Researchers for Canada's Department of National Defence spent more than $13,000 U.S. on an online survey that asked respondents whether superheroes can fly, walk through walls, turn invisible and perform other feats. We can only presume it was the work of Department H.
The Canadian Press reports the questions are part of a study completed in October to help Canadian Armed Forces “win the hearts and minds” of local populations when troops are deployed overseas: "Some of the questions were designed to probe people’s expectations about – as the study put it – 'supernatural categories that are so prevalent in popular culture and religion.'"
As the research summary states, “This work will not only allow cultural scientists to better understand the spread of non-natural and religious concepts but also allow the Canadian Armed Forces ... to design messages that are more memorable for their target audiences.”
Among the whopping 150 respondents, the news service states there was relative agreement that superheroes can indeed fly and leap over buildings. However, there was little consensus when it came to invisibility and intangibility. Sorry, Sue Storm and Kitty Pryde ...