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By Shamus
on Monday Feb 4, 2008
Filed under:


It’s exceptionally rare that I get excited about an upcoming movie. But this is one of those rare times:

I really want to see it. If it was out now, I’d make plans to get to the theater and see it this week. But it’s not due out until… July? Pffft. I’ll forget all about it by then. In any case, the concept appeals to me on some fundamental level.

Comments (68)

1 2

  1. M says:

    I’m really not sure if another actor could pull that off…but hey, it’s Will Smith. I’m sold on it already.

  2. Gothmog says:


    I can’t wait.

  3. Stark says:

    Coffee…in keyboard, on screen… out nose. Dang it.


  4. datarat says:

    Ow. I was eating pizza. I think there’s an onion lodged in my sinuses.

  5. pdwalker says:

    Ok, I enjoy Will’s attitude that he brings to the screen.

    He’ll make it funny.

  6. Leslee says:

    You gotta ask yourself – how did we ever make a movie before the invention of CGI?

  7. bkw says:

    Before CGI? Probably focused on witty dialogue and compelling storylines …

    Just sayin’

  8. ReluctantDM says:

    LOL. That looks awesome!

  9. Davesnot says:

    This is gonna be a summer of movies.. Indiana Jones, Speed Racer, Narnia, .. Hancock looks great!!! .. Maybe this is the summer we actually hire a babysitter…

  10. mrboffo says:

    Love it. Another summer blockbuster from Wil Smith? Probably not, but I still love it.

    It’s the streetwise 5 year-old that does it for me in this particular trailer :)

  11. Ryan says:

    Sold, they will have my money. I didn’t know that this was coming out.

  12. Rubes says:

    Damn, thanks for pointing it out. I am definitely going to see this one.

  13. Aaron says:

    That’s spectacular! Looks like I’m shelling out for that one also.

  14. Dev Null says:

    I’ve always loved anything that depicts a bit of what it would be like to actually be a superhero, so I’m in. And yea, I think Smith will carry it better than most.

    But what _is_ with Hollywood and all the pre-pre-pre-release hype. For years now I’ve been seeing previews for movies 9 months in advance; by the time it actually hits the screen I’m thinking “What? Didn’t I see that already?” My guess is its their way of staking a claim on the idea. Since Hollywood’s output consists mostly of carbon copies of itself, it’d be a bit galling if you came up with a novel idea, all the other companies got wind of it and copied it, they got their ads in first, and you got panned for being the copy yourself… Still, I think they’d sell me on more movies if they showed me a preview for something I could actually go see now.

  15. Tango says:

    It’s just another superhero spoof movie, and I oh-so-rarely find spoof movies funny. I’m really hoping there’s a plot somewhere.

  16. scragar says:

    It's just another superhero spoof movie, and I oh-so-rarely find spoof movies funny. I'm really hoping there's a plot somewhere.

    It doesn’t strike me that much as a spoof, spoofs tend to have a lot more humour that falls short of being funny and a lot less story.

    either way looks like a good film, just wish I hadn’t of heard about it till it was close to release, the wait for films I feel will be good is so annoying. And then the films turn out to be a disapointment because I’ve been tracking it for six months.

  17. Namfoodle says:


    So here we have a “brick” with criminally low DEX and 3d6 of Bad Luck (at least). Man, who built that character?

    Sorry, had to give it the HERO system treatment.

  18. Corsair says:

    It’s not a Superhero Spoof. The humor looks like it’s going to be rather dark, which is not exactly emblematic of Spoofs. It’s a lot more likely that it’s a representation of what life for a Superhero might actually be like.

  19. Cadamar says:

    I would say that it looks more like a morality play wrapped in a satire wrapped in a superhero movie. The plot will probably be mostly a man vs himself structure. My bet is that it will be a morility play on the question of “I’m just one man, what can I do?” Instead the protagonist will have super powers and his question will be “Even with these powers I still can’t do anything.” In the end he will discover that he doesn’t need powers to do good and can change things for the better simply by being a better person.
    Moral of the movie: Don’t try to be a great man, just be a man.

    Just my guess…

    But the CG looks awesome! Should be a helava fun movie.

  20. Shamus says:

    I agree with Corsair – the movie derives it’s charm by messing with our assumptions. Superheroes are usually clean-cut people with clarity of purpose. Their powers are clearly defined and firmly under their control. They almost always have a solid understanding of how they could use those powers to help others. This movie throws those rules out and shows us a different sort of guy with super powers.

    What would Spider-Man be like without his spider-sense? Or what if you had a guy with the strength and speed of Superman, but without the super-senses needed to percieve crime and danger? You’d have these incredibly powerful guys who… what? Hung around all day and hoped they saw a problem which required their particular brand of help? How often do you see a disaster in progress? Not very often. You likely wouldn’t see them that much more often if you could fly.

    There are a lot of different ways to look at how a human might cope with super powers and what they might do with them. I’m glad that we’re moving out of the “gain super powers, fight crime selflessly” rut.

    From a storytelling perspective, we’ve barely scratched the surface of the tales that can be told. Instead we get reheated Superman, over and over.

  21. Jeff says:

    To be fair with Spiderman, his spider sense only alerts him to danger. He just hears a lot of sirens and has a police scanner. Hey, it’s New York, he’s still got his hands full. :P

  22. Shamus says:

    Cadamar: […] the question of “I’m just one man, what can I do?” Instead the protagonist will have super powers and his question will be “Even with these powers I still can’t do anything.”

    I really like that angle. I don’t know if you’re right or not, but I like this idea. One thing that’s always bothered me is how hard it would be to help people, even with superpowers. If you gave me the ability to fly, stop bullets, and super strength, I’m not sure how I could really help people. I might join a fire department (or several) and be on call to help when people get trapped, but on the whole those powers are ill suited to solving the worst problems in society. I couldn’t break the hold of drugs over addicts. I couldn’t compel wayward fathers to care for their children. I couldn’t do anything about poverty. All I could do was smash stuff. And those problems don’t have solutions with require things to be smashed. In attempting to solve the big problems, I’d run the risk of becoming a very unwelcome tyrant.

  23. Shamus says:

    I should stop commenting and just turn this into a dang post.

  24. Taellosse says:

    Shamus: And those problems don't have solutions with require things to be smashed. In attempting to solve the big problems, I'd run the risk of becoming a very unwelcome tyrant.

    I can’t recall how well it was actually explored, but didn’t they do something with this sort of theme in one of the last Reeve Superman movies? Where he took all the nuclear weapons in the world and threw them into the sun? Like I said, I can’t remember how effective the treatment of the concept was, but I do recall it’s been explored at least a little bit before.

  25. Duffy says:

    On the note of the tyrant Superman, if you can find it, take a look at “Red Son”. The basic premise is what if Superman had landed on earth 12 hours later (thus landing in Russia), the plot eventually reaches something resembling a Benevolent Big Brother and in turn presents some interesting ideas and events.

  26. Lain says:

    I admit it official: I not only indignify Shamus with cynical political comments, I’m also an comic geek.

    When you like the “other” kind of superheroes, I strongly recommend the comic book “The authority”.
    1) A special version of “Superman” and “Batman”, who are gay and have an relationship.
    2) a drinking, smoking whore as leader (in the first books),
    3) perfect consequent stories of superheroing “If you can’t lead, Mr. President, then there is always an other authority you must answer to.”
    Villain: “Which kind of heroes come drunk to an fight?
    Hero: “The good ones.” killing him.
    “We are bored to fight the same villains again and again, who then escapes any prison. We take care, that that not happens again.”

    and read about “Kev”.


    Before that, there was Team 7 and especially “Grifter”
    This Character is like that of Hancock with a lot of womanizing.
    He even got Jean Grey of the X-Men for an one-night-stand in an crossover.


    I love this books.

    If you are interested, there are more characters or ideas like Hancock. Even an Marvel construction company for super heroes named “Damage control”


    have fun.

    enough links.

  27. Fuloydo says:

    An exercise for the student.

    Imagine yourself with all of the powers attributed to Valentine Michael Smith in the novel Stranger in a Strange Land without the ethos attributed to him.

    For those who have not read the book these include:
    Making people cease to exist. (kill them and no body)
    Killing people without making the body go away.
    Teleportation. (implied is distances as far as Earth to Moon)
    Telekinesis. (Stated is working the casinos)
    Limited telepathy.

    Given those, I came up with three possible outcomes for myself.

    1) I make myself emperor of the world.
    2) I just go around quietly “disappearing” all the nasty people.
    3) I move to the moon, or possibly mars, to get away from the crap going on on Earth. I finance the infrastructure needed by gaming the casinos and/or simply stealing the money I need via teleportation from where it’s at to where I want it.

    The only one that really appeals to me is option Three.

  28. kamagurka says:

    I REALLY dislike Will Smith. But this? This is gonna be awesome.

  29. Margaret says:

    I’m really starting to appreciate Jason Bateman’s choice of projects.

  30. Mike R. says:

    You know, if you could fly and carry . . . oh several hundred pounds extra, you could probably become a billionaire in less than a year.

    Satellite launches are VERY VERY expensive, but with those powers you could just put on a light flight suit designed for only an hour of oxygen or so, hitch up a satellite to your “backpack” and then fly off and put it in orbit and fly down. Orbit is only a couple miles up, so if you can fly straight up pretty fast (as most flight-powered supes can) it wouldn’t take you that long to get up there. Just charge a few million less than anyone else does for satellite launches and you’ll be richer than Bill Gates pretty damn fast.

    There are a lot of other super powers that could also create immense wealth too. One reason this isn’t shown is that it would change the everyday world too much in a way that Dr. Doom trying to kill the Fantastic Four for the umpteenth time doesn’t. And if the world got too alien then it would be harder for people to identify with it.

  31. Cadamar says:

    Shamus: And those problems don't have solutions which require things to be smashed.

    I agree. It seems that most of the powers depicted in super hero myths involve enormous power to fight and destroy. These powers might be good for defense against powerful outside foes, stopping the occasional catastrophe, and perhaps rescuing the odd baby from a burning building, they don’t address the biggest societal problems. These problems can only be solved by society itself. Certainly as a super hero you can have a greater effect as a symbol of bravery or self-sacrifice by being successful as a traditional hero, but then you must capitalize on that fame and trust by entering politics, publicly speaking out on moral issues, preaching, etc. Unfortunately then you enter into a whole new realm of dangers. What do you do when people won't listen? Do you use your powers to make them listen? Where do you cross the line on issues of freedom and liberty vs. public safety and order? If you side too often with one political or religious faction the others will begin to question your motives. You end up running the constant risk of a misstep that ends with your complete and utter discrediting.
    It seems to me, that the more “super” your powers, the more constrained you are on the types of problems you can solve. For example, Superman can defend the Earth against alien invaders and meteors along with stopping the odd bank robbery, or other minor public safety problem, but the second he makes a non-universal political or religious statement (i.e. something other then Truth, Justice, etc.), he is doomed. The second that anyone suspects Superman of stepping down the path of tyrant wheels will be set in motion that will end with the very people that he was trying to protect crying out for his blood. So he is trapped in his role of impartial defense against catastrophe. Spiderman on the other hand, whose powers are really very small and personal, has a little more freedom to be a role model, to make statements of opinion in the press, or to make public appearances because he is a much smaller threat to anyone opposed to his opinions and more importantly he doesn't have the power to become a self-imposed tyrant. He could lend his image and influence on public opinion to other causes, charities, or to draw attention to social problems. Through his hard work he can make himself a symbol of good, an example of someone using what they have to do what they can. But you really wouldn't need super powers to do that…

  32. ryanlb says:

    That looks like a great movie, there really is far too much for me to see this summer, considering I usually only make it to a theater twice a year or so.

    Superman: Red Son is by far the best Superman story I’ve ever read, and possibly the best of any comics I’ve read.

  33. John Callaghan says:

    It’s nice to another 60’s TV programme finally making it to the big screen… but Will Smith is very mis-cast.

    The gag being, you see, that “Hancock” is a very famous British comedy show from 1961, starring Tony Hancock, who, amusingly, bears no resemblance to Will Smith at all.

  34. Davesnot says:

    It just goes to show you that without a pesky photographer or sexy reporter… you just ain’t so super.

  35. James Blair says:

    To answer Fulodoy’s question, I’d probably do a combination of numbers 1 and 2, making myself the God of Justice. Oh yeah, and I’d start calling myself Kira (gratuitous Death Note reference)…

  36. Xiphos says:

    That’s the thing though, most heroes have super strength and such, and they usually can only help by destroying things.
    The last time there was a superhero with passive, beneficial powers, some guys started worshiping him

  37. Avaz says:

    Leslee @ 6, bkw @ 7, and all others who misuse the proper tem:

    It is CG, people. NOT CGI. Did that clip look like a non-animated, 2D, static image to you? No, it was not a Computer Generated Image.
    However, it was, in fact, Computer Graphics. Totally different thing.

    Get it right! >:/

    Sorry, I’m in a bad mood today and felt like picking nits. >:(
    We now return to your regularly scheduled program, already in progress.

  38. edcalaban says:

    I just love how someone is taking a look at the kind of damage most every superhero does when ‘saving the day’ and puts it in a realistic context (listen to the vox during the chase – finacial costs anyone?).

  39. roxysteve says:


    Didn’t we already explore this meme in “Mystery Men”? Not that I wouldn’t see it on those grounds.

    And as for “Will’s Attitude”, the real trick would be to see one of his movies where he left it at home for once. Again, not that I wouldn’t go, see and enjoy it because of that.

    I wonder if the train driver will be turned to jelly just like he would in real life if something brought a locomotive to a dead stop in a fraction of a second like that, or if Holywood Physics will save the day. :o)

    As for how did we manage without CGI, I recommend the suitcase edition of Blade Runner which shows how it was done – not an ounce of CGI in the entire thing.

    Don’t be under a falling sperm whale.


  40. Roy says:

    Leslee @ 6, bkw @ 7, and all others who misuse the proper tem:

    It is CG, people. NOT CGI. Did that clip look like a non-animated, 2D, static image to you? No, it was not a Computer Generated Image.
    However, it was, in fact, Computer Graphics. Totally different thing.

    Get it right! >:/

    Well, they did. Even if we’re being picky, CGI is still the appropriate term. When applied to movies, flim and television, the term “CGI” is much more commonly used than “CG” is. It stands for “computer-generated imagery“. An image need not appear to be static. A film, movie or television show is comprised of images. Note: “2 a: the optical counterpart of an object produced by an optical device (as a lens or mirror) or an electronic device b: a visual representation of something: as (1): a likeness of an object produced on a photographic material (2): a picture produced on an electronic display (as a television or computer screen). After all, what is a movie except a series of still frames- images- being flashed rapidly across a screen in succession?

    And because no correction is complete without a wiki reference.

  41. chiefnewo says:

    @Avaz: Actually it looked like a series of 2d static images to me, if you want to get picky about it.

    That aside, if you want a similar but darker take on the concept of superheroes doing more harm than good, check out Those Who Walk In Darkness by John Ridley, and the sequel, What Fire Cannot Burn. Extremely basic premise is that due to a superhero vs supervillain fight that resulted in the destruction of a city, superhumans are outlawed in the US. The book follows a character who is on the police team responsible for dealing with superhumans who have stayed in the US illegally. Great stuff.

  42. Zaghadka says:

    Believe it or not,
    I’m walking on air.
    I never thought I could feel so free-ee-ee…
    Flying away on a wing and a prayer.
    Who could it be?
    Believe it or not it’s just me.

    I love Will Smith’s work. He chooses great scripts, and he is a fantastic comic actor. Thanks for the heads up.

  43. Zaghadka says:

    And it is CBGB’s people! Just because you’ve never seen the Talking Heads or Patti Smith doesn’t mean you can keep getting this wrong.

    It is Completely Bad-ass Grafix Bidness. Accept no substitutes. :^D

  44. Zaxares says:

    Hrrmmmm… Maybe it’s just me, but it strikes me as a movie that’s going to bore my pants off. (And not in a good way.)

    Then again, I just scoff at spoof movies in general. Oh well, hope people who go to see it have a good time. :)

  45. rockjianrock says:

    I’m with the anti-Will Smith camp. I find his trademark attitude annoying, which essentially reduces every single film he makes to be “Will Smith vs. Aliens”, or “Will Smith vs. Robots”.

    I’m sure there is some other actor being able to pull it off — in fact, Will’s Attitude probably ropes in some predictability already. With Will in it, I’m expecting another Bruce Almighty. It had the potential to be a very substantial film while bringing in the laughs, and I’m pessimstic about Hancock.

    I predict that all the “ways we might look at how a person copes with having superpowers” might just be contained in the trailer itself. Hijinx ensues. Will Smith fights more robots, zombies and aliens. Happy ending.

  46. Corsair says:

    From what I’ve read of the plot synopsis, it has very little to do with that, Rock. I’d elaborate, but not everybody reads plot synopsises for a reason, and they might have my neck for the spoilers.

  47. M says:

    @39, Roxysteve:

    “Mystery Men” was really more about wannabe superheroes than anything else. This seems to be about the opposite – someone who has power, was a hero, but for some reason has just lost his grip.

  48. Daemian_Lucifer says:

    After the third line,I was half expecting to see chuck norris.

  49. bigandscary says:

    I’ve always liked the idea of this kind of thing, since the normal superheroes do such strange things. I mean, Superman saves the day, capturing the criminal who was stealing $100,000 from the bank, and, in doing so, causes a mere $25,000,000 in property damage. I like the idea that the city doesn’t want the superhero to save the day.

    re: Roxysteve
    Why would the locomotive driver be turned to jelly? The common train does not move particularly quickly, especially in a city situation like that. There is no law of physics that would cause him to be killed.

  50. Deoxy says:

    “Why would the locomotive driver be turned to jelly?”

    Yes, jelly is a bit much, but instant stop for 40-60 MPH is going to be comparable to a car crash at that speed, and without the life-saving safety features of a car, so yeah, death is still HIGHLY likely.

    And yeah, while I’ve managed to enjoy most Will Smith movies anyway, he’s beginning to remind me of Tom Cruise – “Tom Cruise playing Tom Cruise playing a samurai”, as someone said about the Last Samurai. Will Smith ALWAYS plays Will Smith.

    But the movies usually manage to be at least enjoyable once anyone. The early ones (before the predictability) were usually fairly good, even.

  51. Mike says:

    I’m just glad they’re finally making a movie about me.

    Oh and thanks for the blast from the past on the Real American Hero…. wow I forgot that show, one of my faves from back then. That and Knight Rider… damn that new car looks awesome.

  52. Helge says:

    Yet another Will Smith vehicle. If they camp it up enough it could be good – and it does look pretty campy. Love that scene where he sinks a sailing yacht with a whale. Trouble is, I don’t know where they’ll go with it. MiB was great, with a good finish. MiBII sucked, because the concept had been played out and they forgot (or never got) what made MiB good.

    So, hoping for a fun time, but dreading clueless people.

  53. Davesnot says:

    rockjianrock… Will Smith has analyzed the movie buisiness and he and his manager have purposely chosen movies where a main player in the movie is the effects… they’ve researched which movies are the biggest hits.. and without fail they are the ones with big effects…

    And in big effects movies.. the heros have to have big attitudes… Sure.. Dustin Hoffman could have starred in M.I.B… but effects movies are seldom about character studies.. they are about melodramatic effects..

    Perhaps a movie like.. oh.. Piano.. would be more to your liking… Will is the real deal.. he doesn’t have to have that attitude.. that attitude is what those movies call for… look deep and see what really bugs you about him..

    Do you mind Arnold’s attitude in Running Man?? or Terminator?? .. just wondering. (smiley face here)

  54. Kayle says:

    One thing that's always bothered me is how hard it would be to help people, even with superpowers. If you gave me the ability to fly, stop bullets, and super strength, I'm not sure how I could really help people. I might join a fire department (or several) and be on call to help when people get trapped, but on the whole those powers are ill suited to solving the worst problems in society.

    Jumper by Steven Gould addresses these problems by a motivating incident, which focuses the protagonist on a class of problems that he does have some ability to confront. There is a movie coming out in about two weeks, but it looks like the plot has been drastically modified.

  55. Otters34 says:

    Last I checked, that was the role of superheroes, to protect us against things we cannot defend ourselves from.

    Absolutely nothing wrong with that.

  56. Jeff says:

    How was Will Smith in Ali? I never saw it, mind you… though I do like the guy. Will Smith playing Will Smith never faisl to amuse me.

    That movie trailor is hilarious, btw.

  57. Dev Null says:

    I’ll have to look for the Red Son thing; sounds interesting. For anyone else looking for a good “No really, you’ve _actually_ got superpowers” story, I highly recommend Count Geiger’s Blues: A Comedy, by Michael Bishop. I don’t want to throw any real spoilers in here, but I love the way, when he finally decides to help the world, he does the maths and decides he’ll do a lot more good doing things like teaching people to eat healthy than by catching bank robbers…

  58. Civilis says:

    Dev Null has stumbled across one of the reasons the whole Superhero genre turns me off, except for good satires. Most of the heroes and villains would be better off using their talents as mundanes. Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark are rich geniuses; if they devoted the time and effort they spent heroing into solving the world’s mundane problems, they’d accomplish a lot more.

  59. Roy says:

    Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark are rich geniuses; if they devoted the time and effort they spent heroing into solving the world's mundane problems, they'd accomplish a lot more.

    Well, for the record… they do. At least, that’s canon. Batman donates millions upon millions of dollars to charity and many of his businesses are invested in social justice related causes like medical technologies. Wayne Enterprises is responsible for running almost all of Gotham City’s medical facilities, and for creating medications to treat any number of weird comic-book diseases, as well as real world diseases like AIDS and cancer, and they’re responsible for advanced cloning research, searching for ways to clone organs for transplant purposes. Wayne Chemicals produced electrical power generators run on algae. And let’s not forget the Wayne Foundations- the Thomas and Martha Wayne Charitable Foundations. The Thomas Wayne Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to furthering the reach of scientific and medical research. The TWF provides the funding for dozens of free clinics in Gotham City, including the one in Crime Alley. The Martha Wayne Foundation is a charitable fund set up to further the interest in the arts, as well as funding a number of soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and orphanages.

    Stark Industries is less charitable than Wayne Enterprises, but the man built his fortune- he’s a multi-billionare industrialist. His technology is the foundation for tons of AIM, SHIELD, and DoD defense systems, and it was his money that funded the Avengers for a long time, as well as gave them a home and a base of operations. The Avengers, who’ve literally saved their world from destruction more times than I can count.

    Of course, the truth is that stories about how Bruce Wayne donated another hundred million dollars to poor children and cured another six diseases over the weekend don’t really make for that great of a comic book compared to, say, punching out the Joker or solving a mystery. And not every hero is a genius on par with Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark. For a lot of heroes, the best they could really do is stop crimes when they see them, and otherwise, use their powers for social change. Like being, oh, I don’t know, a teacher (Spider-Man), a cop (the Flash), or by trying to expose graft and corruption through journalism (Spider-Man, Superman)? There are heroes who work as doctors, politicians, teachers, scientists, soldiers, etc. Those stories aren’t always at the forefront, because they’re not always as visually compelling, but they’re there.

  60. Bruce says:

    Hancock looks fun but then I like Will Smith.

    On the realism note, the Superman Returns movie touched on realistic physics. If you try and stop a crashing plane by holding it’s wing, you’re just going to pull the wing off. Likewise it always bugged me that you could pick up a car by it’s bumper or one of it’s panels and throw it. Realistically, you’ll just pull the bit you’re holding off or your hands will tear through it, unless you can get hold of the chassis. Also any heavy object (like a truck) hitting you will knock you over no matter how strong you are as it’s about Mass x Velocity, not strength. In the Fantastic Four when the Thing stops the truck, his mass would have to be much greater than the truck as he is more or less standing still while the truck is moving. Even it you brace yourself, you’re still relying on the friction holding your feet on the ground.

    Mind you it all still looks very impressive.

  61. Dev Null says:

    I’ve always loved the scene in the Mage comics where whatshisname (sorry, its been awhile) who finds himself incredibly strong and nigh-indestructable, tries to stop a car by kicking it. He puts his foot through the door panel and gets dragged several blocks without even slowing it down. (I also like the fact that being proof against damage doesn’t do anything to stop his fear of heights.)

    But I guess if you could fly while carrying a train, that implies a certain amount of ability to generate thrust. Apply it at the right time and someone like Superman could also stop a train by letting it hit him, using the thrust to hold himself in place (destroying the train and killing all the occupants, of course.) But yer basic brick like the Thing is screwed unless he masses many many tons, in which case hes going to have a nasty tendency to sink up to his ankles in the pavement when he walks down the street. Which would be hillarious!

  62. roxysteve says:

    [M:] So you wouldn’t consider Captain Amazing as having “Lost the Path”?

    I get what you mean though.

    Why would the locomotive driver be turned to jelly? The common train does not move particularly quickly, especially in a city situation like that. There is no law of physics that would cause him to be killed.

    The “common” freight train moves anywhere from 25 to 60+ mph depending on what it “commonly” carries, but that isn’t the salient point. The common locomotive cab (often several decades old) contains *none* of the stuff your car has had added to it from years of experience to mitigate your coming into contact with it at speed – sun shades made of foam instead of the trepanning plywood they used in the sixties, dashboards made of rigid foam instead of wood and steel so when you “submarine” you still have knees that work afterwards, controls that collapse when you smash into them at 30 mph instead of just perforating you body on the pointy bits – drivers often suffered heart attacks in car crashes years ago because the steering column punched them in just the right place really hard.

    The law of physics involved is inertia and it will kill you surprisingly easily despite what you might believe after watching the TV/Movie version.

    The reason most trainmen survive collisions is because the train is so massive it generally just keeps on keeping on, conserving momentum and subjecting the cab crew to zero force. Will stops the train dead. In these matters the time taken is all important as it reduces the final velocity “imparted” to the crew, so the crew will find themselves doing whatever speed the train was doing inside a cab that has become instantly stationary.

    Modern trains look different to the one Will so thoughtfully stops with a deceleration approaching infinity meters per second per second. That’s because modern trains feature the so-called “safety cab”. You can use Google and Wiki to find out why, but it rather belies the contention that the crew are in no real danger in a Will-induced crash.


  63. Roy says:

    But yer basic brick like the Thing is screwed unless he masses many many tons

    Or the people around him are screwed when the truck he attempted to stop hits him and, instead of stopping, changes direction, flipping over him and smashing the hell out of anybody unlucky enough to be nearby at the time.

  64. M says:

    Captain Amazing was, well, a jerk…but yes, I can see his character as sort of similar to Hancock’s.

    I actually liked how Hellboy stopped a car; not by trying to get in its way (he doesn’t weigh that much more than a normal human), he just punched down on the hood with his nigh-indestructible hand, thus momentarily increasing the force of friction on the car by a sufficient amount to cause it to flip up and over him, with most (but not all) of its forward momentum negated.

    Still silly, but less than just stepping in its path and letting it hit him.

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