beccaelizabeth (beccaelizabeth) wrote,


Legends of Tomorrow is probably not trying for subtlety, in superpowers or anything else, but
it really bugs me that the super scary Pilgrim was such a lousy assassin
when her power could have been so *sneaky*.

She has temporal micro manipulation.
Which on the show means she can wave her hands around and stop attacks mid air, even turn them around sometimes.
It's big, it's showy, it's... such a waste of potential.

Look, even if the only thing you can do is stop time locally, even if there's a size limit on it so you can only stop something the size of a bullet without those big showy preparation required gestures
take a minute to imagine what you can do with
one bullet's worth of air
that cannot be moved.

It has no time passing, so it is in fact an immovable object.

Just... okay, to hit anyone at speed, you'd need them to be going quite fast, unless the rule takes into account that the Earth is moving, but that didn't seem to apply on Legends. Still, one bullet shaped bit of air positioned in front of a moving vehicle, big messes without needing to aim a gun at someone.

And really it's that speech from Babylon 5 about what the psi corps want from telekinetics - bigger is flash, but smaller is *damage*. Imagine setting a slice of air on nanowire scale. Worse than cheesewire metting target, that one. And it couldn't break. And maybe it wouldn't be dense enough to do a clean cut, there could be some weird effects if only individual atoms were suddenly standing still, but you could do the same with spider silk or something. Thinner it is, sharper it is. Razorblades and scalpels made of frozen time.

But why even do damage that noticeable? A body is a collection of moving parts that rather depend on all of them keeping moving. So many places a sudden short stoppage does all the damage an assassin needs, and never any worries about leaving a trace. Plus the somewhat nastier stopping a bullet sized piece of brain tissue. Especially in a moving target.

But maybe there's effects like with GURPS magic that mean bodies have different rules and saving throws. Fine. Pilgrim could go bigger as well. So many moments in an ordinary day when a momentary pause puts a person in danger, either human sized on a road, or car sized at a stoplight. When the pause broke the original velocity would be back, but from the outside you couldn't tell the car wasn't just parking at the lights.

Nasty, yes, but subtle.

Time Masters sending someone to stomp around history waving guns doesn't even make sense. Why do so much noteworthy damage in the cause of preserving the timeline? Especially when you could write off so much of the other sort as time wanting to happen.

Go after Mick on that same day, pause him staring at the pretty lights, and suddenly it's a tragedy for the whole family.

Of course if you want bait there's also plenty fun to be had with frozen people.

I just read another book that played with a simple time stop and how useful it was for assassinations. Different parameters, but a stopped target can't see you walking up to it.

Really, it was obviously cool to stop blasts of flame mid air and all that, but it's by far the least interesting thing you can do once the ability to stop time locally comes into play.

And as for selectively reversing it...

I just get frustrated sometimes when spectacle is, for even good reasons, prioritised over logic
or cool.

... also, sometimes I take a look at the stuff my brain happily comes up with and just... oops?
Eh, I'm optimised for fiction, it's fiiiiiiine...

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Tags: legends of tomorrow, meta, superpowers
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