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ART!

Legend
Usually during that period characters didn't go through quite that many backflips, though (in the last decade or so, this appears to be less true).
I think you're right. It's the lesser characters who suffer this the most; because they have less presence in the public eye and less prominence on (in this case) Marvel's roster, creators continue to mess with different approaches to the character.

With Moon Knight, a big factor that feeds this is the supernatural part of his background. On top of that, he has some kind of disassociative identity disorder. Given all of that, it's not surprising he's been through more interpretations than a lot of other characters.
 

I... totally disagree. Comics have always been a freakin' soap opera.

Its not the soap opera I'm talking about. As you say, that's often been true. But a major character going through that much "lose power, gain new powers, cut back the new powers" tango for an extended period was not typical of the time.
 

I think you're right. It's the lesser characters who suffer this the most; because they have less presence in the public eye and less prominence on (in this case) Marvel's roster, creators continue to mess with different approaches to the character.

I'm not sure even team book members tended to go through that many cycles of change during the period. At least no others come to mind. You had the case of Captain America doing some identity changes, but barring the presence or lack of the shield, he didn't change abilities much. Iron Man changed power sets somewhat, but it was almost always an upward trend, and part of his gig was "the guy who makes his own powers and is always working on them." The next closest I can think of (and its probably not a surprise this is a big part of where Carol's swings went) were a couple people in the X-books.

With Moon Knight, a big factor that feeds this is the supernatural part of his background. On top of that, he has some kind of disassociative identity disorder. Given all of that, it's not surprising he's been through more interpretations than a lot of other characters.

Moon Knight was always at the periphery of my reading experience, so I don't feel qualified to comment.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
Its not the soap opera I'm talking about. As you say, that's often been true. But a major character going through that much "lose power, gain new powers, cut back the new powers" tango for an extended period was not typical of the time.
I think the Fantastic Four, particularly Mr. Fantastic and the Thing, might have something to say about that. So might Banshee, Storm, and Ant-Man, (or Giant Man, or Yellowjacket)?
 

I think the Fantastic Four, particularly Mr. Fantastic and the Thing, might have something to say about that. So might Banshee, Storm, and Ant-Man, (or Giant Man, or Yellowjacket)?

I don't recall either Reed or Ben changing powersets much during the period I'm talking about (unless you're talking about the incessant "We've cured Ben! No we haven't!" cycle). Hank Pym never so much changed his power sets as went through periods of emphasizing different parts of it, and some machinations to explain why (though Yellowjacket was the only version that did the Wasp wing thing); he had both shrinking and growth pretty early, and they just decided to either limit him to one or the other for some periods (and of course with the growth how big exactly he could do) for various reasons, but he was still within the same broad power set from day one, and he never lost access to them completely except when he sat out doing it for a while (and then he could have gone back to one or the other at any time he felt like it).

The X-book characters I'll give you, as I note above; it wouldn't be the first time that substream of Marvel worked on quite different general habits than the rest of the Marvel Universe.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I think the Fantastic Four, particularly Mr. Fantastic and the Thing, might have something to say about that. So might Banshee, Storm, and Ant-Man, (or Giant Man, or Yellowjacket)?

Beast can be added to that list.

And Jean Grey/Phoenix/Madelyn Prior/Goblin Queen. I mean, really.

And, shall we talk about the Grey Hulk/Green Hulk/Joe Fixit/Red Hulk/Gravage Hulk/Professor Hulk/Immortal Hulk?
 
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billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
I don't recall either Reed or Ben changing powersets much during the period I'm talking about (unless you're talking about the incessant "We've cured Ben! No we haven't!" cycle).
It was less that they changed powers as much as lost them for substantial periods of time or had times when they were unreliable. In the mid-70s, Ben got his powers from a worn exoskeleton and Reed lost his powers for over a year's worth of issues.
Hank Pym never so much changed his power sets as went through periods of emphasizing different parts of it, and some machinations to explain why (though Yellowjacket was the only version that did the Wasp wing thing); he had both shrinking and growth pretty early, and they just decided to either limit him to one or the other for some periods (and of course with the growth how big exactly he could do) for various reasons, but he was still within the same broad power set from day one, and he never lost access to them completely except when he sat out doing it for a while (and then he could have gone back to one or the other at any time he felt like it).
Oh, yes he did, albeit at an earlier time frame than Ms. Marvel's trouble in the 80s. He did have his growth powers curtailed, then he left them because of his health (and so Hawkeye became Goliath for a significant stretch of time), and in the 80s he shifted from shrinking/growing himself to doing it to other objects and being more of a gadgeteer.

The point is - there are times when a number of characters have gone through changes/power loss and regain/identity changes. It's nothing new. It may well be that Carol Danvers has gone through it more than some, but she's really not that big an outlier.
 

Staffan

Legend
Beast can be added to that list.
Beast has mostly changed appearance, but his powers have been fairly constant: agility, prehensile feet, low-level super-strength, animal traits (claws, scent).
And Jean Grey/Phoenix/Madelyn Prior/Goblin Queen. I mean, really.
Jean's power set has been fairly constant as well: telekinesis and telepathy. Originally she only had telekinesis, but it didn't take long for the telepathy to re-develop. Same thing once she came back from the Phoenix retcon: only TK for a while, but that didn't last. She has fluctuated a lot in power level, particularly depending on how chummy she is with the Phoenix Force, but the powers themselves have been fairly constant.

Now, if you want X-Men with complicated relationships with their powers, there's always Betsy Braddock...
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Beast has mostly changed appearance, but his powers have been fairly constant: agility, prehensile feet, low-level super-strength, animal traits (claws, scent).

Jean's power set has been fairly constant as well: telekinesis and telepathy. Originally she only had telekinesis, but it didn't take long for the telepathy to re-develop. Same thing once she came back from the Phoenix retcon: only TK for a while, but that didn't last. She has fluctuated a lot in power level, particularly depending on how chummy she is with the Phoenix Force, but the powers themselves have been fairly constant.

Now, if you want X-Men with complicated relationships with their powers, there's always Betsy Braddock...

Carol Danvers in the comics started with : superhuman strength, endurance, stamina, physical durability, a limited precognitive "seventh sense" and flight.

As Binary, she had all those things (from a different source), and energy absorption and massive energy projection powers.

Currently, her powers are roughly the same, but she can only maintain the massive scale she had as Binary for short periods with an infusion from some energy source.

Which seems pretty much the same quality of changes as seen with Jean Grey.
 


It was less that they changed powers as much as lost them for substantial periods of time or had times when they were unreliable. In the mid-70s, Ben got his powers from a worn exoskeleton and Reed lost his powers for over a year's worth of issues.

Really? I don't remember any of that, and that was in kind of the start of my peak Marvel reading.

Oh, yes he did, albeit at an earlier time frame than Ms. Marvel's trouble in the 80s. He did have his growth powers curtailed, then he left them because of his health (and so Hawkeye became Goliath for a significant stretch of time), and in the 80s he shifted from shrinking/growing himself to doing it to other objects and being more of a gadgeteer.

That latter seems a lot different than "exterior forces take your powers from you to me" (the health thing is closer, but there wasn't anything stopping him from doing his shrinking thing still during that period).

The point is - there are times when a number of characters have gone through changes/power loss and regain/identity changes. It's nothing new. It may well be that Carol Danvers has gone through it more than some, but she's really not that big an outlier.

Still seems to me outside the mutant books she was at the time.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Notice the time frame I've been talking about.

I don't know what you mean by that. All the characters I'm talking about have 40+ year histories, and the changes I'm talking about are spread across that entire timeline - rather like Carol Danvers. You have suggested that the past decade has been different, but my examples go farther back than that.

Ultimately, think what you want. I don't think the history really supports you, but... big fat hairy deal.
 

Beast has mostly changed appearance, but his powers have been fairly constant: agility, prehensile feet, low-level super-strength, animal traits (claws, scent).

Depends how far you go back; pre-blue Beast had a signficantly less well developed power set.

But again, the mutant books are the area I will accept you've had that sort of thing almost from day one.
 

Staffan

Legend
Carol Danvers in the comics started with : superhuman strength, endurance, stamina, physical durability, a limited precognitive "seventh sense" and flight.

As Binary, she had all those things (from a different source), and energy absorption and massive energy projection powers.

Currently, her powers are roughly the same, but she can only maintain the massive scale she had as Binary for short periods with an infusion from some energy source.

Which seems pretty much the same quality of changes as seen with Jean Grey.
Good point. I was mixing the personality/plot twists up with the power changes, and Jean's probably even with Carol there too.
 

I don't know what you mean by that. All the characters I'm talking about have 40+ year histories, and the changes I'm talking about are spread across that entire timeline - rather like Carol Danvers. You have suggested that the past decade has been different, but my examples go farther back than that.

Note the phrase was "past decade or so". That's about the point I stopped reading, and I'll note none of the Hulk plotlines but one had happened by that period.

Ultimately, think what you want. I don't think the history really supports you, but... big fat hairy deal.

I think it supports me pretty well before about 2000, but as you will.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Note the phrase was "past decade or so". That's about the point I stopped reading, and I'll note none of the Hulk plotlines but one had happened by that period.

I have no freaking clue what you are talking about at this point. I was establishing the fact that Marvel characters have been yanked around for 40+ years, that this is nothing new, nor anywhere specific to Captain Marvel.

I have no idea what "the past decade or so" has to do with that.
 

I have no freaking clue what you are talking about at this point. I was establishing the fact that Marvel characters have been yanked around for 40+ years, that this is nothing new, nor anywhere specific to Captain Marvel.

I have no idea what "the past decade or so" has to do with that.

I guess at this point I'm simply disagreeing that what happened to Carol was typical for what was done before 20 years ago. If people think otherwise, that's as it is, but referencing things that took place more recently than that has nothing much to do with my point.
 

Ryujin

Legend
Well, in DC, Superman went from a high jumping, tough, and strong guy to virtually invulnerable and with only two real weaknesses of any import (magic and Kryptonite), to a less invulnerable and sun-powered character over the years. In Marvel anything that got near Apocalypse got a big tweak. Warren Worthington, to Angel, to Death, to Archangel...
 


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