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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 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.
Johns Hopkins University Press
Zehr applies his specialised knowledge to quantify how an ordinary person could turn themselves into Batman.
— Bradford W. Wright, author of Comic Book Nation
— Grant Morrison
The author maintains a humorous and enjoyable tone throughout this book while providing general audiences with proven scientific methods and useful facts about the resilience and limitations of the human body.
Two black-gloved thumbs way up!
What are the odds that an ordinary billionaire like Bruce Wayne could acquire the physique and hand-to-hand fighting skills to defeat supervillains? Zehr, a Canadian neuroscientist and martial arts black belt, looks at the science of the body's "capability to respond and adapt to... extremes." The author draws on Batman comics and movies to glean clues on how Wayne chiseled his body into a fighting machine. 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 hangs 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. Surprisingly, the discussion barely mentions the training of real-life people who need many of the same skills as Batman: special ops forces. Despite the book's strengths, readers may get the impression from the many exclamatory asides of an author still running around the house with a bedspread trailing behind him. 55 b&w illus. (Nov.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Foreword James Kakalios Kakalios, James
Pt. I Bat-Building Blocks: Exploring what Batman became by beginning where he started
Ch. 1 The "Before" Batman: How Buff Was Bruce? 3
Ch. 2 Guess Who's Coming for Dinner: Bruce's Twin Brother, Bob, and the Human Genome 11
Ch. 3 The Stress of Life: Holy Hormones, Batman! 30
Pt. II Basic Batbody Training: Laying the foundation for Batman's physical prowess to be later exploited by his skill
Ch. 4 Gaining Strength and Power: Does the Bat That Flies the Highest or the Fastest Get the Worm? 45
Ch. 5 Building the Batbones: Brittle Is Bad, But Is Bigger Better? 64
Ch. 6 Batmetabolism: What's for Dinner on the Dark Knight Diet 76
Pt. III Training The Batbrain: Batman on the path to mastery of the martial arts
Ch. 7 From Bruce Wayne to Bruce Lee: Mastering Martial Moves in the Batcave 101
Ch. 8 Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting: But What Was Batman Doing? 123
Ch. 9 The Caped Crusader in Combat: Can You Kayo without Killing? 138
Pt. IV Batman in Action: Knight moves with Batman when he acts as the Caped Crusader
Ch. 10 Batman Bashes and Is Bashed by Bad Boys (and Girls): What Can He Break without Getting Broken? 161
Ch. 11 Hardening the Batbody: Can Sticks and Stones Break His Bones? 180
Ch. 12 Gotham by Twilight: Working the Knight Shift 199
Pt. V A Mixed Batbag: Pondering possible pitfalls along the path to bathood
Ch. 13 Injury and Recovery: How Much Banging until the Batback Goes Bonk? 219
Ch. 14 Battle of the Bats: Could Batgirl Beat Batman? 239
Ch. 15 The Aging Avenger: Could the Caped Crusader Become the Coped Codger? 247
Ch. 16 TheReign of the Bat: Can You Really Become Batman and Remain Batman? 260
Appendix Batman's Training Milestones 265
Posted June 16, 2012
Being a comicbook fan and in the medical field, I was excited to read this book. In my eye, it is a boring, dull read. Now, this would be great if you are taking a biology class because the detail to which the author goes into us obnoxius. The author will throw the word Batman in from time to time but he could easily be talking about any high performance athlete like Micheal Phelps or Bruce Lee. There are the comicbook refrences from time to time to make a loose connection between Batman and his yawn fest babble about cellular structure and the role it plays in muscle formation. I'll give it a 2.5 because the author does know what he is talking about. But I've taken Micro biology before and it was boring then...shame on you to drag Batman into it.
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Posted March 16, 2011
I'm a huge fan of Batman, and I've always wondered if being him was possible. This book is a great blend of entertainment and information. Zehr is a scientist and a martial artist with deep backgrounds in both. In addition, he's an ardent fan of Batman and it shows. He supports physiology with anecdotes and Batman history.
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Posted July 24, 2014
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Posted April 13, 2014
Posted January 9, 2014
Posted May 20, 2013
Posted April 9, 2013
This might actually work (unlike some of my other crazy ideasn that almost always turn against me) only i would probably be a 14 year old ninja living in a secret lair in the sewer with three other bros and a rat sensei and being relentlessly pursued by an evil guy who just so happens to be your sensei's old archnemesis a race of alien robots trying to get back their own dimension and a giant mutant dog ans fish. Sound familiar?
Post back if you know what it is.
Posted December 29, 2011
Posted July 2, 2011
Whenever people think of Batman it's always the gadgets and vehicles that come to mind. But there was so much more that Bruce Wayne had to do to mentally and physically to become the Dark Knight, as this book shows.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I have followed the caped crusader since before his 1989 movie debut and never looked back. The reason I have come to fancy batman is because of the probability of realism that the character invokes. This book demonstrates what it would take to make the journey from man to super hero.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 12, 2011
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Posted January 15, 2012
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