FW Presents: Siskoid’s Mad Theories

All the Fire and Water Network stars are at HeroesCon this weekend, all except the Canadian contingent, so Siskoid is going to take over, if you don’t mind, and steal Rob and Shagg’s slot to talk about some of the more absurd (at least, when you think about it) super-powers out there. Oh fine, Rob and Shagg are also in it, just so they can keep their Sunday podcasting streak unbroken. Stand by for the first installment of… Siskoid’s Mad Theories!

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Theme: “Mad Science” by MK2.

Bonus clips: “Science Is Real” by They Might Be Giants; Albert Einstein file footage; “Cosmos” by Carl Sagan; “Frankenstein” by James Whale, starring Colin Clive; “Talk to the Animals” by Rex Harrison (from “Doctor Doolittle”); “Aquaman” by Filmation; “Banjo Duel” from “Deliverance”; and “The Atom Song” by Mike Offutt.

Peer review available through comments sections!

8 responses to “FW Presents: Siskoid’s Mad Theories

  1. Well Siskoid, you’ve concocted the formula for a great new show here. I can’t wait for more – if you could look at elasticity in comics, that would be great. Did Bouncing Boy drink Future Gingold? Why does Ralph always stretch his neck, if he wishes to see more would it not be easier to make his legs longer than give axemen a nice target? Could Elastic Lad grow big and small like Elasti-Girl?

    I’m sure your imagination can stretch to a few answers.

  2. It’s Science! with Siskoid

    Loved this show. While I have virtually no knowledge of science, I’ve always kinda loved deconstructing how these various super powers work. (The whole “How does Animal Man do what he does? Animals don’t have ‘powers'” bit from that series is one of my all-time fav moments in comics). This was a whole lot of fun, but I wish it had gone on a little longer!

  3. Bravo, Siskoid. As a scientist and a nerd (and yes, despite pop culture stereotypes, the two are independent of each other), this show really hit my sweet spot.

    I particularly enjoyed the discussion on animal communication powers. As an Aquaman fan, I’ve often wondered about the limits of his power. It’s often stated that Aquaman talks to fish, but, in actuality, he communicates with animals from across the taxonomic spectrum: cephalopods, crustaceans, reptiles and mammals to name a few. Granted these classifications are man-made, and nature rarely fits neatly into the boxes we design for it, but it’s probably safe to say that a dolphin has more in common anatomically and physiologically with a cow than it does with a tuna. If Aquaman can communicate with a dolphin, then why not a cow too? Also, where does the line fall between aquatic and terrestrial creatures? Can he communicate with amphibians that spend part of their life cycle in the water and the other part on land? What about seabirds that depend on the ocean for life, but don’t actually live in the water? My current hypothesis is that the aquatic restriction to his animal communication power is basically self-imposed in the form of a subconscious psychological block. That also would explain how the extent of his power can vary from writer to writer. Okay, I’m just going to stop myself there. Did I mention how much I love the concept for this show?

    I will also throw out a potential topic for a future episode, the power of flight, particular winged flight as demonstrated by Angel of the X-Men. I find it interesting that most winged characters have their wings on their backs, whereas actual wings are specialized forelimbs, at least among vertebrates.

  4. This is the uber-nerdy extrapolation of the discussions many of us had with our friends as kids. I’ll be honest, nowadays I don’t think much about such things, as long as there is a consistent logic within the stories themselves, I’m good. But it is fun to think about and discuss, and this was indeed fun!

    Oddly enough Giganta was originally an ape evolved into a tall woman, and then the Super Friends turned her into an “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman” pastiche. Subsequent comics have merged both versions, which in some ways makes her the odd poster child for this episode!

    Don’t wait for the rest of us to go to another con to do the follow-up!


  5. Professor Siskoid, I am enjoying this show immensely.

    Regarding Thanagarians talking to birds, the first Hawkman Brave and Bold story implied that their absorbascon taught them to language of Earthen avian life… To align it with your theory, the absorbascon provided a means for Hawkman and Hawkgirl to access the M-Field, though its use is limited to connecting to birds… Though I do not see why the absorbascon cannot allow the Hawks to communicate with other animals in the same way… except that it would play against type…

    Also, for those who want to see Topo play the banjo, as well as other instruments, you can see this In Aquaman v1 issue 19. Aquaman actually stated that “he trained his pet Topo” on how to do play a few common songs with various instruments… though I can see how the M-Field connection would be an immensely useful training aid…

    And Shag, Elastigirl has the ability to shrink and grow certain parts of her body… which must not do wonders for the circulation…

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