So last night I had a dream where I was watching TV, and in the background there was a very subtle joke I didn’t notice. I know this because 45 minutes later, I had another dream where someone explained the joke to me. This is completely blowing my mind. Anyways, on with your mail!


Star Wreck


A question recently sprung to mind after watching Star Trek: Into Darkness. The first movie seemed to be saying that after the time travel alternate universe shenanigans that anything could happen. This new franchise would be able to go anywhere, and yet there don't seem to be any interesting deviations from the original Star Trek. They could have made Spock the captain, introduced new villains, anything. Instead Into Darkness seems phobic of doing anything new, choosing to retread beats from the Wrath of Khan. My question is what do you consider the biggest missed opportunity to do something new in this new Star Trek.


Um, everything? That’s my biggest problem with the new Star Trek — that after a requisite origin story that needlessly pulled in Leonard Nimoy, they were content to give a retread of Wrath of Khan instead of giving us anything new or unexpected. You put it pretty well — they started a whole new Trek universe, and could have done practically anything. Instead, we got a mercenary remake of the most widely known Trek story out there. There was no need for it, other than to fill Paramount’s coffers.

Here’s one thing I didn’t mention in my FAQ, though: Star Trek Into Darkness was nothing but a dumb, kinda fun summer action movie. That’s fine, I love those, but even as a non-hardcore Trek fan I want a little bit more from Star Trek. I expect a little more plot, a little more science in my scifi — as bad as some of those previous Trek movies and episodes were, they were at least trying to say something, even if that something ended up kinda dumb.


I didn’t mind the first Trek being a summer action movie, because it was reintroducing the franchise to mass audiences, and trying to get people invested. But I was hoping after that, they could make it, you know, more genuinely Trek-like. Into Darkness had Khan as the antagonist, but that’s as close to Star Trek as it got.

Ring It On


So was watching the GL movie on HBO because I was bored and really was playing Injustice on my phone, but then a thought hit my head. Since WB is hoping Man of Steel is a hit, which I'm sure it will be, they will then move towards a JL movie, aka Justice League movie. My question, if that's true and Ryan Reynolds plays GL, my question is why didn't that dumb ring choose Kal-El instead of Hal Jordan or Bruce Wayne? I mean in the comics Bat's does get a ring, but I don't think Supes ever gets a ring. I mean would a ring combined Superman be a better protector of the sector then a regular human? That's my question.


Well, technically Superman with a ring would be more powerful than a regular Green Lantern, but there’s one important thing you need to remember: the Guardians of the Universe who control the Green Lantern Corps are awful. They’re dumb, self-centered and often outright evil, and they made the rings, so the rings aren't necessarily making the right decisions themselves (case in point, the rings picked Sinestro, twice). Furthermore, the Guardians think of the universe in two categories — the people with the rings and the people without, and no matter what powers the people without rings have, the Guardians don't give a shit.

So yes, we could unequivocally state that Superman, whose natural powers would be augmented by the ring, should be a better Green Lantern than Hal Jordan, although he’d also also be better because he’s a better person than Hal Jordan. Superman would try harder than Hal Jordan, and his powers would be greater, and thus he'd save more people.


Batman, on the other hand, would be a terrible Green Lantern because out of his entire portion of the universe he’d probably stick almost solely to busting street criminals in Gotham City, which would be the equivalent of a cop patrolling one McDonald’s bathroom and focussing solely on jaywalkers. Besides, Batman would also call the Guardians out on their shit, which is not something the Guardians would like, so he wouldn't be a Green Lantern for long no matter what. Besides, Batman is a much more natural Yellow Lantern anyways.

Also, there’s no chance of Warner Bros. hiring Ryan Reynolds to play Green Lantern for a Justice League movie. So don't worry about that.


Coruscant? Corus-can!

Jacob E.:

How feasible do you think a Coruscant-like situation could be? What's the worst that could happen if the entire world were one giant city? Obviously we would need metals from an outside source, but that's what that's what asteroids are for. Could the added weight knock the Earth's orbit out of whack? How badly would it bollocks up the weather? Thanks for any insight.


Well, remember in Star Wars, there are repulsor lifts and plenty of hover technology, which I would assume would help support ridiculously tall buildings to almost infinite lengths. I also assume Coruscant as a planet is rather stable — because if it had tectonic plates, then building all this shit would likely have an effect on them, and things would get really messy.

But to more specifically answer your question: Mass actually doesn’t matter to a planet in terms of orbits, because it’s the star’s gravity that does all the work. Coruscant has 5,127 layers — which hardly counts the top layer with all its skyscrapers and such — so it has added an insane amount of mass/weight to itself, but even if that literally doubled the planet’s weight, the star pulls on it in the exact same degree.

As for the weather, well, weather is insanely complicated. First of all, Coruscant has a sun and polar ice caps, so there’s going to be areas of cold and hot and high pressure and low pressure, which is necessary for weather to move. Now, the planet doesn’t have any bodies of water, because they were all built over, but I assume the ice caps can provide a little bit of moisture in the air, because we know Coruscant does have rain and thunderstorms, at least occasionally.


As a humble fake mailman, this shit is waaaaaaaay beyond my paygrade, but I would assume that rather than the size of Coruscant’s buildings, it’s the removal of the planet’s bodies of water that had the most effect on the weather, by limiting the amount of moisture in the air. The buildings themselves probably created some awesome wind tunnels, but that’d be on a case-by-case basis. All you smart people, feel free to add or correct.

Run for the Border


What are the odds that, if a zombie apocalypse occurs in the USA, it is confined to America? Zombies can't fly planes, right? And how would other countries react? Would they decide to nuke America in order to end the zombie threat permanently, regardless of potential survivors?


Slim to none. Zombies can’t fly planes, but people who have been bitten can get on planes, die en route, or even disembark, collapse at the baggage claim, and then start eating Delta employees. And that’s not counting all the zombies created on the borders of Canada and Mexico, who just need to toddle over to spread the plague past the boundaries of the U.S. of A.

But you raise an excellent point about the nukes. I think there’s a pretty decent chance that some world leader either panics or uses the chaos as an opportunity, and nukes the shit out of somebody he doesn’t like. Whether that’s a country that hates the evil Americ, or the Middle East just implodes or what I don’t know, but suffice it to say somebody is going to have more problems than just zombies. My money’s on England nuking Switzerland for being neutral all the time. PICK A SIDE, ASSHOLES.


Roll with the Punches

Avi H.:

I was watching the new (amazing) Superman trailer and I was wondering, "Why do super powered battles take so long?" If both sides are equally strong or one is even a little stronger or weaker than the other, shouldn't it just play out the same as two non-powered people fighting? Wouldn't one solid upper cut knock from Superman knock out Zod or vice versa? What gives?


Nah. Think of it like boxers. Sure, they deliver punches that would annihilate you or me instantly, but they’ve also built up their resistance to those punches. Superman, and, for instance, Zod, are practically invulnerable, so even if they can knock over a building with a single blow, it’s going to take a ton of punches before the other guy even starts to feel them. On a lesser scale, the same is true of Batman and villains like Bane — if they’re about equally strong and done the right training, it’ll take them a while before one of them knocks the other dude out.

But could Superman knock out Batman with a single punch? Absolutely. If Batman gave him the chance. Which I think we can all agree is unlikely.

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