Question about his clinging feet

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Question about his clinging feet

Postby Elfdame » Thu May 08, 2008 3:04 pm

I was wondering ... we all know that NC can grip any surface, partly due to the adhesive properties of his feet, partly due to their curvature, all aided by his enhanced proprioceptive sense and great balance.

But if a writer wanted someone to, say, shove him off a slick staircase, would it be credible (after all, we're writing' *fantasy* here) to say s/he could do it by catching him off-guard? I mean, it happens in the comics, scenes where you go, "How did he not see that coming?" Or would the clinging nature of his feet keep him from being ambushed that way?

Same question applies to Spider-man, Ultimate or otherwise. ;-)

Opinions? Reasonings? Examples?

Thanks!
"Humanity is a parade of fools, and I am at the front of it, twirling a baton." From Chapter 9 of _Brother Odd_ by Dean Koontz / from Chapter 10: "Life you can evade; death you cannot."

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Question about his clinging feet

Postby littlebamf » Thu May 08, 2008 3:10 pm

He can pretty much cling to anything as long as there's enough friction between his feet and the surface.

I remember an issue from the Trial of Pheonix where he was training in a Shi'ar facility in preparation for the faceoff and fell from a wall due to the lack of friction and had to be caught by Angel, and it being the time that it was, there was a lenghty speech about it.

Not reading much Spider-man, I'd say that at a guess it's the same. If a surface is too slippery or fictionless, he'd have trouble - we've all seen spiders struggle to get out of a bathtub.

Hope that helps, I'm sure someone can go more indepth with this than I can right now :D
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Question about his clinging feet

Postby Elfdame » Thu May 08, 2008 3:17 pm

Tom DeFalco said somewhere in his Spider-man book (overview of the webslinger, great coffeetable book) that Spidey can cling on slippery surfaces.

I tend to agree with you, littlebamf. And particularly if you catch him by surprise, ie if two people are ready to race down the stairs and his eyes would be ahead, the challenger might be able to shove him off. Heh, heh. But not if he can hold on with those special feet, so I keep wondering ...
"Humanity is a parade of fools, and I am at the front of it, twirling a baton." From Chapter 9 of _Brother Odd_ by Dean Koontz / from Chapter 10: "Life you can evade; death you cannot."

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Question about his clinging feet

Postby fourpawsonthefloor » Thu May 08, 2008 5:20 pm

I have this bizzare mental picture of the feet sticking but not stopping the forward momentum of the body - so doing a face plant with your feet still stuck. That doesn't sound much fun either. ;).

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Question about his clinging feet

Postby steyn » Thu May 08, 2008 5:57 pm

If he gets thrown against a wall, does he stick to it or fall to the ground?
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Question about his clinging feet

Postby Elfdame » Thu May 08, 2008 6:25 pm

See, *that's* why I have trouble writing s/f or fantasy; my brain (what there is left of it) asks too many logic-related questions. Like in Spidey I, why did his fingers cling to the banner on the bus and the cafeteria fork, but he can turn loose of a camera or a girl's hand?

So, maybe you have to concentrate (sort of) on the adhesive properties, kind of like you have to concentrate to fly. I could live with that (work with it). Not necessarily *conscious* upper-most-in-mind, but to have the idea there, kind of the way able-bodied people can grasp objects, or how we can slide on ice and then stop when we want to.

I am so glad some of you folk answered. Is this line of questioning and thinking totally dorked out? Or is it a legitimate thing to ask if one wants to write Crawlerfic?
"Humanity is a parade of fools, and I am at the front of it, twirling a baton." From Chapter 9 of _Brother Odd_ by Dean Koontz / from Chapter 10: "Life you can evade; death you cannot."

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Question about his clinging feet

Postby steyn » Thu May 08, 2008 7:04 pm

I actually did think he has to be conscious of wear his feet and his hands cling to, that makes a lot more sense. well, like you said, not conscious conscious, but yeah, he ses the object, clings to it, and turns his attention to something else, but his feet still cling because he was conscious about clinging to it in the first place.

That's why I think that NC would fall if you push him down the stairs, because walking is a very unconscious kind of thing, something he didn't concentrate on in the first place.

[Edited on 8/5/2008 by steyn]
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Question about his clinging feet

Postby Elfdame » Thu May 08, 2008 10:36 pm

Especially if the stairs are rain-slick and he's not *expecting* to be shoved off them, even though he's poised in a crouch for a race. Like, "On your mark, get set," and then the shove. Ha ha ha; sounds like fun to me!

Thanks.

Anyone with a different opinion, chime in.
"Humanity is a parade of fools, and I am at the front of it, twirling a baton." From Chapter 9 of _Brother Odd_ by Dean Koontz / from Chapter 10: "Life you can evade; death you cannot."

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Question about his clinging feet

Postby Freak » Fri May 09, 2008 2:02 am

:shifty

Spidey and Nightcrawler are both too agile to just slip down somewhere. Not to mention Spider Man's Spider Sense and web shooters/ Nightcrawlers teleporting and tail.

Logically spoken, it should be impossible to really get one of the both to fall down. If they do, it's just to carry the plot on.

And about the conscious/unconscious use of the adhesion: if it is a question of willing it or not, then it has to be a muscular movement. And muscles of any kind couldn't perform an adhesion on the molecular level, a term which has been used to describe both men's powers, muscles are just not fine enough.
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Question about his clinging feet

Postby steyn » Fri May 09, 2008 6:01 am

well, not muscular, but there was talk on BAMFCentral that his power to stick to walls is due to dimensional attraction:
Kurt does not actually adhere to solid surfaces. He is able to attach to a solid surface by the attraction of the positive particles of this dimension and the negative particles of the dimension he ports through, which constantly surround his body.


so that's why I'm guessing it's a conscious/unconscious thing, because his powers are activated when he consciously ports to another place, it could just as well work for his sticking to walls.

I think his power can be explained as having three magnets. kurt is the middle magnet, and the other two on each sides are the dimensions he go through. Everytime he ports, the magnet is flipped and his body is attracted to the other dimension. And that could also explain why he, when his magnet is flipped again, that he comes back at a different place. Flip the magnet, it gets pushed away from the one magnet, attracted to the other one, and then the flipped magnet moves position.

[Edited on 9/5/2008 by steyn]
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Question about his clinging feet

Postby Elfdame » Fri May 09, 2008 11:21 am

Originally posted by Freak

Spidey and Nightcrawler are both too agile to just slip down somewhere. Not to mention Spider Man's Spider Sense and web shooters/ Nightcrawlers teleporting and tail.


I'm not sure about this. I think there have been plenty of times when each has been caught off guard, or not at his peak, etc. Don't ask me to quote chapter and verse, although others probably can. Earthquakes do it, but that's kind of a special circumstance. And I seem to remember him falling off the giant sky squid because it was slick (not like rain, however) ... hmm ... I shall consult the "historical documents" ... Okay, pg 19 of the #2 of 4 from 1985 _Nightcrawler_ : "This squid-beast is covered with a mucous-like substance that I can't cling to, so I've lost one of my natural advantages as well." [emphasis in original] And he does indeed slip on p. 20.

Logically spoken, it should be impossible to really get one of the both to fall down. If they do, it's just to carry the plot on.

Hey, I'm not above setting up a situation just to make it easy to advance the plot. If I have to spill olive oil on the stairs, so be it. Or ... something else slick which the rain won't wash off. Or the rain could stop ... okay, I'm straying from the discussion. Sorry.

I'll have to do more research ... such as re-reading #2 about five gazillion more times, heh heh; that's my favourite NC comic although the Willingham is a veeery close second (writing-wise, not art-wise).

I've been trying to read a little more about the "science" of how all this works, and it helps to have better minds than mine to break down the ideas into itty-bitty words that Grammaw can understand. I never took a lot of physics in college, only the "dummy intro to physical science" which basically reminded us why rainbows happen, etc. Well, they focussed on refraction and left out the part about leprechauns, but certainly that was only an oversight on the part of the textbook authors. ANYway, if it's on a molecular or sub-molecular level, then "enquiring minds want to know" how all them bouncin' electrons and such know when to interact and when to be repulsed. Or maybe one should follow Ray Bradbury's example and write the story and to heck with logic: it just happened that way .
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Question about his clinging feet

Postby Saint Kurt » Fri May 09, 2008 12:15 pm

Originally posted by steyn
well, not muscular, but there was talk on BAMFCentral that his power to stick to walls is due to dimensional attraction:


That "dimensional" thing used to explain nearly everything Nightcrawler did, but it was kind of scaled back over the years because it gave writers a little too much latitude to explain nearly anything.

Originally, Nightcrawler stuck to everything because it was related to his ability to teleport (so like Steyn's three magnets thing). He also could turn invisible in the dark, not because he was dark coloured but because he would sort of "phase" into a "darkness dimension" or something like that.

Unfortunately those kinds of powers do require lengthly speeches to explain. There is nothing stranger than in the middle of an epic battle:

"Nightcrawler! Did you just completely disappear into that dark corner?!"

"Ja. I did. You see, meine freund, my power to teleport also allows me to blah blah blah blah blah."

I think, maybe to get rid of the speeches, or perhaps just because he had too many powers, Nightcrawler was wisely scaled back to teleporting and climbing on stuff due to acrobatic training and athleticism. Though he still often appears hanging upside down from the ceiling or up on walls, the explanation seems to be: "he's holding on somehow". The "random German words" power, on the other hand, has never been explained, nor has it been altered over the years.

When I would write Nightcrawler in fanfic his ability to balance etc. was only affected by specific phenomena and then it was usually extremely affected. I did this to show that the ability was beyond just the normal "guy with awesome balance" and had some basis in the same ability he used to triangulate his position when teleporting. I think the two big ones were boats (he'd get really seasick) and drinking (he'd become the guy who trips and falls, taking out 5 people and a table with him). It's a cool idea, but I don't write for Marvel so it doesn't actually matter much.

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Question about his clinging feet

Postby steyn » Fri May 09, 2008 12:42 pm

And that's why I still prefer the whole dimensional attraction thinger. It seems way much more logical then just "he's somehow sticking to the ceiling for some strange reason I can't really explain."
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Question about his clinging feet

Postby Elfdame » Fri May 09, 2008 1:34 pm

Well, I'm so dense! I didn't understand the basis of his seasickness in "Even Angels Have Scars." I just identified! I still think he clings to surfaces like Spidey, though. That's simply too much of a fun attribute to throw away, for my pleasure anyway.

I really appreciate all the opinions and answers. Once I get my head straight on how it'll work to my own satisfaction, I can scan what I've written and see if it makes sense in my universe. Maybe a giant squid could drop out of the sky, splat some goo on the steps, and .... naaaaaaah. Too convenient, the old squid ex machina.

Any other ideas?
"Humanity is a parade of fools, and I am at the front of it, twirling a baton." From Chapter 9 of _Brother Odd_ by Dean Koontz / from Chapter 10: "Life you can evade; death you cannot."

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