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Old 12-04-2017, 06:59 PM   #76
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Default Re: Marvel’s Runaways General Discussion

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Nope, I'm saying that magic is something that we will never be able to understand completely. Magic should be unexplainable, forever. No matter how much time someone spends trying to understand why it works.

Otherwise, yeah, it's just science. Which is boring, and homogenizes the sci-fi/fantasy genre.

I'm perfectly capable of suspending my disbelief enough to accept that magic just happens without a definable explanation of why.

A good illustration of it is the Waid/Ringo run of Fantastic Four. Reed tries to apply his scientific mind to magic, and fails.
This is an interesting discussion, and it reminds me of one I've had before.

My questions are:
Do Omniscient characters have the ability to understand magic?
Do omnipotent characters have the ability to transfer that knowledge?

Everyone's capable of suspending their disbelief to believe that things happen and cannot be understood by humans, that's a huge part of fantasy, but when fantasy and sci-fi are in the same universe, then if that universe has internal consistency, magic is definable, and we have to suspend our belief in our own experience to enjoy the magic... just like we are at a magic show.

I think the Unthinkable arc was brilliant, but it occurred in the same universe with Dr. Strange, who experiments with magic, and even, I'm told, invents new branches of magic as needed based on fundamental principles, meaning that Dr. Strange does science with what we call magic.

Now in comics I personally suspend my disbelief to understand that the characters don't need to live in the same physical universe, and that the laws of physics simply change depending on whose name is on the cover. If I didn't, 60 years of artistic license would destroy me. It seems like the MCU has a little more integrity than that, and I think that's a good call for a live action universe this young.

Either way, we see that Nico's staff does magic for all intents and purposes. I'm not really worried that The Collector or Baron Mordo could tell me how it works, because we know that will never happen. And, as you pointed out, it hasn't really stopped them from telling any stories with magical or mystical heroes just because there's a secret explanation somewhere.

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Old 12-04-2017, 09:42 PM   #77
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*cough* I think the easy answer is "No, magic isn't stuff we don't/can't understand." That's a terrible and useless definition.

Magic is a specific thing. How that specific thing is defined depends on the setting, but it usually involves stuff like "the mind effecting the world", "altered perceptions of the world", "other dimensions and beings/forces in them", "symbols having power", etc. When all else fails, how do you know whether something in a story is "really" magic? By looking for a knowledgeable character who should be able to tell, and seeing what they say.

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Old 12-05-2017, 09:08 AM   #78
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Default Re: Marvel’s Runaways General Discussion

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Nope, I'm saying that magic is something that we will never be able to understand completely. Magic should be unexplainable, forever. No matter how much time someone spends trying to understand why it works.
The only way I can think of that you could have something like this that is impossible to explain, is if there is no reason for why it works. You also keep refereing to "we". It's possible that aspects of it will never be discovered during the existence of humans or even that humans can't comprehend it by the very nature of it, but what about a being like Dormammu? Surely he can understand it? Or if there is a being like the One-Above-All. Is it impossible for such a being to explain magic? If so, why? How would that even work?

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Otherwise, yeah, it's just science. Which is boring, and homogenizes the sci-fi/fantasy genre.
That's not true. If it is a system that is completely distinct from physics and does not have to adhere to the laws of physics, it does not homogenize anything.

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I'm perfectly capable of suspending my disbelief enough to accept that magic just happens without a definable explanation of why.
Not understanding why something happens and something for which it is impossible to explain why something happens are two different things. Again, could you explain how it would be possible for something to have a reason for why it works, yet for some reason it is impossible to comprehend or explain this reason, even if you have infinite time and omniscience?

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A good illustration of it is the Waid/Ringo run of Fantastic Four. Reed tries to apply his scientific mind to magic, and fails.
I haven't read this run, or even know much about the Fantastic Four at all, so I can't say much about it.

However, the fact that Reed has a brilliant scientific mind means nothing if he only has experience with physics and things explained by it. You can know everything there is to know about radioactivity, gamma rays, quantum mechanics, unstable molecules, Horton cells and Pym particles, but still not be able to understand something that uses a completely distinct system from all of those things. It would probably be even harder to stop using the things you know (basically unlearn them for specific scenarios) and learn something completely from scratch if you're already so experienced in natural science. In that sense I suppose Doom has an edge over him, doing both natural science and magic (including supernatural science) alongside eachother.

In fact, I think Reed might even be at a major disadvantage when it comes to such things. You know about the observer effect in quantum mechanics? I would imagine that because of the way magic works, something similar applies when studying it. Except it is not the physical presence of an observer that introduces noise or completely changes the outcome. But instead the mindset, beliefs or even simple thoughts of the person observing or manipulating. All of those things are an integral part of magic after all, and given the existence of souls, the astral plane, etc. I would imagine that they can have a very real effect. If you then take someone like Reed who is very used to being able to explain everything by using certain principles and ways of thinking, and who's probably very analytic and questioning of everything and then let him apply that to magic, of course it won't work.


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Old 12-05-2017, 09:51 AM   #79
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Default Re: Marvel’s Runaways General Discussion

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*cough* I think the easy answer is "No, magic isn't stuff we don't/can't understand." That's a terrible and useless definition.

Magic is a specific thing. How that specific thing is defined depends on the setting, but it usually involves stuff like "the mind effecting the world", "altered perceptions of the world", "other dimensions and beings/forces in them", "symbols having power", etc. When all else fails, how do you know whether something in a story is "really" magic? By looking for a knowledgeable character who should be able to tell, and seeing what they say.
Hey! Glad you're around for this.

So, I still agree, but where does this leave the function of magic in fiction, which is to be transcendent and supernatural. What happens when magic is no longer "magical?"

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Old 12-05-2017, 01:00 PM   #80
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The only way I can think of that you could have something like this that is impossible to explain, is if there is no reason for why it works. You also keep refereing to "we". It's possible that aspects of it will never be discovered during the existence of humans or even that humans can't comprehend it by the very nature of it, but what about a being like Dormammu? Surely he can understand it? Or if there is a being like the One-Above-All. Is it impossible for such a being to explain magic? If so, why? How would that even work?


That's not true. If it is a system that is completely distinct from physics and does not have to adhere to the laws of physics, it does not homogenize anything.


Not understanding why something happens and something for which it is impossible to explain why something happens are two different things. Again, could you explain how it would be possible for something to have a reason for why it works, yet for some reason it is impossible to comprehend or explain this reason, even if you have infinite time and omniscience?


I haven't read this run, or even know much about the Fantastic Four at all, so I can't say much about it.

However, the fact that Reed has a brilliant scientific mind means nothing if he only has experience with physics and things explained by it. You can know everything there is to know about radioactivity, gamma rays, quantum mechanics, unstable molecules, Horton cells and Pym particles, but still not be able to understand something that uses a completely distinct system from all of those things. It would probably be even harder to stop using the things you know (basically unlearn them for specific scenarios) and learn something completely from scratch if you're already so experienced in natural science. In that sense I suppose Doom has an edge over him, doing both natural science and magic (including supernatural science) alongside eachother.

In fact, I think Reed might even be at a major disadvantage when it comes to such things. You know about the observer effect in quantum mechanics? I would imagine that because of the way magic works, something similar applies when studying it. Except it is not the physical presence of an observer that introduces noise or completely changes the outcome. But instead the mindset, beliefs or even simple thoughts of the person observing or manipulating. All of those things are an integral part of magic after all, and given the existence of souls, the astral plane, etc. I would imagine that they can have a very real effect. If you then take someone like Reed who is very used to being able to explain everything by using certain principles and ways of thinking, and who's probably very analytic and questioning of everything and then let him apply that to magic, of course it won't work.
There's a lot in here, so I won't reply to all of it. But a few things:
1. Not sure if omnipotent beings understand magic. But aren't they, to some extent, magical themselves? So that sort of begs the question, to me.
2. Calling magic any form of science, understood or not, makes every fantasy story just some form of sci-fi. That's homogenizing the genre, at least in theory if not in practice. Not a fan.
3. If we have to debate this hard about the semantics of how/why something happens, might as well just call it magic and not think too hard about it. Thinking too hard about it is what the problem is in the first place. Magic is inexplainable. Stop trying to explain it by calling it "science."
4. You should read the whole Waid/Ringo FF run. It's dope.

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Old 12-05-2017, 02:56 PM   #81
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Default Re: Marvel’s Runaways General Discussion

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There's a lot in here, so I won't reply to all of it. But a few things:
1. Not sure if omnipotent beings understand magic. But aren't they, to some extent, magical themselves? So that sort of begs the question, to me.
2. Calling magic any form of science, understood or not, makes every fantasy story just some form of sci-fi. That's homogenizing the genre, at least in theory if not in practice. Not a fan.
3. If we have to debate this hard about the semantics of how/why something happens, might as well just call it magic and not think too hard about it. Thinking too hard about it is what the problem is in the first place. Magic is inexplainable. Stop trying to explain it by calling it "science."
4. You should read the whole Waid/Ringo FF run. It's dope.
Interesting...

1) If Omniscient(all-knowing) beings don't understand magic, then they are not omniscient, by definition. There's no reason to to suggest, say, The Beyonder is a magical being, though. That seems random, and I'm not sure what question is being begged.

2) Science fiction is not "fiction with science" because every intelligible reality can make use of the scientific method. Star Wars barely qualifies as Science Fiction (pre-midiclorians btw), and so there's no chance Lord of the Rings ever will. Nothing is homogenized, because Science Fiction is consistently a function of our real world science, not the scientific method applied to purely fictional concepts. This idea, that magic is not magical to the magician goes all the way back to Tolkien, and there was nothing homogeneous about his work.

3) The problem with fictional worlds is never the audience. To accuse the audience of not suspending their disbelief, or thinking too hard absolves the creators of the very important writing task of bringing the audience in, and carefully building the bridge upon which that belief is suspended. If you want your magic system to feel inexplicable, as some (and only some) fantasy writers do, then you have to do the hard work of making something feel intuitive, so that it is not just a deus ex machina, without it being clear why it feels right.

And I think there's a bit of a misunderstanding of what science is. Radiation is not itself 'science.' Radiation are waves of energy traveling through a medium. How we understand and describe and interpret and use radiation is science. Magic is never science. Magic is extradimensional energy or the concrete of the abstract or what have you, but the way we understand it to create and modify spells is science. It has nothing to do with thinking too hard, it's just a function of knowing what science is. Once you know, you can't not know.

I really like this thought process, so I'll indulge myself a bit further: If a wizard creates a new spell, that's fictional science, but it's not science fiction, because it's not an extrapolation of real world scientific principles, but an extrapolation of fictional supernatural principles. If a wizard just rehearses a set of hand gestures in order to make something happen, that's not science, and likewise, if I repeat a set of hand gestures in front of the Kinect to get a high score, that's not science, either. If anything, it's art.

And maybe that's what the core of this debate is. We don't describe a martial artist creating new techniques as a scientist, even though they absolutely are. The artistic quality of their actions is what defines them, and at once makes what they do undefinable to us.

Now I'm just spinning, so I'll stop.

4) Will do.

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Old 12-05-2017, 03:19 PM   #82
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1. Not sure if omnipotent beings understand magic. But aren't they, to some extent, magical themselves? So that sort of begs the question, to me.
Are they? Are you claiming that the only way to possibly gain omnipotence in such a fictional universe is through means of inexplicable magic? And even if they are, if they have knowledge through "magic" does that take anything away from the fact that they can explain why things work?

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2. Calling magic any form of science, understood or not, makes every fantasy story just some form of sci-fi. That's homogenizing the genre, at least in theory if not in practice. Not a fan.
I mean, last I checked Star Wars is about spiritual wizard-knights and Doctor Who waves a buzzing "magic" wand at ghosts, werewolves and satan himself, while Dungeons and Dragons, Warcraft, Legend of Zelda, Elder Scrolls, etc. all have plenty of robots and aliens running around, so that's been going on for forever. I personally don't mind this, but also I think that usually these things differentiate themselves by implying that either what we see is an extension of physics somehow or else is part of a system outside of physics. In other words, while indeed the name "Sci-fi" would not distinguish between the two, neither does "fantasy", since the technology in classic sci-fi is definitely fantastical. However we can distinguish by calling those things that use "advanced real-life physics" to explain their nonexisting bits "science fiction" while we call things that use "a system distinct from physics alltogether (AKA magic)" to explain it "fantasy".

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3. If we have to debate this hard about the semantics of how/why something happens, might as well just call it magic and not think too hard about it. Thinking too hard about it is what the problem is in the first place. Magic is inexplainable. Stop trying to explain it by calling it "science."
I am calling it magic and not thinking too hard about it. Calling it "science" doesn't explaing anything about it in itself. I wouldn't like to get at midi-chlorian level explanation for why the Staff of One does what it does, for sure. I am merely pointing out that since it consistently works in a predictable way, there must exist a theoretical explanation for why it works, and thus it is in a way scientific. "Science" is just a word and we don't need to be scared of it. Calling it that doesn't really change anything. It can still draw power from other dimensions or god-like beings or some arcane power that we don't understand. It can still be magic. It's just that this magic happens to be part of the world and has a reason why it works, because otherwise it wouldn't work.


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Old 12-05-2017, 03:25 PM   #83
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Interesting...

And I think there's a bit of a misunderstanding of what science is. Radiation is not itself 'science.' Radiation are waves of energy traveling through a medium. How we understand and describe and interpret and use radiation is science. Magic is never science. Magic is extradimensional energy or the concrete of the abstract or what have you, but the way we understand it to create and modify spells is science. It has nothing to do with thinking too hard, it's just a function of knowing what science is. Once you know, you can't not know.
This bolded sentence and your signature completely contradict one another.

*Edited for length of the quote.

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Old 12-05-2017, 03:34 PM   #84
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Are they? Are you claiming that the only way to possibly gain omnipotence in such a fictional universe is through means of inexplicable magic? And even if they are, if they have knowledge through "magic" does that take anything away from the fact that they can explain why things work?
I don't know how else to categorize omnipotence. I was calling them "magic" for lack of a better term, really. Although omnipotence itself really defies explanation, so I could categorize it in the magic category.

But my point on the omnipotent beings begging the question was basically "can magic understand magic?" I think that's up to the authors to define, but I would still say no if I had my druthers. But it would be a fascinating story to explore, if it hasn't been done already.

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Old 12-05-2017, 04:18 PM   #85
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^This is an amazing perspective. How does omnipotence defy explanation, precisely? We see it in so many stories, with so many explanations, I really don't know what you're referring to.

You seem to imply that omnipotent beings are magical in substance, by asking 'can magic understand magic,' which is quite a statement. Are you using magic as a synonym for "the unexplainable?" to the effect that two magical things can be fundamentally different in every way, but so long as that way cannot be explained, they are both magic in the same way?

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This bolded sentence and your signature completely contradict one another.

*Edited for length of the quote.
Good catch! I don't think they truly contradict, since one is talking about nature of the magical substance, and other about the appearance of magical action, but even with these clarifications, the similarity of language underlines a really strong dichotomy between how I use the word magic in one context versus another.

My point, in either case, is that science is primarily an action, and that action can be taken with any type of energy or force, even, or perhaps especially, when one does not know the true source of that energy.

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Old 12-05-2017, 05:30 PM   #86
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^This is an amazing perspective. How does omnipotence defy explanation, precisely? We see it in so many stories, with so many explanations, I really don't know what you're referring to.

You seem to imply that omnipotent beings are magical in substance, by asking 'can magic understand magic,' which is quite a statement. Are you using magic as a synonym for "the unexplainable?" to the effect that two magical things can be fundamentally different in every way, but so long as that way cannot be explained, they are both magic in the same way?
I haven't thought much about it until now, but yes, I think in most cases, yes, I use magic as a synonym for "the unexplainable."

Since no real being could ever be omnipotent--and even within a comic book setting, it's regarded as incredibly rare and god-like--I group omnipotent into the "unexplainable" category.

But I'll admit that does blend real life and fiction settings--something/someone being omnipotent in a comic book setting can certainly be explained. But it's such a revered state that it's still magical enough for me to count it.

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Good catch! I don't think they truly contradict, since one is talking about nature of the magical substance, and other about the appearance of magical action, but even with these clarifications, the similarity of language underlines a really strong dichotomy between how I use the word magic in one context versus another.

My point, in either case, is that science is primarily an action, and that action can be taken with any type of energy or force, even, or perhaps especially, when one does not know the true source of that energy.
Yeah, context is important in understanding how we talk about science itself. But to me, science isn't just an action--it's an understanding of why that action causes certain results.

I like the why's of magic to remain questions. Otherwise, it turns magic and science into the same thing, which I'm staunchly against. Even admitting that the why's could be understood makes them too similar to me.

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Old 12-05-2017, 06:10 PM   #87
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I think that's really interesting. I also like the whys of science to remain unexplained, so that there is still more science to do. Science is understanding, sure, but only understanding that comes from the scientific process of experimentation. You have to "do" science to have science. And for the doing, if I'm combining two chemicals, I don't know what laws are controlling the reaction, whether laws of physics or laws of magic, but it the same scientific experiment that I learn from either way.

I think your preferences are interesting and understandable. I do think there is an objective point to be had from this discussion too, that science and science fiction (and stage magic, CTTOI) have advanced so much that effects which once seemed magical are now withing the science fiction realm. Throwing fireballs isn't just for wizards anymore. This makes "true" magic harder to write, because you almost have to 'prove' that your energy can't be understood, otherwise, your magic becomes theoretically subject to the dozens of explanations available for your effects. And you have to write this proven magic while still having rules that keep it from being convenient and arbitrary, which is what something indecipherable should logically seem.

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Old 12-05-2017, 06:39 PM   #88
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Just got Hulu, looking forward to starting this soon

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Old 12-06-2017, 12:18 AM   #89
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Honestly, while I am enjoying the show so far, I do have a few things I have issues (just some personal preferences):

1. I wish Dale Yorkes had his handlebar mustache. It really is minor in the grand scheme of things, but the dude rocked the 'stache and it made him look distinct. Again, minor detail.
2. I also wish that Victor Stein was played by someone more scrawnier. Not that James Marsters is bad by any means (he's probably one of the best actors in the show so far), but a scene in episode 4 would have more meaning if he were nerd-shaped. The scene would have more meaning if the well-built Chase is still intimidated by his scrawny father, because no matter how strong he gets, Chase can never not be frightened by his father.
3. Pacing could be better.
4. I didn't like that they killed of the Hayes (or Hernandez in this case). I'll admit its probably because of economic casting and whatnot, but the Pride feels more empty without all the parents being part of it
5. Speaking of removing parents, why isn't Frank Dean a member of the Pride? That was the point of the group. That all of their parents are a part of this sinister agenda. The fact that Frank isn't a part of it makes him feel pointless as a character (and no, I don't care about his subplot about his fading acting career).
6. The kids could use some more interaction as a group (episode five does help fix this a bit).
7. THE COSTUMES. I miss the Pride's costumes. It was so unique and colorful and made them look intimidating:

Instead we get this:


Like I said, those are some of my issues with the series. Don't get me wrong, I'm still enjoying the show so far, but we're halfway through the season now, so might as well put some of my opinions out there right now. Speaking of, it seems like the teens won't stop their parents by seasons' end. Eh, who knows at this point?

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Old 12-06-2017, 12:44 AM   #90
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Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
Honestly, while I am enjoying the show so far, I do have a few things I have issues (just some personal preferences):

1. I wish Dale Yorkes had his handlebar mustache. It really is minor in the grand scheme of things, but the dude rocked the 'stache and it made him look distinct. Again, minor detail.
2. I also wish that Victor Stein was played by someone more scrawnier. Not that James Marsters is bad by any means (he's probably one of the best actors in the show so far), but a scene in episode 4 would have more meaning if he were nerd-shaped. The scene would have more meaning if the well-built Chase is still intimidated by his scrawny father, because no matter how strong he gets, Chase can never not be frightened by his father.
3. Pacing could be better.
4. I didn't like that they killed of the Hayes (or Hernandez in this case). I'll admit its probably because of economic casting and whatnot, but the Pride feels more empty without all the parents being part of it
5. Speaking of removing parents, why isn't Frank Dean a member of the Pride? That was the point of the group. That all of their parents are a part of this sinister agenda. The fact that Frank isn't a part of it makes him feel pointless as a character (and no, I don't care about his subplot about his fading acting career).
6. The kids could use some more interaction as a group (episode five does help fix this a bit).
7. THE COSTUMES. I miss the Pride's costumes. It was so unique and colorful and made them look intimidating:

Instead we get this:


Like I said, those are some of my issues with the series. Don't get me wrong, I'm still enjoying the show so far, but we're halfway through the season now, so might as well put some of my opinions out there right now. Speaking of, it seems like the teens won't stop their parents by seasons' end. Eh, who knows at this point?
Ok, I thought I was imagining things.
The most memorable plot twist right out the gate was that the parents are known supervillains or at least the kids knew they were supervillains.

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Old 12-06-2017, 07:01 AM   #91
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4. I didn't like that they killed of the Hayes (or Hernandez in this case). I'll admit its probably because of economic casting and whatnot, but the Pride feels more empty without all the parents being part of it
I think budget is definitely a factor here. There are definitely twists on the original story (Nico's sister being one of them), so I assume they'll explore it and we'll see where it goes.

Quote:
5. Speaking of removing parents, why isn't Frank Dean a member of the Pride? That was the point of the group. That all of their parents are a part of this sinister agenda. The fact that Frank isn't a part of it makes him feel pointless as a character (and no, I don't care about his subplot about his fading acting career).
I think the implication so far is:

Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
He got cold feet and didn't want to continue, so they used the memory erasing drug they have to remove it from his memory.


Quote:
6. The kids could use some more interaction as a group (episode five does help fix this a bit).
...
Like I said, those are some of my issues with the series. Don't get me wrong, I'm still enjoying the show so far, but we're halfway through the season now, so might as well put some of my opinions out there right now. Speaking of, it seems like the teens won't stop their parents by seasons' end. Eh, who knows at this point?
Based on the interview I posted earlier, they want to try and make sure this show is capable of lasting several seasons and they think the interaction/conflict between parent and child is the most interesting part of the original story. Part of this came from their conversations/brainstorming with Brian K. Vaughan, who said he felt his original story moved too fast because they always thought it was going to get cancelled.

That being said, my favorite part of the story was the kids running away together and learning to live on their own. By delaying that moment, they're doing a lot of fun parent/child interaction, but they're also taking away something I like. My suspicion is the Pride will still be there next season and they'll run away either at the end of this season or the beginning of next season. The "Runaways" in the title, so far, refers to the kids who are sacrificed.

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Old 12-06-2017, 12:39 PM   #92
UltimatePyro9
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Default Re: Marvel’s Runaways General Discussion

Like I said, those are just minor problems I have with the series. I’m enjoying the show so far and I don’t mind a lot of the changes it made, but it could pick up the pace a bit.

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Old 12-07-2017, 12:09 AM   #93
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Default Re: Marvel’s Runaways General Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimatePyro9 View Post
5. Speaking of removing parents, why isn't Frank Dean a member of the Pride? That was the point of the group. That all of their parents are a part of this sinister agenda. The fact that Frank isn't a part of it makes him feel pointless as a character (and no, I don't care about his subplot about his fading acting career).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Murdock View Post
I think the implication so far is:

Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
He got cold feet and didn't want to continue, so they used the memory erasing drug they have to remove it from his memory.
Couldn't Julian McMahon's character be
Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
Karolina's real father?

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