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I'm coming up with this antagonist in my story, he can redirect attacks back at his opponents. For example; If someone shoots at him, he can:

  1. deflect the bullet to some other direction or back to the shooter
  2. as soon as his hands make contact with the bullet, its kinetic energy is then "flown through" his body and his other hand can punch with the same force the bullet has
  3. if someone drops an anvil on him(looney tunes style) he takes a low stance with his legs, makes contact w the anvil with his hand, and punches upwards with the other hand

What are some ways to defeat this kind of foe?

(The setting is similar to ww1 and ww2 with its technology)

(has David from Cyberpunk with Sandevistan levels of reflex and reaction time)

(Has mild super strength like street buster level, mild super durability, godlike stamina(an exploit of his redirection ability, he saves up energy from every movement))

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    $\begingroup$ BTW, I have no idea what "david from cyberpunk with sandevistan levels of reflex and reaction time" means. Never, ever, assume that your audience understands you. Stack Exchange requires you to include all relevant details in your post so the post is self-contained. You can link out to the source, but the details that are required to answer your question must be here (because links break). We're lenient with new users, but not including details is a factual reason to close questions. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 16:53
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    $\begingroup$ google WW2 chemical weapons. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Apr 26, 2023 at 0:05
  • $\begingroup$ Too short for a real answer, but "In his sleep, with a scalpel." $\endgroup$
    – jdunlop
    Commented Apr 26, 2023 at 0:26
  • $\begingroup$ late to the punch... Google: Sebastian Shaw, Marvel Comics Ignore all results pertaining to X-Men movies. $\endgroup$
    – Gillgamesh
    Commented Apr 27, 2023 at 15:43

8 Answers 8

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Falling, poison gas, poisoned needle, poison, mine, car bomb, electricity, acid, trap door, drowning, burying, hanging, vacuum, extreme pressure, freezing, burning, hunger, dehydration, microwaves, laser, slow squashing, tearing apart, tying up, rolling up in a carpet, cut tires, SWATting, radiation, biological weapon, extortion.

Speed and reflexes don't make a person invincible. Just don't shoot at him and don't punch.

And from your description it appears he has to consciously use his power. Poor guy would be dead if someone shot him in the back.

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    $\begingroup$ SWATting......? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 19:25
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    $\begingroup$ @user253751 redirecting some other powerful entity to kill him. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swatting $\endgroup$
    – D'Monlord
    Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 19:28
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    $\begingroup$ ... with kinetic energy? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 19:31
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    $\begingroup$ @user253751 The superman becomes their problem, this is the point. They can use whatever method they want, and if it doesn't work - it's their problem. $\endgroup$
    – D'Monlord
    Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 19:46
  • $\begingroup$ really good answer, i was looking for things that are difficult but simple ways are more effective. Falling huh? He can punch the ground from the speed and velocity he accumulated from falling. Poison gas yes. Poison needles, i stated he had durable skin, mine yes, car bomb? he runs to get around, electricity yes would take a lot of it tho cuz lightning wont do much, acid yes if its strong enough, trap door? Nope reflex too fast, drowning and burying yes he wouldnt let that happen to him tho. hanging yeah but hell just strengthen his neck muscles vacuum yes, extreme pressure yes $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 26, 2023 at 5:00
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Flamethrower

While the accepted answer gives a lot of examples, most of them are somewhere between difficult and impossible to weaponize at your tech level, or would simply not work.

  • Falling, mines, car bombs, trap doors, extreme pressure, slow squashing, and tearing apart all use kinetic energy to kill so they don't apply.
  • Poisoned needles, drowning, burying, hanging, tying up, and rolling up in a carpet are practically impossible to inflict against a person of superhuman toughness and reflexes.
  • Poison gas, poison (ingested?), hunger, dehydration, and acid would require trapping the BBG in some sort of way which may be doable, but is still a poor vector for weaponization, especially with his reflexes since he could so easily leap out through a slamming door or what not that you try to capture him with. And even if you do trap him in a room and try to stave him out. He can just punch the wall a few hundred times to build up power for a super punch to break his way out with; so, any trap you do use needs to kill quickly, and close off faster than he can get out.
  • Vacuum, freezing, microwaves, lasers, and radiation don't fit the setting's tech level. Electrical weapons (like cattle prods) and biological weapons (like small pox blankets) existed, but there were not good delivery systems to weaponize them yet.
  • Extortion, cut tires, and SWATing are more of annoyances than actual ways to beat the BBG.
  • This really only leaves burning, which with your tech level, there were some pretty effective weaponization options. Most notably, the flamethrower.

Flamethrowers have minimal kinetic energy to exploit, but LOTs of thermal energy and asphyxiating smoke. Sure, he could stop the stream of burning fuel on contact... but then he's covered in sticky, choking, burning fuel and will be very dead very quickly anyway. His reaction speed is also not very helpful since the weapon spreads out with range, even if he starts to get out of the way, it wont be by enough to escape harm.

But isn't Thermal Energy just Kinetic Energy at a very small scale?

Technically this is sort of true, but effically it won't make much difference in this case. While I don't think the OP intends for his BBG to be able to absorb heat since that would open up a whole new set of super powers, even if he could, it would not actually save him from a flame thrower because the BBG needs to make physical contact with something to absorb its energy.

When hit with a flame thrower, it is not the liquid gas touching your skin that burns you, but the vapors coming off of it, mixing in the air, and igniting around you. So, while he could maybe absorb the convective heat reaching him through the burning fuel, there would still be more than enough radiant heat to maintain the chemical reaction and cook him alive... and even if he could somehow shield himself from all of the heat, the flamethrower would still burn up all the air around him and replace it with a choking cloud of smoke.

While this guy may exploit his powers for infinite stamina under normal circumstances, it means his actual lungs are going to be about as good as those of someone in a wheelchair since he never pushes them past thier resting workload; so, things that deprive him of air will have a quick and profound effect on him compared to a person in normal health.

Photo taken from alamy.com, but is public domain due to age; so, alamy.com has no actual property rights to it

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    $\begingroup$ flame throwers have an even better effect then heat to kill him, they asphyxiate. And not just through burning the lungs they also eliminate oxygen. the fire is just to keep him busy so he doesn't notice... $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 23:55
  • $\begingroup$ Temperature can be considered a form of kinetic energy. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Commented Apr 27, 2023 at 0:40
  • $\begingroup$ @DKNguyen That is a good point to address... but it would still kill him anyway. I've updated my answer to explain why. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Commented Apr 27, 2023 at 13:48
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Sniper

You can't stop what you can't see. Just have a sniper kill him from a long distance. He'll never hear the bullet coming, and if you shoot him in the back of the head, he'll never see it either, no matter how good his reaction time is. I suppose he can survive if he can activate his power on the order of a microsecond, which would allow him to feel the bullet touch his skin but deaden it before it entered his skull.

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I think by "defeat" you mean having the upper hand in physical confrontation.

Let me offer an alternative: blackmail. Even Superman is affected by it every once in a while. Physical powers can protect you from physical harm, but they can never protrct you from malice.

Does this guy have a little daughter that he wants to protect? He will have to be a bodyguard 24/7, and it will always be risky. There is your angle. This guy is already defeated, because he either loses someone he loves or he's someone else's b... I mean, servant.

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    $\begingroup$ You can also get the IRS to go after him...and his loved ones. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 19:45
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Environmental Attacks

Instead of using kinetic attacks on him, use the environment around him as a weapon. Trap him in a room and crank up the heat. Make it incredibly hot to the point where he collapses from heat stroke. Expose him to deadly levels of radiation. Freeze him to death. Attack him with the environment around him, his powers will be useless against these kinds of attacks.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes! Environmental attacks like explosions would work, but his reflexes are so fast he'd be able to move and dodge it quite easily hence why i stated he had david from cyberpunk edgerunners' reaction time. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 17:26
  • $\begingroup$ And i also stated he had street buster levels of strength he could use a barrage of punches and make a hole in that trap room. Freeze him huh? If its like instant freeze like gru's freeze ray then it'd work but the setting is ww1/ww2 technology $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 17:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Kringle_Kryptid Then deadly radiation is possibly your best bet in my opinion. Quick reflexes or not, high enough levels of exposure could continue to affect him even after escaping the initial source of the radiation. With enough radiation, it would likely still be lethal. $\endgroup$
    – Kal Madda
    Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 17:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Kringle_Kryptid Also, just a friendly heads up, you may want to be very careful about the way you use characters and source material in your questions. It’s ok to use these things as examples, but make sure that you clearly define things completely separate of any reliance on being familiar with the source material or characters you reference. For example, if I say “I have a character with Luke Skywalker’s abilities” it requires the reader to be familiar with Star Wars, where if I say “my character has telekinetic abilities via mental focus like Luke Skywalker”, that’s much more clear. $\endgroup$
    – Kal Madda
    Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 17:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Kringle_Kryptid Also, I honestly am not quite sure what you consider to be the limits to “mild super strength like street buster level”. Does mild super strength allow you to punch a hole through 2 foot thick steel walls? Mild super strength implies there should be an upper limit to your character’s strength abilities, which implies there should be the potential to make a room solid enough to hold him at least for a while, long enough for environmental factors to effect him. $\endgroup$
    – Kal Madda
    Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 18:19
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Please be aware that from a certain point of view, you've asked us to answer a popular question on this Stack: "How can I defeat my godlike character?" The answer is always the same, "you can't, you must introduce a weakness." In this case the problem is that too many things can be considered "kinetic." For example, a flame thrower, or even waking over your mama's stove top. Heat, which would be a good attack against this character, is, in fact, kinetic in nature (atoms moving around). You'll need to figure out just how godlike your story needs this character to be — and live with the fact that in all other ways, this dude ain't.

Another example of my point? Try to asphyxiate him by drawing the oxygen out of the room. Except that's the motion of atoms and molecules, which is kinetic, and so theoretically he can simply redirect the escaping atmosphere into his lungs or simply organize atoms and molecules to block the exit ports.

Frankly, godlike characters are boring. They're difficult for people to relate to. Consequently, you need to introduce the proverbial Achilles' heel into the mix so that he can make mistakes or to allow attackers to get lucky.

In conclusion, just how small an object is this guy able to control? Would he be susceptible to sound? High pressure water or air (you can do a WHOMPING lot of damage with compressed water or air)? It's important that you establish limits to the godlike character.

In the meantime, here are a few non-kinetic (I think) ideas.

Energy weapons:

  • Microwave emitters & masers
  • Lasers
  • Electron guns
  • Sunlight redirection and focusing.

Temperature:

  • Heater emitters or transducers (to make things cold). Tough to do this quickly without involving something kinetic (like a flame thrower), but not impossible.

Gravity:

  • Bit hard to create focused gravimetric events... but you have a superperson who can redirect kinetic energy, so really anything goes in your world.
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  • $\begingroup$ Thats a really good answer, and yeah its not total or full kinetic redirection ability(shouldve added this sorry). It just seems like it is to most of his opponents. And the "god-like stamina" is his enemies' misconception of his abilities. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ Tech level is early to mid 1900s $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 19:39
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    $\begingroup$ can't redirect oxygen that is now chemically bound to something else, you don't draw oxygen out of the room, you bond it to something else. this is how flame throwers kill people not hit by them. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 23:59
  • $\begingroup$ @John perhaps "atmosphere" would have been a better word. I hope you didn't misunderstand my point.... $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Apr 26, 2023 at 2:10
  • $\begingroup$ Just poison em somehow, there a dead antagonist. There's a thousand ways to kill a human, which I hate but have to live with, eliminating a good hundred with a superpower does not prevent using the other 900. $\endgroup$
    – Vesper
    Commented Apr 26, 2023 at 4:31
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Photons have no mass

Use light or other radiative energy.
You might be able to lure the villain out to one of those solar energy plants with the heliostats, then reprogram the heliostats to focus there.

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    $\begingroup$ Yet in special relativity photons do have kinetic energy. No idea how would the villain handle it, though. $\endgroup$
    – Trang Oul
    Commented Apr 26, 2023 at 6:16
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Gaslight them

Build a believable (but false) world around them, then use it to control them.

Dumb them down with pleasing narcotics that they voluntarily consume. Hyponotise them with engaging irrelevances.

Profile what they want and how they think and then relentlessly attack their motivations - all the while leading them to believe that they are in complete control.

Regardless of how godlike a character's superpowers are, they can only win a fight when they recognise they are in one.

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