Wacky power #13 – X-ray vision

by | Jul 23, 2008 | Humor, Wacky Powers | 4 comments

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t like Daredevil’s radar sense penetrating solid objects. Now, don’t get me wrong, if we are in fact dealing with electromagnetic waves (such as light, microwaves – i.e. radar – or radiowaves) they all display various properties depending on wavelength, and radiowaves do penetrate walls. They also penetrate people. So… Yeah, I’m sure you get my point.

I guess what I don’t like about it is this “have your cake and eat it too” aspect. The radar penetrates something very dense (brick wall) to then be reflected off of something less dense (a person), a signal which then once again comes back through the brick wall. This is a little nutty to me. The other part of the reason I don’t like it is because it’s completely unnecessary. Most of what he does with it, which usually consists of locating people in other rooms, cold be handled perfectly well with his sense of hearing. In the pure physical sense, most body sounds – such as heartbeats, breath sounds and even intestines moving (yuck!) – are quite loud. The only problem for us mere mortals is that our hearing is very poor in that particular frequency range. To Matt, these sounds should be at the same level as a normal conversation (which, in the pure physical sense, they are) and thus easily audible through a normal wall. So please Daredevil writers, drop the X-ray vision radar! It’s silly and redundant.

However, this post wasn’t meant to be a rant, but a chance to illustrate one occasion where Daredevil’s radar comes across as unusually X-ray-like. I’d like to preface the picture below with a famous quote from a certain movie: “I see dead people.”

“None of this makes sense!” You got that right, Matt. The above is from issue #97, one of Gerry Conway’s last on the book, and part of the Dark Messiah storyline. Not only could Matt stand in for a proper X-ray machine in this panel, he obviously has the medical training to determine what constitutes an abnormal bone structure. I call wacky on this one!


  1. lilacsigil

    I bet he can hear Wolverine’s bones! And Matt would be awesome for listening to osteoarthritic knees, if he had a little training. Full X-Rays? Mmmm, maybe not!

  2. Christine

    See, I can actually think of quite a few medical tasks Matt would be good at. I’m sure he could be an excellent cardiologist (and there are apparently blind people with medical degrees, though it’s extremely rare). There are also dogs that can sniff for certain types of cancers, so that might be another thing he’d be good at. He should probably stay away from surgery though. I don’t think “I can sense the shape of your aorta, don’t worry” would help put my mind at ease. 😀

  3. lilacsigil

    I knew a 90% blind guy who became a vet, so it does happen – he ended up having to work with small animals and pets (who are brought to him) because he couldn’t drive out to farms by himself.

  4. Christine

    Wow, that’s pretty cool! One story I came across a while back was that of a totally blind medical student. He was pretty far along in his training too (to the point of seeing patients), which apparently went quite well. A lot of touching involved, presumably. 😉

    Generally though, it seems to me that if you see very little to nothing, medicine might not be the best field. The guy I read about still had to rely on other medical staff to do a lot of the routine things like looking at monitors and other things you probably need eyes for. On the other hand, it seemed like he wanted to be a psychiatrist (as far as I can recall), and that’s a different story then, after you get past the basic training. Still pretty cool.


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