STEM, the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, is an important field for all aspiring wunderkinds who want to change the world with new gadgets and scientific discovery. It’s also important for being super-powerful.
Was that corny? STEM organizations are encouraging young minds to get started in the field early, using Marvel superheroes as inspiration. It’s a good idea considering some of the biggest Marvel heroes got their powers either from science and engineering, or just being born with it. The latter is probably not the message STEM organizations want to send to kids, so they choose to focus on the fact that in the real-world, STEM is probably the best gateway into becoming your very own superhero. With that in mind, here is a compiled list of some of the best scientific and technological minds in Marvel that got their powers through science.
Here are the most prominent Marvel heroes leading the STEM charge in comics today.
Lunella Lafayette, aka Moon Girl
More commonly known as Moon Girl by her peers, Lunella is one of the smartest characters in the Marvel universe, which often has her daydreaming and fiddling away on inventions at school, as per usual with most geniuses.
Her story “begins” when on a routine scouting trip for alien technology, one of her inventions gets set off and she summons an alien dinosaur from a different dimension. Since then, she’s begun her own superhero journey as one half of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. As both a genius and an Inhuman, Lunella possesses an untold number of skills and strengths, but it’s her preexisting intellect that has made her public enemy #1 for the alien race known as the Kree.
Victor von Doom, aka Dr. Doom
Victor von Doom, commonly referred to as Dr. Doom and the sovereign ruler of Latveria. He is a constant second place to Reed Richards’s Mr. Fantastic when it comes to scientific skill and knowledge whose genius would probably be appreciated if he didn’t do dorky things like create custom computer coding software based around his own name.
Still, game recognizes game and Dr. Doom is one of the most technologically gifted characters in the Marvel Universe, as long as you ignore the fact that he names his robots DoomBots.
Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man
To be fair, Peter Parker got his powers from a spider bite, so it’s not like he created himself to be Spider-Man. However, after the accident left him super strong and super spidery, Parker did invent most of the outfits and gadgets that he uses on the day-to-day. Plus, he’s now CEO of his own Apple-like company that produces a bunch of revolutionary wearables, becoming the first successful person to mass-market smartwatches. That’s definitely something.
Tony Stark, aka Iron Man
Putting Tony Stark on this list is kind of unfair, but as the poster boy for STEM in the Marvel Universe, Stark sort of needs to be listed. After all, unlike some of the other members on this list who all have incredible powers, Stark built himself his own powers, first in a cave, then in a state-of-the-art lab. Pretty good turnaround.
Stark’s status as a gadageteering genius is well-known, however, he has on occasion demonstrated knowledge in fields like physics, genetics, chemistry, and mathematics. Basically a jack-of-all-trades.
Riri Williams, aka Ironheart
Of course, if anyone will be replacing Tony Stark, it’s Riri Williams, the certified genius 15-year-old attending MIT on a scholarship. In a moment of self-challenge, Riri decided to reverse engineer an Iron Man Suit (Model 41). Soon, she started developing her own modifications to the suit using materials she stole from campus. Eventually she was caught, but not before making an escape in the suit and catching the attention of the man himself, Tony Stark.
Impressed by her engineering abilities and the fact that she is one of the few people in the universe to ever successfully recreate the Iron Man armor, she was given his blessing in donning her own invention and becoming the new Iron Man (Ironheart).Photos via Natacha Bustos, Alex Maleev, Alex Ross, David Marquez, Mike Deodato, Marvel Comics