Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Fast Talk: Magnetic Light


Magnetic Light:
I feel obligated to confess that, despite the weekly appearance of the Fast Talk feature, my knowledge of physics, chemistry, astronomy and the like is nothing but basic. Fortunately, the scientific fast talk of the Silver Age simply screams out to be recognized. The first appearance of Mr. Element in Showcase #13, for instance, offers plenty of educational tidbits concerning the periodic table before building to this outrageous development. In a demonstration that immediately disables the scarlet speedster before rendering him a literal crimson comet, the innovative supervillain proves his ingenuity by unleashing a heretofore undiscovered element, "a form of magnetic light" said to be "an element of speed." Sadly, though we're all aching for a more detailed explanation, the egotistical Mr. Element is interested only in ensuring his place in science textbooks everywhere by choosing to name this "elemental" discovery after himself. Just imagine the notational confusion that's certain to follow from an element unfortunately dubbed Elemento!

Issue: Showcase #13 (March-April 1958)

4 comments:

Kelson said...

Magnetic light! Does Typolad know about this one?

Dixon said...

Indeed. I should have alerted him. He is by now, after all, the comic book expert on all things magnetic!

papa zero said...

Check out the Grand Unified Theory... if you used the theory in concert with theory backing "sticky branes" it would be far easier to come up with theoretical psuedo-science justification for this than a man that can run at the speed of light. :P
Sometimes I think the silver age Flash writers were keeping up with bleeding edge theoretical physics...

Dixon said...

Thanks for the suggested reading, Papa Zero. That's sure to give me fodder for further Fast Talk features! The connection between the comic's pseudo-science and real world physics, convoluted and outrageous though it may sometimes be, has always been one of the most alluring elements of the Flash stories for me.