A warning: Today’s “Postal Apocalypse” contains so much profanity. I’m sorry about that. Not sorry enough to, you know, take out all those curse words or anything, but I do apologize if it makes anyone uncomfortable. What has me riled up? Read the first letter and see…


Leanne C.:

Although I liked Man of Steel, I was really taken aback by Pa Kent telling Clark not to reveal his powers when he’s young, even if it means letting people die. Superman’s supposed to save people, right? Why did DC make this change?


I don’t know. I don’t know why anything happened in that fucking movie, because none of it made a goddamn bit of sense. I finally saw Man of Steel last night, and let me tell you that when I left I was so angry I was actually shaking a little, and literally I didn’t fall asleep until 4:00 a.m. because I couldn’t stop thinking how terrible it was. And I’m by no means a major Superman fan.

The specific thing you mention is merely one of the film’s most egregious misunderstandings of the fundamentals of Superman. Pa Kent/Kevin Costner telling young Clark that hiding his superpowers is more important than saving people’s lives is not only contrary to Superman at his most basic level, but is tremendously fucking stupid. Superman saves people’s lives, he saves as many people as he can, when faced with an impossible choice of two evils, he finds away around it to save everybody because he’s Superman and that’s what he fucking does. And Pa Kent is telling him BLAH BLAH YOU SHOULD LET A SCHOOLBUS FULL OF CHILDREN DIE SO YOUR LIFE ISN’T MILDLY INCONVENIENCED. That’s something a fucking supervillain should say, not the guy who supposedly imparts Clark Kent with the morals that lead him to be the protector of Earth and the greatest hero of all time.

But it hardly matters, because Superman lets like a million people die in the movie anyway. ARRRRGGGH. Now I’m angry all over again. Do not get me started on fucking Man of Steel or we’ll be here all day.


Tower Defense

Paul E.:

I love the Dark Tower books. I know Ron Howard is hard at work getting it produced. I hope we do see it get told. I was wondering though if you could pick a network to have the tv series on what network would that be? what team would you want to make it and who would you cast?

I'd love to see the team that makes Justified tackle the Dark Tower. I mean they said Justifed has about two seasons left so it'd be waste to not use that team. Roland... I have no idea who I would cast in that role. I mean if we could travel back in time and cast Clint Eastwood in his prime age then that be great.


I think you’ve answered your own question here. I’ve been consistently impressed with pretty much everything FX is making nowadays, from their dramas to their comedies. While I don’t know if they’d have the budget to do The Dark Tower justice — I’m not sure anybody other than a pay channel like HBO or Starz would — FX is the best at hiring smart people to make great TV show, and then not messing around with their vision with studio interference, focus group testing, or whatever. See, for example, the tremendously awesome Justified.

And as for the second part of the question you’ve answered, if you’re keeping the Justified team, why not keep Timothy Olyphant as Roland? He’s a little old, but he’s got some star power, and the man was born to wear a cowboy hat and shoot people in TV shows. And then you could have the equally phenomenal Walton Goggins as the Man in Black.

I just made myself a little sad that this casting well never happen.


Hair Care

Gregory P.:

How does Wolverine's healing factor know how he styles his hair and facial hair? He's had his whole face burnt off or damaged in some way, but somehow the healing factor doesn't grow a beard for him, but it will grow back the hair on his head and his body hair. What gives?


Think about chest hair (you can also think about pubic hair, if you want to make this super-weird). After you hit adulthood, you pretty much always have the same amount of chest hair, in the same places, at the same length, and if you happened to shave it, it would grow back to that default amount/style/length.

That’s what’s happening with Wolverine — he has a default hair status, and it involves gigantic muttonchops, stubble on his chin, no mustache, and a hairstyle that comes to two points. The real question is how does Wolverine grow a beard after this point, because you can’t grow more chest (or pubic) hair after you reach your default, unless you have a very, very specific mutant power.

Since Wolverine almost never has a beard in the comics, I say anytime he does have a beard, it’s a grievous error on Marvel’s part. Sorry, The Wolverine! You blew it!


Green Card

Ross N.:

Regarding last week’s Green Lantern question, I'm pretty sure you have to be a native of the sector you're being picked. Since Superman is from Krypton, he could have been the GL for that sector of the universe, just not ours. Also, I'm pretty sure the comics dealt with this ages ago. I believe Tomar-Re was the Green Lantern for the sector of space that Krypton was in and was tasked with preventing the planet from blowing up, but failed.


So rather than hire the best person for the job, the Guardians adhere to some kind of galactic Affirmative Action to the detriment of the people they ostensibly protect? That sounds about right. Because the Guardians of the Universe are diiiiiiicccccckkkkkssss.

By the way, Man of Steel was worse than the Green Lantern movie. Just putting that out there.


Binge and Purge

Scott C.:

I haven't seen The Purge, but it sounds like a white suburbanite fantasy of what would happen if there were no laws,e.g. I'd kill my neighbor that blasts Kreayshawn at 9 in the morning while he tricks out his Jetta.

But wouldn't all suspension of law lead to thousands of gang street soldiers blowing open bank vaults and liberating members from the SuperMax? Wouldn't we wake up after The Purge to President OG LIl' Sleepy?


For those of you who don’t know The Purge, it’s a movie about America declaring one night where laws aren’t enforced, and any crimes committed during it aren’t prosecuted. Predictably, people lose their shit.

But I wouldn’t worry about any of the events you’ve mentioned from happening, thanks to free enterprise! Banks, prisons, leaders of the free world, etc., would almost certainly stock up on armed guards for that one night to prevent those exact scenarios from occurring. They’d have to pay a lot of money to acquire enough protection, but since they wouldn’t cut those paychecks until after the Purge, they’d ensure their employees' loyalty. Money trumps murder every time.

Besides, I’m pretty sure that any planning you do prior to the Purge would still be illegal under “conspiracy” if nothing else. I mean, you couldn’t get a group of people on Google Hangout and spend a month discussing how to kill the President on Purge night. Because I'm pretty sure the government would be looking extra hard for Purge night threats, and when Purge night rolls around? You'd get droned the second you leave your house.


Smooth as Silver


Dearest Rob,

I have asked this of nerd culture before, but I can’t get a straight answer or I get conflicting answers. The Silver Surfer – is his skin silver or is he in some kind of cosmic silver suit? In older comics, he is depicted as having chrome skin and wearing matching chrome briefs, but in more recent comics he is not wearing the briefs at all, exposing his crotch. If the silver is his skin, shouldn't we be seeing his intergalactic dong and sack or does his species not have external genitalia? I've never read any Silver Surfer comics so I have no idea. Also, has the Silver Surfer ever had sex? I vaguely know that he and Mantis had a thing, but was there ever any cosmic boinking?


We only know two definitive things: 1) That the Silver Surfer’s skin was transformed into silver by Galactus’ crazy-ass cosmic powers, and 2) he no longer wears pants. Shockingly, Marvel has never revealed if this means that the inhabitants of Zenn-La — the planet the Surfer hails from — are all as smooth as Ken dolls down there, whether Galactus wrapped the Surfer’s li’l surfboard up when he made him his herald, or if maybe S.S. has some kind of retractable penis in a sheath or something. Same with the sex thing; the Surfer has had relationships with Mantis and the female Nova, and yet Marvel has yet to show him engaging in graphic penetrations with one of them. STOP BEING SO COY, MARVEL.

However, as The Ultimate Authority on Superheroic Penises, I can assure you that despite the lack of evidence, the Silver Surfer does have a penis, and it is unfortunately ziplocked underneath his silver chrome skin. That means he hasn’t engaged in sexual intercourse since he became Galactus’ herald. However, he is a talented and enthusiastic master of the fingerbang.

Ship Shape

Mike B.:

I was watching Revenge of the Sith and Anakin and Obi-Wan were taking control of the separatist ship as it crashed on Coruscant.

After they engaged the brakes, the ship tore in half and they sort-of safely landed their half, but what happened to the other half? You know the half with the engines firing on overdrive, the half with the hyperdrive and the half with the main fusion reactor? This is Coruscant, a planet-wide city. It had to fall on someone.


It probably fell on a shit-ton of someones, seeing as Coruscant has a population of one trillion people. It probably killed tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, as it landed on buildings and crashed through Coruscant's many layers. But, hey, when you have a trillion people, you can lose a million or so and still call it a good day.

This is still probably less people than Superman directly or indirectly killed during his fight with Zod in Man of Steel, so Obi-Wan and Anakin have nothing to feel bad about.

Do you have questions about anything scifi, fantasy, superhero, or nerd-related? Emailpostman@io9.com! No question too difficult, no question too dumb! Obviously!