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Superheroes aren’t just brawn wrapped it tight-fitting colorful costumes; they have brains, too. Well, some of them, anyway. From the resourcefulness of Batman and the tinkering of Spider-Man to the sheer brainpower of Iron Man and the futuristic technology of the New Gods, their fictional inventions can put Steve Jobs’ empire to shame.
From Gould to Kirby to Hickman, comics creators have long dreamed up some amazing fictional gadgets; some, like Dick Tracy’s wristwatch, have already come true. Pebble smartwatch. With that in mind, here are six other comic-book inventions that we wish would materialize at Best Buy.
The Mother Box
When some comic fans first got their hands on the original iPhone, they joked how it was reminiscent of the Mother Box from New Gods. But to truly replicate the power Jack Kirby imbued into device, you’ll need to wait a few centuries. Like smart phones, the Mother Box is a miniature supercomputer, but that’s where the comparisons end. In DC comics it was created by scientists working for Darkseid using a material called Element X, and the full extent of its abilities are unknown even to its inventors. The powers of other Boxes quickly became virtually endless, ranging from teleportation via Boom Tubes and communication to healing and energy manipulation. Furthermore, they are said to bond with their owners and even self-destruct should that person die. They’re known for the Kirby-esque circuitry pattern and the monotous “Ping!” sound, which can be understood by their owners.
Spider-Man’s Web-Shooters and Web Fluid
It’s so simple that its technological ramifications are often overlooked. However, this wrist-mounted device fires fluid kept under high pressure to form webs that Spider-Man utilizes for a variety of purposes: swinging from rooftops, restraining his enemies — the wall-crawler has even used it to make skis. The tensile strength of these webs are amazing, and estimated to hold up to 120 pounds of pressure per square millimeter in a cross-section. So simple, yet so many uses.
Metron’s Mobius Chair
You won’t find this piece of furniture at your local La-Z-Boy dealer. Another creation of the enigmatic New Gods (and Jack Kirby, of course), Metron’s Mobius Chair allows its owner to traverse space and time. He uses it in his pursuit of knowledge, but it’s been subverted by others in various instances for other, less noble pursuits. Powered by Element X (the same material Mother Boxes are made of), it can manufacture a life-support bubble, holograms, force fields and tractor beams — it even carries an encyclopedic record of everything known by the New Gods.