Sunday, November 16, 2008

Knowledge is Power that can (not) be denied?

Just a "quick" hit&run post here since I'm wrapping up the awesome mega-post for later tonight. (It'll be posted, probably fairly late tonight - so as to give reader's time to wade through this dissertation.)

This is in part a commentary that I held back from my critique of the upcoming "What If? House of M" one-shot which I listed in my last entry (check it just under this post, or if you're surfing around - here). However, it is mostly a reply to a comment that was left on that post (no, not by the spam-bot- thanks for validating my initial hesitancy to allow "anonymous" comments, internet). The comment being discussed is by fantastic blogger, word-smith and thinker extraordinaire: PLOK, of "A Trout in The Milk" blog. His comment here.

In it, he questions WHY, if in the plot in question, because Scarlet Witch utters "No more POWERS" would Doctor Strange be powerless? Surely, EVERYONE by now should know that DOCTOR STRANGE HAS NO POWERS! He has only knowledge. A wisdom of the forces of the universe/ multiverse / omniverse and the nigh-eternal entities that possess such power and energies with which Strange can TAP INTO or ENTREAT.

Much like "the FORCE" from Star Wars (PRIOR to that whole midichlorians bullshit. That was just ass). These energies swirl around us all, and Strange, due to his years of study, has learned how to manipulate and control them. His studies and journeys to other realms and dimensions has also taught him the proper methods and protocols of REQUESTING usage of these energies from the higher powers, if the energies required be such as might exist beyond natural ebb and flow, but instead as personal power of any number of these extra-dimensional entities.

I must state for the record, that I WAS going to toss a heavy coat of lambaste over the writers on that point. Especially, as since they state that the only powers that WILL work in the new "What if?" story would be tech-based (obviously, it's another IRON-MAN heavy vehicle), which are also primarily "knowledge-based".

Plok, I assure you, I was ALL OVER that.

But then, I took a step back and reflected upon something that I have long pondered in my years on this Earth; watching horrific war after war, gun-violence in the streets, children blowing their head's off at gun shows (please, I can't get started on that piece of recent news)...
WHY wouldn't God * just say that the laws of nature that would otherwise make gunpowder combustible... simply WOULD NOT WORK that way? Sure, every other similar law of physics or nature would work just fine, but bullets would NOT work. I'm not smart enough to work out which possible "beneficial" applications of gunpowder would still function, if any, and I'm sure man would invent some work-around to it all... but as "God", I would make sure that THOSE wouldn't work either. Simply put; "No more EXPLODO to kill"! **

IF the very laws of physics and nature COULD be overridden by a "magic word" spoken from an omnipotent personage, then why WOULDN'T the "normal" procedures that would allow for a spoken spell or series of gesticulations (even the peerless prestidigitation of a Sorcerer Supreme) just simply NOT work?

As a bat-shit crazy, "mommy-go-bye-bye", all-powerful mutant-gone-mental with the ability to alter even the slightest "probabilities", then perhaps Wanda's re-working of the fundamental nature of how the universe (or at least the universal "laws" work on Earth) take that into consideration and put the "hex-whammy" on it. That would effectively negate the possibility for ANY powers, even ones based upon the calling of aid from other-dimensional principalities or cosmic energies.

It wouldn't remove the KNOWLEDGE of how he should be able to do so, just that the knowledge would no longer lead to a functioning application.
Cause, but no effect.

It would render the Marvel Earth the same as OURS in that regard.
Besides some fantastic (and heretofore unexplainable) abilities and/or phenomenon, mere mortals can not perform high-end sorcery.
We can do the dance and jig, wave our hands around *** and draw runes in the dirt, all the while shaking chicken-bones to our heart's content. But aside from some cool moves and a stunned and awestruck crowd (if done with proper flair), there'd be no mystical-moombahs popping out of the cauldron. That is what Strange and the others mystics of the M.U. would be reduced to due to Scarlet Witch's revised utterance.

Now, again, perhaps off-world, it would work fine. If Strange COULD get to another dimension, then he should be able to toss mystic zaps. Perhaps through the Nexus of All Realities or maybe (closer to home) the Negative Zone portal, since science still works in that story (if dimensional apertures won't open in our atmosphere).

However, due to the ramifications of negating all technology on the planet, all Hospitals, airplanes, nuclear power plants, etc... would just go belly up - basically a mutant-driven "Millennium-bug", Wanda could not cut off tech-based abilities.
That would be devastating to the world. However, not cutting off those "powers" also provides for "the out" - storywise (enter Iron-Man).

So, that was why I didn't tear into that plot point.
I had to allow for a "godlike" power to state that a "normal" process, like magic, simply would no longer work. Be it a cut-off from tapping the energies flow, a deadening-effect on mystic whojams or simply that A is no longer A where magic is concerned... the new status quo is without hocus-pocus. ****

Now, as to the whole COSMIC CUBE thing... hey... one writer's disaster at a time.


* Please refrain from the whole "God is a figment" replies... I'm up on the debates, and also posit my own questions to the Universe, but for the sake of this, since the story in question deals with someone with "god-like" powers, we're all accepting that in our universe, God exists. OK? ThanX.

** I've long thought that guns are the cowards' easy way to kill.
You want to kill someone? Really?? You shouldn't be allowed to
(sit back, sometimes many yards away and) just twitch your finger to do so. It's too detached from the process of taking a life. It makes it too effortless, since you can do it from an easy chair. No. You want to kill someone (or something for those hunters out there)? You shouldn't get to do it unless you FIGHT that other life. Give it the same chance to kill you. Not that I'm condoning killing of ANY kind. Just that I've long thought that negating the laws of physics where weapons are concerned should have been top priority for the Almighty. But that's just one of the things that I'd do, given the power of "God". That, and the whole Famine, and Disease thing. Where the hell is that Infinity Gauntlet? I've got some work to do.

*** Good thing, too, because all of those "American Sign Language" users expressing "love" to anyone would turn their loved ones into newts.

**** Which would now beg the question... what is ALCHEMY? A science (like chemistry?)... or magic? I guess Diablo can whip up some bicarbonate of soda, but not elementals.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I have a reply!

I'm gonna say: God, yes; but "laws", no.

Not that this couldn't be made to work with the idea, but basically these are distinctions by fiat, not by procedure...miracles, in other words. Therefore, if you try to invent rule-based descriptions of them, you're going to find the rules turning back on you -- there will always be something the rules ought to allow but don't, and something they ought not to allow but do. As long as it all works by rules, then it's gonna develop inconsistencies, to the degree it starts out inconsistent in the first place. A God who does miracles isn't a distant or inattentive God, right? I'm okay with the idea of Wanda making a selection with her miracle, but not as the establishment of "laws" -- because it wouldn't be possible to uphold the distinctions automatically. You'd get faultlines in the concept almost right away.

That's if I didn't find the idea of an omnipotent Wanda distasteful, of course, which obviously I do. But let's just say she's able to change or block what Doc has to do to propitiate his extradimensional deities.

Even Agamotto? I mean: even the Eye, or the Orb? Agamotto takes an interest in Doc, though...

Never mind. Some things work against the Eye, even if only temporarily, and let's just say there could be mystical routines Doc has to follow to use these artifacts, that Wanda interferes with. And let's say Agamotto thinks it's funny, so he lets it happen. Why not.

Field day for Nightmare, I guess!

But what about Doc's ectoplasmic form? Knowledge is another way of saying "what the universe actually is, in its parts" -- and in Doc's universe, the astral forms exist intrinsically. He just knows how to separate them, where Reed Richards and Peter Parker don't.

Ahhh, it's clutching at straws, perhaps. But what about the Cloak? Did Wanda make it "un-magical"? Can Doc just not "talk" to it anymore?

Clutching at straws. Nitpicking. But...

Is Namor's ability to live and breathe underwater a "power"? What about the other Atlanteans? He should still be able to pick up a Volkswagen and throw it, then -- man lives at the bottom of the ocean, under pressure. Of course that all never "really" made sense anyway -- but what to do with it?

The Silver Surfer? Morbius? Ikaris? Medusa, with her super-hair? Daredevil's radar sense?

A funny thing about all this is, that Wanda just says, "no more powers". But how does she make it so? She doesn't know about DD's radar sense, does she? Iron Fist focusses his chi...the Leader's just smart....

It's pretty complicated! And this isn't a universe where "powers" are just written-in...

It's sort of like that thing with Superman and magic that I always hated. Superman's vulnerable to magic, so you can hit him with a magic feather-duster and knock him out: that's how they used to write it, magic as Kryptonite.

Or it's like Marvel Zombies, where...heck, if you're just plain wearing a costume, you turn into a zombie. Superpowers aren't actually required, only being a "hero" is. It's not rational, it's not cause-and-effect. It's like the Star Trek where they go to the "evil" universe. It's not a divergent universe, it has no law-type explanation for the way it is, it's just a parallel universe where everyone's all evil. And why ask why? Notice in Marvel Zombies the heroes feel remorse...meanwhile in UFF they feel none. But why ask why?

There really is no "why". Somebody just thought it would be neat. But then they want it to make some kind of internal-logic sense, too...and that's asking too much, even for something that's just to be somebody's idea of fun.

Sorry, that was a rant! Kind of sleepy, will return later and hopefully say something that makes this all make sense...

Gee, what if there were a universe out there where Wanda says "no more universes"?

Or an evil Watcher out there somewhere looking back at us, with the Ultimate Nullifier in his hand...

I mean every law has its implications.

Huh, this is actually going to help me with an upcoming post, I think...

But yawn. More later.

~P~ said...

Hey, Plok.

Just a fast-reply here, as I am in the midst of prepping my next installment.

However, whilst researching for it, I came across a forgotten segment of an old issue wherein Doc has had his knowledge of sorcery - REMOVED.

In # 7 of his Master of the Mystic Arts series.
Umar & Dormammu double-team Doc and place him under the G'uranthic Guardian - which sucks all knowledge and power (their words) from him.
For the rest of the issue (and the next) he is completely clueless as how he used to perform his magicks.

He actually leans on Clea to do a lot for the heavy-lifting.

One other instance that I can recall was where after Doc is rescued from the dimension of the Dark Crawler (in the events that concluded his own previous series and followed in an issue of Sub-Mariner # 22 & Hulk # 126), he gives up sorcery.

Walking away from his mantle he soon is incapable of performing spells.
It takes a quick deus-ex-machina genie-in-the-bottle appearance by the Ancient One to give him a quick magical infusion.
(Marvel Feature # 1 - back up story)

So... I guess there are possible ways for Wanda to remove knowledge from him (magical select-amnesia) or to make him impure enough to be unable to perform sorcery.

I'll try to get back here to address other interesting stuff you posit here, but if I'm going to get this weekend's post done, I'd better skedaddle.

Anonymous said...

Good point. But of course the problem is with Wanda's now-very-puzzling ability to "distort reality" -- how far can this be pushed, before it just starts sounding like "it's magic, we don't have to explain it"? Her wishes are all subjective, okay, fine...what she wants is what happens, I get that. But at a certain point that explanation ceases to do any explaining. Everything else in the MU obeys some kind of order, but what Wanda does is pure McGuffin -- shit just happens. And, naturally, we don't even really know what she's doing anymore...

So it's really crazy to use the House Of M stuff in a What If, because it re-opens the book on "now wait a minute, how the hell did...?"

At the extreme end of this, Wanda has a desire and the universe simply conforms to it -- it draws in the picture for her. To refer again to Marvel Zombies, who gets turned into a zombie is determined by what kind of clothes they wear -- but then again, this turns into cosmology after a while, because there is no way for any universe, no matter how tractable, to draw in that picture, because there's no agent, there's no vector, there's no reason why one thing happens to one person and then another thing happens to another...except the writer wants it that way, and doesn't happen to feel the need to explain it. Not exactly a new complaint, I know! But I don't think we talk about this development enough, that what was once the template for Marvel stories in terms of "this stuff has to be at least kinda plausible-sounding on the surface, to the point where the reader can tell when something's fishy or not by how much it disturbs the plausibility" has been completely replaced by a new template in which it doesn't matter because it's just comics anyway, and you're not supposed to take it too seriously. But, when I can tolerate reading about a character like the "Silver Surfer", or like the fact that Galactus has a big G on his chest, then I'm obviously not taking it too seriously, am I? Unless the presumption is that I can't tell it's kind of silly for alien space gods to know what a surfboard is -- which is the presumption that I reason on the level of a preschooler.

This is really helping that Mark Millar post out, really helping me to clarify it! Sorry for using you as my scratchpad though, P-Tor...

So anyway it develops that we, who always had anxiety about being ridiculed for our "childish" hobby...well, somehow now we're not, but it's actually become much more childish than it was when we were! So how does that make sense? "Comics Aren't For Kids Anymore"...actually, we need to change that headline, I think. It baffles me how anyone who isn't a kid can tolerate Marvel's inconsistencies these days -- my favourite example being the issue of Daredevil where Matt Murdock is arrested but then not allowed to see his lawyer. I mean, that's a small thing, but it's very very stupid, and it's really got no good reason to be -- it's not serving any higher artistic function, it's just an indication that it doesn't matter anymore to the writer if he makes a mistake. The writers of the Sixties and Seventies made loads of mistakes, but they did acknowledge them as such -- and you wonder why they don't give out No-Prizes anymore? Because even that tiniest of admissions is something the current braintrust cannot afford to make, due to the fact that there's rarely a panel written by Bendis or Millar that doesn't call for massive mental gymnastics. And you know all this already, I know...

But back to Wanda. "No more powers", but like I said, what's a "power"? It's just a convention of the superhero game -- if the Sub-Mariner can breathe underwater, but the Angel doesn't have wings growing from his back, in terms of plausibility there's no reason for that to happen at all. Namor's an interesting case here, especially: if water-breathing were to be classed as a "power", then what would make it so? That people in the real world can't do it? That's a lot of Atlanteans bobbing to the surface...

I don't know, it's just all so incredibly prescriptive, isn't it?

Ahhh, now that was satisfying, I may have to rant like that again in a little while...

~P~ said...



Feel free to rant here all you want.
Even the "dregs" of your thought processes are the "creme-de-la-creme" as compared to most arguments.

However, you bring up several salient points that have echoed my own thoughts as of late (and again, something that I was hoping to address in future posts here on the ol' blog. You keep time-jumping me on these. It's good though, as it reinforces my belief that there is SOMETHING there to post about).

One such thing is that while comics as a medium are finally getting the wider "acceptance" (at least as movie fodder) by and for the masses, they seem to have less and less reason to DO SO. When I was a kid (in the 70's and 80's) reading comics, and I had to defend these stories and concepts as being far above what is in most novels and films back then (read any issue of Doctor Strange or Man-Thing from nack then. Deep and heady stuff)! But NOW, that they are gaining acceptance across the board by people who had thrown stones at me in the past, I no longer feel any deep mental or emotional ties to the genre - or at least not a renewed vigorous feeling, just the echoing feeling of a love once known and hoped to be rekindled... and I have nearly walked away several times as of late.
I started this blog to help me get back in touch with the roots of that love, but Marvel (and I'm sure DC, but I no longer read any DC stuff on a regular basis) have done everything they can - hell-bent as it were - to flay off the old fanbase and cultivate the vacuous, attention-span deprived masses who don't KNOW the deeply entrenched and formulated rules, laws and histories of the comics of old.

But, as I said, that's a thing for another post.

However, your questioning Wanda's Mcguffin power-set is an apt one.
All I can offer in defence of it (not that I WANT TO defend it, but I am taking the stance of 'devil's-advocate' for this.. is to bring up two names:
PROTEUS & LEGION (oddly enough, both mutants - like Wanda, and as such their powers have NO "rules"). Both could alter reality to whatever they wished, no matter what they wished or how the rules and laws of reality were bent, folded, spindled or mutilated.

Wanda is just the only one of those "reality altering" mutants still around.

And, really, if anyone is to be blamed for this, it's John Byrne who first broached the concept of Wand's powers being NOT anything more than her being able to select from any possible probability or alternate possible universe and posit that element in the place of the current status quo.

So, her saying "no more mutants" or "no more powers" isn't really her REMOVING the powers FROM current "people" in the M.U., as it is her REPLACING those people with their alternate-universe counterparts who HAD NO mutations or powers.

I honestly don't know if I'm misremembering Byrne's theory (from way back in his West Coast Avengers days), but that JUST came to me now as I was typing.

Funny how much stored "useless info" gets cataloged and filed away in the old cranial harddrive, huh?
G.I.G.O. indeed.

As for Galactus and the Surfer... that had always bugged me, but it was the 1960's and if Kirby wanted to present "God" was a space-hippe wearing SHORTS and a stripy TEE-SHIRT yet, replete with a big "G" amulet, (honestly, anyone who doesn't know this, take a LOOK at the big "G's" first appearances. Hilarious,) and his hanger-on as a surfer... well, who am I to disparage it.

And lastly, in the case of Namor and the Atlanteans, I don't think their breathing underwater is a "power" per se.
Atlanteans are like normal sea-dwellers and breathing via gills is their normal physiology.

Namor, however, is a mutant, perhaps like a lungfish (mudskipper?) can breathe both in the open air and under water. So, Wanda might just remove the mutation forcing Namor to breathe either in or out of water but not both.

Just my guesses.

As long as those ankle-wings go as well, I'm fine with it.

So... "tag" you're it.

Anonymous said...

What, you don't like the ankle-wings? Where's your sense of whimsy, man!

Anyway...oooh, switching out people to their copies in the infinite multiverse?

Where'd you hear THAT?

It's elegant though, and solves the problem. Bit of a wasted opportunity for stuff like "Clint Barton: Warlord Of Mars", but then Byrne never was much on the follow-through. Man, to think we could potentially have a Dragon Lord/ROM team-up...! But no.

I once, long ago, conceived a fan-fic (though when you're fifteen, it isn't really 'fan-fic' is it?) Avengers mega-crisis whose rising motion hinged on Hank McCoy realizing that the inevitable had happened: in a moment of peril, Wanda had realized she could use her probability-warping power to interfere with itself...!

And once she'd done it, she couldn't turn it off. Everywhere she went, she was surrounded by a "hex halo" composed of all the hexes she might have cast...and it was growing.

And oh Lord, I wish the current mavens of Marvel even cared as much as that, to give her a reason for what she does...but as someone wise told me a while ago, they're not looking for the magic Engelhartian patch to explain her...for them, her not making sense IS the magic Englehartian patch!!!


Anyhow, I knew you were a "Big G" man anyway, but it's good to hear you say it -- yes, Galactus has arm hair and cosmic bling! What of it? Does the lion care if the gazelle thinks his mane doesn't make any sense? As I kid, I remember thinking something like "oh yes, the Silver SURFER...! ROCK! ON!!!!"

And of course I still think that today, or I wouldn't be here.

So: "why so serious"?

Not me.

But yeah: "comics aren't for kids anymore", that may've been true in the Seventies or the Eighties, or my beloved Green Flash of the 00's, but...good heavens, can you look at any of this stuff now, and not say they're pitching it lower and lower? I'm not saying every story has to be Mordo/Dormammu...

Or, curse me for a novice, "The Djinn"! Holee...! P-Tor, I keep telling Sean Witzke about it, but you've READ it, haven't you? Isn't it amazing?

You OWN it, don't you? you have a scanner...?

Because if you do, I'm saying: GIVE THE PEOPLE A TEASER. Because most of them have never heard of it before, you know. Englehart/Ditko, I mean my goodness, that's one for the ages, and you know I always thought with Steve E.'s respect for collaborators (unrivalled, I think, by anyone but Alan Moore) we managed to get some really pure Ditko vision coupled with truly first-rate Ditko-synched dialogue, for maybe the first time ever or since. Anyway, if you've got it, please put up a couple panels...because I don't have a scanner...

Uh...where was I?

Oh yes: hey, it doesn't have to be Mordo/Dormammu, but man I wouldn't even read a regular Doc story now, it'd probably be written by Jenkins and Clea would be revealed as his long-lost sister or something. Oh, if only he were in the public domain anyone could write him! Peter Gillis could write him.

But yeah: they're pitching it pretty low, these days. College kids wouldn't read it. College kids of the Sixties.

And in my humble opinion, John Byrne's to blame for just about everything, these days.

On Proteus and Legion, man I can't believe you mentioned that! Did you read my fan-fic Sentry story, where I have Xavier say the Sentry's a mutant, of "Zeta" class? Zeta meaning, in this Morrisonesque oracular thing I pulled up from Google, "the storm". Lessee if I can recall my dialogue, um...""Zeta-class mutants all have the SAME power, Scott...but it's never a question of power, it's a question of FRAGILITY..."

You freaked me out a little there, P-Tor!

And now I must eat some mushroom soup.

Anonymous said...

Awp, did read that Sentry thing...

And more importantly, the mushroom soup has cured me of my mild wastedness. Hope it wasn't TOO obvious!

~P~ said...

Well, if the mushroom soup cured you from feeling "wasted", then you weren't using the right kind of mushrooms.

Yes. I DID read your Sentry piece and LOVED it.
Absolutely made me want to buy a copy and read it to death while waiting for a trade paperback.

Fantastic stuff, and really, the kind of thing that Marvel SHOULD be doing.
But, not what I had thought of when I offered up those two "zeta" mutants.
It was just the logical procession; altered reality + mutant - Wanda = Proteus and/or Legion.

Ah well...
Speaking of things that Marvel will be recycling, it seems that I got a little turned around in my own thoughts with my attributing that "alternate universe displacement" theory to Byrne.

That concept was MINE.
Something that I had thought of so long ago (right around the time that Byrne was on West Coast Avengers - and he was tonking around with explaining the explanations for how her powers "worked" that I had come up with my own that seemed to cut to a different angle). I completely forgot that it was mine until I re-read an old blurb I wrote back then about it.

Byrne's concept was different, but his overall planned story is a bit similar to what's going on in that What If?

Here, I'll paste an interview with Mr. Byrne here (taken from the "Comics Should Be Good" blog - here :
(and I see that I have an old comment on there as well - the circle closes.)

These words are those of John Byrne:


"I’m going to break my own Number One Rule and tell a story that did not see print.

All this came out of the Immortus/Scarlet Witch debacle, of course. With the “realism” in Marvel at the time — you know, like talking dragons being “telepathic”, because that was more “realistic” — it had become impossible to accept that Wanda’s hex power could be something as prosaic as merely causing people to have “bad luck”. So it had been decided that what she actually did was alter probabilities . Thus, if the probability of a badguy’s gun jamming was 1000 to 1, she could make it 1 to 1, and the gun would jam. Bad luck for him!

When I came to do AVENGERS WEST COAST this was the accepted way of portraying Wanda’s power — but the more I thought about it, the more I realized this was really an incredible complication of something that had once been so simple. I mean, think about it! For Wanda to alter probabilities she would have to be reaching back thru the whole temporal chain of events that led to a single moment. She would have to be altering time — retroactively!

Well, that sure seemed like something that could catch the eye of Immortus, eventually, and as I wrote the story, it did. Immortus, who had been seen pinching off alternate realities as part of a set up to this story, was engaged in a program of whittling the multiverse down to a single time-line. One which he would control.

Discovering Wanda’s power, he was going to kidnap her and use her to further his plans. And the first thing he was going to do was alter probabilities so that when the Avengers battled Kang the first time, Kang won!

My story would reveal this in flashback, however, as we would open in the world long after this had happened. Pretty grim place, where most of the familiar heroes had been killed off or never become super powered in the first place. No FF, since they never took that rocket ride. No Hulk, since Rick Jone has never driven his car onto the Gamma Bomb test site. (One of the main characters was going to be Peter Parker, who had not become Spider-Man because of Immortus’ manipulations.)

As the story progressed, we would learn slowly what had happened — and also learn that we were not seeing “present day” Marvel, but rather a time a “few months” (Marvel Time) ago. The date would be just prior to when Thor, in order to save a wounded Black Knight, had used his hammer to open a portal in time and space and stuck the Knight into it. We would learn this when the Black Knight basically fell out of the air into the post-Kang’s victory world. In that timeline, Thor had not placed him in the “time stasis”, so when the changed world “caught up” to that moment, out popped the Black Knight. The multiverses intersected at that point, you see. Well, the Black Knight pretty quickly figures out what’s going on, learns there is an underground (of course!) and helps the folk of the twisted version hunt down and stop Immortus, freeing Wanda (herself another link to the multiverse, by virtue of how Immortus has been manipulating her power) and setting everything right.

When all is restored, the Black Knight of course is back in that “hole in time”, and Wanda is the only one who remembers how things were. A memory that fades, like a dream, very quickly. . . .



So, there ya have it.
He had the idea that her abilities would retroactively affect TIME. So, with her "No More Powers", she might well be causing something to have occurred to make it that none of those heroes encountered whatever fate gave them their powers.

OK. That doesn't really work for this story, because then WHY would these people even KNOW each other at this point in history?
Unless her "House of M" world was the "fill-in-the-blank" for the time-line.

Dr. Strange, no longer able to perform surgery due to his car-accident-damaged hands, discovered that he was able to heal himself ("Physician, Heal Thyself") and then help council others as a Psycologist (or Psychiatrist... I forget what stupid thing he was in that story).
The other characters were doing whatever they would be doing - although, some of THEM WERE POWERED! So, this next "No Mutants / Powers" 2ndary spell took care of that.

Thusly, they still had shared history, but not in costumed adventures. (?)

However, the appearance of the ILLUMINATI shoots that all to hell and back.
No way that ALL of those guys (at least NOT Strange) would be in the same room making shadowy decisions that affected the world - unless they were all super rich business /political guys.
OK. I just "fixed" that.

GAH! It's a series of mental gymnastics (and contortion) to get it all to work, but I can probably get it to a place where it does (if you want to hop across those slippery stepping stones in the mossy creek of my mind - just don't fall in. Man-Thing might lurk there).

Two other quick hits:

1) while I DO love Galactus - I will admit that even though Jack Kirby WAS, IS and always WILL BE A-W-E-S-O-M-E... the beach-bum Galactus always made little sense to me. Short sleeves and surf-shorts? A big honkin' "G" medal?
It was the 60's. That's all I could figure.

But in NO WAY did that diminish the totally fabulous concept (and most of the visual - that HELMET ALONE is worth the price of admission) that is GALACTUS!

2) Yeah, the ankle-wings bugged me too.
I "get it" as to why they were there, and can even get around them, but honestly, they were just a golden-age visual bit that stuck around.

Much like "THE TORPEDO" (remember HIM?), I thought that anything that protruded from your ankles would just make walking practically impossible.

But, I DO realize that is only because they are always drawn "flared out".
If they really acted like wings (and were the way that he flies), then in rest they would be folded back - like a BIRDS. And as such are kinda cool.
But would cause hell-all grief in the water.

But, a love of whimsy?
I got it.
I'm all about the whimsy.
(ok. maybe not. But I'm not dead inside.)


OH wait.
A few OTHER notes:
There is a poll going on here -
asking who is the most "kick-ass" writer for Strange.
Only ONE GUY said Gillis (and then I did too - because... he WAS - and WOULD BE).
The choices were sad.

And as for the DJINN... I had stopped reading COYOTE the issue that it started.
I remember that at the time I had to cull some stuff from my buy-list, and COYOTE was one that I grudgingly gave up.

I may be able to borrow a set of issues from someone and get some scans out there.
It might take a few days.

We'll see how it goes.
I've hard nothing but GOOD things about it, and have wanted to read it myself.

This would be a great incentive to go get it.


Anonymous said...

I really think Byrne goes too far sometimes -- the silly shit he liked as a kid is great, but the silly shit his contemporaries made up is laughable. And then there's the silly shit he made up, which is absolutely out-of-bounds.

There would be a line, of course. Wanda wouldn't have to reach back through time to cause a coin to come down heads or tails -- nor to get a gun to jam. Byrne. Like asking a butcher about topology. In fact there's about a million things she could do with this silly power-set. More interesting though, would be the problem of doing things that call more heavily on prior definites -- and that could be neat, too, that could set the limit of her powers. If you wanted to go that way. Me, I don't mind the "probability" thing a bit, even if it's a bit more SF in my Scarlet Witch than I really require...but, hold on, wasn't that BYRNE'S idea, in the first place? I don't remember anyone ever punching it up as much as him in WCA...

Your solution's much better, and in fact would make a darn interesting Scarlet Witch, and better SF too. I can imagine many places to run with it.

And, the Djinn: the attraction of this for me, aside from let's face it, a new independent Ditko Englehart bringing a noir-ish first person narration to it, as well as some sharp, spare characterization that remains fully in the mighty Ditko manner. Plus, it's damn fun comics.


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