Friday, November 6, 2009

Editor's Note: The Editors of The Flash Knew $#@! About Science!

Flash comics have a lot of "Editor's Note" captions in them. These captions are usually accompanied by a "scientific fact", the most common one being " Editor's Note: The Flash's costume expands on contact with the air, just as a life raft expands upon contact with water". Wrong! A life raft is not like one of those cheesy business cards that's really a compressed sponge. A life raft expands when you activate the compressed air cylinder attached to it. Next!

"Editor's Note: Just as the intense heat of the desert causes mirages, so Captain Cold's cold ray, by lowering the temperature to absolute zero, causes cold mirages." Extremely wrong! Mirages are not hallucinations. Mirages are optical illusions, refracted light which is bent by heat to reflect an unstable image of the sky above. Basically, wavy air reflecting a picture of the sky on the ground, which looks like water.

That's right. Water. NOT big, scary dragons.

Other Un-scientific Stuff:

And speaking of Captain Cold... In his first appearance, Cpt. Cold, aka Len Snart builds a ray gun and then breaks into a laboratory to use their cyclotron. He places his homemade ray gun into the cyclotron and bombards it, then takes it out to see what it will do? Now I'm neither a scientist nor an engineer, but shouldn't you have had to have had a PURPOSE in mind for the ray gun BEFORE you built it? I mean, how would you design a gun to do something without having any idea what you wanted it to do?? Luckily it makes things cold. It could have turned out to be a ray that waxes cars or something.

Also, Captain Cold's costume is very centered on his cold theme. Which is visually, very appealing but how practical is it? I mean, until he fires off that cold gun, he's just a dude walking around in a parka, right? How uncomfortable would that be, say nine months out of the year?

Oh, but I haven't forgotten you, Captain Boomerang (who promoted these guys to Captain, anyway?). Let me just say, that strapping the Flash to a giant boomerang has one obvious result: rendering the boomerang aerodynamically unsound. Also, if it did work, wouldn't the boomerang just bring him back to kick your ass anyway? You have to think these things through.

And, while I'm bashing the Flash's baddies, I don't care HOW slow Turtle Man is. The Flash is capable of not going fast. He's always late as Barry Allen. I think he could manage not to run past this schmuck.


  1. Comics are full of pseudo-science, but once you've introduced magic to your milieu, why even bother with these goofy explanations?

    Why not just note that Flash's costume expands with air, or that Lieutenant Cold's (I don't know who promoted him, but I'm demoting him) cold ray causes the hallucinations on its own, and leave out the real-world "reasoning" altogether, thus avoiding the risk of saying something completely retarded?

    Also, absolute zero?!? Seriously? Absolute zero wouldn't cause mirages, it would cause total existence failure!

    Maybe the comics code should have been enacted to protect kids from crazy-science ...



  2. HA! I wonder if Captain Cold and Captain Boomerang have to salute Major Disaster?

  3. This is why comics are best written for children instead of adults. A child is just swept up into the universe and accepts the premise. I spent a lot of time trying to find some hard water so I could breathe it and get super speed. That seemed to be much easier than trying to get lightning to hit a vat of chemicals.

  4. Dan, mongoose blood is SO much cheaper!