Scientists love to look closely at powers of superheroes and villains. Generally not in the spirit of criticism, but rather to have an entertaining time. But they are not the only ones to do so. If the power in question looks like some sport known, it is not uncommon for some of its practitioners to come to the fore to remember why what they do is too fanciful. That is precisely what the archer just did Patricia gonsalves, who has taken advantage of the success of Hawk Eye (Jonathan Igla, 2021) from Disney Plus, to highlight his ease of shooting with the bow.
He has done so in statements to Science focus and, in fact, more than in the series it has focused on what Marvel describes about the superhero in the comics. In any case, it is still a criticism by way of curiosity, like those of scientists.
And it is that, although Clint barton It does not have any super power, it is supposed to have a special bow, so it is clear that it will be better than a real one. But let’s forget that for a moment. Suppose it is a normal bow, like the one used by archers in competition. Why wouldn’t what the comics describe be possible?
The drawing weight of the ‘Hawkeye’ bow
According to Gonsalves, the first inconsistency related to the Hawkeye bow is that it does not have a drawing weight realistic. But what exactly is this?
To find out, let’s see roughly what the necessary physics consists of for a bow to shoot an arrow. To do this, we have to pull the string back, forming what is known as the bow drawing. In this movement accumulates elastic potential energy, which is then released suddenly, transforming into another type of energy, known as Kinetic energy, which intervenes in the movement of the arrow.
But not all bows are the same. Said very roughly, some are harder and some are softer. But the correct term is that they have a different drawing weight. That is, it changes the force that is needed to draw the arc. This parameter is measured in pounds and generally ranges between 30 and 70 pounds. Being more or less large will make it more or less easy to use, but it will also determine how powerful the shot will be. That is, at 70 pounds it takes more force to draw the bow fully, but the shot will be more powerful than with a 30-pound one.
And how much is the weight of the Hawkeye bow drawing? Well, neither more nor less than 250 pounds. Something very unrealistic, in the opinion of Gonsalves, who gives as an example the war bows found in the remains of the Mary Rose. It is a ship of the British army of King Henry VIII, from whose wreck more than 20,000 objects have been rescued, including some bows that in their day must have had a 180 pound drawing weight. In fact, the world record is held by the goalkeeper Mark Stretton and he did it with a bow of 200 pounds. Therefore, regarding the 250-pound bow devised by Marvel, the professional archer thinks that “to say that it is exaggerated would be an understatement.”
Too many arrows even for a Marvel superhero
The second point in which Gonsalves affects is the shooting speed Hawk Eye. Well, actually this criticism is based on an assumption, since neither the Marvel comics nor the Disney Plus series nor any of the films of The Avengers clarifies how many arrows Clint Barton can shoot in one minute. However, his shooting style is similar to that of his DC partner. Green Arrow, so we could compare it to him. In this case, we are facing a speed of 29 arrows fired in one minute. And that’s a lot.
Gonsalves explains that the average of most archers is around 12. He points out that his own record is at 21 and that a Danish archer named Lars Andersen is able to shoot 10 arrows in 4.9 seconds, so we would be in a 120 arrows per minute. However, it is capable of reaching these figures with a very light bow. Let’s remember the concept of drawing weight. The larger it is, the more powerful the shot will be, but also more complicated, as it will require more effort. So if we want to shoot fast, we need a low draw weight. At 250 pounds, according to the professional archer, it would be impossible.
The archer’s paradox
Finally, Gonsalves refers to the fact that both Hawk Eye like other archery superheroes have a brutal facility for aim and hit the target. It does not matter the distance or the weather. They hit it practically without looking where they are pointing.
In fact, we don’t even have to focus on superheroes. Just think about Robin Hood or Legolas, from The Lord of the rings, to understand that fiction has too much faith in the aim of archers.
And it is that in order to aim and hit the target it is important to take into account something known as the archer’s paradox. This is something that is seen if we record an arrow traveling towards its target in slow motion. At normal speed we sense that it is moving in a straight line. In fact, it would be logical to think about it. However, in slow motion we will see that there is nothing further from reality, because as it progresses oscillates and bends back and forth. This is because, when we release the bowstring, it stays in contact with the back of the arrow for a moment, so that it will try to move faster than the front, generating a turning movement.
On the other hand, although the arrows are built with rigid materials, they must have a certain flexibility forward and backward, allowing absorb the great shock of the rope release.
All of this is something that professional archers know and take into account when aiming. That is, if they want to hit the target, generally they don’t aim at the target. In addition, this is something for which factors such as the wind or the distance at which they are also take into account. Gonsalves explains it with some examples: “If I’m 20 feet away, I’m not going to aim for yellow. I’m going to aim around area 5, because if I aim in the middle, I’m going to hit area 10. The arrow is going to travel up because I’m so close, it doesn’t have time to finish its trip. But if I’m further away, I have to aim a little higher. There are many different factors that go into a shot. “
Therefore, shooting without aiming, as Hawkeye and other fictional characters do, could go well once, by chance, but not as many as we can see in their stories.
But we go back to business as usual. They are superheroes. As much as it does not have powers, it does not exist in real life either and the good thing about fiction is that someone can create a character as they see fit, regardless of reality. Hawkeye Cone clearly didn’t take it into account, but we don’t need them to. It’s fine as it is.