Do we need SHIELD?

Luthor_Was_RightIf aliens and superpowers were real, would we need SHIELD? Are Lex Luthor and Amanda Waller right to be scared of Superman? Why do government agencies dealing with powered people have to be secret? Paul & Matthew cover these questions and more!

Special thanks to our listeners who sent in questions for us to discuss on the podcast.

 

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

Logan on Logan

LoganShould heroes be clean cut and re-assuring, like Cap’, or messy and troubling, like Wolverine?  Returning guest Logan joins Matthew for a discussion of the movie Logan. They talk about the movie’s portrayal of violence, the power of pride in overcoming stigma, the death and renewal of hope, the danger of putting heroes on pedestals, and the lessons we can take from Logan to our own world, especially in this current political moment.

 

 

 

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

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Iron Ethics

Iron ColleenWhat ethical issues did Netflix’s version of Iron Fist raise, and what did they sidestep? Paul and Matthew share their views on the show, on the questions it raised and the ones they wish it had explored further. They also ask, who do we point the finger at when a part of an extended universe goes off the rails?

 

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

What did you think of Iron Fist? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Continue the conversation with us on Twitter or Facebook!

Is Magneto Right?

DoesMagnetoIs Magneto a villain, or a hero? Can we agree with his goals, even if not his methods? How does the fight for mutant justice echo similar discussions in our own world? Paul and Matthew talk about Magento and the X-men movies, up to and including the recent, Logan.

 

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? Should Magneto be the hero, not the villain? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Continue the conversation with us on Twitter or Facebook!

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

cap-punches-hitler

 

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!