Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Iron Man’s Armor
Reed Richards might be the smartest superheroes, but Tony Stark sure knows how to put his brain to use. In addition to using it for his commercial endeavors, Stark has created more than 100 versions of his Iron Man armor, each with its own abilities. With the advent of the Iron Man feature films, these Stark inventions have taken on a new life in the mainstream, with even President Barack Obama co-opting the idea to promote manufacturing innovation. Even in its most basic form — the original costume, created by Jack Kirby and Don Heck — is a technological marvel by today’s standards. Some of the more modern models, such as the Extremis armor, could change Earth in an instance.
Cotton Incorporated has long employed the slogan, “the fabric of our lives,” but in the Marvel Universe, superheroes prefer unstable molecules. Created by Reed Richards, they’re utilized in many costumes because it can withstand drastic changes in temperature, pressure and density — basically, anything superhuman abilities can put it through. As you can see from the above image, superheroes shouldn’t leave home without it. And unstable molecules have grown into more than just a fashion accessory; they’re the primary element in the creation of Awesome Andy from Dan Slott’s She-Hulk series, and both Slapstick and Morph are composed entirely of them. Imagine what other uses it could have.
Like Star Trek‘s HoloDeck? The X-Men have one of their own, powered by Sh’iar technology. Originally housed in the basement of the original X-Mansion, the properties of the Danger Room are now built into ever nook and cranny of the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. But what does it do? It creates holographic images using “hard-light,” making those images real to the touch — and dangerous. So imaginary creations can become real, and users can even alter gravity, temperature, humidity and texture of the constructs. Two down sides: The Danger room can be lethal, and from time to time it’s become sentient and rebelled against its masters. Other than that, it’s perfect. Want one?