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So I'm writing a gag comic about a superhero blessed with a plethora of abilities collectively called "Omnipotence" but with it comes two catches.

  1. Everything that is directly or indirectly affected by any of his abilities will be fixed if broken after a couple of second. All living organisms are excluded from this rule.
    1. This is what the question is about : Everytime he uses his powers, Everything connected to that specific event from 30 minutes to the moment he switches off his powers are wiped from the memories of every single person involved. He calls this the "Flashbang" effect.

In essence, after every problem he solves, all evidence and memories connected the problem he solved disappears. Like, it never even happened in the first place.

So, if he jumped infront of a moving vehicle to save an old woman being crushed by it:

  • The dent in the car will be "fixed", all the broken glasses from the windshield will return and fix itself. All after a couple of seconds
  • Everyone who saw this happen will lose complete memory of it even happening.

In the end, he is always forgotten.

To my question. I do understand that this a gag comedy comics, but I'd like to get this concept right, since most of my world building will be centered around it.

How will this forced Memory loss work?

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  • $\begingroup$ Hmm... some kind of neurological reaction to the use of his powers might make sense, as long as it didn’t cause seziures and/or death in those affected. Plus video cameras exist, Unless they’re covered by the ‘fixed’ rule.. $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Oct 28 '19 at 16:07
  • $\begingroup$ @JoeBloggs yes. I have considered video cameras, but since it's a gag comics, I've meant to address that in the very first chapter where someone has a recording on their phone of an event that happened a couple of hours ago. He shows it to his friends and they call it fake cuz the buildings that got blown up still stand and there's no logical way to them how they could have gotten fixed in just an hour or so. They just laugh it off and walk away, and the guy who apparently recorded it doesn't remember how it got there so he deleted it and just shurgs it off.. $\endgroup$ – Nass King Oct 28 '19 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ "How will this forced memory loss work?" <-- Do you mean in a way other than: "It works because I said so; it's a rule of my world?" $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Oct 28 '19 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Frostfyre yep. Exactly how I would want to understand. $\endgroup$ – Nass King Oct 28 '19 at 16:20
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    $\begingroup$ "Are there any loopholes?" is a really broad topic. Off-hand, I can think of two. I'm sure there are more. You may want to limit this to just the realistic memory loss inquiry. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Oct 28 '19 at 16:23
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Let’s turn to everyone’s favourite:

Swelling of the brain

This particular guy’s superpowers cause the emission of a funky exotic radiation that causes localised swelling and temporary damage in the areas of the brain responsible for memory. This causes uncontrollable seizures retrograde amnesia!

Short term memory is completely compromised, and thanks to the interaction of the radiation with various neurotransmitters, any areas of long term memory that are activated at the time of the event (say your memories of the old lady’s name) are also mildly damaged, causing subjects to completely fail to remember important details about the event unless reminded about them in a different way (memory is weird).

As this doesn’t damage anywhere else in the brain (thanks to the well studied effects of Comic Book Science) the subjects can continue acting entirely normally for the duration of the super-event, but have no episodic memory or linked memories of the event itself. They also don’t suffer any of the more deleterious effects of brain trauma, like permanent loss of function, fatal aneurysms or seizures.

Side effects do however include people who aren’t direct witnesses also losing chunks of memory (as the radiation isn’t directional), and repeated exposure causing more permanent damage to long term memories.

Also the occasional seizure in those of abnormal brain makeup that might otherwise be immune. Being this guy’s super-teammate is a very, very bad idea..

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer. I do have another question, which is tightly linked to this answer. Say the event is world scale. "The Flashbang effect" which activates after using his powers responds to how many people saw what he did. If you'd liken it to radiation, do you think said radiation can spread world wide? $\endgroup$ – Nass King Oct 28 '19 at 17:49
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    $\begingroup$ @NassKing: Throw the phrase ‘Exotic Radiation’ into the mix and it can spread as far as you like. The issue there is detecting how many people saw what he did. Better to say the radiation release is related to the scale of what he did (which will be a proxy for number of people watching, unless cameras allow for streaming, and you disallowed that) $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Oct 28 '19 at 17:56
  • $\begingroup$ that makes more sense. Thanks for the insight. :) $\endgroup$ – Nass King Oct 28 '19 at 17:57
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There have been studies that show it is possible to alter hippocampus related memory in a number of ways.

The repertoire of methods employed is expanding and includes optogenetics, transcranial stimulation, deep brain stimulation, cued reactivation during sleep and the use of pharmacological agents. In addition, the possible mechanisms underlying these memory changes have been investigated using techniques such as single unit recording and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

It could be as easy as your hero having a field that he emits when using his powers that has an effect like this on everyone in the area which keeps short term memory from sticking, like a very brief amnesia.

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