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  1. #46
    Legendary God of Pirates Nik Hasta's Avatar
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    Gonna preface this, because I feel like we're arguing at cross-purposes here.

    My argument is less about whether Shuri particularly is Sue-ish. It is about how the term is not a good or useful term when discussing characters because it is usually employed to dismiss a character (mostly female) for being some arbitrary level of "too good at stuff," which isn't useful. That's my whole deal here.

    My view is that the term shouldn't be used because it's not clearly defined or often used in a clearly defined way. Shuri and her proximity to Stark in terms of characterisation is more the vehicle for the case rather than the thing I'm interested in arguing. Just want that clear because I'm not super into litigating the particulars of Tony Starks character at length.

    That said;

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelC View Post
    Well then you should be able to easily give me examples.
    Okay. Herein follows a brief breakdown of Tony Stark and the themes of his egotism and arrogance in the movies from the MCU that I remember.

    - Iron Man 1: Literally the arc of the character in this story is Tony learning to accept that he can't just do things on his own and the way he's conducted himself has made things worse for people he isn't aware of. He is introduced as wildly arrogant, dismissive to most people and learns that he needs to change. He also flies to another country and murders people because he feels he's allowed to do that.
    - Iron Man 2: Tony has a festival dedicated to primarily glorifying himself complete with sexy Iron Man dancers, Tony smacks talks the government and the UN arrogantly proclaiming that he has privatized world peace and also commits the rather amusing crime of hacking into international surveillance networks in front of a courtroom. Later Tony falls into a spiral of alcoholism and believing his own hype due to his out of control ego, culminating in a robot suit fight with his best friend. Heck, it's partly his condescension and arrogance towards Hammer that drives him to recruit Whiplash and make the conflict worse.
    - Avengers 1: When the staff is influencing people to draw out their negative traits, it draws out Tony's ego because it's still a massive part of his character.
    - Iron Man 3: Thematically Tony is confronted by a reflection of himself - another egotistical billionaire playboy who thinks he should be able to rule the world due to him being better than everyone else - and actually has to consider the ramifications of that. The film ends with Tony actually giving up everything even though he's already won; it is a really good moment of him actually stepping away from his self-aggrandisement and arrogance because he sacrifices everything to make the point that he has changed. This meaningful scene is then mostly undone by...
    - Age of Ultron: Tony is back to building more stuff than ever. Ultron is literally built using scans of Tony's mind and he is present as an arrogant egomaniac who thinks that he has the right to decide the fate of the entire human race. Tony then demonstrates a tremendous lack of self-awareness because he immediately builds another AI superbeing to fight Ultron, the only difference being he didn't use his own brain this time and this one is not an out of control sociopath. HMMMM.
    - Civil War: Tony, a person who has previously flown into other countries and murdered people just because he wanted to, attempts to take the moral highground over Scarlet Witch who accidentally killed people on a government sanctioned mission. His response to being told that maybe he's incorrect in his response is to gather up a group of superhumans, including a literal child, and have a big punch fight that gets his closest friend paralysed because he refuses to actually consider that he might be wrong or have a dialogue.

    I'll be honest, I largely checked out in Infinity War, Spiderman Homecoming and Endgame because I was doooone by this point, and I never saw Far From Home. However, all of these either feature Tony or the legacy of his actions. I hear he made personal information hacking glasses that call in drone strikes? Seems cool and normal.

    I recall the bit from Endgame where Tony goes on a rant at Steve and the others about how he was right to try and stomp over civil rights and build super dangerous AI that almost killed humanity because Thanos existed. Still not great at the self-reflection thing, Iron Man 3 notwithstanding.

    My point is that Tony's struggle with his ego and arrogance as symbolised by his desire to control everything is a consistent character and thematic arc for him and doesn't get the same pushback as Shuri being condescending to Bruce Banner literally once.

    Which is why, as I said repeatedly, I don't consider her a Mary Sue. She says some arrogant things of the sort that sometimes foreshadow's a Mary Sue, but the narrative doesn't back her up, and implicitly portrays her arrogance as a flaw that needs to be overcome. Hence, not a Mary Sue.
    This is the thing though, arrogance isn't a Mary Sue specific thing.

    Like, look at someone like Escanor from Seven Deadly Sins. That dude is literally personified by his ego and has a ridiculous OP ability that he did not have to train for that allows him to win most confrontations with ease. Does he get labelled a Sue or Stu? No, because none of those things are intrinsic to the concept of Sueism. The term doesn't have a clear or well applied meaning.
    Last edited by Nik Hasta; 09-17-2019 at 05:36 AM.
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  2. #47
    Friendship's Shockwave BitVyper's Avatar
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    The term doesn't have a clear or well applied meaning.
    I feel like it has the former but not the latter. Like there are traits that are SUPPOSED to be there; self insert, narrative black hole, fixes everything, displaces characters the author doesn't like in order to hook up with the lead. It's just that instead of using it for those things, it gets used for characters like Shuri for a slightly groan-worthy comment in her five seconds of screentime.
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  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nik Hasta View Post
    Gonna preface this, because I feel like we're arguing at cross-purposes here.

    My argument is less about whether Shuri particularly is Sue-ish. It is about how the term is not a good or useful term when discussing characters because it is usually employed to dismiss a character (mostly female) for being some arbitrary level of "too good at stuff," which isn't useful. That's my whole deal here.



    Okay. Herein follows a brief breakdown of Tony Stark and the themes of his egotism and arrogance in the movies from the MCU that I remember.

    - Iron Man 1: Literally the arc of the character in this story is Tony learning to accept that he can't just do things on his own and the way he's conducted himself has made things worse for people he isn't aware of. He is introduced as wildly arrogant, dismissive to most people and learns that he needs to change. He also flies to another country and murders people because he feels he's allowed to do that.
    That's his origin story. I did specify post origin story.

    - Iron Man 2: Tony has a festival dedicated to primarily glorifying himself complete with sexy Iron Man dancers, Tony smacks talks the government and the UN arrogantly proclaiming that he has privatized world peace and also commits the rather amusing crime of hacking into international surveillance networks in front of a courtroom. Later Tony falls into a spiral of alcoholism and believing his own hype due to his out of control ego, culminating in a robot suit fight with his best friend. Heck, it's partly his condescension and arrogance towards Hammer that drives him to recruit Whiplash and make the conflict worse.
    Stark is dying and trying to present an invincible front, both to keep the public, which has come to depend on him, feeling safe, and also to keep villains intimidated into not attacking him. Not arrogance, desperation.

    In the courtroom, he is under attack by Hammer and politicians influenced by Hammer to try to enslave him. In short, he is fighting villains, albeit low-grade ones. That's not arrogance, that's war waged on the front of public opinion, requiring him to aggressively support his case. Stark defeating him in that arena may have lead to Hammer recruiting Whiplash, but that was an unpredictable result that had nothing to do with arrogance on Stark's part. Mostly it just means that Hammer is the sort of sociopath who will do anything to win, something that has nothing to do with Stark.

    As for the Rhodey thing: it is immediately stated afterwards that Rhodey couldn't have gotten the suit without Stark allowing him to. The heavy implication is that Stark set the whole thing up to make Rhodey his heir. Even if that implication turns out to be wrong, Stark's drunkenness would have been him drowning his sorrows because he's dying and in pain, not because he's arrogant.

    - Avengers 1: When the staff is influencing people to draw out their negative traits, it draws out Tony's ego because it's still a massive part of his character.
    Again, mind-control.

    - Iron Man 3: Thematically Tony is confronted by a reflection of himself - another egotistical billionaire playboy who thinks he should be able to rule the world due to him being better than everyone else - and actually has to consider the ramifications of that. The film ends with Tony actually giving up everything even though he's already won; it is a really good moment of him actually stepping away from his self-aggrandisement and arrogance because he sacrifices everything to make the point that he has changed. This meaningful scene is then mostly undone by...
    A reflection of who Stark was pre-origin-story.

    - Age of Ultron: Tony is back to building more stuff than ever. Ultron is literally built using scans of Tony's mind and he is present as an arrogant egomaniac who thinks that he has the right to decide the fate of the entire human race. Tony then demonstrates a tremendous lack of self-awareness because he immediately builds another AI superbeing to fight Ultron, the only difference being he didn't use his own brain this time and this one is not an out of control sociopath. HMMMM.
    I don't recall Ultron being built with scans of Stark's mind. He was built using scans of the mind-stone. And he was evil because he was basically a child whose first sight upon gaining consciousness was internet information on human wars and other atrocities.


    - Civil War: Tony, a person who has previously flown into other countries and murdered people just because he wanted to, attempts to take the moral highground over Scarlet Witch who accidentally killed people on a government sanctioned mission. His response to being told that maybe he's incorrect in his response is to gather up a group of superhumans, including a literal child, and have a big punch fight that gets his closest friend paralysed because he refuses to actually consider that he might be wrong or have a dialogue.
    That is completely wrong on every level. Stark is extremely humbled in that story, and believes that if they aren't willing to accept any limitations, they are no better than the bad guys, and he's right to think that. Stark is the absolute antithesis of arrogant in that story, essentially prostrating himself before the world and accepting their judgement and demands that the Avengers be regulated. It's Rogers who is insanely arrogant in that story, utterly convinced that he should have all the privileges of cops and soldiers, but none of the regulations that make cops and soldiers servants of the people. When cops and soldiers are free, no one else is. That's something Stark humbly accepts, and Rogers in monstrous arrogance denies.

    I'll be honest, I largely checked out in Infinity War, Spiderman Homecoming and Endgame because I was doooone by this point, and I never saw Far From Home. However, all of these either feature Tony or the legacy of his actions. I hear he made personal information hacking glasses that call in drone strikes? Seems cool and normal.
    For use against villains.

    I recall the bit from Endgame where Tony goes on a rant at Steve and the others about how he was right to try and stomp over civil rights and build super dangerous AI that almost killed humanity because Thanos existed.
    The super-dangerous AI was the result of Scarlet Witch zapping his mind, making him utterly desperate to come up with something so that everyone he loved wouldn't die. And he wasn't "trampling over civil rights". He was accepting the will of the people that the Avengers either accept the same regulations as cops and soldiers, or retire. Because, once again, when cops and soldiers are free, no one else is. The regulation of cops and soldiers is necessary if society as a whole is to have real freedom in an adult context. It's only in the mind of the childish that you can give cops and soldiers absolute freedom, and only the childish would think of regulating cops and soldiers, and those who have assumed a coplike/soldierlike role in society, as the destruction of civil rights.

    My point is that Tony's struggle with his ego and arrogance as symbolised by his desire to control everything is a consistent character and thematic arc for him and doesn't get the same pushback as Shuri being condescending to Bruce Banner literally once.
    Not to remotely the degree you are suggesting.
    Last edited by MichaelC; 09-17-2019 at 06:07 AM.

  4. #49
    Legendary God of Pirates Nik Hasta's Avatar
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    This is a mighty generous take on Tony Stark you have there.

    Regards the Civil War thing, It's not like I don't think Cap wasn't arrogant as well. Both of them were. I also don't think that the MCU is/was a flexible enough franchise to have the more important discussions around stuff like finding out that the analogue of the real world US Government was secretly run by Nazis for like 70 years.

    But since we're no longer arguing the thing I'm actually interested in and, as noted, I don't want to litigate the character decisions of Tony Stark... maybe I'll jump out of the thread now?

    In short, Mary Sue is a bad and not useful term. People should use better terms to describe their reactions to things.
    Last edited by Nik Hasta; 09-17-2019 at 06:27 AM.
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  5. #50
    Super Moderator The Watcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greatmetropolitan View Post
    You should be less of a sexist asshole, is the thing.
    Since you haven't had any offenses before this I'm just going to give you a warning. Directing profanity-laden insults at a fellow poster is against the rules. Don't do it again.
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  6. #51
    Friendship's Shockwave BitVyper's Avatar
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    It's not like I don't think Cap wasn't arrogant as well.
    Look I don't need a multi-negative pileup this early in the morning.
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  7. #52
    Legendary God of Pirates Nik Hasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BitVyper View Post
    Look I don't need a multi-negative pileup this early in the morning.
    I apologise, I couldn't think of a good way to word it.

    It is like I do think Cap is arrogant additionally.

    Thaaaaat's much better.
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  8. #53
    Ultimate Member MindofShadow's Avatar
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    people forget Shuri is a teenager and teenagers are often annoying, snarky, and think they know everything

    especially teenage, super genius, literal princesses who has her own damn lab at 16 lol. Of course she is going to be mildly annoying. Has no one been around teenagers before?
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  9. #54
    Astonishing Member Captain Morgan's Avatar
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    Unsurprisingly, I agree with Nik Hasta.

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Watcher View Post
    Since you haven't had any offenses before this I'm just going to give you a warning. Directing profanity-laden insults at a fellow poster is against the rules. Don't do it again.
    Noted, thanks Watcher.

  11. #56

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    All's well that ends well. =)
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  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Morgan View Post
    Unsurprisingly, I agree with Nik Hasta.
    I don't agree with either one of them to be honest.

    MichaelC glorified and justified all of Tony's dumb self destructive acts.

    While Nick just ignored and dissmissed all of Tony's hang ups and motivations, in favour of just going he's arogant lol.

    Not to say that Tony's ego dosn't play a part in things as his inability to take opinions other than his own into consideration often blinds him to the negetive consquences of what he's doing but it's rairly the primary motivation in his actions.

    It's made abuntantly clear that in every film post Age of Ultrin that his more obsessive and questionable nature, is because he knows somthing much worse than what they face in Avengers 1 was just around the corner and the even the Avengers wouldn't be enough to stop it.

    In Civil War, he's pretty clearly motivated by the fact that he saw himself as a loose cannon who needed to be kept in check.

    While in endgame his little rant came at a point were he was delarious, from malnutrition and dehidration, had just lost a person who he saw as a son and had more less had his worst fear come true and validated. He wasn't exactly in his right mind and it's pretty clearly shown that he didn't have that attitude once he had time to physically and psychologically recover and that without that fear hanging over him anymore (since it had allready come and gone) he had more less stoped all the crap he was up to before.

  13. #58
    Legendary God of Pirates Nik Hasta's Avatar
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    I mean, I'll freely concede to the notion that Tony is more complex than just "arrogance lol"

    I also would like point out two things.

    First off, MichaelC claimed that Tony's ego and arrogance wasn't a part of his character to significant degree after the first Iron Man film. My list was not an exhaustive list of my thoughts on Tony, it was instances where I felt ego very clearly played into his choices, thematic handling and overall presentation in the MCU.

    Second, I specifically said I wasn't interested in getting into Tony's character and motivations deeply because that wasn't what I was talking about in the thread. I could say more on him but that's not what interested me here. I was more talking about Mary Sue as a term.
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  14. #59
    Astonishing Member Captain Morgan's Avatar
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    Yeah, the point being demonstrated is that there isn't really any grounds to call Shuri a Sue that doesn't apply to Tony.

  15. #60
    Writer and editor KJS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalak View Post
    1) Janet healed Ghost the same way she healed Hank the same way she adapted/evolved to live in the Quantum Realm without phasing and going mad, she doesn't have some magical knowledge of how to time travel via Pym particle or else she wouldn't have warned Scott to stay away from said vortexes as they explicitly couldn't save him. I just watched the scene in question, and knowing time and space work funny when you're shrunk that small doesn't give her the ability to time travel or the idea to use it to travel in time like skipping 5 years with Scott did.
    That's a fun way of saying "I am wilfully ignorning the fact she literally brought up time vortexes and you just reminded me about it."

    If Scott was snapped away, seconds after Janet warned him about going into a time vortex, do you not think her initial thought might be "oh no, he must have gone into a time vortex"!?

    Upon ultimately realising that he'd actually been snapped away, in the ONE successful timeline Doctor Strange MUST have seen to have given Thanos the Time Stone, maybe, just maybe, Janet would think "hey, you know, we could actually use those time vortexes to traverse time".

    Whether or not she'd be capable of doing/implementing the idea isn't the point, but with Hank Pym present, you don't think he might just say "what did you say about time vortexes?" and then come up with a plan, in conjunction with the other heroes/geniuses in the MCU?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dalak View Post
    2) If Strange had learned any spells regarding time they'd have involved the Time Stone since they've had said stone for generations, and as his vision of the future only worked if he told no-one (Unchanged from Movie) he can't inspire Time Travel directly either. As I've said, their best bet is tracking down Thanos before he snaps away the stones if they've the might to take them with who they have left. BTW given that Steven is still human and can be wrong or interfere/fail to interfere in a way that results in everything going pear shaped, simply seeing 1 chance in over 14 million doesn't ensure it will happen.
    This is, of course, making the wild assumption that Strange had actually learned EVERY spell that ever existed. Which he hadn't.

    In this scenario, he might (read "WOULD") make it his goal to discover time travel spells that hadn't yet been utilised.

    As I've already said, in this scenario, the snap happened, so Strange must have voluntarily handed the Time Stone to Thanos. That's MCU canon. An undeniable fact.

    For Strange to have done that, he HAS TO have seen a future in which the heroes win. That's literally the reason he gave it away. Ergo, the future in which he saw the heroes win literally MUST happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dalak View Post
    3) However smart they are, if they don't get the inspiration to use Pym particles for time travel there's no Time Heist and I still don't see how.
    But, as I've now stated more than once, this is the future in which they do get that inspiration. It might only be 1 in several million again, but it's the 1 in which that happens.

    Again, Vision has elements of Stark and Banner's mind in his. He could be brought back to life and come up with the idea. It was specifically stated that he could survive without the Mind Stone. With Shuri's knowledge and Wanda's love for him very much in tact in this timeline, he WOULD be resurrected. No reason whatsoever why he wouldn't use the knowledge he inherited from two men who mastered time travel to create or inspire it himself.

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