One of the problems of writing comics is that technology inevitably marches onward. What seems incredible and bizarre now is stuff you can get at Target in a few years.
And, in fact, a lot of supposedly advanced technology? Yeah. It’s already been built. In fact some of it you can build, right now, in your garage, or just buy it.
Here are five supervillain toys scientific advancement have not only made it possible to own, but slap together in your garage.
Doc Ock’s arms need zero introduction: They’re long, they’re flexible, and they can bend steel, which is useful since otherwise he’s a dump fat guy in a bowl cut. But hey, they’re permanently fused to his back, so he never has to worry about them getting yanked off.
Despite being huge nerds, however, Federico Parietti and Harry Asada have clearly never read a comic book, because they’ve prototyped Doc Ock arms.
The sole hold-up? You can’t control them with just your thought. They actually need to either learn by instruction or to follow preprogrammed routines. They’re built for factory workers and scientists who need to automate specific tasks, like attacking Spider-Man.
But don’t worry! Thought control is coming soon!
In the comics, Heat Wave has a handheld flamethrower and, uh, that’s pretty much it. OK, so he has a flame-proof costume and a fire extinguisher hidden in his sleeve, but his main weapon is just a little flamethrower.
You know, like this:
To be fair, this homemade flamethrower pistol doesn’t have nearly the range of Heat Wave’s, and is powered by butane, not napalm. Mostly because the Internet has had, so far, better things to do. Like refining the wrist-mounted model.
Stilt technology has not advanced very far in a few thousand years, right? They’re just poles with some wood glued to them to strap your feet to, right?
Actually, Stilt-Man’s “futuristic” stilts have existed since 1970. They’re called Dura-Stilts, and they actually hit the market not long after Marvel expected us to take Stilt-Man seriously. They do have a drawback in the sense that they only extend to 40″, so far, but then again, they don’t require that stupid stabilizing backpack. Also, they cost $300. Wilbur Day must be pissed.
The Rhino is famous for his pretty much impenetrable skin. Bullets bounce off of it, punches do nothing, and the Rhino charges onward.
If this sounds a little familiar, and not because you’re a Marvel fan, you might be thinking of Troy Hurtubuise’s Project Grizzly:
True, Hurtubuise is probably crazy, and Project Grizzly isn’t quite as flexible as the Rhino’s armor. That’s what Project Trojan is all about, and Hurtubuise is planning a reality show to show you how to build your own.
The Big Wheel is, we suspect, Marv Wolfman’s attempt to win a bet that he couldn’t come up with a villain more ridiculous than Paste Pot Pete. But believe it or not, the Big Wheel is actually based on an idea that’s existed since the 1800s.
Not that this makes the idea any less stupid, since monowheels, as they’re called, have problems. Steering is a big one, since many systems involve gyroscopes or other risky methods. There’s also the problem of “gerbiling”, which is slang for the cockpit suddenly doing a loop-de-loop, not unlike this:
So this has stopped all research into building these things, right? HA! Are you kidding? Monowheels are still in development. There’s a guy who built one with a Buick V8, and there’s work on a off-road version as well.
Really, all they need is a reliable steering system, brakes that work, and firearms, and they can go chasing after Rocket Racer, whose skateboard was already built by, who else, the Mythbusters.
I want more like this!
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