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For Science! 10 Times Comic Books Were Scientifically Accurate

Comic books and science go together like macaroni and cheese! The pulp magazines of old directly inspired many of early comic book stories and characters. Save for Mandrake the Magician, most pioneering crime fighters(such as the Phantom and Superman) used science to solve their problems or gained superpowers in a technical fashion!

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Even to this day, most superhero shows and movies get classified as Science Fiction. The origins of icons like the Flash, the Atom, Spider-Man, and Captain America are all rooted in old school sci-fi storytelling! Overall, comics are more concerned with entertaining readers than educating them. However, that doesn't mean that the realm of superheroes and crimebusters doesn't get scientifically accurate from time to time.

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04 Susan Storm - Fantastic Four 644 Variant
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10 Sue Storm Needs To Bend Light Around Her Eyes To See

04 Susan Storm - Fantastic Four 644 Variant

The entire reason we're able to see is light passing through our corneas and hitting our retinas. To become invisible is to make your whole body unsusceptible to light. In theory, the light shouldn't be able to reflect off of an invisible character's corneas - meaning they shouldn't be able to see.

Susan Storm, aka the Invisible Woman, is probably the most famous hero who can become imperceptible. In recent years, Marvel writers have worked hard to makes Sue's powers much more scientifically accurate. Susan still allows a small amount of light to reach her corneas - allowing her to see while she's invisible. Because of this act fo will, Sue doesn't go completely blind when activates her powers.

9 Invisible Characters, Visible Clothes

While we're on the subject of invisible characters, let's address this classic trope; a character with invisibility powers activates their abilities only to find that their clothes haven't come along for the ride. Sue averts this issue by bending the light around her, but she's a friggin Jedi who can move objects with her mind and create forcefields.

A character like Animal Man, who becomes invisible by copying the powers of a chameleon, would have to disrobe to start pulling off "Level 100 Sneaking Skill" feats. Clothes not becoming invisible is scientifically accurate - a chameleon's camouflage is only so effective because the little reptile is perpetually nude! Put a hat on one of these guys, and you've compromised their number one defense mechanism.

8 Wolverine Isn't Buoyant

Few superheroes are as respected and feared as James Howlett, also known as Logan but best regarded as the Wolverine. Wolvie might not be an Omega-Level mutant, but he’s insanely resilient thanks to his incredible healing factor and Adamantium skeleton. Wolverine is so tough that he seems downright unkillable - able to tank bullets, bombs, and cosmic blasts like glorified slaps on the wrists!

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In spite of his resilience, Wolverine has one glaring weakness; the Adamantium in his body makes him unable to float in water. According to Archimedes’ Law, the buoyant force is equal to the weight of water that on object displaces. Humans normally possess a relative density of 0.98. Wolverine, on the other hand, is insanely dense thanks to his skeleton. If he doesn’t actively swim, he’d sink like a rock - an allegedly 300 lb rock.

7 Superpowered Metabolisms Purging Alcohol (And Medicine)

We don't mean to come off like a promo for Alcoholics Anonymous, but booze can be toxic to the human body. When one becomes intoxicated, it's thanks to the ethanol flowing through their bloodstream and slowing down their central nervous system. Reaction times and inhibitions slow down while dopamine levels skyrocket. All the while, the organs are busting their butts trying to metabolize alcohol.

Characters like Captain America and the Flash have super fast metabolisms that make intoxication nigh impossible. However, intravenous medicines like morphine or anesthesia tend to get purged out of their bodies as a consequence! Long ago, Kid Flash was sent to the hospital after a brutal battle. The doctors tried to sedate him before performing a painful procedure. Seeking to be as scientifically accurate as possible, Kid's body quickly metabolized the anesthesia - forcing the doctors to operate on him while he was still conscious!

6 Speedsters' Sped Up Perceptions

Speedsters' troubles don't just end with their lightning-fast metabolisms - anyone who possesses the gift of superspeed also must be able to perceive the world around them at a super-fast rate! The average response time for a person is 100 milliseconds. In contrast, most Speedsters' reflexes are so fast that they can dodge lightning - which travels at 320,000,000 ft per second!

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It's scientifically accurate for Speedsters to see the rest of the world moving in slow motion thank to their enhanced perceptions. Quicksilver regularly moves so fast that everyone else seems to talk slower than tortoises crawl, causing Pietro to act impatient in turn. If a Speedster runs at their top speed, everyone and anything else slower than themselves will be as stiff as a statue.

5 Superman's Super Strength

Wait, hear us out! Yes, most of the super-strength feats in comic books utterly defy the laws of physics, gravity, mass, and motion. No matter how strong the Hulk is, the mountain that he held up during The Secret Wars should've crumbled around him like a brittle cookie. Most instances in which super-strong characters lift buildings should end with the structure folding around them the same way a pancake does when you try to lift the whole thing in the air with a fork!

Superman's strength feats are more scientifically accurate than most other heroes. Well, as accurate as the notion of a flying man that shoots lasers out of his eyes can be. Supes doesn't just lift objects with his muscles, he uses 'tactile telekinesis' to project a force field around anything and anyone he carries - shielding them from the forces of gravity and pressure.

4 Lead Genuinely Can Block X-Rays

superman-x-ray-vision

Another thing that's scientifically accurate about Superman is one of his weaknesses. No, we're not talking about Kryptonite, we're talking about lead. This dull, dense material can block a Kryptonian's X-Ray vision - a fact that geniuses like Lex Luthor and Batman use to their advantage. Doctors and scientist also use this in the real world when performing tests and procedures.

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Lead can easily scatter X-Rays and Gamma Rays because it's such a dense element with tons of electrons. When physicists need to conduct potentially hazardous tests that involve tons of radiation, they tend to keep heaps of lead shieldings on deck. Nuclear reactors are also full of the stuff, preventing an abomination like Nuclear Man from ever becoming a reality.

3 Neil DeGrasse Tyson Located Krypton

Say what you will about the New 52, but you've got to admit that we got a lot of interesting storylines early on. One of the coolest moments came in Action Comics #14 - in which renowned astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson helped Superman find Krypton's location!

But this story gets even crazier the further we delve down the rabbit hole; Dr. Tyson wanted to make Krypton's location as scientifically accurate as possible, so he located a star that's 27.1 light years away from Earth. To get more specific, you can find Krypton's theoretical location in the Corvus Constellation, orbiting the red dwarf star LHS 2520.

2 The Silver Age's "Flash Facts"

The Flash's Silver Age stories used to feature educational tidbits of info called 'Flash Facts.' Barry Allen defeated many enemies using creative and unorthodox methods. The writer included Flash Facts to explain Barry's feats as well as educate their readers as much as possible. These Flash Facts were more frequent in the Silver Age. They still appear in modern stories, albeit in a different form.

Some of these Flash Facts are scientifically accurate; one mentions that objects gain infinite mass once they travel at the speed of light. This relates to the Law of Conservation of Energy, which suggests that mass can become infinite because it's another form of energy. Once DC's writers discovered this, they created the Speed Force to explain why their Speedsters can seemingly do the impossible.

1 Jill Trent, Science Sleuth

Al Cammarata created the character of Jill Trent back in the 1940s, intent on establishing a heroine who could stop crime using her brains and brawn. Jill became a public domain character years ago, just like John Carter or Mother Goose! Anyone can create stories about Jill, including you, dear readers!

More often than not, Trent bests her foes using scientifically accurate methods. For instance, Jill created a brand of 'Electro-Repellant.' This cool gadget contains an array of electromagnets whose negative and positive poles are intentionally set against themselves. When Trent uses her repellant, she can repel tons of metallic objects away from herself with great force! And if that doesn't work, Jill and her best friend Daisy Smythe can throw hands with the best of them!

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