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Life Imitates Comic Book?

Posted by Joshua Glenn  September 19, 2007 10:38 AM

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Mystery illness strikes after meteorite hits Peruvian village! Peru blames supposed meteorite for strange illness that has left 200 sick! Scores ill in Peru meteor crash!

Or so we hear from ABC, the BBC, CBS, and other reliable sources.

The meteorite crater

FACT: An object from space said to be a meteorite reportedly plummeted to Earth over the weekend near the Andean town of Carancas.

FACT: Hundreds of people who visited the crater have been complaining of headaches, vomiting, and nausea after inhaling gases.

FACT: A team of scientists is on its way to the site to figure out what's going on.

FICTION: In the oversized 2003 graphic novel "JLA: Liberty and Justice," by Alex Ross (co-author and artist) and Paul Dini, a meteorite crashes somewhere in Central Africa. Entire villages take sick. A team of superheroes is sent to the site to figure out what's going on: the Justice League of America.

The Flash at the meteorite crater

Turns out that the meteorite carries extraterrestrial bacteria that's "parasitic in nature, highly adaptable to new environments, and capable of quick reproduction." Wonder Woman, The Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern, and the rest act quickly:


One can only hope that something along these lines is happening right now in Peru.

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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
Brainiac blogger Kevin Hartnett is a writer in Columbia, South Carolina. He can be reached here.

Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.

Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.

Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.

Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.

Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."

Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.

Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.


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