For most of human history, people have been terrified by lightning. Frightening bolts from above, lightning was a tool of the gods to smite mortals for their hubris (or their unfortunate penchant for seeking shelter from storms under trees). The discovery and implementation of Benjamin Franklin’s lightning rod tamed this once formidable, divine weapon.
Will a lightning bolt contain enough energy to blast Marty McFly through time?
Nonetheless, lightning’s strength still lingers in our imagination. Hollywood considers it powerful enough to allow strangely designed cars from the early 1980s to break the space-time continuum. In the comic book world, it’s an ingredient in the formula for developing superpowers. It has also been given the power to return life to the dead, though not always with the intended effect.