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  1. #1
    Ghost of the Stratosphere Not BAMF's Avatar
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    Default Does arguing about comic book fights make you a better reader?

    My podcast cohost and I disagree on whether we should include the occasional "Versus" segment on our show, because he thinks the entire thing is a waste of time. I've always been a big fan of battle boards, and while I'm not someone who will debate topics at great length, I like considering them and giving thoughts.

    I ended up having an article due today, and I had nothing else to write on, so I figured I would write a defense of arguing about comic fights from the perspective that they are fairly unique to the comics medium and that engaging in such debates actually makes you a better comic book reader.

    I thought you guys might dig it, so I will share. Am I just talking out of my butt here?

    In Defense of the Humble Versus Segment/

  2. #2

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    I havent clicked your link or anything, but just my 2 cents:

    Yes and no.

    Not a very satisfying answer lol. Yes, because, having a keen eye for power scaling and presentation will help you world build the comic you are reading and keep things in nice little boxes. Like, we all know Thanos is a monster worth being afraid of when comics mention him because of those things. A quick "oh man he fought EVERBODY and did all these things!" can help you put the arc of a comic in perspective and generate appropriate hype and excitement for it.

    Also, no, because if you take "feat hunting" as I call it a little too far, you can start to become disconnected from the narrative. Comic books are going to do silly things that contradict the displayed feats of their own established characters. Randomly, Thanos (or whoever) might get hurt from someone who had no business doing so or Flash will forget his super speed and be a bit of a doof. These things can make a person feel bitter or disconnected. But comic characters have been around for many decades and have countless writers handling them. A perfect record is unreasonable for the neat little boxes feat hunters want.

    I try my best to just WATCH a movie or READ a comic first. Just to enjoy it. Then later I allow myself to turn on my "did that make sense? what new feats can I dissect?" part of my brain.

    Any of that make sense? I might be rambling lol.
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  3. #3
    Death of Time Cronus's Avatar
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    They're fun and some comic fans are every bit as passionate about the topic as boxing fans are about "whose the greatest heavy weight boxer of all time?"

    Whether or not it draws folks to your website may depend on a few things. You and the other administrators on your site will likely want to decide ahead of time on appropriate etiquette and rules. You will definitely want to determine what sources are admissible as a basis for reaching a reasonable conclusion/determination about what given characters can and cannot do in a given fight.

    I would not leave the term "PIS" undefined on your site. It differs from site to site and will have a massive impact on how a decision is reached. Previous experience has shown me that when PIS is undefined a consensus is very/difficult.

    To reach.

    Find unbiased moderators....preferably those that aren't swayed by previous friendships on the site. I've seen that happen before (not here)....and it is not fun.

    EDIT...

    As far as making an individual a better comic reader? Are you referring to more detail oriented? If so...reviewing comics to get the full context has a tendency to do that. I suppose it can? It all comes down to an individual's attention to detail and their overall knowledge of (related) comics in general. Some time ago a discussion arose as to why Moondragon could not read Thanos' mind in an Infinity Watch comic. Someone (not here) asserted that Adam Warlock had simply nerfed the infinity stones down, essentially making them not as potent. IIRC, notwithstanding Thanos' already legendary TP resistance feats, that wasn't too far from the truth....although not entirely true...Thanos was actually a member of Warlock's compiled Watch....so while Thanos has tremendous TP resitance... that instance is not good for proof.

    So if you mean more detailed oriented...it can but largely depends on the individual.
    Last edited by Cronus; 05-31-2019 at 03:33 PM.
    "Sir, does this mean that Ann Margret's not coming?"
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    "One of the maddening but beautiful things about comics is that you have to give characters a sense of change without changing them so much that they violate the essence of who they are." ~ Ann Nocenti, Chris Claremont's X-Men.

  4. #4
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    it varies. sometimes it's so and sometimes it isn't so.

  5. #5
    Legendary God of Pirates Nik Hasta's Avatar
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    I'd say no it doesn't make you a better reader.

    A "better" eye for internal consistency doesn't really effect ones ability to actually engage with the themes and meaning of a text. If anything it probably hurts it because doing versus stuff long enough teaches you to focus more on the micro aspects of a work rather than engaging with the macro elements or treating the characters as essentially powersets on legs rather than beings with their own rationale and arcs in the story.

    If you want to learn to better interrogate and understand art, this is not the place to do it. This is a dumb nerd fights place and we do them because it's fun.

    Versus stuff definitely doesn't help. It also somewhat feeds into the larger cultural narrative that art or a story or whatever can be "solved" or quantified to some kind of definitive level which is untrue. I find that kind of thinking frustrating because it's a really rigid and uncompromising view of art.

    All that said, it has influenced how I write/animate combat. I try to avoid egregious PIS stuff where possible in my own work more now so things makes sense in an encounter while still being cool. So there's that.
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  6. #6
    Mighty Member rhyvurg's Avatar
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    I can't look at fictional media anymore without mentally cataloging feats and comparisons anymore.
    "Money and muscle, thatís what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money wonít do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world wonít enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it."
    Robert E. Howard

  7. #7
    The Tentacle God Cthulhu_of_R'lyeh's Avatar
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    I'd say it can you a better debater, and skeptic more than anything else.
    Yeah, but if you... man, we're getting into weird analogy territory, like if you disintegrated Superman's arms he wouldn't be able to go "fool! Little did you know that my arms and I are one and can be remade from me!" and will his arms back into being from pure nothingness. - Pendaran

    Arxiros "Arx" Inosaan | Inanna

  8. #8
    Better than YOU! Alan2099's Avatar
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    The problem I see with it is when you read looking for feats, you see certain things that a hero could do, but usually doesn't.

    Thor could God Blast villains left and right. Flash could start every fight with that Infinity Mass Punch thing. ... but they don't.

    Do they not do it because the plot demands they don't do it or do they not do it simply because that's not how they fight?

  9. #9
    My Face Is Up Here Powerboy's Avatar
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    This could be argued many ways. One could argue being on versus boards makes you pay more attention to the details in a comic. On the other hand, one could argue that it creates tunnel vision in which the least important aspect of the story gets elevated to the most important one. Stories about so-and-so are that are more critically acclaimed and better than they ever were before are crap because he's portrayed as nowhere near the power level he was once portrayed at.

    I don't think it makes you a better or worse reader or more or less detail oriented. To have a decent versus debate, you have to have rules and abide by them and the rules have to be such that a decision about winning and losing the debate can be made. But it's irrelevant other than maybe separating the people who can debate by a set of rules from those who can't stand that their favorite ever loses.

    If someone wants to be better detail oriented in terms of understanding the construction and details of a story, they should take a good creative writing class.
    Power with Girl is better.

  10. #10
    The Tentacle God Cthulhu_of_R'lyeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan2099 View Post
    The problem I see with it is when you read looking for feats, you see certain things that a hero could do, but usually doesn't.

    Thor could God Blast villains left and right. Flash could start every fight with that Infinity Mass Punch thing. ... but they don't.

    Do they not do it because the plot demands they don't do it or do they not do it simply because that's not how they fight?
    Or don't wanna murder everyone, lol.
    Yeah, but if you... man, we're getting into weird analogy territory, like if you disintegrated Superman's arms he wouldn't be able to go "fool! Little did you know that my arms and I are one and can be remade from me!" and will his arms back into being from pure nothingness. - Pendaran

    Arxiros "Arx" Inosaan | Inanna

  11. #11
    Spectacular Member
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    To misquote someone: The Golden Age of Comic Books is Twelve

    Keeping a bit of that wonderfully pure childish excitement and thrill you had at that age alive through continuing to ask 'who'd win?' is no bad thing.

  12. #12
    Mighty Member moonknight11's Avatar
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    Lots of good smart answers here. I agree with Niks the most.

    For me character matters most but I wouldn't wanna write something too inconsistent. Even laymen who don't care about vs bullshit can see something's off if you do. Like if a normal human suddenly punched out Godzilla lol

  13. #13
    Better than YOU! Alan2099's Avatar
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    Yeah, a normal person punching out Godzilla is stupid... an Agent of SHIELD however...



    AWESOME.

  14. #14
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    that must be his best Sunday punch which he reserves for such critters.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan2099 View Post
    Yeah, a normal person punching out Godzilla is stupid... an Agent of SHIELD however...



    AWESOME.
    I am so happy xD
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