CNN’s Geek Out! has an article on The Science of the Flash. Of course, science in comic books is always a bit more…flexible than it is in the real world.
The speed force is one of the topics discussed. In the 1980s, when DC relaunched the book with Wally West, they tried to explain away the Flash’s super-speed by requiring him to eat a lot. As physics professor James Kakalios points out, “the numbers just don’t work. A typical Flash running at his various speeds would have to eat something like 500 million cheeseburgers to run at the speeds he’s doing, even chewing super fast.” The solution: a field of energy that the Flashes draw their power from. A hand-wave explanation to be sure, but one that at least acknowledged the issue.
Today’s an interesting time to post the article, given the announcement of possible faster-than-light particles. (It does get into that staple of science fiction, the still-theoretical tachyon.) Revolutionary if it can be confirmed, but even the physicists who found the effect aren’t convinced yet. The announcement is basically: “We got these amazing results and haven’t been able to find any errors. We need more people to check our work.” As the webcomic XKCD points out, extraordinary claims like this usually don’t pan out…but when they do, it’s tremendously exciting!
Anyway, what most of you are probably interested in is the Flash #1 preview at the top of the article. It’s a different format than the usual method of just posting the full pages, more like reading a digital comic on a smartphone…only with commentary on each “page” by co-writer/artist Francis Manapul.
The Flash #1 arrives in stores next week, on September 28.