Beast_in_the_Shadows's forum posts

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#1 Posted by Beast_in_the_Shadows (433 posts) - - Show Bio

I guess my biggest problem with adding all those other creatures (otherworldly or mythical realms) is that he is already limited my time on a page. Because of this he will only ever get to transform into so many things as is. Most writers already barely scratch the surface with all the animals they could have him transform into, why water that number down even more by adding aliens and myths to the roster...

Look at it this way. In Felicia Hendersen's horrendous run Gar hardly ever turned into a natural animal because she filled so much of his panel time with Dragon, Phoenix, Centaur and the like. When most writers already only use a handful of animal forms, I feel variety should be achieved first by reaching into more of the unused animals before already dipping into fake things.

Another problem is the fact that so many mythical or DC aliens are so powerful, that if he could turn into them, there would be no reason for himi to ever try anything else. Why transform into a T-rex for bites, a pteranodon for flight or a Brachiosaurus for size and reach when you can turn into a dragon who has all three. Why turn into any animal if you can turn into a Kryptonian? Why ever change back to human when you can be an immortal Phoenix? The point being that with natural animals they all have about one or two elements where they excel, but they all have their own limitations, forcing Gar to think on his feet and transform into new things on a case by case basis.

As for his characterization, Gar get a lot of development, the only problem is that it always gets wiped clean the next time someone takes over the pen. If you want some good stories for him, I would recommend the Beast Boy mini series, Geoff Johns' run of Teen Titans, or J T Krul's run of Titans.

However, if you like Beast Boy the way he was in YJ, then I'm sorry to tell you, there aren't any stories of him like that. Changed origin, changed character (heck they even changed his natural eye and hair color) that character was Beast Boy in name only.

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#2 Edited by Beast_in_the_Shadows (433 posts) - - Show Bio

The monkey didn't give him his powers. The monkey had a disease called Sakutia, or the green fever. The common trait of this disease was that it turned any creature infected with it green. In addition any human who contracted it would die. However humans were the only animals who Sakutia was fatal to.

Gar's parents were both anthropologist working on the human genome project. When Gar contracted the disease they knew he would die soon so they tried something drastic. They injected Gar with a serum designed to bridge the gap between human genetics and the other members of the animal kingdom, then bombarded him with a low level of radiation to act as a catalyst. It was this intention procedure that gave him his powers, the virus and the green coloration it caused had nothing to do with it. Theoretically the same procedure could be done to someone who was uninfected and they would gain the same powers without being of an altered coloration.

Anyway, that was all his older origin (and not completely his original one) His new origin was slapped together as an afterthought and retains no originality what-so-ever.

I'll admit that your responses further and further confuse me. You say you like Gar as a character, but you think his powers aren't enough then you say you think he has never been characterized well. If you don't like his powers and don't like his characterization, what exactly do you like about him? I'm not asking this to be judgmental or to put you down as a fan, but because i am genuinely confused. It kind of feels like you want a character who is drastically different from Gar in most all regards, but still call him Beast Boy?

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#3 Edited by Beast_in_the_Shadows (433 posts) - - Show Bio

First off, if you are saying Beast Boy needs mythical/alien forms to be competitive, then you must also boost all the Bat family, Spider-man, any street level character ever because there are natural creatures who can outclass or match any physical feat that those other heroes can accomplish.

Batman doesn't need more powers because he works within his limitations, find a clever way to win and comes through on top. That's why he is more interesting and entertaining than Superman who wins every fight by punching a little harder than his equally ridiculously strong opponent.

I think you are underestimating all the interesting and incredibly helpful abilities Beast Boy can already tap into with real animals. I had this same kind of discussion with another friend before and I challenged him to think of any DC opponent he thought was too much for an "animal limited" Beastboy couldn't face and I would retort with all the ways a cleverly written Beast boy could either defeat or hold his own. Aside from the biggest of the big (Darkseid and such, who are frankly too big to even justify Gar facing on his own) I was able to convincingly retort how Gar could win.

One of my favorite examples was when my friend suggested Amazo. Now, someone who doesn't know animals might think that Gar would have to be a Dragon to even approach Amazo, but I suggested the possibility of Gar becoming a bombardier beetle. The Bombardier Beetle has the ability to mix and weaponize hydrogen peroxide. Instead of punching Amazo really hard, Gar could carefully create a small breach in Amazo's outside casing then transform into the beetle, fly in and dissolve his circuitry from the inside. No monsters, aliens or hybrids needed. Just clever use of what animals already have and Gar has defeated a character who can go toe to toe with a whole group of Leaguers at once.

You say monsters and such advance his character, but I feel they do the exact opposite. They don't make his character more interesting, they just make his powers obviously greater so his character doesn't have to rise up beyond it. His powers might get more respect if he turns into awe-inspiring things like a phoenix, but Gar himself gains more respect when he beats the big bad as something as unassuming as a regular animal.

Also, you asked "a human is an animal, why can't he turn into one" He already is, human is his default... I think one of the problems here is that of the origin of his powers. The origin I subscribe to is the one where his parents encoded him with the templates of animal genetic codes. This is where they were trying to bridge the gap between the human genome and other creatures from the same genetic poole in hopes of helping Gar survive a disease that only was fatal to humans. They didn't give him any more human information as he was already human and humanity was frankly the problem. Because of this, the only human information he has in him is his own.

Now, you bring up Young Justice, and that is a whole other can of worms. Gar's powers in that show were martian. He received a blood transfusion from a martian and gained their ability for shape shifting. Martian shape shifting works in the cosmetic only. This is to say that they do not transform into a genetic version of what they are turning into, but the stretch, twist and warp their outsides to reflect their desire object. genetically they are still Martian. I remember a few times where J'onn was in disguise and made out because some one could still smell he was martian.

You mentioned the cuttlefish and that is interesting because chepalopods (octopi, squids and the like) approach transformation in the same sense that Martians do. They are able to shrink, extend and otherwise manipulate their appearance to match a surfaces texture, color and such. However, they never undergo any kind of genetic change. The transformation was skin deep and beyond that they are still the same animal. Because of this, Gar can look at something and stretch himself to mimic it's appearance, but that makes him a Martian affiliate instead of his own thing which he used to be.

As for his New 52 origin which was so bland and cookie cutter that I don't even acknowledge it.

Now with dragons, everything I've read on them almost always mentions them being magical beings. They weren't a lizard that then gained a magic ability, but that they were magically imbued (by who is anyone's guess) to begin with. That's why so many stories focus on gaining parts of a dragons hide to make use of it's magic. But whatever all of that is left for what ever a person wants to believe. Until DC goes on record on the biology of their universes dragons (and by extension, all mythic creatures) such an argument will always be a stalemate.

In the end, it may all just boil down to tastes and when you started reading, but I think his earlier origins were far more interesting and also something that was completely unique to him. Further some might find a battle with one big thing punching another big thing far more entertaining than watching a clever David fend off a monstrous Goliath.

Whatever the case, Gar is plagued with inconsistancy. Some writers like Johns limited him to natural creatures. Some like Hendersen had him turn almost exclusively into mythic beasts. And even Wolfram had him turn into an alien once (tho he went on record as saying it was just as a plot device that he couldn't see a way around) In the end, until DC buckles down and says "this is exactly what it is until we decide to rewrite our universe again" it's all down to preferences.

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#4 Edited by Beast_in_the_Shadows (433 posts) - - Show Bio

Cy is considerably bigger than the others in the show, I could see them selling the other 4 in two packs. Starfire and Robin, then Raven and Beast Boy. Or sell them separate but give them more props. Like Star could Have Silkie and Beast boy could have his dancing cat self.

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#5 Posted by Beast_in_the_Shadows (433 posts) - - Show Bio

My argument against Dragons, Phoenixs and the like would be that their abilities are not biological, but magic in nature. Breathing fire, resurrection and any other otherworldly ability that these mythological creatures exhibit is through a magical imbuement and not through some marvel of biochemistry. If the DC universe was one of no magic what-so-ever then any dragon that might appear would of course have to be some creature, resembling a dragon but still abiding by natural laws. However magic is definitely a thing in the DC universe and there are creatures who accomplish there feats solely because they were enchanted or straight up born through magic in the first place.

Under this assumption, I would say anything magical must be left out of Gar's realm of abilities as his origin had nothing to do with magic (and I'm not even counting his New 52 origin since it was some of the laziest writing I've seen in recent stories)

From a story stand point i also find the addition of mythical creatures to make him far too bland. Whenever a character is too powerful they get incredibly boring without the right checks and balances put in place. Thing become too easy for them and every one of their battles go the same way.

I prefer Beast Boy limited only to natural animals because then every form he has has very distinct limits and they are all very mortal. The limits on his powers means he has to think on his feet and every battle needs to be customized by who he is up against. The animal kingdom already has an almost unfathomable arsenal of unique abilities to tap from that Gar should never really need a mythological creature. The only problem with this is that Gar's powers are only as effective as the author's knowledge on animal abilities.

Writers who don't know how impressive and versatile the animal kingdom is are usually the ones who think he isn't powerful enough and in turn have him turning into giant bugs or Dragons and such. If he were to be written by some one with a more than passing knowledge of animals he would not only be just as effective, but far more interesting as he would be fighting within his limitations (along the lines of say Spider-man) rather than pulling from a grab bag of unstoppable powers a la Superman.

As for your point on him becoming other people. I would also say this is out of his powers as well. I believe he is still limited by the uniqueness of DNA. Yes he is human, but his DNA is still radically different from any other person. I would say the same applies for all his other forms. When he transforms into a tiger, he isn't looking at a tiger and copying that particular specimen from sight, rather he is turning into his own unique tiger. This is to say that all his animal forms would be an analogues version of his human form. If he is shorter than average humans, he will be smaller than the average for whatever animal he is turning into by the equivalent degree.

My argument to back this up is that, to turn into an exact copy of something he would need knowledge of it's unique DNA and then he would need the knowledge of how to change his own into that in a split second. Rather I feel (at least with his older origin) that Beast Boy was implanted with the template of every animal. Then when he wants to transform, he thinks of that animal and it translates his DNA into fitting that template. Meaning that his genetic code would still be unique to him, just structured and modified to fit the desired template.

As for half-way transformations or any kind of chimera of existing animal parts, I would say this should be out of his abilities as well as it would take far too much knowledge for him to execute and survive. Every animal exists in a very delicate state of balance. It's insides are structured specifically for it to live in the shape it is in. Say Gar were to try and transform his arms into Gorilla arms for a power punch but keep all the rest of him the same. A human heart would not be able to sustain the blood flow and pressure needed for such arms. So, now he has to change his heart, however the vessels in a human circulatory system are built for the pressure supplied by a human heart. Once he changes his heart to accommodate his gorilla arms, he now burst every vessel in his body. So, now he needs to change his entire circulatory system, but all the organs in the human body are designed to fit a human circulatory system in it, so to increase the strength and size of the vessels would strain the tissues and organs fitting around them... In the end, Gar would have to change everything about his body (on a moments notice) to make such a transformation and survive. And I don't think many characters in the DC universe have the intelligence to pull off such a feat, much less Gar.

Lastly, and this isn't a criticism just a heads up, that picture you included with the red Tyrannosaurus isn't Gar. It is a Marvel character called Devil Dinosaur, Spider-man being in the picture is a pretty good give away for that :)

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#6 Posted by Beast_in_the_Shadows (433 posts) - - Show Bio

This series never disappoints.

I feel Donnie being able to best Karia can be attributed to motivation and duration of the battle. First, the battle didn't last as long as the big ones between her and Leo. In a longer battle against Donatello, Karai would have realized why she was screwing up and adapt. The main reason was motivation and goal. Karai was motivated by revenge and was targeting April. The revenge makes her judgement suspect and April being her focus gave her tunnel vision. Donnie was motivated by protecting April and his goal was keeping Karai away from her. Thanks to this he not only got the strength and reflex boost one gets when defending someone they care for, but he also was able to focus fully on Karai, while Karai needed to focus on her target (April) and the constant obstacle (Donnie)

As for Kasey, this episode just builds on the foundation they gave him earlier. He wasn't completely there last time, but in this episode all the seeds of what we know Casey to be were visible. I do feel that him besting all those droids with no professional training was a bit of a stretch tho. If the battle had ended quickly, him acing on his home field advantage and the droids not adapting yet I would have bought it, but he landed the final blow some time after the turtles had dispatched with both Karai and Chrome dome. Still, very small gripe and the only thing I could even find fault with in this episode.

Also, internet people... Nyan Donatello... This episode gave it to you, make it a thing.

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#7 Posted by Beast_in_the_Shadows (433 posts) - - Show Bio

I love how they worked in a joke about the turtles being aliens.

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#9 Edited by Beast_in_the_Shadows (433 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n: First, logic aside i am talking about writers planting plot points. Unless they were aiming to make Donnie into a chump who settles for being friendzoned, then I doubt they would have devoted so much screen time to the idea.

Second, you are basis this purely on a case of species, on the assumption that one is a mutant and the other isn't. Donnie certainly is a mutant, but we know that April (in this series) isn't standard human. DNA unique enough for the Krang to recognize it amongst all the samples supplied by her school, ability to hear the tech orb (talking) when no one else does, and an immunity to to Krang water that dissolves Earth pizza in a manner of seconds.

If we are basis this purely on species, then Donnie and Casey might be a better match for each other since we know they are at least both from Earth. (Joke of course, internet don't take that to heart)

Lastly, she is voiced by Mae Whitman and Nickelodeon likes setting her up with guys who use staves ;)

@tigerkaya: J'hanna actually dates back to the original comics. I'd be fine with her getting introduced to the show as well, but she is always a one shot story character, so it would still end pretty sad for Don lol

@w0nd: Let's see. Roger Rabbit, Animaniacs, Disney's Beauty and the Beast... If it is done innocent enough audiences usually don't care. Besides it wasn't completely one-sided. It was certainly more obvious on Dons part, but it was clear that April had a sweet spot for Donnie. Maybe not romantic, but an affection non-the-less. He was the one she confided in, he was the one to always get the hugs, heck his caller id image she used on her Shell-phone said "Donnie Boy" and had lots of clip art flowers and things added to it.

Just saying the writers would add all this stuff if we weren't supposed to take note of it.

I'd be all for Donnie learning this lesson, I'm just saying that the plot point bread crumb suggest otherwise.

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#10 Edited by Beast_in_the_Shadows (433 posts) - - Show Bio

I kept scrolling down the list... Roll after roll not seeing an issue for Teen Titans... each roll brining more hope, more relief...

... Then about halfway down I finally found it and my hopes of the title being cancelled so the character destruction could end were dashed...

Oh well, there's always March, I suppose.