Neil deGrasse Tyson
‘I think the most reachable superhero that’s out there is Batman,’ says Neil deGrasse Tyson Getty Images

Celebrity astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson has said Batman is the most realistic superhero, while citing the Incredible Hulk as the least likely. Despite admitting he is not a comic buff, Tyson has affiliation with superheroes thanks to his cameo in a DC comic in which he is credited with finding Superman's home planet of Krypton. He also did the voice-over for the original Batman V Superman trailer.

Talking typically in terms of physics on the Cosmic Queries episode of Star Talk, the Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey presenter said: "I think the most reachable superhero that's out there is Batman. Because he uses real devices in his utility belt and there's nothing there that you say 'oh that can't happen' or 'you couldn't' have done that'," reported

"Yeah, so he's got some special materials, but that's OK because his company makes really – he's a billionaire, and he's got stuff that you don't have. So for me, he's the most realistic superhero. He's more real than Iron Man because the energy source that Iron Man is drawing from to concentrate that much energy in one place – you'd basically vaporise everything in this country. So, you can't concentrate energy."

Explaining why Hulk's powers were unfathomable, he said: "First of all, gamma rays will kill you. But let's hold that detail aside for the moment. Now, next it would mess with your DNA, so here he is turning green. So let's even allow that. He increases in mass and then decreases in mass, like where does that...? If you wanna do that you're converting energy into mass and back again, he would explode wherever he was."

But he was not done ruining the imaginations of superheroes fans. Tyson continued: "So I'm watching the Thor movie, right? The first of the movies. And there's a scene where one of the characters describes the hammer as being forged in the ashes of a dying star. And I said yes! I can calculate this! ... That would be a neutron star which is made of dense, packed neutrons." Tyson says it will weigh as much as 300 billion elephants...