Friday, July 18, 2008

Scientist Says a Real Batman Would Have a Pretty Short Career

Just in time for the annual summer orgy of comic-inspired cinematic blockbusters (with fans and the general public lining up for “The Dark Knight”), a University of Victoria professor has determined that if Batman existed in real life, he’d have a pretty short career - about 3 years.

CanWest New Service is running an article today (I caught it in The Vancouver Sun newspaper) featuring Dr. Paul Zehr, a specialist in kinesiology and neuroscience, karate black belt, and lifelong Batman fanboy. Zehr’s publishing a book entitled “Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero”, where he details exactly what would be involved in becoming a non-super-powered vigilante crime fighter, and what the consequences of that would be.

According to Zehr, a real-life Batman would have to be in peak physical condition –part Olympic decathlete, part NFL running back, part ultimate fighter, part boxer. This person would need to have 10-12 years of martial arts and motor skills training, 3-5 years of intense physical conditioning and a few more years of working under a lot of stress.

But Zehr points out the cost of getting into nightly slugfests with badguys and vaulting around on buildings would be high. A crimefighter, no matter how good, is likely to get hit a few times and fall once in a while. Zehr says injuries, like repeated concussions, would start to pile up over time and eventually force Batman to throw in the cowl.

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