The Smartest Superheroes
A couple of years ago, with the release of Batman Begins, Spider-Man 3, Fantastic Four and Superman Returns, Business Week did a review of the 10 Smartest Superheroes. With this Summer heavy again with Superhero movies, Iron Man, The Dark Knight, Hell Boy II, etc… I thought I’d share the list here. Agree? Disagree? Share your lists too.
Smartest Superheroes, Business Week; JUNE 1, 2006; By Joseph Pisani
# 10 Ray Palmer, Atom
University professor Ray Palmer’s claim to fame comes from his invention of a lens that allows him to shrink any object he wishes to a miniscule size. Palmer used this ability as the Atom by shrinking himself whenever needed.
# 9 Charles Xavier, Professor X
His list of accomplishments is impressive: he graduated at 16 with honors from Harvard University, founded the X-Men as well as the Xavier Institute that trains and teaches mutants, and had PhDs in genetics, biophysics, psychology, anthropology, and psychiatry. But it’s his unparalleled genius in the field of genetic, mutation, and psionic-powers research that got him on this list.
# 8 Peter Parker, Spider-Man
His fascination with science as a school kid may have made him an outcast, but now Spider-Man is one of the most recognized superheroes around. As an adult, Parker could often be found in a lab experimenting with chemistry and physics. In the original comic-book version of Spider-Man, Parker’s brilliance at physical science allowed him to create web-shooters for use when he became Spider-Man.
BIRDS OF PREY, Copyright DC Comics 2006. Art Bt Paulo Siqueira
# 7 Barbara Gordon, Oracle
Before being shot in the spine and becoming paralyzed, Barbara Gordon defended the streets of Gotham City as Batgirl. Bound to a wheelchair after suffering her gunshot wound, Gordon took a new name and identity as Oracle, a go-to person for Superheroes and law enforcement agents alike. She combined her skills as a librarian and hacker with her knowledge of technology to become an expert investigator for the superhero population.
# 6 Bruce Banner, Hulk
With a PhD in nuclear physics, it’s no surprise that he is described by Marvel comics as “possessing a mind so brilliant it cannot be measured on any known intelligence test.” As a high school student, before becoming the Hulk, Banner attracted the attention of the U.S. Army Department of Research & Development after developing gadgets and weapons, including a time bomb he created to get back at a school bully.
# 5 Hank McCoy, Beast
Don’t underestimate him because of his beastly appearance. In the Marvel universe McCoy is considered the world’s foremost expert on mutations and evolutionary human biology. Among his greatest contributions was finding a cure for the destructive Legacy virus, a deadly plague that killed thousands of mutants.
# 4 Henry Pym, Yellowjacket
Before he became known as Yellowjacket, Pym was formerly the well-known Ant-Man. It was during his time as Ant-Man that he made one of his greatest scientific discoveries — a rare group of subatomic particles called “Pym particles.” He found that the Pym particles could be turned into a serum that allowed him to shrink and then return to normal size. He used Pym particles in this way to defeat his opponents until his body absorbed enough of the serum to be able to shrink and grow on its own.
# 3 Tony Stark, Iron Man
Stark uses his genius-level intellect to constantly improve and modernize his Iron Man armor. When he’s not out saving the world, Stark plays the part of a well-respected businessman building large, multi- million-dollar companies, many of which sell equipment and technologies he invents.
BATMAN-Hush, Copyright DC Comics 2003. Art By Jim Lee
# 2 Bruce Wayne, Batman
Without any superpowers, Bruce Wayne was forced to use his own drive and intellect to become Batman. He focused his studies on chemistry, forensics, and criminology, all in the pursuit of increasing his superhero skills. His intense studies have made him a great detective and strategist, choosing to plan and outsmart his enemies rather than just fight them. He also designs most of the tools, gadgets, and vehicles he uses as Batman.
# 1 Reed Richards, Mister Fantastic
Reed Richards is known in the comic book world as one of the most intelligent comic book superheroes ever created. As the leader of the Fantastic Four, Richards is responsible for numerous breakthroughs and inventions in many fields including space travel, holography, and time travel. One of his most notable inventions is a technology called “unstable molecules.” Used in the fabric of a superheroes’ costume, it allows the costume to conform to the wearer’s form; so that when he stretches his body, the material doesn’t rip but instead adjusts to his elongated shape.