Artistic license refers to deviation from fact or form for artistic purposes. Writers and artists are allowed to take all sorts of liberties with facts, and are accorded leeway in their interpretation of something, without being held strictly accountable for accuracy. In fiction, writers and artists most often take liberties in the portrayal of physics, biology and chemistry.
In the case of comic books, it's common to apply the concept of artistic license to the deviation from a character's established and habitual levels of power or expertise. For instance, Spider-Man being capable of defeating the cosmically-empowered Firelord in Amazing Spider-Man #270, or Black Panther being able to put the Silver Surfer into an armlock in Fantastic Four Vol 545 are considered instances of artistic license and are not considered typical of the characters.
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