Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero

E Paul Zehr

Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero

Possessing no supernatural powers, Batman is the most realistic of all the superheroes. His feats are achieved through rigorous training and mental discipline, and with the aid of fantastic gadgets. Drawing on his training as a neuroscientist, kinesiologist, and martial artist, E. Paul Zehr explores the question: Could a mortal ever become Batman? Zehr discusses the physical training necessary to maintain bad-guy-fighting readiness while relating the science underlying this process, from strength conditioning to the cognitive changes a person would endure in undertaking such a regimen. In probing what a real-life Batman could achieve, Zehr considers the level of punishment a consummately fit and trained person could handle, how hard and fast such a person could punch and kick, and the number of adversaries that individual could dispatch. He also tells us what it would be like to fight while wearing a batsuit and the amount of food we'd need to consume each day to maintain vigilance as Gotham City's guardian. 3.5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Comics & Graphic Novels, Science, Humour
Format Hardback
Pages 328
RRP £14.00
Date of Publication November 2008
ISBN 978-0801890635
Publisher John Hopkins University Press
 

Possessing no supernatural powers, Batman is the most realistic of all the superheroes. His feats are achieved through rigorous training and mental discipline, and with the aid of fantastic gadgets. Drawing on his training as a neuroscientist, kinesiologist, and martial artist, E. Paul Zehr explores the question: Could a mortal ever become Batman? Zehr discusses the physical training necessary to maintain bad-guy-fighting readiness while relating the science underlying this process, from strength conditioning to the cognitive changes a person would endure in undertaking such a regimen. In probing what a real-life Batman could achieve, Zehr considers the level of punishment a consummately fit and trained person could handle, how hard and fast such a person could punch and kick, and the number of adversaries that individual could dispatch. He also tells us what it would be like to fight while wearing a batsuit and the amount of food we'd need to consume each day to maintain vigilance as Gotham City's guardian.

Reviews

The Guardian

Steven Poole

The exciting upshot is that, given unlimited funds and 20 years, you could become Batman - but you'd have to retire by the age of 55 or so. Zehr's relentless excitability (and terrifying mastery of the entire Batman mythohistoriography) may become a little wearing, and his grasp of Chinese martial arts is somewhat loose, but the physiological material is fascinating and well explained.

18/04/2009

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