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Copernicus On The Science Of THE AVENGERS (Part 2)!!



Here’s part 2 of my Science of THE AVENGERS.  This one covers the characters.  You can read part 1, about the equipment and the plot here.





The Scientists


One of my favorite things about the Avengers is that it values science.  Marvel has gone to great lengths to set up a scientifically plausible universe, and it pays off here, where Iron Man, Thor, and the Hulk can exist side-by-side.  And even more than that, scientists are an essential part of the plot.  One of Loki’s first recruits is professor Erik Selvig, his key to managing a portal for his army.  Meanwhile, Nick Fury first recruits Bruce Banner, and it is clear that he’s been relying on Tony Stark for years.


Just as important as whether THE AVENGERS got science right is whether they got scientists right.  Most movie scientists are caricatures.  I think it’s because writers don’t know how to write for scientists, directors don’t know how to direct them, and actors don’t know how to act them.  Most writers just throw a bunch of jargon in their mouths, directors put them in a white lab coat, and the actors can’t sell the technobabble with confidence because they don’t know what it means, if it means anything.  


THE AVENGERS did a great job though.  Erik Selvig was a good representation of a scientist.  He’s clearly curious about the universe, an expert at what he does, and was a good mentor to the younger researchers in THOR.  Robert Downey Jr. is outstanding as Tony Stark -- I can’t imagine anyone else in the role -- but on the scientist credibility continuum, he leaves a bit to be desired (maybe it’s the absurdity of him building a particle accelerator in his basement).  Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner, though, is a revelation.  Ruffalo not only is the best Banner, he does the best job at portraying a scientist of anyone in the Marvel universe.  He’s skeptical, cerebral, listens to evidence, he’s motivated by things other than money, and he doesn’t feel the need to spout nonsense jargon like most other movie scientists.  More than anything, there is a confidence in Ruffalo’s delivery and character that mirrors the authority with which most scientists speak.  As a scientist you often get so specialized that you know you are one of the top experts in the world on a subject, and you know this because you know everyone in the field.  It isn’t hard to be confident when you know you know as much as anyone else on the planet.  Ruffalo plays a scientist as a real person -- not a caricature.  And there is an air of mystery about him -- you always feel like he knows more than he’s telling you.


In fact, the special relationship between SHIELD and some of the world’s top scientists is handled well, and has parallels in the real world.  Wars are won every bit as much by scientists as armies.  During WWII, the US gathered together the top physicists to have them create a superweapon that would end the war.  It was so successful, the system of national laboratories was established, effectively because the government decided it was great to have a bunch of smart people working on complicated problems.  In the UK, during the war, people like Alan Turing helped to break the code of the German Enigma machines, allowing us to decode German plans.  And I already mentioned the proximity fuze.  The US still has a secretive group of top scientists, JASON, who meet every summer to advise the government.


Many scientists work on military programs because they think the cause is a good one, because the government offers them resources they would not otherwise have, because of the thrill of working together with other top minds, or because they are treated so well.  Still, many scientists, who are often idealists at heart, are uneasy with this relationship, especially when politicians or the military lie or exploit the scientists.  All these points of view are represented in THE AVENGERS.  SHIELD has insane technology.  Banner and Stark are just giddy working together.  And there isn’t a better cause than saving the world.  Even still, both SHIELD and the shady cabal running the show can’t resist keeping secrets from and manipulating the scientists, leading to bad blood.


Enough about scientists, let's have some science fun with some of the characters.  Sadly, Black Widow has no superpowers, so I'll have to skip her.





Apparently, Hawkeye is appropriately named.  I don’t think they out-and-out say he eyes like Captain America has muscles, but you’d think so from his name and precision with an arrow.  How good could his eyes be?  20/20 vision gives you the ability to resolve angles of about one arcminute (there are 60 arcminutes in a degree).  For reference the moon is half a degree in diameter, so naked eyes can see about 30 “pixels” on the moon.  Some people can do better -- occasionally you hear about people with 20/10 vision -- twice as good as a normal person.  But that’s about the limit -- your visual acuity is limited by how densely cones (color sensing cells) are packed on the fovea -- the awesome part of your eye.  They are only packed close enough to allow half-arcminute resolution in the best case.  Incidentally, hawks can see details eight times finer than humans.





Captain America


Captain America is essentially a steroid-enhanced human, so he’s not that interesting, scientifically.  But his shield is.  It is made of vibranium, a Marvel universe material that is supposed to absorb and redirect all kinetic energy.  He demonstrates this when Thor tries to go hammer-time on his shield and ends up smiting himself.


Could we make such a shield?  Well, there are some materials that do funky things when you put pressure on them.  A mixture of cornstarch and water (called oobleck, in a name stolen from Dr. Seuss!) acts like a liquid normally, but if smack it, it temporarily become solid.  Regular readers of the site might remember this scene from Known Universe, where I used this trick to walk on a dumpster full of this stuff.



Ice can also take on many different forms depending on its temperature and pressure.  Kurt Vonnegut fans may be familiar with Ice-9.   His form of it is fictional, but there are actually at least 15 forms of ice structure, giving the ice different properties depending on the pressure.


We don’t have something like Cap’s shield yet, but the idea of using kinetic energy to change the molecular structure of something isn’t insane.  The problem I have is that Cap’s shield only does this selectively -- when he throws it at someone, it doesn’t absorb energy at all.  Maybe it behaves differently when hit from the side.





The Hulk


Gamma rays will fuck you up -- they damage whatever cells they come into contact with.  In the real world this can give you cancer.  Tony Stark was right when he said that the gamma ray dose Banner took should have killed him.  Maybe Banner is a secretly a mutant with tough cells.  But the Marvel universe, when gamma rays don’t kill you, they turn you into something big, green, and nasty.  


Then again, maybe the gamma rays caused a mutation.  In real-life it is possible to have a mutation that gives you massive muscles.  Normally, our bodies produce myostatin, a protein that inhibits muscle growth.  Fortunately, we (and animals), have two copies of the gene the regulates this.  But some real-life mutants lack it completely, and as a result they have runaway muscle development.  Take this whippet:



Sorry Ang Lee haters, there are Hulk dogs in real life!  Some people have this Hulkish condition too.  There’s a bit more about this in io9’s show on the Science of the Avengers.


This doesn’t explain why the Hulk is green, how he transforms when he’s angry, where he gets the mass from, or how he keeps getting stronger the angrier he gets, but we don’t have to explain that.  The Hulk is awesome.





Iron Man


I happened to be watching the Avengers for the first time with my buddy and colleague, Ben Mazin.  In addition to being a physicist, Ben is an international arms dealer.  I’m serious.  And, no surprise, he loves the hell out of Iron Man.  Ben invented something called Jetboots, which propel you pretty quickly underwater, and then sold them to militaries.  He then tried to pitch DARPA on an underwater version of a suit of armor using Jetboots, inspired by Iron Man, but they didn’t go for it.  So when we first see Iron Man *under freakin’ water* in THE AVENGERS, Ben nearly lost his shit.  At the bar later, he explained that much of the Iron Man tech is either here today or close to reality.  There are already powered exoskeletons.  The only real problem to creating an Iron Man is the power source.


Just how awesome is that arc reactor anyway?  We can actually get an idea from the movie.  When Iron Man offends the delicate sensibilities of certain preening man-god he gets himself (sing it with me), “Thun-der-struck!”  Apparently the only bolts from the blue he’s received before are ideas, because he’s kind of surprised that the bolt didn’t fry him.  I thought he’s supposed to be some kind of super-genius.  He shouldn’t have been phased at all.  Iron Man’s suit is made of metal, so it conducts electricity.  The electric field inside a conductor is zero -- he’s in a Faraday cage, so he can’t be shocked.  Don’t believe me? Watch these guys, ArcAttack, not just wearing chain mail, not just playing guitar in friggin’ chain mail, but rocking the fuck out while being hit by lightning while playing guitar in chain mail!  And it gets even crazier.  They are using the Tesla coil to make the music!  And the music is Iron Man!  I just recursively blew my own mind.




Incidentally, they also play music worthy of a Sith Lord.


Interestingly enough, Thor’s bolt actually charged Iron Man’s suit to “400% capacity.”  Ooh, ooh, we can use this to figure out how much energy Iron Man’s suit holds!  We all know how much power is in a lightning bolt, right?  1.21 Gigawatts!  That actually isn’t too far off, but it doesn’t make sense to talk about lightning in terms of power, which is energy per time, since a lightning bolt is so quick.  But the total energy release in a lightning bolt is about a gigajoule (a billion joules).  That’s about as much energy as is in a tank of gasoline.  Doesn’t sound like much, but cars have a hell of a lot of kinetic energy.  And they only use about 15% of the energy -- most of the rest is wasted.  Still, I would have thought that the arc reactor would give you more than a quarter tank of gas.  Maybe Thor hit him with an insanely powerful bolt of lightning.



I’m paraphrasing, but some character says to Tony Stark, “Since when did you become a thermonuclear astrophysicist.”   He says something like, “since last night.”  Since my area of expertise is thermonuclear supernovae, I guess that makes me, in the parlance of the Marvel universe, a “thermonuclear astrophysicist.”  It took me 4 years as an undergraduate, 5 years of graduate school, plus many years as a postdoc to master the subject.  As a by-product of my job, I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of the smartest people on the planet.  I don’t know anyone who could master a field in one day.  Then again, we know how Tony Stark likes to brag.  He isn’t being entirely honest -- since he perfected the Arc reactor, he was actually already an expert at thermonuclear fusion.







I’ve already written an article on the Science of THOR.  The Asgardians are basically an alien race in the Marvel universe, and I think that’s pretty awesome.  But I’d still like to see a scene where Banner and Stark are arguing over some advanced physics, and Thor just corrects them.  Come on, that’s comedy gold!  (It reminds me of one of my favorite Onion articles.)  Even though he seems like a brute, even the stuff he learned in elementary school has to be way beyond Earth science.  I don’t understand why Banner and Stark aren’t quizzing him nonstop.


Thor’s semi-magical nature from the comics did bring up an interesting discussion at the bar after the film about whether magic has any place in the cinematic Marvel universe.  We physicists said not just no, but hell no.  The reason is, that if something like “magic” showed up, scientists would figure it out.  If you could utter a spell, and, say, teleport, just about every physicist in the world would drop what they are doing and study that.  You just have to say these words!?!  Awesome!  


The point is, there is nothing “mystical” that is off-limits to science.  Science would just absorb it, and then it would be something we understand.  It would be no less awesome, it would just move from the “magic” column into the “understood” column.  Don’t believe me?  We now know how to fly.  We can build robots.  We can transmute elements.  We can make things invisible.  We can levitate things.  We can see back in time to the origin of the universe.  We can explode cities.  We can even teleport photons.  So we can do “magic,” only it is now called science.


As Arthur C. Clarke said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”  I’d put it the other way around.  Calling something “magic” is just a statement about our ignorance.


That’s it.  As you can tell, I’m a big fan of the Avengers.  It was entertaining, but it gave me plenty to think about too.  I love the universe they set up, and I hope they keep talking to scientists to “keep it real.”






- Copernicus (aka Andy Howell)




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Readers Talkback
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  • May 17, 2012, 7:33 p.m. CST

    Avengers Cartoon

    by Quackfu

    just did a bit with the Hulk correcting Stark about some type of cosmic radiation. Similiarly cute.

  • May 17, 2012, 7:38 p.m. CST

    That Hulk dog is funny! Heheheheheheheheheheheh

    by ajit maholtra

  • May 17, 2012, 7:39 p.m. CST

    And I agree about Mark Ruffles as Hulk

    by ajit maholtra

    He is the best Hulk and is like a real person.

  • May 17, 2012, 7:44 p.m. CST


    by Quackfu

    In the comics, Cap's shield is a blend of vibranium and admatium (the same shit as wolverines skeleton). That is why it is able to bounce off of things when thrown. No explanation of that in the movie though. Also I think during Peter David's run on the Hulk comic they did say that Banner was a mutant and that is why he survived the gamma blast and was further mutated. Otherwise he would have just been a repressed over-intelligent sad sack.

  • May 17, 2012, 7:45 p.m. CST

    Holy Remo Williams

    by Quackfu

    cool clip

  • May 17, 2012, 7:45 p.m. CST

    I'll take an entertaining film over faithful science any day.

    by Logan_1973

    You often can't have both. If I want to be entertained, I watch AVENGERS. If I want to be educated I watch NOVA.

  • May 17, 2012, 8:03 p.m. CST

    Re: Hulks mass

    by VanGoghX

    I'm not a scientist in any way, shape or form. But from Ang Lee's Hulk movie I gathered that Banner somehow pulls moisture from the air to gain mass. That's why when he turned back into Bruce you could see massive amounts of water pouring out of him. Is that plausible?

  • May 17, 2012, 8:03 p.m. CST

    Best Articles on AICN

    by Atomik Steve

    Seriously, great job man. I love that video of the cornstarch and water. I just made a mixture of that tonight when I was cooking to thicken a sauce. Definitely makes me look at that differently now.

  • apparently they forgot this later in the film and in the Avengers movie.

  • May 17, 2012, 8:23 p.m. CST

    Ponderous...fucking ponderous

    by JiggahJu

  • May 17, 2012, 8:43 p.m. CST

    Cut the crap...

    by RedEaglez

    You are stretching this and taking the fun out of it. Let physics be physics.

  • May 17, 2012, 8:53 p.m. CST

    Shittiest cover of Iron Man EVER...

    by mdk

    ...but the Tesla Coil stunts were cool.

  • May 17, 2012, 8:55 p.m. CST

    About Thor: why were the scientists so accepting of his abilities?

    by Just_Some_Guy

    I mean, they were like: "oh, he's topic!" They weren't the least bit interested in his powers? Or that of the hammer's? OK, I get there's only so much you can fit into a movie, but a quick line by Stark or Banner about how they'd like a closer look at that hammer some day would have been cool. Come to think of it, Thor doesn't say much. Thor talked a lot in the comics, in the Avengers movie he just hits stuff. Bummer. I wanted to hear a "Have at thee!" or "I say thee nay!" or something. Maybe in the sequel.

  • I wonder whether the Asgardians still completely understand their technology. At any rate, in <em>Thor</em> they seem to doubt their ability to rebuild Bifrost, even though they presumably created it in the first place. Or are they relying on someone else's tech? That might be a cool way to bring in some of Marvel's cosmic characters.

  • it would literally be like talking to an advanced alien race and getting to ask about how to do things we only dream about!

  • May 17, 2012, 9:41 p.m. CST

    Do they actually ever say IronMans armor is metal?

    by boogel

    I mean, it makes clanky noises when he walks. But I suppose it could just as easily be something else. Carbon fullernes or some exotic marvel super material.

  • May 17, 2012, 9:47 p.m. CST

    Question from Part One

    by Amusetrubator

    Something I've always wanted to see is a map of the universe with a "YOU ARE HERE" sign where Earth is. Do we know where we are? From the talkbacks on part 1, I gather that the universe isn't ball-shaped, but more of a pancake form. Are we closer to the center, or to the outer rim? Is there any way to tell, given that we are only able to observe a portion of the universe? Also, from a purely cosmological perspective, why is it that "tripe" and "recipe" don't rhyme?

  • May 17, 2012, 9:51 p.m. CST

    No Prize?

    by kname2

    In varied explanations of Cap's shield, Marvel has long stated the shield is made from an alloy containing vibranium...not entirely made from it. Some explanations in the Marvelverse say it was an adamantium and vibranium alloy and others it's steel and vibranium.

  • May 17, 2012, 10:03 p.m. CST

    @boogel: "Do they actually ever say IronMans armor is metal?"

    by berserkrl

    In the first Iron Man movie, Stark says something like: "Iron Man, that's a kind of catchy name, I like it -- though it's not strictly accurate: it's not iron, it's --" and then (alas) I forget what he says it is instead. Though I think titanium might've been in there somewhere.

  • May 17, 2012, 10:04 p.m. CST


    by berserkrl

    quote:::From the talkbacks on part 1, I gather that the universe isn't ball-shaped, but more of a pancake form. Are we closer to the center, or to the outer rim? :::unquote Does that question make sense when we're talking about something 4-dimensionally curved rather than 3-dimensionally curved?

  • May 17, 2012, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Jesus I feel bad for that dog

    by mr teaspoon

    I hope it's not miserable to live like that.

  • May 17, 2012, 10:12 p.m. CST

    Totally didn't think this was real either...

    by boogel

  • May 17, 2012, 10:19 p.m. CST

    Some answers

    by copernicus

    - Interesting point about the Asgardians no knowing their own tech. Although, I think they did make Mjolnir. Odin binds it to Thor somehow by whispering to it. - The shape of the universe is unknown, we can only see a part of it, called "the observable universe." We can only see as far as light has traveled since the big bang. It is way bigger than that though. - For the "you are here" of the universe, check this out. It is awesome: - I did know that they sometimes call Cap's shield a vibranium-adamantium alloy, but the history of the shield has changed so many times over the years, I decided not to go into it. - You guys who think that physics and fun can't overlap make me sad. Sorry you didn't have better physics teachers!

  • Sounds like a feasible solution to me. But don't be standing anywhere near him when he needs to release all that air.

  • May 17, 2012, 10:28 p.m. CST

    Don't feel sad for that dog. It's funny!

    by ajit maholtra


  • May 17, 2012, 10:36 p.m. CST

    Here's a somewhat BS explanation for the Hulk

    by boogel

    What the Hulk is is a giant battery. He absorbed massive amounts of energy during the accident. Somehow, at will it seems, he can convert the energy to mass and vice versa.

  • May 17, 2012, 10:50 p.m. CST

    True magic would not be explainable by science.

    by frank

    Intensive scientific study would only reveal that the phenomena defied physical laws, and could not be understood logically.

  • May 17, 2012, 10:51 p.m. CST

    Copernicus = Awesome.

    by heylookoverthere

    I don't think it's a shock to suggest that he's the most intelligent contributor to this site (and that's not a knock against the others.) But I also love the way he dives right in and refutes s the arguments of talk-backers, where most of the other contributors would just ignore them. Also for a series of articles that could easily end up taking themselves too seriously, you do a good job of acknowledging that films have to take some creative license with the truth/science.

  • May 17, 2012, 10:59 p.m. CST

    I like to think of the Asgardian stuff as just magic.

    by frank

    It is more fun that way. Having a scientific explanation for imbuing a hammer with mysterious powers by whispering to it seems kind of stupid. I am a scientist myself, and I find science to be fascinating, but I am also acutely aware of the fact that once a phenomenon is explained, it loses much of its romance. It becomes limited. In studying biology I have realized that life itself is actually just an illusion, and that there is no fundamental difference between a human and, say, a chunk of granite. We are just atoms arranged differently. It’s incredibly depressing, really. Anyway, great article! Cheers!

  • Great article by the way, I always enjoy your stuff. please note that I am not debating you ( I do not have the hardware for it:), just simply asking a question and perhaps challenging you.. There is more to magic than what you seem to think at the close of your article. I do agree with you. Science will be able to explain why it works someday, but I still believe it will be referred to as magic for the same reason I do not call what I would like to do to Kat Dennings non-reproductive intercourse! I think you touched on it a bit when you expressed the idea that we are a way for the universe to contemplate it's self. I propose the possibility that it is more than that we are a way for it to contemplate, we may in fact be here to interact with and direct the subtle energies of reality with freewill. If you ever decide to do a little magic for research I would suggest Chaos Magic, less mumbo jumbo, dogma and bullshit...I am not asking you to go full Jack Parsons on us (though that would be pretty cool), but I think you may be surprised at what you think of this stuff when the smoke clears..

  • You know what that is, copernicus? Of course you do not. So let me enlighten you. The vast majority of matter in the cosmos, is non-physical. No, I am not talking about "dark matter" or even "dark energy." Sure, you might wish to include that. No. I am actually talking about what the cosmos really is, and you slow-moving, parroting scientists will 'discover' this probably within 1 thousand years (I hope). And that is: The vast majority of the cosmos is not physical matter. And I don't mean empty space. There is no such thing as 'empty' space. It's amusing that you still haven't figured out what 'energy' is, nor have you understood what 'magic' (a popular superstition these days, based on natural laws, however) is either. You throw around words that you've defined in your labs and text books, as if you know the meaning of them. Like the word 'atom.' Yes, atoms do exist. Real, indivisible units of matter, but they certainly have nothing to do with physical matter. One thing you silly string theorists are correct about, is that you have guessed correctly about higher forms of dimensions and energies/material forms manifesting from them. The way you have attempted, however, to mathematically construct this, is a joke. So, to cut a long story short, my dear Copernicus: The most you and your good buddies at the lab will ever discover and understand, is 1 percent of reality. I do not mean 1 percent of the universe. I simply mean 1 percent of reality. This means, assuming you could build a particle accelerator the size of a galaxy, the best you could ever hope to achieve, would be a measurement/ascertainment of 1 percent of matter. Your higgs boson and gravitons and all your other worthless fictions and illusions are a joke, but you will figure that out in due course. In fact, you still haven't figured out what gravity is, yet. Good luck with that. As I said, build me a particle accelerator the size of a galaxy, and I'll show you the boundaries of science: 1 percent of reality. The rest of the 99 percent, is a reality you will never ascertain with your instruments. It requires something beyond particle smashers to get there. I'll let you guess. And no, it ain't religion or anything else you're likely to guess. So what's my point? My point is: Be humble, no your limits, and remember, every single day you wake up and feel comfortable with yourself and your feeble brain and 'knowledge', that the most you will ever achieve as a scientist, is 1 percent comprehension, and please note: That's if you manage to build that galactic particle accelerator (good luck). Right now, you haven't even grasped a millionth of reality. How do you feel about this, good sir? Does this irritate you? Perhaps you will deny this? Does this mean science is useless? No. Science is a good start. It's better than religion and philosophy, i'll give you that. Once you reach beyond the mental level of a scientist (in other words, the beginning stages of the civilized human), you can come back and ask me more. Since you will not achieve this in another thousand life-times, I'll leave you to ponder about this post, and wonder whether or not I am a deluded crank. It's probably better for your sanity, that indeed you do.

  • May 17, 2012, 11:04 p.m. CST

    excellent stuff, C. i would add...

    by Detached

    ... the (plot) reason Thor hit Iron Man with that lightning bolt was to massively increase Shellhead's power to make it at least something like a fair fight. Otherwise, Thor would have flattened him fairly quickly. Even as it was, Thor ended up simply knocking him out of the way (after crunching his "arms") when Cap showed up. But it did seem like Cap's shield sent back far more energy than Thor hit it with. It's unlikely Thor would hit Cap (or any human) all that hard, certainly not hard enough to knock himself off his feet. Great point about how the movie portrayed scientists, as well as the fact that Stark & Banner should have been all over Thor. I also wondered why Thor wasn't curious as to why Cap's shield acted the way it did when he hit it. But anyway, terrific piece. Thanks.

  • May 17, 2012, 11:05 p.m. CST


    by tstone

    "Thor’s semi-magical nature from the comics did bring up an interesting discussion at the bar after the film about whether magic has any place in the cinematic Marvel universe. We physicists said not just no, but hell no. The reason is, that if something like “magic” showed up, scientists would figure it out." This assumes that scientists have the right tools, the right knowledge, the right doctrine...and don't dismiss it outright because it defies their ability to understand and define things as they presently believe the rules work AND refuse to believe that something can stand outside of them. "Scientists", as famous scientists have observed, can be as dogmatic and defensive as anyone who takes a stand on a world view, evidence be damned. Besides, "magic" DOES take place in the Marvel U, and there's a bit more to it than just saying a couple words. BUT...if it were seen as that, more scientists would holler "BUNK! FRAUD! WOO!" and attempt to dismiss it entirely, rather than investigate it. Especially if it's effects were subtle. That is what happens in real life with many kinds of phenomenon. Again, scientists are just as human as anyone else. The Banners and Starks of the world are exceptional people willing to see beyond boundaries.

  • May 17, 2012, 11:06 p.m. CST

    LOL @ ___emperor___

    by heylookoverthere

    Words of wisdom from the guy who decided to stop taking his medication.

  • magic in a fictional cinematic universe based on a comic book universe where magic clearly IS a major part of it... ...I rest my case.

  • May 17, 2012, 11:06 p.m. CST

    *no = know

    by Emperor

  • May 17, 2012, 11:08 p.m. CST

    green gargantua

    by frank

    Unfortunately, I think it’s most likely that free will is an illusion. Wholeheartedy agree about Kat Dennings, though!

  • May 17, 2012, 11:11 p.m. CST


    by tstone

    ...I love science and respect scientists. But I don't respect arrogance or inability to accept limitations. Or the ability to let fantasy elements remain such. Willing suspension of disbelief. Being able to do so makes fantastic tales much more fun to watch.

  • May 17, 2012, 11:13 p.m. CST

    Actually, I think emperor is partially correct.

    by frank

    Not sure if he is trolling or insane, but I do think he is probably right that humanity’s understanding of reality is woefully incomplete and probably always will be. The rest of his post seemed to be gibberish.

  • And he talks like Amrish Puri.

  • May 17, 2012, 11:19 p.m. CST

    franks_television , I personally exist in a multiversal paradigm

    by the Green Gargantua

    Which means free will carves out a new membrane of reality at every quantum intersection of my life. So ultimately, somewhere within the vast ever fractilating, grotesque lattices of the hyper-dimensional snowflake that is the multiverse, The Green Gargantua is hanging like a shit hurling chimp from Kat Denning's creamy utters!! (though we may be made of sponge) Through ritual work, I may even be capable of retrieving memories from that Kat defiling sponge mind... DMT, it's is a hell of a drug folks.

  • May 17, 2012, 11:29 p.m. CST

    Emperor has the charisma of M.O.D.O.K, and I mean that lovingly oxoxo

    by the Green Gargantua

    no really!

  • Keep up the good work. You're keeping me entertained, right before I head off to bed. Emperor is as good a name as any. I would have called myself winona_ryders_pussy_juice, but alas, it was already taken...

  • May 17, 2012, 11:31 p.m. CST

    Copernicus, if anyone would appreciate this, you will

    by BadMrWonka

    Check this out: Is that not TOTALLY cool?

  • May 17, 2012, 11:32 p.m. CST

    Let me know if you figure out how to do that, gargantua

    by frank

    because if so I would be interested in taking your course. Although I guess you might have better things to do under those circumstances. In which case I will just have to wait for the Kat Dennings software to be available for my Nintendo Holodeck (yes, Nintendo will dominate the holodeck industry).

  • May 17, 2012, 11:34 p.m. CST

    ugh, bad grammar there

    by BadMrWonka

    but you get my point.

  • May 17, 2012, 11:35 p.m. CST

    See, now we all see M.O.D.O.K saying that and it's pitch fucking perfect.

    by the Green Gargantua

    were you going with "the anti-Cosmic gods" in that 1st post or is it just me? I got your back though man, just a little jealous cause I wanted to be M.O.D.O.K :(

  • Since, as you astutely pointed out, all the rest of the scientists haven't figured it out yet. How did you come to find the insight on your own? You wrote: "The rest of the 99 percent, is a reality you will never ascertain with your instruments. It requires something beyond particle smashers to get there. I'll let you guess. And no, it ain't religion or anything else you're likely to guess." OK, we give up. Tell us what it is. We're dying to hear it. (and please don't cop up and answer the question)

  • May 17, 2012, 11:41 p.m. CST

    Winona is a hijra

    by ajit maholtra

    Here's his photo

  • I recognize the arrogance and what triggers it sits on. They tend to be zealot in nature, but have some pretty cool fucking bands.

  • May 18, 2012, 12:03 a.m. CST

    a few more points

    by copernicus

    - Good point about he Bionic man's arms. And Cap's shield has all kinds of problems, though it is possible that there is some threshold effect, where it only absorbs energy if there is enough to rearrange the molecules -- oobleck only gets solid if you hit it sharply, for example. - There are *tons* of things science hasn't explained. That's why I'm a scientist! I'm reminded of the limits of our knowledge every day. I have a half-dozen supernovae that I'm working on with behavior never before seen, and I have no idea how they work. In the best case we understand the limits of our knowledge (like knowing we don't know what happened "before" the Big Bang), but it doesn't always work that way. - Yes scientists are human. Even if some scientists refused to try to understand a phenomenon (although why anyone wouldn't want to understand what Dr. Strange can do, I'll never know), others would take up the challenge because the rewards for figuring that out are profound. You'd be the most famous scientist on the planet. Other scientists are only skeptical until you've got the evidence. Once they see you do, they try to beat you to the next discovery. - "Intensive scientific study would only reveal that the phenomena defied physical laws, and could not be understood logically." Then we'd have to change those physical laws because they'd be wrong. Happens all the time. Einstein showed that in certain regimes things defied Newton's law of gravitation. He just modified it, and we realized that the previous "law" was just incomplete. Sure people were skeptical at first, but now everyone has come around. - I disagree that figuring out how something works takes the romance out of it. Understanding the interior structure of a star (the factory for the elements we're made of) is incredibly awesome, and way cooler than just thinking they are fairy lights. And if we could harness that knowledge to create fusion, we could change the world. The universe is far more wondrous than we can usually imagine. Our meat-brains are very limited and evolved to see a tiny part of the electromagnetic spectrum, to help us find enough food to eat, to procreate, and to defend ourselves. The universe is busy doing way crazier shit than that, and when you figure out some of its secrets there is no better feeling.

  • May 18, 2012, 12:06 a.m. CST

    emperor's post was actually quite entertaining.

    by MCVamp

    Needs more outbursts of "BAH!" and "RICHARDS!!!"

  • May 18, 2012, 12:10 a.m. CST

    badmrwonka that *is* cool!

    by copernicus

  • May 18, 2012, 12:18 a.m. CST

    Copernicus, did you see my picture of the hijra?

    by ajit maholtra

    Is that cool?

  • May 18, 2012, 12:41 a.m. CST

    No answer

    by ajit maholtra

    I guess that means no. Im going to sleep. Goodnight every buddy.

  • May 18, 2012, 1 a.m. CST

    Best posts on AICN! Giving commands to a hammer is nothing,

    by DidntPullOutInTimeCop

    I just saw a guy on the tube ordering his pocket mirror (I think he called it Siri) to "Call mom", then a lady's face appeared in the mirror. Magic.

  • May 18, 2012, 1:03 a.m. CST

    Black Widow has no superpowers? Did you not see that ass?

    by Cosmik

    That is magic.

  • May 18, 2012, 1:06 a.m. CST

    2 questions?

    by mr

    Copernicus, I understand that objects can avoid radar detection, but can an object as big as a carrier disappear? Didn't one of Bond's cars use the same 'reflecting mirrors' technology once? Also, Cap was discovered in a block of ice seemingly without any problems or side-affects? So when can I start planning on jumping into my chest freezer? Loved both reviews by the way.

  • May 18, 2012, 1:09 a.m. CST

    Iron Man's reaction.

    by nonsensical

    Copernicus, I didn't read Tony Starks reaction to surviving the lightening attack from Thor as a surprise that he survived it so much he absorbed it. I'm sure he figured he would survive the strike, but I'm not sure he expected to absorb the energy as well as he did. At least that was the impression I got from that scene.

  • May 18, 2012, 1:18 a.m. CST


    by DidntPullOutInTimeCop

    You can jump into the freezer after your special injections, vita rays, mumbo jumbo pills and having "a strong heart" being chosen over all of US' recruits.

  • ...this is said in such a way that assumes what Dr Strange can do can be explained "scientifically", specifically in terms of where science is now. I would say that is probably not the case.

  • May 18, 2012, 1:39 a.m. CST

    I mean, right there....our "meat brains"...

    by tstone

    ...this is running under the mechanistic assumption that our "meat" does the imagining. When there is much thought, including among legit scientists, that that is not the case. I refer you to Dean Radin, Roger Penrose, etc. That the brain is not the originator, at best it is a reciever. A reciever of what? To even answer that question, one has to step out of the mechanistic, Newtonian paradigm it has taken shelter in, even after discovering relativity and quantum physics Again and again, we are getting more and more glimpses that the real universe is much bigger, grander and stranger than we can even imagine. Yet the dominant paradigm is that it and we are all just bit of matter striking each other and it's interactions over a stretch of time. The end. Until one can get past that, one would never, ever be able to deal with the mystery that is "Dr. Strange's magic", even in a fictional world. "I don't believe it." "That is why you fail."

  • May 18, 2012, 2:45 a.m. CST

    BOLD! My Eyes!

    by Salamander

    Dude, love reading these things but man does all the text have to be in bold? I cut'n'pasted part 1 into notepad! lol

  •'s a childrens movie about comic book characters, grow up, go out, move on.

  • May 18, 2012, 4:28 a.m. CST

    Great stuff

    by Darth Thoth

  • May 18, 2012, 4:46 a.m. CST

    Do you really think Thor knows how the hammer works?

    by Dollar Bird

    I mean, I have only the barest understanding of how cars, cell phones, computers, watches, or refrigerators work, and I use those things all the time. I might be able to give the simplest explanation of how a lamp works. Most people don't understand the ins and outs of their tools and devices beyond how to use them. So, why would Thor know how Mjolner works? Maybe you're right in that Asgardian elementary school might be a bit more rigorous than Earthly ones, but I'm not entirely sure about that, either. I mean, the mass of human knowledge has increased significantly since I was in grade school a couple dozen years ago, but kids are still learning the same things. I'd even argue that schools are less academically rigorous today than they were 100 years ago. (Which is not to say that schools are worse today, we just have different priorities for what children should do and how to engage their minds/imaginations.) By the same token, if I were to go back in time to, say, the 1700s, and I showed my cellphone to the people around there, do you think when someone asks, "But, how does it work?" I could answer beyond, "Uh..." Just playing devil's advocate.

  • May 18, 2012, 5:23 a.m. CST

    Copernicus, couple of questions

    by Dead_Kate_Moss

    As I brought up in your other thread, is there a scientific explanation why Tony Stark isn't squished into his boots when he lands at great speed, or span round really fast to fix the helicarrier? Some kind of field within the suit which cushions him, or keeps him and his vital organs in place? Scientifically or science-fictionally plausible? Also, just curious, where do you stand on the Many World's Interpretation of quantum physics - do you think there are parallel universes, one of which could be the Marvel Universe? Cheers.

  • May 18, 2012, 5:50 a.m. CST

    I am so not offering to walk the dog !!!

    by Dalius

  • May 18, 2012, 5:56 a.m. CST

    Avengers Iron Man suit question ?

    by Dalius

    Saw the Avengers for the second time and something bothered me .... When Iron Man flies into space he passes out, presumably because he can't breath (the Hulk revives him, not a technique recommended by most first-aiders). But why does the suit power down? And when he lands, the Arc reactor doesn't appear to be glowing. Yet he doesn't seem overly concerned. And if he can't breath, that means the suit has no air tanks, so how was he working under water? (I suspect the answer is "quickly").

  • May 18, 2012, 6:18 a.m. CST

    Wow, drstrangerlove

    by Edward_nygma

    It's so cool how you're like, totally above everyone here. Will you be my friend?

  • May 18, 2012, 6:42 a.m. CST


    by my liege

    The suit at the start and the siut at the end are different suits, so it's entirely possible that his underwater one had air reserves where as his battle one (Mk. VII?) did not.

  • May 18, 2012, 7:20 a.m. CST

    I guess Ang Lee knew what he was doing all along.

    by Stalkeye

    Gamma Pups, FTMFW!

  • Iron Man could not survive more than a few minutes doing anything he did in this movie. The human body could never "hulk" out and back in. There is no such thing as vibranium or adamantium. There are no Norse gods. No one can fire a bow and arrow over their shoulder and hit a moving, intended target. No chick can jump straight up and grab onto an object flying 200mph without her arm being ripped off. A black man could never effectively lead an operation. I get it, it's fun to rap about all this, but it's not "science."

  • May 18, 2012, 8:20 a.m. CST

    but- did u like the movie?

    by vulturess

    do u like it more than gravity?

  • Ultra C. Odin is the only one who can safely code with Ultra C. What we arn't seeing is the tech that implements his commands. What type of sub-molecular apparatus is needed to change Loki's molecular structure from frost giant to Asguardian simply because Odin speaks in the code? Well it would have to be an array of molecular machines of a sort that are constantly surrounding the asguadians. Perhaps they introduced a nanite-like artificial intelligent armada of these machines into the entire fabric of asguardian civilization that then fanned out to the entire universe. These machines obey the coded commands of Odin and the gate keeper and a select few who are smart enough to code at their level. These machines are built of molecules and can assemble themselves in any configuration for any task. Well I'm off to get stoned and then this stuff will get really exciting

  • May 18, 2012, 9:12 a.m. CST

    I'd say black widow is more superpowered then hawkeyr

    by RedBull_Werewolf

    The dude can just shoot arrows but those quickly run out. Widow on the other hand is highly trained in both hand to hand combat and weapon combat. They are both human but if I had to choose one for my team it would be widow... Plus you know, dat ass

  • Stark would start out by just turning Loki's molecular structure back to frost giant. Once he figured it out he could turn Loki into different things for fun. Make him an ugly fat woman etc. Then Stark has to use the Asguardian modification to save the day at the 11th hour so his hacking the tech and fucking with Loki becomes foreshadowing.

  • May 18, 2012, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Ok I'm not really high but I'd like to be

    by UltraTron

  • never stopped. My only complaint for motion seats on that movie was not enough 1st person scenes. Motion seats work best with 1st person action

  • May 18, 2012, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Interesting that Emperor...

    by Jeremy Jar Binks

    Says we will never be absolutely certain about everything in nature, and yet is absolutely certain that EXACTLY 99 percent of reality will never be known to us. Really? Precisely 99 percent? How.. um.. would one come up with a ratio like that, if one were unsure of anything at all? Godel said.... um.... *things better of it, moves away to a farther seat on the bus, averts eyes*

  • May 18, 2012, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Fantastic read copernicus

    by Mark

    I wonder how much bigger hulkdog gets when hes flexing while taking a crap.

  • May 18, 2012, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Thor wouldn't know squat...

    by zinc_chameleon

    about how Asgard works; only Hemdall, and unfortunately Loki, understand the technology. This point was made in the origin movie; Loki has nothing but disdain for Thor's childish heroics. What needs to happen is for Tony Stark to find a way to convince Thor to let him travel to Asgard (presumably to party) and then Tony sneaks away, to copy the schematics of the Bifrost. Hemdall catches him, but instead of punishing him, he's just happy to finally have a peer to discuss things with, because the Bifrost is a piece of history that he has to maintain, not a technology that he can develop.

  • May 18, 2012, 10:20 a.m. CST


    by coz

    What's it like to be so far removed from us mere mortals? Do we seem as insects to you for waxing scientifically about a "children's movie?"

  • If, as Copernicus states, the KE is absorbed, but absorbed as what? Heat? Wow, that shield must get hot quickly. OR does the KE turn into the energy needed to bring the molecules together at the point of impact? That still seems like a LOT of KE, it has to go somewhere. And if it absorbs energy, then why did the energy get deflected by Thor's hammer? Is that cuz the shield only absorbs KE and heat? Maybe some relativistic effects are in play with "vibranium." Could the KE turn into, say, mass increase? Maybe this is a property of vibranium, that it vibrates at relativistic speeds. If that's the case, then length contraction and time dilation would be factors. That'd be weird. So, if time naught is at each of the vibranium molecules, then their length of movement would be different for each. OK, this can't be possible, could it?

  • May 18, 2012, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Could a robot pick up Thor's hammer?

    by Dead_Kate_Moss

  • May 18, 2012, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Thanks, Copernicus

    by prince_fufu

    I always learn a little something from your posts. Strange that you think Hulk is awesome, while indifferent to Capt. America. They both are creatures created in similar manners. The Hulk got the serum + Gamma rays, while Cap got the serum + Vitarays (if I'm remembering rightly). Cap is pretty strong judging from how he lifts those punching bags with little effort, and he apparently is resistant to damage and heals quickly, seen by how Loki kicks the crap out of him and he is back on his feet almost immediately. He even gets shot by an Alien blast and seems to recover from that without medical aid.

  • May 18, 2012, 11:09 a.m. CST


    by AnarchyWorldsEnd

    I've wondered if they will explain at all the time/space nature of Asgard to earth. Could the reason 1000 years have passed on earth yet Thor and Loki's behavior and childhood flashback scenes imply a much shorter time in Asgard be that the Bifrost bends time as well as space? Thor is clearly portrayed at less than a 1000 years of maturity by his personality. It seems someone with a 1000 years of memories wouldn't be so quickly smitten with (an admittedly cute) Jane Foster. Perhaps Thor's visits to Dark Ages europe we're in HIS teens and 1000 years later earth time isn't equal on Asgard. The more mythical explanation could be that Ragnarok has taken place several times on Asgard and all have died and reborn in some way. That could make for an awesome Thor 3 where Loki redeems himself by stopping Ragnarok for once in a Neo Martix'y kind of way. I'd love your science thoughts on the bifrost as a time travel device and your comic geek thoughts on Ragnarok as the Matrix. Or perhaps i should say Matrix as ragnarok as it came first LOL!

  • May 18, 2012, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Stark isn't really a scientist. He's a mad inventor

    by rev_skarekroe

    He's not going to bother submitting his creation of a new element to a peer reviewed journal or anything.

  • May 18, 2012, 11:26 a.m. CST

    This is a great column!

    by ufoclub1977

    I think it's got the right attitude and perspective on fandom too.

  • May 18, 2012, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Copernicus vs. Harry Knowles

    by Valyrian_ Steel

    On one hand you have Copernicus: An erudite, film geek who is a subject matter expert and synthesizes a physics mastery in a way that begets a unique and wonderful style of film criticism. Oh, and he gives enough of a shit about his readers to proof read and spell check before he posts. On the other hand you have Harry: A "writer" using a syntax and grammar alien to our planet, whose "columns" insufferably begin with the autobiographical ramblings of an overwrought tween girl scribbling in her diary. Copernicus, why do you waste your time and talent writing for AICN when you should be reviewing movies for a legit site?

  • May 18, 2012, 11:42 a.m. CST


    by AnarchyWorldsEnd

    Remember that the Asgardian tech was given to them by the Gods (Aliens) above and before Odin. Odin himself doesn't really understand how it all works. It also explains why the Asgardians do weird shit like have a weapns vault built like a museum with no really solid security outside of the Destroyer. Picture them all as men of the Dark Ages that they defended. They were just given this technology by the elder Gods and did not discover it themselves. That's why they never invented cars. They've had genetically enhanced horses that probably go 60mph forever, so why would they. There whole society has been skewed by the tech being handed to them as opposed to discovered.

  • May 18, 2012, 11:57 a.m. CST

    RE:zinc_chameleon NONE of the Asgardians really understand the tech

    by AnarchyWorldsEnd

    As I was telling ultaron it's the neatest part of the storytelling to me. They hint at it at various times in the movies. Remember Loki told them there are ways between the worlds they aren't aware of. Loki is probably the most knowledgeable one in Asgard, but even he doesn't "Get" all of it. The aliens that preceded Odin are the ones with all the knowledge. It would be like going back in time and bulding a power source in the Dark Ages and giving everyone cell phones and TVs that required little to no maintenance. If you show'd them how to use them and then vanished you'd COMPLETELY skew there development. Tons of power but little understanding.

  • First of all, it doesn’t exist, but the idea behind magic is that it would not obey ANY physical laws. There would not be any way to explain it in scientific terms. You are right that any phenomena we observe *in real life* can be explained by some set of laws, and that if these phenomena break the laws that we think are correct then we simply have to rethink the laws. But that is if we are talking about reality. In fiction, such as The Avengers movie, magic can exist, and by definition magic cannot be explained logically. There is no scientific explanation for how Gandalf is able to repel the Nazgul with his inner light, or how the Ark of the Covenant is able to melt the faces of Nazis. If there were scientific explanations for those things, it would ruin the stories. For me, coming to understand something mysterious totally deadens it. It can still be very interesting, and for practical purposes it is certainly better to have that understanding, but from a romantic standpoint there is a negative effect. That is a personal thing though, and you may not feel the same way.

  • May 18, 2012, 12:09 p.m. CST

    There's no magic in The Avengers

    by Dead_Kate_Moss

    In the Marvel Universe there is, but not in the movies. I believe this has been stated by someone important.

  • May 18, 2012, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Someone important?

    by frank

    Was it German Chancellor Angela Merkel?

  • May 18, 2012, 12:16 p.m. CST

    I like the concept of magic=science we don't understand

    by Just_Some_Guy

  • May 18, 2012, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Not Angela Merkel, no.

    by Dead_Kate_Moss

    She thought that there should be magic in the Marvel movies. But she was over-ruled by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon who stated that the audiences would find it too unrealistic.

  • May 18, 2012, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Love These Copernicus. Thanks for These!

    by Read and Shut Up

  • May 18, 2012, 12:39 p.m. CST

    anarchyworldsend has a good point

    by Brian888

    It's entirely possible that the Asgardians aren't the ones responsible for most of their tech. A few of them, like Odin, probably understand a lot of it though. It makes mythological sense. Granted, the Asgardians aren't actually the Aesir, but in Norse mythology, most of the gods' cool stuff came from the dwarves. It's possible the Asgardians have or had a similar arrangement with another, more tech-savvy species.

  • May 18, 2012, 12:55 p.m. CST


    by Ace of Wands

    "Thor’s semi-magical nature from the comics did bring up an interesting discussion at the bar after the film about whether magic has any place in the cinematic Marvel universe. We physicists said not just no, but hell no. The reason is, that if something like “magic” showed up, scientists would figure it out." Then why haven't you all figured out the many "paranormal" abilities that people show on a very regular basis. Scientists can be so fucking full of themselves, eg your remark about scientists being so full of confidence because they are often so specialised that they are THE authority in their field and know more than anyone else on the planet about their specialised subject; maybe, but that still didn't stop Edward Teller being a complete fucking arsehole who brought about a fucking WMD or Heinrich Mückter, a former fucking Nazi, bringing that most beneficial of drugs, Thalidomide, into the world: scientists both. And just to include a bit of Avergers "science", how does Stark overcome inertia?. I saw him slam into the ground from height at very high speed at least once in the movie, damaging the outer skin of the armour but he wasn't even winded inside the suit let alone had any of his internal organs turned to mush.

  • May 18, 2012, 1:01 p.m. CST

    RE:brian88 In the comics mythology...

    by AnarchyWorldsEnd

    There is some realm where the Asgardians talk to the "Gods" above them. I can't find a link for it right now but I'm quite sure of it. And the "Allfather" is the link to them (and there tech???) I think it's the most logical explanation of the melding of the mid-evil and tech elements of Thor. Why else have the Fire of the Destroyer be wielded by staffs and spears. Why ride (apparently genetically enhanced) horses while the tech exists for levitating buildings around you?

  • May 18, 2012, 1:01 p.m. CST


    by Keith Small

    "A black man could never effectively lead an operation." You jest, no?

  • May 18, 2012, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Took the words out of my mouth brian888

    by lprothro

    Although here we're discussing the marvel movie universe as opposed to that of actual Norse mythology. In the the myths, the dwarves forged Mjolnir at an actual forge, whereas in the films it's unclear "who" forged them, but according to Hopkins' opening narrative it was done "in the heart of dying star", so obviously Odin knows a little more about the inner working of Asgard tech then the rest of them, as do Heimdall and perhaps to a lesser extent, Loki.

  • May 18, 2012, 1:17 p.m. CST

    "In the heart of a dying star"

    by Just_Some_Guy

    OK, so the core of a "dying" star either becomes a white dwarf (low-mass, like the Sun), a neutron star, or a black hole. All of these are very dense, especially, of course, a black hole. It is quite possible the hammer (I refuse to try to spell it) is made from a material this dense, which could be why no one can lift it. But why can Thor and Odin lift it? And if it is such dense material, it would sink through the Earth pretty quick. Not to mention through the deck of the helicarrier. Maybe there is some tech in the hammer handle that, nevermind. OR: You could argue that we are all made of the stuff of stars: stars are the element factories of the Universe (other than hydrogen). Supergiants create elements up to iron in their cores, then they blow up and create all elements past iron in the explosions. So, then, if the hammer is made of the same stuff as us, ummm. WTF?

  • May 18, 2012, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Glad you mentioned dwarves, brian888

    by prince_fufu

    I was thinking they were handing their tech by a ancient dead race ala The Ancients in Stargate, but the race of dwarves could be the aliens that gave the Asgardians the tech and could be alive and well , keeping the tech working and maybe rebuilding bifrost at some point for thor to use in a future movie. The Royalty of Asgard could be privy to the secrets of the dwarven tech and the common folk just kind of use it. That's what makes the Royals so much more powerful than everyone else in Asgard.

  • May 18, 2012, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Mjolnir - the Hammer of Thor

    by prince_fufu

    I think when Odin linked it to Thor, he set genetic links to operate the device. It is keyed to only Thor, and possibly Odin as well. The hammer could be explained as tech that creates a bond with whatever surface it is on that could be syphoning gravity from a white dwarf star, increasing as some non-keyed force tries to move it. So even though the Hulk gets stronger and stronger, the hammer pulls more gravity into it to counter the Hulk's increasing strength. I thought is was awesome that the Hulk couldn't lift it, the scene was designed for that reveal. Thor threw the hammer, it happened to land in the grasp on the Hulk and he couldn't lift it, where moments later Thor picks it up as if it is feather light.

  • When the left brain laws of physics/astromony/ etc starts wrestling around with the right brain imagination of floating cities, shit just gets stupid. Its what happened with the SW prequels and it happens with many comic titles after a few issues.

  • May 18, 2012, 1:50 p.m. CST

    prince_fufu: I loved that scene, but it made no sense.

    by Just_Some_Guy

    Why didn't the hammer just crash through the deck of the helicarrier? But, it was neat how they stuck to canon and only allow Thor to lift it. I would have liked Thor to actually speak in those scenes and not be just a brute.

  • May 18, 2012, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Just some guy

    by prince_fufu

    The tech in the hammer could just have a gyro or gps like device that "knows" exactly where the hammer lands and "sticks" it there, so it doesn't go up, down or sideways relative to the surface it "sticks" on. So I would think the Hulk couldn't lift it or push it down or slide it. (And I realize we are talking about flying aircraft carriers, and thunder gods so really anything goes :)

  • May 18, 2012, 2:25 p.m. CST

    The key to making Dr. Strange work is that he would

    by sweeneydave

    not only be the expert at this unexplained craft, but the guardian of it. No one else can know about it. The world cannot know that Doctor Strange even exists. He is the silent guardian, protecting the world from dangers it will never know - and Baron Mordo. If everyone knew that his "world" was possible than everyone would be trying to attain this power - a power that is far to dangerous and chaotic for anyone but Doctor Strange to attempt. Like Frodo and the ring, it is HIS burden and his responsibility.

  • May 18, 2012, 2:33 p.m. CST

    one possibility on the science v magic debate...

    by Detached

    don't think of it in terms of "magic" - think of it in terms of the "supernatural." this would include virtually anything, including miracles, magic, etc. and then consider the idea that those events do obey their set(s) of "laws," but they aren't governed by/in this physical universe, but in a dimension (for want of a better term) beyond our own. so we can see the effects of these events, even if they aren't necessarily "testable" in the sense that we commonly understand it.

  • May 18, 2012, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Detached - I like that idea. They are laws that are

    by sweeneydave

    perfectly legitimate in another dimension, brought into our own. Doc Strange has traversed many of these other dimensions and somehow has the ability utilize these laws where they shouldn't be utilized. This keeps it out of everyone elses hands. And also makes other "freaks" with this ability (like Baron Mordo) exceptionally dangerous.

  • May 18, 2012, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Prince Fufu: not that simple

    by Just_Some_Guy

    OK: what creates the "sticky" force that is that powerful? Maybe some type of van der walls force? That is based on some weird molecular bonding. And, a GPS needs a satellite, so Asgard has a satellite around Earth? I like having these kind of debates

  • May 18, 2012, 3:17 p.m. CST

    zombie_fatigue, the midichlorians are a great example.

    by frank

    Totally ruined The Force by giving it a scientific explanation.

  • That was one of the coolest things about The Avengers, seeing how the powers of the different superheroes interacted.

  • May 18, 2012, 3:41 p.m. CST

    just_some_guy: Didn't really mean GPS

    by prince_fufu

    But it must have some sort of built in relativistic compass that tells it where it lands. And the sticky force is just some combo gravity:anti-gravity particle field that self adjusts based on forces applied to the field. While we are at it, it has a link to a white dwarf/blackhole (your choice) similar to the tesseract that gives it almost limitless gravity particles/energy to draw from. There, how about that? :)

  • May 18, 2012, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Captain America's shield

    by Mike Z

    If memory serves Stark said it was made out of vibranium , but in the comics if was a mixture of vibranium and adamantium. This mixture I don't think was ever duplicated thus making Captain America's shield unique. I'd suspect this could have something to do with how it can reflect energy but yet bounce back when its thrown and lands on its edge?

  • The world of asguard that we see is one that is made from the ashes of that great civilization. So there you have it. You can say that the ancients made the sub-dimension tech that attached itself to every spectrum of reality and facilitates things when oden speaks to it. Doctor Doom's black magic and super science is actually hacking into the ancients' tech. Mephistopheles, Dr Strange, Thanos- these are some folks who still have the programming manuals lying around somewhere. Galactus' back-story should be 1 half of Silver Surfer. Show the universe galactus came from and how he's the last person from that universe. Since they mention lady death in avengers I wonder how the science of the after-life will work. Possibly part of the ancients' tech that detects and backs up sentient brain patterns throughout the cosmos

  • May 18, 2012, 4:31 p.m. CST

    He clearly couldn’t lift the hammer in the movie.

    by frank

  • May 18, 2012, 4:58 p.m. CST

    Me and my astrophysics buddies ...

    by Solarpup

    ... we're totally down with Magic in the Cinematic Marvel Universe. (And really, I am an astrophysicist, with 90 refereed papers and 4000 citations to my name to prove it.) But we'll debate the *important* stuff after a movie like this, like who's the best martial artist in the Universe, or who's the smartest. And my wife will join in the debate too, even though her two doctoral degress are in biology, not astrophysics. But she's sometimes at a disadvantage due to the fact that she doesn't know some basic facts, like that Forge's ability for invention is a mutant power, and that Tony Stark's is due to raw intelligence and years of education and experience. And you think Tony Stark couldn't learn nuclear astrophysics in an evening? Well, you're wrong, because he *did*, as the movie showed. (Reed Richards would learn it in an afternoon.) Although the best real world example I know is that I know an astrophysicist who was one of Ed Witten's grad TAs. Witten was majoring in something like English, but taking advanced physics on the side. In the first week of class, he'd ask some naive questions, by week two, he was asking tough questions, by week three, he was stumping the TAs. So yeah, in a *movie*, Tony Stark learned nuclear astrophysics overnight. (But clearly, he already knew nuclear physics, so the astro part isn't that much harder.) And Hulk couldn't pick up Thor's hammer because Hulk's not worthy and the hammer is *magic*. I am really, really hoping that in Avengers 2 there is a scene where Thor gets separated from his hammer, and Capt. America is getting beat upon, with no hope of survival other than Thor's hammer within his reach, which he knows he can't pick up, but he knows his team won't survive if he doesn't, so he tries anyway, because that's just what Steve Rogers would do, and he picks it up an unleashes holy hell because he *is* worthy, and the magic hammer damn well knows it. And I really hope they make a Dr. Strange and a Sub-mariner movie, and then get Ruffalo's Hulk together with them for a weird-ass, magic filled Defenders movie.

  • But because of the fact that hulk would need to stand on a mountain of adamantium not to sink into whatever he was trying to lift the hammer from. See hulk can over-ride the fabric of space-time or any reality that is affecting the hammer with his strength which is infinite. He just needs to get madder

  • May 18, 2012, 5:21 p.m. CST

    no, the hulk's strength isn't infinite...

    by Detached

    it reaches a high level, but that's all. and in the movie, he just plain couldn't lift the hammer.

  • May 18, 2012, 5:22 p.m. CST

    znbl, i think you're right

    by Detached

    it's the mixture of adamantium & vibranium (hard to type that with a straight face) that makes cap's shield unique.

  • May 18, 2012, 5:24 p.m. CST

    also, re thor's hammer

    by Detached

    it "weighs" more than it's actual physical weight. something to do with its, um, unusual properties put there by odin (or something along those lines)... it's highly unusual, like cap's shield.

  • May 18, 2012, 5:25 p.m. CST

    sweeneydave re "supernatural" laws...

    by Detached

    it makes sense. at least as far as i can tell.

  • May 18, 2012, 5:35 p.m. CST

    solarpup I love your Captain America idea...

    by AnarchyWorldsEnd

    would make great drama!

  • May 18, 2012, 5:39 p.m. CST

    Does anybody like the idea of Loki redeeming himself in Thor 3...

    by AnarchyWorldsEnd

    By stopping Ragnarok? Loki was clearly under Thanos and the Tesseracts control in Avengers. I have a feeling he's got redemption coming at some point. Though I doubt they'd do it the endeless cycle of ragnarok could explain why the Asgardian timeline doesn't seem to mesh with 1000 years passing on earth between Thor's appearances. Either the Bifrost is also a time machine or Thor visited Drak Ages earth in a past life (of his). Nothing about any of the Asgardian's behavior in Thor or Avengers suggests 1000 years of linear existence. Especially Thor's immaturity.

  • imagination is the most important component of your point of view. If you can imagine a POV beyond the finite knowledge of your own limited worldview, you may learn something new. something you may not have been able to guess at. something you may even like, and one day even champion. Such is the nature of Wonder. In other words- try not to be such a stick-in-the-mud. Those around you will thank you for it. GO COPERNICUS!! (and PS- Copernicus- I wouldn't mind a detailed exploration into the feasibility of making an Infinity Gauntlet. I already have the gauntlet, not sure where to go next..)

  • I call bullshit. Whatever the tech is, I'm sure it's a gross exaggeration to compare the two.

  • And Hulk having infinite strength is stupid.

  • I guess his mail-order course in COSMIC ONENESS didn't cover that crap.

  • May 18, 2012, 7:07 p.m. CST

    i don't think loki can or should be redeemed.

    by Detached

    it's just something to tease others with. kind of like lucy with the football & charlie brown. thor will go for it for a long time because he does love loki, although maybe even thor will finally give up.

  • May 18, 2012, 7:29 p.m. CST

    sweeneydave , Dr Strange has worked for years

    by the Green Gargantua

  • Yea, lets dismiss how great it is to see marvel scientists react to something they are unable to explain..The fuck are you people talking about?? I would LOVE to see Banner, Richards and Stark's faces as they observe Dr. Strange levitating in the lotus posture while ectoplasmic energy attempts to penetrate his circle of protection. That shit is what makes the Marvelverse great. Skeptical science mongers and Christians and go fuck themselves.

  • May 18, 2012, 7:40 p.m. CST

    How old is the universe?

    by Boborci

  • May 18, 2012, 7:53 p.m. CST

    Copericus, I heard that the Big Bang doesn't work, because..

    by CodeName

    of Einstein's Law of Relativity? If Big Bang spun in "one" direction to create something out of nothing, then why is it that we have planets that spin in opposite directions?

  • May 18, 2012, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Maybe I meant to say, Copernicus.

    by CodeName

  • May 18, 2012, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Maybe I meant to say, Copernicus.

    by CodeName

  • May 18, 2012, 7:56 p.m. CST

    Wait, I meant "side."

    by CodeName

  • May 18, 2012, 7:59 p.m. CST

    codename is drunk

    by ajit maholtra

  • May 18, 2012, 8:05 p.m. CST


    by CodeName

    The heck I am. Want me to show you my broken iphone?

  • May 18, 2012, 9:38 p.m. CST

    This is fun!!!

    by Just_Some_Guy

    I'm so fuckin wasted now! Pokin fun at the ignorant masses is a hoot!

  • May 18, 2012, 9:43 p.m. CST


    by CodeName

    Push a merry-go-round in ONE direction, and the kids that fly off will spin in the direction that the merry-go-round was pushed, whether it was spun left, or right. Law of Relativity by Einstein. If the Big Bang spun in one direction, as proposed, then wouldn't all planets be spinning in the same direction that the Big Bang went, whether it went to the left, or to the right? We know that not all of the planets spin in the same direction. My point is, is that the science community, which I support, should fess up, move along, and progress. That's all. When we are wrong, we are wrong.

  • May 18, 2012, 9:52 p.m. CST


    by Just_Some_Guy

    You stupid fuck. Then spin of planets have NOTHING to do with Big Bang!!! Totally SEPARATE!!!! What, just because "oh, Big Bang is in space, planets are in space, so their spin are directly related!!" Really? REALLY??? Holy shit, man. Holy fuckin shit allmighty! I can't, man. I just can't. LEt me guess, you think the Sun will blow up some day, right? Wow, just wow. OK, I'm drunk, but really? OK, fine. Spin, mother fucker, spin! Now, spin the other way!!! OHHHH, shit!!! YOu just disproved the Big Bang cuz you spun the other direction!!! Ohhhhh, man, call Stephen Hawking!!! Dude, planets to the Big Bang is like a proton to you. Actually, less than that. All the mass PLUS energy in the Universe AND time AND space was created in Big Bang. AND direction of spin is relative based on perspective.

  • May 18, 2012, 9:53 p.m. CST


    by CodeName

    You just answered yourself, man. When you sober up, we'll talk.

  • May 18, 2012, 9:57 p.m. CST

    OK, sorry for being an asshole, but...

    by Just_Some_Guy

    ...I deal with this shit all day, so this is my outlet. You were my punching bag. Sorry, bro. But, anyway, ya gotta get educated, man.

  • May 18, 2012, 10 p.m. CST


    by CodeName

    Education is subjective, bro.

  • May 18, 2012, 10:11 p.m. CST

    How am I doofus? Elaborate, so I can defend.

    by Just_Some_Guy

    I got skillz that killz.

  • May 18, 2012, 10:13 p.m. CST

    I don't get how education is subjective.

    by Just_Some_Guy

  • May 18, 2012, 10:19 p.m. CST


    by CodeName

    Not sure if I should take that as a compliment, or an insult. ;)

  • May 18, 2012, 10:24 p.m. CST

    Killik is a physicist?

    by frank

    Well how about that.

  • May 18, 2012, 10:31 p.m. CST

    ace of wands

    by Chairman_Kaga

    "Then why haven't you all figured out the many "paranormal" abilities that people show on a very regular basis." What the fuck are you babbling about?

  • May 18, 2012, 10:40 p.m. CST

    Codename: I think dahveed tried to be clever, but ended up with nothing.

    by Just_Some_Guy

    I'm still waiting to see how I am a doofus, when I use legitimate concepts in physics to prove the Big Bang theory. So, I used a little profanity, but this is aintitcoolnews! Again, HOW AM I A DOOFUS???

  • Well that’s a relief.

  • May 18, 2012, 10:55 p.m. CST

    franks_television: No, man, the Sun is too small to blow up!!

    by Just_Some_Guy

    Yeah, it's like 5 billion years from now, but so many people think the sun will blow up some day. It's just one misconception that many people share among many. OK, trivial, I know, but it's the first thing that came to mind. Here's another, more common one: Many people don't realize that everything falls with the same acceleration! Get rid of the air, and a feather and hammer will fall at the same time! Fact!

  • May 19, 2012, 1:15 a.m. CST

    Whoa, do not fuck with that whippet.

    by ReportAbuse

  • May 19, 2012, 1:33 a.m. CST

    The Asgardians ARE magical...

    by tstone with it. Anyone who REALLY has problems with "magic" in movies about superheroes that are adapted from a comic book U that is immensely successful even with that magical content... ...has let their ability to suspend disbelief atrophy to tremendously tragic levels. And are watching the wrong movies if they want more than just to be entertained, instead are looking for their view of "reality" to be completely reinforced by their choice of fiction, no matter how fantastic. Like Harry Potter, there WILL be no technobabble when the Doctor Strange adaptation happens. It's a kind of magic. Fuck the Muggles.

  • May 19, 2012, 2:40 a.m. CST

    Magic without clear rules isn't what kills a story...

    by tstone

    Bad writing kills a story. You can have all the technically sound, rules laden whatever, yet if the writing sucks, it still sucks. Horror and fantasy writers have thrilled audiences for pretty much the entirety of human history. Go read your King, your Lovecraft, or myths of your choice. No rules. In fact, that is part of the wonder, the horror, are these fantastic things beyond our ability to comprehend. We can't "crunch" them, but those stories endure. A good story isn't measured by "rules", at least not by those of the technical kind.

  • May 19, 2012, 3:23 a.m. CST


    by Ace of Wands

    ESP, telekenisis. psychometery, OBE's, precognition, Radionics, dowsing, telepathy....Do You Want To Know More?

  • May 19, 2012, 5:17 a.m. CST

    ace of wands

    by Continentalop

    Have they ever been able to perform any of these "paranormal" abilities under proper observing conditions and confirmed by experiments?

  • May 19, 2012, 5:31 a.m. CST


    by tstone

    ...lots of good material on a wide range of those subjects. Start with Steve Volk's "Fringe-ology" for a cliff notes walk through many of those topics, as well as lots and lots of references.

  • May 19, 2012, 6:03 a.m. CST

    But they are all a load of bollocks

    by Dead_Kate_Moss

    but people will believe what they want to believe.

  • May 19, 2012, 8:20 a.m. CST


    by Chairman_Kaga

    Woo, what a shock.

  • Hey: You like magic to be some mysterious thing that cannot be understood but looks cool. And I like things to make sense. I don't believe in magic and I think that when a story attempts to explain it with science gets me all kinds of excited. For me, it ENHANCES the story if the science is accurate. I geek out! But just because I'm anti-magic does not make me wrong. I don't care if you like it, I just don't.

  • Manthropology by Peter Mcallister to see why the super-soldier serum would be awesome.

  • May 19, 2012, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Scientific Explanation for Nightcrawler's Teleportation

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    The Big BAMF Theory.

  • May 19, 2012, 10:51 a.m. CST


    by cymbalta4thedevil

    Why don't you use your hypothetical math skills to fix the economy? The Republicans have been basing their economic theories more on magic than science for about 30 years now.

  • May 19, 2012, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Copernicus needs to explain the physics of Harry backsliding down the banister

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    I'll accept Chow Yun Fat's ability to balance on the banister while sliding and firing. But Harry? That involves the suspension of more than disbelief. Of course, as boborci would tell you, Harry is a gelatinous shmoo-like being composed almost entirely of "Red Matter" so the laws of physics may not apply here.

  • May 19, 2012, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Why a quiz would do no good.

    by NoahTall

    Thor would be completely clueless about how his tech works. So would Odin. It's like asking the average person how their iPhone works. Once technology reaches a certain level machines will take over the practical design aspects. You will just tell your machine/computer/hammer what you want and it will happen. Sure there will always be scientists because there will always be people obsessed with finding out the what and why behind everything. But the king and his kids aren't going to be scientists. They'll just be the ones talking to their toys.

  • May 19, 2012, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Corn Starch mixture = Quicksand

    by Ringwearer9

    That stuff scares the shit out of me. If you submerged under that and tried to get out, it would lock down on you.

  • So what is the difference if we call it one thing or another? quantum entanglement M-Theory vorticitating hyperspheres 3d time the multiverse It's all stuff just beyond our comprehension, that is why it is used in our fiction. The hilarity here is that according to magical thinkers like myself, comics, movies and novels act upon reality in a magical way. They could be considered complex sigils literally bringing about these impossible concepts into reality through a global gnosis of wonderment they bring to those who experience them. The events of Titanic were written about nearly 20 years before it happened. Who recalls the X-Files where 911 was attempted way fucking before 911 occured? Than there is Star Trek, who's tech is slowly creeping upon us more and more everyday

  • May 19, 2012, 11:57 a.m. CST

    @scriptcunt: Nice try, baboon.

    by Emperor

    Funny, how you talk about punctuation, yet you cannot even construct a coherent sentence, addressing a single thing I have written. Once again: Attack the writer, not the content of the written, is always the gimmick of a small mind. Also, you can't even 'punctuate' my name properly. You forgot the extra underscore on each end. Write something worth discussing, you try-hard baboon.

  • May 19, 2012, 12:03 p.m. CST

    HULK Smash entropy! How did I miss part 2 until just now??

    by gotilk

    Strange. GREAT article, man.

  • May 19, 2012, 12:13 p.m. CST

    In addition, for others in here:

    by Emperor

    Just for clarification purposes, because most of you nose-picking clowns still didn't get my original post(s): Once again: I stated that what physicists call an atom, is not an atom. I didn't write "an atom is not an atom." Please read and comprehend. What conventional scientists call "atom" obviously is not an actual atom, but simply an aggregate of matter, that they may primitively study via physical instruments. However, if the majority of the cosmos is not physical matter (I am not saying it's not matter, I am saying not PHYSICAL matter, so please don't get confused again), then how do scientists hope to explore much of it? Well, obviously it's a fruitless endeavor, for the most they will ever discover, is 1 percent of the content of the cosmos (if even that, as right now, not even a millionth of it is within their reach). Please learn to read and think properly, before posting. That conventional shit that is shoved down your throats (electrons, protons, atoms, neutrons, and even quarks and other sub-atomic particles), are nothing but immensely magnified aspects of the physical material realities apprehensible by man and his primitive technology. My point in my previous posts was: Even mankind at its height (say, in a million years from now, or so), can only hope to discover 1 percent of reality (i.e., that which they experience on a daily basis). Please do not waste any more of my time, with your inane questions. I am doing you (and others) a favor by occasionally coming here and giving you donkeys some pearls for you to play with (out of the seemingly infinite goodness of my heart). What you do with it (laugh at it, misinterpret it, ignore it, dismiss it, etc), is up to you and beyond my control or care. If you're not too bright, at least pretend to be bright, by just being quiet and (as previously mentioned) not unnecessarily raising my blood pressure.

  • May 19, 2012, 12:41 p.m. CST

    You are right, dead_kate_moss...

    by tstone

    People WILL believe what they want to believe, without even examining the evidence with an open mind...including those who cling to the interpretation of the universe as a materialist, reductionist result of particles banging together, the end. Anything that escapes it's ability to define? Dismissed. Regardless.

  • May 19, 2012, 12:51 p.m. CST


    by Ace of Wands

    hello, long time, no hear occasionally yes, mostly no. However, and it is quite a large however, there isn't much of a scientific investigation into any of these so called paranormal activities (don't think that there is anything paranormal about them myself, just unexplained at the moment; by the way, although most of the "evidence" is anecdotal these abilities are very real, I've experienced them myself and yes, I know that that is also anecdotal) and what scientific investigations there are are often run by sceptics looking to debunk rather than those with a neutral mind who will just follow the evidence (James Randi, I'm looking at you, wanker!). Considering the million if not billions that is thrown by science at trying to understand the Big Bang when it makes, really, fuck all difference to daily life on this planet it might be nice if science lobbed a some coin at looking into these abilities that can- and do- affect people in their daily existence.

  • May 19, 2012, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Hey Copernicus,

    by Felix

    How about a Science of Battleship?

  • May 19, 2012, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Emperor is a giant head with tiny arms and legs that yells allot.

    by the Green Gargantua

    aka M.O.D.O.K

  • Maybe if people here keep talking enough about him his heart will explode and he will be dead.


  • May 19, 2012, 3:32 p.m. CST

    ultratron, give it up.

    by Detached

    there were some instances here or there where some writer or other let the hulk pick up thor's hammer, but please. it really isn't even a matter of strength per se, but what the movie showed was the way it's virtually always been in the comics. that's why whedon did it that way.


  • May 19, 2012, 5:57 p.m. CST

    His heart exploded. He is dead now

    by ajit maholtra

  • May 19, 2012, 9:35 p.m. CST

    In IRON MAN 2 when Tony used the shield

    by Mace Tofu

    to hold up the PA tunnel you could see it was a complicated item inside and not just a flat piece of vibranium. Tony's father made a machine that just looked like a simple shield when put together. In Iron Man 2 it looked like Tony had stripped it for parts some point in the past.

  • May 19, 2012, 10:58 p.m. CST


    by CodeName

    Had Hulk been able to lift Thor's precious metal, it would dhave been over for all the mortals onboard Stark's Enterprise. I believe Hulk could have lifted Mjolnir the angrier he got, but Whedon look at the indentation that Hulk was producing with his angst. He could have lifted Mjolnir.. but at the expense of creating a new hole in Stark's spaceship, which would have created windy gusts that would have pull that clunk of metal towards earth and destroyed Sam Jackson and friends. But.. the writers decided that miagic was more powerful than Hulk's strength.

  • May 19, 2012, 11 p.m. CST

    Excuse my sticky iMac's keyboard.

    by CodeName

  • Had Hulk fought Thor on land, it would have had the Green Earthling kicking the Asgardian all around the block. Hulk could manually teleport Thor back to his kingdom.

  • May 19, 2012, 11:32 p.m. CST

    The Avengers is not scientifically plausible

    by Jeff

    AT ALL! And I'm talking in any old way, shape, or form. Real science plays no part of this story. Please get your facts straight. What the movie DOES do is keep its pretend physics consistent with previous Marvel films. This is what I think you wanted to say, Copernicus. And I'd agree with you.

  • May 20, 2012, 1:13 a.m. CST

    uh, codename...

    by Detached

    No, the Hulk is not going to lift Mjolnir. No, he wouldn't beat Thor on land. The Hulk could never beat Namor underwater, and Thor defeted Namor underwater, and pretty quickly no less - to Namor's extreme surprise. There's no point arguing over this. Stan Lee himself has repeatedly said Thor is stronger- in fact, he created Thor specifically to be someone stronger than the Hulk. That's never enough for Hulk fanboys, who somehow think they know more than the guy who created it all, but that's still the way it is.

  • May 20, 2012, 2:45 a.m. CST

    I'd have to concur with Glodene

    by CodeName

    The creators, Stan Lee included, kind of made Hulk OP by allowing him to gain infinite power the angrier he gets. We have never seen Hulk reach his infinity peak in the comics, so there is that possibility he can send Thor back to Asgardian with brute strength alone.

  • May 20, 2012, 2:47 a.m. CST


    by CodeName

  • Thor would have decimated Captain America along with his shield.

  • May 20, 2012, 10:26 a.m. CST

    someone said capn America lifted it once because he was worthy

    by UltraTron

  • May 20, 2012, 10:55 a.m. CST


    by UltraTron

  • May 21, 2012, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Alas, Thor isn't a scientist

    by Dreamfasting

    The trouble with Thor intruding on the technobabble conversation is that he isn't a scientist of his culture. If you take a random person off the street of our world, carrying a cell phone with all that technology as their hammer and drop them into Bell's 19th century lab, they may recognize what is being attempted, they might patronize how primitive it is, but they probably would not actually be able to help technically or even decipher the lingo the engineers were using.

  • May 21, 2012, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Titanic and Avatar are gonna remain at the top because

    by sweeneydave

    Cameron keeps re-releasing them and having them played over. He seems to be a master strategist at the box office. They aren't the greatest movies ever. Yet he keeps them PG-13 to appeal to the widest audience. He promotes the crap out of them. And his primary goal is to create the grandest spectacle. He keeps them in the theater for as long as humanly possible and then releases them again 6 months later. Titanic is still making money under Box Office Mojo because he just released it again in 3D. I saw both Titanic and Avatar multiple times in the theater, but when I watch them at home they just seem kinda "meh". These are films designed to be theater experiences. And you've got to admit, the guy is a genius when it comes to box office tactics.

  • ... in the comics. "Whoever is worthy" has included a handful of characters in the comic books. Who is to say the Hulk hasn't been worthy, on occasion, in the comics?

  • ... that some moviemakers at least try and get a few scientific things correct, even if only a small portion of moviegoers gets it or even care.

  • May 21, 2012, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Hulk is just Frankenstein's Monster meets Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

    by Joe Plumber

    with the addition of Cold War era Nuclear hysteria.

  • May 22, 2012, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Iron Man 2 is Officially Unnecessary

    by GulDucati

    Iron Man 2 is by far the worst of the series, and it's now officially unnecessary to view Avengers or the other Marvel films. Why? Rhodey - not even mentioned Whiplash - not mentioned Black Widow - Stark and Natasha have NO scenes together in Avengers, only a "did you miss me" over the PA New Element - might have something to do with Stark Tower's renewable energy, but dialogue only mentions "arc reactor" which is from IM1 Coulson - leaves for New Mexico to get Thor, but this can also be covered in Marvel One Shot 2. Stark Expo - not mentioned, but is a nice tie to the "future expo" in Captain America Oh, and it has the most questionable "science," which is why I posted this.

  • May 22, 2012, 12:37 p.m. CST

    The scariest mofo in the DC/Marvel multiverse

    by redfang

  • May 22, 2012, 1:47 p.m. CST


    by GhostofLesterBangs

    In fact he was going to keep it until Odin made him the equally bad ass "Stormbringer" to replace it.

  • May 22, 2012, 9:15 p.m. CST

    Wasn't it the Dwarves?

    by themanwhojaped

    Didn't the dwarves manufacture Mjolnir? I know they did in mythology, but not sure about the Marvel U.

  • he sees on the computer that the cube is in NY City at the top of Stark's new building. he says 'oh my god' because of this, not because he knows that Hawkeye is there. Hawkeye interupts Banner telling anyone before turning into the Hulk.

  • May 23, 2012, 12:01 p.m. CST

    LisaB, it takes a big man to admit you're wrong

    by Joe Plumber

    I just want to acknowledge you for that. Glad you enjoyed the movie. Sometimes everyone really likes something because it IS actually good and not the lowest common denominator.

  • picking up the scepter in the control room. Loki is also influenced by it (which is a convenient plot device for his redemption we all know is coming). So it's an energy singularity as well as some form of consciousness. It was also the "Jewel of Odin's treasure room" according to the Red Skull. Perhaps the tesseract itself is the source of much of Asgard's tech? The tesseract jump started the evolution of the Asgardians much like the monolith in 2001 (or the AllSpark in the Transformers if we want to reference shitty movies :-) so once again the Asgardians do not completely understand the power they wield.

  • May 24, 2012, 5:02 a.m. CST

    Domestic numbers do not matter.

    by hst666

    Globally, the Avengers will surpass Titanic, but not Avatar.

  • May 24, 2012, 5:27 a.m. CST

    Actually, I take that back

    by hst666

    Not the idea that we should be focused on global numbers, but Avengers has a higher hill to climb internationally than Titanic does, I thought it was closer. Oh well, Joss having the third highest number and the best film of the top three is still good.

  • May 24, 2012, 7:43 a.m. CST

    Never seen Hulk lift Thor's hammer...

    by Hipshot

    So for those of you who have, a question: clearly, the magic/science behind Thor's hammer says "only the worthy" can lift it. So Thor can, and Captain America did at least once. If Hulk ever did, which version of Hulk was it? The enraged beast? The more thoughtful "Banner in Hulk body" hulk? Was he doing something destructive or trying to help someone "good"? In other words, was it consistent with the idea that lifting the hammer is NOT about strength? Otherwise, I'm tempted to suggest that all the countless thousands of depictions of Hulk in comics, movies, books, animation, video-games, etc....are simply inconsistent, and an individual writer slipped something in that the original creators would never have signed off on.

  • May 24, 2012, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Hulk hammer.

    by Mark

    I like the idea of the hammer "knowing" a persons character. A person mentioned about Odin knowing a form of code to program the hammer, that was cool. The hammer could have a form of sentience too, which could explain how it knows a persons character. I think in the movie it mentioned something about a chunk of a white dwarf star in the hammer. So I would like to think Hulk could get past that part of lifting the hammer, but the hammer knowing who you are (or the state you are in) he probably couldn't make it past that part of the equation. It would be cool for the hammer to realize who is underneath the hulk and transform him back to Banner and Banner could then pick up the hammer, and if needed be change back into the hulk with the hammers "guidance" Everyone was having so much fun with this I thought I would throw my penny in the fountain.

  • May 24, 2012, 4:20 p.m. CST

    oh my!!! Me Orci, you are a lost cause!

    by AsimovLives

    trying to use gaps in scientific knowledge to justify religious superstition? that's a common fallacy that even has a nanme, it's called THE GOD OF GAPS. And it's the worst way to jjustify one's faith there is. funny thing is, the god of gaps fallacy was first pointed out by a religious man himself, who harned peoplke of faith to not use gaps in scientific knowledge or misunderstood scientific concepts to justify religion, because it would always backfire. And yet, still, ignorant people of faith like Mr Orci himself still keep on making the same mistake. Unbelievable. Mr Orci is one very ignorant man, ad this posts just proves that without a shadow of a doubt. But he must think himself oh so clever, so in awe of himself. When in fact all he shows off is his crass great ignorance. Well, he's the writer of Abrams Trek and the Trashfuckmers movies, so what else is new?

  • May 25, 2012, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Maybe he failed physics in high school

    by Just_Some_Guy

  • May 30, 2012, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Dan DiDio’s revelation

    by duke of url

    Northstar, Marvel’s first openly gay hero, is going to tie the knot with his boyfriend in mainstream superhero comics’ first same-sex wedding in an upcoming issue of “Astonishing X-Men.” The announcement comes on the heels of DC co-publisher Dan DiDio’s revelation that an iconic DC character will reveal he is gay in a June issue, joining prominent lesbian character Batwoman beneath the rainbow banner. Northstar, whose real name is Jean-Paul Beaubier, is a Canadian mutant whose superhuman abilities allow him to move and fly at supersonic speeds. He’s also a professional skier, Olympian, novelist and businessman who made his debut in “Alpha Flight” #10 in 1984. He openly revealed his sexuality eight years later, in 1992′s issue #106, and officially joined the X-Men in 2002. In “Astonishing X-Men” #50, set to hit comic shop shelves Wednesday, Northstar proposes to his boyfriend, Kyle Jinadu, a fellow snowsports enthusiast who possesses no superpowers. The couple will seal the deal in issue #51 (see the preview above), slated for a June 20 release. “The story of Northstar and Kyle is universal, and at the core of everything I write: a powerful love between two people who have to fight for it against all odds,” said comic writer Marjorie Liu in a statement. “This is the quintessential Marvel story, one that blends the modern world with the fantasy of superheroes in order to tell an exciting story that begins with a wedding and continues in ways you can’t imagine.” Although Northstar’s story marks Marvel’s first gay wedding, the X-Men comics are known for tackling civil rights — including gay, lesbian and transgender issues — in their panels. Much has been made of the parallels between the mutant outsiders of the comics and gay youngsters grappling with identity and stigma. Other gay and bisexual Marvel characters include Mystique, Colossus (the Ultimate version), Destiny, Karma and Graymalkin. “The Marvel Universe has always reflected the world outside your window, so we strive to make sure our characters, relationships and stories are grounded in that reality,” Marvel’s editor in chief, Axel Alonso, said in a statement.

  • June 1, 2012, 10:03 p.m. CST

    I like to post here. No one cares!

    by Just_Some_Guy

    Kinky fuckery! My hand is twitchin!