Tuesday Morning Quarterback, to our knowledge the only online football column written by a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, wonders about the physiology of superheroes (look for the photo of Halle Berry):
Where are the body organs that support their powers? I’m willing to believe a superhero can fly, but where is the organ that provides propulsion? Supposedly Earth’s yellow star activated in Kal-El powers that he would not have had under the red sun of Krypton. But still, some internal organ must produce the energy for his heat vision and the thrust for his flying and so on. In “Superman Returns,” Supe can even fly faster than light, a power he lacked in the comics; apparently some organ too small to even bulge under his skin propels him to warp speed. Really, there must be some physical point of origin for a superhero’s power. Storm must have a body organ that projects force fields that control weather. Iceman must have a body organ that can reduce temperature very rapidly, plus shed heat so Bobby doesn’t boil. Where in their physiques are these organs?
He goes on to wonder about the precise nature of the X-gene, upon which I believe The Roar Of Comics recently opined. Yes, fans have beaten these topics into the ground; but TMQ (a/k/a Gregg Easterbrook) thought Superman’s flying faster than light was exclusive to the movies. Really, how does one get to be part of the Brookings Institution, not to mention a contributing editor at the Atlantic Monthly and the New Republic, without being clear on the Silver Age Superman’s nigh-omnipotence?
He invites readers to respond, and devotes a Wednesday column to e-mail. I wonder how many helpful bloggers will contribute….