The DC Universe is famous for superheroes who can fly through the air, run faster than sound, bend steel with their bare hands and wield more powers than can fit in a single sentence. While, sadly, none of those are possible here in the real world, we do share one power with our beloved heroes: brainpower! When you combine superheroes and super smarts, you have the just-released middle grade graphic novel Flash Facts.
This collection of ten tales, curated by Dr. Mayim Bialik (yes, THAT Mayim Bialik) and created by a team of talented artists and writers, is designed to give young readers some rousing adventures starring their favorite DC heroes while teaching them something new about science and technology. Don’t let Barry Allen’s big grin on the colorful cover fool you. This book is packed with some serious science—okay, seriously fun science. Readers of all ages are guaranteed to learn something new.
Don’t believe us? Take a look below at just five amazing facts revealed in the pages of Flash Facts. Once the Flash and friends show you what makes science so super, you’ll want to share your new factoids with everyone you know…and then pick up the book to learn even more.
Animal hair and human hair look very different under a microscope.
You’ve settled in to watch your favorite television show about detectives. During the show, one peek under a microscope results in a declaration that the hair found at a crime scene belongs to a dog. How do they know? Is it just made-for-TV science?
No, and Barry Allen is eager to tell you why! The first chapter of Flash Facts is a guided tour through forensics led by scientist Barry Allen himself. When hair is viewed in a microscope, he explains, a thick dark strip in the middle of the strand makes it immediately recognizable as animal hair. These kinds of clues left at a crime scene are called trace evidence. Want to take a speed run through other kinds of evidence with Barry? You need more Flash Facts!
There’s a very real plant in Africa that can live for centuries—and it only has two leaves.
This one definitely sounds like something only Poison Ivy could create in her Gotham City lab, but there is an unusual plant on our Earth that can survive for hundreds of years. Welwitschia mirabilis is a plant that grows in the Namib Desert and lives by gathering moisture from the air. Its large leaves split apart as the plant grows, giving the impression of numerous cascading leaves. Welwitschia is often called a living fossil.
Keep an eye out for this one-of-a-kind plant in Flash Facts as botanist Poison Ivy explains DNA to three very curious listeners.
Fossil fuels are created from ancient plants, not dinosaurs.
Did you think the fossils in fossil fuels came from a Tyrannosaurus rex? So did we—and so did Barry Allen! That is until Green Lantern Jessica Cruz takes Barry on a tour of electrical power and how it’s generated in the real world. Millions of years of pressure and heat turn organic material into oil, coal and natural gas.
But how does that material get turned into energy that’s sent straight to your house? Find out more about fossil fuels, solar energy and wind power as Jessica searches for the source of a mysterious power outage.
NASA is planning a mission to Jupiter with a spacecraft called the Europa Clipper.
There might be alien life out there! We’re not talking about Martian Manhunter, Starfire, or Superman—although that would be super cool—but the possibility of microscopic organisms living right here in our own solar system. As Supergirl explores the solar system with a new friend in tow, she reveals some exciting NASA projects in development in the real world.
Europa Clipper is a planned mission to Europa, one of the 79 moons of Jupiter with a real chance at alien life just waiting to be found under its icy surface. A mission to Callisto and Io is also in the works, as well as a flyby of Saturn’s moon Titan, all on the hunt for extraterrestrial organisms. Let Supergirl tell you more about these endeavors and the future of space exploration in the fascinating pages of Flash Facts.
Batman just got a 3-D printer hooked up in the Batcave. Watch out, villains!
Okay, this fact might not be as serious (or real) as the others, but you’ll still learn a lot about the innovation of 3-D printing. Batman is always looking for new additions to his arsenal of cutting-edge technology, so naturally a 3-D printer fits right in inside the Batcave.
But the World’s Greatest Detective isn’t using his new tech to print wonderful toys or a custom cell phone case. (He could do that, though.) Batman uses his 3-D printer to fight crime! He explains its use to Plastic Man, who has more in common with a 3-D printer than you might think…
Find out more about all of these fun Flash Facts when you pick up this new DC graphic novel! It’s available now in bookstores, comic shops, libraries and as a digital graphic novel.
Kelly Knox writes about all-ages comics and animation for DCComics.com and her writing can also be seen on IGN, Nerdist, Geek & Sundry and more. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox to talk superheroes, comics and crafts.