Fusion in Spider Man II

Posted by Rezwan Razani on Sep 16, 2011 at 08:50 PM
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Author: Marvel

Fusion in the movies typically involves disaster.  The disaster comes either from attempts by evil government/corporate forces to suppress an innovation (e.g., “Chain Reaction”, “The Saint”), or the fusion itself is dangerous and the scientist who makes it is mad, as in Spider-Man II.

Spider-Man 2 is particularly hilarious in its portrayal of Fusion.  In order to work with the reactor, Doc Ock has this scary mechanical multi-limbed device fused into his spine. This gives him new arms (“actuators”) which are, miraculously, impervious to heat or magnetism. This is important, because the Doc literally handles a miniature sun that’s burning in the middle of this magnetic field. Cool special FX! 

On the bright side, the movie gets some of the fusion FAQs straight.  Tritium is a big part of Deuterium-Tritium fusion, and it can, indeed, glow green. And it’s super expensive.  As for the casual handling of the substance, you tell me. 

Here is some dialogue from the best picture of 2004:

The day before the actual experiment, Doctor Octavius and Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man) meet and discuss fusion. This dialog starts when Peter sees the reactor (dialog transcribed from DVD, Marvel Comics/Sony/Columbia):

Peter Parker: So…is that it?

Dr. Octavius: Yes. My design to initiate and sustain fusion.

PP: I understand you use harmonics of atomic frequencies.

DO: Sympathetic Frequencies.

PP: Harmonic Reinforcement?

DO: ...go on…

PP: An exponential increase in energy output!

DO: A huge amount of energy - like a perpetual sun providing renewable power for the whole world!

Cut to: Peter and Octavius having lunch with Octavius’ wife:

PP: Are you sure you can stabilize the fusion reactor?

DO: Peter, what have we been talking about for the last hour and a half? This is my life’s work. I certainly know the consequences of the slightest miscalculation.

PP: I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to question you.

DO: (To wife) Rosie, our new friend thinks I’m going to blow up the city.

Rosie: You can sleep soundly tonight. Otto’s done his homework.

In this scene we see that Peter Parker is too polite to be a scientist, since questioning other scientists is a big part of the “Scientific Method.” Oh well, the guy’s a bug. What do you expect?

Don’t forget the theme song, “Vindicated” by Dashboard Confessional, featuring the lyrics:

Hope, dangles on a string, like slow spinning redemption

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