Wibbly-Wobbly, Speedy-Weedy (Plot Contrivnces and You)

So the title combines the two instances that brought to mind the topic of discussion.

I've noticed on sociasl media regarding the Flash an uptick in the complaints that the show has "bad writing" because Flash doesn't use his super speed to do X in an episode. And I'd understasnd this more, but we're in season five and this has been an issue since season one. It's basically an issue with the character as a whole: most of the challenges Flash faces should be mundane and easy for him, but stories need drama or tension or conflict. And it seems like people were onboard with this until season 4 or 5. I'm not going to go into spoiler detail, but this is just the sort of thing I've accepted. Flash's speed is a win button, the writing is often dumb and contrived, but i'm mostly there because I enjoy the characters.

Doctor Who series 11 seems to have a similar problem with people complaining about things that "don't make sense" and blaming Chris Chibnal's writing on problems that have not only existed through Nu Who, but many of which were issues with the classic series. Or, rather, they're only "issues" if you don't kind of accept them and move on. The way time trvel works, for example, is a spoiler-free way of talking about this, because time travel was inconsistent as hell in the classic series. Even now that they've tried to explain the discrepancies with things like "fixed points in time", we have instances of fixed times being broken or cheated and locked time "zones" being traveled to.

The idea that these issues are a new issue that revolves around the writing of the guy who's been head writer for a year out of Doctor Who's decades is absurd.

I'm wondeing if it's an investment issue. I wasn't as invested in this series of Doctor Who (I dfon't really want this to be specifically abotu either show, but I'll just say that I like Jodie, but find the writing of many of the episodes to be BORING and move on). I similarly cvompained more about season 3 of the Flash, where I found my interest waning.

I mean, it's arguably bad writing,but not in the way people seem to be saying. It's not that there are plot holes (or, rather, new plot holes), it's that the writing is flat or uninteresting, or similar.

I'm wondering if other people experience this sort of thing. I could dissect the plot holes and contrivances in the Harry Potter series, but I don't. I'm aware of the issues, but I enjoy the books anyway. I'm far less critical of media if I'm having a good time. I think Flash is dumb and I've always thought it had bad writing as far as the plot contrivances go, but I am entertained and I find the main cast to be charismatic and enjoyable. It seems like people pull out the plot "holes" (I'm not sure it's a plot hole if the plot is swiss cheese by design) when they're not enjoying it for whatever reason. I mean, how dare we besmirch the character consistenc of the Dalek race? What do you mean Davros was a retcon?

That's basically the talking point. Do you otice more problems with a piece when you're not enjoying it? Do you complain more in the same circumstances? Do you notice and just not care? Do you have the time to listen to me whine about nothing and everything all at once?

This sort of issue generally comes down to separating our external meta-knowledge of what skills a character may have, from the character's own knowledge of their skills.

Other then obvious contrivances ("Everyone in the world has kryptonite"), it only starts looking foolish if the character's surmounted similar or identical situations before, and just inexplicably doesn't in the current scenario.

If Flash knows he can run 15 feet and rescue a hostage before a bullet travels 5 inches out of a gun held on them (hypothetical here, I've never watched it) and has done this before, then yeah, its nonsensical that he considers that scenario an issue when he could just instantly grab the hostage and run circles around the bad guy while knocking them unconscious.

If we knew Flash can do that (because we know Flash can literally go fast enough to reverse time even if the hostage died canonically), its not an issue with the show, because we're projecting our own knowledge into a character that doesn't have it.

This is literally my problem with Batman and how fans have made him an unbeatable God-King.

Every fight that Batman ever has with a Heavy Hitter, for some reason they always fight Batman at his level. Hey, you have super speed, you can literally fly to Saturn's moon in under 4 minutes, if you can singlehandedly destroy a world, you have energy projection... whatever, it doesn't matter. You'll never use it to even a fraction of your ability to fight Batman.

You won't fly into the air and melt the building down. You won't clap your hands and level the buildings for blocks around.

You'll throw punches. You'll never move at Super speed, nor will you process your mental abilities to be quicker than any human to be able to move at Light Speeds and still navigate around obstacles.

I notice it all the time. And not only does it bring me out of it with every story, I look at every character around Batman and wonder. All these characters who are known for their intelligence, speed, strength, and abilities... I can't help but to sit there and wonder how they will just ignore all those abilities and stare helpless as Batman somehow does it all better than they would.

It takes me out of it because you literally have to have all the other characters at a tenth of their abilities to give Batman more agency.

Upon thinking about this question, it really mainly gets to me when there's an obvious favorite who needs everyone else to be less so they can shine. Death Note was really cool (when I was younger). And I liked it not just because Kira was a genius. But the world was full of geniuses. And they all pulled things out of their asses, but it was amusing to see who was going to pull what out next.

... I realize how that sounded. I'm sticking by it.

Seth Carter:
Other then obvious contrivances ("Everyone in the world has kryptonite"), it only starts looking foolish if the character's surmounted similar or identical situations before, and just inexplicably doesn't in the current scenario.

There's an episode in season 4 of Flash called "Enter Flashtime" and I won't spoil the resolution or anything, but the plot summary is basically that a nuke goes off in Central City and Barry spends the entire episode in "Flashtime" so the explosion radius hardly expands at all.

More importantly, the entire cast of non-speedsters are effectively mannequins for most of the episode. I also won't go into details, but this isn't so much a new power as something speedsters can just do. The only thing Barry does is do it longer. A new application of this power is used twice in the season and not mentioned again.

Admittedly, this is relatively late in the season, but the fact that it's established this is how time always looks to hm when he's tapped into the speed force should not only make all challenges from this season except maybe the big bad easily surmounmtable, it should make anyone other than the Speedster villains so as well. Well, one or two exceptions. Captain Cold? done before he pulls the trigger. Gorilla Grodd? KO'd before he knows Barry's in range. Etc. Hell, Barry learned his "mach punch in season 1. And then got fast enough to effectively stop time.

I'm not a big Flash fan. I was always more Marvel than DC. Even still, I'm of the CinemaSins opinion that the books don't matter. Though, ironically, CinemaSins does use meta knowledge because being right doesn't matter either.

If Flash knows he can run 15 feet and rescue a hostage before a bullet travels 5 inches out of a gun held on them (hypothetical here, I've never watched it) and has done this before, then yeah, its nonsensical that he considers that scenario an issue when he could just instantly grab the hostage and run circles around the bad guy while knocking them unconscious.

To use a similar example, there's a scene in a season 4 episode where a character is shot at, and when Barry goes superspeed the bullets are pretty much motionless. I went looking for a clip, but could only find another instance in season 2 where the bullets are still somewhat moving. Fair enough Flash got faster, I guess, but in season 4 he's not only slower than thrown objects, he's unable to thwart a character who uses sound as weapon. He's also somehow able to repeatedly lose people escaping on foot in a matter of seconds.

But a few times in the show, he's done that Quicksilver thing where time appears to stop and he moves around and manipulates things, a use of this power that only comes up when convenient.

In fact, the nuke episode not only sets his speed at slightly above lightspeed, but it's possible to use real-world physics to do a back-of-the-envelope calculation of how much real time elapsed in the episode. The blast wave of a nuke is about 1000 km/sec at sea level, Coastal City is predominantly at or around sea level, and if we're being generous, the blast expands to a radius of about 2 meters (comparing its size to objects in the background, I feel I'm being generous). Now, because none of this really matters, my math might be off, but I got about 200 microseconds. Roughly half an hour of show goes by in about .2 miliseconds of "real" time.

I don't think it really matters because applying hard numbers to superheroes rarely plays out, but it was a fun thing to look up because I'm a nerd and love Because Science on YouTube. But if you could have an entire series of conversations, attempt to save the city multiple times, and do complex math before anyone had a chance to so much as fall noticeably, how much of a challenge do you think it'd be to search the running radius of a person in a few seconds?

Overall point. Flash is really fast. But how fast he is tends to depends on how fast he needs to be for the plot.

And again, I'm not saying I hate the show because this. This is, weirdly, a defense of the series: the show has always had these inconsistencies (it's easier to come up with season 4 examples because they're recent, though). It's jsut bizarre to me hat after ears of this stuff people are complaining all of a sudden. I accept it as the cost of admission into a series about super speed. At the beginning of the series, it made sense, but that goes away really quickly. In a Flash, you could say. Superheroes break the laws of physics on the regular, and consistency is hard even if you're not trying to create drama.

So the show, in my opinion, always or almost always had these problems, and the weird element to me is how people are suddenly noticing.

If we knew Flash can do that (because we know Flash can literally go fast enough to reverse time even if the hostage died canonically), its not an issue with the show, because we're projecting our own knowledge into a character that doesn't have it.

I should probably finish this needlessly long nerd-out by pointing out that we know in-Arrowverse that Barry can and has traveled in time. For this one, however, there's a couple of good explanations as to why he doesn't just run backwards and fix things. Again, I don't want to spoil specifics, so I'll just say "why doesn't Flash solve all his problems with time travel?" is covered.

ObsidianJones:
This is literally my problem with Batman and how fans have made him an unbeatable God-King.

Every fight that Batman ever has with a Heavy Hitter, for some reason they always fight Batman at his level. Hey, you have super speed, you can literally fly to Saturn's moon in under 4 minutes, if you can singlehandedly destroy a world, you have energy projection... whatever, it doesn't matter. You'll never use it to even a fraction of your ability to fight Batman.

You won't fly into the air and melt the building down. You won't clap your hands and level the buildings for blocks around.

You'll throw punches. You'll never move at Super speed, nor will you process your mental abilities to be quicker than any human to be able to move at Light Speeds and still navigate around obstacles.

I notice it all the time. And not only does it bring me out of it with every story, I look at every character around Batman and wonder. All these characters who are known for their intelligence, speed, strength, and abilities... I can't help but to sit there and wonder how they will just ignore all those abilities and stare helpless as Batman somehow does it all better than they would.

It takes me out of it because you literally have to have all the other characters at a tenth of their abilities to give Batman more agency.

Upon thinking about this question, it really mainly gets to me when there's an obvious favorite who needs everyone else to be less so they can shine. Death Note was really cool (when I was younger). And I liked it not just because Kira was a genius. But the world was full of geniuses. And they all pulled things out of their asses, but it was amusing to see who was going to pull what out next.

... I realize how that sounded. I'm sticking by it.

That actually recalls to me there was an article, or meme, or something about how Civil War would be better then Batman v Superman because the characters were plausible combatants.

Which of course, is silly. Iron Man could level an entire city block Cap was in while flying up out of range of his shield throwing the entire time.

Though in that case, there was justification. Tony doesn't want to cold bloodedly murder his friend. And one of the main backgrounds towards the arc was the collateral damage of superheroes, with Tony being on the side that was (however hamfistedly) trying to avoid things like blowing up a city.

Seth Carter:

ObsidianJones:
This is literally my problem with Batman and how fans have made him an unbeatable God-King.

Every fight that Batman ever has with a Heavy Hitter, for some reason they always fight Batman at his level. Hey, you have super speed, you can literally fly to Saturn's moon in under 4 minutes, if you can singlehandedly destroy a world, you have energy projection... whatever, it doesn't matter. You'll never use it to even a fraction of your ability to fight Batman.

You won't fly into the air and melt the building down. You won't clap your hands and level the buildings for blocks around.

You'll throw punches. You'll never move at Super speed, nor will you process your mental abilities to be quicker than any human to be able to move at Light Speeds and still navigate around obstacles.

I notice it all the time. And not only does it bring me out of it with every story, I look at every character around Batman and wonder. All these characters who are known for their intelligence, speed, strength, and abilities... I can't help but to sit there and wonder how they will just ignore all those abilities and stare helpless as Batman somehow does it all better than they would.

It takes me out of it because you literally have to have all the other characters at a tenth of their abilities to give Batman more agency.

Upon thinking about this question, it really mainly gets to me when there's an obvious favorite who needs everyone else to be less so they can shine. Death Note was really cool (when I was younger). And I liked it not just because Kira was a genius. But the world was full of geniuses. And they all pulled things out of their asses, but it was amusing to see who was going to pull what out next.

... I realize how that sounded. I'm sticking by it.

That actually recalls to me there was an article, or meme, or something about how Civil War would be better then Batman v Superman because the characters were plausible combatants.

Which of course, is silly. Iron Man could level an entire city block Cap was in while flying up out of range of his shield throwing the entire time.

Though in that case, there was justification. Tony doesn't want to cold bloodedly murder his friend. And one of the main backgrounds towards the arc was the collateral damage of superheroes, with Tony being on the side that was (however hamfistedly) trying to avoid things like blowing up a city.

Plus their eventual conflict ended up being personal and at vey close quarters. And Cap still got his face smashed in pretty good.

Seth Carter:
That actually recalls to me there was an article, or meme, or something about how Civil War would be better then Batman v Superman because the characters were plausible combatants.

Which of course, is silly. Iron Man could level an entire city block Cap was in while flying up out of range of his shield throwing the entire time.

Though in that case, there was justification. Tony doesn't want to cold bloodedly murder his friend. And one of the main backgrounds towards the arc was the collateral damage of superheroes, with Tony being on the side that was (however hamfistedly) trying to avoid things like blowing up a city.

Which explains to me why Superman never goes all out when he fights Batman. But again, he doesn't even have to. This is a man who can semi keep pace with the Flash

I say semi because in the next page, The Flash straight dusts him.

However, he's moving that fast while dodging traffic and talking to Flash normally. Any of you who know exercise science or... who just ran ever, you know the more effort you put in, the harder it is to even speak sentences. Let alone think. And Superman is doing that while trying to convince his friend to come back to them at the peak of Superhuman speed without tapping into the Speed Force.

So for everyone who tells me that Batman always has the advantage because he has that ring drives me up the wall. We're talking about a man who can run at two thousand miles per second. You're telling me he can't see Batman moving and react with Superspeed? The man who picks bullets out of the air without effort. The man who moved fast enough to Hit. The. Flash. Batman can move fast enough to pull out that ring without having Superman appear behind him the second his muscles twitched and restrain Bats?

... Sorry. The fanboyism gets to me. Superman isn't even my favorite hero. Spiderman is. But the mental gymnastics people go through to say Batman would win is beyond me.

But that also goes to Darkseid. Who cares nothing for anything, save the Anti-Life Equation. A being who destroyed a Planet because, eh, he wanted to. Batman lasted through a fight with Darkseid.

Stuff like that makes me hate stories Batman is in.

ObsidianJones:

Which explains to me why Superman never goes all out when he fights Batman. But again, he doesn't even have to. This is a man who can semi keep pace with the Flash

...

Stuff like that makes me hate stories Batman is in.

Oh yeah. That generally makes little to no sense. The other JL members certainly might not do the oblitation of an area to kill Batman for obvious moral reasons. But most of them at the level of competence they're at by the time of a Justice League could thoroughly disable him without even harming him. Flash could tie him up with own cape like a straight jacket. Supe's could just leave him in the desert with a train track wrapped around him. Green Lantern can basically restrain him completely with a thought (assuming he hasn't painted himself yellow today).

(Although Green Lantern is often cited as being terribly incompetent or uninspired with his constructs, so that one's kind of an understandable)

Do you otice more problems with a piece when you're not enjoying it? Do you complain more in the same circumstances? Do you notice and just not care? Do you have the time to listen to me whine about nothing and everything all at once?

I think if you're enjoying something then you don't stop to think, you just go along with the story. Its only when something gets dull that your brain starts looking for other things to do and starts pulling at those fraying plot threads. Same way that I'm not really looking at whats in my room when I'm gaming or whatever, but will pick out details in my bathroom when brushing my teeth. Because brushing my teeth takes little to no thinking at all, so I have to do something

Seth Carter:
Though in that case, there was justification. Tony doesn't want to cold bloodedly murder his friend. And one of the main backgrounds towards the arc was the collateral damage of superheroes, with Tony being on the side that was (however hamfistedly) trying to avoid things like blowing up a city.

In the MCU, it's also justified because Tony has a case of the dumbs. Or rather, he has a massive ego that leads to him not playing it safe. Events in several of the movies are only possible specifically because Tony acts first and thinks later. He cold lose to Cap because he had the ego to nose up to him without his armour in Avengers. Granted, the antagonism had a push, but it didn't make Tony stupid.

The MCU is another case where the writing has always been kind of dumb, but it had engaging or entertaining plots and charismatic actors and I think nobody cared. I barely even remember the plot of the first Iron Man because RDJ's Stark carried that movie for me. It's also how I got through the last season of Matt Smith's Doctor.

Plots, by their very definition, are contrived

trunkage:
Plots, by their very definition, are contrived

Exactly. When was the last time a plot happened in real life? The real world isn't quiet so melodramatic to have plots.

Something Amyss:

I'm wondering if other people experience this sort of thing. I could dissect the plot holes and contrivances in the Harry Potter series, but I don't. I'm aware of the issues, but I enjoy the books anyway. I'm far less critical of media if I'm having a good time. I think Flash is dumb and I've always thought it had bad writing as far as the plot contrivances go, but I am entertained and I find the main cast to be charismatic and enjoyable. It seems like people pull out the plot "holes" (I'm not sure it's a plot hole if the plot is swiss cheese by design) when they're not enjoying it for whatever reason.

Shamus Young's talked about this sort of thing. He called it story collapse. When you get pulled out of a story you tend to think more and more about all the dumb contrivances than you otherwise would if you were enjoying yourself.

On the contrivances mentioned:

-I noticed the Flash thing early on, that his speed tends to vary in accordance with the needs of the plot. That doesn't bother me too much, I can stretch suspension of disbelief that far. However, what bothers me (similar to Bats vs. Supes as Obsidian mentions) is when he's paired against Ollie. Like, how the heck am I supposed to by that the Green Arrow could really stand a chance against someone who's a speedster? Even Legends of Tomorrow deals with this, pointing out that they can't really do anything against Thawne because his speed pretty much has him on god mode.

-How time travel works in NuWho isn't too bad for me, in that I can at least appreciate the 'rules,' that:

-Almost all of time is in a constant state of flux - more so in the past due to the Last Great Time War

-There are fixed points in time that you can't change.

-You can't alter your own timeline (would create a paradox).

It's certainly bent these rules, but of what I've seen, it mostly keeps them consistent.

-Davros and the daleks popping up aren't retcons, but they do bug me - same as with the Master and to an extent, Gallifrey. The daleks were meant to have been wiped out at the end of season 1 of NuWho. The Master was meant to get his redemption at 'The End of Time.' Davros was meant to have died on the Crucible. Gallifrey was meant to have been destroyed. Like, I get it, this is Doctor Who, these things have survived being dead before, but there comes a point where one wants certain characters/elements to stay dead.

Bullshit is basically a necessity in Doctor Who, and is, in principle, easy to get away with by making the story engaging. Unfortunately Chris Chibnall's version of Doctor Who wouldn't be engaging even if it was part of the Ludovico technique.

Doctor Who has changed itself repeatedly and often the changes are for the better because they make the universe more interesting, even if they contradict what came before. The Doctor being able to regenerate, Davros being the creator of the Daleks, and killing off all the Time Lords in the Time War were good for the show as a whole. Bad additions and changes make the show less interesting and/or only serve to stroke the ego of the head writer. RTD having the Doctor fall in love with Rose was a weird flex but basically tolerable because it wasn't an overt screen presence, while Moffat jumped the shark by having the Doctor have a bizarre relationship with the daughter of his companions who grew up to be a stupid nymphomaniac version of Bernice Summerfield. Then he retconned his hugely annoying Mary Sue Clara back into the continuity of the show and made it so the Time Lords survived The Time War all along. Then he gave The Master a weird out of left field redemption arc that apparently killed them off at the end, leaving a gaping plot hole for any future writers who want to use The Doctor's recurring nemesis in a serious context. All Chibnall's had so far is a daft throwaway line about multiple grandmothers which future writers can just ignore.

And there you have the problem with any franchise featuring superhuman abilities: Eventually, you get to the point where people are either asking "Why didn't he do X to save the day" or "He always does X to save the day, it's boring".

My biggest problem with The Flash, at least with seasons 1-3, is that far to many times their problems are caused by one or more characters, usually Barry himself, doing something stupid.

And about Doctor Who, it's not as though the writing in series 1-10 was always perfect. I hated the ending of Series 9. I thought for once Moffat would have the balls to kill off a character and have it stick, but NOPE. But that wasn't the really annoying part. The really annoying part aside from the Doctor going on, what I felt was a really out of character rampage, was that when Clara was plucked out of time they made a big deal about how it would unravel the Universe if she was not returned. But at the end her and Astrid go off joyriding in their own TARDIS saying something like it'll be fine as long as she goes back eventually. Oh great so all that drama was for nothing then. Don't tell me that the writing in Series 11 was the worst ever when we had shit like that.

The Rogue Wolf:
And there you have the problem with any franchise featuring superhuman abilities: Eventually, you get to the point where people are either asking "Why didn't he do X to save the day" or "He always does X to save the day, it's boring".

Incidentally, this is why Jedi are my favorite heroes of all time.

They have to focus and concentrate to use their powers. In short, they have to constantly try. Superman can do ungodly things (usually that term is just a figure of speech) as easily as we can sneeze.

Hell, he can blow down buildings if he sneezes too hard.

Jedi have to maintain the connection with the force, they have to clear their mind to call on the Force. It doesn't work on everyone, Jedi Mind Tricks only work on the weak minded... they have just enough power to be supernatural, but it takes a lot to actually make it work.

Drathnoxis:
Shamus Young's talked about this sort of thing. He called it story collapse. When you get pulled out of a story you tend to think more and more about all the dumb contrivances than you otherwise would if you were enjoying yourself.

The next one, "overthinking zombies" is very much up the right alley for this topic as well.

Hawki:
Even Legends of Tomorrow deals with this, pointing out that they can't really do anything against Thawne because his speed pretty much has him on god mode.

Even so, they do thwart Eobard a few times where he should have won. Pointing a gun at a speedster shouldn't be much of a threat. I mean, I suppose I just accept that because havng a big bad with superspeed and a bunch of heroes...err...legends without makes the bad guy totally OP.

The crossovers, however, I'v always just shut my brain off for. I enjoy seeing Barry, Ollie, Kara, the Legends and their associated guests onscreen, but it's always kind of broken. It's hard to come up with a challenge where both Green Arrow and Sarah Lance are useful but where Supergirl and Flash are necessary. So even if Barry and Flash aren't fighting, there's often an element of "why is Oliver here?" that you just have to run with.

Same with the Avengers. It rarely makes sense that you need Bow Guy and Science Monster at the same time, but it can work if it's fun. I didn't enjoy Justice League as much because they literallhy make it a plot point that just about everyone is redundant with Superman on the job, and it's sort of what the zombie article mentions in terms of shining a light on something you don't need to think about.

And Age of Ultron kind of did the same thing by pointing out how squishy Legolas is, but I gave tht a little slack because of his speechifying towards the end. Not much, just...more than I would have if they had gone "we're all redundant because Hulk is here!"

Admittedly, I mostly give the movie a pass because RDJ and Spader get to snark at each other. They could have just been sitting in someone's basement leaning on a folding card table and I would have enjoyed it.

-Davros and the daleks popping up aren't retcons, but they do bug me

Davros' introduction to the series changes the origin of the Daleks as explained back in the Hartnell era. I believe in the first Daleks serial. That's what I was referencing.

same as with the Master and to an extent, Gallifrey. The daleks were meant to have been wiped out at the end of season 1 of NuWho. The Master was meant to get his redemption at 'The End of Time.' Davros was meant to have died on the Crucible. Gallifrey was meant to have been destroyed. Like, I get it, this is Doctor Who, these things have survived being dead before, but there comes a point where one wants certain characters/elements to stay dead.

I think the thing that bugs me most about the Daleks isn't so much plot holes, but plot overuse. Especially with how often we've seen the last Daleks in existence. I've made peace with the notion they'll never run out of Daleks, and I hope the show does one day, too.

Interesting you should mention the Crucible, though. That story only happens because Dalek Caan explicitly breaks into a time-locked event. The Doctor breaks into it at least once more, ostensibly altering his own personal timeline in "Day of the Doctor". These are also examples I don't mind so much because I enjoyed the stories. However...Davros does die a lot.

Something Amyss:

I didn't enjoy Justice League as much because they literallhy make it a plot point that just about everyone is redundant with Superman on the job, and it's sort of what the zombie article mentions in terms of shining a light on something you don't need to think about.

Yeah, that bugged me as well. I've stated that JL would have worked much better without Supes at all - that's not to say that Supes can't return, but the movie feels undermined by his presence. From a character standpoint, the other JL members are marginalized because resurrecting Supes becomes an objective in of itself. From an action standpoint, the final battle is undermined because Supes can just wipe the floor with Steppenwoolf.

And Age of Ultron kind of did the same thing by pointing out how squishy Legolas is, but I gave tht a little slack because of his speechifying towards the end. Not much, just...more than I would have if they had gone "we're all redundant because Hulk is here!"

Avengers has a similar problem, but I think the Avengers films pull this off slightly better than JL. In that:

-As you point out, Supes being OP is an actual plot point in JL. The closest thing to 'god mode' the Avengers has is the Hulk, and using him comes with his own set of risks.

-The Avengers are a bit more vulnerable than JL, least in the films. Stark's a guy in a suit, and otherwise mortal. Cap has significant mobility issues, and still has limits. They've got Thor, sure, but the JL has Wonder Woman and Aquaman, the former of which is the daughter of a god, the latter of which is a metahuman.

Interesting you should mention the Crucible, though. That story only happens because Dalek Caan explicitly breaks into a time-locked event. The Doctor breaks into it at least once more, ostensibly altering his own personal timeline in "Day of the Doctor". These are also examples I don't mind so much because I enjoyed the stories. However...Davros does die a lot.

I got the sense that in Day of the Doctor, it was iffy as to whether the Doctor had changed history, or whether this was what always happened - that Gallifrey had never been destroyed at all.

I prefer the second interpretation, at least if it's a must that Gallifrey return to the setting. Much as I like the episode in question, I'm far more iffy about Gallifrey and the Time Lords. Like, the daleks are still around, the Time Lords are still around, so what effect does the war have on the setting now apart from early references to species like the gelth?

Is it weird I got this far in my own thread without noticing a typo in the title? Whoops.

Hawki:

Avengers has a similar problem, but I think the Avengers films pull this off slightly better than JL. In that:

-As you point out, Supes being OP is an actual plot point in JL. The closest thing to 'god mode' the Avengers has is the Hulk, and using him comes with his own set of risks.

-The Avengers are a bit more vulnerable than JL, least in the films. Stark's a guy in a suit, and otherwise mortal. Cap has significant mobility issues, and still has limits. They've got Thor, sure, but the JL has Wonder Woman and Aquaman, the former of which is the daughter of a god, the latter of which is a metahuman.

And while it's arguably silly that Cap is on the same battlefield with Thor, they give him something to do with fits with his power level usually and they don't draw attention to it.

On top of them making Supes being necessary a plot point, they have multiple instances where they demonstrate the redundancy of other characters. Like when Flash is rescuing that family. It's easier to accept when the movie doesn't rub your face in it repeatedly.

I mean, the "slowpoke" scene is funny, but funny at the expense of the movie itself, because it renders a character pretty much completely redundant. And not a Batman or a Captain America, but a man who is too fast for the naked eye...SONIC THE HED...sorry, got carried away.

I saw complaints about inconsistent power levels in Infinity Wars, like the guy who survived being cooked by a star being on the same battlefield as Steve and T?halla, but even then, the momentum of the fight changes when he gets involved. Or even Iron Man vs Hulk when it comes to fighting Thanos...one is fighting smarter, and that seems to be the big differencer.. Is it strictly balanced? I don't know, someone's probably calculated the strongest feats of both characters, but...because they don't go "this is stupid!" I'm willing to accept it.

"Why didn't Thor do X" is another one which is interesting, because it fits with what Seth said in terms of meta knowledge. After Ragnarok, Thor took a serious level increase, and so him not being a megabadass in prior movies makes sense.

I got the sense that in Day of the Doctor, it was iffy as to whether the Doctor had changed history, or whether this was what always happened - that Gallifrey had never been destroyed at all.

I prefer the second interpretation, at least if it's a must that Gallifrey return to the setting. Much as I like the episode in question, I'm far more iffy about Gallifrey and the Time Lords. Like, the daleks are still around, the Time Lords are still around, so what effect does the war have on the setting now apart from early references to species like the gelth?

That's why I said "ostebsibly", because there's definitely wiggle room. So Ten says he's seen it burn, nd it's ambiguous because they establish that Time Lord memory gets fuzzy when it comes to recalling them crossing their own timeline. Did he see Gallifrey burn, or does he remember it from John Hurt's perspective? We don't know.

One ting that bugs the crap out of me, though, is that they do draw attention too the fact that they're in the time war and it shouldn't be possible. It's kind of like the Superman example to me, except...I guess they were damned if they said anything and damned if they didn't, because someone would be instead mad they didn't explain why the Doctor could suddenly interact with time-locked events.

The whole special makes me wonder if Moffat had planned this the entire time, and given how things turn out, it could have been so. that would mean that the Time Lords had always been there in his run, and none of this is a flaw in the timeline anyway.

Which, I suppose, is another reason I'll cut it some slack. But it's mostly Hurt, Tennant and Smith together. Granddad and sand shoes.

Hawki:
Yeah, that bugged me as well. I've stated that JL would have worked much better without Supes at all - that's not to say that Supes can't return, but the movie feels undermined by his presence. From a character standpoint, the other JL members are marginalized because resurrecting Supes becomes an objective in of itself. From an action standpoint, the final battle is undermined because Supes can just wipe the floor with Steppenwoolf.

This does strike to me as a poor writing choice more than the inclusion of Superman.

Steppenwolf has been trounced in other media prior (Including getting owned by Dan Turpin). But that's not even the issue. These group-up movies usually fall into the same gambit. Mega-baddie, hordes of duplicated minions, and a group of heroes that smacks around said minions so hard that it's really just a group up against one.

That's why I like movies like Spider-Man enter the Spider-verse. Mini-boss after Mini Boss after Mini Boss into one on one encounter. And through it, everyone had a special part to play.

The writers made Superman apart of everything. Recusing people, beating up Steppenwolf, pulling the Motherboxes apart.

It would have been a simple thing to write up a script that had Steppenwolf pull Superman into a World controlled by Darkseid with the machinery still there. Superman has to fight Lovecraftian horrors while Wonder Woman and Aquaman deal with and eventually get the upper hand on SteppenWolf. Flash and Batman have to fight off some Mini-Bosses who are trying to leading them away from Cyborg who needs to interface with the Motherbox still, who needs to consult with his father who is one of Earth's foremost authorities on it while protecting himself.

Cyborg gets over himself, trying to fight what happened to him with the original Motherbox and gives it in what he views as a sacrifice to save his planet. But from that, he finds out he still is him, just amplified.

Batman constantly encourages the Flash to be more than his fears. That whether he likes it or not, Fate chose Flash to be a hero of the Earth. Flash gets a little more serious and starts using more of the Speed Force, running short distances away to come back and build more momentum in his strikes. While that happens, Batman subdues the Mini Boss and makes him tell Batman where is Superman and how to get him back. Batman radios Cyborg to give him the update but Cyborg tells them they have bigger problems.

Steppenwolf, embarrassed that he is falling Darkseid, makes a bigger Boomtube that allows a Cthulhu-like creature step out on the earth. Steppenwolf boasts that the world is doomed and Wonder woman knocks him literally into the ground. Cyborg at this point gets a bead on Superman and boomtubes him back. Aquaman is calling down all types of lightning trying to get this thing's attention with Wonder woman jumping in his face and doing that Wrist explosion move. It's registering, but it's no where near enough.

Superman comes rocketing in as Flash runs Batman into the scene. Batman fills Supes in, and Supes flies to the monster. Batman turns to Flash to tell him something, but the Flash is gone.

Supes joins into laying into DCthulhu via his heat vision until he stops and he listens. Aquaman and Wonder Woman asks what's wrong, but Superman flies behind the monster and starts to keep him in place. Once again, the team asks him what he's doing, and Superman yells at them to trust him. He calls to Batman to see if Cyborg can open another boomtube back to the place this thing came from. Batman asks, but Cyborg tells him he can do even better. Supes then yells to punch it and they create a Boomtube that is sucking a lot of the debris in.

Everyone is straining to stay in place, but DCthulhu is starting to move away from the Boomtube of his own accord. Superman strains against the monster and finally yells "NOW, BARRY".

Infinite Mass Punch. Straight into DCthulhu's face. The blowback is immense. buildings are shattered, it literally knocks DCthulhu off of it's feet. To which Superman rolls with the momentum and tosses the thing into the Boom Tube. Where it finds itself on the planet of Apokolips, courtesy of Cyborg.

This is a bullshit treatment I typed out. I gave it two minutes thought after I said that the most boring thing about these movies is that they all just team up on the Big Bad. Everyone had a role to play. Everyone DID something all their own. There are ton of real writers out there that could have easily wrote something better than what I just spat out. Added more characters for the JL to fight against that weren't faceless jobbers, make more scenarios other than "Big bad over there, punch him hard". And they didn't do it. They made Superman into a literal Deus Ex Machina and the rest of the JL the chorus. And that's what makes the movie so bad.

It wasn't the inclusion of Superman that made everything so pointless. It's that they came up with a pointless scenario that Wonder Woman could have took care of herself, Aquaman, or possibly the Flash. This was a trifle that was made to be a big deal. I say this should have been the last fight of Wonder Woman, because it would have been just enough scale to show how Powerful she really is. And then we could have receivedn a real Invasion Force made up of any number of Darkseid's elite.

Something Amyss:
Overall point. Flash is really fast. But how fast he is tends to depends on how fast he needs to be for the plot.

The Flash is nothing if not a huge pile of contrivance, so much so that it basically became unwatchable for me. It's one thing to try and offer a lighter counterpoint to the mountains of modern superhero grittiness, but it's something else when you shoot so far in that opposing direction that the tether by which your audience is expected to hang on is stretched to its snapping point.

It's like the writers established that Barry is the "fastest man alive," but did so too soon, and have since been trying to sell us credibly that he's not fast enough. He can run fast enough to travel through time on a whim.... through TIME; he's fast enough, Jesus. Rather than writing interesting scenarios within which to apply his abilities, they hamstring the plot with "he needs to go faster." C'mon, fucker could probably stop four bullets fired in each of the cardinal directions at the same time; can't we just take that and do something more interesting with it than another montage of him trying to go faster by running laps in the large hadron collider thing-y in the lab's basement?? Or stop pitting him against/with speedsters who, according to the half-assed "canon" they've established, couldn't possibly be on his level, i.e.: you expect me to believe Kid Flash, a kid who got his super speed 12 minutes ago, is actually on par with a guy who just ran into the future for milk and eggs because the store closed an hour ago?

Give him a weakness that cripples his speed or the use thereof; didn't the Flash series from late '80's/early '90s stipulate that Barry had to eat exorbitant amounts to counteract his caloric burn? Or more situations that require his being in multiple places at nearly the same time, ANYTHING other than "faster." Their pseudoscience has already allowed for speeds impossible within our atmosphere much less reality; "more impossible" isn't better. I stopped watching after the first episode of the latest season (I think) when he had to "chase down" the jet-propelled samurai robot guy when it's already been established that Barry is more than capable of speeds far in excess of any physical thing man could create. Short of killing him during the deepest moment of a solid REM sleep, nothing should pose a physical threat to Barry, but DRAMA and REASONS!

Xprimentyl:

It's like the writers established that Barry is the ?fastest man alive,? but did so too soon, and have since been trying to sell us credibly that he?s not fast enough. He can run fast enough to travel through time on a whim?

\
To be fair, he was able to travel through time in season one at barely supersonic speed. I think part of this is that the writers have no concept of speed, though. Recently, he and Supergirl slowed ti e by raveling around the world in opposite directions...at just over mach 7.

I...uhhh...that makes sense..somehow.

The "gotta get faster" thing sort of makes sense against speedsters, but it does get annoying when Flash goes up against some regular shmoe and can't handle it.

Also, against later season big bads, speed should no longer be an issue.

Mosly what's kept me watching the show is I like the characters and don't so much care if the plots make sense. It's the reason I didn't like 3 so much,. Everything became bleak and almost all the characters were angsting constantly

The thing that bugged me most in The Flash was when regular people could just run away on foot. You know the deal. He has the villain, stands a small distance away talking, villlain does dastardly thing to distract the hero for a few seconds or knock down the hero, villain gets away. This works on Arrow when he's just a regular guy on foot. But the Flash is so fast he can break the sound barrier. He's so fast he can tear through reality. This should not work. There have been episodes where he has covered the entire city in, like, seconds. We have seen that time basically freezes when he goes super speed. There is no excuse that anyone without crazy super mobility can get away yet it always seemed to happen cause drama. The breaking point for me was in Season 3. The villain was a teenage girl who was telekinetic. It was the usual. He learns she exists, catches up to her in an alley, she distracts him by I believe throwing a car at some people. He saves the people, turns around and she's gone, goes DARN SHE ESCAPED, commercial break.

Fucking WHAT.

She's a teenage girl on foot with a very distinctive appearance. Yeah she threw a car but if Flash was moving fast that means at most only seconds have passed. She should be right around the corner. He's not hurt or disabled in any way, there's no reason he can't chase. But no, he just gives up. That felt like it happened all the time. This didn't bother me so much in the early seasons but as the writing quality degraded it felt less tolerable. The longer a show goes the more annoying the tropes get, and Flash is incredibly annoying if you're looking for any sort of power consistency.

Something Amyss:
I think part of this is that the writers have no concept of speed

Comic Sans:
... the writing quality degraded it felt less tolerable. The longer a show goes the more annoying the tropes get, and Flash is incredibly annoying if you're looking for any sort of power consistency.

^Both of these. You'd like to watch a show and legitimately wonder what the hero's going to do next, but in the Flash's case, you spend most of the time in-the-know that whatever the situation, whether a back alley hostage situation or supernatural, catastrophic event threatening the lives of millions, he's gonna fall just short, then spend the next half hour getting faster and/or travelling through time to fix it all at the last second. He's like rubberbanded AI in a shitty racing game: always "right behind" despite an assured victory. It's boring and stupid. The characters were interesting at first, agreed there, but as you suggested, their density and apparent willful ignorance got tiresome really quickly.

 

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