Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Does Marvel Comics Hate Science?

I love comic books. I love reading them, I love movies based on comic books and graphic novels, and I love pretending to be Wolverine when my hair gets really long.

But I also love science. And that's why I'm disappointed that apparently Marvel Comics hates science even more than it hates logical story lines.

Let's look at the facts, shall we? For starters, nearly every super-villain got his or her powers as the result of some scientific experiment.

Dr. Doom built a machine to project the astral form of a person into another dimension, but it exploded in his face. Magneto wears a helmet that protects him from Professor X's psychic powers, so he's free to go rearranging all of your magnetic letters on your fridge at will. Norman Osborn ran Osborn Industries, which created chemicals and robotics, and he became the the first Green Goblin after he injected himself with a serum his company developed. Sabretooth was a product of the Weapon X Program.

And all of those guys were dicks. Thanks a lot, Science.

But you're probably thinking (if you're in nerd-mode like me), didn't many superheroes get their powers from scientific experiments gone awry as well?

Yes: Bruce Banner became the Hulk due to his exposure to gamma rays while testing an experimental gamma bomb at a nuclear facility. And the Hulk is always angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry, by the way. Reed Richards became Mr. Fantastic due to something dealing with aliens - I don't know, it's really complicated, even for the comics. Plus you've got to be pretty arrogant to call yourself "Mr. Fantastic." (Although, if he had so chosen, he could have been called Dr. Fantastic.) Peter Parker becomes Spider-man after a radioactive spider bites him. Who would radiate a spider, anyway? Probably some ass-clown scientist, that's who. And Wolverine was also a byproduct of Weapon X, although to be fair, he was already pretty awesome before he joined Weapon X.

If we've learned anything from the comic book movies, it's that being a superhero is tough work. When everything is going well then everyone loves you, but when you don't stop every little super-villain from destroying city hall, everyone's on your case. Plus your loved ones get targeted and kidnapped by the bad guys, you can never stop to go to the bathroom for fear of someone needing your help, and you've always got to wear your spandex superhero costume under your regular work clothes.

Basically, being a superhero sucks. You know what all those superheroes are thinking: Thanks a lot, Science, for making us into superheroes.

There are a lot of aliens and galactic beings in the comics as well. All of these are basically there to tell you to not go into outer space. And even some of these galactic beings, such as Galactus, were scientists on their home planets.

I was about to say that I would never again be interested in science knowing now that it's so harmful to our lives, and could either turn us into super-villains or superheroes (and thus have to save people from super-villains all day), but then I got a look at some of the female superheroes and decided that maybe science is OK after all.

Thanks, Science!

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