Power levels of characters and their inherent unimportance

Fappy

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Reasoning who would win in a fight can be fun, regardless as to how ridiculous the match up is. Death Battle's a fun video series, even if you disagree with their conclusions frequently (I do every 1-in-3 fights or so). Card Fight is also a really fun card game that is pretty much exactly this concept.

EDIT: I am failing at finding adequate synonyms for "fun" apparently.
 

DefunctTheory

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Charcharo said:
Superman is not a God...he is not even close to such levels of power. As far away from that as an ant. Then again my expectations for such a being are realy high compared to most others it seems.
Superman is what we sometimes call a 'Physical God,' shortened to god for the sake of simplicity. A physical god is a character that, for all intents and purposes, is so beyond us mortals that he might as well be God.

Superman is, at his most powerful, functionally immortal, strong enough to destroy planets, more intelligent then anyone actually alive (Though he's not the smartest person in his universe), and is capable of observing colossal areas with both x-ray vision, and super hearing, both of which can allow him to sense things on a continents like we sense things in the room with us.

No one thinks that Superman is comparable to the Big G. Though I'm sure Superman has punched him out once or twice.
 

Something Amyss

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Charcharo said:
Superman is not a God
Lower g god. Nobody's talking about the Abrahamic God, no matter how much Jesus imagery is crammed into Superman movies these days. Superman's actually more powerful than many of the gods of other mythologies.

Even so, Accursed is right in his response as well:

AccursedTheory said:
Superman is what we sometimes call a 'Physical God,' shortened to god for the sake of simplicity. A physical god is a character that, for all intents and purposes, is so beyond us mortals that he might as well be God.
Ants might well consider us Lovecraftian abominations, so beyond them that the most they can do is hope one of us doesn't step on their anthill. Of course, some ants can do some serious damage to a human.

Speaking of, few people seem to have trouble calling Marvel's Thor and Loki gods, though due to inconsistent power levels, both have been wrecked by Super Soldier Steve Rogers. Yeah, the whole discourse was because of the "ant>>>boot" lines from Avengers in the MCU. Sue me.

For all intents and purposes, Superman is a god.
 

Wrex Brogan

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...well, as Vegeta once said, 'Power Levels are bullshit!'. It's Strength As The Plot Demands, which is why Batman used to be able to pull literally anything out of his utility belt.

Like, Superman, in main canon, eventually enters the sun and becomes a literal god. As in, 'completely omnipotent'. It's really hard to put him against anything and go 'yes, this is a totally believable fight, this other guy totally has a chance.'

While I imagine it can be pretty fun pitting characters against him (misses the point of Superman as a character but whatever), I don't really put a lot of stock in versus matches and avoid fandoms that get a little too into them like the plague. It's all fun and games until you've written a 15-page essay on why Martian Manhunter is Objectively The Best and Could Kick Supermans Ass.

As for 'who would I pit against each other'... I dunno, Starlight Glimmer and Sunset Shimmer from MLP? Their names rhyme and they've both got something to do with Twilight, that's reason enough to scrap.
 

happyninja42

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Roboshi said:
X in this case has often been the superduper powerful characters in media, like Goku, Superman or the Hulk and I'll be honest I don't see the point in this statement. I mean I could write a character right now that could literally beat up anything, but it wouldn't matter. "superhulkatron" or whatever he'd be called may be able to destroy the multiverse with an errant fart but the entire point of a story is to have some suspense, uncertainty and genuine tension in a story.
But what you are talking about isn't a story. It's a mental thought experiment, nothing more. A proverbial dick measuring contest by fanpeople to declare who they think is the more powerful character. Because invariably, there is a portion of our society that, no matter what other issues/moralities/trials a character might have, and how that makes them a better/richer character, somebody is always going to say "yeah well my guy could totally kick your guys ass", and then probably try and drop a mic or something, thinking they've won all arguments ever. That is the person we're dealing with when you do these "X vs Y" things. Plot/story has zero, ZERO to do with it. You can tell because they never bring up plot elements. At best they will introduce environmental elements that will change the dynamic. "Oh yeah! Well if they were fighting on a hockey field of kryptonite! And it was enclosed! So he couldn't fly away! And the ceiling was kryptonite too! He'd totally lose!" blah blah.


Roboshi said:
When you come to a discussion with a character that has a few extra 0's after their maximum speed/biggest weight they can lift/power level this should be the start, not the end of the discussion.
Actually it shouldn't be any part of the discussion at all. Providing levels just reduces everything down to a quantifiable value. If the numbers have any meaning at all, then someone with more numbers will always win. If they don't always win, and the person with lower numbers can win because "they just won't give up!" or "they have a pure heart!", then the numbers are ultimately pointless. Because obviously having bigger numbers doesn't mean you are more powerful.

Roboshi said:
TL:DR the fight between batman and superman was never fought with fists and kryptonite, it was fought with comics sold and the the level of enjoyment you got from each character.
Actually the fight is fought by the writer, who will let whoever he likes the most win. Or, if nothing else, whose name is on the front cover of the comic you just bought. If it's being published in a Superman line, odds are Supes is going to win. Batman never wins, but he always "holds his own", so that fans of him can feel happy about the fact that their insane 1%-er vigilante is somehow able to stay on par with literal demigods who can shatter planets.


Roboshi said:
Honestly I don't know if this is a topic or a rant, but in the name of having an actual topic of discussion how about some mashups you'd like to see with the emphasis on making the fight dramatic and a close match for each other?
I don't have any entries for this, as I find these types of fighting match concepts pointless. I've seen it for years with comic fans, but also with World of Darkness fans. Holy fuckballs if I have to hear one more fucking debate about whether or not vampires/werewolves/mages are the most powerful, and could totally pwn you in a fight, I will go back in time to the 90s and force myself to go goth, just so I can now have memories of being depressed about that shit. And if that doesn't make any sense, good, because it shouldn't, as the entire debate is stupid.

The struggle shouldn't be one person against another, it should be about the hero trying to uphold their ideals in the face of a strong complication.
 

Zhukov

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MarsAtlas said:
Zhukov said:
AccursedTheory said:
Except for Wonder Woman's books. Apparently, you couldn't sell those if they came with a free hand job and a real life replica of Power Girl's breast, so I'm sure they've thrown some non-selling point stuff in there just for the hell of it.
Someone showed me a recent issue of some kind of Wonder Woman comic... reboot... origin... thing.

It was pretty whacky. Like the authors had decided to just do whatever the fuck they wanted.

There was so much stuff that would have rustled a lot of jimmies on all sides, if anyone were to actually read it.
Was it Wonder Woman Earth One? I've been hearing a lot of mixed stuff about it but its enough to pique my interest.
No idea.

I doubt I could keep superhero comic continuity straight even if I cared.

It was relatively new and it was an origin story. Similar but slightly different to the traditional one, if I understand it right. It was set in modern times rather than WWII. Steve Trevor crashes in a F16 or something similar. (Also he's black now.)
 

Zhukov

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MarsAtlas said:
Thats probably the one then. Has lots of bondage, right?
Not... really?

I mean people got tied at up at a couple of points, but nothing that made me stop and yell "I see what you did there!"
 

MiskWisk

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Charcharo said:
Something Amyss said:
Charcharo said:
Superman is not a God
Lower g god. Nobody's talking about the Abrahamic God, no matter how much Jesus imagery is crammed into Superman movies these days. Superman's actually more powerful than many of the gods of other mythologies.

Even so, Accursed is right in his response as well:

AccursedTheory said:
Superman is what we sometimes call a 'Physical God,' shortened to god for the sake of simplicity. A physical god is a character that, for all intents and purposes, is so beyond us mortals that he might as well be God.
Ants might well consider us Lovecraftian abominations, so beyond them that the most they can do is hope one of us doesn't step on their anthill. Of course, some ants can do some serious damage to a human.

Speaking of, few people seem to have trouble calling Marvel's Thor and Loki gods, though due to inconsistent power levels, both have been wrecked by Super Soldier Steve Rogers. Yeah, the whole discourse was because of the "ant>>>boot" lines from Avengers in the MCU. Sue me.

For all intents and purposes, Superman is a god.
Those other mythological Gods have higher level powers of creation than Superman though.

IDK, by that logic OPM is also a God...
Not really. The Olympians are a fairly popular example and they didn't do much apart from create society in their mythology. A good number of polytheistic religions do not have active creation deities, instead simply having a creator or group make the world and bugger off while their children, the active gods, mess around on their creation.
 

Therumancer

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Roboshi said:
Well Batman v Superman has come and is slowly on it's way out so I'm sure we've all seen at least 3 or 4 jokes about how short a god fighting a man would really be, and I've always looked back at this joke along with those old childhood arguments about how powerful your character really is.

You still see this in internet culture all the time as youtube probably has a few trillion lists of "most powerful X character" or "Would Y win against Z?". Of course this is often just silly fun and us nerds will always have fun thinking up mashps and their consequences. But I have noticed one slightly annoying thing pop up once in a while;

"X could just walk in and kill anyone in this world"

X in this case has often been the superduper powerful characters in media, like Goku, Superman or the Hulk and I'll be honest I don't see the point in this statement. I mean I could write a character right now that could literally beat up anything, but it wouldn't matter. "superhulkatron" or whatever he'd be called may be able to destroy the multiverse with an errant fart but the entire point of a story is to have some suspense, uncertainty and genuine tension in a story.
When you come to a discussion with a character that has a few extra 0's after their maximum speed/biggest weight they can lift/power level this should be the start, not the end of the discussion.

TL:DR the fight between batman and superman was never fought with fists and kryptonite, it was fought with comics sold and the the level of enjoyment you got from each character.

Honestly I don't know if this is a topic or a rant, but in the name of having an actual topic of discussion how about some mashups you'd like to see with the emphasis on making the fight dramatic and a close match for each other?
Well, for a long time I've pointed out that Lex Luthor has been Superman's arch-enemy for a really long time, and has even beaten him on several occasions (leading to Superman needing to be rescued, or Lex having to give up his plan for one reason or another). I never saw Batman vs. Superman as that much of a David and Goliath matchup in the comics since there is a lot of overlap between Lex and Batman even if the style is a bit different. Basically, Superman's greatest foe has always been a relatively normal person.

That said, the power level of a character doesn't much matter if you can find things to continually challenge them in order to tell stories, with Superman, Goku, etc... this involves people either outmaneuvering them, or introducing threats on the same basic power level (or greater) than they are at. Interestingly The Hulk, Superman, and Goku areguably aren't the most powerful characters in their respective universes.
 

DoPo

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Jan 30, 2012
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Charcharo said:
Those other mythological Gods have higher level powers of creation than Superman though.
quite a few members of the Greek pantheon less powerful than Superman. Not the only examples, just the first ones I could think of. There is plenty more gods that are not as powerful than Superman but I'll have to dig a bit for more specific examples.

Happyninja42 said:
I don't have any entries for this, as I find these types of fighting match concepts pointless. I've seen it for years with comic fans, but also with World of Darkness fans. Holy fuckballs if I have to hear one more fucking debate about whether or not vampires/werewolves/mages are the most powerful, and could totally pwn you in a fight, I will go back in time to the 90s and force myself to go goth, just so I can now have memories of being depressed about that shit.
Hey, I remember stumbling about a discussion of whether Magneto or Malkav would win in a fight. I thought the premise itself was monumentally stupid but at least that was also what the conclusion was. Sort of. In the end, the "battle" was voided, since Malkav was not in the same league as Magneto.
 

Therumancer

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Nov 28, 2007
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AccursedTheory said:
Roboshi said:
TL:DR the fight between batman and superman was never fought with fists and kryptonite, it was fought with comics sold and the the level of enjoyment you got from each character.
You've just described every single thing every put into a comic book, ever.

Except for Wonder Woman's books. Apparently, you couldn't sell those if they came with a free hand job and a real life replica of Power Girl's breast, so I'm sure they've thrown some non-selling point stuff in there just for the hell of it.

For a while now I've felt that if they moved Wonder Woman to Vertigo and played up the Lesbian BDSM angle they might increase her sales substantially. Given the origins/creator this makes sense, and I've also noticed we live in another era of sexual liberation (this time for alternate lifestyles) and "Sunstone" has not only seen print but is apparently going on it's 5th volume, albeit the actual adult content in that is minimal (though it does exist). Who knows, they might even get a chance at a Hugo award nowadays.

Besides with all the character modification going on Wonder Woman is perhaps the #1 candidate to be a lesbian with occasional bi- moments for special men. In her case it doesn't even require much retconning.
 

Something Amyss

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Charcharo said:
Those other mythological Gods have higher level powers of creation than Superman though.
Unless you can read my mind, I have not specified which gods. And since the gods I had in mind were not creator gods, that's false.

In fact, the closest thing I gave by way of example were Thor and Loki, neither of which are strictly speaking creator deities. But even then, I was referencing the Marvel versions of the respective characters, who are called gods despite being strange visitors from another realmplanet.

Still, by those metrics, Superman can "create" storms. Hell, sometimes he can create diamonds, clones of himself, minature versions of himself, which puts him in league with many of the Greek pentheon.

"god" does not automatically mean "creator," which is what you seem to be running with.

IDK, by that logic OPM is also a God...
Well, by the logic I never stated, given you decided to tell me what I meant rather than seek clarification.

But hell, in some religions, Saitama could actually aspire to godhood or may have been created as one.

till I have elaborated on the distance between humanity and Superman, so you should have known this was not the case.
 

mduncan50

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I think "power level" is something that you can't really think too much about, or else any fight in a comic book is just a matter of comparing numbers on a graph and there's nothing actually interesting happening. So long as the story is able to give me a compelling reason to believe (or at least scoff at) that the person won the fight, then I'm fine with it.
 

mduncan50

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Therumancer said:
For a while now I've felt that if they moved Wonder Woman to Vertigo and played up the Lesbian BDSM angle they might increase her sales substantially. Given the origins/creator this makes sense, and I've also noticed we live in another era of sexual liberation (this time for alternate lifestyles) and "Sunstone" has not only seen print but is apparently going on it's 5th volume, albeit the actual adult content in that is minimal (though it does exist). Who knows, they might even get a chance at a Hugo award nowadays.
Man, I can hear the howls of the ultra-right wing conservatives now, of how the "libtards" have turned an American icon into a pervert. I almost want this to happen just to see it. But seriously, I see no reason for it. It's silly to me to take a character that has been straight for a half a century and just say they are gay now, even if DC does seem to like rebooting everyone every couple of years.

Besides with all the character modification going on Wonder Woman is perhaps the #1 candidate to be a lesbian with occasional bi- moments for special men. In her case it doesn't even require much retconning.
You know, despite what that cool guy at the bar tells everyone, lesbians are only interested in women. They don't go bi- for special men, any more than you or I do. Of course you could always say she's been confused for the past 50 years, but I really don't think that's any better.
 

Something Amyss

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mduncan50 said:
Man, I can hear the howls of the ultra-right wing conservatives now, of how the "libtards" have turned an American icon into a pervert. I almost want this to happen just to see it. But seriously, I see no reason for it. It's silly to me to take a character that has been straight for a half a century and just say they are gay now, even if DC does seem to like rebooting everyone every couple of years.
While I'm not saying DC should do it, I would note that Wonder Woman has had homoerotic undertones since long before I was born.

...wonder why I liked her so much growing up. >.>

Granted, there were also a lot of shots with her being tied up and something phallic beng pointed at her crotch, so I'm not saying SHE IS CLEARLY GAY AND DON'T TELL ME OTHERWISE.

Just that, you know, it wouldn't exactly be out of left field.