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Subj: Re: How much weight do the following hold?
Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 12:12:54 pm EDT
Reply Subj: How much weight do the following hold?
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:19:13 pm EDT (Viewed 31 times)

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1. Fights
2. Feats
3. Official bios, such as from the encyclopedia or the back of an action figure's packaging
4. The lettercolumn
5. The writer him/herself

First, there are two types of guaging...absolute power levels and relative power levels. Absolute power levels pretty much HAVE to be based off of feats, statements, etc while relative power levels can be clearly and easily shown by just pitting the guys against each other...but can also be inferred by comparing estimated absolute power levels.

There's another category thats not quite a fight or a feat, and thats a direct comparison...if Thor and Hercules or Superman and Captain Marvel armwrestle to a draw, its THE best comparison of strength possible.

Likewise, if Gladiator's eyebeams are locked up with Cyclops, and they're showing dead even, thats a good indicator that their EP is equal.

These feats have almost 0 uncertainty, and thus are an excellent guage of relative power levels

I'll weight that as a 10.

depend on how the fight is depicted, but DO give direct comparison of characters so its usually pretty clear how they stack up can see that Joe Fixit is stronger than Spidey when they fight, and that Spidey has almost no shot at taking down the Juggernaut, even though he won. Some fights CLEARLY show where they stand, others are more inconclusive, and there is some variability introduced because you can be weaker or less powerful and still win a fight...

Weighting is typically about an 8

Not all feats are created equal. In guaging absolute power levels, they're often the only real information you have, but there's SO much uncertainty....a writers given aesthetic, a writer's understanding of physics and how much mass is involved in a feat, whether a writer even CARES about consistency in feats, usually they're weak evidence, especially when trying to guage relative power levels.

As such, typically, if you see a direct comparison or fight and are able to guage two characters as equals in strength, THAT showing has far less uncertainty than feats, so you can use one characters strength feats to show that the other is capable of a similar feat.

Further, if a company has STRICT editorial control of power levels, feats begin to mean more, but where strict editorial control of power levels is not enforced, feats become less meaningful. The larger the company, the more characters, writers, and editors you have, the more difficult it is to have editorial control of such things...and really, strict editorial control can significantly stifle writer creativity, so its probably not a good thing on a large scale anyway (past a certain point).

That said, if you're comparing feats, there are a few ways that feats can be pretty good evidence.

If a specific writer writes all characters you're comparing within a relatively short time frame, then feat comparisons between characters (provided he wrote them all for a similar length of time with similar amounts of screen time) mean more, and maybe have a weighting of a 3.

If both characters are shown attempting the same feat in the same story arc, then their performance is VERY telling, so this could be weighted at an 8 or better.

Failure to succeed at a feat actually gives us more information...successful completion puts a low end and gives us little information about a characters top end level, while failure to complete a feat gives us a cap. Still, the variability involved in any feat keeps this ambiguous, so it would still be rated somewhere in the 2 range.

Many feats give us little to no information, so would be weighted in the 1-2 range

are very similar to feats...some make it VERY clear and explicit, while others are throwaway statements.

They can range from a weighting of 1 to the case of Superman telling Captain Marvel he considers CM his equal in every way, I'd say its in the 9 range, as the ENTIRE point of the issue was that Superman was awed by CM's power when he received wasn't a throwaway with Superman going into battle saying 'this guy is as strong as me'

Official Bios: often contradict continuity and aren't that strictly editorially controlled. Probably better than feats to some degree, but really shouldn't be rated at more than a 3-4

lettercolumns and writer statements are often contradictory. They HAVE to carry some weight, IMO, but its low, maybe a 0.5