Peter and Johnny Are Friends 01: Homework Help

Johnny, we might need to discuss boundaries again.

Tah-Dah!

THIS is what the next few weeks are all about.

To anyone that has visited this site, it is no mystery that I’m a big fan of the bromance these two rock. Human Torch is my #1 comics guy and Spidey is pretty high on my list too.

A few months ago I was jamming in my sketchbook. After a couple of hours had past I looked and saw that I had tabbed 30 some comics featuring these two. I do my best to lean more towards entertaining and less towards completely self-serving. I promise I did try to resist. But man,  when I revisited my sketchbook and still laughed at my ideas? I had to pursue them.

My enjoyment does not guarantee yours. I also can’t promise quality art (see above). Dudes, I have to draw buildings for these stupid New York dwellers. BUILDINGS.

So if you’d like to jump the Good Ship BroShip right now, that’s completely cool. I’ll see you back around September.

Otherwise? I can promise you that I’m trying. Regrettably the first couple of strips I didn’t ink with a brush. Man, that makes from some stale looking comics. And since I tossed the colors on this in a couple of hours, there are some drawbacks there too.

But I’m reading some helpful drawing books, and hopefully you’ll be able to chronicle with me the changes I’ve made in my art. 10 weeks isn’t going to transform me into Rembrandt, but I’ll definitely be better when we get to the other side.

So I’m pretty excited about that.

THINGS:

(1) Through my vast coding talents I did something to make my website only display one post. I’ve tried a couple of things to fix it, and I’ll try some more but I’m traveling to an internetless beach tomorrow for a week – so if it’s not fixed for a few more days, don’t be shocked.

(2) I decided that I’m going to talk more. Which might shock you since I already talk a whole bunch. Every post in awhile I hold back because I don’t think it’s ‘fitting’ or something. Then when I thought about it, I realized one of my favorite things to do is to read artists’ blogs. And not always for their art. So, if you want to read some disjointed ramblin’ I’ll be posting that under pictures. If you just want pictures? Totes cool. And if you don’t want pictures or words? Then you are totally not reading this anyway.

Thanks for stopping!

Screw You, Proportions!

Okay, calm down. You’re right – proportions isn’t really a scientific law. It’ll be alright, just let me explain what little bug has a problem with them, then you’ll get the science content:

Yup, the webhead himself: Spider-Man. Since I started this collection on Superman, I knew for quite some time that I would end it on Mr. Parker.

Now, the science bit with proportions he’s ignoring is the whole ‘proportionate strength of a spider’. That fun line that means Petey leaps off buildings, bench presses 10 tonnes? Yeah, not how scaling works, bub.

At the end of the day, humans aren’t spiders. Shocking, I know. It matters because if we’re talking about proportionate changes across species, it gets a little muddled. Spiders can jump very high because they are built with HUGE legs compared to their very tiny, and very lightweight bodies. So their mass is almost negligible to what is lifted into the air. Which helps gravity not care about them that much. Their deceleration due to gravity is small because they are small.

Then let’s look at Peter Benjamen Parker. Even though he’s a lightweight entry as far as people are concerned, he’s still built like a human. His mass, and the force his legs push off the ground, while they might be awesome, cannot ever be as efficient as a spiders.

Pssh. Look at him. He doesn’t care. He’s gonna swing around like he didn’t even hear me.

______________________

So.

That’s a wrap! 20 sciencey entries! I’m very happy that I finally have been getting my scheduling act together and did this. I’ve wanted to do it for a long time, but it’s a pretty daunting thing when your a devote English major. Again, major thanks have to be doled out to my science resources: Max, Quigz, Evan, Dan, and Zach all chimed in.

If any of you are wondering – Yes, this mini-project does come off a lot like The Physics of Superheroes by James Kakalios. Since I don’t seek out science material (also shocking) I was only aware peripherally that that title existed. I knew my library owned it, but I had no idea that it basically answered all of my questions, far more succinctly and accurately then I created here. So if you want a helping of strong science and superheroes, seek that book out. It does what I wanted to do way better.

I will continue updating Tue/Thur. The next project is far more niche than this one was. Hopefully you guys will enjoy it! Even if you don’t, I’m totally on board for it.

(So EXCITED)

Thanks for stopping!

Screw You, Planck’s Constant!

Here is a gentleman that’s so good at science that he can just rewrite the rules on it:

He’s so ready to dismantle some science.

Yes, I mentioned our Mr. Pym when Madrox instructed us all in conservation of mass. That’s just another law that Ant Man gets to ignore. While Planck’s Constant and conservation of mass are related, there’s enough to explore here that it was worth giving it it’s own post.

It’s hard to say exactly what aspect(s) of science Ant Man is promptly ignoring because Ant Man’s source of powers are his Pym Particles. Doubtless of how he’s getting his tiny on, Ant Man is messing with the size or distance between his atoms. And since Planck’s constant is…..well it’s a constant, that seems a might fishy to me. As cool as it would be to alter one of sciences, heck, nature’s fundamental forces so we could talk and walk with the ants….it’s not that easy.

Unless you’re Dr. Pym.

But seriously dude, you alter laws of nature and the best you do with that is talk to some ants? We gotta find you better pastimes.

Thanks for stopping!

 

 

Screw You, Mythology!

One of comics’ most leading ladies is courting another one of those soft sciences:

 

Seriously though, when comics just take mythology into their universe – I love that. It means DC gets to just tag team Zeus whenever they need him, and Marvel can just pop by Avalon ’cause they thought they needed a getaway. There are many, many, things that comics need us to forgive in order to accept their stories. But just absorbing all mythological pantheons at once and telling the reader that they (1) Co-exist and (2) Fight alongside your favorite heroes? Awesomely audacious.

It also undermines some of the most core foundations of superheroes. A lot of our favorite capes are more pulp than they are poetry. As much as you know being bitten by a genetically altered spider doesn’t give you spider sense, somehow it still seems plausible. Being told that a clay baby straight outta Greek mythology fights alongside the caped crusader? And her pa is Zeus? And it’s modern day? Way harder to swallow.

It also means most science bounces off characters like Wonder Woman, Hercules, Thor, Captain Marvel and mannnnnny more. There are basic physics tenets you can bring up (look away, Newton) but after that, the only excuse they have to file is: Magic.

Good work, Wonder Woman. You’ve got science and humanities devotees’ heads spinning.

Thanks for stopping!

 

Screw You, Optics!

And now for something completely expected, another sciency entry:

The Invisible Woman! In solidarity with my favorite hero I always resented her motherly ways, but Hickman’s FF and Fantastic Four make me reconsider my position on her all the day. She is the cornerstone of the team, and Hickman does such a great job demonstrating what her worth is in a team (a huge team!) of super-intelligent people. At the end of the day, those crazy scientists need the stability that she unfailingly supplies. It’s kind of great. And if you want an author that respects science, Hickman is definitely a man on your side.

Oddly, the Invisible Woman is too. Not the psychic control that she has over light waves because of cosmic rays – that’s complete balderdash. But the idea of invisibility is something that physics has been theoretically happy with for awhile. We’re very happy with manipulating different electromagnetic waves. We’re talking radio, x-ray, and micro waves that help us get all sorts of signals all over – including this webpage onto your computer. So the idea of a force (aka Sue’s psychic prowess) manipulating rays of light and nudging them over and around an object, can make theoretical science sense.

So this is an instance where comics are simply ahead of science for the moment. We’re pretty good with radar and microwaves, so when we develop the technology to toy effectively with light waves we can embrace Sue’s optical abandon.

But don’t ask me about her force fields and such. I got no science to back that up.

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Screw You, Evolution!

Ah, one of my favorite areas of science. I’m not sure what led me to love studying evolution, but I’m fairly certain that dinosaurs had something to do with it.

Not that it matters to X-Men, cause they are all about pretending that they get evolution, and then not following it at all.

As cool as mutants are, they are not building on successive generations and weeding out what different adaptations are proving most beneficial to the species, thus altering it.

Nah, they’re popping out kids that are on fire, can do stuff with their minds, and every other thing a writer can imagine.

Guuuuuys. That’s really not how evolution works. Unless you introduce magic into human biology. Then it makes perfect sense. Wait, but that’s not science.

Never mind. X-Men, you’re ignoring some fundamentals here.

Though a few X-Men have already graced this list, I picked someone new to epitomize their failure to acknowledge evolution:

The original BAMF motherlover himself: Nightcrawler. And heck yeah, there are a billion X-Men that could have been featured, but Nightcrawler gained traction early on. I knew I wanted to spotlight his mutation in this list, and so I pushed my friends to figure some realm of science he butchered. Unlike many other superheroes, Nightcrawler’s power is so far removed from science that everyone was pretty stumped. Teleportation, especially with Nightcrawlers weird traveling through other dimensions, is basically magic. Since he was so frustrating, he almost earned the title, “#$%@ Science” but when evolution opened up, I just slid him in here.

There you go, you devilish little acrobat.

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Screw You, Pauli Exlusion Principle!

There are some big fancy quantumy terms to explain this, but the basic gist of Pauli Exclusion Principle says that two objects can’t occupy the same space.

Pssh. Tell that to this guy:

Doesn’t matter that you’re all the way from Mars, either. If you got atoms, which you totally do J’onn, you are exactly the type of humanoid that is not phasing through stuff. Don’t give me vibration or frequency juju either, I don’t want to hear it.

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Screw You, Linguistics!

In with our second magic entry, we have a science defier who might be a little easier to forgive:

Finally! A branch of study that I already understand! That is far more than I can say for Zatanna’s speech. Our lovely magician here has a great range of power at her disposal, provided she says everything backwards. .siht ekil og dluow secnetnes ,oS

To be fair, this isn’t a feat that is impossible, but gosh darn it would be hard. The only explanation I read for why spells are cast backwards is because it helps her concentrate on her magic. Of course it does, dearie.

Not that I have any proof, but I imagine that her and her father are walking all over the pronunciation of the English language. Since it’s backwards, and that’s not how we speak it, I’m sure that they’re just going willy-nilly. Well that’s an abandonment for proper speech that this English major does not appreciate. So while her transgressions against science pale compared to other offenders, she still made my list.

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Screw You, Entropy!

Even the one of the legends of Marvel science can have some scientific issues. If there’s any character that won’t give a damn, it’s this guy:

 

So Iron Man has a huge pile of invented armors. Like many of our Marvel favorites, he’s been around since 1963, so he’s had a lot of time to make toys. In a couple of his suits he has photon/particle/something-science-sounding beams. From hands, chest, wherever. While we could probably argue about many of their scientific merits, I’m only taking issue with one right now.

One of his weapons fires this crazy hot beam, and actually collects energy after it’s fired in order produce a larger blast.

Nuh-uh.

Entropy would call Tony Stark out on that. If entropy is measuring chaos in a system, and energy (heat) is doing it’s best spread itself all over the place – Iron Man’s weapon is not going to suddenly gain more order i.e. collect additional energy, after it’s already been fired.

Nice try, Tony.

Thanks for stopping!

 

Screw You, Interactions!

Oh man, IT’S A GIRL:

Girls are weird. While that might be true in general, I’m mostly talking about comics. I’ve been doing my best to make sure that the heroes I pick are as varied as possible, but it’s really not possible. First I was going for half and half DC/Marvel (sorry smaller publishers!) but I discovered that Marvel seemed to have more scientifically diverse heroes vs. DC’s- at least when it comes to their A list characters. So getting 50/50 was hard to begin with, then I’m trying to measure race, which not surprisingly, there’s almost no diversity in the A listers. Yay. And after all that list makin’ I was trying to hold out for females. Which might sound easy- but it’s not. Let’s eliminate all ladies that share a name with another big name hero. That’s….a lot of girls. And let’s kiss goodbye any chicks that have similar powersets to guys I’ve already listed, since I can’t repeat scientific laws. And on top of all that, let’s hope that the hero is kind of someone I want to draw a little.

Man, that leaves….not a lot. So there’s a sprinkling of chicks that you’ll be viewing. So no fear! The future holds more buff white dudes.

Sorry, that was a long tangent – but Ms. Pryde doesn’t have too much to explain. If Kitty phases through things, and doesn’t feel anything, it means she is not interacting with anything. Sure, let’s totally accept that. However, the one wrench in that plan (as solid as it’s not) is that if Kitty truly weren’t interacting with anything when she phased, it means she wouldn’t be interacting with light either. If this is a lady not interacting with light? She’d be totally invisible. Explain that one away, Ms. Shadowcat.

Ah, that’s right. You just don’t care about science.

Thanks for stopping!