Funding Canceled Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on January 30, 2013.

Inspired by superheroes, this fun and fascinating book explores the revolutionary research that will help scientists save the world


The origins and abilities of superheroes are often inspired by science: Superman is fuelled by solar energy; Spider-man was bitten by a radioactive spider; the X-Men are the next stage of human evolution. But while fictional heroes regularly fight crime and alien invasions, they rarely solve the world's true problems -- challenges such as climate change and deadly diseases.

In this engaging and entertaining book, the author uses ideas from comics and movies to explore the science that could save the world. During this tour of cutting-edge research, he meets the scientists behind ambitious projects such as making fuel from sunlight (like Superman) and tackles controversial topics such as what the X-Men reveal about the future of humanity.

This book is aimed at anyone who's interested in science or superheroes -- you won't need a PhD in physics to understand it, and you won't need to be a comic fan to enjoy it. Although written mainly for an adult audience, the book will also be accessible to curious kids aged 12+.


Dr JV Chamary is a biologist and award-winning science journalist with a longtime love of comic books. He was previously a senior editor at Focus, the BBC's popular science magazine, where he wrote and commissioned articles on science and technology (check out my Kickstarter profile for more info, and read articles on my website for some examples of my writing).


UPDATE: Your name will appear in the acknowledgments section of the printed book if you pledge £25 or more.

As well as the book, I've designed the rewards to let you show-off your support for science and superheroes. These include: 

  • £15 ($25) Paperback with a limited edition bookplate signed by the author
  • £25 ($40) T-shirt with the Superpowers chemical symbol logo (plus book)

Shipping is included to anywhere in the world. For one book, £15 will just about cover the cost of the book and postage & packaging, so a bit more will be much appreciated. NOTE: Different rewards (books, t-shirts etc) might be sent separately. Add £10 for each additional t-shirt or book.


    Our society's fascination with superheroes is a fun way to get people excited about science, and I believe so strongly in this approach that I'm dedicating all my time to writing the book. Your pledges will be used to produce the rewards and the remainder will be used to let me to concentrate on writing without worrying about taking on extra work to recoup my travel expenses.

    The book will be published in June/July OR November/December 2013, depending on whether the book is self-published or released by a traditional publisher (I've been offered a book deal). I'll reveal the plan before the end of this campaign. Publishing in June/July would coincide with Superman's 75th anniversary and the Man of Steel movie, but I can only consider this option if we far exceed the funding target, in which case your pledges would then contribute to production costs (editing and design etc).

    NOTE: If we don't reach the £5,000 goal, you won't lose money, but you also won't receive rewards. So if you love science or comics, support my project!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

After five years as a journalist for a monthly magazine, I'm used to meeting deadlines. So far I've interviewed nearly every scientist and have written a quarter of the text. I'm aiming to finish a first draft by late February to allow several months for editing, fact-checking, formatting and printing.

NOTE: If the book is released by a traditional publisher, you'll receive the paperback in November or December 2013, and all other rewards by July.


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    IRON: For supporting disruptive technology and entrepreneurialism, you get special stickers, an illustrated postcard signed by the author, plus his heartfelt thanks. All pledges over £3 ($5) receive these rewards.

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    ADAMANTIUM: For strengthening the skeleton of popular science, you get: 1) Paperback copy of the book; 2) Your name immortalized in a thank-you page on the author's website; 3) Exclusive Adamantium bookplate, personally signed by the author

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    10 backers

    CARBONADIUM: For supporting a flexible approach to funding, you get: 1) Book; 2) T-shirt emblazoned with the Superpowers logo; 3) Name-check on the site; 4) Adamantium bookplate; 5) Variant edition Carbonadium postcard and stickers.

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    VIBRANIUM: For helping produce an absorbing science story, you get: 1) Personalized book with a sketch of your favorite superhero, drawn by the author; 2) Two T-shirts, one with the logo and the other with a surprise design; 3) Your name printed in the book's acknowledgements section; 4) Limited edition Vibranium bookplate, postcard and stickers.

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    ANTI-METAL: For helping produce a book that resonates with readers, you get: 1) Personalized book; 2) Two t-shirts; 3) Name in the book; 4) Article dedicated to you on the author's site; 5) Skype chat or phone call from the author to personally thank you for your support, and to talk about science and comics; 6) Limited edition Anti-Metal (Vibranium isotope) bookplate, postcard and stickers.

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    URU: For giving a gift from the gods, you get: 1) Personalized book; 2) Two T-shirts; 3) Name in the book; 4) One-of-a-kind Uru bookplate; 5) A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE. The author will spend a day with you to hammer-out details of an article on your favorite hero or superpower. Please add £500 toward travel expenses if you live outside the UK (reward only available to residents of Midgard).

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Funding period

- (26 days)