Saturday, February 22, 2014

17302--The Wrath of Einstein

Suspension of disbelief may no longer be enough.

It's time to realize that our superheroes may have a lot more going on than even they are aware.  Did you know some nerds figured out that Jack Bauer, our black ops Batman from 24, has to drive at an average speed of six hundred miles per hour to get around the way he does in crisis situations?  I don't think I've ever seen him behind the wheel of a vehicle with the horsepower for that kind of performance.  As much as we may love it for the sweet ride that it is, even the batmobile couldn't pull that off.

Taking things to another level, Flash has accelerated his body to speeds high enough that his mass increased sufficiently for him to punch a superhuman target into orbit without suffering either injury or relativistic time displacement himself.  In like fashion, Superman and Green Lantern have been flying themselves to other star systems and back for years without returning home to find themselves in a distant post-apocalyptic future ruled by talking apes or cockroaches or even morlocks.

All this has to mean that one of the truly defining features of our superheroes is their ability, conscious or not, to manipulate time.  Or to manipulate the time-space continuum, if you will.  The most powerful of them, people operating at Superman and Flash's level can essentially be conceived of as moving sideways through time on a regular basis.

The ability to fine tune their individual relative position in the continuum, likely through some function of energy and will, determines how skilled a superhero will be at arriving in the always popular nick-of-time.  Catching that falling body, rescuing that girl on the train tracks, stopping that countdown at the last second, or stopping two speeding nuclear missiles flying off in opposite directions is apparently not dependent on how fast you can move from one place to another.  Clobberin' time.  Hammer time.  Bullet time.  Hero time.  Nick-of-Time.  Apparently, it's more important than tights and a cape.

Time Time Time is on your side...

Whether you're Bond or a Powerpuff Girl, what really earns you your status is how much you can bend time to your will and make it your bitch.  So, the next time you're scrambling to make a deadline or get a dozen things done, don't think about bullets and bench presses; just take a deep breath and ask yourself "What would Superman do?" 

Remember all those times when hours flew by?  Remember those times when minutes seemed like they'd never end?

That was all you, hero.

Time enough at last.

1 comment: