Comic book publishers such as Marvel and DC have been using the science of molecular alteration to transform humans into super heroes who have powers to do good deeds in the world as a popular narrative device since their publications began.
Characters such as the Incredible Hulk are given backstories which see them as unwitting subjects to scientific experiments which leave them with some super human ability or involved in some form of accident which has the same resultant effect.
This is an example of the way in which the science and science fiction surrounding ‘life’ are used to communicate ideas about the role that humans (with the aid of science) can be responsible for manipulating and creating life.
In these comics, unlike in some of the classic literature we explore this month, this process demonstrably produces superheroes who have a positive effect on the world. Examples such as these add to the continuing debate about just how much agency humans should be given in the science of molecular structuring and what this means to life on Earth.
Watch the trailer for the 2008 film adaptation of The Incredible Hulk: