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Author Topic: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')  (Read 4797 times)

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Offline SabbyTopic starter

Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« on: April 28, 2011, 05:05:14 AM »
This is where we get to play Mythbusters on all kinds of fiction :) Comics, video games, novels, TV shows, movies, if anyone has ever taken a super power or high tech machine and then tried to explain it in pseudo-science, it is YOUR duty to hold them to their explanations, even if it is by the throat :)

There are two ways you can go when writing this stuff... you can say "They're just powers" or you can say "They work like this!" Once they go down the latter road, they practically invite the readers to stress test the theories.

I'd like to start by going to X-Men. A friend explained to me he has 'unstoppable momentum' which is why he can just run right through anything like its tissue paper. But if there were so, if he jumps, his downward force would just tunnel him into the center of the Earth. And then theres gravity, an outside force, just like walls and tanks, so he wouldn't be stopped by that one either. He wouldn't get to tunnel through the Earth, once he jumped he'd just fly off into space.

With no gravity pushing him down, he'd simply be stuck in place with only his own momentum acting, which means the slightest move would turn him into endlessly spinning gyroscope, hovering in place until he can heave his body enough to careen off, carving like a tumbling saw blade through the Earths crust or up into space.

So which pseudo-scientifical explanations are you calling bullshit on? :)

Offline Kunoichi

Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2011, 01:52:27 PM »
You never mentioned which of the X-Men you're talking about, Sabby. ^^;

Offline Remiel

Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2011, 02:05:31 PM »
Juggernaut, I assume?


Offline Kunoichi

Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2011, 02:40:23 PM »
Ah, but Juggernaut's powers don't actually work that way...

Offline Brandon

Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2011, 04:26:40 PM »
If you go by comic book lore then Juggernaut isnt a mutant at all, he got his powers from a magic stone I believe. Its just for the horrible X-men 3 movie they made him a mutant for...why did they do that again?

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Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2011, 04:45:32 PM »
Because half the audience hadn't read the backstory from the comics?  [/geek]

Offline Kunoichi

Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2011, 05:02:39 PM »
Wasn't the director for the other two movies unavailable for the third one?  I bet he probably would've handled it better...

Anyway, I don't have any actual powersets to contribute to the thread, myself, since I'm not really one for physics. ^^; I think Marvel and DC have both gotten pretty good at explaining away their characters' powers in consistent ways, though.  We'd have to look at movies and so on, instead, probably.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2011, 07:31:36 PM »
Wow, haven't seen a thread like this in quite a while.  Let's see...

Even if the Flash could be fast enough to run clear across the United States in the blink of an eye, he'd have to burn an astronomical amount of calories in order to do so.  Furthermore, the friction from the air would cut him to ribbons.

I'll concede the point that maybe his powers extend beyond superspeed, but that's a given for most all of these.

Given E=MC^2, when Gambit converts Matter into Energy, shouldn't it have power more concurrent with a nuclear explosion?  I may be wrong on this one.

This one is I think from Mad Magazine.  Wolverine has adamantium (or bone depending on time) claws that extend from his knuckles to his forearm.  How does he bend his wrists?

That's all I got right now.

Offline Saerrael

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Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2011, 07:38:16 PM »

This one is I think from Mad Magazine.  Wolverine has adamantium (or bone depending on time) claws that extend from his knuckles to his forearm.  How does he bend his wrists?



Bone at their core, Wolverine's claws operate by resting in genetically devised trenches in the muscles of his forearms, behind the bend of the wrist while sheathed & locked while extended.

Wolverine's claws have often been considered a mystery in their functional nature. Discovered to be bone in Wolverine Vol 2. #75 (1993), the foot-long weapons housed in his forearms sit in trenches created by a series of linked muscles unlike anything in normal human physiology. Each individual claw is surrounded by a silicon sheath to maintain/prevent sepsis from foreign matter still residing on the claws when they retract. This silicon would also promote healing and regrowth of broken bone claws, were they not covered by the Adamantium bonding. The point of the claws rest just behind the bend of the wrist axis, allowing for freedom of joint movement, and the external, Adamantium part of the claw sheath (something that no longer exists in more recent Wolverine illustrations) contains an inert silicone bushing that acts as a resilient body seal.

While Logan can bend his wrists with his claws retracted or fully extended, he cannot, in fact, extend them with a bent wrist. Such an effort would torque the line of his claws' exit point, distorting where they would surface. But more importantly, attempting to unsheathe his claws with an unaligned wrist is impossible, simply because the muscles could not function to push them out. The linked musculature in Logan's forearms operate both consciously and unconsciously, responding to his brain's mental command to extend his claws by tightening themselves into a straightened channel that expels each claw like a trigger. A smaller group of muscles in the backs of his hands (past the wrist bend axis) activate individual locking mechanisms on the claws, so that impact with objects will not drive them back into Logan's arms. Even fully extended, part of Wolverine's claws remain inside his hands and surrounded by the unique set of muscles, creating a foundation to resist trauma (keeping them from being torn out of his body). It is these muscles that pull the Adamantium-coated blades back into his forearms.

There has been some controversy over the point of extraction for Logan's claws, particularly since the development of the X-Men Movies. The claws do not and cannot unsheathe from between Logan's knuckles, but actually from the backs of his hands. Were the weapons to slide out from between his knuckles, it would impede Logan's ability to properly use his fingers, or to utilize his opposable thumbs. Another thing to note about how his claws come out is that they actually pierce his skin every time they retract; Wolverine has no openings for his claws.

Depending upon the artist, Wolverine's claws are sometimes rounded, which is most prominent in his earliest appearances.

Source ; www.comicvine.com
( http://www.comicvine.com/wolverines-claws/12-46496/ )

Offline AndyZ

Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2011, 07:40:14 PM »
It's always awesome when you have a question and you find out that there actually is an answer for it.

Thank you, Saerra.

Offline Saerrael

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Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2011, 07:41:41 PM »
It's the only answer I have, though. I found myself wondering this and wandered the web until I found this. It makes sense (in a comic kind of way)

Also! The Xrays in the movies are incorrect.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 07:43:30 PM by Saerra »

Offline Kunoichi

Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2011, 07:53:12 PM »
Even if the Flash could be fast enough to run clear across the United States in the blink of an eye, he'd have to burn an astronomical amount of calories in order to do so.  Furthermore, the friction from the air would cut him to ribbons.

I'll concede the point that maybe his powers extend beyond superspeed, but that's a given for most all of these.

As I recall, the main explanation given for both of those nowadays is that the Flash draws off of some sort of extradimensional energy field for his powers, and this same field both provides the energy for his running and helps to generate a sort of protective aura that protects both him and anyone he's carrying from the effects of friction at high speeds. (And there's been some weird recent developments about the second Flash, Barry Allen, somehow also being the one to generate this field, but fans just kinda roll their eyes and move on at this point.)

Of course, back before Wally (the third Flash) learned to more fully tap into this energy field, he had to eat a lot, and there were a few cases where him being deprived of food was used as a plot point for why he couldn't just use super-speed to zoom in and save the day...

Also, somewhat ironically, he actually did once run clear across the United States in the blink of an eye.  It took him years to pay off all the damages. ^^

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Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2011, 08:33:02 PM »
I feel that, due to where we are, and the topic of this thread, I would be remiss in not bringing up Larry Niven's exhaustive treatise on Kryptonian biology:

Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2011, 09:19:53 PM »
Please try and remember, this thread isn't for dissecting powers on their own, its only for the explanations the writers release, and how they do or don't hold up.

And yes, I did mean Juggernaut ^^' and regardless of Mutant or Magic, I was given the 'unstoppable momentum' thing to work with, so unless theres more to it then that (quite possible) I was still right xD Correct me?

Offline Saerrael

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Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2011, 09:31:40 PM »
I think the answer to your question would be that the power Juggernaut posses is divine in nature and thus not follow the laws of physics as we know it. Gods stand above such matters.
I took a bit of a page (http://marvel.wikia.com/Cain_Marko_%28Earth-616%29) to help out, but.. there is a lot of text there and this particular powerhouse bores me. Sorry *grins*



Powers
The Unstoppable Juggernaut
Artful DodgerAdded by Artful Dodger

The Unstoppable Juggernaut possesses the conventional superhuman attributes of an Elder God, however many of his abilities are greater then the average member of his race. Cytorrak grants his godly body to his avatar, the Crimson Ruby of Cyttorak then bonds to his avatars soul and makes him a god by giving him this new body, however, this body is Cyttorak's original Elder God body instead of his degenerated demonic body hence it is superior to Cyttorak's current body.

Superhuman Strength: The Juggernaut possesses vast superhuman strength the limits of which are unknown. Using his physical strength he was able to knock out the Thing, Colossus, and even the Hulk, He proved strong enough to match the highly strong Prime in a fight, knocked out several mutants with a thunderclap, and even toppled Stranger with one punch after he grew to about 50 feet tall. He was also able to go toe to toe against an enraged World War Hulk, The Juggernaut has stated his strength eaisily rivals Thor's physical strength.

Superhuman Stamina: Juggernaut's body generates no fatigue toxins during physical activity, granting him limitless superhuman stamina in all physical activities.

Superhuman Speed: Despite his immense size, Cain's superhumanly strong leg muscles allow him to run and move at speeds beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete, He can run at speeds of 111 miles per hour or more.

Superhumanly Dense Tissue: The Juggernauts skin, muscle, and bone, is exactly 4 times denser than the same tissue in the body of a human being, greatly contributing to his superhuman weight.

Invulnerable: Cain is completely invulnerable to all forms of physical injury. The Juggernaut's skin cannot be broken, and he is incapable of feeling pain, or sustaining any form of injury from any purely physical attack regardless of magnitude or intensity. Although Cain is able to be harmed by exceedingly high levels of mental attack, mystical attacks or weapons with mystical properties can hurt Cain, only because they counteract, in some way alter, or reduce the mystical energys that make Cain invulnerable, however, these attacks have rarely been shown to cause any permanent damage. When The Juggernaut's force field, and hence some of his power, was temporarily absorbed by Mjolnir, he was still durable enough to exchange blows with Thor.

Regenerative Healing Factor: Despite his complete resistance to physical attack, Cain can be damaged by sufficiently powerful mystical forces. If damaged, Cain possesses a regenerative healing factor that enables him to completely regenerate with superhuman speed. For instance, he has been injured by Shatterstar's sword, which is forged from a mixture of extra dimensional technology and magic and healed instantly. The demon being D'Spayre once flayed the Juggernaut down to a skeleton only after absorbing almost all of the Juggernaut's power and even then, the Juggernaut could not be stopped and was able to instantly regenerate all the damage done once he regained his full power. Essentially as long as there is a molecule of Cain's body, and a molecule of the power of the crimson gem of cyttorak still upon him, and of course he is still the Exempler of the ruby, the juggernaut will regain his full power and be completely healed, suggesting nothing is drawing or blocking the gems mystical energys from resonating, and all of the energy from becoming one again.

Self Sustenance: The Juggernaut is completely self sustained, he has no need to breath, eat, and drink, he cannot tire, hence he cannot sleep, however his self generating mystical engergies provides him with the nourisment of sleep, nutrition, hydration, and oxygen. He is sustained by his mystical energys alone.

Immortality: Cain is immortal. He is not a millisecond past his absolute physical prime, and is immune to aging. Nothing, except perhaps, total molecular disinigration can kill Cain. The Juggernaut is also immune to all toxins, poisons, and disease.

Force Field: The Juggernaut is capable of generating a personal force field around himself, extending to about 1 foot in diameter from his body. He uses this force field for many purposes, such as preventing physical contact, keeping debree and unwanted materials off himself, erecting his force filed to escape piles of debree easier, and a few other purposes as well, however it's most important purpose is the fact, that if he is casted in conrete or other materials, example a plane dropping a large amount of solidifying material that can put his body in a hard cast, or falling into wet concrete that would harden around him in a full body cast, which would keep his motion prohibited, he can erect this force field to break out of a cast, hence without this force field he would not be unstoppable, also this force field is particually resistant to such materials in the first place, as such materials would slide off his force field much faster and more smoothley then his body alone, do to the shape and the fact his force field is pure energy, also his force field can resist mystical attacks better then the juggernaut alone, as his force field is energy created from his actual power, also mystical weapons that can hurt Cain have to penetrate his force field first, making it even more useful, not to mention the force field being able to produce more energy to continually push out an intruder that has managed to break in to his defences.

Embodiment of irresistible force: Once he begins to advance in a certain direction, it is virtually impossible to halt his movement. Some obstacles such as many tons of rocks and plasma-discharge cannons have slowed his pace but can't completely halt him. The only known examples of him being stopped involve physical force with mystical involvement, which is Juggernaut's sole weakness. Thor unleashing his power was able to stop him in his tracks but his powers are mystical in origin, It should also be noted that Thor was severely hampered at the time as he was extremely weakened by an extra dimensional malady. During a battle with "War Hulk", in which the mutant Apocalypse, increased the Hulk's strength and power enormously by grafting Celestial tech to him, which again involved mysticism.
Power Grid [1]
Intelligence    
    2
Strength    
7     
Speed    
    2
Durability    
7     
Energy Projection    
    1
Fighting Skills    
4     
   
Abilities
Juggernaut is able to summon and remove his mystic armor at will. As a result of his days in the military and his experience as a superhuman criminal and hero, the Juggernaut is a formidable hand to hand combatant preferring to use street fighting and brawling techniques that allow him to make full use of his great strength.
Strength level
Class 100+ ; The Juggernaut possesses vast physical strength the exact limits of which is unknown but he is able to lift far in excess of 100 tons effortlessly. He is one of the strongest beings to ever walk the Earth.
Weaknesses

Cain is susceptible to exceedingly high levels of mental and mystical attack. Both have been shown to be able to at least temporarily defeat him but neither have been shown to cause any type of permanent injury. The weakness to mental attacks are nullified by his helmet. If The Juggernaut does not use his powers for his own personal desires, the power of the gem does not work correctly and does not fuse with his sole essentially makeing him a human with only a portion of some of his powers, no longer a perfect god, just a greatly enhanced human.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2011, 01:48:46 AM »
Not to turn my own topic into a comic bashing discussion... wow. That is just retarded xD What a boringly perfect character.

Offline consortium11

Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2011, 11:41:38 AM »
Cain Marko (Juggernaut) has actually had a pretty good bout of characterisation during his run (although as always with comics different writers discard and run with the bits they like/don't like far too often). It's also worth noting that for a long time he was used as a whipping boy... whenever a new character had to be introduced and be shown to be all powerful they'd have them beat on Juggernaut for a bit. Not so long ago they actually had his powers be downgraded (lack of faith/worship to the deity he gains his powers from if I remember correctly) and it was only fairly recently he got back to near full strength (World War Hulk I think.)

Talking about World War Hulk.

During it (or at least the build-up) it came out that the Hulk had never killed an innocent. When he was angry and smashing cities apparently the Banner part of his mind... consciously orunconsciously... predicted all the variables to make sure that say falling masonry didn't kill anyone etc etc.

What?

First, going by comic canon, Banner has never been that level of maths/physics genius to do all of that stuff near instantaneously. Secondly even if you could predict with extreme accuracy exactly where every piece of debris you send flying goes there are still factors outside of that which would undoubtedly interfere. Thirdly under even basic causation the Hulk would still be responsible for deaths unless the argument is that he's never destroyed a hospital, cut power to a wide ranging area, caused an ambulance to not reach a hospital etc etc.

It's an example of two flaws that far too often work their way into comics... bending a character to fit the story (in this they wanted Hulk to be the innocent party who had been wronged and was seeking revenge) and giving characters too much power which they then either have to ignore or find ways around (which is why certain characters always find themselves depowered, level-scaled or knocked out during a storyline)... often to frankly laughable results. The most infamous recent one? The driving force for Spiderman the last few years is that Aunt May was shot and dying... and to save her Peter Parker had to make a deal with Mephisto (the stand in for the Devil) which led to basically regressing his character to the 1960's, making his marriage to Mary Jane never happen, making everyone forget he was Spiderman and undoing every piece of characterisation that had been done since the Editor in Chief of Marvel was a kid. To set this up they had to have Parker go to basically every major hero in the Marvel Universe and have them say they couldn't heal a bullet wound... and even worse, completely ignore those who could (there's a young mutant called Elixir who can literally heal anything...).

My own off topic rant...

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2011, 10:48:16 AM »
I will bring to light the most awesome power in the world, it is unstoppable, unquestionable, and undefeated in everything!

The willful suspension of disbelief. Thank you Coleridge. You've not done a lot I like, but I love you for that. 

Offline armybirchguy45

Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2011, 11:02:05 AM »
Gambit's transformation of matter into energy would create potentially nuclear-scale explosions, but they would be far less powerful than an equivalent sized chunk of uranium or other nuclear fissile material, simply because the mass is not equivalent. Cards would produce extremely high powered explosions though, and pretty much everything would become radioactive because of energy bleed off (this occurs with all known applications of e=mc2; some of the mass/energy is translated into radiation (assuming he doesn't somehow suppress this with his power in some way)). Another problem is packetization. How the hell would it stay stable under any conditions at all, let alone only release energy on impact? The slightest change in condition, moment to moment would cause an uncontrolled release of energy, probably in his hand. Say goodbye life, and hello morgue. Transferring this wave through another medium is also problematic; how do you tell it what to change? Under this light, he could potentially cause the entire universe to spontaneously transform into pure energy, or at least the planet (probably solar system) depending on how this wave propagates...

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2011, 11:20:28 AM »
Is there an official explanation on how Gambits powers work? Because that'd be helpful in this thread :)

One thing I noticed when watching X-Men Evolution... Colossus reverted to unarmored form so he could fight Magneto without being tossed around, on account of being completely coated in metal.

Whatever that plating comes from, its in his body still, and if Magneto can siphon liquid metal from a guys blood stream, he could definitely rip out whatever part of Colossus' system that stores that matter that he makes his plating from.

But I'd have to chase up whatever the right Wiki pages says.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2011, 12:03:21 PM »
Is there an official explanation on how Gambits powers work? Because that'd be helpful in this thread :)

One thing I noticed when watching X-Men Evolution... Colossus reverted to unarmored form so he could fight Magneto without being tossed around, on account of being completely coated in metal.

Whatever that plating comes from, its in his body still, and if Magneto can siphon liquid metal from a guys blood stream, he could definitely rip out whatever part of Colossus' system that stores that matter that he makes his plating from.

But I'd have to chase up whatever the right Wiki pages says.
True, Magneto ripped out Wolverine's entire skeleton in one of the comics. Of course, that wouldn't kill Wolverine...

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2011, 12:16:48 PM »
The Full Metal Alchemist wouldn't let this shit fly >.<

Offline Shjade

Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2011, 12:31:58 PM »
Maybe he wouldn't, but Father would. >.>

Offline armybirchguy45

Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2011, 12:42:23 PM »
Wouldn't the skeleton also pull out Wolverine's brain?If that didn't kill him, which part would be the real him? The part that grew back everything from the skeleton? Or the part that grew back the skeleton and brain?

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Calling Bullshit (Discussion of 'powers')
« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2011, 12:47:55 PM »
Kill him? o.o Don't think that's possible ^^' but that does raise a good question... if his skeleton were ripped out, along with his brain still in his skull, what would reform? Would the left over meat husk fill out and regrow bones without Adamantium? How many, if any memories would be saved when the brain regrows?

...actually, this could be made into a decent plot o.o his skeleton is ripped out, which grows meat back on eventually, while the husk also reforms but without a completely reformed brain, so is essentially an animal with vague memories. Sort of an evil copy, only without Adamantium.