Quoth The Raven…

I think she forgot for a while that she throws stuff into the Sun.

I had wanted to do a more vertical composition, but that didn’t happen. Sometimes things go that way. I was thinking about the weekend post, and more and more I came back to the idea that it would be fun to have Cap bicker with Poe, and then just chuck a vampire into the Sun. So we got that.

The vampire clearly transforms between panels into that giant bat like creature. If I was going to fight someone with A-List Silver Age Powers, I would probably transform into my most intimidating, combat oriented form as well. Fat lot of good it does, when some mean lady just tosses you into the Sun. That last panel was really fun to draw, actually, and given the “sketch style” nature of the four panels, this came together really, really quickly.

Lets say that the vampire creature can survive mach level speeds…that’s sensible, since the prior strip called them “supersonic” vampires. That might suggest to a reader that the vampire might be able to steer, or control it’s flight, or something silly like that. Cap would have to hurl that vampire bat dragon creature at seven miles per second or greater to hit escape velocity and get to the Sun (or the Moon), so it’s safe to say that withstanding supersonic speeds is not a real help. That guy is gone.

In fact, this strip, from the first of the year, was instructive on that front, and more vertical…so I get that compositional diversity through the repost/flashback:

That bagel was established to be moving at relativistic speeds.

Initially, my thoughts on the bagel being hurled with great force looked like this:

“Cap, however, is hurling a bagel, possibly her lunch, with great force. Considering that she can throw things to the Moon or into the Sun, that bagel could easily be moving at a speed of 5 to 7 miles per second, which would be a pretty devastating impact with anything nearby. It’s clearly not a salt bagel, which might be a part of why she is throwing it. I know at least one long time reader will enjoy Cap giving a bad guy a bagel, because “back in the day”, it was our term for a shutout. When I was considering what to have her throwing (Iceman is throwing a snowball in the original composition), at first I considered a brick, and then a rock.”

Seemed sensible, but then I consulted actual authorities on that kind of high velocity physics. They had a different story.

Let’s look at my summary of that from a few days later:

“Randall Munroe had a pretty succinct answer, weighing in at three typed pages, with diagrams. Prof. Monroe suggested that the bagel would be traveling at relativistic speeds, and really would be something else. The most important thing is that the bagel would be traveling at about 600 million miles and hour, but air only vibrates at say, a few hundred miles per hour, per molecule. As far as the bagel (or wine glass, above) is concerned, the air molecules are just hanging there in place.

That really means that the air molecules would smack so hard into the surface of the bagel (or wine glass, above) that they would actually fuse atoms. That’s not great…makes a bunch of gamma rays and scattered particles. Gamma rays and debris would expand out from the bagel at the speed of light, and destructively, just slightly ahead of the bagel itself.

This constant thermonuclear event at the front of the bagel would actually slow it down, like a retro rocket…expect that being thrown that hard, the constant nuclear detonations are just a drop in the bucket. That bagel WILL keep moving. However, the bagel will also start to fall apart, causing a chain reaction of thermonuclear events in its wake.

The key here is…what happens to the Impossible Man?

It’s not good. The bagel will reach him in nanoseconds, as an expanding thermonuclear debris cloud…still moving at a very significant portion of lightspeed. That’s going to scoop him up in a mess of momentum, force, and radiation, that should disintegrate him rapidly. That shell of gamma rays, x-rays, and superheated plasma would expand outward and upward, exactly as you expect. At that point, it’s just a pretty ordinary nuclear blast.

Which Cap, having Silver Age Nigh Invulnerability, should be able to ride out. Heck…the Impossible man can survive ridiculous transformations and forces, so he might even ride it out. I’m imagining that Sue put the force field around the Impossible Man in order to hold the blast in, not to contain him…but really, that’s just me retconning the image to fit the physics.”

The Impossible Man, first off, is WAY tougher than a vampire, so that establishes an important guarantee for that vampire being DONE. However…in today’s art, Cap is throwing the vampire himself…so the nuclear holocaust should be happening to him, on his own surface, as he leaves Earth’s atmosphere. In other words, the physics of the situation is actually worse than the relativistic bagel, which is a bit scary.

Obviously, Edgar Allan Poe would be impressed, knowing nothing about the physics involved.

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