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Becoming Batman

The Possibility of a Superhero

E. Paul Zehr

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Battling bad guys. High-tech hideouts. The gratitude of the masses. Who at some point in their life hasn't dreamed of being a superhero? Impossible, right? Or is it?

Possessing no supernatural powers, Batman is the most realistic of all the superheroes. His feats are achieved through rigorous training and mental discipline, and with the aid of fantastic gadgets. Drawing on his training as a neuroscientist, kinesiologist, and martial artist, E. Paul Zehr explores the question: Could a mortal ever become Batman?

Zehr discusses the physical training necessary to maintain bad-guy-fighting readiness…

Battling bad guys. High-tech hideouts. The gratitude of the masses. Who at some point in their life hasn't dreamed of being a superhero? Impossible, right? Or is it?

Possessing no supernatural powers, Batman is the most realistic of all the superheroes. His feats are achieved through rigorous training and mental discipline, and with the aid of fantastic gadgets. Drawing on his training as a neuroscientist, kinesiologist, and martial artist, E. Paul Zehr explores the question: Could a mortal ever become Batman?

Zehr discusses the physical training necessary to maintain bad-guy-fighting readiness while relating the science underlying this process, from strength conditioning to the cognitive changes a person would endure in undertaking such a regimen. In probing what a real-life Batman could achieve, Zehr considers the level of punishment a consummately fit and trained person could handle, how hard and fast such a person could punch and kick, and the number of adversaries that individual could dispatch. He also tells us what it would be like to fight while wearing a batsuit and the amount of food we'd need to consume each day to maintain vigilance as Gotham City's guardian.

A fun foray of escapism grounded in sound science, Becoming Batman provides the background for attaining the realizable—though extreme—level of human performance that would allow you to be a superhero.

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Becoming Batman

E. Paul Zehr

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Reviews

Reviews

As a kid, I wanted to be Batman but always ended up more like the Joker. I only wish I could have read Dr. Zehr's fascinating book then, so that I would have known exactly what it takes to become a real superhero.

Zehr applies his specialised knowledge to quantify how an ordinary person could turn themselves into Batman.

As a study of human physiology, this detailed and accessible discussion could appeal to Batman fans and those interested in intensive physical training who are prepared for serious science rather than fantasy. But Batman is only the scaffolding on which Zehr hands his detailed look at the role of genetic makeup, diet, strength training and development of motor skills in attaining the 'outer limits' of physical performance.

Zehr is a scientist, martial arts expert and comic book fan, so he's ideally qualified to write this book... Becoming Batman is an interesting discussion on the science of superheroes.

Charming book... There is really nothing more awesome than reading a book that cites obscure neuroscience journals in the same sentence with citations to obscure Batman comics.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
5.5
x
8.5
Pages
320
ISBN
9780801890635
Illustration Description
4 halftones, 51 line drawings
Table of Contents

Foreword, by James Kakalios
Preface
Part I: Bat-Building Blocks
1. The "Before" Batman: How Buff Was Bruce?
2. Guess Who's Coming for Dinner: Bruce's Twin Brother, Bob, and the Human Genome
3. The Stress

Foreword, by James Kakalios
Preface
Part I: Bat-Building Blocks
1. The "Before" Batman: How Buff Was Bruce?
2. Guess Who's Coming for Dinner: Bruce's Twin Brother, Bob, and the Human Genome
3. The Stress of Life: Holy Hormones, Batman!
Part II: Basic Batbody Training
4. Gaining Strength and Power: Does the Bat That Flies the Highest or the Fastest Get the Worm?
5. Building the Batbones: Brittle Is Bad, But Is Bigger Better?
6. Batmetabolism: What's for Dinner on the Dark Knight Diet
Part III: Training the Batbrain
7. From Bruce Wayne to Bruce Lee: Mastering Martial Moves in the Batcave 101
8. Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting: But What Was Batman Doing?
9. The Caped Crusader in Combat: Can You Kayo without Killing?
Part IV: Batman in Action
10. Batman Bashes and Is Bashed by Bad Boys (and Girls): What Can He Break without Getting Broken?
11. Hardening the Batbody: Can Sticks and Stones Break His Bones?
12. Gotham by Twilight: Working the Knight Shift
Part V: A Mixed Batbag
13. Injury and Recovery: How Much Banging until the Batback Goes Bonk?
14. Battle of the Bats: Could Batgirl Beat Batman?
15. The Aging Avenger: Could the Caped Crusader Become the Caped Codger?
16. The Reign of the Bat: Can You Really Become Batman and Remain Batman?
Appendix: Batman's Training Milestones
Bibliography
Index

Author Bio
E. Paul Zehr
Featured Contributor

E. Paul Zehr, Ph.D., M.Sc., B.P.E.

E. Paul Zehr is a professor of neuroscience and kinesiology at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and the author of Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero, also published by Johns Hopkins. For more information about finding your inner superhero, visit www.inventingironman.com.