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Talk:Nerve gas emission

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Ability Naming Conventions
The following sources are used for determining evolved human ability names, in order:
1. Canon Sources Episodes
Graphic Novels,
Heroes Evolutions
3. Secondary Sources Episode commentary,
Heroes: Survival
4. Common names for abilities Names from other works
5. Descriptions of abilities Descriptions
6. Possessor's name If no non-speculative
description is possible

Note: The highlighted row represents the level of the source used to determine nerve gas emission's name.
Penny explicitly describes the ability as emitting "a nerve gas" in Faces, Part 1.

What does the GN say?

GN quote: "When he sweats, he emits a nerve gas".
There ya go.

In his first frame, he is seen sweating. Demonstration persented, according to the GN.
Just because Penny zapped him before he was able to manifest enough sweating nerve gas to kill the crowd should not hinder this demonstration from being accepted. If the GN didn't say, "when he sweat, he emits a nerve gas", but rather, "after he has sweated for a while, he eventually will emits nerve gas' ; then there would be a sound arguement that this was not a demonstration; but that wasn't what the GN stated. --HiroDynoSlayer (talk) 05/20/2008 11:57 (EST)

  • The thing is, HDS, is my understanding is that it doesn't matter what the novel says, only what it shows--so we can't accept sweating as proof of a release of nerve gas. Text only matters for an ability like Hana's where her ability is to produce text. If it said, "when he sweats, a star goes supernova" and he sweats and we don't see anything happen, we still can't add it as it isn't demonstrated.--MiamiVolts (talk) 12:10, 20 May 2008 (EDT)
    • I actually think it's a pretty clear example of the power being used...but maybe we should ask the source. I email Mark Sable from time to time. If y'all want to create a list of questions here, I'll send them to Mark later in the week. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 15:13, 20 May 2008 (EDT)
      • I'm not sure it matters what was intended, but what was displayed. To me, it's like a character thinking Claude is there and without us seeing him or getting any visible/audible proof that he is we decide to add him to the appearances list cause there's no proof he isn't there. That said, knowing what was intended would make a great note/trivia for the character's article. Thanks, Ryan.--MiamiVolts (talk) 15:52, 20 May 2008 (EDT)
        • Who's to say it wasn't displayed? If nerve gas is invisible (is it???), couldn't he be emitting it? What reason do we have to distrust what Penny says? -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 16:01, 20 May 2008 (EDT)
          • Exactly. The GN says when he sweats, he emits nerve gas. The wiki link tells us that Nerve-gas is in liquid state at normal temps, so when we saw him sweat liquid; we should accept Penny's explanation that he is sweating nerve gas. Maybe only two drops (per the picture), and from further reading the wiki writeup on that stuff, touch is often a mode of transportation; and the sweat is just on his own face....not transmitted to anyone else to show symptoms. If the writer confirms the sweat is liquid nerve gas, then we do have confirmed demonstration with the picture. --HiroDynoSlayer (talk) 05/20/2008 16:35 (EST)
          • Ryan, it's cause the Company may have good reason to mislead her and provide a half-truth at best. What if the target is really just a research scientist that is doing nerve gas research for the US Government. Might the Company think that Penny could let him get away if she knew they wanted to take him to do their own research? Or that if his true purpose was known someone might interfere? Did we suddenly forget that the Company doesn't always tell its agents the whole story? Did we forget that the Company knows someone is helping their targets to escape capture? Did we not see evsdropr on the phone with the teleporter while Penny was breaking down the door? Heroes is full of conspiracies, the Company being the grand-daddy of 'em all. ;)--MiamiVolts (talk) 16:39, 20 May 2008 (EDT)
            • But in this case, a conspiracy theory as you have described, is fully unsupported to date. It may end up being true, but it may end up in the next GN that they will do a B.F. and reveal that Captain Kangaroo was an EH who is Bob's brother. All speculation about what has not been said yet. We do know, however, what has been said, and Penny's explanation in the GN should stand until there is later evidence showing she was mislead or is wrong. At this point, no conspiracy about the sweat of Manhattan target has been revealed. All that has been revealed, is that when he sweats, he emits a nerve gas (in liquid form at that temp), and that he is shown sweating just prior to Penny knocking him unconscious. --HiroDynoSlayer (talk) 05/20/2008 17:18 (EST)
              • I disagree that they're unsupported; but in addition to the "conspiracy theories" I mentioned above we have the very real possibility that the man learned how to control his ability on his own such that he can sweat only water again and the sweat drops were just water. So besides coming to a consensus on this article, I think we need to come to a consensus on guidelines as to what "demonstration" means in terms of what is required to make an ability/power article. Are we going to require 100% visible/audible confirmation that an ability has been used; are we going to document all abilities as soon as they are mentioned; or somewhere in between?--MiamiVolts (talk) 17:39, 20 May 2008 (EDT)
                • I agree with HDS--we shouldn't assume the Company is misleading Penny about a random guy who sweats nerve gas as that is speculative. If we find out later that the Company has been misleading Penny all along, or that there is some directive from the higher-ups to intentionally lie to agents about poison sweat, then we should reevaluate the validity of this article. But until then, Penny (an authority on evolved human abilities as she is an agent of the Company) says he sweats nerve gas. He is sweating (as she takes the time to point out), so it's as clear a demonstration of the power as we're might ever get. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 19:52, 20 May 2008 (EDT)
                  • I have to agree. Reading the graphic novel a couple times I can't see any reason in the plot why they'd be going through the trouble of misleading the reader (which while it could make sense given what we know would still be entirely speculative in this particular situation). They make it a point to mention that he releases a nerve gas when he's nervous. At the very least I think the average reader is also going to conclude that the man has this ability as well. I can see a note on the article saying this power has never been observed in action, but based on the novel I do believe the ability is appropriate. I think Ryan's suggestion of contacting Mark is a great idea to help resolve this, though. If Mark confirms it then we're all set. If he denies it or says he can't answer the question directly then I think there could be enough suspicion of deception to not include it for now. (Admin 20:21, 20 May 2008 (EDT))
                    • I do hope that Mark's answer helps resolve this. It is unnerving (pun intended), to say the least. BTW, I also mentioned the possibility of the man learning how to sweat normal water again but that was not addressed.--MiamiVolts (talk) 20:46, 20 May 2008 (EDT)
                      • Yeah, I hope Mark can answer this definitively, too. I'm trying not to look too deeply into it and am taking what was said at face value. When it comes to the graphic novels I also tend to give a lot more weight to the dialog than I do to the art since the dialog is written by the writers and the art is based on the story written by the writer but may not always accurately represent the intentions of the writer. A picture is worth a thousand words... so it takes a thousand words to create an accurate picture...and we know the writers don't use a thousand words per frame. :) (Admin 20:58, 20 May 2008 (EDT))

Wikipedia article on Nerve Gas, says they are liquid, not gas

Quoting [the Wikipedia article on Nerve Gas:
"Nerve agents (also being referred to as nerve gases, though these chemicals are liquid at room temperature) "
The man is sweating liquid nerve gas at room temperature. Again, Demonstration prooven. the AFD tag should be removed, and this article should be allowed to stand. --HiroDynoSlayer (talk) 05/20/2008 12:03 (EST)

  • I don't think we have any evidence he is emitting the stuff at room temperature. And if he normally emitted the stuff as a liquid, it wouldn't be a "gas". It would be a poisonous liquid.--MiamiVolts (talk) 12:10, 20 May 2008 (EDT)
    • Go read the wiki article on Nerve gas. While it is commonly referred to as 'nerve gas' it is normally a liquid. He is sweating a 'nerve gas', which is according to the wiki article, a normally liquid-form substance. That's like saying, driving on the parkway, and parking in the driveway...there name doesn't denote the actual truth. The common phrase is 'nerve gas' but its normal state is liquid. When He sweated walking the sidewalk, it would have been in liquid form. The only evidence we need, is that it says when he sweats, he emits a nerve gas; and that nerve gas, in its normal state, is liquid not gas. His sweat, therefore, is nerve gas. --HiroDynoSlayer (talk) 05/20/2008 12:13 (EST)
      • Yes, the room temperature/normal state of nerve gas is liquid, but his body could raise the temperature such that it's a gas. But more importantly, we cannot take the word of the novel that when he sweats, there is nerve gas in the sweat... the demonstration has to be visible somehow.--MiamiVolts (talk) 12:29, 20 May 2008 (EDT)
        • OK....what about the two people that are looking at him, as if they have noticed something going on? Both the brunette on the left(turning her head back toward him), and the kid behind her who is looking straight sideways, are showing a reaction to something. Also, that he ducks away from the crowd, down an alley after he starts to sweat, could be his acknowledging his nerve-gas sweat, and wanting to get away from them before it seriously effected anyone. I'm not trying to be a pain with this, but I think inclusion is always better than deletion; especially where there is some evidence (albeit slight), to build upon. --HiroDynoSlayer (talk) 05/20/2008 12:35 (EST)
          • I say keep it unconfirmed for now, and delete the page. -Piemanmoo 15:10, 20 May 2008 (EDT)
          • Their looks and his nervousness are not proof of his having an ability. For what it's worth, HDS, the article on Penny's Manhattan target can still mention the Company believes he has the ability, but it's not a demonstrated ability.--MiamiVolts (talk) 15:47, 20 May 2008 (EDT)
  • Delete. Here's some logic: Company says: If he sweats, then he emits nerve gas. If nerve gas present in that scene, then the crowd would be affected in some manner. From those two statements, If he sweats, then the crowd is affected. Crowd Not affected in the GN here, therefore He must not be sweating.
    However, if he is sweating, therefore I think The Company has their information wrong.
    Bottom line, i say delete because this ability has not been conclusively demonstrated --SacValleyDweller (talk) 19:20, 20 May 2008 (EDT)
    • Who's to say the crowd wasn't affected? Better yet, the dude was affected. As soon as he started sweating, he ducked into an alley. I would imagine he's seen the effects of his sweat and wanted to avoid a deadly situation. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 20:51, 20 May 2008 (EDT)

Consensus check


  1. Delete: not enough evidence to suggest successful demonstration of the power. Nothing more can be said here than could be said under the Manhattan target's page and List of abilities#List of Unconfirmed Abilities.--SacValleyDweller (talk) 18:47, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
  2. It may be suggestive that the man is using his ability, but it's not conclusively demonstrated. My opinion is that we shouldn't try to interpret what the writer intended, and go only by what is seen. Sweat is seen but nerve gas is not confirmed. As an aside, I think this consensus check should have been delayed as Ryan is planning to ask the writer by e-mail for clarification.--MiamiVolts (talk) 23:31, 22 May 2008 (EDT)


  1. Admin 19:08, 22 May 2008 (EDT): See above for explanation.
  2. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) (it's a viable power that deserves its own page) 21:36, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
  3. -Lөvөl 02:29, 23 May 2008 (EDT)
  4. Hardvice (talk) 02:46, 23 May 2008 (EDT)
  5. Chrisyu357 07:50, 23 May 2008 (EDT)
  6. Jason Garrick 10:39, 23 May 2008 (EDT) I do agree with miami about a delayed cc. If Ryan is going to write to the author, why not just wait? Right?
  7. --HiroDynoSlayer (talk) 06/8/2008 09:02 (EST)

Mark Sable

A few people have mentioned me writing to Mark Sable, so I thought I'd give a quick update here. I wrote Mark last night with a small list of questions, including asking him to elaborate on the nerve gas issue. He is happy to answer the questions, though he told me he'd need a few days to around to it. As soon as I hear back from him, I'll let y'all know what he says. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 15:50, 23 May 2008 (EDT)