Dave Galanter
December 1st 1969 - December 12th 2020
He was loved.

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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,656
In Reply To
America's Captain 

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,139
Subj: Re: Rogue's new, old powers?
Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 at 04:40:38 am EST (Viewed 212 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Rogue's new, old powers?
Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 at 07:12:30 pm EST (Viewed 220 times)


      Well, flight and super-strength are two of the most useful superpowers, which is why they are probably the most common ones.

    You're right, of course. My perspective is shaped by the fact that neither the Fantastic Four nor the original X-Men nor the original 1975 Giant-Size X-Men nor the original Champions had a flying super-puncher. But you're right, the original Avengers had two flying super-punchers, although, once Iron Man and Thor left the team, there was a tendency for a long time to not have flying super-punchers. The Vision could fly and super-punch but logically he shouldn't have been able to do both at the same time, though I'm not sure every writer bore that in mind. Wonder Man originally couldn't fly. Hercules and Goliath (Hank or Clint) couldn't fly. The Black Knight could fly on his horse but wasn't super-strong.

I was thinking of superheroes in general, where you have an awful lot who are either super-strong, able to fly or to do both. And of course being able to fly is something that can be achieved by technical means as well - I think the fact that for a while there weren't as many "flying super-punchers" among the Avengers has something to do with the introduction of Quinjets and the fact that many of the really heavy hitters could fall from a great height without being damaged seriously. In the Legion of Superheroes eventually everybody could fly with their LSH rings. In the Fantastic Four you had a great selection of flying objects including some that could be used individually (like the divisible-into-four-parts Fantasti-Car and the bicycle-like machine - I forget its name - Kirby designed for the Thing). Also, Mr. Fantastic soon assumed aerodynamic shapes - turning into a parachute or glider - and once Susan developed her force-fields, three out of four could fly to some extent under their own power while the Thing was virtually indestructible and so didn't need to.

Funnily enough, two of the most notable recurring antagonists of the FF in their early days packed a punch and were able to fly - Namor and Dr. Doom. This of course was in part to enable them to take on the FF all by themselves. This was something I did not delve into in my previous post, but the power-sets of individual heroes and superhero teams usually correlate with those of the villains and teams of villains they face.

    The Defenders had multiple super-strong flyers (Namor, Silver Surfer, Valkyrie) but only one of these (Namor) was really a flying super-puncher. The Valkyrie couldn't really punch from her seated position on Aragorn and the Silver Surfer almost always led with his power blasts.

Well, yea, if being a "flying super-puncher" is only a subset of your powers, writers will tend to emphasise the other powers in a context where there are other super-punchers present.


      I would point out that redundant does not mean superfluous, and sometimes redundancy can be useful for a team. For instance very often a team can find itself in a situation where they are falling from a great height, and then you need a sufficient number of team members being able to fly (or do something similar, like phasing or teleporting) to bring them all safely to the ground. Back in Rogue's early days as an X-Men you had flyers Storm, Rogue and Rachel plus teleporter Nightcrawler and phaser Shadowcat, with Wolverine, Colossus, Professor X and Cyclops unable to (functionally) fly.(1) At the same time the New Mutants had Cannonball and Warlock able to fly, Magik able to teleport (if necessary all of her teammates in one go), and Dani Moonstar got a flying horse.

    The falling from a burning plane scenario was certainly a recurring one, and I typically enjoyed it, as it highlighted the teamwork and training of the X-Men.


      Well, technically her absorbing his powers caused him to disappear until recently. I don't think Wonder Man's pacifism silly, and IMO it could at least give him a unique angle to set him apart from other powerhouses.

    I just can't take a pacifist superhero seriously. Does he at least believe in self-defense? Or when the team is attacked, does he sit down on the floor with his arms folded and start quoting Gandhi to everyone?

Well, so far I believe we've seen only one fight in which Simon has been involved since his return, in UA vol. 3 #28, and there he fastballed the Beast at the bad guys and then subdued Whirlwind by pinning his arms to his body in a wrestling lock. The pacifist aspect at this point seems to be that he tries to avoid punching out his opponents. It could of course be that the writers will eventually bring him to a point where he has to decide whether he wants to stop being a superhero or stop being a pacifist. (There are of course shades of pacifism. In real life for instance there have been conscientious objectors who went on to serve as combat medics in wars they did not like while others would have refused to do so as in their view such a course of action was immoral).

Incidentally, I probably exaggerated by calling this aspect "unique". The Silver Surfer in certain phases of his career was written as a kind of pacifist and frequently appeared to be a quite reluctant superhero.

Post-script: Since the Avengers Board is giving me grief, let me just mention here that the original Avengers line-up contained 60 per cent "super-punchers" in an all-flying team. The Hulk is able to leap high and far enough to count his as functional flying.

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