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  1. #5566
    Astonishing Member Oberon's Avatar
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    I think that most of our tropes about magic, the 'cost' etc are very binary and Monotheist/Paradigm oriented.

    Paradigms are culture stuck in a mindset perhaps. Unable to see other realities. My best example is that fairly Christian oriented people can't conceive of people like me being Neo Pagan or whatever you want to call it, but finding reverence if not worship for deities from pre-Christian eras.

    So I think a lot of our and Western culture's look at these stories is that they should serve as morality plays.
    It may seem a stretch for comic book stories, but the influence of a paradigm on culture is pretty far reaching.
    Many people can only conceive that there is 'God' and therefore there is 'Satan', and most of our great literature from ages ago, reflects that. Mephistopheles anyone? So this is why some expect or feel bargains or costs are involved with magic, but when you learn other cultures and times stories of magic, Gods, Goddesses and the like, the concept is more fluid and usually more organic.
    ~ Oberon ~
    Comic-book reading Witch and Pagan since 1970
    I came for Kate, I stayed for Bette Love Fantastic Four, Namor, Batwoman, Dr.Strange.... i love them all

  2. #5567
    Incredible Member teapartyofthedead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GenericUsername View Post
    Marvel definitely has a hard time remembering their own canon, or caring. But that's why some stories are bad. More should not be bad for people that won't read the stories anyway.
    I put it down to this era’s insistence that continuity gets in the way of the plot instead of enhancing it. They want the story they want no matter how little sense it makes with the characters they use. House of M popularized that method of storytelling, among other sins.

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  3. #5568
    Incredible Member teapartyofthedead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GenericUsername View Post
    Misery porn is a good way to put it.

    And Wanda's powers do have a limit. Writers and editors forget about it. Wanda can't just make anything happen because that's tied to what power she taps into. Or is supposed to do that. The twilight sword, Simon's ionic powers, the life force.... none of these were her own powers on their own. While she has a decent amount of power on her own, it was only used as a conduit during her most well known feats. While she ended up using another more intense power to achieve those heights.

    Writers and editors just need to remember Wanda's limits. But we are also in an era where Manga and Anime are really popular, and they aren't interested in controlling powers in the slightest. Not even close. And they are beyond widely popular. So maybe western comics are just trying to keep up.
    For current writers to understand that, they would have to acknowledge comics that exist before 2005. That seems to be almost forbidden in the last decade.

  4. #5569

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    Quote Originally Posted by teapartyofthedead View Post
    For current writers to understand that, they would have to acknowledge comics that exist before 2005. That seems to be almost forbidden in the last decade.
    Which is why for years I've felt that if they don't want to acknowledge old canon, then they need to admit that they rebooted the universe. So fans stop hanging onto the old stuff.

    But they seem determined to keep everything and only reference old canon when convenient.
    Love is for souls, not bodies.

  5. #5570
    Astonishing Member Albert1981's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GenericUsername View Post
    Well most magic stories don't have a cost, so that excludes a lot. I don't prefer cost, I prefer limits on heroes. They are very different. I'm not into seeing a hero get punished for having power, especially women. When there is so much in media that portrays that kind of idea that women cannot handle power. Magic by it's very nature is unpredictable and inconsistent. So it just may not be your thing.
    Fantasy fans call them limitations, comic book fans call them costs. I come from a perspective where they are one and the same. All joking aside, they're serious similarities between the two. Maybe most magic stories don't have a cost, but a lot of popular ones do:


  6. #5571

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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert1981 View Post
    Fantasy fans call them limitations, comic book fans call them costs. I come from a perspective where they are one and the same. All joking aside, they're serious similarities between the two. Maybe most magic stories don't have a cost, but a lot of popular ones do:

    No costs are different than limitations. Limitations are, I can't do something under certain situations. Like when Wanda could not cast her powers through a television screen for instance. Costs are, if I use my powers, something bad happens. They are not similar.
    Love is for souls, not bodies.

  7. #5572
    Astonishing Member Albert1981's Avatar
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    If magic is by its very nature inconsistent and unpredictable (as well as being mysterious and dangerous), then shouldn't magic users deploy it on a very limited basis? Since they can't possibly understand magic, much less control it? But that's not how superhero comics work. If magic users in the comics and movies/shows use magic a LOT, then wouldn't it have some consistency and logic? It would need rules. And magic coming with a price doesn't necessarily have to mean women would not be able to handle it. It means its use would require sacrifices from those who want access to it:



    And doesn't the use of "dark" magic slowly but surely "corrupt" its users? From what I hear, that's a pretty common fantasy/superhero trope.
    Last edited by Albert1981; 06-10-2021 at 03:11 PM.

  8. #5573

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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert1981 View Post
    If magic is by its very nature inconsistent and unpredictable (as well as being mysterious and dangerous), then shouldn't magic users deploy it on a very limited basis? Since they can't possibly understand magic, much less control it? But that's not how superhero comics work. If magic users in the comics and movies/shows use magic a LOT, then wouldn't it have some consistency and logic? It would need rules. And magic coming with a price doesn't necessarily have to mean women would not be able to handle it. It means its use would require sacrifices from those who want access to it:



    And doesn't the use of "dark" magic slowly but surely "corrupt" its users? From what I hear, that's a pretty common fantasy/superhero trope.
    That doesn't work in super hero comics. Because they aren't tales about drama. They are tales about action. So them using their abilities is a major part of the genre. Comics have never had consistency. Going all the way back to Cap being brought to life when he was gone from comics for 20 years.

    The whole point of Wanda is that she uses Chthon's dark magic for good. That she has the strength to resist it.

    I don't want the rumpelstiltskin stuff. That works in that universe. Wanda doesn't need a price. Just limitations like she had before. Wanda had her children kept from her before. That's how she's in the situation she is in now.
    Love is for souls, not bodies.

  9. #5574
    Astonishing Member Albert1981's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GenericUsername View Post
    That doesn't work in super hero comics. Because they aren't tales about drama. They are tales about action. So them using their abilities is a major part of the genre. Comics have never had consistency. Going all the way back to Cap being brought to life when he was gone from comics for 20 years.

    The whole point of Wanda is that she uses Chthon's dark magic for good. That she has the strength to resist it.

    I don't want the rumpelstiltskin stuff. That works in that universe. Wanda doesn't need a price. Just limitations like she had before. Wanda had her children kept from her before. That's how she's in the situation she is in now.
    I see your point. I can understand where you're coming from. And what you say makes a lot of sense and I agree with your opinions to a large extent. BUT...I think Zatanna is doing better over at DC largely because how she uses her magic does have consequences. To me, I feel they are too strong. But that's an issue with almost ALL magical characters. I prefer the principle of "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch" being applied to magic in fantasy stories. To me magic MUST be paid for and the cost to magicians should frequently be high ones. A principle that was introduced into the modern science fiction genre by legendary science fiction author Robert Heinlein. Take for example Odin's sacrifice in Nordic mythology. He gave up one of his eyes, impaled himself onto his own spear and hanged himself on a tree for 9 days and 9 nights, sacrificing himself to himself to gain knowledge on the things that are hidden from him and to understand runes. And as you know, once Odin learned magic in the MCU, he didn't use magic to get his missing eye back. Because that's not how it fucking works. That's why I wasn't thrilled that Thor got his eye back so quickly and I certainly wasn't pleased with how Stark just used "technology" to speedily patch up Rhodey's injuries. Odin is therefore one of my favorite characters in the MCU. I think consequences are important. And having magic have costs does create consequences in stories. I think it's great!
    Last edited by Albert1981; 06-10-2021 at 06:20 PM.

  10. #5575

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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert1981 View Post
    I see your point. I can understand where you're coming from. And what you say makes a lot of sense and I agree with your opinions to a large extent. BUT...I think Zatanna is doing better over at DC largely because how she uses her magic does have consequences. To me, I feel they are too strong. But that's an issue with almost ALL magical characters. I prefer the principle of "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch" being applied to magic in fantasy stories. To me magic MUST be paid for and the cost to magicians should frequently be high ones. A principle that was introduced into the modern science fiction genre by legendary science fiction author Robert Heinlein. Take for example Odin's sacrifice in Nordic mythology. He gave up one of his eyes, impaled himself onto his own spear and hanged himself on a tree for 9 days and 9 nights, sacrificing himself to himself to gain knowledge on the things that are hidden from him and to understand runes. And as you know, once Odin learned magic in the MCU, he didn't use magic to get his missing eye back. Because that's not how it fucking works. That's why I wasn't thrilled that Thor got his eye back so quickly and I certainly wasn't pleased with how Stark just used "technology" to speedily patch up Rhodey's injuries. Odin is therefore one of my favorite characters in the MCU. I think consequences are important. And having magic have costs does create consequences in stories. I think it's great!
    What consequences has Zatanna had? She's had the same variation of being powerful and not as powerful depending on the story. Wanda has paid everything for what her powers have done. She no longer has her family, she no longer has her friends, she's no longer a mainstay Avenger... like what more could this woman pay with? And it was all directly because she used a power too much for her to handle. And it was also a terrible story.

    Odin's story is his own, and a lot of what he did was for ultimate power because he was a warmonger. Not because of some greater good. Wanda uses her power for the greater good and sometimes gets possessed.
    Last edited by GenericUsername; 06-10-2021 at 08:25 PM.
    Love is for souls, not bodies.

  11. #5576
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    Yeah, just stop the obsession with price and quoting other franchises.
    Not every universe and ficitional work have to follow some universal creative routine.
    Also magic like any other power cost energy, not every form of magic needs some great sacrifice. Just think of some bloody RPG sorcerer/caster calss, did they sacrifice anything to refill that magicka bar/spell slot to do some basic ass shit, nope, they either use a potion or sleep to regain their strength. That's it, like your average human being, casting spells cost them some mental and physical energy.
    Also Odin sacrifice stuff to gain power, it's not like he paid annual fee to some trees to keep his knowledge and power.

    Also Zatanna is not doing well because "her magic has a price", it's because she is tied to bunch of A-listers and no writer dared to use her as a cheap plot device. And Wanda regained some popularity due to a decently written show and more exposure to more audience, again, nothing to do with some arbitrary "magic rules".
    Last edited by MaximoffTrash; 06-10-2021 at 11:00 PM.

  12. #5577

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    Zatanna has only ever been in a show too and some animated stuff. Smallville was so long ago too. And it was a pretty corny performance. She's only doing better than Wanda in comics. And comics have a far smaller reach than movies and tv.

    She's getting a movie, but it only happened after Wanda's show became popular. So it's likely that working made DC feel confident that a Zatanna movie could work. It just got a writer in March so it's likely not gonna be a thing for a year or two.

    In the meantime Wanda has been in the MCU for 7 years. Wanda is doing just fine.
    Love is for souls, not bodies.

  13. #5578
    Spectacular Member Ibara's Avatar
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    Where is the idea that Zatanna is doing well over in DC (at least in the comics)? The general sentiment is one of dissatisfaction from most fans. They're retreading the same tired trope that Zee now has to fear her power and cannot or will not fully utilize them. She's been stuck in the same cycle of losing control and being de-powered since nu52. There's gratitude that she, at least, has a decent and consistent showing - but her display and control of power isn't something people are lauding DC for.

    Another major reason why Marvel can't simply have a magic rulebook in comparison to other fantasy universes is that those contained stories (with set beginning and ends) are fundamentally structured around a single system of magic that the narrative then utilizes to progress story or provide a lens/perspective for said story leading toward an eventual end or answer. However, Marvel (and DC) don't have one singular system of magic (Wanda, Strange, Nico, Loki, Mephisto all use different systems of magic) and no intended end for a multitude of stories. Simply "Magic-users" isn't a catch all term as different schools, abilities, rules, and limitations will be applied for different characters - similar to how "science" shouldn't be used as a catch all for anything remotely scientific (Physics, Biology, etc. relate but are different schools of study). Much less keeping that consistent would just hamstring writers.

    Like Generic said, I think powers in general are best used as an extension of character and I'm more interested in the intention behind the use than the display or superficial cost for said power. Because applying a cost for magic eventually leads to 2 scenarios. Writers are trapped in a box attempting to respond to how many "years" are shaved off or memories lost for Wanda using "x" spell that the cost becomes meaningless eventually reaching the climax where said "cost" becomes inconsequential as the eventual price needs to be paid or reversed, or said character becomes unusable as the only next step in their story is the conclusion as they've exhausted any reasonable way to maintain using their powers. That said - limits are necessary, costs not so much.

  14. #5579
    Astonishing Member Albert1981's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GenericUsername View Post
    What consequences has Zatanna had? She's had the same variation of being powerful and not as powerful depending on the story. Wanda has paid everything for what her powers have done. She no longer has her family, she no longer has her friends, she's no longer a mainstay Avenger... like what more could this woman pay with? And it was all directly because she used a power too much for her to handle. And it was also a terrible story.

    Odin's story is his own, and a lot of what he did was for ultimate power because he was a warmonger. Not because of some greater good. Wanda uses her power for the greater good and sometimes gets possessed.
    From what I understand, if Zatanna uses her powers too much, Upside Down Man (great name by the way) is gonna take her over. Kind of like Chthon and Wanda, but as we've discussed earlier, DC is executing this idea better for some reason:

    https://www.cbr.com/justice-league-d...man-possessed/

    Yeah, Wanda's faced some tough consequences. That's why I've stated that they just reboot the Scarlet Witch. It's cheap and lazy, but I think it's time to turn over a new leaf. It's not like Marvel haven't used clones, Skrulls and Doombots before to explain away problematic storylines. And when the new Wanda gets questioned about the stuff that happened fifteen years ago, she can just say "What are you talking about? That was some other chick". And costs (or limitations, rules, weaknesses or whatever the fuck you wanna call them) does not have to mean suffering. Sometimes it does. Bad things can happen, but characters can learn and grow from them. Ged certainly did in a Wizard of Earthsea. Him using powerful spells put him into comas TWICE and other people died because of his reckless actions. Those "costs" were VERY important for his character development. And he did the best he could to fix the problems HE caused. I don't that's so bad. But then again, I love a Wizard of Earthsea. I think Wanda could benefit from a story like that.

  15. #5580
    Astonishing Member Albert1981's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaximoffTrash View Post
    Yeah, just stop the obsession with price and quoting other franchises.
    Not every universe and ficitional work have to follow some universal creative routine.
    Also magic like any other power cost energy, not every form of magic needs some great sacrifice. Just think of some bloody RPG sorcerer/caster calss, did they sacrifice anything to refill that magicka bar/spell slot to do some basic ass shit, nope, they either use a potion or sleep to regain their strength. That's it, like your average human being, casting spells cost them some mental and physical energy.
    Also Odin sacrifice stuff to gain power, it's not like he paid annual fee to some trees to keep his knowledge and power.

    Also Zatanna is not doing well because "her magic has a price", it's because she is tied to bunch of A-listers and no writer dared to use her as a cheap plot device. And Wanda regained some popularity due to a decently written show and more exposure to more audience, again, nothing to do with some arbitrary "magic rules".
    Why should I stop? Is there a "rule" in these forums that doesn't permit discussion of this topic? And dude, you only have yourself to blame for my "obsession" (I simply call it curiosity) about "rules" in fantasy in the first place because you mentioned Brandon Sanderson to me on these very threads last year!

    And I think it's perfectly fine to quote other franchises. There's not THAT many ideas in fiction that are totally new and original these days. So I have NO problem when Marvel and DC adapt ideas from other franchises to improve their characters.

    I thought the NeverEnding Story had an interesting magic system:

    "When you changed something with magic, it changed in the past and future. So if you wished to be strong, you lost all memories of anytime you were weak. Over time most magic users ended up completely wiping their own identity and becoming drooling idiots. One of the main story arcs is the hero realizing this is happening to him, and then attempting to rediscover his identity."

    But I do agree with you that Zatanna benefits MASSIVELY by hanging around Diana. It's an interesting pairing and I think their partnership sounds like a great idea. Unfortunately, Wanda can't tag along with an icon, so she's got some problems on that front.

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