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Cliffg37
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Not sure what was where, but in old issues, I have seen letters from Roy Thomas, Jim Shooter, and Martin Pasko. All of whom later were working in the comics industry. I really don't want to check it now, as I said above, I am concerned about opening the issue and damaging it further.
Magic is like Science,
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Orville Smith
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Did you see on the recent CW series where they mentioned the Justice League's very first foe, namely Starro? It was just a casual mention but it's tidbits like that which they sneak in unexpectedly which maintain the interest in the series.
Cliffg37
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Yes, I caught that. Personally I think Starro would make a difficult character to bring to the small screen effectively. Still, I love the idea of bringing in old JLA foes. Now Despero on the other hand....
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Orville Smith
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Quote:
On Mar 22, 2020, Cliffg37 wrote:Personally I think Starro would make a difficult character to bring to the small screen effectively. Still, I love the idea of bringing in old JLA foes. Now Despero on the other hand....

Anatomically is I guess what you meant about Starro, right, Cliff? That is, his non-human body with those starfish appendages. Plus he has no facial features, so it would be very difficult to convey emotion.

It would be like that Star Trek alien the Horta who is basically shapeless protoplasm. No facial features at all of course. So it surprised me when the Horta became a regular crew member of the Enterprise bridge!! But that was in a paperback novel so they did not have to worry about special effects.

But I suppose Despero could be done feasibly on film. Do you also remember Kanjar Ro? Wasn't there a discrepancy in the issue about his weapon the Auralikron? That is,he never made any duplicates of Green Arrow and the Martian J'onzz, yet you can see their duplicates at the Justice League headquarters. Did you see the scene where they meet the aura of Adam Strange?
Cliffg37
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Yes, I do, I had all those books. Kanjar Ro was a power-hungry alien, that basically acted like a power-hungry human. I never noticed the discrepancy of duplicates, good eye there. My issue with Starro, was simply, how would he talk? He would have to be a telepath, and you're right about the emotional issue. Though Arnold did OK with the no emotion bit. I also remember a Horta joining the crew. Don't get him angry, he'd eat right through the ship.
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Orville Smith
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Who is that Arnold that you referred to? Because I don't recall any Arnold from the Justice League issues. Remember,we are talking about the 1960s only.
My disappointment about the Despero debut from the first issue of JLA was that his chessboard was used only as a "springboard," that is, a teleportational gateway. With that chessboard situation on the cover looking so intriguingly bizarre, I had expected that arrangement to have appeared throughout the whole story but instead its appearance was only incidental. That's why when Despero made a return appearance in the 1970s, it was much better because the story featured chess-pieces that were human-sized and could attack the Justice League. Do you have that issue? And who is the Arnold that you refer to from the Justice League?
Cliffg37
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Arnold was a reference to Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator. A character with no emotion. I thought he played it well. I only brought him up as an example of how a character can be successfully played in a movie without using emotions.

I had all three Despero appearances. JLA number 1, the second was I think number 26 (maybe off) and the aforementioned one from the 70's. I always liked the character somehow.

I agree with you that more use of the chessboard could have been good, but I do think it made for a kick as(s) cover. I actually have a copy of that cover on my wall in my classroom, along with a few other iconic comic book covers.
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Orville Smith
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When you mentioned the Terminator not having emotions,Cliff,it reminded me of DC's android the Red Tornado. It was well-thought-out how the writer showed the android trying to and gradually learning human emotions. For example in one issue of the Brave and the Bold when the Red Tornado and his friend are caught in a dangerous situation, the Tornado remarks, "Were I human, I would be sorely tempted to pray." At that point, the Red Tornado seems to have begun learning emotions.
By the way,Cliff,in JLA issue#15 the story, "Challenge of the Untouchable Aliens," there is the very bizarre situation where the Justice League can not touch the aliens because their hands go right through the alien intangible bodies. And yet the aliens are paradoxically able to grab the JLAers. As a physicist--did Gardner Fox's explanation as to the Paradox of simultaneous intangibility and solidity satisfy you?
Dannydoyle
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I was SO not a fan of Red Tornado.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Cliffg37
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I don't remember Gardner's explanation. Feel free to recount it I'd love to hear it. Remember I sold my collection in 2005. (Ah the joys of marriage and fatherhood)

I am pretty good at suspending disbelief for the sake of a good story. btw, one of the simplest ways to "touch" something that cannot be touched is with an electric field. That actually does work.
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Cliffg37
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Wow, Orville did a great job of catching me up and jogging my memory as to the story. Thanks Orville.

There are severe flaws in Gardner's explanation. The idea that something that is ahead of you in time can reach back to touch the past, while the past cannot touch the future, sounds good. it even seems to make sense... Careful, it doesn't.

The problem with time travel is that in order to travel backwards in time, you first have to believe that past events still exist in a "place" somewhere. Traveling to that place will be going back in time. The same is true I suppose of going forward in time. You go to a place where everyone else will be later. This is what Gardner was was doing in the story. Sounds good on paper and seems workable.

To my knowledge, the closest we have come to real time travel is the work of Dr. Ronald Mallett. He has theorized and built a machine that uses an incredible amount of energy to lock a position (in his lab) in place. He believes that as long as the power stays on, he can send a message from the future, back to the moment he turned the power on. Does this work? If it does, we have not seen it yet. What he has done, again if it works, is find a way to create that "Place" I spoke of earlier.

Going forward in time is easier. You can use relativity. The U.S. Air-force proved Dr. Einstein's theory of relativity in 1974 by taking two highly synchronized clocks and flying one faster than sound (best speed we had at the time) and the other stayed home. There was a few micro send difference when they were brought back together. However, this is not actually traveling in time. This is using relativity to show that an object traveling at high speeds perceives time differently than a stationary object. This does not create the new "place." A human traveling at high speed (close to light speed) may arrive back on earth in the future, but they will have missed all that was happening on Earth in between.

So for today at least, no reaching back in time for us.

Class dismissed.
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Cliffg37
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So, Orville once again has sent me an interesting story to read and critique. This one comes from a comic book published in 1971, though it was a reprint of a much earlier story. It was good to see names like Gil Kane and John Broome again. I haven’t seen their work in many years.

In this story, a lone astronaut is on a space ship delivering compressed water to a planet that has none. The water is compressed into balls that are probably the size of a softball. It is explained that each softball sized container contains millions of gallons in each drop inside. His delivery ship is not armed, and so when he is attacked by a space armada, it looks bad. He defeats the armada by ejecting a softball and releasing the water. In the cold of space it freezes instantly and he hits an attacker with an iceberg. To get rid of the rest, he uses his jets to heat the water and creates a space Tidal wave.

Orville wants me to talk about the accuracy or lack of accuracy in the science in this story.
They got exactly one fact right. Space is cold. That is it. The rest is wildly inaccurate to the point of being ridiculous.

1. Space, for the most part is about -200 degrees Celsius, or -380 degrees in Fahrenheit.

2. Water will not compress; period. Most liquids can be compressed and forced to become solid, then carried around in a smaller package. Many gasses can be compressed too. Not so with water. You can put it under pressure and force it to become ice, but ice expands and takes up more space than liquid water does. No, you will not carry water in compression. By the way, this fact is the great sorrow of NASA as humans need an amount of water every day, and the water not only takes up a lot of space in a space ship, it is also very heavy.

3. Water weighs just over 8 pounds to a gallon. The softball size containers each hold millions of gallons, yet he lifts them like they weigh nothing. Wrong again.

4. He releases the water outside to hit the enemy with an iceberg. Nope, still wrong. Freezing is a function of temperature, but boiling is not. Boiling is a function of pressure. Water boils when heated because you are increasing the pressure by inserting heat. The air pressure stays the same and when water pressure is greater than air pressure, it boils. In space the pressure is as close to zero as you will ever likely get. The water released in space should have frozen and boiled at the same time. In other words he hit his enemy with a shower of tiny ice crystals. Beautiful, but not harmful.

5. He heats the softball, releases the water and makes a tidal wave. Again, the water would freeze and boil at the same time. The polar forces in liquid water, only make it stand up, like a wave or tsunami, when there is gravity to hold it to the ground, and a strong flow of more water from behind to push it up.

Now before anyone gets the wrong idea, I liked the story. The fifties, books and movies, were loaded with stories of aliens or prehistoric invaders. The stories end when a scientist MacGyvers a solution at the last second. I certainly enjoy this material, and I love comic books.

There was another story in the book I wanted to comment on, because they got the science dead on target, at a time when they had no way to make such an assumption. In another story a simple U.S. letter carrier ends up confronting a Martian who is living on Earth. Clever fellow this postman. He knows that Radium costs $25,000 per gram, and knows where to buy it too! Anyway their relationship starts with a fight. A physical confrontation in which the Martian explains that he cannot win as his muscles are built, designed and made for living on Mars. Martian gravity is less than half that of Earth, and so he is nowhere near as strong. How this was known when the story was written, I have no clue. It was probably a lucky guess, but it was fun to see.

Class dismissed!
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Orville Smith
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Nice critique, Cliff, it was enjoyable. Your critique of the compressed ice reminded me of the mutant X-Man the Iceman. What I mean specifically is the ice ramp he creates to traverse over obstacles. The implausibility is the apparent stability of Bobby's ice ramps no matter how extended they become.

To see why Bobby's ice ramps cannot extend too far without crumbling, place a book on a table. Now slide the book near the edge of the table. At first a small fraction of the book can hang over the edge of the table with no problem. The unsupported weight of the book over the edge of the table tries to rotate the book but there is more weight on the table trying to rotate the book in the other direction so the book remains stationary. But as you slide the book farther so that its center of mass is no longer above the table but over the side, then the book will rotate and flip onto the floor.

Using that torque principle, when Iceman's ramps become too extended, then the torque that results from him gliding along its edge becomes greater than the strength of the ice ramp, and his slide should break off.

Despite that implausibility, I still always enjoyed the visuals of that ice ramp. Because you made a good point, Cliff, that despite finding all those flaws, we can still enjoy the story at surface value. In fact, a book's harshest critics can be its most avid fans. The point being that reading a book is only half the fun. The other half of the fun is the discussion.
Cliffg37
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If you grant Bobby the ability to absorb moisture from the air and supercool it in his body and then project and control it, the Iceman's power actually makes sense. The ramps should not go too far or too high for the reason you stated. Torque is only one issue. When does something fall or topple over? When its center of mass is no longer over its base. Bobby sliding along the ramp certainly changes both the torque and the center of mass as his mass is being added and subtracted as he goes from one point to another. A real example of adaptation humans have that slightly relates to this, is dessert dwellers having big noses. The job of the large nose is to moisturize the air as one breathes in so as not to dry out the lungs with the dry desert air. Bobby's power is similar to this, but ramped up really high.

Orville, if we are going to continue this, I think we should start a thread called science and sci-fi, or something like that. This conversation has nothing to do with DC vs. Marvel. My opinion.
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Jonathan Townsend
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What did you think of tonight's premiere of DC's Stargirl?
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Cliffg37
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I liked the Stargirl premiere.

I loved the nostalgia of seeing Hourman and Dr. Midnight, even if only for a moment each.

Brec Bassinger is fine in her role, and how they got Luke Wilson to agree to do this I couldn't say. His acting was superb. His character outshone everyone else as far as acting went.

The only downsides for me were....

Why would villains be an a small town in Nebraska. How do you really keep a secret identity in a small town? Must be very hard. (I tired keeping a secret identity once, nothing to do with masks or heroes, and I know how hard it is to do real world.)

The other is, There was nothing new here. Tough girl hero. Older mentor. Bully's in school, That was all covered in Buffy 20 years ago.

Still. overall I like the show.
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Dannydoyle
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What new has been in superhero storytelling in the past 20 years? Any storytelling for that matter.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Jonathan Townsend
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Writers have been expecting more of the audience lately. Compare the first few minutes of the new Doctor Who premier (Rose) to the first episode of Season eight (Deep Breath). Both are fast paced though the latter puts much more story detail in the dialog.
In comic form we get works like Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Library or Building Stories or Hawkeye issue 11 where the story is from the dog's perspective. Yes, there have been occasional exceptions such as Electra: Assassin, The Watchmen, Miracleman, and The Dark Knight Returns but those were exceptions.
There is more expectation that the reader recognize the history and boundaries of a medium. Contrast Warren Ellis's Planetary and Alan Moore's first few League stories. Both reference older stories but the former builds new story while the latter attempts to connect old stores.
In popular storytelling there's more use of unreliable narrators and metafiction - Alan Moore's last few League stores in contrast to Neil Gaiman's Sandman Overture.
:)
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Jonathan Townsend
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Here are some links/notes for those items mentioned. Chris Ware's novel in comic form got a good review: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/s......e-review

A fan did annotations for the Alan Moore stories. Start with a quick look at this one to get a sense of detail - but just a quick look to see the level of referenced detail. About the last Chapter: https://panelwiseblog.wordpress.com/anno......tations/

The League stories started out as play with older characters. And the author left some loose ends as stories did back then. Yes, that Moriarty...
https://enjolrasworld.com/Jess%20Nevins/......%206.htm

Years later we get this celebration and demolition of the literature which pretty much begins with our favorite movie spy demonstrating what a nice person he isn't.
http://www.jessnevins.com/annotations/te......ons.html

We could talk about Christopher Nolan's movies featuring architecture or the amount of detail in superhero costumes in the movies. Both seem more about high definition video than storytelling.
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Dannydoyle
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Themes in storytelling have not changed.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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