Silver Age Tech Support: Better Living Through Alarmingly Violent Chemistry



Hello, and thank you for contacting the Will Magnus Institute of Super-Science, where we’re solving the complex death ray and robot-related problems of tomorrow… today! Here at the Institute, we’re dedicated to helping consumers with any minor issues they might have with our exciting line of super-scientific conveniences, including what we are legally required to refer to as “killer robots.” We understand that every problem is different, but our technicians are standing by to offer their expertise to help you get the most out of super-science. Keep in mind that trans-temporal calls may be monitored by the Linear Men for continuity assurance, and that Cosmic Treadmill delivery is only available Monday through Saturday. Space Taxi shipping is available on Sunday for a nominal fee.


PROBLEM: Attention, Caveman! You are receiving a transmission from… the future!

Specifically, I’m utilizing a trans-temporal communicator cobbled together from one of my spare time bubbles to reach you from what your limited perspective would identify as “the thirtieth century.” Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t bother with contacting a human, let alone a human that had barely discovered fire, as I possess a 12th-level intelligence that rarely requires any assistance. Still, I find myself in a unique situation into which you may be able to provide some limited insight.

In brief, the problem is thus: After perusing the experiments of one of my “peers” and finding them lacking, I advised him to reconsider a career in science in terms that I must confess may have come off a bit harsh.



In retribution for my actions–which I assure you were perfectly logical given the circumstances–this rogue science-criminal has set about poisoning the atmosphere of the homeworld of one of my colleagues with a chemical compound that you, with your childlike understanding of the workings of the universe, would most likely refer to as “smog.” Under normal circumstances I have no doubt that I would be able to counteract this misuse of science, but the planet in question is technologically stunted even by your standards.



Added to this is the fact that my laboratory equipment are not quite up to the standards with which I am comfortable.



Even with these somewhat major setbacks, I doubt the problem is insurmountable. I’ve already scavenged a bit of equipment from our ship, and thanks to the unique abilities of my colleagues–which include ocular radiation projection and magnetic field manipulation along with a working knowledge of the martial “arts” and the oh-so-useful bouncing–I can most likely replicate the effects of my laboratory equipment, though I still find myself stymied. Thus, I imagine that you, a “scientist” used to jabbing at things with sticks to explain why staring into the sun is an idea of considerably low merit, may be able to offer advice.

Querl Dox, alias Brainiac 5

Addendum: This question is not strictly based in the world of science, but do you have any advice on… er… the acquisition of and, ah, maintenance of good relations vis-a-vis personal interactions with… blondes? I ask not for myself, but for an acquaintance.


SOLUTION: So if I’m getting this right, “smog bad, science good” eh, QD?

Well, if there’s one thing I’ve learned as one of the most prolific roboticists of the 1960s, it’s that there’s no situation that can’t be improved with the addition of a good old-fashioned nuclear explosion!

As to generating one of those with the science of the middle ages, that’s a bit of a trickier problem, but if I may be allowed to quote the mission statement of the Thomas Wayne Memorial Criminology Scholarship, “the best friend of the scientist is karate.”

Simply outfit your martial artist with a standard Neutro-Glove (Product #AC362), bathe a few engine parts in radiation…



…and then have him smack them around with his Space-Karate until atomic fusion occurs.



After these simple steps, the rest of your solution should be fairly obvious. Plus, you’ll have introduce mankind’s deadliest weapon into a superstitious, pastoral community with no understanding whatsoever of science! Truly, it is the physicist’s greatest dream.

As to your “friend’s” question, Querl, my answer to that is simple. You like blondes? Just build yourself one! That’s what I did!

Regards to the future,
Dr. Will Magnus


For an in-depth transcript of this trouble ticket, please consult our archives.

17 thoughts on “Silver Age Tech Support: Better Living Through Alarmingly Violent Chemistry

  1. I like Karate Kid in p.2. “Dear Penthouse…I never…thought…this could…happen…to…me…”

  2. Couple of things spring to mind:
    To be a glass blower on Orando you must be an epileptic with hiccups.
    The phrase “I’ll point out his vital equipment and you fuse it…” would be hilarious if Brainiac pointed at his groin.
    The Neutro-glove is the greatest product ever. The Neutro-glove in the hands of a Space-Karate master could punch holes in Jesus.

  3. The Neutro-glove in the hands of a Space-Karate master could punch holes in Jesus.

    I hear a nail works just as well.

  4. “The best friend of the scientist is karate”

    This is the message that will be inscribed on my gravestone.

  5. You are, I trust, aware that Brainy did build himself a robo-Kara at one point?

    Warren Ellis should write the Legion.

  6. I love these. They need to be collected on their own site, I think, or possibly in book form, if only DC recognized awesome.