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The Worf Effect

Force Echo

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#1 force_echo

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:00 PM

Simply put, who are some of your favorite characters that got Worfed? For those of you that don't know, the Worf Effect is when you have a super badass/powerful character who keeps getting beaten to establish the badassery/power of another character. It's named after Worf from Star Trek. Here are a few to get started:

1. Silver Surfer- Uber powerful herald who can throw energy blasts that can stagger Galactus, and fight in a black hole with no visible discomfort. Also thrown out the window every time a cosmic evil shows up.

2. The Vision- Anyone who's read a run of the Avengers knows what I'm talking about. If the Vision isn't around to establish how powerful a character is, then its usually Wonder Man, despite being close to Thor's power level, the guy doesn't have a stellar record.

3. Dr. Doom- Although this is constantly retconned to be Doombots.

4. Revan- Super badass from KOTOR 1, gets taken out fairly easily by the new Sith Emperor in direct combat to establish how powerful the Emperor is.

#2 AVP vs The Terminator

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:36 PM

Adam Warlock/Magus- Powerful cosmic hero with control over "quantum magic" (ridiculous as that sounds), which basically seems to be virtually identical to the Power Cosmic as far as power and versatility goes; fought Silver Surfer to a standstill under his own power, tanked a blast from Galactus to the face under his own power, defeated Mephisto several times (once inside Mephisto's own realm), battled the Living Tribunal equally (with the Infinity Gauntlet, of course, but compared to what other people have done with the IG, this is a damn impressive feat), battled evenly with Thanos under his own power. Got brought back in Guardians of the Galaxy, did some badass things, turned evil and purple, plotted and schemed for a while... then got instantly murdered by an alternate universe Mar-Vell (essentially a write-off character who, while powerful, died six issues later). >.>

What kinda ticked me off most about this was the fact that, when they brought Warlock back, they made him out to be the "savior of the universe" or something. Savior of the universe my ass, all he did was lead the team for ten minutes, turn evil and get owned.

It happened to him a fair bit in the 80s-90s too. Hercules, of all people, pummelled him once, and Warrior's Madness Thor once smacked around Warlock and Surfer at the same time (though he may have had the Power Gem at the time).

#3 deojusto

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:37 PM

This may be dorky (even for this site) but Superboy from the TV show Young justice. He seems to spend most of his time now being punched through walls/statues/and roofs. In the very first episode he took out Kid Flash, Robin, and Aqualad by himself. Second season comes around and Aqualad beats him one on one with no trouble.

#4 AVP vs The Terminator

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:39 PM

Double post!

#5 Nova Force Nova

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:08 PM

Ares...poor guy can't catch a break in the Marvel uni.

#6 comic_book_fan

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:17 PM

1. the thing- poor ben has been used this way so much that if he beats someone strong it brings that guys cred down instead of his up i don't know if this could be reversed at this point if they tried.
2.terrax-went from being able to fight thanos and even getting the better of the silver surfer nova airwalker and firelord in a four on one fight without his axe to getting stomped by sentry.
3.juggernaut-owned by hulk so many times it's not even funny granted that is nothing to be ashamed of but still how easly he has lost some of those lately it seems like thats his only reason for being used ever what comic is he in now i realy don't know but make no mistake about it when hulk gets his next upgrade juggernaut will be front and center.
4.stryfe went from a crazy badass in exacutiner song to a crying begging mess in messiah war granted apocalypse is my favorite villian but still let him keep some dignity.

#7 KidStranglehold

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:42 PM

Omega Beam: Went from being able to kill any being whether it be mortal or God, nothing can stop it, block it, evade,etc. Now people like Wonder Women can block it, Batman can evade it, Superman can take it,etc.
Despero: Went from owning the whole Justice League to having trouble handling Supergirl.
Legion of Doom: Most feared villian group....Than gets thrashed by the Teen Titans and dumped in the Source Wall.
Spectre: Do I really have to say anything?
Mephisto: Suppose to be the most feared hell lord. But has a hard time dealing with Silver Surfer and Doctor Doom,Thanos makes him his b%tch. And the worst of them ALL!!!! Gets KO'ed by the Black Panther.
Sinestro Corps: fights off everyone around and then nearly gets neutered by Power Girl.
Apacolypse: Suppose to be the strongest mutant, yet got owned by Magneto.
Spider-Man: Once a hero who stood for something....Now a selfish emo.
Gladiator: Do I really have to explain?


#8 comic_book_fan

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:05 PM

Omega Beam: Went from being able to kill any being whether it be mortal or God, nothing can stop it, block it, evade,etc. Now people like Wonder Women can block it, Batman can evade it, Superman can take it,etc.
Despero: Went from owning the whole Justice League to having trouble handling Supergirl.
Legion of Doom: Most feared villian group....Than gets thrashed by the Teen Titans and dumped in the Source Wall.
Spectre: Do I really have to say anything?
Mephisto: Suppose to be the most feared hell lord. But has a hard time dealing with Silver Surfer and Doctor Doom,Thanos makes him his b%tch. And the worst of them ALL!!!! Gets KO'ed by the Black Panther.
Sinestro Corps: fights off everyone around and then nearly gets neutered by Power Girl.
Apacolypse: Suppose to be the strongest mutant, yet got owned by Magneto.
Spider-Man: Once a hero who stood for something....Now a selfish emo.
Gladiator: Do I really have to explain?

i agree with all these but i agree with spiderman the most and am surprised i didn't think to mention him i hate what they did with him.

#9 KidStranglehold

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:10 PM

i agree with all these but i agree with spiderman the most and am surprised i didn't think to mention him i hate what they did with him.


Yeah I agree man. He was such a douche in Spider-man Big Time.

#10 Dinsdale Piranha

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:18 PM

Thing (big time)
Guy Gardener (though I didn't really mind seeing him used like this)
Galactus
Shang Chi
even Galactus

I didn't know about Warlock, but that one's karma. He was a great character who became a real Mary Sue when Jim Starlin started writing all those universe-wide crossovers with him and Thanos.

#11 sirmethos

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:12 PM

Shang Chi: Pretty much every time Marvel wants to establish someone as a master martial artist, Shang Chi is the one getting his arse kicked. Most noticeable examples: Wolverine and Daredevil beating him, and him acknowledging both of them as "the new master of kung fu" after getting defeated. I call bullshit.

For a while, Sentry was the guy that everyone was beating up, to show how extremely strong they were. Not exactly a favorite character of mine, but he had awesome potential, that Marvel pretty much flushed down the toilet.

Silver Surfer: Suffers from both the Worf Effect(as described in an earlier post), and the reverse(primarily due to being the hero of his own comic).

#12 treacherous

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:19 PM

Gladiator will always be the king of this role. His power allows a plausible explanation to any win or defeat.

#13 Dinsdale Piranha

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:39 PM

Shang Chi: Pretty much every time Marvel wants to establish someone as a master martial artist, Shang Chi is the one getting his arse kicked. Most noticeable examples: Wolverine and Daredevil beating him, and him acknowledging both of them as "the new master of kung fu" after getting defeated. I call bullshit.


Agreed! And not just standard Earth 616 bullshit either, but Ultimate Bullshit.

For a while, Sentry was the guy that everyone was beating up, to show how extremely strong they were. Not exactly a favorite character of mine, but he had awesome potential, that Marvel pretty much flushed down the toilet.


I think Sentry suffers from proxy hero syndrome. Characters like him, Gladiator, Hyperion, etc. get used like this because it's easy to use them as proxies for Superman.

#14 Hayesmeister5651

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 09:48 AM

Piccolo/Vegeta- Always stomp the henchmen, then get pwned by the main villain.

Sasuke Uchiha- Before the time skip, he got this a lot.

ANBU Black Ops- Suppose to be some of the most bad ass ninja in the Hidden leaf, they do nothing lol.

Ash's Charizard- Normally a bad ass, able to take on legendary poke'mon but then just flat out gets owned a lot too.

Superman- First season of Justice league he always got his ass kicked, worst than Superboy in YJ. Ugh, and even after his awesome speech to Darkseid(world made of cardboard) DS owns him after his rant. Kind of ruined the speech.

#15 force_echo

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 01:08 PM

I totally agree with Galactus. "Holy shit, Thor's Godblast just hurt GALACTUS. WHHHHAAAAAAA-"

The ODSTs- The best of the best of mankind's infantry. 4 of them die in hand-to-hand combat with a 14 year old John-117 in a span of 30 seconds.

Interestingly, I was discussing this with a friend, and he pointed out some inanimate objects that were afflicted with the worf affect.

The UNSC Infinity- Super powerful experimental warship combining human and Covenant tech that gets taken out in one blast in the beginning of Halo 4.

Cap's Shield- Gets broken or dented to prove how incredibly powerful someone is. Last seen with the Serpent in Fear Itself.

#16 Supes Rulez

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 10:24 PM

Bruce Timm made Superman his Worf in Justice League. Well, at least for the first couple of seasons, after that he got a little better.





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