10/22/2014

If your hand is damaged or deformed and need a prosthetic hand, you have a serious problem. But children who need prosthetic hands have even more serious problems. Prosthetic hands can cost $8,000, and might not be covered by insurance. On top of that, the children can outgrow the hand quickly, leading to additional expenses throughout their lives. That's where the e-NABLE Organization has changed everything. It's a group of volunteers around the world who use 3D printers and CAD design to make custom prosthetic hands for a fraction of the cost; often less than $50. They'll even print the hand and ship it to children who don't have access to a 3D printer. That was the case for Keith Harris, a boy's birth defect caused his fingers on his right hand to fuse together and not fully form. Thanks to e-Nable, he was able to get a robotic hand in less than a month. They even covered the $45 cost.


But Pat Starace took this movement to the next level by creating a prosthetic hand that is not only functional and cheap, but also extremely cool. He created a 3D prosthetic hand design based on Iron Man's gauntlet. It can not only grasp objects, but incorporates lights to simulate Iron Man's lasers and thrusters. Frankly, it looks so cool that I want one.


This video goes into the process in more detail


What do you think about eNable?

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Static (Source)

Find out about the upcoming live-action Static Shock show. While Marvel is basking in the glory of it's upcoming Netflix series based on Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and The Defenders, DC has launched their own short-form digital platform. Variety reports that the newly named "Blue Ribbon Content" division will launch original programs and new shows from Warner Bros. Entertainment’s "collection of intellectual property." One of the first properties announced is a live-action series based on co-creator Dwayne McDuffie's Milestone comic character Static (also known as Shock Shock). Virgil Hawkins is a teenager who gets electrical powers in an accident and becomes a superhero while fighting the struggles of all young black men. It sounds a lot like Spider-Man, but very different. "Like any other awkward 15 year-old, Virgil Hawkins worries about pocket money, getting beaten up, and drugs." Dwayne McDuffie said, "But recently, he's had even more on his mind: stuff like his powers, his secret identity, and drugs. Because, when innocents are in danger, and Virgil can slip away from class, the geeky youth becomes Static, the dashing, adventurous superhero!" While the character has a successful animated series, named Static Shock, this is the first time he's appeared in live-action.

Here's how Warner Bros describes the Static Shock series:

Writer/producer/director Reginald Hudlin (Best Picture Oscar® nominee for producing Django Unchained, writer/director of House Party, executive producer/director of acclaimed TV series The Bernie Mac Show) leads the creative team behind a live-action adaptation of Static Shock, featuring the African-American super hero Static, aka Virgil Ovid Hawkins. Static Shock is based on the Static comic co-created by the late Dwayne McDuffie with co-writer Robert L. Washington III and artist John Paul Leon, which was originally published by the DC Comics imprint Milestone Comics and, later, by DC Comics. Milestone Media co-founder/comic book artist/TV producer Denys Cowan (the original Static Shock animated series) is collaborating with Hudlin on the new Static Shock. The aforementioned animated version of Static Shock previously aired for four seasons during the Saturday morning Kids’ WB! programming block on The WB Network from 2000–2004..

Here are some other highlights from the press release:

Bruce Timm is coming back with a new Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles series:
This animated shortform series from Bruce Timm and Alan Burnett (producers of the legendary Batman: The Animated Series) will debut on Machinima in 2015. The series is based on Justice League: Gods & Monsters, an original animated film executive produced by Timm and co-produced by Burnett that will be released by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment later in 2015. Chronicles explores a newly conceived reality in the DC Universe where Justice League members Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are much darker versions of the Super Heroes that people think they know.

There are also a couple of other projects in the works including an untitled Mortal Kombat series:
The next generation in the Mortal Kombat franchise to be released in association with the upcoming “Mortal Kombat X” videogame, slated to bow April 14, 2015. Blue Ribbon Content and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment are teaming on the series, which will showcase some of the franchise’s popular characters and introduce a new generation of fighters.

Another surprising announcement is a series based on the old Gremlins knock-off Critters, which I always enjoyed.
Series based on the New Line Cinema cult classic movie franchise, with a new batch of alien pests descending on the planet. Written by Michael Jelenic and Aaron Horvath (“Teen Titans Go!”).

There's also a virtual-reality entertainment experience called “Batman: The Animated Series Experience” where people can explore the Batcave.

This is very exciting news and I'm sure if McDuffie were alive today he'd be overjoyed to see how his character is coming to life.


Are you looking forward to a live-action Static Shock series? What about Mortal Kombat and Justice League? Do you remember Critters? What DC character would you like to have they're own series?


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10/21/2014

Stan Lee is a giant in the comic book industry, influential in the creation of such classic characters as Spiderman and Iron Man. However, it's admittedly been a while since he created any characters which have truly caught on. Sketch comedy show Key & Peele imagines a pitch meeting where Stan Lee arrives to introduce characters that have an uncomfortably autobiographical theme.

What did you think of the video? What other characters could Stan Lee create? Let us know in the comments!

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Game of Thrones Khal Drogo (Jason Mamoa)/Aquaman (Source)

How is Jason Momoa preparing for his role as Aquaman? We already know the schedule for upcoming DC superhero movies has a lot of diversity and that includes an Aquaman solo film. Up till now the "The King of the Seven Seas" has been portrayed as a blonde and blue-eyed Atlantean, but now DC is switching things up by having the Polynesian actor Jason Mamoa play him. Aside from various animated appearances in shows like The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure and Superfriends the only live-action television appearance was in several episodes of Smallville played by Alan Ritchson. Aquaman can breathe underwater, swim as super-speed and manipulate marine life. Joseph Jason Namakaeha Momoa was born in Honolulu, but was raised in Iowa.

Now that the news has broke Jason Momoa can finally talk about his role as Aquaman and confirm his appearance in Justice League. At the Walker Stalker Con in Atlanta last weekend Jason Momoa spoke about being "Jason Momoa: Aquaman" and ComicBook.com reported on his responses. Here are some highlights:

On his denials about playing Aquaman Momoa said,
"Listen, I was asked to play it. You know, you audition and stuff like that, but the fact is you've just got to keep it quiet. You know what I mean, I was just trying to respect Warner Bros. and everyone's wishes. I'm really, really happy that I don't have to be quiet anymore, because that's really hard for me."

He actually studied marine biology in college and here's what he said when asked if that would help him talk to fish:
"No, but I've rode some dolphins before, so I can pull on that. Yeah, I did go to school for Marine Biology, but the cool thing is…the greatest thing for me is that Polynesians, our gods, Kahoali, Maui, all these water gods, so it's really cool and a honor to be playing a [water] character. And there's not too many brown superheroes, so I'm really looking forward to representing the Polynesians, the natives.

"My family are some of the greatest water men on earth. I'm not, but I'm going to go train with them. But it's really an honor just being a Polynesian. And water is the most important thing in this world and we all know it. It's cool be a part of DC's universe. I'm really excited to be with Warner Bros., and hopefully everyone likes it. And Zack Snyder's a genius, so I'm really excited to be hanging out with him."

Momoa is a comic book fan but said it was hard to read up on him before now:
"It's really hard because you do these and they're like, 'Why's he looking at Aquaman? Why's he looking at this one?' So you can't really like research too much. When I was growing up, I really liked Spawn and Lobo. I read stuff like that. Lobo I was a big fan of. I didn't read a lot of Aquaman, but I am now, and I will do the research."

Here's what he said about the Aquaman solo movie:
"I don't know the director. I know about as much as you guys know. I know the Justice League will come first. That's really what we're going to focus on. I'm not sure if it will be [set] prior to Justice League or post. I don't know too much about it. It will probably be where he came from. It will probably be his whole origin story I would think…I mean I don't even want to get quoted on this s***. So I know we're going to do Justice League first.

"I don't even know when we're shooting yet, but it will be like 2016 or 2017, so there's plenty of time."

What about romance in Justice League?
"I don't think there will be a romance any time soon in Justice League. I think we're going to be kicking some a**. But I don't know for sure, because there's no script yet."

While he accidentally confirmed his role in Justice League he was tight-lipped about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
"I really wish I could say something, but I don't even know.. I found out some of the characters that are in Justice League that are casted that I didn't know. So you found out when I found out. And that stuff is pretty tight-lipped so I don't have anything to give."

While talking about his career and directing debut Momoa said, "This is what's great about Aquaman is that I can go do the artistic things that I really, really want to do, and also do, I've got this TV show that's great writing, and I can go save the frickin' universe with my trident."

What do you think of Mamoa as Aquaman
? Are you excited to see another superhero played by a minority?

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10/20/2014



Here are the greatest Star Wars toys that no one wants you to have.

Ever since the first movie was released back in 1977 Star Wars toys have delighted children for generations. Twentieth Century Fox offered toy licensing rights to Mattel, Hasbro, and Mego, the biggest action-figure makers in the country and all of them turned down the opportunity to profit from a "space opera" by a little-known director with a cast of unknown actors. Boy, do they regret that decision. As wonderful as the Star Wars toy line is, however, every now and then a toy gets banned. Here are the most amazing ones you'll never own.

1. Boba Fett Banned by Kenner

Source: http://www.maximumawesome.com
In 1978 the Star Wars toy line was a success making Kenner over $100 million. In anticipation of Empire Strikes Back Kenner released a special limited-edition mail-in action figure of Boba Fett with a working spring loaded missile launcher. At the same time, the Battlestar Galactica television show - which George Lucas unsuccessfully tried to sue - spawned a popular toy line by Mattel. One of Battlestar Galactica's most popular toys was the Colonial Viper which featured launching missiles. After a tragic accident with a toy missile, Kenner stopped all orders of the toy and revamped their Boba Fett toy to have an immobile missile. Although Kenner denies the toy’s existence, to this day a few people got heir hands on the unmodified ones and they're worth a fortune.

2. Star Wars Kinder Surprise Eggs Banned by Everyone

Kinder Surprise is a Italian chocolate egg that has a toy hidden inside a plastic container and is banned in the U.S. and other countries. The earliest sets were only sold in Germany and Italy, but now they're sold all over the world.  The candy is popular and a hot collectors item by adults and children alike. In 2013, they released a limited edition Star Wars collection with ten toys; Jango Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Count Dooku, Padme Amidala, R2-D2, Jar Jar Binks, Darth Vader, Clone Trooper, and C-3PO.

Although the candies have choking hazard warnings in several languages there have been two confirmed deaths caused by them. The UK Department of Trade and Industry said, "The child’s tragic death was caused by the ingestion of a small part of the egg’s contents. Many other products and toys with small parts are available in the market place. If we were to start banning every product that could be swallowed by a child, there would be very few toys left in the market”. On the other hand, the United States Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act bans the products saying "that a confectionery product with a non-nutritive object, partially or totally imbedded within it, cannot be sold within the United States, unless the FDA issues a regulation that the non-nutritive object has functional value and is non-injurious to health" and the FDA says "The embedded non-nutritive objects in these confectionery products may pose a public health risk as the consumer may unknowingly choke on the object”.


The toy ban is pretty serious business too since over 60,000 Kinder Surprises are seized at American airports every year. In January 2011, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) threatened a Canadian guy with a $300 (Canadian dollars) fine for carrying one across the U.S. border into Minnesota. Again, in 2012, CBP held two Seattle men for two and a half hours after they found six Kinder Surprise eggs in their car returning from a Canada almost fine them US$2,500 per egg. While some, like Jennifer Ashton who’s daughter died from swallowing one of the parts, consider the toys dangerous, there is a vocal movement to have the ban on Kinder Surprise lifted. For example the Canadian site A Creative Revolution pointed out that the “tragic” deaths “have been few over many years and millions of eggs [sold]. The wrappers contain warnings in many languages, and the toys and the plastic capsules have been altered over the years to be more safe.” The toys are a beloved memory of from childhood all over the world especially England, Germany, China and Canada and they have fond memories of struggling with the egg, chipping teeth and almost choking on the parts. A year ago some activists started a “We the People” petition to get the White House to look into reversing it’s ban but, not unlike the request for a Federal Death Star program, didn’t get enough signatures. For now the candy\toys are still banned, but a black market for Kinder Surprise is still going strong.

3. Lightsaber Banned at Woolworths

While it's admirable that a store is trying to protect children one store went too far. Back in 1978, toy lightsabers were basically balloons with flashlights. Now they're very sophisticated. They're so realistic that a British Woolworths (remember them?) banned the sale of lightsaber toys to anyone over the age of 18. They reasoned that it's really hard to tell that the giant, glowing, green lightsaber isn't real and could be mistaken for a weapon.

4. Bootleg Star Wars Polish "Uzay" Figures Banned by Lucasfilm
Source: http://www.uzaystarwars.com/head-man/
Star Wars toys are so popular that it's no wonder that other countries flooded the market with knock-off versions of the toys. Lucasfilm takes it very seriously and has aggressively pursued many illegal toy makers to protect their Intellectual Property. Howard Roffman, President of Lucas Licensing, which oversees the global Star Wars merchandise business said, "When companies...try to make a profit by confusing fans and flagrantly violating our trademark rights, we have to take action. We owe it to our fans – as well as to companies like Hasbro and Master Replicas, which are producing excellent authorized toy and replica lightsabers – to stop this type of unlawful behavior." Knock-offs can be big business and one guy was arrested for making ¥5 million (currently about US $46,765) selling bootleg One Piece figures online.

None are rarer than the knock-offs from Poland known as "Uzay" figures. Besides being extremely shoddy they feature hilarious names, descriptions and packaging that included gourds, calculators and bizarre themes. To us, the funniest is the cryptically named "Head Man." Is he named that because he's the head of something or just because he has a bizarre head? Is it the garbage can lid shield? We'll never know. What we do know is that he sells for $7,000.

5. Star Knight Banned by Lucasfilm
Source: starwarsbasemalaga.blogspot.com
In the world of illegal bootleg Star Wars toys, one of the greatest is known as "Star Knight". It answers the common question: what would happen if Darth Vader became a policeman and rode a motorcycle? This 9 inch tall had Darth Vader riding a police motorcycle for some inexplicable reason. The motorcycle has bump-n-go action, lights, sounds, and a voice chip. When you turn it on the lights and sirens start and the cycle rolls forward. Then the motorcycle will stop, and Darth Vader will yell "HALT!" and then start shooting his machine guns. A more elegant weapon for a more civilized age.

6. Overheating Lightsaber Banned By the Government
Source: http://www.ebay.com
Who knew lightsabers could burn people? Back in 1999, Hasbro made a line of awesome toy lightsaber toys based on the Star Wars Episode I movie. They made a "Darth Maul Double-Bladed Lightsaber" that has two retractable red plastic "light blades" on both sides and a metallic-gray hand grip. The blades extended to a whopping 5 feet long. They also made a Qui-Gon Jinn Lightsaber which also has retractable green "light blade" that extended to about 3 feet. Both Lightsaber toys lighted up when struck against anything and gave off a crashing sound. They also made a cool energy "humming," "charge-up" sounds just like the real thing. Unlike the real lightsabers (if there is such a thing) they ran off two “C” batteries.

The CPSC told consumers to “stop using these Lightsabers immediately.” Why? It turned out there was a faulty spring in the toy. The spring in the battery compartment could dislodge causing the batteries to overheat or rupture. In fact, it did and burned a bunch of people. There were 38 reports of Lightsaber batteries overheating, including six reports of batteries rupturing. People complained about minor burns and eye irritation. Hasbro recalled around 618,000 Star Wars Lightsaber toys for repair and sent out kits to help fix it.

The other option was to do what we did as kids: take a broom handle and make “whoo-whoo-whoo” noises while pretending to decapitate our friends.

What was your favorite Star Wars toy? Which banned toy would you like to have?

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10/17/2014

Halloweencostumes.com is back with another great infographic. This one is about the fifty states and superheroes. They wrote: "We've generated a map of the favorite superheroes in the United States, state-by-state. Any guesses as to who takes the cape? While it may not be the jaw-dropping answer you were looking for, Batman leads the crusade, winning the top spot in all 50 states! Since we were digging anyway, though, we couldn't help but notice that some of other classic heroes made the leaderboards in different parts of the country. Stats were compiled based on 2013 to 2014 data from Google Trends by Leigh Wendinger."


For the full experience, click here to go to the interactive map, which you can hover over to get details on the states and the superheroes they loved most.

Which is your state's favorite superhero? Which state is your favorite superhero loved most in?

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Vans Customs Releases Two New Exclusive Star Wars Prints (via /Film)
How many Spider-Men (Spider-Man) does it take to set a record? Which is the best Marvel movie? What does the first Jurassic World poster look like? Which Batman actor may be cast in Warner Bros Suicide Squad? Which is better: Marvel's Civil War vs. DC's Justice League? Read on to find out.

I'd love to hear what you think of the Internet's greatest moments in this week's "Geek Bits."

Links

10. The Top 10 Marvel Movies... Ranked For Your Viewing Pleasure ( via Blutonian Death Egg)
Which is the number one movie?

9. Finally: Marvel Announces the Dancing Groot Toy We’ve All Been Waiting For (via /Film)

Would you buy a dancing baby Groot?

8. Welcome to the JURASSIC WORLD Poster (via He Geek She Geek)

What do you think of the poster?

7. Tom Hardy, Ryan Gosling And Will Smith May Join The Suicide Squad (via Empire News)

What do you think of the casting?

6. The cast of Voyager returns in this Star Trek Online trailer (via io9)
Would you watch a Star Trek: Voyager reunion show?

5. Larget Gathering of People Dressed as Spider-Man (via Escapade)


"Escapade made history, setting a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for ‘The largest gathering of people dressed as Spider-Man’. 398 spider-men gathered at Student Central in London, setting a new Guinness World Record and raising money for Help for Heroes in the process."

4. Robert Downey Jr. is in final negotiations to appear in Captain America 3 (via Alex J. Cavanaugh)

3.
Cosplayers Reveal Their Day Jobs in NYCC Photos (via GeekTyrant)

2. ‘Star Wars’ in 3 Minutes (via Screen Rant)

 
1. Screen Junkies: Marvel's Civil War vs. DC's Justice League! (via /Film)


Who are you rooting for?


What do you think of this week's links and reviews?


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10/16/2014

Carrots
By Kander (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons
"Carrot is designed with you in mind. It's a seamless experience, meticulously crafted, from beginning to end. It's not just a vegetable, it's what a vegetable should be." If that sounds familiar, you've seen an ad for the latest and greatest technology. There's a certain type of phrasing that's often used, and even the simplest feature can be made to sound revolutionary. That's why "Introducing Carrot" is so funny. It's a perfect parody of ads for stuff like the iPhone 6. Carrot even has its own website. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm craving carrots, for some reason.



[Via Vimeo via Andrew McLaughlin]

Would you buy Carrot?

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Yesterday news broke that DC has finally released their list of upcoming movies all the way to 2020. While the list of 10 movies is less extensive than Marvel's 20 upcoming films it points to a commitment to diversity that Marvel is lacking right now.

Here are sections from the official press release:
As part of his presentation, Tsujihara announced a bold expansion of the industry's broadest theatrical slate, built around the largest, most important global franchises.

And, in a massive expansion of the Studio's DC Entertainment-branded content, Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema will release a slate of at least 10 movies--as well as stand-alone Batman and Superman films--from 2016 through 2020 that expands this prized universe of characters:
  • 2016 - Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice directed by Zack Snyder starring Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck (March 25, 2016)
  • 2016 - Suicide Squad directed by David Ayer (August 5, 2016)
  • 2017 - Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot (June 23, 2017)
  • 2017 - Justice League Part One directed by Zack Snyder (November 17, 2017)
  • 2018 - The Flash starring Ezra Miller (March 23, 2018)
  • 2018 - Aquaman starring Jason Mamoa (July 27, 2018)
  • 2019 - Shazam starring an unnamed lead and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (April 5, 2019)
  • 2019 - Justice League Part Two directed by Zack Snyder (June 14, 2019)
  • 2020 - Cyborg starring Ray Fisher (April 3, 2020)
  • 2020 - Green Lantern cast unknown (June 19, 2020)
What's striking about the upcoming films is the diversity. People have been begging for a female starring superhero movie, like Black Widow, since Iron Man 2. Still Marvel refuses to comit to a Black Widow movie. DC, on the other hand, is announcing a Wonder Woman film coming in two years. While there hasn't been a movie with a minority superhero lead since Blade: Trinity ten years ago, DC has already put a definite date on one: Cyborg (2020). Sure it's six years away, but it's something.

We've already talked about how important Cybrog is to the DC Universe but Henry Cavill said, on the Man of Steel Blu-ray, "Cyborg I think would make a wonderful character and an incredible bridge between both superhumans and humanity in a different way to Batman. So I don’t know where he’s going to come in or if he’s going to come in, but that’s one I’m particularly excited about."

Marvel has five untitled movies scheduled in 2017 through 2019, so it's possible that Marvel could still fill the gaps with a Black Widow, Black Panther or War Machine movie. But if they don't act soon they could just lose the segment of superhero fans that want to see more diversity in their superheroes.

What do you think of the upcoming DC movies? Would you like to see more diversity in superhero movies? Which characters should Marvel expand on?


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10/15/2014

It's a long tradition to base superheroes off of animals, and you'd think all the good ones are taken. Wolverine, Spiderman, and Black Cat all have great animal powers. But there are quite a few animals out there which have incredible powers, and haven't been immortalized in comics. Here's five who Marvel and DC should jump on.


Honey Badger Man

Honey badger.jpg
 

"Honey badger" by en:User:Jaganath - This file was transferred from English Wikipedia. The original file description
page is (was) here.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Wolverine is named for a tough and scrappy animal, but the wolverine isn't the toughest beast out there. Honey Badger Man would be tougher. Honey Badger Man has the power of honey badgers, making him extremely fearless and tough. His skin is loose and thick enough that bee stings, porcupine quills, and animal bites rarely penetrate his skin. Besides his incredible strength, he also has near limitless energy, allowing him to wear out much larger opponents.


Giant Tube Worm Woman

Riftia tube worm colony Galapagos 2011.jpg

"Riftia tube worm colony Galapagos 2011" by NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, 
Galapagos Rift Expedition 2011 - Flickr NOAA Photo Library
Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Aquaman rules the ocean in comics, but he wouldn't be if Giant Tube Worm Woman was around. Giant Tube Worm Woman has the power of giant tube worms, marine invertebrates. Her power allows her to withstand pressure up to several miles deep, on the floor of the Pacific Ocean. Like her animal namesake which lives near black smokers, she can tolerate extremely high hydrogen sulfide levels that would be lethal to most animals, and can survive without light or oxygen.


Dung Beetle Man

Scarabaeus viettei 01.jpg


Spiderman is the ultimate insect superhero. He has the proportional strength and speed of a spider, which is pretty tough. But he’d be nothing against Dung Beetle Man. With the strength of the world’s strongest insect, Dung Beetle Man can pull 1,141 times his own body weight. That means he can drag six double-decker buses without even breaking a sweat. But his smell might keep him from becoming too popular.


Antarctic Midge Man 

Midge.jpg

"Midge" by Tasteofcrayons - Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

 Another powerful insect that just begs to be a superhero is the Antarctic midge. It’s the only insect capable of surviving in the harsh conditions of the Antarctic. Antarctic Midge Man would have the power to survive temperatures as low as five degrees Fahrenheit. He can even survive being completely encased in ice, and go without oxygen for four weeks straight.


Tardigrade Man

Waterbear.jpg

"Waterbear" by Bob Goldstein and Vicky Madden, UNC Chapel Hill - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Tardigrade Man has the power of tardigrades (also known as waterbears), water-dwelling, segmented micro-animals, with eight legs. Tardigrade Man can withstand temperatures near absolute zero to the boiling point of water, pressures about six times greater than those found in the deepest ocean trenches, lethal doses of ionizing radiation, and the vacuum of outer space. He can go without food or water for more than 10 years, drying out to the point where he's 3% or less water, and can re-hydrate back to normal.

Which would be your favorite superhero? What other animal should have a superhero?

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