When Gladiator of the Shi’ar Emperial Guard first appeared, he was the gold standard by which all other characters were judged. No one could beat him, it seemed.
But now, he’s become the punching bag of every tough character coming down the pike. If a writer wants to prove how tough their villain is, he shows him punching out Gladiator.
The most recent one I saw was in She-Hulk, where the Champion of the Universe laid waste to Silver Surfer, Thor, Drax and a bunch of other toughies.
Hell, even Cannonball took him out once.
The lesson learned is this: Don’t let your character become a plot device. If someone is nearly unstoppable, don’t be so flexible on the “nearly” part.
Of course, the opposite is also true: Don’t have a character be so unstoppable you don’t know what to do with him.
Power levels have to be watched very closely.