Friday, February 12, 2010

Something that's been bugging me while I make my way through Showcase Presents: Doom Patrol Vol. 1:


How do they know Larry will die if the Negative Man is out of his body for longer than sixty seconds?

Obviously I'm no scientist, let alone one of Dr. Niles Caulder's intellect, but it seems to me the only way one could test how long Larry could survive once Negative Man left his body would be to have him release Negative Man, click the stopwatch and wait to see how long it takes for Larry to expire. But then, you could only try that experiment once, and they obviously haven't, or Larry would be dead.



(Panel from 1963's My Greatest Adventures #80, drawn by Bruno Premiani and written by Arnold Drake and Bob Haney)

9 comments:

snell said...

Maybe Negative Man came with an instruction manual??

Or perhaps he had a federally mandated warning label: "WARNING--The Surgeon General has determined that letting Negative Man out of your body for more than 60 seconds is hazardous to your health. Do not try to operate heavy machinery while Negative Man is outside your body..."

Mart said...

Doesn't Larry just get worryingly weaker and weaker?

Esteban138 said...

Niles probably has a basement full of dead previous Negative Men to prove it.

thokstar said...

Niles probably has a basement full of dead previous Negative Men to prove it.

Hey, Niles has something resembling ethics. He probably has a basement full of Negative Rats to prove it, with a few Negative Pigs and Negative Apes to test the model on animals with closer genetics to humans.

terrortony said...

Maybe they got it from Aquaman/lad having only 60 minutes to be out of water, or Hourman having an hour of power.
One writer who took over Aquaman (I can't remember who) was saying he was getting rid of the 60 minute deadline, because it wouldn't be so absolute. It would be like holding your breath, you would be able to do it for different lengths of time.
Just something to ponder on a Saturday afternoon.

"O" the Humanatee! said...

How do we know that if you die in your dream, you die in real life? 8^)=

Jacob T. Levy said...

There's basically an endless supply of problems like this in comics. Characters routinely know how to describe their powers in Who's Who/Handbook terms, even though that requires knowing limits that they couldn't actually have discovered.

How does Nightcrawler know that if he teleports without knowing where he's going that he might materialize in a solid object? For all he knows, either he'd displace the solid object or he'd get bounced back to his starting point because two solid objects can't occupy the same space at the same time.

SallyP said...

Niles is a scientist, man! You're going to argue with a SCIENTIST?

The Estate of Tim O'Neil said...

They actually explained this in a recent issue of the new Giffen DP.