At San Diego Comic Con last week, our own Bob Suicide went undercover to seek out some scientific truths about the legendary group known as The Avengers…
By Bob Suicide — Nerdcore Investigations
The tragic events in New York have left us with myriad of unanswered questions: Is S.H.I.E.L.D. capable of providing countermeasures to prevent the United States from further large-scale terrorist attacks (both domestic and extra-terrestrial)? Who really are “The Avengers”? Can we trust a group who may not even be human, let alone Earthlings, to have our best interest at heart? And, given the recent events in Washington, what is the current state of our national security?
So, in an attempt to answer these questions and more, I took it upon myself to go undercover in this secretive organization as a Level 4 S.H.I.E.L.D. agent thanks to a contact within the organization (name redacted to ensure the safety of those involved).
While at Comic Con, all West Coast S.H.I.E.L.D. agents with Level 4 clearance reported to the Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. Superhero Science Analysis panel. Ostensibly, this was just another run-of-the-mill comic book panel, however once the doors were secured, the real reason we were here became apparent: it was a briefing on the scientific discoveries made through a project known as the “Avengers Initiative.” This scientific branch was given the code name S.T.A.T.I.O.N. or Scientific Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network.
If there’s one thing we do know about SHIELD, it’s that they have the resources to amass some of the greatest minds our country has to offer, and that’s exactly who sat before me on the dais: Dr. Phil Plait writer of Bad Astronomy led the team, Preston Dyches and Randii Wessen from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory provided insight into the physical science of the advanced technology used by the Avengers while Ricardo Gil da Costa, from Neuroverse, and Sebastian Alvarado, from Thwacke outlined the biological modifications the Avengers appear to have undergone.
No time was wasted and the debriefing immediately jumped into the first Avenger, Captain America. The team explained how the serum primarily affected Steve Rogers on an epigenetic level–how his genes are expressed with relation to their environment–rather than a genetic level. This implies that he is, in fact, still human and not a mutant.
The major change resultant from the serum is an increased conductivity in his neural pathways which manifests in increased reflexes as well as a heightened level of empathy. However, Rogers has denied efforts to run a complete study on the extent of the modifications.
Then, the panel compared Captain America’s transformation to that of The Hulk and all appeared to disapprove of Dr. Banner’s reckless use of Gamma Radiation; describing him as “incredibly lucky.” Agents were strongly discouraged from attempting to replicate the procedure.
However, da Costa and Alvarado excitedly outlined the extensive morphological changes Dr. Banner undergoes every time he transforms into The Hulk: the limbic system engorges while the prefrontal cortex shrinks, hindering his scientific objectivity and rationality while increasing his impulsivity.
Again, as a true display of the machinery at S.H.I.E.L.D.’s disposal, the team discerned the makeup of Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir, using the world’s only truck-sized accelerator mass spectrometer. The hammer contained some iron 60; an isotope of iron only produced in supernova which indicates it may be made of either white dwarf or neutron star material. However, in order to narrow down the hammer’s full makeup, further testing is needed.
Furthermore, based on limited observations of the hammer in New York, it appears that Thor’s hammer has a deep, fundamental connection to all four of the fundamental forces of the universe–implying it is a physical manifestation of the Grand Unified Theory.
Any additional analysis was impossible as no one on the team could lift the hammer and Loki has since left Earth.
Unlike Mjölnir, Iron Man’s suit isn’t actually iron, but a variety of alloys (which the team determined based on studying the “Warmachine” model rather than the Iron Man suit itself.) The suit appears to powered by a small, round arc reactor which the team suspected employed a tokamak design paired with low-temperature fusion.
However, Mr. Stark has not allowed S.H.I.E.L.D. access to the reactor or any designs which could elaborate on the underlying function of the device.
Then, finally, the Dr. Plait mentioned the thing that has haunted many a New Yorker’s dreams as of late: The Tesseract. This is what all of the subterfuge was for; answers to the questions posed on that afternoon in New York when we were invaded and our wold changed forever.
But, to be honest, S.H.I.E.L.D. was elusive as ever.
The research team outlined what it had determined so far:
It’s an alien artifact.
It’s a cube.
It appears to be a very potent source of energy.
There was some heated discussion amongst the panel over two possible theories for the device. The device is not a battery, as it increased it’s power output over time which implies that the Tesseract somehow pulls energy out of space, either from curled dimensions or from quantum foam.
However, the team agreed the only way to differentiate between the theories is for another event on the scale of the events in New York to occur–after a tense second or two I was thankful to hear the team discounted that as a viable option.
One of the West Coast Agents posited the distinctive blue glow could be attributed to Cherenkov Radiation (particles moving faster than the speed of light within a material produce an optical shockwave that appears to be a blue haze) however, the team concluded the Tesseract’s energy production spans a range of frequencies which indicate the full process is likely more complex.
And, with that, the debriefing was over and we were instructed to maintain the strictest confidentiality during the rest of our convention attendance. As quickly as it all began, it was over.
What did we really learn? That we need more answers. It was surprising to note the limited access the scientists had to both the Avengers team and their respective weapons, either by S.H.I.E.L.D. or by the Avengers directly and I can only conclude that this level of secrecy is hiding some deeper conspiracy that could, quite possibly be related to the HYDRA infiltration.
So, although I left the debriefing with more questions than answers, I hope the curtain has been pulled back on this secretive organization and I encourage everyone to investigate the S.T.A.T.I.O.N. base in New York and demand more transparency from S.H.I.E.L.D. For those unable to infiltrate the New York base, I encourage you to examine the facts on the S.T.A.T.I.O.N. website in order to establish the truth behind the Avengers Initiative and monitor S.H.I.E.L.D.’s covert transmissions in the event another attack occurs.