1012: Wrong Superhero

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 01:19, 9 January 2024 by (talk) (Explanation: removed redundant text)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search
Wrong Superhero
Hi! Someone call for me? I'm a superhero who specializes in the study of God's creation of Man in the Book of Genesi-- HOLY SHIT A GIANT BUG!
Title text: Hi! Someone call for me? I'm a superhero who specializes in the study of God's creation of Man in the Book of Genesi-- HOLY SHIT A GIANT BUG!


This is the second of the two comics in the series about the Etymology-Man. The first came two comics before with 1010: Etymology-Man.

The superhero, Etymology-Man, returns. And just like in his first appearance, Etymology-Man is explaining the origination of words instead of actually helping. Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time.

In this comic, a group of scientists is in a lab, fighting off a giant mantis and some smaller mantises (which are nonetheless much larger than a typical praying mantis. Compared to the size of the people in this comic, the smaller mantises appear to be 8-12 inches long). One Cueball is firing a gun and Ponytail is brandishing a baseball bat, while the giant mantis grabs one Cueball by the leg, dangling him upside down. Behind the table, another Cueball is listening to Etymology Man speak. The joke here is that the scientists called the wrong hero for help. They instead wanted Entomology-Man. Entomology is the study of insects. Instead of calling Entomology-Man, who could probably help with fighting off the mantises, they have accidentally called Etymology-Man, due to the similarities in their names. Etymology-Man can only explain the origin of words, making him useless in this current situation.

In the title text, we find out the scientists accidentally call another superhero focused on Adam in the Biblical book of Genesis. This is probably Adam-ology-Man, a pun on Etymology-Man, but might be Etiology-Man (the study of causation and attribution), Ontology-Man (the study of being and existence), Ethology-Man (the study of human character, with a focus on its formation and evolution). Or perhaps Anthropology-Man or Anthropogeny-Man.


[A giant praying mantis attacks a team of scientists, along with its legion of smaller-but-still-unusually-large mantises. Two of the scientists fight back, with a gun and a baseball bat respectively, while a third is in the mantis' clutches, held aloft by his foot, his goggles falling off his face. Bullets whiz by the giant mantis' head and a fourth scientist hides behind a desk, on which rests a microscope and an Erlenmeyer flask. A man in a cape approaches the hiding scientist.]
Etymology-man: Ah, no—you wanted ENTOmology-Man, spelled with an "N". See, it's from the Greek entomon, meaning "insect," which is itself the neuter form of entomos, meaning "segmented" or...

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


Maybe they wanted to know what the plural form of mantis is, if more were to show up? Looks like a job for etymology man. Davidy22(talk) 14:30, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

So what is the title text referring too? 14:54, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

The title text is referring to Genesis 2:20: "And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field." In Biblical terms, this verse explains how all names of creatures (including praying mantises) came to be. Apparently Etymology-Man has studied this. -- Npsych (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

adam-ology make more sense than the other guesses173.245.56.65 07:48, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Didn't Portal 2 make a reference to giant mantises in one of cave johnson's prerecorded messages? maybe the comic is a bit of a reference to that. --Flamewolf (talk) 19:50, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

Maybe the title text is a pun on arthropodology[1] and (theological) anthropology[2]? 18:20, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

I suggest they asked for another hero fighting the mantis, but who came was "man-theology-man" (not manteology-man).

Perhaps the alt-text references Ethnology-Man? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnology

Ok, I'm making etymology man a minor character. Beanie (talk) 11:12, 13 May 2021 (UTC)

They should have called Eschatology Man, student of the book of Revelation. Eschatology is the study of stories about the end of the world. Nitpicking (talk) 01:57, 23 September 2021 (UTC)