Gadgets I Want From Comics (And Some I Don’t)

In one of my first pieces for iFanboy I wrote about technology that comics had shown prior to it’s actual existence. That’s all well and good, but we are a fickle people so here’s some tech that we’re still waiting on but which I personally desperately want.

I'd probably just go for a t-shirt and jeans, but whatever.

Costume Ring

My girlfriend was at work the other day and she spilled some bleach on a new shirt that she really liked. I empathized having owned quite a few items that have had spontaneous color changes thanks to ultra-basic cleaning solutions, and having to finish a day at work with a messed up shirt just sucks. Granted if you’re one of those people that drives to work you could easily keep a change of clothes in the car, but I bike to the office every day, so every ounce of weight counts towards calories burnt in the process of getting to and from work. This doesn’t really bug me, but clothes take up more space in my bag than I can usually allocate, so having those items encapsulated in a ring would be tops. You’d rarely need them, but when you did, BAM, they’d be there at your convenience. I cannot believe the rest of the Justice League hasn’t asked Barry Allen for the secret.


Stretchy arms would be great for intimidating cosmic demigods.

Ultimate Nullifier

Do you ever read the news? Yeah, me neither. But when I do I am frustrated. The world can be a frustrating place. There are a lot of egos controlling a disproportionate amount of the world, and that is a fact that I think applies outside particular political party boundaries. And that’s why I want an ultimate nullifier, i.e. the weapon that makes Galactus flinch. I have no real aspirations of power, so it’d be really nice to have a pocket sized device to wave around when world leaders are flexing their nukes. “Hey guys, remember this? Quit dicking around and get something positive done lest I nullify you. Thanks.”


Not exactly convenient, but you can't beat the view.

Moon/Orbiting Bases

Superteams have bases in space like it’s going out of style. Unfortunately, it is. With the rightful retirement of the shuttle program there are now only two space-faring nations: Russia and China. Sadly, this is the same number as the 1960’s, but the two nations were the USSR and the USA. How far we (haven’t) come. To say that this depresses is me is beyond understatement. It actually pains me to see the JLA standing around the orbiting Watchtower like it ain’t no thang. (Because if they’re standing that means they’ve also figured out some sort of artificial gravity too.) Plus it’s one of my dreams just to go to space, let alone have a place to crash.

Antarctica is really the least plausible aspect of this entire scenario...

Dinosaurs (Sort of)

This one isn’t really a gadget, but both major comic universes have some sort of access to modern dinosaurs. Not that birds aren’t cool and all (they really are), but I’m a paleontologist so if I’m getting wishes granted I might as well get some living dinos to go observe, right?


In the 90's, being an unkempt Amish man was apparently cool.

Cloning + Brain Transplants

I’m not sure if I mentioned this before, but I plan to live forever. This is the plan regardless of fake comic book tech, however, fake comic tech would make it much easier. It would be so convenient to have a ready supply of artificially aged cloned bodies to simply shift my consciousness over into when my current corpus begins to fail. Lex Luthor did it and came up with some elaborate story about being a lost Australian son. Fortunately I am not famous enough to need such deception. Plus, if the brain transplanting technology worked well enough I’d be spending at least a month out of the year as a dolphin or a bat or some other awesome animal having adventures you can’t even imagine due to you lack of cetacean and/or chiropteran brain.


However, just because there are a handful of things I do want doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that I DON’T want. So if you’ll excuse the double negative permit me to tell you what I don’t want and why.


Pictured: how helicarriers spend 89% of their time.


First and foremost, all helicarriers seem to do is fall out of the sky. Someone even made a joke about it in Avengers vs. X-Men #2 last week. You see, there’s this thing called gravity, and when you try to defy it by putting an aircraft carrier in the sky, if anything goes wrong earth will try to reclaim that which has escaped, often with disastrous results. Furthermore, the government has plenty of avenues with which to gaze upon my daily activities, I’d prefer not giving them a flying fortress. Especially one that could fall upon me at any given moment. Just saying.


Those who know are chuckling,

Time Travel

I imagine this one will generate some discussion. Who wouldn’t want time travel, right? You could go back and fix all your mistakes, which should be a good thing, but here’s my thinking, which may be a bit silly, but it’s my column. If a video game has autosave, I’m hitting F5 like there’s no coming back. I will restart campaigns if I make a “mistake” such as forgetting a side quest to get an optional item that would help out later on. I’m not a hardcore perfectionist, but when it comes to a situation I know can get “right” like a video game, I just can’t help myself. If I had that power in real life I’d be constantly redoing basic conversations trying to make sure my jokes worked, or I sounded sincere enough, or whatever else was bugging me in the moment. While there would be quite literally endless advantages to time travel, I worry that at the end of the day it would be just too much effort, so screw it.


The face of scientific progress.

Gamma Bombs

And for my last one I’m going with a slow pitch: the gamma bomb. Seriously, what good has ever come out of this thing? It was designed as a weapon in the first place! Never once has gamma radiation made someone a nicer more reasonable person. At best, you get the occasional She-Hulk or Samson, but is that really worth the number of Hulks and Abominations gamma tech has wrought? Has the bomb itself ever actually killed anybody? Not that I’m a fan of bombs, but it seems like it does a better job of creating killing machines than being a killing machine. Not something I want in my world, thanks.


So from this I think we can conclude I’d rather live in the DCU over the Marvel U. Not honestly what I might have guessed, but there you have it. What about you? What tech do you want or hope never happens? I see some legs in the this discussion, but it’s up to YOU ALL to get it going, because me commenting on my own column is just sad.


Ryan Haupt keeps waiting for his future self to appear and tell him his objections to time travel are stupid. Hear his present opinions on the podcast Science… sort of.


  1. All I gotta say is:

    Bat-grappling hook!

  2. I want driverless cars, access to all books and tv instantly and to mine asteroids for precious minerals. Oh, wait…

  3. Good point about time travel. I could see that driving me crazy.

  4. are we counting the green lantern ring as a “Gadget”?

  5. i want a phantom zone projector because i have a shit list going back to Kindergarten….but really i’m a nice guy once you get to know me. =)

  6. Steve Dayton from the Doom Patrol’s Mento Helmet…or a Mother Box from New Genesis…

  7. re: the hellicarrier…with that you also need the ability to jump out it without any sort of super flight powers or parachute, but not get hurt when you land on the ground.

  8. Transuits and Flight Rings. That’s all you need.

  9. An image inducer would be convenient…

    How close are we to those interactive holographic wrist-worn computers like Robin has on Young Justice? Couple years? Probably a waste of a wish…

    OH! Web-shooters. Gotta be web-shooters.

  10. Eye of Agamotto

  11. I was absently fondling my Flash ring as I read this.

    …That sounds dirty.

  12. 1. Professor Xavier’s awesome nineties’ hover-wheelchair.
    2. The new 52’s Batman eye lenses that scans things and is synced with his computer.
    3. Rocketeer Jet pack
    4. Danger Room – to be used solely as a holodeck vacation time
    5. Doom Bots. Lots and lots of Doom Bots

  13. I wouldn’t trust myself with even the lamest gadget, much less something like the Infinity Gauntlet of the Gem of Cytorrok. HOWEVER…a dinosaur like Old Lace would be awesome.

  14. Authority/Planetary style shift-ship

  15. Batmobile but would hate to have to fill it up lol

  16. Off the top of my head;

    Power ring.
    Mother Box.
    Batsuit (and all it’s accessories).
    Ultimate Nullifier.
    Is adamantium-laced skeleton a gadget? If so, I’ll take one of those.

    Try and stop me now.

  17. The Infinity Gauntlet. ‘Nuff said.

  18. I know it’s so totally cheating, but Miracle Machine.

    Tell me you wouldn’t.

  19. Would Bat-Shark Repellent count?

  20. The number one thing I want is a drivable Batmobile replica, preferably from the 1966 TV show. There are several places where you can actually buy one, but they are cost prohibitive – about $150,000 if you want one ready to drive, 100% complete. Less if you want to do some of the work yourself.

    Number one impossible thing? Green Lantern ring.