The Science of Superheroes by Lois Gresh and Robert Weinberg
I’ve never read a comic book in my life. But, like every guy on the planet with Luke Skywalker-esque delusions of saving the world (universe?), I’m fascinated by the prospect that superheroes might exist. OK, maybe my fascination is with the idea that I might secretly be one. So, the idea of mapping real science to the powers of comic superheroes drove me to pick up this book in a second. After all, if I did have super powers I needed to know how to unleash them.
I have just two words to describe my disappointment in the book: “don’t bother.” The book goes into long, boring descriptions of why the powers of superheroes are impossible (duh!). This, of course, destroyed forever my dreams of being or becoming one. OK, so the super gravity of Krypton wouldn’t be enough to enable Superman to fly on Earth. Who cares? Just go ahead and burst my bubble. Jeez! No new information here. I guess I was just ignorantly hoping that at least one superhero had powers supported by physics. Batman comes close, but who wants to wear that costume.
In any case, my non-x-ray vision did help me finish the book. I did enjoy the brief descriptions of the origin of the comic books and the characters a lot. This was all new to me. The brief discussions about the authors and artists was also quite interesting. These sections were relatively short and few and far between. Not enough to redeem the book.
Once again I was suckered in by a book’s cover. Isn’t there some warning about that? Like I said, don’t bother.