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motifian


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Primetime


Member Since: Tue Dec 29, 2009
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You left out the rest of the battle as well as the retcon.


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Would be Watcher


Location: Canada
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At some point it just becomes ridiculous to excuse any and all defeats like this.



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bd2999


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 15,318


It is what happens when you have one uber friendly writer that cannot see you fail. Really, the Thor loss was not bad given what Thor was throwing at him (although strange when you consider what he took from Odin, Galactus and Tyrant at other times).

The Kazar one (even though the fight is a bit more than what some thing) was the one that made the most sense to me.

I would like some other things to be retconed with other characters, but Starlin always protected his boy.




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Primetime


Member Since: Tue Dec 29, 2009
Posts: 209


Starlin has more than once written Thanos as failing/losing. Like you said, the Thor loss was not bad and had heavy context to it. And like you said, the Ka-Zar fight is misrepresented itself. Ka-Zar does not defeat Thanos in battle. He just performs better than he should have in one scene.

I believe that Starlin mostly wanted to keep continuity in line with his previous theme of Thanos no longer being a nihilist. He actually retconned an Avengers issue whereas Thanos doesn't lose and has high power showings. But he was a nihilist in that issue.

Starlin basically retcons two "losses" and does both in one book on one page. Yet some will make it out as if he has individually retconned double digit losses.

As far as Slott, his whole things was basically making fun of the retcons.


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makkari1


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 3,507



    Quote:

    At some point it just becomes ridiculous to excuse any and all defeats like this.
My pet peeve is the lack of respect writers have for each other's work/character and established continuity. You get writers who have a bias for & against characters and they will show it in their work. This become very apparent when a character like Ka-Zar, Squirrel Girl,or a total mismatch  (ie: Sue Storm vs. Exitar). fights someone clearly outside their weight class. In all logical terms they should be obliterated with a thought but through some foolish plot device that is totally out of character of the stronger opponent, the weaker one is allowed to win. Now we all know that Ka-Zar is not going to die so in some unexplainable/stupid way, they pull a win. I don't care to bend and twist pass losses of a character to explain some writer's fickle mind. There is no solution to this because writers will feel the need to erase or explain away the loss of the character they are writing at the time. At best we can take a average and debate that.   



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makkari1


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 3,507



    Quote:
    It is what happens when you have one uber friendly writer that cannot see you fail. Really, the Thor loss was not bad given what Thor was throwing at him (although strange when you consider what he took from Odin, Galactus and Tyrant at other times).
The Thor story was more believable because Thor is in Thanos' weight class. With the proper power ups he can defeat Thanos. Ka-Zar is not in Thanos' weight class so he will have to win through P.I.S.


    Quote:
    The Kazar one (even though the fight is a bit more than what some thing) was the one that made the most sense to me.
We know Marvel is not going to have Thanos kill Ka-Zar. and Thanos is a villain and villains never ultimately win.


    Quote:
    I would like some other things to be retconed with other characters, but Starlin always protected his boy.
That's the problem, writers don't really care about another writer's story. I can say that if Starlin didn't have such a devotion to Thanos' legacy then we might not be seeing him in the upcoming Avengers movie.



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Would be Watcher


Location: Canada
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,886



But thats the thing though. Why did they feel the need to retcon the Thor fight as being a clone?

With Thor's history, and what he unleashed in their encounter, was it unbelievable to just let Thanos loose that one?

At some point it just becomes ridiculous to protect a character fight record like that. That the writer of the Squirrel girl story thought necessary (and funny) to include a Watcher to certify it was *THE* Thanos says a lot about the level of protectionism in the air. It was almost like they needed to laught at it a bit.



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seeker


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 7,849





    Quote:
    Starlin basically retcons two "losses" and does both in one book on one page. Yet some will make it out as if he has individually retconned double digit losses.


Starlin retonned Thanos's less than stellar showings in Thor, Ka-zar, and Avengers: Celestial Quest with clones.

His death at the hands of Drax was retconned into Thanos being in a "weakened state" in Thanos Annual #1 I believe.

His loss to Squirrel Girl was implicitly retconned by I think a clone of Thanos claiming Thanos had perfected a method of cloning that could fool Watchers. IIRC, this retcon was done by Abett which makes fun of the whole clone/retcon mess.

Then you have the idea that Thanos only looses to self-doubt and not due to anything Adam Warlock or other heroes do. How each story grabs a bigger, more impressive omnipotent source of omnipotent power. Thanos somehow becoming greater than he was before. The tendency for characters to get dumber when around him. The fight with the Annhilators is the most recent I can think of.

So yes, Starlin is highly protective of Thanos and has been for probably the last three decades.



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Primetime


Member Since: Tue Dec 29, 2009
Posts: 209


But you do keep saying that Thanos has suffered multiple humiliating losses that have been retconned. What losses are you referring to? If the Thor loss is understandable under the circumstances, then it is not humiliating. So you have Ka-Zar and Squirrel Girl, which is only two and Starlin had nothing to do with Squirrel Girl. Thus, that leaves only Ka-Zar for him.

In 1992, Starlin had Thanos give up his nihilism and has continued to write him as NOT being nihilistic to this very day. In 2000, Starlin wrote Infinity Abyss whose story is based on Thanos seeking to stop a group of his clones who inherited his past nihilistic ways from destroying the universe. With such a plot, it does make sense to explain why between 1992 and 2000, we have seen at least three times when Thanos is trying to destroy the universe. The notion that Starlin did this stricktly to undo the losses is an assumption.


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Primetime


Member Since: Tue Dec 29, 2009
Posts: 209


As I recall, no one defeats Thanos in Avengers: Celestial Quest and I don't see where he is shown as less than steller. As a matter of fact, Thanos performs some pretty good feats that were retconned as feats for the clone. This again gives evidence to Starlin's motivation not being entirely due to Thanos losing, but rather characterization he didn't like. And the retcon of all of three happened on one single page, so its not as if he is adding retcons to multiple books.

Being that the Squirrel Girl retcon was not written by Starlin, that would not count against him. And the defeat as well as the retcon were both written by Dan Slott.

The "weakened state" statement made no sense and is basically ignored. Giffen explained that well enough in that Drax specifically serves as "kryptonite" for Thanos. Maybe that is what he meant by Thanos being weakened. Weakened by Drax.


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Oliva


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,435



    Quote:
    It is what happens when you have one uber friendly writer that cannot see you fail. Really, the Thor loss was not bad given what Thor was throwing at him (although strange when you consider what he took from Odin, Galactus and Tyrant at other times).


I think that you severely underestimate Thor's powers. Didn't Thor defeat Galactus, Ego, Surtur and other Uber powerful Entities at one point? Didn't Thor absorbed Thanos blast and,somehow,
re-produced that same energy in his Hammer a 100 times more potent and blasted Thanos with it? That with all account should've Thanos obliterated from existence. I truly believe the writer protected Thanos for there is no LOGICAL way Thanos should've survive that kind of onslaught couple with Thor's powers behind it AT THE SAME TIME!! Unless, someone out there actually believes that Thanos blasts
are EXTREMELY weak!! That blast my friend could've taken out someone like Tyrant. I truly feel that Thor defeating Ego was far more impressive show of pure power than that reverse blast Thor hit Thanos with. Some fans, and especially, some Marvel writers do not give Thor any credit at all-and That's just the way it is. Thor can defeat Thanos- as he has defeated even more powerful foes- like it or not.



    Quote:
    The Kazar one (even though the fight is a bit more than what some thing) was the one that made the most sense to me.



    Quote:
    I would like some other things to be retconed with other characters, but Starlin always protected his boy.





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bd2999


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 15,318


In Starlin lore, Thanos really only loses because he wants to lose for one reason or another.

There have been more retcons than the ones indicated.




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bd2999


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 15,318


I think your last point is fair, but really the fact that he has been a major villain seems to me the primary thing. That he has lost before does not seem to impact that much.

Galactus is still considered a big and scary character but has had some bad showings. Same with other characters. Thanos could be included if he only showed up in Infinity Gauntlet really.





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Dragon Red


Member Since: Fri Jul 05, 2013
Posts: 1,035



    Quote:
    Thor can defeat Thanos- as he has defeated even more powerful foes- like it or not.


For what its worth, I think Thanos is very overrated and its too annoying when you write a great story and then later "oh no, not the real Thanos, just a clone, and a weaker one at that."

However, who are these more powerful foes than Thanos whom Thor has single handedly defeated?


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Would be Watcher


Location: Canada
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
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    Quote:
    But you do keep saying that Thanos has suffered multiple humiliating losses that have been retconned. What losses are you referring to? If the Thor loss is understandable under the circumstances, then it is not humiliating. So you have Ka-Zar and Squirrel Girl, which is only two and Starlin had nothing to do with Squirrel Girl. Thus, that leaves only Ka-Zar for him.



    Quote:
    In 1992, Starlin had Thanos give up his nihilism and has continued to write him as NOT being nihilistic to this very day. In 2000, Starlin wrote Infinity Abyss whose story is based on Thanos seeking to stop a group of his clones who inherited his past nihilistic ways from destroying the universe. With such a plot, it does make sense to explain why between 1992 and 2000, we have seen at least three times when Thanos is trying to destroy the universe. The notion that Starlin did this stricktly to undo the losses is an assumption.


I think people are missing my actual point in this Darkseid/Thanos thread chain. I don't really care about actual portrayals. What I *DO* care about, and what irks me, is the double standards when faced with 2 essentially very similar characters that both had built-in excuses to correct their track records. One get forgiven when providing retcons, while the other just won't no matter what despite being essentially the same type of retcons.

My usage of Thor and Squirrel girl above was to highlight just how bad the protectionism had become with Thanos. In both cases, there simply was no retcon needed. Thor was plausible enough, while Squirrel girl comic relief status should not have triggered the need for a serious response.




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makkari1


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 3,507



    Quote:
    I think your last point is fair, but really the fact that he has been a major villain seems to me the primary thing. That he has lost before does not seem to impact that much.
The fact that he is a major villain is mostly due to Starlin's devotion to keep his guy a top threat, otherwise Kang the Conquer would be on the scene. Btw all villains lose in the end but that's not taken into account.


    Quote:
    Galactus is still considered a big and scary character but has had some bad showings. Same with other characters. Thanos could be included if he only showed up in Infinity Gauntlet really.
Another pet peeve of mine is the over use of the big bad. When they get used too much then eventually their stock goes down. This is due tot he fact that if the big bad ever wins then life for our heroes is basically over. Galactus can never win against Earth otherwise it means the extinction of mankind. So inevitably that character will look bad because he/she/they lose so many times and posters who don't know much get it in their head that Galactus or te big bad is not really a threat.



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Primetime


Member Since: Tue Dec 29, 2009
Posts: 209


I think that the difference is that Starlin's retcons are specific with no real ambiguity. With Darkseid, you have Desaad impersonating him, yet Superman has beaten Darkseid after the Desaad reveal and if I'm not mistaken, more than once. Plus, there is a question of how is Desaad able to match Superman to any degree and unleash the Omegas on Doomsday, etc. We simply don't have any specific battles that the retcon references.

With regard to the Avatars, allegedly there is a true form, all powerful Darkseid and Avatars that allow him to function within individual universes right? Morrison revealed that the Darkseid from Final Crisis is the only time we have seen this mystery true form Darkseid IIRC. Thus, the "Avatar" that functions in the DCU is basically Darkseid of the DCU.

Also, highlighting the protectionism shows that the retcons are fresh on the minds of other creators and therefore firmly in effect. I doubt that many DC writer have in mind the notion of Darkseid's defeats being Avatars.


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Primetime


Member Since: Tue Dec 29, 2009
Posts: 209


Only those two "defeats" have been retconned as cloned.


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Poltargyst


Member Since: Sat Nov 29, 2008
Posts: 3,003


The only way for Ka-Zar to escape being crushed in Thanos's hands is for him to have physically overpowered Thanos. This is like Batman kicking Hulk in the gut to make him exhale and then making him breathe knockout gas. No wonder this was retconned.


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Poltargyst


Member Since: Sat Nov 29, 2008
Posts: 3,003


Thanos should be on a higher level than the average top tier hero. If some writer forgets that, then I guess a retcon is necessary.


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bd2999


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 15,318


Also lost or struggled with far weaker. So, selective reading at its finest.




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Braugi


Member Since: Fri Jul 14, 2017
Posts: 532


They can always be 'too much' but outwitted...like Strange vs. Dormammu has generally been.

What tends to happen though, and at all levels, is a character struggles with someone seemingly more powerful and eventually finds a way to win.  Then the writer has them team up with other villains, and the same hero figures out how to win, then they get diluted so they're effectively lower tier than the hero they initially seemed more powerful than.....

It can work, as in the case of a teenage Spider Man growing into his powers, but it becomes overused.

I prefer a more consistent framework, consisting of villains and enemies of all levels, and interesting stories that incorporate the right villains at the right levels.

Many Superman stories centered on him having to save someone from foes demonstrably less powerful than Supes....and some were very good...though admittedly I prefer the hero in the role of the underdog, it was a good way to create tension when you're dealing with a guy near the top of the food chain.





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bd2999


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 15,318


To a point I agree, but retcons of losses are not really going to affect things too much. Not sure if a guy losing at a point or two in goofy ways is going to hurt that much. They are villains, they lose.

In my view Starlin did well but also went too far in some respects.





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makkari1


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 3,507



    Quote:
    They can always be 'too much' but outwitted...like Strange vs. Dormammu has generally been.
I can accept that a major foe can be tricked a few times but after that the major foe becomes a fool for being tricked and outwitted for so many times that all their boasting means nothing.


    Quote:
    What tends to happen though, and at all levels, is a character struggles with someone seemingly more powerful and eventually finds a way to win.  Then the writer has them team up with other villains, and the same hero figures out how to win, then they get diluted so they're effectively lower tier than the hero they initially seemed more powerful than.....

It can work, as in the case of a teenage Spider Man growing into his powers, but it becomes overused.

I prefer a more consistent framework, consisting of villains and enemies of all levels, and interesting stories that incorporate the right villains at the right levels.
Totally agreed.


    Quote:
    Many Superman stories centered on him having to save someone from foes demonstrably less powerful than Supes....and some were very good...though admittedly I prefer the hero in the role of the underdog, it was a good way to create tension when you're dealing with a guy near the top of the food chain.
Most of Superman early stories centered on his abilities. For example how fast can Superman save people in a burning building and save Lois from a sinking ship. You know he's gonna do it so the story then becomes how fast he does it. Later stories had him met some foes that could physically challenge him and on even rarer occasions he meets a villain who is beyond even that so Supes powers up to defeat that foe and when that happens Superman grows beyond his normal foes and some fans expect him to operate at the higher levels from now on and when he doesn't then something is wrong. The same is said for high powered beings and when they encounter opponents who are weaker than themselves and they lose consistently then that high powered being is thought of as not being as powerful as they portrayed. Thus the character is overused.      







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seeker


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 7,849



    Quote:
    As I recall, no one defeats Thanos in Avengers: Celestial Quest and I don't see where he is shown as less than steller. As a matter of fact, Thanos performs some pretty good feats that were retconned as feats for the clone. This again gives evidence to Starlin's motivation not being entirely due to Thanos losing, but rather characterization he didn't like. And the retcon of all of three happened on one single page, so its not as if he is adding retcons to multiple books.


The losing is part of the characterization. Starlin does not like Thanos to look bad in any way so he removes anything that does. IN Avengers: Celestial Quest Thanos had some weird desire to form his own pantheon of gods, was matched by Mantis in battle and failed to mentally break Quoi. These less than stellar showings for Thanos were enough for Starlin toe retcon him.


    Quote:
    Being that the Squirrel Girl retcon was not written by Starlin, that would not count against him. And the defeat as well as the retcon were both written by Dan Slott.


It is a joke on Starlin's habit of not letting Thanos look bad.


    Quote:
    The "weakened state" statement made no sense and is basically ignored. Giffen explained that well enough in that Drax specifically serves as "kryptonite" for Thanos. Maybe that is what he meant by Thanos being weakened. Weakened by Drax.


Except for the sake of discussion Starlin made it after Thanos had what he considered to be a less than perfect showing. So Starlin retconned it to excuse Thanos suddenly dying.

That is the theme found throughout Starlin with Thanos. Thanos is not allowed to look bad. There are only a few of these retconns because Thanos is rarely used so there were not many appearences to retcon. Since then, Starlin and Marvel have had several falling outs. IIRC, for Starlin there are now two Thansoes. The one that Starlin writes and the one that everyone else writes. The one Starlin writes of course gets greater with every story.




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Reverend Meteor


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 9,508




    Quote:

    At some point it just becomes ridiculous to excuse any and all defeats like this.


I can't respect the villains whose defeats have been retconned away. (Doom, Kang, Thanos etc)

Baron Zemo loses a lot but he learns from his defeats and comes back nastier. The big villains pretend they never lose and appear more fragile as a result IMO. Zemo has taken his share of ass whuppings.





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Primetime


Member Since: Tue Dec 29, 2009
Posts: 209



    Quote:
    The losing is part of the characterization. Starlin does not like Thanos to look bad in any way so he removes anything that does. IN Avengers: Celestial Quest Thanos had some weird desire to form his own pantheon of gods, was matched by Mantis in battle and failed to mentally break Quoi. These less than stellar showings for Thanos were enough for Starlin toe retcon him.


I think it's a stretch to say that Mantis matched him in battle. She was powered up and he couldn't kill her easily like he did before and didn't want to make the added effort to do so. Starlin's sparring session between Thanos and Gamora was much worse for him. The ability to mentally break a character is generally not seen as a criteria for formidability in battle. Thanos would probably not be able to mentally break a lot of characters. The Thanos in that story did some impressive things and showed powers not shown before.


    Quote:
    It is a joke on Starlin's habit of not letting Thanos look bad.


A habit based on one page of one comic.


    Quote:
    Except for the sake of discussion Starlin made it after Thanos had what he considered to be a less than perfect showing. So Starlin retconned it to excuse Thanos suddenly dying.


Starlin wrote Thanos being killed by Warlock's spirit and beaten physically by Magus. The death by Drax wasn't a low showing at all and that one statement really didn't change what happened.


    Quote:
    That is the theme found throughout Starlin with Thanos. Thanos is not allowed to look bad. There are only a few of these retconns because Thanos is rarely used so there were not many appearences to retcon. Since then, Starlin and Marvel have had several falling outs. IIRC, for Starlin there are now two Thansoes. The one that Starlin writes and the one that everyone else writes. The one Starlin writes of course gets greater with every story.


Giffen, Lemire, Hickman, Ewing and Cates have all written a Thanos comparable to the Thanos Starlin writes.




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