Ep 49: Do we Trade Lives? The Ethics of Infinity War

*** SPOILER WARNING *** Even our show notes have spoilers

IW PostIs Cap’ right to claim “We don’t trade lives?” Could Thanos have been stopped if our heroes made different choices? What role does hubris play when heroes don’t want to make tough choices? And how much of an idiot was Peter Quill?

In this episode, Jacob and Matthew dive deep into the questions that came out of Avengers: Infinity War, exploring Thanos himself, the various ways the Avengers tried to stop him, and our hopes for where things go in the coming movies and TV shows.

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 TwitterFacebook, or email us at superheroethics@gmail.com

Note- We recorded this episode live again, which led to a great discussion, but also caused some sound issues. Jacob did a heroic job cleaning things up, but we know it is still not up to our normal standards. Please know we are aware of that, and and are taking steps to ensure we return to our normal quality in upcoming episodes.

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.


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.)



You can Be Super!


Super Face “Comic book heroes are always political, and have always been political.” Our guest this week is Krystal Kara, the creator of the organization Be Super, which strives to use comic book characters as educational tools to understand social justice issues. Be Super aims to show that every individual is a hero.

We talk about Be Super, Wonder Woman, sexism and racism in the comic book and TV/movie worlds, and why Superhero stories need to be more than just escapism.


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

What superhero or sci-fi stories have inspired you, or helped you teach someone else? What in our podcast did you agree or disagree with? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Continue the conversation with us on Twitter or Facebook!

To learn more about Be Super, or respond to Krystal directly, check them out on:




Buffy & the Apocalypse


This week, Matthew talks with special guest Dr. Katy Valentine about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the idea of apocalypse in the stories we love.  We talk about the show and some of the questions it raises, especially in the character of Anya, before diving deep into the idea of the apocalypse as a plot device. Katy gives us some background on the term and its origins, and we talk about the questions raised by a potential end of the world.  How much can we bend our principals or values to stop the end of the world? We focus on Buffy, but also talk about stories where similar questions are raised, including both Avengers movies.


You can download the episode with a right click or subscribe to us on Itunes.

Katy is a New Testament scholar and a pastor with with a love for exploring how ideas with biblical roots, such as apocalpyse, are played out in pop culture. Her book, Sex, Slavery and Self-Control in 1 Corinthians, will be published soon by GlossaHouse. Katy is also the founder of Agápe Harp, bringing healing to others through harp music.



agents_of_shield_fallen_agentI’ve had an up and down relationship with Agents of SHIELD over its last 3 seasons. The show has had its rocky moments, especially in the first half of the first season (though it gets a lot better in re-watch when you know Agent Ward’s trajectory), and there have been times when the Russian doll nature of Hydra always having a deeper mission has been frustrating. But overall it has become one of my favorite superhero shows, and one that has provided a lot for this blog to chew on. As I get ready for the premiere of season 4 this week, I wanted to go over some of the ethical questions the show has raised and the ones I’m hoping to see further explored in the coming season.*

  • What is the role of government oversight in a world where people have superpowers?