Παρασκευή, 24 Αυγούστου 2012

What I Think About Stuff- Molecule Man VS Dr. Manhattan

The Universe in the palm of your hand by Mr. Bonheur.


Molecule Man VS Dr. Manhattan Or Didn’t we break the Universe once, already?

Honest to God, this is the last time I do a cosmic entity Versus battle.

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of these motherfuckin’ cosmic entities in this motherfucking continuum!

Though I’m not one to complain about impressive visuals (especially those provided by imagination on an infinite budget) but there’s only so many times you can imagine invincible motherfuckers chugging planets at each other before you go: fuck it, I quit.

Y’all motherfuckers can negate the very existence of the current universe, for all I care.

While I was looking into Molecule Man’s powers and abilities, I also had a chance to look into his history and dwell for a while into the cosmic setting of the Marvel Universe. During my research, I realized two things:

·         I finally realized I like DC better

Because its continuity might be convoluted and messed up as fuck, but at least you can read most of its cosmic series without a degree in Nerd Sciences.

·         Marvel Comics loves it some omnipotence (or the next best thing, anyway):

Meet Kosmos


Why hello there, you sexy Silver Mistress of the Universe…

She is, currently, the most powerful being in the Marvel Universe…

Out of eleven.

Marvel’s cosmic setting is so damn filled with so many deities, near-deities, avatars of higher powers and personifications of higher powers with such ridiculous variations in both power and vulnerability (as well as numerous interlocking or ill-defined spheres of influence), that it boggles the mind.

Why does Marvel love its gods (or near-gods) so much though? What is it that makes a comic book company create a universe so chock-full of powers that are also characters with agendas, who end up doing nothing more than farting around and scratching their nuclear balls (or labias)?
It’s all because of one insanely creative (and creatively insane) man:


Jack Fucking Kirby.

This venerable sage you see above you is the greatest mind in comic book history. He is the driving force that, along with Stan Lee, turned Marvel Comics into a comic book superpower and single-handedly brought the basis on everything DC-cosmic into being.

If you haven’t heard of Jack Kirby, then you’re new to comic books, so here’s the short version:


The characters pictured above are a measly fraction of the legion his imagination spawned and breathed life into.

You see, Jack Kirby worked with cosmic with the same ease you people drink water or breathe air. The man produced characters, concepts and visuals at a ridiculous rate and most of his characters have spawned franchises that have lasted for decades.

In essence, in the comic book pantheon, Kirby is Zeus, the Almighty (if slightly Dickish) lord and master of the universe.


Thus making Stan Lee Hera, the petty and attention whoring wife who ends up stealing the spotlight.

There is another aspect of Kirby though, that becomes apparent through his work: the man loved gods. Or to be more precise, the man loved to create gods, mostly because he knew that we were going to love them.

Which raises another interesting question: what is it about gods and humanity anyway? Or, to be more precise, what is it about humanity’s voyeuristic impulses concerning its gods? If there’s one thing I’ve realized in my years as a comic book nerd, is that mankind loves nothing more than to see creatures whose abilities are above and beyond ours get thrown around in cosmic battles and belittled (or exulted) according to our whims, for our pleasure.

Superhero fiction has proven, time and time again, that no matter what the current state of our spiritual involvement (or degrees of religious fervor) might be that we, as a whole, love us some mythology. We love to see our gods duke it out with each other or to see them frolic with our wives and daughters. We love to think of them as omnipresent beings that are about to pounce upon us and either help us with our current predicament, or cause further havoc.

Gods and men are creatures that coexist in a habitat of pure thought and imagination, each desperately requiring the other to survive


Occasionally throwing a couple orgies, just to alleviate the tension.

Jack Kirby knew this in his gut, which is why he gave us all our gods that we can look upon each month on our comic book stand and marvel at their adventures and pick apart in our meetings with fellow nerds.

But that’s not all now, is it? Of course it’s not. Because we, as a species, have absolutely no goddamn intention to keep basking at those bastards with their powers and ridiculous lifespans and cosmic-level awarenesses and whatnot for long, no sir. It has never been our intention for us to sit around and accept the way things are, sitting on our hands and saying:

“Golly, superheroes are so kewl! Too bad we’re never gonna be like them!”


Shut the fuck up, Timmy.

No! What we want to do is to become like our gods. We want (each and every single one of us) to become superheroes, beings that defy the laws of physics and push at the limits imposed on us by a cold, unfeeling universe. We want to become creatures that can punch back and kick at the universe while it’s down and spit on its goddamn face.


Or at the very least, turn ourselves into a planetful of Batmen.

Today’s contestants are two shining examples of just such a desire. They are both mere men that were transmuted by some impossible occurrence (cleverly dubbed ‘accidental’) into beings akin to gods. 

They are both entities that can shape matter and energy at their whim and they are, essentially, mankind’s ultimate dream, given form.

So without further ado, let’s jump into:

WHO OR WHAT THE HELL IS MOLECULE MAN, ANYWAY?


He looks like a nerd but he stings like a quasar.

Molecule Man used to be a hypochondriac named Owen Reece, living with his mother, working as a physicist in one of the gazillion laboratories that seek to blaspheme against the laws of Nature on a daily basis in the Marvel Universe. While testing an experimental particle accelerator 

This, only with more Kirby Field and less applied science

Owen is exposed to a mysterious particle originating from the dimension of the Beyonders (go Google that shit, I honestly don’t have enough time to explain) and gains the superhuman power to manipulate energy and transmute the molecular structure of everything he surveys with but a thought.

 Naturally, he originally uses this power to rob banks because hey, what’s he gonna do? Transmute air into gold and risk crippling the economy?

He farts around with the Fantastic Four and is exiled to an interdimensional prison for about four decades, when he comes back in the 80’s as a god and starts slapping the living shit out of the Marvel Universe’s major cosmic entities, because wouldn’t you know it? The accident turned him into part Cosmic Cube!


One part infinite energy source, two parts Irish, aaallll sexy…

Even though Molecule man’s powers and abilities vary so wildly from writer to writer he has essentially become a running gag,


Like some other guy who became the goddamn universe and lost because he was programmed to.

He remains one of the most powerful once-mortals the superhero medium has to offer.

Powers and abilities:

·         Molecular Manipulation: Molecule Man can transmute anything (living or not) into anything else with but a thought. Since the Molecule Man used for this encounter will be the 80’s (his most powerful) version, this means that his power can be countered by the transmutee, albeit with a titanic exertion of will.

·         Energy Manipulation: Molecule Man can use this power to generate beams of energy (yawn) or transmute energy, pretty much in the way he transmutes matter.


No, I will not provide you with a scientific explanation on why (or even how) this is even fucking possible.

·         Part Cosmic Cube: Molecule Man has an infinite energy source and also limited access to nearby dimensions.
 
And now for our next constestant…

WHO OR WHAT THE HELL IS DR. MANHATTAN ANYWAY?


Oh, it appears you caught me fapping on Mars. How awkward.

Once upon a time, a man named Jon Osterman, renowned physicist and clockmaker’s son, found himself trapped inside a nuclear energy testing chamber. Exposed to the deadly radiation, Jon Osterman found out that it’s true what they say of radiation’s effects on humans:


Potentially lethal, with a miniscule chance of providing atomic omnipotence and/or blue skin color.

He was nicknamed Dr. Manhattan (after the atom bomb project) and became the single most powerful being in his universe, a force of technological advancement and clean energy, provided by his very presence and involvement in the affairs of man.

For all intents and purposes, Dr. Manhattan is a much more constrained, limited and human depiction of God in Watchmen. If you need me to spell out his career and works for you, then you should just go ahead and read the goddamn comic book. If you’re still unconvinced, here’s a flying glass castle in Mars, constructed by Dr. Manhattan with a mere thought:

I don’t know why, but I always read this line in a Swartzenegger voice.
Spoilers avoided, let’s move on to listing Dr. Manhattan’s…

Powers and Abilities:

·         Matter Manipulation: Dr. Manhattan is able to affect any and all kinds of matter with his thought, including his own body, thus changing his size, his density and even (to a lesser extent) transmuting it.

·         Unhinged perception of Time: Dr. Manhattan can move his point of view to any point in time, but never any further back than his own birth or any further than his own (eventual) death.

·         Immortality: Dr. Manhattan doesn’t need to eat, breathe and if he ever dies, it will be for the sake of his nosy mortal guests.

·         Lack of free will: Dr. Manhattan’s entire life and purpose is based on a predetermined series of events, which he can perceive and acts according to them.


Dr. Manhattan is, in other words, pop culture’s most depressing superhuman.

What the hell is this? Some of you will ask. How is lacking free will a superpower? Does that mean that I, a thinking, intelligent human being would be better off if I couldn’t think for myself? To these people I will say:

a)      -Possessing a thought process isn’t proof of possessing free will

b)     - Dr. Manhattan, despite his claimed omnipotence, is unable to move past the boundaries set upon him by the universe. This means that Dr. Manhattan acts in incomprehensible ways that could well give him an edge on this battle.

Why are those two fighting? Well I guess Dr. Manhattan starts it off, having seen himself destined to fight the Molecule Man. Lacking any choice, he teleports himself to Battleworld, where he meets his opponent and attacks him without provocation.


The narrative equivalent of pressing start on the player two controller mid-game.

That said, let’s get ready to ruuuumbleeee!


Announcer lady atomized in the first seconds of combat.

Manhattan blows the shit out the ground that Molecule Man is standing on, nearly destroying him. Owen barely has time to react, negating the blast as it reaches him, leaving him standing in the middle of a crater the size of six soccer fields.


Pff. Who needs aiming when you’re a nuclear god?

Molecule Man immediately responds by reaching into Dr. Manhattan’s molecular structure and ripping it apart with a thought, unraveling the very particles that make up his structure. But Dr. Manhattan’s no stranger to being atomized by unknown energies.


Once more unto the breach dear friend, once more.

He fights against Molecule Man’s attack, restructuring himself and turning his body into energy, negating the attack. He proceeds to teleport behind him and shoots at the Molecule Man, who takes the blow and ends up being shot halfway across Battleworld’s desolate landscape, in the middle of a desert.

With a thought, Dr. Manhattan reaches Molecule Man, who’s stumbling to get up, trying to make sense out of what just hit him. Manhattan charges his laser and shoots at him again, but Owen is ready for him this time. Manipulating the energy beam shot at him, he amplifies it tenfold and shoots it back at Manhattan, using it to disrupt the field keeping him together.

Using the small window of opportunity offered to him, he turns his attention to Dr. Manhattan, causing him to discombobulate and making him explode into particles that get scattered across the dimensions.

Round One goes to Molecule Man.


Don’t just stand there, you dumb bitch, run!

Dr. Manhattan calmly reconstructs himself and attempts a different venue of attack. Creating duplicates of himself, he attacks Molecule Man from different sides, seeking to overpower him by sheer numbers, in order to soften him up for the hit.


What, you thought he only used that power so he could double-team his wife?

Attacking the Molecule man with beam, force and transmutation, Owen Reece finds himself knocked around more than a little bit, forcing him to seek another, more favorable battleground. Stalling for time, he accelerates his molecular vibration and one of the Doctor’s clones, causing them to drop through Battleworld and into the steaming guts of the cosmos.


Temporarily causing Howard Phillips Lovecraft to trip balls.

Cut off from his duplicates, Dr. Manhattan collapses into a form, as Molecule Man begins working his battleground against his opponent. Dr. Manhattan seeks to move outside, but he is busy tumbling across worlds at that moment.

Halfway across Universe 21D


Where man has come in contact with his gods and gone to war with them.

Molecule Man crashes Dr. Manhattan into a Suneater spaceship, then causes the entire thing to collapse, detonating its anti-brane bombs. Dr. Manhattan, finding himself being drawn inside another continuum, claws his way out of it, grabbing Molecule Man at the last minute, sending them both screaming across the Multiverse.

With quantum foam as their weapon, Dr. Manhattan fashions himself armor that is comprised of moments and impossible materials. Molecule Man attempts to undo it, but its structure is alien and shifting, so he opts for the next best choice.

An impossible weapon to crush an impossible armor:


This, only made out of star matter and powered by a baby universe.

Blasting Dr. Manhattan, the explosion destroys his armor and hurtles them both into Overspace, crashing through some poor bastard’s art panel as he’s halfway through drawing this shit and into a universe very much like ours, entering the vacuum of space in the matter of seconds.

Dr. Manhattan, reaching the Molecule Man (who at this point finds himself hopelessly lost in a universe with radically different natural laws), grabs him and encases him inside a sphere with accelerated gravity, before tossing him into a type II collapsing neutron star that is about to go supernova. Inside the super-accelerated environment of the sphere, Molecule Man barely has time to register what is going on, before he is hurtled inside the burning heart of the dying star.


Crushed by a mass 500 times that of Earth’s.

Round Two goes to Dr. Manhattan.


Mediocre Band, Bitchin’ logo.

What, you thought being trapped in the middle of a collapsing star about to explode is enough to stop the Molecule Man or Dr. Manhattan for that matter?


Don’t make Richard Dreyfus laugh.

Molecule Man has fought unspeakably powerful cosmic entities in non-space and Dr. Manhattan is the closest thing Watchmen has to God. So what could possibly hurt them?

High concentrations of radioactivity. Specifically insanely large concentration, lasting up to 40 seconds, powerful enough to leave an afterglow that stretches across light-years so we can study them, like those originating from a collapsing neutron star.


Also known as Gamma-Ray Bursts.

Molecule Man manages to manipulate the mass of the neutron star in order not to crush him and attempts to delay the burst long enough for him to get away. Dr. Manhattan attempts to negate his attempts, by bringing the entire star down on him, with the mass reaching critical mass.

The titatic tug of war causes the fabric of space around them to quake. Molecule Man is at a disadvantage in this case, simply due to his current position, even though he normally does have the power to overcome just such an attack. Dr. Manhattan appears to be the victor, but if he is struck by a gamma ray burst, he will discombobulate and find it impossible to reform himself.

So Molecule Man does pretty much what he can to even the odds, by expanding the star’s mass and trapping Dr. Manhattan inside with him, a few seconds before the explosion. Now they’re both in the shit.


Welcome to hell, motherfuckers.

Molecule Man ceases his attempts to stop the explosion and instead lets it go on as scheduled, counting on his energy manipulation power to save him. Dr. Manhattan attempts to teleport, but finds his powers hindered by the radiation.

The explosion happens on schedule, eliminating both contestants.


Reduced to cosmic dust and scattered across the void…

There is absolutely no way Manhattan could have survived this, had a clear limitation to his power not been presented in Watchmen. And Reece, despite his supposed omnipotence, would be unable to react to something as powerful as a gamma ray burst.

But you’re not here for my logic, are you? So who wins? Well if you wanna split hairs and go for the ridiculous, then it’s Molecule Man.


Oh there’s a poorly defined cosmic explanation behind it all.

Remember how I said Reece is part Cosmic Cube? Well, this is the shit that saves him. No, honest. It’s happened before in the Marvel Continuity and it’s doing it now. I guess this is based on the flimsy argument that energy cannot be destroyed, but to be perfectly honest, this looks like bullshit.


Smells like it too, honey.

A tug-of-war between cosmic entities, resolved by a technicality. But then again, isn’t that always the way?


Am I right, dear reader?

Addendum:

Watched Dark Knight Rises last night.

Best Nolan Batman movie ever, judging that Batman Begins had so much shaky-cam you couldn’t tell what has going on and Dark Knight hardly had any Batman in it. This one got it right.

Bane fucking rocked and made Joker from Dark Knight look like an absolute goddamn joke in comparison.

Catwoman made me laugh (mostly because she was trying so goddamn hard to be serious and sexy even though she was worse than Halle Berry at it).

I cried when Alfred cried.

Go fucking watch it, the lot of you.

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