Can Marvel’s superheroes age despite head injuries and explosions? A new scientific paper investigates.

Is not? Well, a team of researchers in Australia did.

During a rigorous study period, the researchers used closing periods in 2020 and 2021 to look at the movie franchise. It’s for science, certainly not entertainment.

“I’m a single mom with 3 kids and last year, during COVID, we were looking for things we could do together so we started watching Marvel movies from start to finish.” , said lead author of the study Ruth E. Hubbard, President of Masonic. Geriatric Medicine at the University of Queensland in Australia, by email.

Then she saw a flyer in her hospital advertising a presentation she was giving in ailing condition with images of future hero years – looking overweight and confused. .

“I think it’s funny – but also a bit sad to present such a negative view of their future,” Hubbard said. “This got me thinking about how Superheroes can actually age and whether there are some lessons from my understanding of aging and frailty that can be applied to predict aging trajectories. theirs or not.”

The “research” is a bit of fun for the holiday season, but it also points to how our health behaviors affect our aging process, she adds.

The key message is that each of us has ‘power’ to influence how we age, says Hubbard. While uncontrollable factors such as genetics play an important role, factors people should focus on are regular exercise, social participation, a healthy diet, abstaining from smoking. , drink alcohol in moderation and avoid head injuries, she added.

Kenneth Lam, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco, the paper doesn’t exactly offer “a quick and enjoyable read for the interested reader just thinking about aging,” says Dr. Lam is not affiliated with the article.

For our Marvel newbies, the researchers ruled out any major, spoiler-worthy events that could affect their aging (wink, wink, fan). Here are 5 of the many things Marvel characters have done and against them as they have aged:

Iron Man

Some good news for “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist” is that a lot of it works in his favor.

& # 39;  Hawkeye & # 39;  miss the mark with the opening that introduces Kate Bishop

His socioeconomic position and urban residency give him better access to health care, while his high intelligence reduces his risk of dementia.

It’s a good thing he gave up his playboy lifestyle for Pepper Potts, because such a close relationship is such a positive sign of his aging, the study says. .

Then there’s PTSD, radiation exposure, changes in gravity, and multiple traumas that increase his potential for rapid bone loss and malignancy — not to mention his chronic heart disease.

Black Panther

T’Challa has a lot going for him. As the sovereign of the most economically and technologically advanced nation in the world, he has special access to the education and wealth that comes with healthy aging, the study says. .

The study said that Wakandan people are also vegetarians and that a plant-based diet is associated with “reduced obesity and cardiovascular diseases”.

Speaking of plants, it’s hard to say that taking a medicine made from the heart herb is an advantage or a disadvantage, the researchers say. The concoction improved his mental and physical abilities, but the performance-enhancing drugs had many adverse health effects.

Black Widow

Unfortunately, Natasha Romanov doesn’t seem to have much for her when it comes to healthy aging.

Some (many) TV shows and movies coming to Disney+ in 2022

Trained as an assassin and spy since childhood, she has faced a lot of abuse, neglect and conflict since childhood. She also underwent a forced sterilization, and the sudden disruption of ovarian function at a young age has been linked to many illnesses, the study said.

Overall, these factors put her at high risk for many health complications.

The Hulk

Things are also looking bad for Bruce Banner.

The big green guy shows up as his heart rate goes up, and it happens a lot. This suggests he may have an underlying heart condition.

He also has a high BMI, which raises concerns about his chronic health condition and whether he can get health care to meet his specific needs.

Anger can also increase old age, and – as he himself said – he is always angry.


One of Peter Parker’s greatest assets is the people around him, researchers say.

Despite being an orphan, which can have adverse outcomes, Spider-Man has a nurturing relationship with his aunt May and positive, supportive male role models in heroic men. most on earth — and finally the other planets.

Peter Parker is in a troubled universe in & # 39;  Spider-Man: No Way Home & # 39;  intro video

His strength, flexibility and agility used in his crime fighting is also an advantage. But he does most of his heroic acts at night, which has raised concerns among researchers as to whether he’s getting the recommended eight to 10 hours of sleep a night, something experts say. teenager like he needs to be, the study said.

Marvel superheroes have taken on many important tasks, such as maintaining the safety of the multiverse and creating artificial intelligence. Perhaps their next feat to benefit humanity is figuring out how to deliver high-quality health and social care to large populations, the study suggests.

“This will allow people across the multiverse, including superheroes, to experience a high quality of life in old age,” the authors write.


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