Thanks to their first big-budget cinematic outing, Marvel Comics' band of genetically super-powered heroes, The X Men are reaching a wider audience than ever before. Their popularity stems from the fact that unlike many other superheroes (such as Superman) the X Men are very human, and their powerful abilities result from a genetic mutation in their cells blessing them with all manner of devastating powers. Cyclops can fire laser blasts from his eyes, Storm can command the weather and disable opponents with a lethal lightning bolt and the group's wheelchair bound leader Professer X has an array of telepathic and telekinetic tricks up his sleeve. It is these powers that form the basis of this scientific exploration of the theories behind the group's powers.
Taking each character as its starting point the authors use a combination of hard fact and speculation to look beyond the fiction and examine the scientific principles of the X Mens' abilities and ponder if they could ever become science-reality. The prose is accessible and light, providing simple explanations and theories and a short background is provided on each character, both goodies and baddies. There is also a small section on the technology employed by the mutants' in their fight for justice.
X-Men fans will find this a diverting read and it is always fun to entertain the possibility that super powers, such as Magneto's ability to create magnetic forces, are not so out of our grasp as we dreamed when we were children. Those looking for a hard science reference work had better look elsewhere as this serves as a mere starting point for some complex theories and scientific principles. [via]