Log in

No account? Create an account
19 March 2011 @ 08:49 am
Writer's Block: A super debate  
If you could either have the powers of Spider-man or the Green Lantern, which would you choose, and why?

If you could either have the powers of Spider-man or the Green Lantern, which would you choose, and why?

... somebody's not really trying.

The answers I could read seem to fall into two categories: "Green Lantern, obviously", and "Spider-Man, because I don't know anything about Green Lantern."

Let's assume that "the powers" don't include the quirks of the particular secret identity: if I get Spidey's powers, I don't get Peter Parker's constant parade of personal catastrophes. If a little blue guy hands me a green ring, I don't suddenly become prone to recurrent head injuries or finding loved ones stuffed into household appliances.

It's still no contest.

On the one hand, we have The Proportional Strength of a Spider.

On the other, we have The Most Powerful Weapon Tool In the Universe.

It's a starship on your finger, complete with tractor beams and replicators.

No. Contest.


Yes, since the '90s, the writers keep calling the ring "the most powerful weapon in the universe", but to me, the question isn't "how many asses can I kick with these abilities?"

It's "how many lives will these abilities let me save?"

silussa on March 19th, 2011 03:51 pm (UTC)
Spiderman or Green Lantern?

I'm not sure "not even trying" qualifies. It's worse then that.
Ozymandias Possum: Green Lanternsilent_o on March 19th, 2011 04:11 pm (UTC)
Just popping in to say your anwer is full of win.
Your Obedient Serpentathelind on March 19th, 2011 09:55 pm (UTC)
... may I steal that icon?
Ozymandias Possum: Green Lanternsilent_o on March 20th, 2011 02:17 am (UTC)
go ahead
Your Obedient Serpent: Beware My Powerathelind on March 20th, 2011 02:26 am (UTC)
Merci! I was just pondering that I needed to find or make a good GL icon, and this one is pretty much exactly the image I would have tried to find for myself.
Tube: naked videogames!toob on March 19th, 2011 04:27 pm (UTC)
Personally, I'd still pick Spiderman, and I'll explain that to you next time we hang if you like.
Your Obedient Serpent: Howitzerathelind on March 20th, 2011 12:06 am (UTC)
Please note that, by and large, I think Peter is the better character, especially if the GL in question is Happy Hal.

(If it's Kyle ... well, then, you've pretty much just handed Peter Parker the ring anyway.)

When it comes to the question of "What powers would you like to have?", however, I've got to say that, for me the ability to, say, scoop up an out-of-control nuclear reactor and deposit it safely in the sun trumps the ability to bench press a subway car.
one in a billionsiege on March 20th, 2011 01:27 am (UTC)
Heh. I wouldn't scoop it up, I'd redirect and transform the neutrons, gathering energy until I could simply replace the power source.

But then, that's something Iron Man would do with a Power Ring.
Jordan Greywolfjordangreywolf on March 21st, 2011 05:46 pm (UTC)
I agree with you there, definitely. If I were given a choice of powers, I'd pick the more powerful. I'd feel like I was OBLIGED to, even though it would come with a corresponding moral responsibility. (After all, I'd still be RESPONSIBLE for turning down such an opportunity.)

But given the choice of, "Who would I rather follow the adventures of, as a protagonist?" I tend to prefer lower-powered superheroes.

Comic-hero demigods, sorry, I just can't relate to, period; plus, once a character gets to be too powerful, many plot problems only persist because of a failure of imagination on the protagonist's part (or the writer's attempt to wave his hands and make us FORGET about the cool stuff the superpowerful protagonist could do a few issues ago that would have made the current problem easily solved in a few seconds tops). (I'm speaking in very general terms here. I am not versed on the lore of the Green Lantern, other than to know that, yeah, that ring is pretty durn useful.)

Tube: Foot in mouthtoob on May 2nd, 2011 08:55 pm (UTC)
The obviousness that you assume your answer to have is predicated on a flawed assumption: that the end goal is to have the most power.

I'm less interested in what I can do than what I can be. Having a ring that can do all that amazing stuff doesn't make ME special or extraordinary; it just makes the RING special and extraordinary. Maybe I can make anything I can imagine, but I'm still just the same old pasty, dorky chump I've always been. I'M not better. It's greatness by association.

I'd pick Spiderman because that involves me changing -- it's not what I can do but what I am that is extraordinary: something that can never be taken away from me, something I can never give up, but have to learn to live with. I don't want to DO more. I want to BE more. That is infinitely more attractive to me.
Your Obedient Serpent: Beware My Powerathelind on May 2nd, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC)
Damn, you've made a terrific case for Possessing the Proportional Power of Peter Parker. Unlike a lot of the "Writer's Block" crowd, you Get It.

In my own defense, though, I have to respond to this:

The obviousness that you assume your answer to have is predicated on a flawed assumption: that the end goal is to have the most power.

Really, for me, the end goal is "how can I maximize my positive impact on the world? How can I do the most good?" Granted, there's a strong correlation between that and "most power", but that semantic distinction between "weapon" and "tool" is important to me.

I'd also argue that there's a distinction between using a tool, and using a tool well. I've seen a whole lot of Porsches on the road being driven by chumps who can't hold their own against a nerd in a Ford Aspire.
Tubetoob on May 2nd, 2011 09:28 pm (UTC)
That's a good point. But honestly, if I had the power to change the world dramatically in ways that I thought were better, I don't think I would use it.

In personal moments, sure. But in a change the world kind of way, hell no. Because I don't have the wisdom to know what the better world is. Choices that seem good and wise to me may turn out terribly. Though I shape my world on the lathe of heaven, I may be fitting it for hell. It seems to me that all of the world's greatest evils came from men who wished it too much good.
one in a billionsiege on March 19th, 2011 04:57 pm (UTC)
I think I'd actually go for a Blue or Indigo Lantern ring. Funny thing, though... if I had the powers I wanted without the drawbacks, I'd end up just being a wizard anyway.
Eclipse: Gryph - Writing Pondereclipsegryph on March 19th, 2011 06:25 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but in general wizards have that "using magic drains your life energy" thing going on, so you could only be a badass wizard for so long.
Your Obedient Serpent: RPG: Behind the Scenesathelind on March 19th, 2011 09:54 pm (UTC)
Did I forget to link this bit of self-indulgence to my main journal?

Edited at 2011-03-19 09:54 pm (UTC)
Eclipseeclipsegryph on March 19th, 2011 11:22 pm (UTC)
Jesus, you're dedicated. And no, you didn't forget... I'm just not worthy to have seen.
Your Obedient Serpent: Superboy Punches The Universeathelind on March 19th, 2011 11:54 pm (UTC)
I just added you to both the legacy2020 friends list and to the "Spoilers!" filter.

I've basically been using the excuse of running a tabletop RPG to rationalize giving free rein to the fanfic impulse which lurks inside us all. At some point in their lives, everyone who picks up a comic book or watches a TV show will think, "gee, that's not how I'd have handled that if I were in charge of this franchise."

... and now I AM!
one in a billionsiege on March 20th, 2011 12:31 am (UTC)
It has to come from somewhere. And I have to have a basis for acquiring a White Lantern ring anyway. ;)
one in a billionsiege on March 20th, 2011 01:28 am (UTC)
Regarding your addendum, that's basically the same reason that I judge how advanced a society is not by what it can produce, but by what kind of messes it can clean up.
ebony14 on March 22nd, 2011 03:53 pm (UTC)
The best Green Lantern stories were the ones where the rings were used as tools rather than weapons, anyway. With the exception of the one where the new Lantern became the lawman of a lawless world (don't remember the character, just that it was drawn by Flint Henry - and thusly had a resemblance to Grimjack - and he wore a green Sheriff's star with the lantern emblem on it).
Your Obedient Serpent: Beware My Powerathelind on March 24th, 2011 01:13 pm (UTC)
Jack T. Chance, from the 1992 story "Layin' Down the Law".

He was also written and created by John Ostrander, so the resemblance to GrimJack wasn't at all coincidental.

You who are wicked, evil and mean
I'm the nastiest creep you've ever seen!
Come one, come all, put up a fight
I'll pound your butts with Green Lantern's light!