Is MCU Thor's fighting IQ low for someone with thousands of years of experience?

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Posted by KalKent (2870 posts) 11 days, 9 hours ago

Poll: Is MCU Thor's fighting IQ low for someone with thousands of years of experience? (106 votes)

Yes. 64%
No. 26%
Results. 9%
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#1 Edited by Bearderby (1194 posts) - - Show Bio

it the plot, he lived and fought for thousands of years and Cap is way more skilled than him

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#2 Posted by Amcu (17390 posts) - - Show Bio

More like the plot demands for him to be stupid.

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#3 Edited by TakenStew22 (4582 posts) - - Show Bio

Not really. Pre-Endgame he was a pretty decent fighter.

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#4 Posted by KalKent (2870 posts) - - Show Bio

Not really. Pre-Endgame was a pretty decent fighter.

I was kinda referring to him trying to go CQC which he clearly isn't good at and continues to get wrecked in rather than spamming his insanely op lightning or use his flight.

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#5 Posted by CJ_the_DJ (19 posts) - - Show Bio

@amcu said:

More like the plot demands for him to be stupid.

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#6 Edited by TakenStew22 (4582 posts) - - Show Bio

@kalkent said:
@takenstew22 said:

Not really. Pre-Endgame was a pretty decent fighter.

I was kinda referring to him trying to go CQC which he clearly isn't good at and continues to get wrecked in rather than spamming his insanely op lightning or use his flight.

I mean he did look pretty good in CQC when he fought Hulk.

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As for his lightning or flight, I guess I can understand that.

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#7 Posted by Wot_m8 (1912 posts) - - Show Bio

Thor has always been a brute and brawler. Being highly nimble or skilled is Cap's forte, not his.

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#8 Edited by Vengance101 (1833 posts) - - Show Bio

Wisdom does not necessarily increase with age, so I'd say no.

A brute is a brute, it's his character.

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#9 Posted by Unfavoredcharacter (100 posts) - - Show Bio

Honestly I can't take anyone in the MCU seriously.

OT: dude isn't exactly known for his skills, so I'd say he's pretty consistent.

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#10 Posted by AlexTheBoss (19108 posts) - - Show Bio

Realistically no. No matter how old you are, it is very unlikely for you to be some super master in combat. Super fancy moves don't really work that well in real combat. Now when it comes to movie characters then maybe, but even then Thor isn't a martial artist, so his combat level seems fine for what he is.

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#11 Edited by AbstractRaze (3152 posts) - - Show Bio

It's not that Thor's fighting skill is not proficient and experienced, he's sometimes cocky in general, whether MCU or Comics, but when something he considers valuable is in danger those pushing him to his limits, his true face is revealed.

The moment he beheaded Thanos, was the face of a warrior who killed endless of opponents for more than a millennia, a clean-cut, a cold gaze, eyes without a glance.

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#12 Posted by nn5 (668 posts) - - Show Bio

It kinda is. But I think it's because he probably used to fight fodder during his whole lifetime, and his raw power was enough to deal with all problems so he didn't have to use skill that much (he isn't so bad at skill though).

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#14 Posted by icec0ld (1516 posts) - - Show Bio

@unfavoredcharacter:

They all are the same character now. Marvel has progressively turned all their characters into Tony Stark. Watch their first films, all had distinct personalities. Natasha was quiet and very calculating, like she didn't trust anyone. Steve was very old fashioned and almost overly concerned with the well being of those around him. He was like a priest that could beat you up. Thor was impulsive and had a very dangerous vibe about him. He used to be very aggressive and proud. Now everyone acts like a teenager in adult bodies. They are all wise cracking, meta joke telling, near oblivious to the consequences of their actions, jerk Offs.

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#15 Posted by Mr_Shazam0920 (5764 posts) - - Show Bio

What AMCU said.

It isn’t that he’s not skilled. It as that the plot literally makes him fight stupidly. Otherwise by feats he would destroy all the opponents he’s faced.

The MCU isn’t like the DCEU. The DCEU shows idolized versions of their characters. They never show one of their own getting their ass kicked (save Aquaman, but that’s after the Snyder direction. Which ironically was their most successful movie). The MCU doesn’t follow such rules. They have no problems showing their heroes getting wrecked. But hey, that’s what we have grown to love and what makes the characters more relatable.

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#16 Posted by Unfavoredcharacter (100 posts) - - Show Bio

@icec0ld: honest. Like galactus could be in front on them getting ready to eat the earth and they'd still crack stupid one liners. It was funny at first, but after multiple movies of basically the same comedy I got sick of it. I'll never trust marvel if they mess up the new blade movie with dumb one-liners.

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#17 Posted by Blueshoecant (1574 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes sadly .. i can't believe Cap can put a good fight to Thanos than Thor or Hulk.

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#18 Posted by MetalJimmor (6766 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes. Though very few fictions portray someone with a thousand or more years of experience and training as being as competent as you'd expect from that time. Realistically he should be an incredibly skilled warrior with great tactical intelligence built from a thousand years of war and combat. In practice he's worse at close combat than 30 something year old (mentally) Captain America.

I tend to justify this in-universe by assuming Thor has never really had a serious fight in his thousand years before Thor 1. He had more than enough raw power to destroy anyone he fought. We saw what he did to the frost giants and those were his peoples' chief enemies. Even against other Asgardians he would've had an enormous advantage.

So Thor comes off as a spoiled noble who was given training in arms but never took it all that seriously because he knew he was largely untouchable and went into battle with an enormous advantage over his opponents. He didn't start taking fighting seriously until relatively recently when he got his butt handed to him by Kurse and realized he wasn't all that invulnerable after all.

Basically this is how I imagine 99% of Thor's battles went before the movies.

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#19 Posted by MarvelandDCfan24 (8021 posts) - - Show Bio

Thor has always been a brawler in comics and in the movies

Guys that wank Thor like xZone or Amcu like to think Thors this highly skilled martial artist when he is not

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#20 Posted by CocaColaMan (1487 posts) - - Show Bio

I’d say yes and no. Realistically, a thousand year old isn’t going to just train, train, train so they become some unimaginably skilled master. I mean, if you were a thousand year old and in prime physical condition, would YOU train like that? But at the same time, Thor has been shown as skilled. So clearly he’s supposed to be trained well.

But overall, I would say no. Especially since, as the above said, Thor was likely too strong to need skill anyway.

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#21 Edited by Yosefscion (557 posts) - - Show Bio

Sooo... Mjolnir. Is Hammer even an actual weapon? lol

Thor uses a construction tool as a weapon.

He's holding back... till he pulled out real-bladed-pointy-axe weapon.

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#22 Edited by Mee09 (6036 posts) - - Show Bio

@yosefscion: Well Thor's hammer isn't exactly this. But a Warhammer was a pretty deadly weapon. Particular the ones that had spikes on them. In the myth Thor's hammer legit killed anything it managed to hit in one strike. That was the power of the weapon. The only way to beat him was to essentially kill or stop him before he could hit you with the hammer.

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#23 Posted by Hatemetomorrow (30 posts) - - Show Bio

I say after a thousand years he basically just sticks with what works.

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#24 Edited by Six-Deuce (1776 posts) - - Show Bio

His skill levels and styles are schizophrenic. This is due to being written by different people with different agendas. He has some great skill feats, if he regularly fought the way he did in his arena fight we could safely call him a highly skilled fighter.

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#25 Posted by MalkavtheMaven (473 posts) - - Show Bio

I will be honest I dont know what fighting IQ means. You mean his skill as a fighter? He is fine. He is a brawler style fighter who uses heavy hitting blows to basically just overwhelm his enemies. He is not a grappler though and has shown that beings who can get under his guard can wreck him.

Honestly they need to give him an excuse to lose so they make him incredibly dumb in combat. But he is also just so resistant to harm or heals so damn fast that it really doesn't matter if he is not super skilled, what can they do to him?

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#26 Posted by darthvaderrocks (2635 posts) - - Show Bio

He's a idiot.

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#27 Posted by God_Spawn (43495 posts) - - Show Bio

I don’t think he’s been dumb in combat. Thor is a warrior, he revels in a good fight. That’s his pride. He’s shown proficiency with swords, gungnir, his fists, Mjolnir obviously, Stormbreaker and Mjolnir at the same time etc. He may not be busting out fancy flip moves all the time, but he showed he could duck and weave and jump around the Hulk, tangle with Hela for a period. He thought to destroy the rainbow bridge against Loki. As comical as it was, he tried the suns getting low against the Hulk. And he came up with the plan to resurrect Surtur.

I’m not really sure what you want to get at with he’s a low IQ fighter, but he’s shown to be insightful in battle when he’s not trying to overpower someone. He’s shown strategy and to be a skilled fighter with various weapons. He’s definitely leaning more towards brutish hits, but he’s skilled.

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#28 Posted by Magian (152955 posts) - - Show Bio

People tend to assume that just because someone is immortal or at least extremely long-lived, that he must be a tactical genius and a master of armed and unarmed combat. Don't think that's always the case.

Anyway, Thor has shown from time to time that he is rather skilled, it is just as others said that he tends to prefer more brutish ways of fighting because of his character.

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#29 Posted by The_Kidd (12532 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes, but I've assumed due to Thor overwhelming power he never needed to learn how to be creative or subtly.

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#30 Posted by SC (18217 posts) - - Show Bio

No, its appropriate for a fictional character in a team with characters that are less powerful than him, that also need to shine in various ways, and it fluctuates as necessary, as demanded by the plot or writers vision. Given Iron Man's feats he could probably write a software program that studies all the videos and media of martial arts, take into account body weight and size and create a formula of martial arts that can be downloaded into his brain making him an incredible fighter... but is he just a huge dum dum?

Superman's supposed memory feats, super speed, reading speed and learning speeds, also mean he could learn all the martial arts making him a gajillion vajillion times more effective, but does he just hate small children and doesn't want to improve?

Dr Strange could cast a spell and make a pact with the trans dimensional Ultra Spirit of Combat Spirit Warlock Higher Being and unlock his 616th Chakra and then learn the secret kung fu techniques that cure world hunger and cancer... but maybe he prefers people starving and dying or maybe he is a huge dummy.

Martian Manhunter could just increase the size of his brain using shapeshifting, amplifying his telepathic abilities to learn the secrets of the Universe to use to make his shapeshifting even stronger, expanding his brain to the size of the Universe where he realises he is actually the Universe and God and Everything, is he just incompetent though?

Why don't all these characters realise their potential and reach it? Why do they act and behave like fictional characters written by human writers? Why don't the writers care about feats, why do they focus so much on character and plot!! Ahhhhhh.

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#31 Posted by Kidolio (1560 posts) - - Show Bio

@sc: Yeah it can pretty frustrating at times but you know it’s necessary so you just say whatever and go with it.

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#32 Posted by SC (18217 posts) - - Show Bio

@kidolio said:

@sc: Yeah it can pretty frustrating at times but you know it’s necessary so you just say whatever and go with it.

Pretty much yeah. Even in comics, such things are going to be inconsistent. Thor's general skill and combat abilities tends to be emphasised in his solo stories, when he is outnumbered by powerful enemies, and I remember quite a few cool moments, in mini series as well, like when he was younger and didn't have his hammer yet, and he use to use a sword. Stories where he is the main protagonist and is tested in more ways and can demonstrate his skills in more ways.

To put in another way, Hawkeye wasn't really funny in the last two MCU Avengers movies, Infinity War or Endgame, but the character can be funny... just other characters were pulling the comedy weight, and his particular storyline focused on different emotions. However in the Hawkeye television show, he's probably going to get way more "humour" "feats", per that shows structure and plot.

These things affect all characters in all sorts of ways.

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#33 Posted by deactivated-5d53d556d4ed6 (11 posts) - - Show Bio

@amcu said:

More like the plot demands for him to be stupid.

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#34 Edited by MetalJimmor (6766 posts) - - Show Bio

@sc said:

Why don't all these characters realise their potential and reach it? Why do they act and behave like fictional characters written by human writers? Why don't the writers care about feats, why do they focus so much on character and plot!! Ahhhhhh.

This feels a bit dismissive of what is a perfectly valid criticism of the work. The bolded bit of your poking fun at it actually covers why questions like these get asked so often.

Naturally we all know these characters are fictional. But what is the main goal of any story teller? To make the audience forget they are being told something that isn't true, even if just for a little while. To immerse them in a story and in characters that feel real enough to get invested in. How do we achieve that? By making the characters act and behave as if they were real. At least within the confines of their world.

Fundamentally questions of "Why didn't X do the obvious thing?" are a product of someone, somewhere, having a lapse in immersion because the character did something that cracked that illusion of reality. Or otherwise experienced a case of Fridge Logic after the story was over that diminished the quality for subsequent viewings.

Thor being a thousand year old war veteran from a warrior culture and not being the best fighter in a group of young adult humans is a bit of a head scratcher. Based on his backstory he really should be, and if he isn't meant to be then why write his backstory in such a way? It might be a nitpick but it is a valid nitpick to be annoyed by.

Superman's supposed memory feats, super speed, reading speed and learning speeds, also mean he could learn all the martial arts making him a gajillion vajillion times more effective, but does he just hate small children and doesn't want to improve?

Funnily enough this has always bugged me about Superman. There is no good reason for a melee focused character who has already chosen a vocation in which he is constantly being engaged in mortal kombat to not try to improve his hand to hand proficiency. I understand why the writers might want to keep him unskilled but at the same time it is a gap in his character to leave him that way.

Though pre-52 Supes did learn some Kryptonian martial arts so it wasn't so bad.

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#35 Edited by Richubs (7154 posts) - - Show Bio

Captain America performed better with Mjolnir than Thor ever did in all these movies.

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#36 Posted by mtuske (3502 posts) - - Show Bio

He took down shield agents when depowered and has shown skill. They just don't like that character so he'll pretty much lose every major fight he's in. With his skill set he should beat Thanos every time without question.

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#37 Posted by Johndeyvido (408 posts) - - Show Bio

@richubs:

I don't think so chief. Thor Vs Surtur and his minions, he used his hammer in new effective and efficient manner.

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#38 Posted by Johndeyvido (408 posts) - - Show Bio

@mtuske:

Finally someone who gets it. His power set will literally wreck Thanos but for some reason he fights stupidly against him.

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#39 Posted by Mekboy (2818 posts) - - Show Bio

In Endgame, most definitely.

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#40 Posted by i_like_swords (26356 posts) - - Show Bio

Martial arts as we know them are a product of homo sapien innovation. There is a very scientific and mechanical component to them.

Asgard is in many ways a fundamentally different kind of civilization from those on earth, in a very different realm. They have innovated in ways that the earth was unable to, but in terms of martial arts skills, they seem to be lagging behind.

Thor is not a bad fighter. He has lots of good skill feats. Stomping a bunch of SHIELD agents while depowered, outmaneuvering the Hulk, beating Loki etc all come to mind. Is he as skilled as Cap? No, not by a longshot. He's not even as skilled as Hawkeye, in fact he's probably worse than the Punisher in terms of raw skills. In fact some fellow Asgardians are probably more skilled than him. That's simply because of the nature of the challenges he faces and his particular powerset. He's mostly a powerhouse who solves his problems by causing massive amounts of destructive force, summoning lightning, throwing his hammer etc. Being amazing at Krav Maga wouldn't really help Thor that much in destroying 20 foot tall monstrosities. Cap is obviously different, given the more human nature of the threats he faced, being highly skilled in martial arts is something he was forced to adapt to.

I like how we're pretending any of this makes sense either way.

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#41 Posted by SC (18217 posts) - - Show Bio

@metaljimmor: "This feels a bit dismissive of what is a perfectly valid criticism of the work."

Then you misunderstand or alternatively my point wasn't clear, so let me attempt to rephrase. As its not so much dismissiveness of criticism, its a rejection of a premise of a question/poll options. Where or what is the OP's criticism?

"Naturally we all know these characters are fictional."

I've met users on this website who have flirted with spambots and attempted one sided conversations with them. I am always careful about when I say "we" but sure, I agree with, but what does that mean exactly? Sure I generally consider that there aren't any users who actually believe that these are real breathing entity's, but can we consider the creative variables that come with a character being fictional? As opposed to leaning too deeply into the idea that everything should revolve around an attribute they have as if it wasn't determined by aforementioned creative processes?

"But what is the main goal of any story teller? To make the audience forget they are being told something that isn't true, even if just for a little while."

Disagreed. That can be one goal sure, but its more complex and nuance than that, because such goals are multiple, variable, and diverse. They can also overlap.

"Thor being a thousand year old war veteran from a warrior culture and not being the best fighter in a group of young adult humans is a bit of a head scratcher. Based on his backstory he really should be"

In the context you just tried to establish, sure, in the context I alluded to, not necessarily. In Thor's own universe, he is surrounded by warriors like Tyr who are much older and at times alluded to fulfilling a similar role to Thor, before Thor existed. Yet when Thor fights him, they are written more like a protagonist and antagonist. What's the in story reason? How about the in story reason why Ares use to get beaten up all the time, when he was a Thor villain but started getting cooler moments when he was a protagonist/Avenger? Whats the in story reason Thor fights like Glory one day but then struggles with Mongoose the next? I mean, there are a few in story reasons... Thor holds back... but the actual answer is all to do with creative fiction ideas and practices. Stan Lee once famously explained that when heroes fight each other in his writing of them, he tries to make them both look good, no matter the who they were.

Thor's fighting stances in comics and how he uses his hammer? All revolves around a single artistic principle, in which, you try to always include/focus on a characters iconic imagery. Thor never holds his hammer to be the most efficient warrior or fighter, he holds it so that we the viewer can see Mjolnir prominently. I mean, if we start to go down the rabbit hole of criticisms... but generally speaking for a comic, creating dynamic and interesting art where you can recognise characters quickly is more important that historic accuracy regarding the best and most effective way for a warrior to use a magical hammer assuming they have strength that allows them to lift over hundreds of thousands of tons.

If Thor was the main character... maybe, but in a team scenario, characters get written in a way for various effects/balances. One of my favourite characters Rogue, has dozens and dozens of moments over decades, where she absorbed the powers of 3 or 4 characters and then saved the day/looked super awesome... but then their are hundreds more moments where she just runs in without absorbing anyone, and hist her head and falls over, or she absorbs 1 person and is ineffective or she absorbs 10 people but doesn't actually seem that impressive or creative... well yeah, often its just the creativity of the writer, and they aren't writing the comic under the idea that Rogue is using her powers to save the day, they are writing her to have a moment before another character has their moment... based on a lot of characters backstories, a lot should happen, but doesn't.

"It might be a nitpick but it is a valid nitpick to be annoyed by."

It doesn't have to be a nitpick. I'm not telling people to kneel before Marvel writers and just accept to their will. I complain and criticise comics all the time. I actually think its super valid for people to be annoyed... at the writing. The writers, the artists, the editors etc etc what's not effective is blaming the characters. Contrast is Thor dumb with why do Marvel writers (or in this case specifically MCU directors, writers), depict MCU Thor's battle prowess so inconsistently or so lacking? I mean, that reason is sort of similar, they and the majority of their assumed audience don't really care that much/care about other elements. Still. Also as mentioned above, it can be a valid criticism/nitpick... but like my examples, this happens to pretty much every character!

Many creative writers of a certain age tend to overly romanticise eastern martial arts, as the way to show a character is proficient with fighting. Flowery, pretty, movements and stances, A few exceptions like Captain America, but not as much enthusiasm with showing more effective, direct, fighting styles, that might look more rough, but is effective. Hercules invented Pankration, Eternals are old too, given how many conflicts Galactus has been in, you'd have to figure he has picked up some ways to better focus his energies/offence and yet... plus as mentioned Rogue, Superman. Then being an effective fighter doesn't requite thoughtfulness... intuition on its own... even Hulk, should be adapting a better fighting style, thats more ground based, and should involve more ground disruptions, so he can better pounce on enemies to smash into them (as opposed to smashing them away creating distance) - we could go though probably most Marvel and DC characters and point out ways they should be behaving but don't because... reasons.

"Funnily enough this has always bugged me about Superman. There is no good reason for a melee focused character who has already chosen a vocation in which he is constantly being engaged in mortal kombat to not try to improve his hand to hand proficiency. I understand why the writers might want to keep him unskilled but at the same time it is a gap in his character to leave him that way.

Though pre-52 Supes did learn some Kryptonian martial arts so it wasn't so bad."

Yeah Superman learning Kryptonian Martial arts I liked. When Spider-man did as well, that was cool. My personal minor nitpick, is when characters like Superman, Thor, Hulk, Hercules, Captain Marvel etc etc strike enemies upwards... and send them flying. Looks cool, but also creates unnecessary distance and whilst that might hurt them, what would be way more effective, would be keeping them close, and immobilising them, using their strength with resistance (even if that resistance is also their own strength, like holding them with one arm, and punching them with the other) like imagine Superman clinching Mongul and knee striking him over and over?

I mean, the reasons are fairly legit. Its not as dynamic as Superman sending a villain through 10 walls and seeing a little light/wind trail. Plus it would make Superman more competent, and then say what happens to Darkseid? Either he gets more durable/stronger to still be a threat to Superman, or Darkseid has to start studying up on Muay Thai or something... which would seem weird, and then a more powerful Darkseid... well how does he interact with Flash, Wonder Woman, Orion? Can't the Flahs use the speedforce to like... learn SpeedForce Fu or something?

I mean... if I wrote a comic book, I would try and write the characters to what I would consider their natural paths of development... but it would be a niche book that no one would buy so... **shrugs**

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#42 Posted by christianrapper (6524 posts) - - Show Bio

Not really. He just fights according to the plot’s needs. He rarely ever uses his lightning powers at all when he fights nor does he utilize his flight powers.

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#43 Posted by Crater_Maker (192 posts) - - Show Bio

He’s not a bad fighter he just relies more on his Power than anything. His fight with Hela in the throne room was a great showing.

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#44 Posted by Richubs (7154 posts) - - Show Bio

@johndeyvido:

It was not really very impressive honestly. He has been weilding that thing for thousands of years now.

Cap's combos with it were too impressive.

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#45 Edited by ANTHP2000 (30468 posts) - - Show Bio

If he actually fought smart using all his powers and abilities effectively, literally everyone of his films post-Thor 1 would have been easier for him.

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#46 Posted by ThanonsiKhan (9 posts) - - Show Bio

@icec0ld said:

@unfavoredcharacter:

They all are the same character now. Marvel has progressively turned all their characters into Tony Stark. Watch their first films, all had distinct personalities. Natasha was quiet and very calculating, like she didn't trust anyone. Steve was very old fashioned and almost overly concerned with the well being of those around him. He was like a priest that could beat you up. Thor was impulsive and had a very dangerous vibe about him. He used to be very aggressive and proud. Now everyone acts like a teenager in adult bodies. They are all wise cracking, meta joke telling, near oblivious to the consequences of their actions, jerk Offs.

@icec0ld: honest. Like galactus could be in front on them getting ready to eat the earth and they'd still crack stupid one liners. It was funny at first, but after multiple movies of basically the same comedy I got sick of it. I'll never trust marvel if they mess up the new blade movie with dumb one-liners.

Gotta love that MCU Formula!!! Endgame was a comedy despite what the trailers led is on to believe and Black Widows sudden change in character was hilarious. Crying and cracking one liners with... Emotion lol

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#47 Posted by modernww2fare (7397 posts) - - Show Bio

If he actually fought smart using all his powers and abilities effectively, literally everyone of his films post-Thor 1 would have been easier for him.

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#48 Posted by MAZAHS117 (13417 posts) - - Show Bio

Plot..it is a bitch. Technically guys like Thor and Superman would never need help, because they possess enough power/abilities to make most of the other heroes irrelevant on their teams. But for story purposes you can’t go and always write them in a way they just going around soloing everyone (with the exception of DCEU Superman in JUSTICE LEAGUE, because that’s exactly how they write Clark) because it makes everyone useless.

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#49 Posted by Ghostodoofus2 (2039 posts) - - Show Bio

Comic Thor has had dumb moments too.

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#50 Edited by MetalJimmor (6766 posts) - - Show Bio

@sc:

Then you misunderstand or alternatively my point wasn't clear, so let me attempt to rephrase. As its not so much dismissiveness of criticism, its a rejection of a premise of a question/poll options. Where or what is the OP's criticism?

Ahh, I see from the rest of your post the point you were trying to make. Not so much that being annoyed at the writing for making Thor less proficient than he should be but more at being annoyed at Thor as a fictional character with no real agency of their own.

Sure I generally consider that there aren't any users who actually believe that these are real breathing entity's, but can we consider the creative variables that come with a character being fictional? As opposed to leaning too deeply into the idea that everything should revolve around an attribute they have as if it wasn't determined by aforementioned creative processes?

Whenever I discuss fictional characters like this I always approach it from the perspective of being a writer myself so I suppose I have a habit of assuming everyone does just that. The characters aren't real so obviously criticism about their behavior is being levied at the people behind the character, not the character themselves. In the same vein I always refer to my characters by their names when I talk about them even though I know I am ultimately the one making all their decisions for them.

So when I see someone say "Why is Thor stupid?" I automatically read it as "Why is Thor written to be stupid?"

Also as mentioned above, it can be a valid criticism/nitpick... but like my examples, this happens to pretty much every character!

True, but that doesn't necessarily make it not worth discussing. At the very least I have fun talking about things like this because it can be engaging and give me ideas for my own stories.

Yeah Superman learning Kryptonian Martial arts I liked. When Spider-man did as well, that was cool. My personal minor nitpick, is when characters like Superman, Thor, Hulk, Hercules, Captain Marvel etc etc strike enemies upwards... and send them flying. Looks cool, but also creates unnecessary distance and whilst that might hurt them, what would be way more effective, would be keeping them close, and immobilising them, using their strength with resistance (even if that resistance is also their own strength, like holding them with one arm, and punching them with the other) like imagine Superman clinching Mongul and knee striking him over and over?

Yah, I've noticed that too. Sending Zod flying away doesn't really help Superman. Grappling would be a way more effective martial style for Superman. A lot more in-line with his personality too, since he doesn't want to hurt his enemies usually. He just wants to subdue them.

Though I could also see Superman naturally being inclined to a more ranged style of combat. Lots of striking to keep his enemy airborne where he has the advantage due to his enormous speed and flight and where he can make full use of his heat vision, freeze breath, and super intelligence.

Or he could try to alternate between the two strategies depending on who he is fighting. Who themselves would be trying to do the opposite and force Clark into an unfavorable position.

I mean, the reasons are fairly legit. Its not as dynamic as Superman sending a villain through 10 walls and seeing a little light/wind trail. Plus it would make Superman more competent, and then say what happens to Darkseid? Either he gets more durable/stronger to still be a threat to Superman, or Darkseid has to start studying up on Muay Thai or something... which would seem weird, and then a more powerful Darkseid... well how does he interact with Flash, Wonder Woman, Orion? Can't the Flahs use the speedforce to like... learn SpeedForce Fu or something?

Not as dynamic, sure. But you could make it dynamic. Say if each one of Superman's strikes created a huge shockwave. Mongul would logically be a skilled fighter as well and be able to do a reversal and just bullrush Clark through a dozen buildings while pummeling him up close. You can get creative with it.

Getting creative with fighting styles would enrich the whole setting, in my opinion. It would be more work but it would give the high tiers more varied move sets and approaches to battle. Battle shonen do this all the time and it is a huge part of what makes their action sequences extremely diverse and interesting. More modern Battle shonen also tend to have every move their characters make be calculated as some part of a greater strategy which makes every fight feel super satisfying to watch as they are using their powers as best they can with the knowledge they have.

There's room in Western works for that too, I feel.

Also just for the fun of discussion:

Darkseid: I could see something like muay thai. Obviously it wouldn't actually be muay thai. He'd have some Apokalyptian martial art he probably invented. But since inventing an entire alien martial arts system isn't feasible basing it off a combination of muay thai and other highly kinetic striking martial arts would work. Contrast with Superman wanting to grapple I could see Darkseid just delivering a constant beat down and smashing his opponent through buildings constantly as a pure show of force and to create range for his Omega Beams.

Wonder Woman: Already a warrior goddess with good reason to be a top tier martial artist. I'd say justifiably better than Supes just because her actual martial experience gives her an edge over his mostly academic super speed learning. Especially when you add in her gear.

Flash: Honestly has the best excuse to not train in MA that much given his fighting style is more hit and run than stand and fight. Still, he could pick up some kick boxing to improve his punches. With his speed he'd take "Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee" to an entirely new level.

I mean... if I wrote a comic book, I would try and write the characters to what I would consider their natural paths of development... but it would be a niche book that no one would buy so... **shrugs**

I dunno, My Hero Academia is doing really well in terms of readership and it does exactly what we're talking about. Obviously there are other factors to that but the core premise is a bunch of aspiring heroes developing their own unique fighting styles based on their abilities and personalities so they can fight to the best of their ability.