Alrighty gang, after several heated discussions over the actual power level of Dr. Manhattan, I went through all of the Watchmen books with the intent of pulling every use of power Dr. Manhattan shows, complete with page numbers and all. Now, while I have done that for the most part, I began to skip a few things here and there in relation to repeats of feats (well, a few anyways).
Here are the blanket rules for this discussion for anyone wanting to get involved: If I missed something, give me the book number and page number you are drawing your intel from. None of this – “Well, I thought this happened…” or “I remember something like…” or anything pulled from any of the wikis at all, which for the most part add a lot of speculation and not enough fact. We are dealing with cold, hard facts here. Not the ands, ifs and buts.
Also, I may have included one or two things where a random source in the comic itself states he can do something – but I also try to balance that out with what is actually seen. So, let us not get off into, “Well such and such says he has control of all of this”, when it is not actually seen. People in general say they or others can do a lot of things, but the reality is often quite different than what is said and what they want us to believe.
Dr. Manhattan Feats:
Pg 20: Size alteration
Pg 21: Some super strength, lifting what looks to be a heavy piece of equipment
Pg 22: Teleportation of another
Pg 15: Talks of ’s Matter Manipulation and Teleportation abilities
Pg 4: Ability to create duplicates of himself (no more than 2 of Manhattan seen at one time) and to project some electricity from his hands
Pg 5: Ability to phase
Pg 9: Telekinesis
Pg 16: Teleporting a room full of people, then teleporting self
Pg 19: Teleporting self
Pg 21: Teleported to Mars
Pg 26: Survival in Mars’ Atmosphere
Pg 5: Flash/awareness of the future while in the past – seems to be viewing events possibly simultaneously throughout segments of his life for the majority of the issue
Pg 6: Has his intrinsic field removed, and is seemingly vaporized or disintegrated – specifics aren’t discussed as to what actually happens – the intrinsic field is described as some theoretical field that holds things together – but over the next couple of pages, Manhattan pieces himself together, often slipping in and out of view – by pg 10, Blue boy is reformed in all his…uh…glory…
Pg 10: It is stated he can control atomic structure itself – you only see him dismantle a rifle without his hands as this is stated, and blasting/melting the top of a tank
Pg 14: He makes some guys head explode
Pg 16: Shows knowledge of future events, and states inability to affect it
Pg 17: Hinted that he does not age, or ages much, much slower than humans
Pg 20: Size manipulation of self
Pg 22: Teleports a bunch of angry protesters presumably back to their homes
Pg 26: Floats a few feet off of the ground and forms a crystalline structure on Mars
Pg 23: a little more on how he views the time stream, and teleporting himself and Laurie to Mars
Pg 3: Able to create some sort of enviro field around Laurie allowing her to survive on Mars
Pg 5: More on his perception of time and how everything he sees is preordained
Pg 6: Creates a table and chairs out of the crystalline structure
Pg 9: Makes his structure on Mars fly
Pg 10: Creates water in bottle
Pg 17: States he reads atoms, also states there is some trouble seeing to a point in his future, possibly due to a static from maybe an electromagnetic pulse
Pg 7: Can see or sense tachyons – the “static” makes tracking them difficult – and more teleportation
Pg 12: More talk on his time stream view
Pg 14: Has intrinsic field removed…again…Veidt wasn’t even sure it would work
Pg 17: Size manipulation – and sudden reappearance
Pg 18: Talks about restructuring himself from intrinsic field removal being the first thing he has learned…talks about being able to walk on the sun, etc.
Pg 24: Vaporizes Rorschach
Pg 26: Walks up a wall and through a ceiling
The thing about intrinsic fields...
Let’s talk about this intrinsic field thing, since there is a lot of speculation on his being able to control his own atoms or even reverse entropy (though it is only stated that he has “restructured” himself)…
So, what is an intrinsic field you might ask? It is never fully explained in the comics how and why it does what it does, and it never truly explains the disintegration/vaporizing effect, other than the idea that an intrinsic field holds stuff together.
So, from the science consultant on the Watchmen movie (the guy who wrote “The Physics of Superheroes”, and is heavily into physics and nanotechnology), are his thoughts on the made up concept of intrinsic fields (I know this is more in relation to the movie than the comic, but it is the closest thing to an explanation on intrinsic fields as they are used in the Watchmen universe):
“In a previous accident, the character had destroyed his "intrinsic field" (a made-up concept), which presumably stripped him of the fundamental forces—electromagnetic, strong force, weak force—other than gravity, that hold material together.”
Possible Power Limits:
In Watchmen #4, in the Dr. Manhattan: Super-Powers and the Superpowers section, it is noted that "in well supported theoretical terms", that Manhattan could destroy "large areas" of soviet territory instantly (no notes to quantify "large"), and that he could deflect or disarm at least 60% of incoming missiles from Soviet bases in the USSR and Europe before reaching their intended targets, if they were to launch a full scale nuclear assault.
BEFORE WATCHMEN MANHATTAN:
Sooo...I have been on the forums and threads and have seen a ton of misinformation on Manhattan from people who have read these books. There is honestly very little that changes his overall power level in these books, except for discussions about one ability, and this time I am going into scans to show the scope of what happens.
Could Manhattan change time if he wanted to? Well, here is the answer:
He changed an event, which fractured the quantum reality, and in each new timeline/reality, other choices were made which further fractured those timelines/realities creating further timelines/realities, so forth and so on. As shown in the book, in one reality he went with Silk and in another he still went with Rorschach -- a fractured quantum reality wherein he is the quantum observer. Each reality is equally real and valid.
He doesn't just observe and decide what happens. He can travel to points in his own timeline and like a time traveler, can change events, but as is shown in the story, when he does so, he messes things up royally:
That should give an idea of the scope of what he did, each and every choice he could and will make causes a fracture, and each and every reality ends up like the below:
You see, according to his words: "I know that I can ride the timeline back and forth between the future and the moment of my creation..."
He is in effect a time traveler along his own timeline and has shown the ability to change things and impose his will on them, which has shown the effect of fracturing quantum reality. It's the whole basis of the story, hence the planet blowing up at the end of issue number 2 and him going to fix things, the main true blue (har har) Manhattan lost control of things. He changed an event in the past and due to his unique position in the timestream fractured the quantum reality (an unexpected event since he thought he would change one tiny slip of paper and the timeline would move on from there changed) -- which obviously he had no control over once it started happening hence the end of the world scenario and his need to go and fix things.
When he states he is a slave to predetermination, there is a good reason for it as you can plainly see.
But it doesn't stop there. I have always theorized that Manhattan lost this time travel aspect after the tachyon incident with Ozy. Here we have some proof:
He cannot wait to see what this new box reveals? If he still maintained the ability, shouldn't he already know? Based on Manhattan's thoughts in the scan, he says he cannot wait to see what this new box entails, showing he doesn't already know. It looks like the tachyons disrupted this ability of Manhattan's for good, so he lives in the here and now it seems, no more time travel along his own timeline.
And for those wondering if he did indeed create life? Read the scan above. He picks some material from the planet up, he evolved and altered some microscopic forms, made some goop out of it, and let it go to see what it becomes. Now we don't know of the quality of it, or what it will even become, but there it is.
So there it is. A good starting point I feel for anyone wanting to discuss Dr. Manhattan. I’ll update it with any factual information presented when it is verified
Let the rumble begin...or not if everyone chooses to ignore this…
Alright, so I have had this idea for awhile now, and I thought I'd throw it out and see what kind of response I get.
Here is your setting...a decimated city, in ruins and in flames:
We have 2 teams running this gauntlet. Each team consists of 18 civilians and two cops, with 2 shotguns (Remington 870 pump action for the cops), 2 handguns (glock 17s), and everyone else holding a various assortment of crowbars, baseball bats, boards with rusty nails, and rocks. The civilians with the guns are your average horror movie Joe's, who are not the best of aim, and have maybe had around a 5-10 minute lesson on their weapons, and are terrified out of their wits. If they go all out, all trigger happy, then their ammo will last 2 steps in the gauntlet, but they can conserve it and stretch it out for four steps.
Team one is lead by one of my favorite horror movie icons:
There are 9 steps to this gauntlet as the team leaders try and navigate through a decimated cityscape to reach salvation on the other side. And of course, being a terror gauntlet, each step is a surprise/ambush for our hapless heroes:
Step 1: The group turns a corner and runs into 20 Zombie "Walkers", the original old school Romero style zombies.
Step 2: After a short rest, and regrouping, the group travels a few miles and is set upon by:
Step 4: Deciding that maybe sitting still for a nap wasn't such a great idea, the group gets on the move, and sees a grocery store. Deciding that some supplies and the all important twinkie might be in order, the group is hit by 10 zombie runners (modern style Dawn of the Dead remake and Zombieland zombies).
Step 5: While leaving the store and trying to decide if it is safe to eat the twinkie after the zombie bits have been cleaned from it, the group is set upon by:
5 Deadites (Evil Dead and Army of Darkness anyone?)
Step 6: Tired, scared, and needing a potty break, our group finds an alleyway that looks deserted. Little do they know, scaling the walls and looking for a snack is:
The Fly (1986 movie edition)
Step 7: The group makes it another few miles running and screaming (well, maybe our fearless leaders aren't screaming), when appearing suddenly out of nowhere in front of the group, as he is known to do, and will continue to do until dealt with is:
Jason X (the uber scifi rendition of Mr. Voorhees)
Step 8: After a double, no make that triple tap, or really a quadruple tap on Mr. Voorhees after he has been blown to bits, decapitated, and filled full of lead, the group decides to try and rest, again (will they never learn?), when sneaking up behind them is a:
Tracker Predator w/2 "alien dogs" (see the new Predators flick)
Step 9: The end is in sight! They can see the bus that will take them out of this terror filled city, but wouldn't you know it, between the group and the bus are two terrible foes from the movie The Relic, and the book The Relic (both slightly different takes on a cool beast):
So, the idea is not at which step will either group not make it and fail or who can make it all the way through. Our group leaders are trained horror movie/comic survival experts, so they will make it even if their respective groups bite the dust. The grading points here are:
Who can make it out with the most civilians, and how many are lost during each step? Who does the run in the least amount of time? Who does it with more style and has the most "Zombie Kills of the Week" as it were?
Now, this whole idea popped into my head after reading some of the Battle Forum arguments over Dr. Manhattan, so to get this out of the way right now: I am not picking on nor making fun of Dr. Manhattan. I call it the Manhattan Effect, because this is the most recent example in my mind, and it sounded like a catchy title. So, basically, I am going to rehash and repost something I posted earlier, and expand upon some the ideas in the hopes of opening some eyes, and maybe squashing some future problems before they start.
What is the Manhattan Effect? In short: When someone is arguing a case for their character to win, and they begin to expand upon and theorize about the characters abilities, usually to levels far beyond what has been shown in their comic appearances, and begin to use the theories and expanded abilities in battle threads as a basis for said character to win.
Or, for an even simpler explanation: It is using a lot of "ifs" and "buts" with no real "feats" to back up their argument.
Let's take me for example. In a battle thread between a comic book character and myself, I would probably have a poor showing. But, let's say one day I make a lucky guess about what someone was going to do or say. Now, you don't know if I can read minds (I am fairly certain I can't), but in the battle thread, you take that bit of information and run with it:
"What if Wyldsong has telepathy or can read minds? Just because he hasn't done it before doesn't mean he can't do it. He may not have the feats to back it up, "but" what "if" he really can? It's possible, I mean, he did state what so and so was going to say before they said it."
And we see where this train of thought starts run it's course to, and eventually I end up beating Galactus in some battle thread in the future...
You see, good arguments aren't won with "if". You need facts to back up your case, and of course the feats or the characters showings in the comics are what we have to go on, in other words, those are our facts. This is what justifies losses and wins in these theoretical debates, because if not, then the "ifs" go on forever:
"Well just because you haven't seen Mr. Y do so and so, doesn't mean he can't." "Well just because Mr. Y might be able to do so and so, then Mr. Z might be able to do so and so, disabling Mr. Ys so and so." "But just because you haven't seen Mr. Y do so and so, and Mr. Z might be able to do so and so, doesn't mean Mr. Y couldn't do so and so, beating Mr. Z." Etc., etc., so forth and so on.
This is why people work hardcore with feats, because those are the actual benchmarks, it is your proof for your argument. Regardless of whether or not the character was in 2 or 200 issues, those issues are what we have to work with. It might not be fair for those characters that haven't been in a lot of issues, but that is a problem you need to take up with the publishers and writers, because its not a factor that should excuse the use of "ifs" and "buts". Like any good scientist, you need proof to prove your theories.
So let's see, we have our street levelers, enhanced humans, metahumans, cosmic beings, so forth and so on. There is quite literally an endless list of catgories for hero and villain types, and sometimes there is a fine line between these catgories, and often you'll find your favorite character straddling that ever so thin line.
You see, out of all these categories though, I just don't find them befitting of some of my favorite characters. Edamame's threads on horror films tonight got me to thinking about the genre I love most, and some of my favorite heroes (two of which I'll discuss below). If you haven't guessed by the title of this little post, I am talking about the only word that I can dredge up that seems to fit these hapless and sometimes unwilling heroes...Survivors.
What is a Survivor? And no, I am not talking about a bunch reality star wannabes in a remote location whoring themselves out for pseudo fame and money, and if that is what you thought, then you are so voted off of this island.
Quite simply, the way I see it, a Survivor is someone thrust into an unimaginable situation, often times without special training or powers (and if they do have either, it's normally not on the level of most your favorite spandex wearing heroes or villains), and they survive. They find a way to beat the odds be it dumb luck or the hand of fate. These are the guys and gals that you could probably just about put into any situation, versus any evil imaginable (and sometimes unimaginable) and they will find a way to come out on top. Most importantly, these are characters that started their lives not knowing about and unprepared for the kinds of threats they are facing, living the life of a normal person, blissfully unaware.
Now, this isn't necessarily limited to the horror genre, but that genre is abound with Survivor characters.
Two of my favorites:
Ashley J. Williams
"First you wanna kill me, now you wanna kiss me. Blow." -- Ash
Probably my favorite Survivor of all time. Ash started his career going to a cabin in the woods with some friends and ended up being the smart @$$, chainsaw/shotgun wielding, Deadite demolishing, "Chosen One" hero of the Evil Dead series. This man has faced deadites, Freddy, Jason, the Marvel Zombies, and has still found a way to come out on top and survive. You could put him up against anything and anyone, and odds are, Ash will find a way to survive, if not come out on top.
"I'm gonna get all Elmer Fudd on her @$$." -- Cassie
Here is another favorite of mine. Cassie Hack was once a bitter outcast teenage girl in school until she found out her mother was killing students that had been mistreating her daughter. Of course, once confronted, Mrs. Hack commits suicide by dropping her head into a pot of boiling gravy (because really, what other way are you going to off yourself if you are a lunch lady?), only to return later from the grave as a Slasher, causing Cassie to have to hunt and destroy her own mother. With the help of Vlad, Cassie now hunts Slashers in the world, while searching for clues on her father, who seems to be tied into this mess somehow. This is one kick @$$ gal who faces powerful, inhuman Slashers, and finds a way to come out on top. This is the stuff Survivors are made of.
There are tons of other characters that probably deserve mention in this little diatribe, but to be honest, I need to get some sleep. All I can really say in closing is that while it may be fun to delve into the world of your spandex laden heroes, and watch the superpowers battle it out as a helpless mankind can do nothing but watch and wait...I just find it a little more interesting to see my heroes that are a little more down to Earth face impossible and terrifying odds, sometimes successful and sometimes not. Survivors all the way.