My comic book premier

By Phil Plait | April 25, 2007 8:06 pm

Months ago, I got an email from Gail Simone, a writer for DC comics. They had revived the old Atom comic book, about a guy who can shrink himself but keep his human strength. I remembered reading that when I was, um, younger! So that was cool.

She wrote to tell me that she liked including quotations from scientists, and wanted to know if she could use something I had written for the new comic book.

Well, duh.

I just got my copy in the mail. It actually came out a little while ago, but a comic book store in Illinois (Stand-Up Comics) had it. W00t!

Here is the page with my quotation on it:

(Click it for a higher-res version on Flickr).

And here is the quotation:

Does it sound familiar? No? Then try this on for size!

So let’s see. I have a secret identity (well, until May when I leave my current job). I have a series of goofy, bumbling nemeses. I have been known to wear underwear and a cape in public. And I’m now in a comic book.

Yup. No use denying it. I’m a superhero.

PZ, you doubted me? Now you will feel my wrath!

Wait, that’s what an arch-villain would say. Nuts. Well, I’m new at this. Give me time.

Will Our Hero ever get used to his new super-role? Will unreason, illogic, and bad thinking destroy civilization and the Earth as we know it? Stay tuned to this blog, Same Bad Time, Same Bad Channel!


Comments (27)

  1. Rob

    This is cool. What is your super power Phil?

    Let me guess:

    Able to disable hoaxers and wackos with a withering quote ūüėČ

    Able to turn astrologers into toads with a simple star chart…

    Hmmm, endless possibilities here.

    Of course the other key question is what is your super hero outfit??

    Enjoy your super hero status but remember to use your powers wisely and for good.

  2. llewelly

    Holy crepuscular rays, BadAstronomer!

  3. LostAngeles

    You’re going to have to join up with fowlsound and I to fight crime now. After we have the required misunderstanding and duke it out first, of course.

    BTW, it turns out the close up of your quote is just the right size to be an avatar…

  4. Stay tuned to this blog, Same Bad Time, Same Bad Channel!

    You shouldn’t set the bar for yourself so high; it’s going to be a long time before you’re able to top this particular pun.

  5. antaresrichard

    Dr. Phil Plait: Superhero! With the powers of the universe! The badast Bad Ast! Hoaxers beware!

  6. So much awesome and coolness.

    I’m jealous.

  7. I want an autographed Badastronomer action figure.

  8. AstroSmurf

    At first, I thought this was supposed to remind people of H.P. Lovecraft until I remembered that entry. Lovecraft probably never used the word “crepuscular”, but it’s right up his alley…

  9. Nigel Depledge

    Besides, H.P. Lovecraft would probably have put: “as the bright moon, entwined in the crepuscular rays converging at the anti-solar point, rose above the horizon, the awful knowledge of what hideous intelligence lurked upon its fair face drove the last remaining vestige of sanity from my horrified mind…”

    Only with more adjectives.

  10. The barber of civility

    Now see, I always knew you would become famous someday! The only problem is now you are well known only among the geeks and outcasts of society. Oh, well.

  11. Genesius

    C’mon, BA! How do you expect to write a book if you can’t tell the difference between “premier” and “premiere”? Or has being quoted in a comic book actually made you a head of state?


  12. Dunc

    Lovecraft would’ve described the moon as gibbous. The moon is always gibbous in Lovecraft stories.

  13. Tukla in Iowa

    Phil’s power is to bend minds, like how he made me think he was talking about “craptacular rays”.

    Or maybe I just need my morning caffeine.

  14. How cool is that to be immortalized in a comic book?

    A couple of weeks ago I discovered a Marvel comic from the early 1980’s that had a superhero who shared my name. I just had to blog about it.

  15. George

    Ah ha, it is the crepsucular rays that give Atom his corpuscular energy!

  16. MKR

    This post is made of a healthy mix of win and awesome.

  17. I have several mundane superpowers. The most useful is the uncanny ability to tell if a picture is hanging level or not on a wall (this is true). I am at least as accurate as a bubble level. Mrs. BA has learned to respect this particular power.

  18. John

    I think you take yourself too unseriously.

  19. Most bubble levels glows in the dark, do you glow in the dark?

  20. In thermal infrared, yes, quite brightly.

  21. Judging by your shirtless Skepdude calendar picture, I wouldn’t be surprised if you also glow in the visible light spectrum ūüėČ

    – Your fellow fair-skinned friend

  22. blizno

    I loved comic books long, long ago and The Atom was among my favorites. Even so I was disgusted when The Atom had to hide from a foe and shrank himself to subatomic size. He thought-explained to the readers that he could breathe because he was sitting on an oxygen atom (picture of super-hero perched on the nucleus with billiard-ball electrons zipping by overhead in circular orbits).

  23. This excites me.

    GRAPHIC NOVELS ARE ALL THE RAGE! Especially in nonfiction. I picked up several at the Book Expo and talked to some of the publishers. Get into it, Phil, as a supplement to your other writing. You could have your own educational/entertainment series. There are several good publishers and THEY ARE LOOKING FOR SUCH AS YOU. You, with your knowledge, your platform (platform is the main thing these days) and your ability to entertain.

    You can reach huge masses of people this way.

  24. Wanted to compliment on your site, it looks really good .


  25. icemith

    Phil, (or is it now SUPERPHIL?), do you have to change to your other personality in a phone box? Given the recent dearth of such facilities from vandalism, (I guess one could change even in a defunct phone box), don’t hold your breath searching for one!

    And don’t expect to find your street clothes still there on your return.



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