It's a debate that will never be settled; it's a debate nearly as old as time itself. Around these parts, you won't have to go too far to hear someone ask, "Marvel or DC?" In a matter of days, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will appear in Cosmos: Possible Worlds on National Geographic. We had already been talking to him about the acclaimed docuseries when we had to ask a question of the utmost scientific importance, "Is Marvel or DC more scientifically accurate?"
Tyson wasted no time at all in saying Marvel is "hands down" more scientifically accurate over its Burbank-based counterparts at DC Comics. "Oh yeah. No question. Oh, there's no question," Tyson says without skipping a beat. "Oh, it's obvious. Marvel wins that contest hands down over DC Comics if for no other reason that almost, minus Thor and maybe one or two others that I've lost track of, almost everyone with powers in Marvel Comics, those powers are derived from something scientific that happened to them."
The physicist adds, "Spider-Man. He's bitten while he's in a biology lab where there's a radioactive spider. There's the Hulk, who... it was gamma rays. Everybody's got a science-based story behind their superpowers, and that creates a fertile landscape that you can go back to if you need to. Plus, Banner was a medical doctor, for goodness' sake. So, this has value."
Shortly after that, Tyson wanted to point out he had no ill-will towards DC. In fact, the host reminded us he's officially a member of the DC Universe thanks to an appearance in Action Comics #14 (2012). "Action Comics #14," Tyson excitedly says.
"I am there. Superman wanted to use The Hayden Planetarium, of course, where I work, to observe the destruction of Krypton because the light from that explosion would just be reaching Earth around then," he continues. "That was the premise of that story and I had to just make sure that we were all on the same page."
The astrophysicist detailed he actually had an active hand in developing the particular issue, in hopes of making it accurate — or, as accurate as possible when dealing with an alien from Krypton. He adds, "I'm talking to the writer and I said, 'All right if that's the case, it means Superman got here through a wormhole because that's the only way he can beat the beam of light. I just want to make this clear,' So, I worked with them on the story just to try to keep the science a little bit up and up. But anyhow, that was very fun to meet Superman in the comic."
Tyson can next be seen in Cosmos: Possible Worlds, which debuts Monday on National Geographic at 8/7 p.m. Central.
Cover photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images