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Author Topic: Proof of Cary Bates's Genius: ACTION #509  (Read 21286 times)
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dto
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« Reply #32 on: November 15, 2005, 04:41:50 PM »

Gary, I think those Twinkie ads took place on Earth-H (for Hostess).   :wink:

Also, Earth-PP should not be confused with Earth-PS (for Public Service).  That's the world where Superman fights world hunger, the Teen Titans combat drug abuse and Supergirl urges kids to buckle up their seat belts.   :lol:

By the way, the Supergirl "Department of Transportation/American Honda Motors Corp." seatbelt safety issues showed Supergirl in the movie costume -- something Kara never actually wore in mainstream DC continuity.  And the second issue was published in 1986 -- long after Supergirl was officially "dead and forgotten".   :cry:
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DTO
Kurt Busiek
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« Reply #33 on: November 15, 2005, 05:06:43 PM »

Quote from: "Gary"
The point is whether having the answer to the calculation would do Superman any good. Sure, you can tell him he needs to beam out thirty-two kilojoules of heat, but how does he know when he's done that, especially given his brain-addled state in the story?


If he didn't, then he'd have said so.  Apparently, that's one of the things he knows, even brain-addled.

Hell, I've seen Superman go through revolving doors at super-speed, which violates the laws of physics, but I don't throw the story out on that account.  I just snicker at it.

kdb
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #34 on: November 16, 2005, 02:30:19 AM »

Quote from: "Gary"
The point is whether having the answer to the calculation would do Superman any good. Sure, you can tell him he needs to beam out thirty-two kilojoules of heat, but how does he know when he's done that, especially given his brain-addled state in the story?


Superman has been shown in the stories to "know" how fast he is going very precisely, how much something weighs (one of his less "sexy" visual powers that he's used, especially in the Weisenger years, is that he could place small weights and measures in his hand and he knows how much they weigh to the last gram). As I said before, perhaps Superman has a "muscle memory" in regards to using his Heat-Vision; he can guess how hot he's making something, just as some drivers can guess how fast their cars are going, without looking at the speedometer, just by touch alone.

Quote from: "Kurt Busiek"
Hell, I've seen Superman go through revolving doors at super-speed, which violates the laws of physics, but I don't throw the story out on that account. I just snicker at it.


There's a difference between the occasional "rubber physics" of superheroes, and something that fundamentally alters how Superman's powers work - to his detriment (surely Superman can out-calculate any crummy 1980 clone PC). Especially when it isn't NECESSARY that we invalidate a wonderful well-written story, when the story ITSELF provides a way out: Superman had already inhaled Major Disaster's cloud of brain-drain k-dust when he solved the first problem "as fast" as the TRS-80.

This possible way of "fudging" the "Superman's as smart as the TRS-80!" comments works also with what we know about Kryptonite. Kryptonite has a cumulative effect - the longer he spends near it, the more his powers are sapped (as opposed to Red Sun Rays, which turn his powers on and off like a light switch). It wouldn't make sense that Kryptonite would be "dormant" in his system all that while. We just didn't see the cumulative effect because Superman didn't need to crunch any eight dimensional superstrings for NASA right at that particular moment; if he did, he may have noticed the brain-drain sooner.
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #35 on: November 16, 2005, 11:11:04 PM »

Excellent explanation/rationalization of how that story could still be in continuity but didn't violate real world computer processing, Julian.  I can live with that.

As for rubber physics, as you put it, I don't recall any stories where Superman really did the super-speed revolving door stunt though it was in Superman: The Movie.  Aside from the movie definitely not being canon, we also have that stunt where he evidently was holding Lois up in mid-air with a single fingertip.  I suspect scenes like those made Moore, and later Byrne stole from him, suggest that famous psionic angle to Superman's powers.  It doesn't take much to rationalize some of that rubber physics away.

It becomes problematical when it completely violates any kind of consistent logic or attempts to fit into consistent logic.  Fortunately, Mr. Perez found a kryptonite-out here for the TRS-80 seeming illogic.

While this is a bit off-topic, for completeness, I do recall not only did someone show me scans of another creator depicting Thor weathering a hailstorm of bullets without deflecting from Mjolnir nor suffering any harm at all from them, but the lacklustre Secret Wars series had Thor not only easily withstanding an alien storm whose raindrops struck like bullets but he was actually enjoying the downpour.  I'd say at least two creators have seen fit to ignore Lee, Busiek, Simonson, whoever on the matter of Thor's being bulletproof.  If he were a purely scientific character, then it doesn't make sense.  But since he's magic-based, I have no problem accepting that Thor can be so powerful and yet somehow still fear bullets.
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Captain Kal

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« Reply #36 on: November 18, 2005, 05:26:45 PM »

Quote from: "Kurt Busiek"
But heck, I'll throw out a candidate:  When Jimmy Olsen helped a powerless Superman fake his powers by holding him out the window on a glass pole, making it look like he could fly.  First off, glass poles are not invisible.  Second, where did Jimmy get one long enough and strong enough?  Third, a powreless Superman can't just rest on his abdomen on a glass pole in flying position; he's not strong enough.  Fourth, Superman's on the long part of the pole, with the fulcrum being the windowsill and Jimmy holding the short part -- that means Jimmy's superstrong, since the leverage is going the wrong way.

It's not even the only dumb part of the story (but ...what, did Jimmy wave him back and forth?  How did he get out there?), but it's no held up as a piece of illogic taking that story out of continuity.

kdb


Excellent candidate story, Kurt.  But I seriously doubt any subsequent tales were dependent on that clunker nor were any references made to it ever again.  It was a one-shot that could be safely ignored.  As you stated elsewhere, some ideas aren't worth keeping around in continuity so they're just subtly ignored for better ideas later on.

It's a moot point now that Julian has rationalized the TRS-80 book on more solid terms.  I'm happier with a solid explanation like that one than just shrugging my shoulders and just saying lotsa other nutty stuff goes on.  IMHO, that's a bit of a copout.
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Captain Kal

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« Reply #37 on: November 18, 2005, 05:42:53 PM »

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
Excellent candidate story, Kurt.  But I seriously doubt any subsequent tales were dependent on that clunker nor were any references made to it ever again.


I guess I just don't consider that a measure of whether it belongs in continuity or not.  Plus, of course, a reference was made to "The Computers That Saved Metropolis," albeit not to the computer part.

Quote
I'm happier with a solid explanation like that one than just shrugging my shoulders and just saying lotsa other nutty stuff goes on.  IMHO, that's a bit of a copout.


Whereas to me, it's practically a sacrament.  I like the nutty stuff.

But then, I don't look at continuity as a way of nailing down exact power levels -- almost anyone's fluctuate so much that you gotta (or at least, I gotta) figure that there's some sort of weird super-biorhythms involved, and when they're at a low ebb, snakes can beat the Hulk, but when they're at a peak, atom bombs can't.  I'm far more interested in character and history -- who have they met, how did they feel about it, what would they feel if they met those characters again?

Plus, I never thought that Radio Shack story established anything about Superman's powers that would need to affect any other story.  A couple of kids claiming something's as fast as Superman is no more a fact than Wolverine saying that he's the best there is at what he does nine million times means that he in fact is.  [Mainly, it means he feels a need to brag about himself in his own internal narrative, but remain fairly taciturn vocally, which suggests he's so messed up emotionally that he's trying to convince himself of his own worth even while he refuses to try to convince anyone else, like Sawyer on LOST...]

kdb
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #38 on: November 18, 2005, 06:32:10 PM »

Hey, that's cool, Kurt.  We all like the books for different reasons so you like it your way and I like it mine.  We both shell out the bucks in the end. Cheesy

I just remembered that the kind of SA Jimmy story like that was long before DC became continuity-conscious.  That wouldn't happen until Marvel's 60s books came out and redefined the industry.  Back then, just about any tale could be told and had neglible to nil consequences to any other book.  Hey, that's a great statement on childhood fantasies: No consequences, or at least no bad ones.
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Captain Kal

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« Reply #39 on: November 18, 2005, 06:49:51 PM »

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
Hey, that's cool, Kurt.  We all like the books for different reasons so you like it your way and I like it mine.


You bet!

kdb
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