From the Inside Flap
What sort of damage could an insane supergenius like Lex Luthor do with chemical and biological weapons? Just how close are we to creating robotic appendages for our bodies? Can a human being actually soar through the air just like Spider–Mans nemesis, the Vulture, by using a giant set of wings? And if not, why not? In the tradition of its successful predecessor The Science of Superheroes, The Science of Supervillains takes a lighthearted yet penetrating look at the true science that underlies some of the greatest comic book supervillains of all time. From Doctor Octopus and Grodd the Super–Gorilla to Magneto, Brainiac, the Silver Surfer, and many more, renowned science fiction authors Lois H. Gresh and Robert Weinberg explore the background of these fascinating foes, asking intriguing questions that lead to illuminating discussions about the limits of science, the laws of nature, and the future of technology. Could a suit of body armor like Dr. Dooms increase a soldiers strength and speed or even help a disabled person to walk? Could an implanted alien computer take control of the human brain? Is it possible to create killer lipstick? From teleportation to time travel, from artificial intelligence to alternate dimensions, each chapter examines the supervillains devilish deeds, separating those that retain an aura of scientific believability from the barely plausible and the simply impossible. Youll discover the puzzling link between magnetism and the brain; how Venoms self–aware costume anticipated the development of intelligent textiles; and whether its possible that humans, like certain comic book characters, could someday live for hundreds, even thousands of years (the answer may surprise you). Plus, youll hear from comic book writers, editors, and artists on how believable science fits or doesnt fit into the creative process. Filled with entertaining tidbits of comic book lore, The Science of Supervillains honors the remarkable talents of the writers and artists who brought these complex criminals to life, seeking out new rationales for what makes the Bad Guys tick (and keeps us reading cover to cover).
From the Back Cover
The science behind the scoundrels we love to hate From Spider–Mans bionic archenemy, Dr. Octopus, to Supermans nemesis, Lex Luthor, to the X–Mens eternal rival, Magneto, comic book villains have kept us captivated for years not just by their diabolical talent for confounding our heroes, but also by their unrivaled techno–proficiency at creating global mayhem. But is any of the science behind their superweaponry based in truth? The Science of Supervillains separates science fact from science fiction. Renowned authors Lois H. Gresh and Robert Weinberg present a highly entertaining and informative look at the mind–boggling wizardry behind such legendary baddies as Dr. Doom, Poison Ivy, Mr. Mxyzptlk, and more. Whether its artificial intelligence, weapons systems, antimatter, robotics, or magnetic flux theory, this fun, fact–filled book is a fascinating excursion into the real–world science animating the comic book worlds pantheon of evil geniuses. Praise for The Science of Superheroes "We comics fans have known it for years, of course: somewhere, in some nether dimension or on some alternate world, there is an Earth on which superheroes are real, living, breathing beings . . . and now Lois Gresh and Bob Weinberg have shown us how thats possible. Mutants . . . aliens . . . scientific geniuses with a penchant for wearing costumes and masks . . . or just plain Joes whove trained their bodies within an inch of their lives . . . all are probed, dissected, examined in loving details. To paraphrase an old DC Comics feature: Science says youre wrong if you believe that The Science of Superheroes isnt more fun than a barrel of genetically altered winged monkeys." Roy Thomas, writer and editor of X–Men, Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, Superman, Justice League of America, Legion of Superheroes, Star Wars, and many other comic book classics