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  1. #511
    Astonishing Member Albert1981's Avatar
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    From what I have read online, an important aspect of magic that is usually overlooked is the source of magic. Where it comes from and how does it get used by its users?

    The lengthy "article" I posted on this thread earlier further elaborated on the nature of magic in fiction:

    "Some of the best games out there make sure to include the source of magic, and it instantly turns most of them into a classic. Demonic, nature, holy, chakra, the soul stream, whatever is the source, it's a great place to start the planning, since it will heavily intertwine with the theme. Soft magic doesn't have to worry about the source, since it's supposed to be mysterious, but hard magic for sure should have one set, especially if there are different classes or schools of magic. I would say the most important part for soft magic would be how the magic aligns with the plot and theme fable wise.

    For example, in Greek mythology, there's a lot of soft magic at hand, and most of it comes from the gods or a certain event. The idea should be that those gods or events had a hand at helping the hero, and so the gods or events are sort of a source, in an indirect way. Like Ariadne's thread. It's not important how she made or what it's made of, it's important that she is the one who gave it, because she's the one who's supposed to help Theseus escape the labyrinth. So for soft magic, the reason why it happens trumps the source it comes from."

    Doctor Strange is in a unique position because I think the movies did a pretty good job of describing the SOURCE of his magic. So it's kinda "hard". To be honest, I don't think his magic is THAT mysterious to me. It looks cool and is really VERSATILE, but I don't really get the same sense of wonder and enchantment that came from the magic of the Silmarillion, you know? In my experience, magic is by its very nature more "enchanting" when it is written about in the distant past. Since Stephen lives in the 21st century, his kind of magic wouldn't feel like the magic from the Sword and the Stone. I still like it, though.

    And I agree with DigiCom about the "spectrum" between hard and soft magic. They can be blended (I wouldn't mind seeing that in the MoM). Here are some other quotes from that fantasy discussion which I referred to earlier:

    "Oh no, hard magic vs. soft magic is definitely not an either/or situation—you can have something in the middle or you can have a story with different kinds of magic in it, some being harder and some being softer. This is why with soft magic, it's better to have the magic more in the background rather than something the main characters frequently use to solve problems. It's also better when it's not something that's commonplace. I think A Song of Ice and Fire is a really good example of a softer system of magic: you never quite get the exact mechanics of how everything works, it's rare, and it usually causes more problems than it solves."

    I'm actually VERY curious to see how OFTEN magic is used in Strange 2. I also want to apologize for boring Clea and GenericUsername with these discussions about soft and hard magic. It's clear that they find them to be extremely TEDIOUS.
    Last edited by Albert1981; 04-11-2021 at 07:02 PM.

  2. #512

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    Quote Originally Posted by DigiCom View Post
    Untrue. They've simply never COMMITTED to the rules they've set, any of the times they've tried (or claimed they were going to, in Bendis' case).

    They ALWAYS cave to a writer who wants magic to do something else.
    Yeah, technically. I consider it a promise unfulfilled.
    Love is for souls, not bodies.

  3. #513

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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert1981 View Post
    From what I have read online, an important aspect of magic that is usually overlooked is the source of magic. Where it comes from and how does it get used by its users?

    The lengthy "article" I posted on this thread earlier further elaborated on the nature of magic in fiction:

    "Some of the best games out there make sure to include the source of magic, and it instantly turns most of them into a classic. Demonic, nature, holy, chakra, the soul stream, whatever is the source, it's a great place to start the planning, since it will heavily intertwine with the theme. Soft magic doesn't have to worry about the source, since it's supposed to be mysterious, but hard magic for sure should have one set, especially if there are different classes or schools of magic. I would say the most important part for soft magic would be how the magic aligns with the plot and theme fable wise.

    For example, in Greek mythology, there's a lot of soft magic at hand, and most of it comes from the gods or a certain event. The idea should be that those gods or events had a hand at helping the hero, and so the gods or events are sort of a source, in an indirect way. Like Ariadne's thread. It's not important how she made or what it's made of, it's important that she is the one who gave it, because she's the one who's supposed to help Theseus escape the labyrinth. So for soft magic, the reason why it happens trumps the source it comes from."

    Doctor Strange is in a unique position because I think the movies did a pretty good job of describing the SOURCE of his magic. So it's kinda "hard". To be honest, I don't think his magic is THAT mysterious to me. It looks cool and is really VERSATILE, but I don't really get the same sense of wonder and enchantment that came from the magic of the Silmarillion, you know? In my experience, magic is by its very nature more "enchanting" when it is written about in the distant past. Since Stephen lives in the 21st century, his kind of magic wouldn't feel like the magic from the Sword and the Stone. I still like it, though.

    And I agree with DigiCom about the "spectrum" between hard and soft magic. They can be blended (I wouldn't mind seeing that in the MoM). Here are some other quotes from that fantasy discussion which I referred to earlier:

    "Oh no, hard magic vs. soft magic is definitely not an either/or situation—you can have something in the middle or you can have a story with different kinds of magic in it, some being harder and some being softer. This is why with soft magic, it's better to have the magic more in the background rather than something the main characters frequently use to solve problems. It's also better when it's not something that's commonplace. I think A Song of Ice and Fire is a really good example of a softer system of magic: you never quite get the exact mechanics of how everything works, it's rare, and it usually causes more problems than it solves."

    I'm actually VERY curious to see how OFTEN magic is used in Strange 2. I also want to apologize for boring Clea and GenericUsername with these discussions about soft and hard magic. It's clear that they find them to be extremely TEDIOUS.
    Not boring at all, lol.
    Love is for souls, not bodies.

  4. #514
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    I haven't seen the doctor strange movie but in the comics he always called up beings like the vishanti for his powers and various others, like he use to call upon dormammu for his spells.

    Is the doctor strange movie any good? I remember another doctor strange movie before the one with benedict as strange. The movie I'm thinking of is the one in 1978 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Strange_(1978_film)

  5. #515
    Be seeing you… DigiCom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert1981 View Post
    From what I have read online, an important aspect of magic that is usually overlooked is the source of magic. Where it comes from and how does it get used by its users?
    In the comics, there are multiple sources, including (but not limited to) extra-dimensional beings/locations, spirits, the stars, the elemental energies of the Earth itself, and the power of coincidence.

  6. #516
    Astonishing Member Albert1981's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GenericUsername View Post
    Not boring at all, lol.
    Well, I'm glad that these talks are not getting on your nerves! I hesitate to talk about magic on the Wanda-related threads, because I don't think the posters there really care about stuff like soft and hard magic. I personally think it's REALLY relevant when it comes to fantasy storytelling, but I can understand why folks would not be interested in it. To be honest, I'm a little bit surprised that you are even paying attention to this discussion! But I'm so happy you are partaking! I sure wish that Marvel editors and writers would show as much passion and enthusiasm for mystical things as we do here.

  7. #517
    Astonishing Member Albert1981's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IonRyner View Post
    I haven't seen the doctor strange movie but in the comics he always called up beings like the vishanti for his powers and various others, like he use to call upon dormammu for his spells.

    Is the doctor strange movie any good? I remember another doctor strange movie before the one with benedict as strange. The movie I'm thinking of is the one in 1978 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Strange_(1978_film)
    I didn't know this very simple fact (Strange calling upon other beings to get his powers) until very recently thanks to the folks on this thread. I don't know ANYTHING about that 70s Strange film. I loved Jessica Walter in Grand Prix though!

  8. #518
    Astonishing Member Albert1981's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DigiCom View Post
    In the comics, there are multiple sources, including (but not limited to) extra-dimensional beings/locations, spirits, the stars, the elemental energies of the Earth itself, and the power of coincidence.
    Yeah, I'm glad the comic books makes it very clear where magic users get their powers from. And I think the movies have done a good job of adapting that stuff to the big screen.

    I've heard some great things about the whole Dracula vs Strange stories. Not because they broke any rules, but because they tweaked them in a totally convincing way. Like crosses ward Dracula off. But then he emerges and explains that they only work if a person believes in them. The Sun is Dracula's big weakness. Yet if he's got a hold of the Darkhold, that goes out the window. I would totally buy that stuff happening, you know? I wish DC and Marvel would be a little bit more creative with magic in their stories. But maybe I'm asking too much on that front. Because I think it is hard to do. I've even read somewhere for the longest time that Strange's biggest weakness was technology. Not sure if this is true though.

    Here's a quote that I found interesting:

    "I always got the impression that while Doctor Strange's magic can do practically everything, it can't always do it when he wants to do it. Sometimes the stars have to be right, or x demon has to be appeased. The impression I got is that there ARE limitations on his magic, but generally, he's too goddamn busy to give you an exposition on what they are, and anybody but him would probably be too dumb to understand them anyway."

    And I just wanna mention something to Clea about "brooding" and "angsty" characters. I never liked them. And I'm not just talking about sorcerers and wizards. I HATED culturally significant movies like the Wild One and Rebel Without a Cause because I think "Johnny" from the first one and "Jim" from the second one were lame and took themselves way too seriously. I'm a pretty easygoing dude. I have no time for emo and moody characters.
    Last edited by Albert1981; 04-11-2021 at 09:27 PM.

  9. #519

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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert1981 View Post
    Well, I'm glad that these talks are not getting on your nerves! I hesitate to talk about magic on the Wanda-related threads, because I don't think the posters there really care about stuff like soft and hard magic. I personally think it's REALLY relevant when it comes to fantasy storytelling, but I can understand why folks would not be interested in it. To be honest, I'm a little bit surprised that you are even paying attention to this discussion! But I'm so happy you are partaking! I sure wish that Marvel editors and writers would show as much passion and enthusiasm for mystical things as we do here.
    I wish they'd give magic some love too. Maybe eventually. They for sure have comics about it, but don't make it a main promoted part of the universe.
    Love is for souls, not bodies.

  10. #520
    Astonishing Member Albert1981's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GenericUsername View Post
    I wish they'd give magic some love too. Maybe eventually. They for sure have comics about it, but don't make it a main promoted part of the universe.
    I think the reason they don't is because magic is sort of hard to write about for the various reasons we've listed earlier on this thread. Espionage thrillers, action-thrillers, political dramas, medical dramas, police procedurals and science fiction seem to capture the general public's imagination more than fantasy stuff for some reason (recent notable exceptions being Harry Potter and Game of Thrones). I mean how long have Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, NCIS, and Grey's Anatomy been on the air?! Veep, the Newsroom and the West Wing were plenty popular too. People also loved 24 and continue to LOVE James Bond and Mission Impossible. And I'm sure you're well aware of the popularity of Star Wars and Star Trek. So I get why comic books would focus on other things besides magic cause that's where the eyeballs are at, you know?

    HOWEVER, I think the MCU is changing popular perceptions of magic/mysticism by focusing SO much attention on stuff like WandaVision, Loki, the Multiverse of Madness, Blade and Moon Knight. From what I understand, Marvel Comics did a pretty poor job in its portrayal of magic earlier this century. I just don't think the creators at Marvel Comics take it all that seriously.

  11. #521

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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert1981 View Post
    I think the reason they don't is because magic is sort of hard to write about for the various reasons we've listed earlier on this thread. Espionage thrillers, action-thrillers, political dramas, medical dramas, police procedurals and science fiction seem to capture the general public's imagination more than fantasy stuff for some reason (recent notable exceptions being Harry Potter and Game of Thrones). I mean how long have Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, NCIS, and Grey's Anatomy been on the air?! Veep, the Newsroom and the West Wing were plenty popular too. People also loved 24 and continue to LOVE James Bond and Mission Impossible. And I'm sure you're well aware of the popularity of Star Wars and Star Trek. So I get why comic books would focus on other things besides magic cause that's where the eyeballs are at, you know?

    HOWEVER, I think the MCU is changing popular perceptions of magic/mysticism by focusing SO much attention on stuff like WandaVision, Loki, the Multiverse of Madness, Blade and Moon Knight. From what I understand, Marvel Comics did a pretty poor job in its portrayal of magic earlier this century. I just don't think the creators at Marvel Comics take it all that seriously.
    Fantasy is tried and tested less so I can't say that it works less if the few times they have tried, it's been a success. It's more that production companies go for a sure thing a lot more than doing something new. Hence the tons of remakes of movies and games. And in video games, fantasy is much more prevalent and successful than science fiction.
    Love is for souls, not bodies.

  12. #522
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    Of course I do wonder if these entities that Strange calls upon for spells can deny him access.

    Sorry not sure if this would be a place to put this here but since it has Strange in it as well.

    Anyone read Strange Academy what do you think about it. I've been reading it and for me I kind of like it, what with the magic users and strange as teachers. I hope they keep it going for a long while, but wouldn't be surprised if they cancel it eventually.
    Last edited by IonRyner; 04-11-2021 at 11:40 PM.

  13. #523
    Be seeing you… DigiCom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert1981 View Post
    I didn't know this very simple fact (Strange calling upon other beings to get his powers) until very recently thanks to the folks on this thread. I don't know ANYTHING about that 70s Strange film. I loved Jessica Walter in Grand Prix though!
    The 1978 (TV) movie is VERY bad. "Turn off your brain" bad.
    The unofficial Strange film Doctor Mordrid is slightly better, but still cheesy as hell.

    Quote Originally Posted by IonRyner View Post
    Of course I do wonder if these entities that Strange calls upon for spells can deny him access.

    Sorry not sure if this would be a place to put this here but since it has Strange in it as well.

    Anyone read Strange Academy what do you think about it. I've been reading it and for me I kind of like it, what with the magic users and strange as teachers. I hope they keep it going for a long while, but wouldn't be surprised if they cancel it eventually.
    I can't think of any stories where an entity refused aid, but there WAS a fairly famous story where they all decided to call in his mystical debts at the same time.

    I have mixed feelings about Strange Academy. On the one hand, I love the school atmosphere. On the other, the writers don't seem to want to DO anything with it, preferring to tell dark stories that hinge on the almost exclusively angsty backstories of the students. I think we've had maybe a half-dozen pages of actual classes in the last 4 issues.

  14. #524
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    Quote Originally Posted by IonRyner View Post
    Of course I do wonder if these entities that Strange calls upon for spells can deny him access.

    Sorry not sure if this would be a place to put this here but since it has Strange in it as well.

    Anyone read Strange Academy what do you think about it. I've been reading it and for me I kind of like it, what with the magic users and strange as teachers. I hope they keep it going for a long while, but wouldn't be surprised if they cancel it eventually.
    I'm always wary of books like that because they do kill child characters like that and there is the chance of cancellation.

    But they can deny Stephen access, it came up two to three times. Mordo tried to call upon Hoggoth in a early issue and the spell doesn't work for him because he's wicked. During the Triumph and Torment, Stephen warns his fellow sorcerer not to call upon the Vishanti since they are the power they are fighting and to call upon someone else.

    The Eye also refused to serve him when he went dark magic and on one occasion, he tried to call a spell against the entity behind and the being turned it against him while scolding him for doing so.

  15. #525
    Astonishing Member Albert1981's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GenericUsername View Post
    Fantasy is tried and tested less so I can't say that it works less if the few times they have tried, it's been a success. It's more that production companies go for a sure thing a lot more than doing something new. Hence the tons of remakes of movies and games. And in video games, fantasy is much more prevalent and successful than science fiction.
    You're right about the video games. The very few I've played have been fantasy-based ones with some tech added in. I do think production companies are afraid of fantasy stuff because it costs a LOT of money to make those kinds of shows and movies. And the chances of success can be lower than in other genres (because of the costs). But then again, I REALLY didn't like the Amazing Spider-Men movies, Man of Steel and Batman v Superman and they were science fiction/cosmic movies. I particularly disliked Lois Lane's portrayal in the DCEU movies. I love investigative journalism. Even the muckraking stuff. So I think movies like All the President's Men (which I saw), Spotlight (which I didn't see), and the Post (which I also didn't see) would be really interesting to watch. And have more chances of succeeding than fantasy movies/shows. I get that Warner Brothers tried to make Lois a more capable and modern "career woman", but I thought her behavior was extremely annoying. Like her bragging about being a "Pulitzer Prize winning journalist". I can't square that with her asking General Amajagh if he was a terrorist in that Batman v Superman film. Amy Adams is pretty hot though. In my eyes there's only ONE time anybody should be asking if somebody is a terrorist. And that's in one of my favorite pick-up lines: Dude: "Is your Daddy a terrorist? Girl: Why do you ask that? Dude: Because baby you da bomb!!!"
    Last edited by Albert1981; 04-12-2021 at 01:28 PM.

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