Inventing Iron Man: The Possibility of a Human Machine

Inventing Iron Man: The Possibility of a Human Machine

Hardback

By (author) E. Paul Zehr

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  • Publisher: JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Hardback | 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 145mm x 216mm x 20mm | 408g
  • Publication date: 18 October 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Baltimore, MD
  • ISBN 10: 1421402262
  • ISBN 13: 9781421402260
  • Illustrations note: 12 black & white line drawings, 29 black & white halftones
  • Sales rank: 388,470

Product description

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 fantastic feats. The man who showed us all what it would take to become Batman probes whether science-and humankind-is up to the task of inventing a real-life Iron Man. E. Paul Zehr physically deconstructs Iron Man to find out how we could use modern-day technology to create a suit of armor similar to the one Stark made. Applying scientific principles and an incredibly creative mind to the question, Zehr looks at how Iron Man's suit allows Stark to become a superhero. He discusses the mind-boggling and body-straining feats Iron Man performed to defeat villains like Crimson Dynamo, Iron Monger, and Whiplash and how such acts would play out in the real world. Zehr finds that science is nearing the point where a suit like Iron Man's could be made. But superherodom is not just about technology. Zehr also discusses our own physical limitations and asks whether an extremely well-conditioned person could use Iron Man's armor and do what he does. A scientifically sound look at brain-machine interfaces and the outer limits where neuroscience and neural plasticity meet, Inventing Iron Man is a fun comparison between comic book science fiction and modern science. If you've ever wondered whether you have what it takes to be the ultimate human-machine hero, then this book is for you.

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Author information

E. Paul Zehr is a professor of neuroscience and kinesiology at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and the author of Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero, also published by Johns Hopkins. For more information about finding your inner superhero, visit www.inventingironman.com.

Review quote

"Back in the sixties, when I first dreamed up the concept of Iron Man, I thought, 'What if a man had a suit of armor, like the knights of old - but modern armor that housed all sorts of miniaturized, technical weaponry? Such a man would seem to be the ultimate superhero.' At first, I didn't give much thought to what that suit of armor might mean to the man inside - how it might affect his body and/or his brain and subtly blur the line between human and machine. But now, almost 40 years later, E. Paul Zehr has tackled that very subject. Inventing Iron Man is his fascinating vision of the real life implications of my original concept." (Stan Lee, comic icon and creator of Iron Man) "E. Paul Zehr, surely one of the coolest of professors, has done something interesting, enlightening, and maybe just a bit quixotic; he has built a bridge between the fantasy science of superhero comics and the eyes-front innovations of real-life technological innovators." (Dennis O'Neil, Iron Man writer and editor)"