Sue and the Wheel

I suppose this blog is six years late, but I have a good reason for it being so, mostly that when this movie came out that I didn't blog about comics, nor did Comic Vine have a blog feature (nor I think did CV even exist.) Anyway I was just randomly thinking about this movie last night, and one scene in particular. There is a reason for this that I will get to, but I am going to examine with a scientific perspective a particular scene from this movie. I should state first of all that I know that this is comic book movie science and not real science. I know things like force fields do not exist, but I still like to look at the interface between superpowers and the real world science.

In the movie the Silver Surfer is going to various locations on Earth and making holes in the ground which will allow Galactus to follow along and start consuming whatever it is that he wants to consume (everything). The group end up going to London to try to stop him, but get side tracked when the London Eye almost falls over. The group intervenes and first by Sue with a large force field. This is what I intend to over-analyze.

This is what it looks like
This is what it looks like

The first issue here which should be established is momentum and mass. I will assume that Sue (or Jessica Alba) as a woman in good shape weighs about 55 kilograms, but just for the sake of the arithmetic, I am going to round this down to 50 kilograms. The weight of the London Eye is approximately 2,100,000 kilograms. This means that it is 42000 times heavier than her. In terms of the combined mass therefore, her mass is 0.0024% of the entire system, which is essentially negligible. Why I am setting all of this arithmetic up to start with? Because it leads into my first major point, the second law of motion, that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

No Caption Provided

Sue's ability to hold up the Eye is completely dependent on her own ability to create force fields. Acting within this closed system of her versus the wheel, if her mass had anything to do with the actual manipulation of the system then she would have been crushed instantly. However, she wasn't and therefore it is not. What is a little out of scientific logic therefore is why she is pushed backed from trying to hold the weight.

High heels in a super hero costume - pointless
High heels in a super hero costume - pointless

She is eventually forced back over top of the water where she creates a force field for herself to stand on. Not bad thinking, except as already identified her mass is irrelevant really to the mass of the wheel. If she has enough power left over to create herself a force field to hold herself up, she would have been better standing in place and using the additional energy to strength the falling wheel, but there is something else which would actually useful, only that it is something which she should have already figured out, angular momentum.

No Caption Provided

One of the things that I liked about this movie and the one before it is that Sue Storm was a little bit reimagined. Instead of being the high school graduate superheroine of the 1960s, she was made into a PhD graduate superheroine of the 2000s. I know a thing or two about science myself, but I don't really know a lot about physics (as I keep mentioning whenever I look into science like this.) One of the basic concepts about physics though is that of angular momentum, and it is reasonable that while I know about this with my knowledge of environmental science that it is reasonable that Sue would know about this as well seeing as she has an advanced degree in science. Without going too much into detail about this (because I can't go into detail about things that I don't understand very well), it is a lot easier to rotate something by applying the force to the outside rotating edge as opposed to the inside rotating edge. The analogy of this would be that you have to open a door - it is much easier to open the door by pushing the side farthest away from the hinge as opposed to pushing the other side. So by moving backwards over the water, she is actually giving herself a better vantage to use a force field where it counts the most, at the top of the wheel. Theoretically she would be best placed by standing (on a force field) exactly where the top part of the wheel would hit ground. The London Eye is 135 meters tall and right next to the water, the River Thames is 250 meters wide at the nearby Tower Bridge, so to best utilize her force field she should be standing more than halfway across the river instead of right next to it. I do have one more complaint though, and here it is - the nose bleed.

No Caption Provided

I don't understand why her nose bleeds whenever she has to do something really hard. The other four characters were also using their powers at various times in this movie to their full potential but they never got nose bleeds. It could be attributed to something to do with her powers (like she creates a small force field inside her nasal cavity any time that she uses her power?) I think the proper attribution though is that she gets them because she is female and more delicate. This is not a really fair representation for women, as it implies that when we use our minds to focus that we get nose bleeds whereas men can operate at full capacity without having to produce a bloody kleenex.

That's it for the over analysis (for now).

128 Comments

169 Comments

Avatar image for incadeptus
Incadeptus

2

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Comics show that Magic and Science are different but the fact is that it's all about energies, just different energies. Sue's powers I think are really powerfull but that doesn't mean that she must have nosebleeds. In fact her powers must make her body very, very healthy and strong.

Avatar image for raw_material
Raw_Material

3553

Forum Posts

9505

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 25

User Lists: 9

Nice thread :)

Avatar image for ips
ips

209

Forum Posts

608

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

@delphic: this is actually correct. it's a cliché started from Firestarter. Charlie's telepathic abilities to push would exert him and cause nosebleeds. Ever since then it's been a thing.

Avatar image for matteopg
MatteoPG

1950

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@delphic: I guess so, that is still offensive as the woman gets a nosebleed when she thinks too hard.

I mean, it happens to Maxwell Lord too, as well to a plethora of male characters throughout movies and comics...

Avatar image for matteopg
MatteoPG

1950

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

And also... we have a saying in Italy: this is like talking about the sex of the angels.

Avatar image for jacob_xiv
Jacob_XIV

74

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I wasn't patient enough to read all these comments, so I don't know if this has been mentioned yet, but as to the issue with Sue's nose bleed : If you go to the marvel website & look up Sue's character profile, somewhere in there it states that her force fields are psionic constructs, which are linked to her mind. When too much force, like say, a high-yield explosion, or a massive energy attack, or, I dunno, the weight of the London Eye, maybe, is appllied to the surface of her force field, then she experiences something the Marvel web site terms 'psionic backlash'. This phenomenon is not unique to the Invisible Woman, either. Several characters in the Marvel & DC universes whose powers have some kind of energy/mental connection, do from time to time, suffer from this same kind of Achilles' heel. Well, there's my two cents. Good blog. So long folks, & remember, have your pets spayed or neutered & never feed your mogwai after midnight!!

Avatar image for perfect_10
Perfect 10

1655

Forum Posts

1

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 10

User Lists: 2

i dont know if you ever read any of the original x-men or fantastic four comics but marvel girl and invisible girl used to faint ALL the time after using their powers. its pure sexism, hope they leave that mess out in the reboot.

as for her moving, it happens in the comics but you cant see cause its not moving images but if you can catch some episodes of the animated series stuff like that would happen all the time.

Avatar image for razzatazz
RazzaTazz

11948

Forum Posts

234582

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1887

User Lists: 79

Edited By RazzaTazz

@perfect_10: Oh sure, I get the moving, it might be a natural reflex to bearing an amazing strain. I am just saying that from a purely physical standpoint that it makes no sense for someone to do that.

Avatar image for superboyprimema
SuperBoyPrimeMa

19

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

A silly explanation for why Sue would have to exert more force to use her powers is, you can imagine that the invisible force fields are hollow with no mass. Therefore the energy that she creates are more difficult to take control/fuse and release, causing stress on her body creating a nose bleed. To reply to the pivot explanation the situation would have changed no matter where she was to hold up or move the London eye as the strength of her power would not have amplified and she would still have needed help from Mr. Fantastic using Human Torch's powers and the Thing.

Avatar image for deactivated-5a162dd41dd64
deactivated-5a162dd41dd64

8662

Forum Posts

2294

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 100

User Lists: 6

@razzatazz: I love the fact that you're analyzing this scientifically. Her backing up could be an attempt to steady herself somewhat; Sue sometimes tends to get a little woozy when she overexerts herself.

@delphic said:

@razzatazz: Interesting though I think the nosebleed is more the silly cliche of overexertion in "powers of the mind" causes a nose bleed, rather than the exploitation of a female character. In a weird way you could say that Sue has to actually put thought into her powers where the others just "do".

Yup, nosebleed means psionic powers are/were afoot.

@jorgevy: I get the link to mental powers, but it is strange that psychic heroes are the only ones that get side effects from their power usage. Like shouldn't super strong or super fast heroes get a lactic acid buildup from their feats? Probably but no.

Lactic acid buildup is harder to draw/otherwise depict in comics. A nosebleed is easy to draw and doesn't get in the way.

Avatar image for shackle
shackle

218

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By shackle

Ah, the classic example of someone over analyzing a subject in order to promote an untenable hypothesis. You can always tell who the Simone/Fraction fans are, can't you?

Avatar image for razzatazz
RazzaTazz

11948

Forum Posts

234582

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1887

User Lists: 79

@shackle: I stated in my analysis that I was over analyzing it. I never presented a pretense that I was not.

Avatar image for batkevin74
batkevin74

15518

Forum Posts

1712

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 13

Science is fun! :)

Avatar image for brc2000
brc2000

1686

Forum Posts

16537

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 4

Probably been mentioned, but the nosebleed thing is common for mental powers and such. Maybe not so much in comics, but I have seen it elsewhere, mostly in horror.

Avatar image for razzatazz
RazzaTazz

11948

Forum Posts

234582

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1887

User Lists: 79

Avatar image for degraaf
DEGRAAF

8428

Forum Posts

72

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Nice blog and i like that you looked deeper into this one scene. As for the nose bleed i always chalked it up to her powers being more mentally based then the rest of the characters. The other three seem to have physical attributes that there powers are easier to use (this gets me in to the joke of the second film where Sue ends up with Johnny's powers and floats off unable to control her new powers)

Mr Fantastic - Doesnt even really have to think stretch, he just think "grab that object" not worrying about the distances. The thought of grabbing something or whatever he is doing is already be trained in to his head with a whole life time of making that same movement just now with greater distance

Thing - His powers are totally physical and really has no mental taxation on him to use his powers.

Human Torch - His powers seem to be a simple as "Flame on" or as simple as think flames and there will be flames, think hotter and it will get hotter. So his powers would be the next most taxing mentally IMO it still doesnt take as much thought as Sue Storms

Avatar image for nmgeri18
nmgeri18

6

Forum Posts

1

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

Edited By nmgeri18

Wow! I never thought of it this way... also Sue shouldn't be depicted as weak because she is a girl because in the comics she is often referred to as the strongest and most powerful member of the fantastic four.

Avatar image for razzatazz
RazzaTazz

11948

Forum Posts

234582

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1887

User Lists: 79

Avatar image for wkar
wkar

276

Forum Posts

116

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By wkar

the reason is the high pressure of blood to the brain

Avatar image for arunkyss
arunkyss

1

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

It wouldnt be a case of weight. In the comics,sue's forcefields have been shown to be demensional vibrations that prevent matter and energy from passing through. Her invisibilty is because herforce fields move what ever they cover out of demansional frequency so light passes through. In the case of the ferris wheel, she was not contending against weight but against space. Keeping the space where she used her force fields as supports stressed her brain causing her nose bleed. It was the strain that made her step back. Not the force of the weight.

Avatar image for torrey15
torrey15

1

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Avatar image for zappingmania
zappingmania

5

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By zappingmania

I never saw Jean Grey or Psylocke bleed by the nose, most of us believe that Sue, Jean or Polaris have passive powers, which is actually the opposite, they are actually a tank type of character, what I try to say with this, you can see it in sports, defensive is the most hard job to do, because you need to hold the line, or you will loose, you need to have a lot of strength to do this(for example on Football), thats the case of Sue here, she needs to hold the Eye with her own force, this situation was the reason of the nose bleed, the overweight that she needs to hold on, the same case with Jean Grey and Polaris, they are actually more powerful than we think, because they need to deal with heavy weight, like Jean Grey in the movie with the force of water at the end of the second movie, she holds on the water pressure with force fields and even use her telekinesis to fix the jet, I think passive characters are more like Professor X or Emma Frost, they actually dont get involve in the battle, they are more outside the battle using their minds, clearly that isnt the job of Jean or Sue.

Avatar image for theamazingbatman
theamazingbatman

2727

Forum Posts

67

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

LOL at the nosebleed :P

Avatar image for fabulosity
Fabulosity

193

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Let us remember that (in the film) Sue started using her powers not too long from being affected by the cosmic ray. The reason with her bleeding nose was because she was using her brain strongly (so strong that cause her to bleed and this make sense). The human brain is, as of yet discovered, the most complicated system in existence. It is comprised of over 1 billion neurons; and amongst those neurons, there are countless connections (I'm not a scientist, but took biology class).

Although the human brain is extremely complex, it has the consistency of jelly and is, thus, just as delicate. In fact, it is so delicate that it can not even support its own weight. So by Sue using all her power to hold that gigantic, heavy (weight), wheel... it did make her bleed. Just like in FF1, she was bleeding when she create a force field while Johnny was creating a super nova inside her shield. Her levitation, psionic, and telekinesis has to do a lot with the use of the brain. Therefore, in using these will suck all your strengths out of your brain, weaken your body, and making you bleed. I'm sure she was fabulous in those films.

Avatar image for razzatazz
RazzaTazz

11948

Forum Posts

234582

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1887

User Lists: 79

Edited By RazzaTazz

@fabulosity: I am not sure, we have a pretty good idea how the brain works, despite its complexity. That is a bit more of thinking that humans are the be all and end all of the universe, but in actuality we aren't really that important. The only cases where excessive brain use results in bleeding are indicative of greater problems on a physiological scale. Sue is the only one of the four that gets side effects from the use of powers as well.

Avatar image for fabulosity
Fabulosity

193

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@razzatazz: That's because she's the only one who uses the strength from her brain. Like I say the brain is SO delicate and is the most dangerous, complex, organ. When using too much strength especially for this heavy wheel, You will bleed. Even when you are concentrating so hard you will bleed. This happened to normal people who concentrate too much which eventually, they get headaches and can also bleed through their nose.

Avatar image for razzatazz
RazzaTazz

11948

Forum Posts

234582

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1887

User Lists: 79

@fabulosity: I don't think that is true, unless you can prove otherwise

Avatar image for jersey_no_10
jersey_no_10

7

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

she could be bleeding from anywhere else but it was inappropriate to show, thats why her nose bleeds

Avatar image for jersey_no_10
jersey_no_10

7

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

she could be bleeding from anywhere else but it was inappropriate to show, thats why her nose bleeds