If there's one thing that Storm from the X-men has taught us, it's that controlling lightning is pretty cool. Controlling it as a weapon? Even cooler. That's why Applied Energetics (formerly Ionatron) is developing gigantic lightning guns that will be able to stall a car from afar. Initially, they were focused on zapping people, but have since shifted their focus to harnessing lightning to shorting out vehicles and IEDs.
It makes sense for the shift, what with Taser not exactly getting great press for its shocking weapons and IEDs being a pretty big problem for troops in Iraq. And by aiming at the base of the windshield of a car, it can short it out without frying it, stalling it but not rendering it undrivable, which would be a big plus for stopping vehicles at checkpoints without completely destroying them. And they should be ready in 5-6 years, which is a pretty quick turnaround for new weapons. Between these and lasers, we're going to be fighting comic book wars in no time flat. [Danger Room]