Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The Science of Ultra-Speed: There are occasional Fast Talk entries that I feel require little or no explanatory text--they speak for themselves. In fact, there are some stand-out examples of comic book technobabble that simply defy all attempts at analysis. Take this scene of Professor Zoom hard at work in his lab, for example. After being released from state custody in a stunning testament to the ineptitude of the 25th century judicial system, the Reverse-Flash dedicates himself to "the science of ultra-speed!" What sinister scheme is this, I hear you ask? By developing technology capable of "speeding up electrons and other sub-atomic particles to fantastic rates" he intends to craft a ray gun that "will make whatever evil there is in a person flourish, like sunlight makes a plant grow!" (Eobard Thawne needs to hire a new speechwriter. Somehow, that illustrative simile just doesn't instill the appropriate level of menace. Come to think of it, I probably should have titled this week's entry "The Sunlight of Evil.") There are scientific leaps in logic and then there are scientific leaps in logic. This would be the latter. If any commenters can convincingly suggest a way in which accelerating subatomic particles in living beings would initiate a moral shift, I will have them nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Issue: The Flash #153 (June 1965)