I don’t know why, but I’m fascinated by attempts to explain comic-book super powers in a real-world setting (I have a copy of The Science of Superheroes around here somewhere). Every time a superhero movie opens, someone trots out scientists who theorize about flight, or wall-crawling or invisibility.
The latest effort comes from James Sherwood, via Associated Content. Sherwood’s bio says he has a masters in criminal justice, so I’m not sure who science savvy he is; he simply may be well-versed in comic-book physics. However, I’m not overly concerned with credentials. I like that Sherwood has focused on comics villains instead of the same-old, same-old.
Sure, Lois Gresh and Robert Weinberg already tackled several of the bad guys in The Science of Supervillains, but Sherwood tosses in a couple of surprises, like Green Goblin (“Technology hasn’t exactly caught up with this villain yet”), Bullseye (“yes”), and … The Joker:
“Any factory manufacturing the level of bio-chemo-toxin that it would take to do the damage to the Joker would probably be under about forty-six layer of scrutiny; decommissioning the plant would require destruction of the entire stock, not the warehousing of the sludge in open vats,” Sherwood writes. “Anything short of that level of chemical monstrosity would be most likely to just kill the poor Joker outright. A note on Smilex, the lethal laughing gas of the Joker’s invention: no such chemical nightmare has ever been identified as existing.”