Sure, the brilliant men and women at S.T.A.R. Labs have been helping meta-humans figure out their physics-dismissing superpowers for decades, while perpetuating research and development throughout illimitable schools of bleeding edge technology. Their discoveries and creations have successfully saved man, and meta, far too many times to count, and we thank them for their exuberant, nearly ineffable altruism. BUT…not every experiment or theorized, scientific application is a life-changing, world saving event. In fact, and on occasion, things go wrong; horrendously, stupendously, and horrifically wrong.
Because these errors had a tendency to break reality, or turn teenagers into 75-foot monoliths initiating communication with aggressive alien species, most of these nearly catastrophic mistakes were immediately, and ingloriously, hidden…until now. After my 6 week internship at S.T.A.R. Labs, I felt the need to gut-punch the veil of military-supported secrecy and reveal the underside of unrestricted scientific meddling. Through my findings, and in the interest of easy reading, I’ve complied the following, digestible list revealing the 6 experiments S.T.A.R. Labs doesn’t want you to know about.
1. The Cosmic Treadmill Mark I.
(Sure, in the comics, Flash built it. However, the TV series origin will help deliver hilarity more effectively: the cosmic treadmill was constructed at S.T.A.R. Labs to allow Flash to travel through time.) However, the prototype, the very first attempt at a fully functioning Cosmic Treadmill, was a temperamental son of a b*tch.
The first test involved sending a team of volunteers a mere 17 seconds into the future. It resulted in a flash of light, and a collective loss of several limbs. Surprisingly, the limbs were discovered protruding from a water cooler and the back of a maintenance man…17 seconds later.
2. Fuchsia Kryptonite.
So, the good folks at S.T.A.R. Labs were working on a cure for Superman’s vulnerability to several forms of Kryptonite, invariably leading to a new type of hybridized Kryptonite designated “Fuchsia Sample Alpha.” For some reason, they believed subjecting Superman to controlled doses of this ‘super-Kryptonite’ would, in fact, grant Superman an accumulated immunity to any and all iterations of Kryptonite at some uncertain, unknowable future date.
Well, the only thing the F.S.A. fragment did was drive Superman bat-sh*t crazy. Seriously, the guy immediately proclaimed himself “The Kwizatz Haderach” and began burrowing underground at fantastic, completely indiscernible speeds. For 36 hours, the duration of the sanity-hobbling effects of F.S.A., Superman went about completing his new mission: to control the flow of spice, neutralize and besmirch the teachings of the Bene Gesserit, and restore Arrakis to its once green and noble state. Apparently, Superman was nearly finished reading the Dune series of novels (including the newer books co-written by Frank Herbert’s son) before subjecting himself to F.S.A. …and we all paid for it. Dearly.
3. That time they tried to clone Darskeid.
When Darkseid came barreling through a Boom Tube soon after legions of Parademons swarmed the Earth and met resistance in the form of future Justice Leaguers, he nearly beat the crap out of everything everywhere for all time. Thankfully, the somewhat fledgling heroes of the mostly derided New 52 universe got their collective super-sh*t together and forced Darkseid and his highly criticized concert tour back to their respective, hellish world-engine.
After the battle, S.T.A.R. Labs field agents procured plenty of Apokolips-based genetic samples, including thirteen inches of still-living tissue that USED to be three quarters of Darkeid’s septum until, well, Wonder Woman.
In an effort to better understand New God physiology, and to create effective deterrents against Darskseid or the infernal weapons indigenous to his strange, dark dimension, S.T.A.R. Labs decided to…uh…clone Darskseid.
Did they succeed? Yes. Kind of. Did we ever really need New Jersey? No, not really.
After the “Jersey Incident,” Darkseid V2, filled with inconsolable remorse and begging every charred cat carcass to wake up for “snug-hugs,” decided to take up residence in Pennsylvania where he immediately procured a job as tollbooth operator on the Pennsylvania turnpike. He’s pretty bad at counting change, and if you so much as bend your ticket, he’ll absolutely eviscerate you, your car, and 13 miles of the surrounding infrastructure with a healthy dose of Omega beams launched from…his left ear.
4. They genetically engineered a flying, cybernetic cat that killed 15 hot dog vendors in under 14 seconds.
Yes, the brilliant creators of what very obviously falls under “forbidden technology” decided to build a cat. That could fly. That could shoot lasers from its eyes, mouth, whiskers and anus. That had an insatiable appetite for hot dogs. To make a long story short, the cat got out, ate 15 tons of the available hot dogs at S.T.A.R. Labs and then…left S.T.A.R. Labs in search of more hot dogs. Who had them? Hot dog vendors. Did they resist? Unfortunately, yes, and the results were bloody with a side of relish.
Every May 15th, Keystone City observes 60 seconds of silence for those who fell in the service of those who like hot dogs. R.I.P. Bernie Brickston, Keystone city’s hot dog king!
What? Yes, Bee-Man. In the interest of reversing the ever dwindling populations of bees, and in an effort to better communicate with bees to instigate said population increase, the always thoughtful, and sometimes morally ambiguous scientists at S.T.A.R. Labs decided to create a 4-foot tall human/bee hybrid.
Initially, it worked. Bee-Man was able to communicate with several hundred hives and help facilitate the creation of several hundred more, resulting in a significant increase in global pollination. But then…it stopped working and turned to complete and utter sh*t.
Apparently, bees really, REALLY hate humanity and they communicate that salient point among themselves and innumerable other bee colonies all the live long day. Heck, when three bees from different hives come together to pollinate the same flower, they usually introduce themselves by declaring their unique hatred of fuzzy-headed stalk-people….especially the smokers.
Subjecting Bee-Man to this constantly buzzed, anti-human sentiment eventually drove him/it quite bonkers, transforming him into the leader of a vanguard force of bees who successfully stung New York to death. Uh…but look at all the pretty flowers, and the overabundance of cheap honey!
6. When they accidentally turned 15 teenagers into 75-foot monoliths initiating communication with aggressive alien species.
Parents, I know they seem capable, but you should never allow 14-year-olds to mill about the DC Universe unsupervised. Regardless of all the usual dangers, the school buses being thrown between super-people in order to “vanquish evil,” they’re equally vulnerable to organizations that are usually considered helpful. Well, when 15 teenagers were experiencing headaches accompanied by terrifying visions of very angry aliens punching babies in the face, the parents became concerned and immediately took their children to, yep, S.T.A.R. Labs.
Did S.T.A.R. Labs help the 15 suffering teenagers who were ready to commit harikari if they witnessed one more vision of merciless baby-punching? Yes. Well, okay, no. Instead of breaking whatever psychic connection the inbound, invading alien armada initiated with these beset upon youngsters, the dangerously curious S.T.A.R. Labs scientists went the other direction, and strengthened the signal. The result?
Each teenager shed their flesh and revealed a black, opaque obelisk which immediately grew 75-feet into the sky. They began to glow purple, and emit psychic feedback the likes of which made everyone within a 30-mile radius perform air guitar to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” and proclaim allegiance to the Lizard Gods of Sisssicus VIII, who regularly sacrifice teenagers and rebuild them as solid black location emitters.
And yes, there are more than six. I won’t even go into the time they punched a hole into the Valiant Universe and accidentally killed X-O Manowar with with a hastily duplicated Firestorm Matrix. Ugh.