Inventing Iron Man: The Possibility of a Human Machine
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Inventing Iron Man: The Possibility of a Human Machine

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  33 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Tony Stark has been battling bad guys and protecting innocent civilians since he first donned his mechanized armor in the 1963 debut of Iron Man in Marvel Comics. Over the years, Stark’s suit has allowed him to smash through walls, fly through the air like a human jet, control a bewildering array of weaponry by thought alone, and perform an uncountable number of other fant...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published August 25th 2011 by Johns Hopkins University Press
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When reading superhero comics or watching movies about the such, it is very likely to question whether their feats or abilities were able to exist in the real world. While a real life Superman may be quite far fetched, the existence of Iron Man actually seems feasible given the technology currently available to us. This book makes a brilliant, scientific evaluation of the engineering necessary to build an Iron Man armor. It also analyzes the effects of such an exoskeleton on human anatomy and ph...more
Bernie Gourley
As the title suggests, this book examines whether Iron Man could exist in the real world. As with Michio Kaku’s book Physics of the Impossible, answering the question involves defining the various meanings of “impossible.”

One way to parse the question is, “Is Iron Man possible today given the existing state of technology?” In and of itself, this question is of limited interest because the answer is, “no.” There’s certainly a demand, and so if Iron Man could exist given current technology, he pr...more
Nov 07, 2011 Ramie added it
Shelves: comics, geek
When I saw this in vine, I went back in forth - this or something else.

I'm more geeky in that I love comics, robots, the concepts behind the things in this book. Less nerd in that if you go all full on deep science and medical and math, you might lose me if it leads us down a long curving road of technical mumbo jumbo. Would I understand what the heck a professor of neroscience had to say on the subject? Thank goodness I did settle on this book and he realized not all of us are his students.

In f...more
I know that when I was a kid I would read the super hero comics and dream of becoming one of those heroes. Of course, for most of the superheros, the powers were fantastical, but a few were within the realm of possibility. E. Paul Zehr also had these dreams and, a professor of neuroscience and kinesiology, has continued his explorations of the actual possibilities of our more human superheros. In Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero he looks at the limits of human performance and whet...more
(Review reposted from my blog,

There needs to be more books like this.

A couple of years ago, I read and reviewed a book called Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero. Unlike many other superhero-meets-something topics (usually that “something” is philosophy related), this one interested me on two fundamental levels: it talked about Batman from the appreciative standpoint of specific comic book issues, and it showed me with rock hard, scientific proof which aspects...more
Robert Frost
One of the most prevalent themes of speculative fiction is the examination of the idea of improving a human through the use of technology. There are a myriad of versions, whether it be through bionic implants, cyborgs, or full up androids housing human minds, but the most successful execution of the idea is likely the story of Iron Man. Iron Man was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck, and Jack Kirby of Marvel Comics, in 1963. He’s appeared in more than a 1000 comic books, several animat...more
Chantell  Petrell
I liked the new perspective, and viewing a superhero (especially Iron Man) from a scientific/ engineering approach was quite interesting. I feel like I understand his character a bit better, and Stark seems a lot more realistic when you can put his suit into actual terms based on science rather than fantasy.
Good intro to neuroscience nerdery through comic-book geekery
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I'm a professor at the University of Victoria and am passionate about science communication. Check out my neuroscience blog Black Belt Brain at Psychology Today Magazine and my guest blogs on the science of superheroes over at Scientific American Magazine.
More about E. Paul Zehr...
Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero Project Superhero

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“the Extremis armor comes the closest to what would be needed for the whole Iron Man concept to work with a real biological human body. By the end of this book, I hope to have convinced you of that. This concept is also the furthest away from reality of any of the armors developed so far.” 0 likes
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