Nanotech comic books

Originally released in 2008 by Marvel Comics, New-Gen chronicles the adventures of nanotechnology-enhanced super humans. From the article by Patrick Montero at the New York Daily News,

Though similar to other superhero teams, the nanopowered creatures of the futuristic action comic series, New-Gen, are not your average mutant superheroes. What sets them apart is the seamless blending of your classic superhero with real science-based fact.

“Nanotechnology is a real science,” exclaims J.D. Matonti, creator and co-writer of the New-Gen series, “I reached out to NASA scientist, Dr. Brad Edwards, [to learn about] the possibilities of nanotechnology. What if someone was composed of nanobots? What sort of incredible powers could manifest?

We wanted to employ a realistic approach as to where those nanopowers could originate from so when our audience read New-Gen they would think, ‘Hey, this can really happen!'”

I searched Dr.Brad Edwards and found an interview where someone with the same name and an association with NASA (US National Aeronautics and Space Administration) discusses his work on a space elevator. From Sander Olson’s article on Next Big Future,

… Dr. Edwards received his PhD in physics in 1990, and worked at Los Alamos National Lab for 11 years. After leaving Los Alamos, Dr. Edwards has dedicated his career to researching and developing the space elevator concept. All of his research indicates that the space elevator concept is valid and feasible. He currently heads a company called Black Line Ascension, which is actively promoting the space elevator concept. He has published several books on the space elevator, including The Space Elevator: A Revolutionary Earth-to-Space Transport System, and Leaving the Planet by Space Elevator.

I think this is the same person cited in Montero’s article and, while he doesn’t mention nanobots, he does discuss carbon nanotubes and their application in his space elevator project at some length.

Also cited in Montero’s article is a NASA Center for Nanotechnology. The site doesn’t seem to have been updated since April 2007. I mention it because of this comment in Montero’s article,

According to the NASA Center for Nanotechnology (CNT), nanotechnology robots, or nanobots, are microscopic machines that work on an atomic level to systematically organize and manipulate materials 100 millionth of a millimeter or smaller.

I couldn’t find any references to nanobots on that website. Perhaps the creators/writers gave Montero references that were valid in 2007 when they were likely researching and preparing the series prior to its 2008 launch?

I did go to the Marvel Comics website to find free copies of the first three installments of the series as promised in Montero’s article. (Go here.) From the Marvel Comics New-Gen page,

A battle over Nanotechnology rages between two superhuman scientists. Gabriel banishes his former friend, Deadalus, to an underworld, sends his infant twin sons to Earth and takes in the young children and creatures affected by Nanotechnology. The children and creatures grow up possessing unique NanoPowers in the Association for the Protection of New Generation (A.P.N.G.) and will oppose Deadalus as he evolves into the purely evil Sly attempting to transform worlds.

There’s also a New-Gen website where you can read up on the latest about the series, find biographies for each character, and more.

The series, from what I’ve seen of it, looks like it might be good, goofy fun although I understand from Montero’s article that the creative team has reworked the original stories to make them edgier for their new (2010) release as mobile comics. As for the science aspect, I think they had good intentions when they started the research.

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  1. Pingback: Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and nanotechnology? « FrogHeart

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