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View Full Version : How far back in time to be a superhero


Johnny Ecks
07-21-2017, 10:44 AM
I've invented a time machine. It's cool and all, but what I've always wanted is to be a chest-symbol and mask wearing superhero. Assume I'm trained in many crime fighting disciplines by the best modern methods, and in great shape. I can take back a very large amount of cargo, and I can acquire any publicly available goods I want, regardless of cost- so custom armored Lamborgini yes, machine gun no.

How far back do I have to go for my futuristic gadgets to make my dream a reality?

Arkcon
07-21-2017, 07:59 PM
Could there be a modern, portable, DNA kit that you take back to the time of Jack the Ripper's murders? You could be a sort of masked Sherlock Holmes, doing forensics, solving the crime, like Batman does in some of his comics.

Saltire
07-21-2017, 08:09 PM
Go back to about 400 BCE in the NE Mediterranean, and tell them your name is Hermes, son of Zeus.

cochrane
07-21-2017, 09:17 PM
Go back to about 400 BCE in the NE Mediterranean, and tell them your name is Hermes, son of Zeus.

"My name is Hermes. I have the power of a Level 34 beaureaucrat and can limbo my way through the tiniest of spaces."

DrDeth
07-21-2017, 09:48 PM
Well, titanium plate armor, a damascus steel sword and a modern pulley crossbow or bow would put you into Heroic status during the Bronze age.

They could knock your down and smother you but their weapons would have no effects and yours would go thru their armor like cardboard.

For a short period, modern kevlar plate armor, a jet pack and a semi-auto rifle would make you king of most battles until the late 19th century. However, a lucky hit from a .75 smoothbore could be dangerous.

smiling bandit
07-21-2017, 10:54 PM
Well, titanium plate armor, a damascus steel sword and a modern pulley crossbow or bow would put you into Heroic status during the Bronze age.

They could knock your down and smother you but their weapons would have no effects and yours would go thru their armor like cardboard.

I wouldn't be so sure. Bronze is a great material for armor; the difficulty is that it's expensive. Iron wasn't used because it was better - it was used because it was cheaper, and thus you could field larger armies for less cost. Unless you're as strong as an ox, you're not going to do that much better even with a very good sword. Stick with a bow.

DrDeth
07-22-2017, 12:49 AM
I wouldn't be so sure. Bronze is a great material for armor; the difficulty is that it's expensive. Iron wasn't used because it was better - it was used because it was cheaper, and thus you could field larger armies for less cost. Unless you're as strong as an ox, you're not going to do that much better even with a very good sword. Stick with a bow.

Yes, Bronze is decent as armor. But compared to titanium? A bronze sword will just bounce off not even leaving a scratch.

wintertime
07-22-2017, 04:28 AM
Yes, Bronze is decent as armor. But compared to titanium? A bronze sword will just bounce off not even leaving a scratch.

Armor doesn't cover the entire body, there are always gaps at the joints that can be exploited by a variety (http://www.salimbeti.com/micenei/weapons1.htm) of weapons (http://www.salimbeti.com/micenei/weapons2.htm) used (http://www.salimbeti.com/micenei/weapons3.htm) in the bronze age (http://www.salimbeti.com/micenei/weapons4.htm). And don't forget that having a steel sword and a modern cross bow isn't the same as knowing how to use them effectively. But even with a lot of training (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLE9lIvwXCE), you're an amateur (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DBmNVHTmNs) going up against professionals.

Also, a single man in combat can be overwhelmed easily enough by superior numbers, fatigue, heat stroke (you're bottled up in a metal case, after all) and a mishap.

Arkcon
07-22-2017, 06:25 AM
Stick with a bow.

You're sure of that are you? Yes, modern composite bows, with advanced string materials and pulleys are quite impressive. However, there were hired crossbowmen available to the French at Agincort, and for a variety of reasons*, they weren't a serious opposition to the English longbowmen.

*Many reasons are floated, many are argued against, many re-argued for:
bad weather damaged their strings, they were mercenaries and didn't care enough, there were too few, they weren't fielded because the French noblemen were too chivalrous, or want to ransom the English. Et cetera.

Half Man Half Wit
07-22-2017, 07:05 AM
Could there be a modern, portable, DNA kit that you take back to the time of Jack the Ripper's murders? You could be a sort of masked Sherlock Holmes, doing forensics, solving the crime, like Batman does in some of his comics.But how would you convince people of what your gadgets say? Anybody can claim that a doodad going 'ding' means that the butler did it, but that claim doesn't really hold any water absent a general understanding of what that 'ding' means...

Banksiaman
07-22-2017, 10:14 AM
By all means wear the red underpants and a beach towel, but who are the baddies? Super-herodom is defined by its relationship to what we regard as evil, but you run the risk of just being a super-bully doing the grunt work of some odious form of power, whether its the Church, Roman god-emperor cult or monarchical class system.

I'd much rather see you take cases of penicillin, pain killers and basic antiseptic and label yourslef as a witchdoctor /wizard / shaman w ho got results.

The thread reminds me of Twain's Connecticut Yankee, and the horrific atrocities that modern men considered themselves capable of doing.

The Other Waldo Pepper
07-22-2017, 11:07 AM
I've invented a time machine. It's cool and all, but what I've always wanted is to be a chest-symbol and mask wearing superhero. Assume I'm trained in many crime fighting disciplines by the best modern methods, and in great shape. I can take back a very large amount of cargo, and I can acquire any publicly available goods I want, regardless of cost- so custom armored Lamborgini yes, machine gun no.

How far back do I have to go for my futuristic gadgets to make my dream a reality?

You say you've invented a time machine, so -- you're good now, right? Find out a day too late about a crime, and then show up beforehand: to handle it personally, after setting up some cameras; or to get photographed shaking hands with the cops who just caught a guy in the act thanks to your tip. "Thanks again, Caped Wonder!"

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
07-22-2017, 11:28 AM
Most of the equipment used by Doc Savage, Man of Bronze, and by his villains, is readily available, often over the counter & ready to go, today.

wintertime
07-22-2017, 12:32 PM
You say you've invented a time machine, so -- you're good now, right? Find out a day too late about a crime, and then show up beforehand: to handle it personally, after setting up some cameras; or to get photographed shaking hands with the cops who just caught a guy in the act thanks to your tip. "Thanks again, Caped Wonder!"

Ah, but that won't work in a fixed timeline. History doesn't show him being photographed while shaking hands with a cop, so he will not have done that. He can only achieve in the past what happened.

Worse, he has not been visited by his future self that will have already tried out the machine. Why not? This is quite ominous.

Is it possible that he is totally wrong about the function of his machine, or can he use it just once, or is he going to be rendered incapable of visiting himself before he can to do that, or can't he visit a time when he is around?

What could be the reason for his absence? The range to this the answer reaches from his own immediate demise by using the machine to the destruction of the entire universe - or his/its future by creating a time loop.

Of course, he could have also simply wandered into another universe - which means that he is one of the infinite himselfs that was never visited by one of his infinite selfs (in contrast to the infinite selfs that have been visited by his infinite selfs).

smiling bandit
07-22-2017, 11:33 PM
You're sure of that are you? Yes, modern composite bows, with advanced string materials and pulleys are quite impressive. However, there were hired crossbowmen available to the French at Agincort, and for a variety of reasons*, they weren't a serious opposition to the English longbowmen.

Sure, but if you're fighting against Bronze-age warriors, then having superior armor and a good bow will go a very long way, while exposing you to a lot less danger from being overwhelmed. I don't recommend using time travel to bully hoplites, though. :D

Trinopus
07-23-2017, 01:35 PM
I'd say you'd have to go back to prehistorical times to be a real "superhero." Taking over a smallish tribe of hunter-gatherers wouldn't be easy, exactly, but it could be done, and, once done, it would stick. From then on, you could pretty much coast.

Working with Sparta or Athens, you'd want to integrate yourself into their system. Become a Warrior Hero...but with their army backing you up, screening you from the enemy.

One (I think) really, really, really important first step: learn the language! If you show up speaking "barbarian," you're gonna go nowhere with 'em.

MrDibble
07-23-2017, 03:38 PM
Well, titanium plate armor, a damascus steel sword and a modern pulley crossbow or bow would put you into Heroic status during the Bronze age.

They could knock your down and smother you but their weapons would have no effects and yours would go thru their armor like cardboard.
Titanium armour isn't going to do jack against a bronze mace to the head. Concussion is concussion.

DrDeth
07-23-2017, 07:13 PM
Most of the equipment used by Doc Savage, Man of Bronze, and by his villains, is readily available, often over the counter & ready to go, today.

His full auto sleepy needle guns, that never cause a overdose?

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
07-23-2017, 08:40 PM
His full auto sleepy needle guns, that never cause a overdose?

Well, no, not those.