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Franco Villa
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Posted: 30 October 2020 at 10:29am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I just finished read this issue, and I was once agaim blown away by the amount of ideas and unexpected revelations about some of the original plot elements.
Case in point: before Jason Wyngarde corrupted her, Jean was abl to hold back the Phoenix influence. That is so logical that almost make me think this hs been in John's mind since day one. Too bad that in the original run this was never brought up, not even when Inferno delt with the Jean/Madelyne/Phoenix issue.
Nightcrawler and his amount of powers: wasn't that because Cockrum was so fond of him that he kept giving him new abilities at every turn?
And finally: Silver Surfer. Apparently, he didn't care when Phoenix first manifested, but now he steps in as he should have to. Again, no one ever think of doing that in so many years: it's like realizing all of a sudden that the universe was not working, but we couldn't realize it at the time.
Well, it was worth it, since now we are getting this sweet series.
And then, the resolution of the Phoenix clash, that left me unable to react: in this series, truly everything can happen.


Edited by Franco Villa on 31 October 2020 at 5:17am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 30 October 2020 at 10:39am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Unfair to say the Surfer “didn’t care”. In fact, Chris gave him a whole (annoying) paragraph about how he needed to check out what was happening.

Guess he didn’t get there in time.

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Franco Villa
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Posted: 31 October 2020 at 5:17am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I completely removed that scene.
And this "short attention span" from the Surfer reminded me of another "Silver Surfer gets quickly tired of the matter" scene: in Incredible Hulk n. 250 he became weary of the Banner/Hulk issue just a moment before he could heal Banner permanently.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 31 October 2020 at 5:44am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

There is a basic problem with “shared universes”: when there are so many characters, especially with great power, the only way the status quo can be maintained is by ignoring logic. Of course, the Surfer could cure most of the world’s ills before breakfast. As could Doctor Strange. As could Reed Richards, most likely. But that would make for some very short and probably boring stories.

It’s one of many reasons it’s best to avoid those real world ills, however “compelling” such stories might be.

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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 31 October 2020 at 10:40am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

"I can heal the world" has come up more than a couple times in super team comics... but it never works. I feel this is a bad story idea, like having God or Jesus appear in a comic book. What point? That pulls away from a realistic story, a good story. Yes, we accept that a woman is fast enough to bounce speeding bullets off metal bracelets. We accept that an actual god has appeared on Earth. We accept that a mechanical device can transform a man into a super strong, invulnerable powerhouse. There's our acceptance of the genre.

But I can think of at least three or four DC stories where someone appears who can fix everything... for a price. They're trying to invade Earth, or they demand worship, or there's a plan to take control of the world. But WHY? And why can't the Justice League take this technology, once they've beaten the Injustice Society, and put it to use? I mean, it already exists - it's not a new element. But it would ruin every story afterwards.

I'm reminded of the Miracle Machine, a deus-ex-machina from a Legion of Super Heroes story that could do anything. The Legionnaires realize the potential for abuse and decide to seal it away except in time of greatest emergency.

But I still think that stories where heroes or villains interrupt human destiny are just not good ideas. Overdone and impossible to make acceptable.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 31 October 2020 at 12:07pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

A profound(!) moment in an episode of I DREAM OF JEANNIE had Tony contemplating all the Good he could do, if he had Jeannie’s powers.

She explained that it wasn’t quite as simple as he thought That there were checks and balances, and irrigating the Sahara, as one example, would likely cause a drought somewhere else.

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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 01 November 2020 at 11:28am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I'm a believer in the "unintended consequences" problem. 

You cure cancer-- so now more people live longer and put more strain on the system that supports retirees and the elderly; perhaps Social Security goes bankrupt or Medicare exceeds its budget.

You feed starving people in a foreign country-- so now perhaps their neighbors want these "miracle" crops for themselves and war breaks out. Fighting over resources is pretty common.

You get rid of pollution-- so now drivers feel they can drive gas guzzlers again, driving up the price of gas (and oil) and feeding a cycle of inflation that causes economic instability.

There are ways ANY "benevolent" intervention like this can go wrong. And that's likely why they remain unexplored in comics, because then the story becomes about fixing problems caused by the problems caused by the problems.
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 01 November 2020 at 3:30pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

It wasn't a flawless execution to be sure, but there was a bit that stuck with 12-year-old me from Jim Shooter in SECRET WARS II, when he had the Beyonder try to commit the ultimate heroic act by killing Death. Unintended consequences aplenty, with Molecule Man asking him the question - "What are we supposed to eat, now? Rocks?"

Edited by Vinny Valenti on 01 November 2020 at 3:30pm
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Richard Stevens
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Posted: 02 November 2020 at 6:04am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I wonder if the Silver Surfer could cure Ben Grimm? But then Norrin would have to join the FF!
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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 02 November 2020 at 7:57am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Interesting question. He's powered (arguably) by the same elemental force that altered the FF and gave them powers. It might be possible for him to undo what was done to Ben.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 02 November 2020 at 8:37am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

It wasn't a flawless execution to be sure, but there was a bit that stuck with 12-year-old me from Jim Shooter in SECRET WARS II, when he had the Beyonder try to commit the ultimate heroic act by killing Death. Unintended consequences aplenty, with Molecule Man asking him the question - "What are we supposed to eat, now? Rocks?"

••

To "solve" the problem of all of us having to do forced appearances of the Beyonder without having any idea what he could do, Shooter told us he could do "anything".

This, of course, led to the Beyonder becoming ridiculously powerful--which was probably what Shooter had in mind.

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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 02 November 2020 at 2:57pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I suspect that that's true. Maybe Galactus wasn't godlike enough...?
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