Logan: The Realities of Superheros.

Logan(Contains Spoilers for Logan)

I tend to get strange looks when I tell people I wish superhero movies were more realistic. I don’t mean I need the powers to be more realistic- striving for scientific plausibility in the chemical concoctions and alien tech that makes our heroes so powerful always seems like a fool’s errand.  The realism I long for is in the characters themselves. My favorite stories are about people with incredible powers dealing with the same emotions and realities of any of the rest of us, navigating how those superpowers do, and don’t, change the experiences of love, hate, fear, anger, violence and conflict that we all deal with.

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The Arrow that Missed: The Gun Control Episode that said nothing

Beyond Redemption“If you stand for nothing, Burr, what’ll you fall for”?
-Hamilton

My favorite superhero stories are the ones that serve as metaphor or allegory for issues in our own world, inviting the reader/watching to look at a question in a whole new light. That’s why this blog exists. Even when I disagree with the point that a particular author might be making, I’m still likely to celebrate the way they used the superhero genre to make it. So when I heard that Arrow, on the CW, was going to tackle the question of gun control in their upcoming episode Spectre of the Gun (season 5 episode 13), I was excited to see where they went with it. But I was disappointed by an episode that approached a difficult topic in the safest way possible, doing its absolute best not to offend anyone.

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Be like Cap’ – The Ethics of Nazi Punching

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Captain America punched a lot of nazis – does that mean we should too? We are pretty pro nazi punching, but we want to explore the questions around it.  On this episode, we tie it into larger questions of vigilantism, a constant theme in superhero stories.

Is it always ok to punch a nazi? What is it about this current moment that makes it more or less ok than it might be?  We discuss these questions and more, using examples from Batman, V for Vendetta, Star Wars, 300 and the White Wolf RPGs and more. 

 

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

What do you think? Is it ok to punch a Nazi? Is it wrong? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Continue the conversation with us on Twitter or Facebook!

 

 

 

 

 

Time to Stop Being Gordon and start being Batman

gordon-and-batmanI have a long history of mixed feelings about vigilante superheroes. I cheer for Batman, and I loved watching Dexter, but for a long time i was troubled by the idea of someone, anyone, deciding that they knew better than everyone else what was right and true and good, and could therefore break the law in order to serve their idea of justice. It wasn’t the breaking the law part that bothered me- I think civil disobedience is one of the most important parts of democracy. My concern was with the idea that one person could decide that they knew best, and therefore had the moral right to go above and beyond the system. I believed that, flawed as it might be, a functioning democratic system of justice was always better than one individual.

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Rogue Ethics

rogue-one-a-star-wars-story

Did Galen Erso make the right choice by helping to build the Death Star, but adding a fatal flaw? What lessons can Rogue One teach us about rebellion, and what it means to find your own way to combat tyranny? Paul and Matthew discuss these issues and more on this week’s episode.

 

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

What would you have done? What are the ethical questions from Rogue One you are still thinking about?  Continue the conversation with us on Twitter or Facebook!

Why So Serious? Paul & Matthew talk The Joker

 

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Are we all just one bad day from where the Joker is? What makes the Clown Prince of Crime such a great villain, and who played him best? Paul and Matthew dive into these questions on this week’s podcast.

 

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

Who was your favorite Joker? Continue the conversation with us on Twitter or Facebook!

 

Remembering Leia- by Rebecca Rose Vassey

carrieRebecca Rose Vassey, who was recently a podcast guest on Chosen Ones, wrote a wonderful post about the death of Carrie Fisher that I wanted to share with you all.  A great reminder of the power the actress and the character held for so many, and why she will be missed.

“Just got on to FB today to learn that we lost Carrie Fisher. I am heartbroken…I really hoped she might pull through. I couldn’t wait to see how her story continued to unfold in the next Star Wars movie. It really can’t be underestimated, the impact that she made as Princess Leia on girls of my generation. We had her and we had Wonder Woman. Society didn’t care about telling us that we could be brave and strong, independent and centered confidently in our own power. “Princesses” were the things that got pretty dresses and rescued by princes. But there was this little subversive ray of light as we grew up and Princess Leia showed us we could speak truth to power, we could participate in our own rescues, we could rescue others and lead rebellions and be spies and award medals and have stories that matter. Carrie Fisher brought that to life and made it iconic. And then, later, she was authentic and truthful about her many struggles with mental health and addiction. She was a fighter, a survivor, a woman still standing up to ageism and sizeism even as late as “The Force Awakens”. I am proud that her work helped shape me as a child, encouraged me to speak loud in a world that told me to shut up and be pretty. You will always be my princess, Carrie Fisher. May we all look up from time to time and see you shimmering blue-silver and nodding in wise encouragement. Rest in power and may the Force be with you.”

As Diva Darling, Rebecca Rose Vassy is a variety performer with an emphasis on nerdlesque. As a writer and blogger, she’s best known for pottymouth rants and absurdist humor. As a lifelong nerd and geek, she loves subverting tropes and overthinking pop culture. Join her shenanigans at divamojo.com, on Facebook as Diva Darling, or on Twitter at Diva_Mojo.

Continue the conversation with us on Twitter or Facebook!

 

The Chosen Podcast! With Rebecca Rose Vassey

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This week, Rebecca Rose Vassey is our guest for a discussion of the Chosen One trope in superhero media. Does a hero need to be chosen? Who gets to choose and who gets to accept or reject being chosen? What are other ways of identifying a hero?  Rebecca, aka Diva Darling, is a burlesque performer, writer, shenanigator, and pop culture geek, who joins Matthew for a discussion that dives into Buffy, Dr. Strange, Hunger Games and the Lego Movie.

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

As Diva Darling, Rebecca Rose Vassy is a variety performer with an emphasis on nerdlesque. As a writer and blogger, she’s best known for pottymouth rants and absurdist humor. As a lifelong nerd and geek, she loves subverting tropes and overthinking pop culture. Join her shenanigans at divamojo.com, on Facebook as Diva Darling, or on Twitter at Diva_Mojo.

What do you think of the Chosen One idea? Is it a trope you love or hate? Do you have favorite or least favorite examples to talk about? Agree or disagree with something we said? Continue the conversation with us on Twitter or Facebook!

 

 

Writing Heroes

pin-calvin-web-2

This week, special guest Robin Gee joins Matthew to discuss balancing ethics with story as a writer. They talk about Robin’s webcomic, Pin Porter, as well as Supergirl, Calvin & Hobbes, and Lord of the Rings.

 

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

Robin is a maker of comics, designer, illustrator, and sometimes writer with a strong interest in social and environmental justice. She co-creates the webcomic Pin Porter: Girl Detective, makes short comics to put on the internet, and occasionally writes about comics for Panel & Frame. She lives in Madison Wisconsin with too many books and not enough cats.
You can find her on twitter, read her webcomic Pin Porter, or read her comic shorts.

Continue the conversation with us on Twitter or Facebook.