This was actually a wonderful listen. The only downsides for me were that the ratio of science to superhero is well in favor of the science (although there is quite a bit of comic history, it certainly is not the books focus), and some of the "points" that come across are fairly obvious. On the other hand, there are many quite complex explanations that the authors boil down so that they are easy to understand even for a layman. The reader has a good voice and keeps a great pace throughout some of the longer explanations, which only enhances the learning experiance. While most of the information isn't useful on a day to day basis, it certainly couldn't hurt to know it!
This book is a masterpiece. It is perfect for science lovers, comics freaks, or both! And if you aren't either of those, it will intrigue you just the same. The way these 2 fields are combined is a work of art. You learn about so many scientific phenomena - from the life of stars to the life of spiders, from cloning to the paradoxes of time travel - while enjoying the entertaining tales of our most favorites comics superheroes. The language used is simple and at the same time scientifically accurate. The authors are great scientists, which makes the book 100% reliable. The reading is also excellent.
A great audio book! This should interest anybody who read even a few comic books as a kid. It's not just about the "science" though; it talks about the history and development of comic books as a medium. Very interesting "side bars" of information on real scientific topics that are important to everyday society and how such topics get used or misused in comic books and even fiction (TV, movies) in general. Excellent book when you want a "bit of meat" but are not in the mood for heavy philosophical discourse.
I love science and I love Superheroes so I was hoping to be on to a winner with this one. However the two are never quite brought together successfully in this book. Far too much attention is paid to the convoluted histories of the heros and not enough to having fun. It's seems that the only time the book comes to life is when tha author is proving that certain powers are not possible. I think we all knew that.
Batmans Utility Belt gets a good review but the whole point of Batman was that he was "normal".
The idea for the book is sound and there is some good information. It is never engaging and often tedious, which is such a shame. I could and should have been a joyfull romp through two great subjects.
Interesting to see how someone who looks at everything from the mundane point of view looks at comics. I have to admit that I find myself asking the same questions quite often. An entertaining book for those who are more suited to science fiction than fantasy. My only complaint is the inordinate amount of time bashing creationism. I'm not particularly religious but he attacked those who don't look at evolution as the ultimate truth with such glee that it was a bit irritating.
This seems like it would be a fun book but it is sort of tedious. The book has this sort of tone: "Superman is a famous comic known all over the world. Superman was introduced in Action Comics issue number one in June 1938. Superman was suposed to be from another planet. Is life on another planet possible? Maybe!"
This is a terrible meandering mess of a book and I would advise you to avoid it at all costs. My main complaint is that the book seems to be deliberately 'bulked up' with page after page of superhero history. Most of us (comic book fans) are well aware of the histories of Superman, Spiderman and the X-Men; why then did the authors feel it was necessary to regurgitate these old stories when their main audience already knew them better than they did?
Furthermore, several of the chapters spin wildly off-topic into tangents barely related to the subject of the chapter. Case in point; the chapter on the X-Men could have been an in depth examination of the feasibility of such powers as Wolverine's Healing Factor or Professor X's Telepathy. Yet somehow the author's managed to turn the entire chapter into an examination of the conflict between Creationists and proponents of Evolution.
What a waste of time and space.
I bought this book because I've always been enthusiastic about the joy of superheros since I have been very young .. and now have young children of my own. Superheroes (and Superman in particular) to me,have always been entertaining and nearly always uplifting in that easy, childlike way that makes you wish they were real .. or that you could be at least a little like them !
I can't imagine anyone though, who would believe that this stuff was real - even as a kid.
The authors of this book though, are different... they are "scientists". They seem to imagine that superhero fans are a bunch of uneducated, deluded idiots and have taken it upon themselves to correct this grave flaw in the moral and mental make up of this shallow and silly community. And yes, they'd also like to tell you that if you had just a bit of sense and decency, you should actually prefer Donald Duck ! ..No, really !
Their "science" too is basic and as close minded as a pair of village school teachers.
And the entire delivery is done in that smug, sneering tone of the know-it-all, who sadly doesn't quite understand that he's quite out of touch with what the entire room thinks of his conversation and views.
Give this one a miss.
Literary graduate and published columnist turned glorified grease monkey.
Very interesting, funny, informative, entertaining.
You have to have a slightly open mind, but most of the stuff was justified. This book attempts to explain and theorise at the same time, and it does well. There is a tonne of useful scientific knowledge to gain, and there are some interesting facts that are brought to light. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though I'm not a HUGE comic book fan. Before the theory comes out for each superhero, there is a brief history which I liked. Nicely done over all.