a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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A Calculated Man (2022)
Paul Tobin (writer) / Alberto Alburquerque (artist)

An accountant for the mob, now in witness protection, must defend himself from his former employers, but with the power of math on his side he is quite capable of killing those who have been sent to eliminate him.

The (anti)hero of this four issue comic book series is "Jack Beans". Another character describes his mathematical abilities this way:

(quoted from A Calculated Man)

He's good a math. Not just "what's the square root of nine?" good, but "prove the existence of three differently-sized infinities by use of the Continuum Hypothesis good".

In fact, Beans is so good at math that he tutors math professors. (A panel shows two math professors struggling to keep up with Jack's explanation of an advanced mathematical topic.)

Beans also has synesthesia (being able to recognize prime numbers by "color") and a memory which is "absolute". Together with his math/logic ability, these skills allow him to wipe out vicious gang members one by one. His one flaw is that he is (supposedly) unable to tell a lie. (See spoilers below if you are not planning to read it for yourself.)

Thanks to my student Bailey Ford for bringing it to my attention (and for letting me know that it may also soon be seen on Hulu).

SPOILER ALERT: Twist ending revealed below. (Stop reading now if you want to read the comic book series for yourself without knowing how it ends.)

SPOILER ALERT: Twist ending revealed below. (Stop reading now if you want to read the comic book series for yourself without knowing how it ends.)

Through most of the series, the reader believes that Jack Beans is incapable of lying and is only killing the members of the Keys crime family (which he used to work for) because they intend to kill him. This arguably makes him a hero, acting only in self defense, despite the gruesome ways that he often chooses to kill them.

But, at the very end, it is revealed that this is not actually true. In fact, all of this was planned by Jack Beans (or whatever his name was before he entered witness protection) when he was only seven years old. In particular, we are expected to believe that the young prodigy concocted a plan to work for a crime family, turn on them and enter witness protection, and finally take over the crime family but make it look like self-defense. A key component of this plan was to convince everyone that he was incapable of telling a lie, but that in itself was a lie.

Personally, I find this plot twist both unappealing and really difficult to swallow. I would have preferred a different ending to this otherwise interesting (even if overly violent) comic book series. But, you may disagree. If you do, then please share your opinion with me using the links below and I would be happy to post your opinion here.

More information about this work can be found at
(Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)

Works Similar to A Calculated Man
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Numbercruncher by Si Spurrier (writer) / PJ Holden (artist)
  2. Cobra by R. Ajay Gnanamuthu (Director) / Kannan (Screenplay) / Sekar Neelan (Screenplay)
  3. Zero Sum Game by S.L. Huang
  4. The Rabbit Factor [Jäniskerroin] by Antti Tuomainen
  5. Null Set by S.L. Huang
  6. Kim Possible (Episode: Mathter and Fervent) by Jim Peronto (script)
  7. The Amazing Spider-Man (Issues 555-557) by Zeb Wells (writer) / Chris Bachalo (penciller)
  8. The Phantom Scientist [Le Chercher Phantôme] by Robin Cousin
  9. The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua
  10. Hajime's Algorithm by Mihara Kazuto
Ratings for A Calculated Man:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
3/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)

MotifEvil mathematicians, Cool/Heroic Mathematicians, Math as Beautiful/Exciting/Useful,
MediumGraphic Novel/Comic Book/Manga,

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Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)