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.


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!

Screw You, Carnot Cycle!

Another hero with a disregard for science:

The Silver Surfer! Goodness, I think he has to have one of the hokiest shticks in comics, but he’s so serious that you’re not allowed to laugh at him.

And if you did he could just use cosmic powers to unmake you, so poking fun probably isn’t the right way to go with Mr. Radd. (BUT he’s a SURFER whose name is RADD?! How is there surfers on his planet? Why did this ever make sense? He is SUCH a product of the 60s!). Yeah, so cool.

Anyway, I’m not here to debunk his name or sweet wave domination skills. This is a cosmic being that has many crimes against science, but the one we’re talking about is his talent of converting matter into energy. See, science doesn’t know how to do that. If you’re going to convert matter from one state to another, as Norrin does for food and weaponry, some energy needs to be used in order for that process to happen. You can’t just snap your fingers from one state to another. Unless you’re the Silver Surfer. The gentleman that would be most upset with Surfers’ screwing over science is¬†Nicolas Carnot. He proposed the theory that thermodynamics measures the efficiency of all engines against. There’s an idea of a theoretically perfect engine, that accomplishes what Surfer does, which is impossible. It’s by imagining this engine that you can compare all other engines. Depending on the engine, efficiency is all over the map.¬† Wikipedia tells me cars rate about 25% and the highest is a steam-cooled combined cycle gas turbine at 60% efficiency. One thing is very clear: it is not possible to be 100% efficient.

Unless you are a dude made of Ag.

By the by, you’re not reading your calendar wrong, this update is totally late. I’ve been priding myself on doing awesome, but while this was drawn, I didn’t set it to post. Annnnd spent the holiday weekend without internet down the shore. No fear, I have plans to be chained to my desk for awhile, so I’ll be back to doodlin’ on time.

Thanks for stopping!




Screw You, Surface Tension!

Here we have a very common issue among our super-powered pals:

Captain Marvel and Supes and Hulk and half of the superhero pantheon, are better than you ever knew. Duh, they are super-strong because that makes so much sense. What you might not appreciate is that they somehow make a building/plane/[insert large object here] ridiculously resilient just by touching it.

Because we know that they can pick up a few tons of weight. Heck, even Spider-Man can rock 10 tons and break a light sweat. But with amazing feats like Captain Marvel saving airplanes (he does that, right?) there would be a huge amount of pressure exerted on an object. In science, that means instead of catching a tank, Hulk’s fists would go through the tank. Even if Hulk can handle the weight, the exterior of the tank should not. Unless you’re a superhero. Because then who cares?

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Screw You, Thermodynamics!

And then there were these guys:

If this blog had any other subtitle, it would read, ” I LOVE Johnny Storm!” but that adoration does not change the fact that these guys….

They’re not possible. And let’s ignore all of the things that should make them not work as people, because ‘Cosmic Rays’ and ‘Mutations” satisfactorily explain that. Totally.

When it comes to thermodynamics and their powers, these guys just don’t care. One of their biggest issues is the energy they use and the lack of science consequences. Generating enough heat to go up to a couple million degrees? Making a mini-army of ice duplicates?

Gentleman, even if that made possible sense (it’s awesome, but c’mon) you are not infinite energy containers. Actually, it wouldn’t need to be infinite, but it you would certainly need to pack more mass than a human body. And don’t tell me that you had a big lunch, and that’s why you can melt Dr. Doom’s armor. Don’t.

And I like what Max brought up, the whole shrugging off of entropy. (Entropy: the idea that the universe is getting more and more chaotic). ‘Cause heat molecules are always ruining your day by trying to travel to cooler objects.

Not if your name is Jonathan Storm. Or Robert Drake. They just get to ignore entropy because: Superpowers. It means even as they generate a controlled system, there’s not necessarily a change in the environment around them. There’s no give and take for the hot and cold they control. Craziness.

But I guess that’s exactly what you can expect from one of the awesomest heroes around. Leave the science to Reed, Johnny. You got this.

Oh, you too Bobby.

Thanks for stopping!