Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Who's the Worst... Suspension of Disbelief? Plus - 1st Civil War Trailer!

Doug: Today we're asking you for the most egregious request that you suspend your disbelief. Myself -- I need to ponder this one for a bit. But the first thing that came to mind? See below (even when I was 11 I was like "no way..."):

Doug: And, whether you saw it last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, or have seen it around the interwebs this morning, the first Captain America: Civil War trailer is out. Wowza, I say!


J.A. Morris said...

Superman turning back time basically makes him a god. Albeit a god who can't beat kryptonite!

But for me, the most egregious request is a much more down-to-earth example.

I always had trouble buying Marvel's many instances of people wearing rubber masks as a disguise. Where did Falcon and Cap find those perfectly fitting rubber masks while they were on the run during the Secret Empire arc? Or Hank McCoy's rubber mask that hid his blue beastly appearance?

Warren Worthington's wing harness was also silly.

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

How about Spider-Man defeating Cyclone with a giant fan?

Or Hercules pulling Manhattan back into place in Marvel Teamup?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
david_b said...

Ol' Cap walking 'round in civvies with his shield on his back.

Martinex1 said...

Time reversing Superman and the rubber mask use are indeed unbelievable. I don't mind the wing harness as much. Sometimes Cap's shield action (throwing, ricocheting, returning back to him) bothers me. I can accept flying, time traveling, morphing aliens (in the context of a story) but solid objects defying physics and seeming to accelerate as they bounce and careen bothers me. Go figure. Trick arrows sometimes also fall into this category.

With Star Wars coming out, I have to say my initial reaction to Darth Vader's "Luke I am your father", was "oh come on, that is so bad". I just wanted Darth to be somebody else, and felt that point was forced, and Luke's father being dead at Darth's hand would have been more probable and more compelling. I always wished Darth got cut off and really finished the sentence with "Luke I am your father('s stepsister's cousin's neighbor's friend)". Still love the movies though that part just seemed to make Darth less evil; up to that point it seemed Darth didn't care about anything or anybody. It was like if Galactus started caring about puppies and kittens on a world he was about to devour. I exaggerate, but that is part of the fun.

Redartz said...

First three that came to my mind:
Hulk's pants. "Nuff said".

Banshee's flight- never could quite figure out how screaming "OOOOOOOO" at extreme intensity produced aerodynamic powers...

"Super ventriloquism". Yes, a Weisinger era DC device. After the recent post about Supergirl, I went back to read a few old Action comics, one of which featured this idea prominently. Even as a young comics neophyte, this seemed shaky...

Anonymous said...

Wait, so is the issue with Superman turning back time specific to the movie, or in general? Because the movie version of time travel worked for me a *heck* of a lot better than having him fly thru a rainbow background with "years" (i.e. 1950, 1940, 1930, etc.) whizzing past him (or him whizzing by years; depends on your perspective I guess :-)

Doug said...

Good question, Anonymous, and I think you've summed up the very nature of "suspension of disbelief". For whatever reason, as a kid I had no trouble with Superboy breaching the time barrier because I just believed that young Clark (and older Clark) could fly fast enough that... well, whatever. Rainbows, years, and all.

But it didn't work for me in the film.

Go figure.


Anonymous said...

Captain America trapped in an iceberg for decades without needing to breathe.

William said...

What about Superman disguising himself as Clark Kent with a pair of glasses and his hair combed back? That as to be just about the oldest instance of asking comic-book readers to suspend their disbelief. (It especially made Lois Lane look like an idiot).

That "Civil War" trailer was off the hook!!! I hated the storyline in the comics, but this looks much more plausible. At least it appears they are giving Cap and Iron Man a legitimate reason to be at odds with each other. (Cap wanting to protect Bucky).

Instead of the comic-book reasoning, which was basically, "Because they don't agree on a certain philosophy, so they are going to throw away years of friendship and just try to kill each other." Which I found very hard to suspend my disbelief and accept.

Humanbelly said...

As universally beloved as that film is, it was utterly ruined for me (I'm sorry, but it really was) by the utter idiocy of Supes reversing time by. . . uhm, making the planet spin backwards? I'm pretty sure my load, audible groans of aggravation (during the climax of the film, no less) were a major annoyance to the folks sitting around me in the theater. I mean, I list that movie as "didn't like it" simply because of that truly stupid, slip-shod contrivance of the writing.

Which still, I must admit, has NOTHING on the inanities in the old Superman TV show of the 50's--. Hoo-boy. . . you want yer full daily dose of hysterically improbable plot-contrivance theater? Just watch that old program!

Herc in Marvel Team-Up (#28)-- ha! That was my very first comic choice, too!

I think we do sort of visit this topic in one form or another every now and then, and I always enjoy it, yup. The one that I like to bring up is the fact that Alicia Masters, in her first appearance in FF, was supposed to be such a DEAD RINGER for Sue that her uncle was able to infiltrate her into the Baxter Building by putting her in a wig and Sue's uniform. She even fools Reed during a conversation, for Pete's sake. I can buy a lot of coincidences in a story, I suppose, but when the entire crux of a plotline is predicated on there being that level of completely implausible happenstance?? Nopenopenope.


dbutler16 said...

I hated the Superman turning back time thing, even as a 9 year old seeing it in the theater. what a cheap cop-out. What' to stop him from going back in time any time anything doesn't turn out the way he wanted. I saw the Richard Donner cut of superman 2, and while in general I liked it better Donner went back to this same ridiculous stunt of turning back time at the end! Thus, I prefer the theatrical release, even though the "kiss of forgetfulness is suspension of disbelief in itself.

As far as Cap, I liked the trailer. It looked tense and interesting. I never read the comic version, nor do I have any wish to, but I have different expectations regarding what I enjoy in a comic versus a movie. I'm more willing to accept a dark, gritty, "realistic movie than I will a comic, and I've also long ago given up expecting the movie versions of comic book heroes to be much like the comic version. As long as it's well done and interesting, I'm happy. So, while I wouldn't give the comic version of Civil War a chance, I'm at least willing to give the movie version a chance.

Rip Jagger said...

Vampirella's costume!

How the heck does that stay on like it's supposed to?

And while we're at it let me include the outfits of Moondragon and Mantis.

And Red Sonja's metal bra always seemed wildly impractical.

And to to deal with the other side of the coin, what's the deal with Cosmic Boy's second costume. It's goofy.

Rip Off

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

Oh, and there's Iron Man's first victory over the Mandarin where he does a calculation on a slide rule and works out that if Mandy karate chops him at a particular angle he'll do himself an injury. Not so much suspending disbelief as not being sure what I'm supposed to be believing.

david_b said...

I felt the Supes 'moving-time-backwards' solution in that movie was pure, unadulterated Silver-Age fluff.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Really..? We can **believe** (and/or enjoy it) for years in 4-color comics growing up, but it somehow becomes impossible on the big screen..?

I remember thinking, 'Bravo'...

Incidentally, I thought the first Clone Saga in ASM was 'too over the top'. As much as I can let the 'hours of galactic travel' in FF go.., I couldn't believe the first Gwen clone story; but that was more 'pulling the heartstrings of believability' than simple phenomenal technical ingenuity: I mourned the death of Gwen and felt Peter's loss.

Martinex1 said...

I love that Iron Man slide rule trick! Slide rules need to be used more often.

I have to say that I too was always mystified by the Clark Kent disguise of glasses. But that opinion changed after watching the new Supergirl TV show. I swear I have trouble rectifying that Kara and Supergirl are the same person. I don’t know if I can attribute that to the acting, makeup, wardrobe design or my aging mind. But I really would probably be fooled; it is like her facial structure looks different with glasses and hair pulled back. Weird. Feel free to call me an idiot.

Here is one thing that I always have to take extra effort to suspend by belief on: in the Marvel Universe if you have a Biochemistry Degree you are an expert on ALL things from computer technology to robotics to astrophysics. I know I missed the boat with my Liberal Arts education (probably why a pair of glasses can fool me).

In truth, it is the simple things that bother me in comics, like how does the Tarantula not trip with those pointy shoes? The Ultimate Nullifier on the other hand is totally acceptable.

Civil War clip looks really good. Caught a glimpse of the Black Panther in there.

Edo Bosnar said...

Right in the middle of a busy day/evening, but I just had to chime in and say the Avengers III, er, I mean, Captain America trailer looks awesome. I was completely uninterested in the Civil War stuff at Marvel, but as William said, this looks like a better set up. Plus, more Falcon! Love it! I've got to finish putting together a news bulletin for my second job: Karen's occasional brunch buddy Joe Biden was in town today to attend a regional summit, and among other things it is causing major traffic headaches here in Zagreb...

Anonymous said...

Dangermash and HB already mentioned my pick...Hercules towing the entire island of Manhattan back into place in MTU #28; I think they later retconned that away by saying that the story was told by Herc himself and he was, ahem, exaggerating a bit.

The Civil War trailer looks great! Why are the Cap movies better than the Avengers movies?

Mike Wilson

Humanbelly said...

Gosh, I. . . I don't think they are, Mike. They're just different kinds of product, is all. The Cap films have a more serious undertone and feel like a much more personal story being told in the midst of huge events-- whereas the Avengers films make it a point to keep a sense of "fun" in the mix even when they're not being exactly light-hearted at all. Bigger stories-- broader canvas-- more comic-book-come-to-life in the best way possible.

Does anyone follow what I mean, there?


pfgavigan said...


Well, I'm not certain if this falls into the category of the suspension of disbelief, but when I get all my comics orientated property together in one spot I shout, "I can't believe I spent all that money on this stuff!!"

The Captain America trailer does look good. Hopefully the two directors, Anthony and Joe Russo will be better suited to shoulder the stress of creating these high epics of Marvel than the solo Joss Whedon.



pfgavigan said...


Yeah Humanbelly, I get where your coming from. It comes down to Marvel doing genre films with Superheroes rather than producing Superhero films. A film with comedic elements is not ipso facto inferior to a straight dramatic feature. It's how well the finished product works within itself that matters.



Redartz said...

I agree with HB and PFG ; different films, different approaches, but equally successful results.

Count me as one of those who did enjoy certain aspects of the original Civil War storyline (some, but not all- heavyhanded, and particularly disliked how it led directly to the sorry events in One More Day, Peter Parker/MJ's marriage finale). Think of "Civil War" as a very extended "What If" issue; it helps.

The trailer looks good; seems likely the film version will be preferable to the comic for many...

pfgavigan said...


I didn't dislike all of the 'Civil War' comic series either. Some elements were entertaining, some tolerable, and one in particular left me with a loathing for a certain character that remains to this day. And it's not Tony Stark or Reed Richards.

Ms. Marvel should have gone on trial at the Hague for war crimes, specifically regarding children soldiers.



Pat Henry said...

Suspension of disbelief *and* Civil War: That Spider-Man would ever go public with his identity. I mean, what could possibly go wrong? Violence against Aunt May?

Comicsfan said...

William's observation about Superman feeling that he's sufficiently disguised his face with nothing more than a pair of glasses--a disguise that Lois Lane would have normally responded to with incredulity at being expected to fall for--ranks right up there in the top five, without question.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I was kinda joking, but I get what you mean; I like both sets of movies, but I liked the Cap ones better than the Avengers overall. I really like the humour that Marvel puts in their movies, but maybe the more serious tone of the Cap movies reminds me of the Brubaker comics...which I loved.

Mike Wilson

Anonymous said...

Yeah count me in on those folks who think Clark Kent's glasses are not an adequate disguise. Even as a kid I thought 'hey waitaminnit wouldn't millions of people recognize him when his face is on the news every night?'.

Another probably lesser suspension of belief is when Spidey is sometimes
shown being beaten by non super-powered characters like the aforementioned Tarantula; yes, I know anything can happen in a fight (even in the comics world) but a guy with superhuman strength and reflexes, along with a nifty spider sense shouldn't have his butt whipped like that!

- Mike 'fake nose and eyeglasses' from Trinidad & Tobago.

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