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A boom tube is a slang expression for a fictional extra-dimensional point-to-point travel portal (a form of Wikipedia:teleportation) opened by a Wikipedia:Mother Box used primarily by residents of Wikipedia:New Genesis and Wikipedia:Apokolips in Wikipedia:DC Comics. The concept was created by Wikipedia:Jack Kirby for his Fourth World series of comics.
The "science" of boom tubes has never been explained, (as is normal for the New Gods, though Orion, in the first issue of New gods, says that a tube "stems from the waves of the mind") but they allow people to travel interstellar distances, and between dimensions, quickly by creating an apparent tube between two points through which people can travel. When used, a low humming accompanies the formation of the "tube" - a tunnel of rippling circles of light - which increases as the tube is maintained and traversed, ultimately culminating in a loud "booming" noise when it closes. This "boom" has been known to knock bystanders off their feet and shatter glass, and gives the technology its name. The tubes need to be generated or opened by another device, commonly a Wikipedia:Mother Box. Boom tubes are powered by the mysterious X-element, which serves as a matter threshold.
The initial Kirby comics depict boom tubes as a sort of quasi-technological equivalent of Wikipedia:Bifröst, the Rainbow Bridge linking Wikipedia:Asgard and Earth; indeed, boom tubes are described as a "bridge to Earth." Subsequent writers have allowed the tubes to be used for point-to-point transport between various locations on New Genesis, Apokolips, Earth, and other planets, thereby making them near-ubiquitous for the travel of the Wikipedia:New Gods. Boom tubes replaced other mostly undefined concepts like the Electron Road, the Matter Threshold and the Star Gate, all of which have been used by the New Gods for travel from either New Genesis or ApokolipsTemplate:Citation needed.
Later additions to the concept Edit
- Later canon is unclear on whether it is even possible to travel from the regular universe to that of the New Gods without a boom tube or similar device. For example, an issue of Wikipedia:Justice League International shows the JLI reaching Apokolips using a normal spacecraft, but Cosmic Odyssey explicitly states that one cannot reach Apokolips or New Genesis without a tubeTemplate:Citation needed.
- The "tube only" idea was reinforced when later writers introduced the idea that the New Gods were, in fact, giants, and that the boom tube would appropriately shrink or enlarge people who traveled through it. For example, if Wikipedia:Superman were to travel to Apokolips in some manner under his own power, he would be miniature (if not microscopic) in comparison to Wikipedia:DarkseidTemplate:Issue. This has apparently become canon in the 52 miniseries, demonstrated by the great size of the New God Devilance the Pursuer. The precise size ratio has varied, with New Gods in their "original" size being depicted as anywhere from tens of feet tall, to tens of thousands of miles tall (as in New Gods #10, 1996).
- In Wikipedia:Grant Morrison's Wikipedia:Mister Miracle run, it was revealed that the technology is actually referred to as 'boom lanes' by the Wikipedia:New Gods. However, the noise disorients the eponymous hero, so he later refers to it as a "'boom tube', or something."Template:Issue
- Outside of the comic books, boom tubes have been seen on a number of occasions. They are first seen in the last two seasons of the Wikipedia:Super Friends animated series, Wikipedia:Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show and Wikipedia:The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians on a number of occasions. Here, they are referred to as "Star Gates," and they are used by the natives of Apokolips, though without the sonic boom caused by boom tubes. New Genesis was never shown or mentioned.
- In the Legends miniseries they are also referred to as star gates.
- The Wikipedia:DC Animated Universe incorporated the Boom Tubes in their shows: They were first seen in Wikipedia:Superman: The Animated Series, as well as Justice League, Wikipedia:Justice League Unlimited, and Wikipedia:Batman Beyond.
- In the Legion of Super-Heroes television series, Superman X uses a device similar to a Wikipedia:Mother Box called a "warp key" to open a portal to the past to recruit the Wikipedia:Legion of Super-Heroes to battle Wikipedia:Imperiex.
- Boom tubes appear briefly in the video game Wikipedia:Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe as one of many transportation methods used. In the first scene of the DC Universe side of the story, Darkseid attempts to escape defeat in Metropolis via a boom tube. However, Superman blasts him with a heat ray as he enters the boom tube, coinciding with Raiden of the Wikipedia:Mortal Kombat multiverse blasting Wikipedia:Shao Kahn with a lightning blast as he enters a portal in another plane. The cosmic coincidence of Darkseid and Shao Kahn using similar portal-like apertures simultaneously combined with the also simultaneous energy discharge from the respective protagonists' attacks results in the being Dark Kahn, the antagonist of the game.
- A Boom tube appears in the Biyalyan desert at the end of the Young Justice episode "Bereft", where it transports the Wikipedia:Super-Cycle to Earth. It is referred to by the Light (a clandestine organization working in opposition of the Wikipedia:Justice League) as a "delivery system" given to the group by an unspecified benefactor. Boom tubes are again seen in "Disordered", this time used be Wikipedia:Desaad and the Wikipedia:Forever People.