We have all read books by visionary science fiction writers who wrote way beyond their time.
While many of us consider comics to be weak in terms of script, in the sense that everything is imaginary and fantastic and not grounded in reality; sometimes they do visualize what science can be in the future.
The following cases aptly demonstrate that comic books inspire technology too.
1. Laser glasses just like Cyclops in X-Men
Not really safe, this tech can blind you if not worn with proper precautions. Because in the end it is a laser that you are wearing right over your eyes. It won’t give you mutant powers, but it will give you cool lasers shooting out of your eyes.
2. An Exoskeleton just like the Iron Man Suit
Remember the first suit Tony Stark builds in the caves of Afghanistan?
Raytheon has built an exoskeleton very close to the Iron Man suit Mark 1. You can lift up to 100 kilos easily, and it is designed to be used by the US Armed Forces to do heavy work in the war zones.
And by just looking at it, we can see that it is just going to get better and closer to the comic book suit we all love.
3. Donald Duck inspired the popular game Minecraft
Carl Barks was to Disney what Stan Lee is to Marvel. Before the Disney channel showed shitty cartoons, there was a time when each comic by them was pure gold. It had original stories and a lot of it was so good, that even blockbuster movies like Indiana Jones copied straight from them.
In one of the issues, Donald Duck and his three nephews are stuck in a reality where everything is made of cubes, including bird eggs. The citizens of the city also wear square clothes and shoes.
It surely inspired the game Minecraft that everyone likes so much.
4. Spiderman inspired modern ankle tracking devices
Ankle tracing monitors are very familiar to you if you have seen Hollywood movies. They are strapped onto the criminal’s ankle and are used to monitor his/her movements.
The first ankle tracking device was invented in 1983 when a judge went through the Spiderman comic above.
He contacted the electronics companies and told them to manufacture them. Back then they were called electronic handcuffs.
5. Cosmic radiation not just gave fantastic four their powers but also gave us awesome veggies
Remember how the Fantastic Four got their awesome powers?
They were exposed to cosmic rays during a space mission (we are ignoring the recently released shitty Fantastic Four movie). The theory is based on the fact that cosmic rays can cause mutation in DNA.
So what China did is that they sent common vegetable seeds into the International Space Station to be irradiated by the ambient cosmic radiation that is always present there.
The results were astonishing. Pumpkins grew huge and so did the other vegetables. Some mutations were not exactly favorable. But the ones that worked showed us the potential and the harm cosmic rays can cause.
6. Two-way wrist radio/smartwatch from Dick Tracy comics
People in India are not familiar with Dick Tracy, but in the USA, he is akin to what Chacha Chowdhary is to us.
And Dick Tracy used a smartwatch to talk into and even had video conferences on it. It started with just a two-way radio and then in the subsequent comics it was used as a smart watch for video calls.
Now we know where Apple got its idea for its smartwatch.
7. Using Table tennis balls to raise a sunken ship – again from Donald Duck
What do you do when a ship just sinks close to the harbor?
How do you salvage the valuable things inside it? Because you cannot just pull it out, that’s why most of the ships sunk stay sunk until they are used for movies like Titanic.
One patented technique came from a Danish inventor. When a ship sunk just off the coast of Kuwait, they pumped it full of hollow objects that would easily float if on the surface of water.
They pumped the ship full of 27 million plastic balls with the help of a pipe and the ship just floated up to the surface. Genius, isn’t it?
It is, because 16 years before this technique was patented, Donald Duck came up with it, by pumping a sunken ship full of table tennis balls.
8. Donald duck invented a new chemical formula 20 years before actual scientists did
Apparently Donald Duck discovered and synthesized Methylene 20 years before real scientists made it in their labs in the real world.
Here too, Carl Barks just wrote and drew what he thought was bullshit, like the table tennis balls solution above. Little did he know that scientists synthesized Methylene exactly like Donald Duck made it in the comics.
9. Flying drones probably were inspired by Batman
In 1957, Batman’s issue showed a nifty new gadget where Batman sent small flying objects that could transmit back to him all they could see.
That is the exact theory on which surveillance drones are based on.
Could it be that Batman inspired the birth of military drones?
10. Captain America’s shield can be replicated in University of Delaware
Captain America’s shield is not just a piece of metal. It is a very advanced piece of technology in itself. It can deflect and repel any amount of energy without causing harm to the wielder.
In the University of Delaware, professorNorm Wagner has come up with a substance that is efficient in absorbing impacts and even deflecting knife attacks.
If they couple it with kevlar vests, this tech could easily bring out a new generation of armor, since the kevlar is still vulnerable to knife attacks.
11. Batman’s grappling gun is real too
No, it is not exactly as small as the nifty one Batman uses, but it is a very good start. It is surprisingly fast too. You can ascend at speeds up to 10 feet in a second.
There are smaller versions in research and development for the US defense. The most common application is descending from helicopters and ascending to them from the ground, making extraction and evasion very quick for the valuable soldier lives.
Many more comic book technologies are very possible in our near future due to the incredible advancements in science.
Many purists call comic books and comic book-based movies a pile of junk full of pseudoscience.
Well in the words of a very wise man,