being any less capable

    If we're going to nitpick, he certainly lost to hulk, he needed help just to get away, losing his arm was forshadowed but it's still a big loss to a character he's bested before, our opinion of his win over mangog is irrelevant, he clearly won then and didn't next time, but as I say, that's us nitpicking

    It's not an obsession, but in a discourse about his power scale and capability, the fact that a clean victory, earned on his own, not got a decent one, reveals that he isn't as capable as he once was

    If you or anyone else can point me to a recent one I missed please do, I'd love to see one again, it's just been a few years is all

  14. #1544
    Extraordinary Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kilderkin View Post
    I'm fine that it's not important to you, but your post is the one that I saw reference him not being any less capable

    If we're going to nitpick, he certainly lost to hulk, he needed help just to get away, losing his arm was forshadowed but it's still a big loss to a character he's bested before, our opinion of his win over mangog is irrelevant, he clearly won then and didn't next time, but as I say, that's us nitpicking

    It's not an obsession, but in a discourse about his power scale and capability, the fact that a clean victory, earned on his own, not got a decent one, reveals that he isn't as capable as he once was

    If you or anyone else can point me to a recent one I missed please do, I'd love to see one again, it's just been a few years is all
    Do you honestly think the examples I alluded to are not clear examples of his capabilities? That slaughtering a pile of Frost Giants was somehow a weak Thor? That causing a storm across the whole world is somehow underpowerd?

  15. #1545
    Mighty Member GodThor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKtheMac View Post
    Why hint at some kind of offence then? If I understood the point I might be offended, but I don't.
    Point is, I find it funny when you don't like some portrayals like Mangog but then defend how Thor and Odin are portrayed when we say their portrayal is garbage.

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