Hard Science at Work


Batman and all Batman related titles span a number of different genres - suspense, espionage, martials arts, detective, action and advenure.  One I think that a lot of Batman fans forget about though is science fiction.  There are of course a few aspects of Batman which are specifically in the realm of what we generally call science fiction - mostly his villains Poison Ivy, Clayface and Killer Croc.  However, there are really two kinds of science fiction, hard science fiction and soft science fiction.  Soft science fiction is that science fiction with little actual ties to science.  The most prominent examples would be Star Wars or Star Trek.  In comics this is evident in a lot of places fromSuperman to Silver Surfer.  The other kind of science fiction is hard science fiction, or fiction based on somewhat factual science which is still beyond our capacity.  for instance Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea seemed fantastical when it was published, but now submarines can circumnavigate the globe without surfacing just as the Nautilus did.  Hard science still leaves room for the unknown, for instance future technology which may become available.  The space elevator which is a relatively common device in science fiction is theoretically possible, as are theoretically the clones dinosaurs in Jurassic Park.  This is the realm where most of Batman science fiction resides, be it the batsuit, the state of the art batmobile, his inexplicable swing lines, pretty much the entire batcave or thousands of other devices he has at his disposal.  In the book "The Science of Superheroes" the author describes just how hard the science in Batman is, so real is it that often siome of the devices he uses are only a few years ahead of their.  It is still interesting to think though that whenever we are reading about the hero that most of us think is the most realistic, that in fact we are reading science fiction. 
23 Comments
23 Comments
Posted by The_MVPs

Just some random scans









Moderator
Posted by RazzaTazz


@Gambler

 

OK, I should have distinguished between Gotham Batman and JLA Batman. 

Moderator
Edited by entropy_aegis
@Gambler:
WTF? is that Lois Lane?

EDIT: nevermind i think it's Selina.
Posted by The_MVPs

@RazzaTazz said:

@Gambler

OK, I should have distinguished between Gotham Batman and JLA Batman.

How come?

Moderator
Posted by Billy Batson
@Gambler said:

@RazzaTazz said:

@Gambler

OK, I should have distinguished between Gotham Batman and JLA Batman.

How come?

probably cause Gotham Batman doesn't have hard science fiction.

Posted by entropy_aegis
@RazzaTazz said:


@Gambler

 

OK, I should have distinguished between Gotham Batman and JLA Batman. 

If it were the 90's then yeah,but under Morrison JLA Batman= Normal Batman.I'm thankful for it,it adds consistency.
Posted by The_MVPs
@Billy Batson said:
@Gambler said:

@RazzaTazz said:

@Gambler

OK, I should have distinguished between Gotham Batman and JLA Batman.

How come?

probably cause Gotham Batman doesn't have hard science fiction.

You mean the other way around dont you? Gotham Batman is more likely to have Hard Science Fiction as defined in the OP then JLA Batman. Either way though I didnt post the scans as some sort of dispute of Razz's opening post.
Moderator
Posted by Billy Batson
@Gambler said:
@Billy Batson said:
@Gambler said:

@RazzaTazz said:

@Gambler

OK, I should have distinguished between Gotham Batman and JLA Batman.

How come?

probably cause Gotham Batman doesn't have hard science fiction.

You mean the other way around dont you? Gotham Batman is more likely to have Hard Science Fiction as defined in the OP then JLA Batman. Either way though I didnt post the scans as some sort of dispute of Razz's opening post.

I agree that Gotham Batman is more likely to have hard science fiction. I'm just guessing that would be Razz's answer...

Posted by entropy_aegis
@Gambler said:
@Billy Batson said:
@Gambler said:

@RazzaTazz said:

@Gambler

OK, I should have distinguished between Gotham Batman and JLA Batman.

How come?

probably cause Gotham Batman doesn't have hard science fiction.

You mean the other way around dont you? Gotham Batman is more likely to have Hard Science Fiction as defined in the OP then JLA Batman. Either way though I didnt post the scans as some sort of dispute of Razz's opening post.
I think they are referring to the cosmic stuff etc.
Posted by Billy Batson
@entropy_aegis said:
@Gambler said:
@Billy Batson said:
@Gambler said:

@RazzaTazz said:

@Gambler

OK, I should have distinguished between Gotham Batman and JLA Batman.

How come?

probably cause Gotham Batman doesn't have hard science fiction.

You mean the other way around dont you? Gotham Batman is more likely to have Hard Science Fiction as defined in the OP then JLA Batman. Either way though I didnt post the scans as some sort of dispute of Razz's opening post.
I think they are referring to the cosmic stuff etc.

let's just say that JLA Batman has the hard science fiction of cosmic stuff and Gotham Batman has the rest of the hard science fiction.

Posted by The_MVPs
@Billy Batson said:

let's just say that JLA Batman has the hard science fiction of cosmic stuff and Gotham Batman has the rest of the hard science fiction.

That makes sense. Either way Batman is a genius lol
Moderator
Posted by Billy Batson
@Gambler said:
@Billy Batson said:

let's just say that JLA Batman has the hard science fiction of cosmic stuff and Gotham Batman has the rest of the hard science fiction.

That makes sense. Either way Batman is a genius lol

agreed lol

Posted by AtPhantom

There is no hard science in Batman. The science in his books is just as implausible as science in JLA or Superman. The difference is simply that it is of a smaller scope, to fit with his street level theme.

Posted by RazzaTazz
@AtPhantom said:
There is no hard science in Batman. The science in his books is just as implausible as science in JLA or Superman. The difference is simply that it is of a smaller scope, to fit with his street level theme.
Not true, there are many Batman items which seemed revolutionary but were literally only ten years ahead of their time.  20 years ago an ipod would have seemed like science fiction, would it not?
Moderator
Posted by AtPhantom

A freeze gun, on the other hand, is just as impossible now as it was when they thought of it. I'm also not really sure when Batman had an Ipod (Or why he would need one)...

Comics can't be hard sci fi almost by definition, because the writers don't care about science or staying consistent about it. Batman is hard because he's supposed to be as close to modern day as possible, this is true, but this doesn't stop writers from sneaking in scientific principles which are completely bogus just for the same of the plot. Case in point: Lazarus pits, plant control, Batman's ability to get out of a locked car without the person in the front seat noticing, etc.

Posted by RazzaTazz
@AtPhantom said:
A freeze gun, on the other hand, is just as impossible now as it was when they thought of it. I'm also not really sure when Batman had an Ipod (Or why he would need one)...

Comics can't be hard sci fi almost by definition, because the writers don't care about science or staying consistent about it. Batman is hard because he's supposed to be as close to modern day as possible, this is true, but this doesn't stop writers from sneaking in scientific principles which are completely bogus just for the same of the plot. Case in point: Lazarus pits, plant control, Batman's ability to get out of a locked car without the person in the front seat noticing, etc.
Batman had mini-hand held computers computers long before they were mass produced.  Also I said that some of the villains are soft, but that Bruce is mostly hard.  I think two of your cases in point are not actually scientific, Lazarus pits are I thinksupposed to be sort of mystical in origin, whereas getting out of the locked car is just bad writing.  
Moderator
Posted by Primmaster64
@Gambler said:
Just some random scans








Selina?
Posted by CATPANEXE

much of the tech and engineering in the Batmobiles usually manages to stay ahead of it's time, though I'm certain the brass invested the time to research future tech in automobiles 
To-Be-Introduced, maybe via magazines, or even by visiting auto shows much like the Transformers creators used to do. I can say that much for it at least.

Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir

Batman tends to stay at least 7 years ahead of real world technology. 

Edited by cosmo111687

There's also Batman Beyond. But, it's true, Science Fiction is usually hard to find in mainstream Batman. The best I can come up with at the top of my head is HARDAC from the animated series - along with all of his paraphernalia and all the chemical, biological, and psychological science-fiction that goes on. Just not very many robots, aliens, or spaceships.

Posted by AtPhantom
@RazzaTazz said:
Batman had mini-hand held computers computers long before they were mass produced.  Also I said that some of the villains are soft, but that Bruce is mostly hard.  I think two of your cases in point are not actually scientific, Lazarus pits are I thinksupposed to be sort of mystical in origin, whereas getting out of the locked car is just bad writing.  
It doesn't matter. Hard or soft sci-fi doesn't refer just to the technologies available but how much the work follows the laws of physics as we know them. And comics, as we all know, don't.
Posted by jloneblackheart

I'd Love to see HARDAC come to comics

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Posted by Blurred View

This probably explains why I don't really like the current flying Batmobile or the armored powersuits Bruce and Damian wore a little while back. And the one thing I was shaky on about Scott Snyder's run so far was the holographic mask Dick Grayson used. I definitely lean toward Batman's scifi being more "hard" than "soft."