Daredevil #28 (vol 1), by Stan Lee and Gene Colan has already been a source of ridicule on this blog. In fact, we even saw Matt Murdock himself joke about it just a few months ago when he’s visited by an alien in Daredevil #30. It was his trip to Carter College to lecture about the legal status of aliens that caused his more modern incarnation to comment “I can’t swear I was entirely sober, even.” That would really explain a thing or two, as this issue is set at the beginning of the infamous Mike Murdock era which sees Matt pretending to be his own purely fictional identical twin in order to cover up at secret identity snafu.
As already mentioned, I’ve had reason to poke fun at this issue before (see the first link above for more references), but it continues to be a fantastic source of Silver Age madness. One that recently got my attention was the aliens’ use of a seemingly nonsensical unit of measurement: the “nomameter.”
The first time the aliens use the term, above, I didn’t think much of it though. Different worlds, different customs, different units of measurement. That kind of thing. Sure, it was odd to see something ending in “meter” refer to a unit of time, but hey, maybe it’s like the opposite of “lightyear” (which sounds like a unit of time, but actually measures distance). Perhaps a nomameter is the time it takes a “noma” (whatever that might be) to travel one meter? Where I really started scratching my head was when reading the panel below.
“So sensitive is the machine, that… once frozen… it will take a thousand thousand nomameters to defrost it! And we cannot spare the time!”
How long is a nomameter anyway? And how come, if you’re sophisticated enough to succeed at intergalactic travel and building sight-stealing rays, your language has no concept of “one million”? And why can’t you spare the time? Are you running late to conquering some other planet?
The biggest plot hole of all, however, is that Daredevil himself was shot with the very same weapon earlier, and was frozen solid. He thawed out onboard the aliens’ space craft within the span of two pages! How about that? 😉
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