|Pre-New 52 Superman|
|New 52 Superman|
1. The carton from Primer
|Time travel mechanism in Primer|
2. The Time-Turner from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 5
3. The Cosmic Treadmill from The Flash comics 7
|The Cosmic Treadmill, The Flash v1 #139|
However, the Cosmic Treadmill falls within the purview of the second Flash, Barry Allen. In issue #120 of his tenure, Barry Allen and Kid Flash Wally West get thrown millions of years into the past by the an errant earthquake. In order to get back to the present, the two of them duplicate the vibration of the earthquake. Some time later, in issue #125, Allen and West have to travel through time again to repel the invasion of aliens. The former has to go forward in time, while the latter needs to travel into the past. However, given the seriousness of the situation, they must be able to travel precisely to those specific points in time. Barry Allen comes up with a special treadmill which uses cosmic rays (no, seriously, cosmic rays) to send the user forwards or backwards in time, by running on the Cosmic Treadmill at super speed forwards or backwards respectively. Time travel is achieved instantaneously, although there is catch, and that is one of the two reasons why this features in this post. While the Treadmill allows the speedster to travel through time, it also sets up internal vibrations within the body of the user, which he has to then maintain in order to stay in the different time period. I can only speculate if John Broome came up with this idea by likening Treadmill time travel to the user stretching a rubber band, and then having to keep the “temporal rubber band” stretched in order to remain in a foreign time. Alternatively, one could liken a speedster who has travelled through time as being in an excited state 8, and his base, or home, time period being the ground state.
The second reason why this features in this post? Why, it is a friggin’ treadmill, for Emmett’s sake. A treadmill time machine! How zanier can you get?
Thus ends the first part of this post. I’m not sure at this point how many parts will follow, but if asked to guess, I’d say 1-3, making this a probably three-part post. I’ll put up the links to the next parts as and when I publish them.
- Technically, Bellamy’s book is not about time travel in the way we are familiar. In the book, the protagonist, Julian West, falls into a deep hypnosis-induced sleep near the end of the nineteenth century and wakes up 113 years later in the same place, Boston, in the year 2000. ↩
- Unsurprisingly, the Flash (Barry Allen) was to blame for the mishap. Spoiler alert for the link though. ↩
- There is a good reason why I am not calling it a box, although that is essentially what it is. The word box will feature rather prominently down the line, and this is just to prevent confusion. ↩
- To be honest, I’ve never actually watched the movie. My understanding of the way time travel works in the movie is completely and exclusively gleaned from graphic. So, if the graphic does not accurately portray the mechanism in the movie, I am lost. ↩
- I had completely forgotten about the Time-Turner. Thanks to Purbita Chowdhury, a die-hard Harry Potter fan and connoisseur, for reminding me of it. ↩
- In the book, Hermione and Harry are transported to a broom closet off the Entrance Hall while simultaneously travelling back in time too. ↩
- Not Flash Gordon. The Flash, a character in DC comics. ↩
- The physics concept, related to energy levels. ↩