Blog Post

Ep 39: Thor & the Value of Fluff

Thor-Ragnarok-Reviews-BigThor: Ragnarok is pretty and fun, but there’s nothing here that we can dive into for an episode, is there? Challenge accepted!

This week we explore a number of from and about Thor. We talk about Odin’s revisionist history, and the evolving relationship between Thor and Loki. We also talk about the value of movies that don’t hit us with deep ethical questions, and how that balances with our love of heavier fare.

(more…)

Justice League and the Nature of Hope

justice

Or can you?

The following contains spoilers about the movie, Justice League.

It took me a while to figure out how I felt about the new Justice League movie. Walking out of the theater, I felt pretty neutral. I didn’t love the movie, but it was ok.  It was certainly miles better than the dumpster fire that was Batman vs. Superman, but that’s a pretty low bar to clear. It had a good deal of humor, and I’ll happily pay to see Ezra Millar as The Flash.  The plot was fine- nothing that exciting or interesting, but not terrible. The villain was boring and forgettable, and while an interesting bad guy is often what makes me love a particular story, I’ll admit that there have been some highly enjoyable superhero movies where the villain was the weakest part. (I’m looking at you, Iron Man and Obidiah Stain.)  

(more…)

Ep 38: Does the Gatewatch Need a Prime Directive?

From the Justice League to the Avengers, we know that heroes often work best in teams. And sometimes the obnoxious brilliant guy does have the best idea. But both of those things can go very wrong.  Join us as we dive into questions from the Magic the Gathering storyline, tying them into larger questions that are pervasive in geek literature and culture.

 

Jacob and I are joined by Lee Henderson. Lee is a Level 2 judge in the Magic the Gathering world, an avid gamer, and all around nerd.

You can download the episode with a right click  and clicking “save link as” or subscribe by searching for Superhero Ethics on Itunes or on Stitcher.

Agree or disagree with what we talked about, or want to add your own thoughts? Let us know! You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or email us at superheroethics@gmail.com

And remember. #JaceReynolds or#NeverJaceReynolds? Trust us, you’ll understand.

Ep 37: Avatar: The Last Podbender

avatar-charactersAll three of our hosts, Matthew, Jacob, and Paul, come together to talk about Avatar: The Last Airbender. We take a deep dive into a number of characters, including Aang, Toph, and Uncle Iroh, examine the way the show  portrayed martial arts and alternatives to violence, and talk about why this show is beloved by so many.

 

 

You can download the episode with a right click  and clicking “save link as” or subscribe by searching for Superhero Ethics on Itunes or on Stitcher.

Agree or disagree with what we talked about, or want to add your own thoughts? Let us know! You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or email us at superheroethics@gmail.com

A Stark Look at Iron Man

TonyMCU (2)This week, I’m joined by special guest Matt Carroll as we take a deep dive into the character of Tony Stark. What responsibility does he hold for Ultron, and what lessons has he learned? Did he have a point in Civil War? And is mentoring Spiderman his way of working out his daddy issues?

 

 

You can download the episode with a right click  and clicking “save link as” or subscribe by searching for Superhero Ethics on Itunes or on Stitcher.

Matt Carroll is one of the co-hosts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Podcast. You can find them on any podcast platform by searching for MCUcast. Matt is also a musician. Check out his band, Matt Carroll and the Browncoats, and keep watch for their first album, coming soon!

Agree or disagree with what we talked about, or want to add your own thoughts? Let us know! You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or email us at superheroethics@gmail.com

(Note- due to some recording issues, we have flipped the planned order of this and our next podcast. So although we say this is episode 37 in the intro, it is episode 36.)

 

 

Mental Health and Heroes- A Personal Comment

Co-Host Jacob wrote a powerful and moving statement about our most recent episode about heroes, villains, and mental illness, that we wanted to share with you all.

On this edition of the Superhero Ethics podcast, Matthew and I discuss the portrayal of mental illness in popular media, including how it differs between our heroes and our villains and also what we like and dislike about more-recent popular cinematic portrayals, and how it can sometimes contribute unhealthily to the stigma people with these issues have to confront in our society.

Talking about mental illness is always hard for me. Anxiety and depression specifically are problems I have fought with for almost my entire life, it seems. I was depressed to the point of having thoughts of suicide in high school, and received therapy and medication as a result. All the while I was ashamed that I appeared to need this when so many of my peers did not. I saw it as a sign of weakness, and I am confident others did as well.

And then I thought I would somehow be “cured” after a time. But that did not really happen either, not is that a realistic picture of how this works. I stopped taking my medicine because I was convinced I should not need it and it was not making me better. It is some small miracle I came out of that situation alive, given my choices.

It is not weakness to acknowledge your problems. It takes courage and strength to do so. And it takes even more than that to seek help from others when you need it, and to accept that help when it is given. I urge anyone struggling similarly to not feel shame in your problems.

 

You can listen to the episode by clicking above or by right clicking and hitting save as. Thank you all for your support.

 

 

 

 

Addendum and Apology for Who is your Hero Episode

On our recent episode about real life heroes, we got into a discussion of what happens if we find out the people who we see as heroes do terrible things. As part of that conversation I (Matthew) brought up the example of what would happen if we found out that someone we saw as a hero had hit his wife.  In the resulting conversation we were not at all clear in how terrible an act we would both see that as, and we made it sound as though someone could so something that awful and still be seen as a hero.  That was a mistake, and never what we intended to say or imply.

We have added an addendum and apology that to the real life heroes podcast itself.  Thank you to all of our listeners and please continue to call us out when we are wrong.

Lastly, the sound quality on this one has some issues, because I wanted to get this up as soon as possible, rather than waiting until I could record under our normal circumstances.

You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or email us at superheroethics@gmail.com

 

Heroes on the Couch: Mental Illness Stigma and Awareness in Superheroes and Villains

SuperheroTherapyFor some time, we have been given villains whose actions need no explanation– they’re just “crazy.” The aftermath of the Vegas shooting reminds us how strong the stigma against mental illness still is in this country, and how much it is misunderstood. This week, Jacob and Matthew explore the issue of mental illness in superhero stories, examining the long history of problematic portrayals, and how more recent stories have strived to be more accurate.

You can download the episode with a right click and clicking “save link as” or subscribe by searching for Superhero Ethics on Itunes or on Stitcher.

Agree or disagree with what we talked about, or want to add your own thoughts? Let us know! You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or email us at superheroethics@gmail.com

 

Heroes

Cap n Kap (2)What can Captain America teach us about Colin Kapernick, and vice versa? Are heroes just on the screen, or can we have real life heroes? Do heroes need to be perfect, or can we see someone as heroic in spite of their flaws? And what happens when our heroes fall from grace?

 

 

We had some technical difficulties this week. Could it be the NSA doesn’t want you to hear our ideas? More likely I just screwed up a few things, but either way, next week will be better!

You can download the episode with a right click, or subscribe by searching for Superhero Ethics on Itunes or on Stitcher.

Agree or disagree with what we talked about, or want to add your own thoughts? Let us know! You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or email us at superheroethics@gmail.com