Episode 144 of the Letters Page: Writer’s Room: : Justice Comics, Vol. 1, Issue #527

Sky Sky in space who would've thought.  

Or as it will soon be known: Shipping After the Multiverse???

Not to give too much away, it's just all I know about those new names (other than you have to admit Sky-Scraper doesn't quite fit a hero whose power also includes shrinking, and yes I know she didn't do that at first so it did fit originally) is that however you combine them, the ship name will be better than Knife-Scraper. I mean, egggh.

What about Sky Knfye 

literally no one would do that why would two people say a thing that is not true XD

Putting forth "Rivage" for the ship name. Or "Porge"... actually, never mind that second one. 

Wow, for a letter I completely forgot writing, that sure dropped some bombs!

Went back re-listened to this today. At about 26:00 in they go off on a discussion of how Thorathians usually have two kids, with three being rare accidents and both one and four extremely rare - all owing to their cultural obsession with the number two.

Ignoring the fact that if anything should be nearly as good as two it would be two to the power of two (making four-child families common second-bests and three-child families almost unheard of since you might as well add a fourth after having screwed up your perfect pair), this claim makes no practical sense. The minimum replacement rate for population stasis from generation to generation is about 2.1 children per child bearer, and that’s during periods without a lot of excess deaths from disease, famine, natural disaster or war. No amount of belief in lucky numbers will change that.

The Thorathians probably achieve something barely in the stable to slow-growth range with the family sizes they cite, but that just won’t do for an expansionistic military power that regularly engages in warfare, even very one-sided warfare that relies heavily on gene-bound troops and space superiority. They need to overcome combat losses to even remain stable, and as their interstellar holdings grow they need more and more troops and (more importantly) people in logistics supporting them. Even allowing for scifi BS the support services are going to be several times the size of the combat arm. Since Thorathian culture doesn’t sexually discriminate between who serves in combat, casualties are going to be roughly evenly divided between relatively expendable males and vital females, making it even harder to maintain population growth over time.

Primarily two-child families just don’t work in this civilization as presented. Their demographics would fall apart in a few generations. Either something else is going on - for ex, cloned soldier programs, ex utero childbirth factories, and government creches doing the childrearing for all these parentless children (and orphans of dead soldiers) - or the majority of families are having 4+ children. There are probably even government incentives to have more kids to feed the next generation of the war machine - a trait that we’ve seen IRL in Hitler’s Germany, further cementing them as the Space Nazis they were used as in the early days.

I don’t recall this getting fixed later on. Anyone else know if they did?

I’m pretty sure they’ve not discussed it again and unless someone sends in a letter I doubt they address it.

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Honestly it is somewhat congruent with how Dok’Thorath is presented as a society that is falling apart in various ways due to its warfaring.

We also have plenty of countries here on Earth with cultural obsessions that make childbearing difficult and they’re only not suffering the ill effects because of immigration from countries without those obsessions.

I do think it’s mostly just because comics writers don’t think hard enough about those things, but it’s also not wholly incongruent with People Are Dumb cultural issues in reality.

Might be worth a letter just to see how C&A think their way out of it. I personally could see there actually being some scientific Cassandras noting this is a problem and trying to come up with scientific ways around it.

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I don’t think this situation is too different from, say, Thanos trying to achieve sustainability in the universe by erasing 1/2 of all life. Population doubling time is roughly 30 years; that’s all he bought. Put it on the pile of things that comic writers didn’t think too hard about in their world-building.

It’s a great point, though! Like Jeysie said, maybe it feeds into the idea of Thorathian civilization declining and decaying.

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Please do not blame that phenomenal piece of stupidity on the comic authors. Thanos’ absurd Malthusian motivation is entirely an invention of Hollywood and the MCU. In the comic story he kills half the universe solely in an attempt to get Death Herself (who he’s being stalking for ages) to pay attention to him. There’s no concern for “cosmic sustainability” or similar twaddle. And this was after being prevented from destroying every star in the universe in an earlier story for the same reason. He’s insane and nihilistic, but he’s not an idiot like MCU mock-Thanos.


You say this like Thanos trying to impress Death wasn’t its own form of idiocy.


In a universe where Death not only exists as a manifested entity unto Herself, She also actively displayed a romantic interest in Deadpool for years? Comics Thanos is a creeper with emotional issues and is extremely bad about unwanted gift-giving, but compared to MCU Thanos and his theories on population control the guy’s an absolute freaking genius. Even knows how to fly a helicopter.

The MCU made the correct decision in trying to salvage the matter though, as I can almost guarantee if MCU Thanos killed off half the universe to impress a girl the audience (or at least the women in it) would go “…seriously?”

Whether or not they truly salvaged it or merely side-stepped into an equally silly explanation is up for debate, but the attempt needed to be made, heh.

No, it did not. It’s not even an equally silly explanation, it’s an utterly absurd one that flies in the face of science we fully understand rather than relying on mystical BS involving the Marvel cosmology that can’t be rationally argued with.

Almost as flawed as Thorathians not producing enough offspring to survive as a species because of a weird superstition.

I think it’s just a gender-bias POV thing where I’m way more willing to accept on a thematic level “he was a well-intentioned extremist who didn’t think it through” than “he did all this horrible stuff just to impress a girl”.

Any villain plot where I’m thinking “oh my God dude, get a life” is just not a good villain plot for me unless the villain is actually intended by the story to be a loser on some level. X3

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I tend to agree with Jeysie that the MCU reason for Thanos to eliminate half of all life is more interesting vs what the comics did.

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I think maybe it’s just that there’s a clashing debate here between logical cohesion and thematic resonance.

Sometimes a plot can be more logically coherent but still thematically worse because it doesn’t resonate emotionally and/or morally.

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