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!
I 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.
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 aright 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!
This week, Paul and I go deep on a listener question and ask if there are other, or even better, ways that superheroes could use their powers besides fighting crime. Could Superman solve the energy crisis or climate change? Is stocking the Bat Cave the best way for Wayne to use his fortune to improve Gotham? And with so many superheroes so dedicate to fighting crime in each of their own particular cities– who is looking out for the suburbs? Tune in for these issues, and more!
You can download the episode with a right click, or subscribe to by searching for Superhero Ethics Podcast on Itunes.
I’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?
This is the first of two new podcast episodes that have gone up in the last weeks. You can find them below, or subscribe by searching for Superhero Ethics on Itunes. Give them a listen, and please leave a comment to let us know what you think, give any response or suggest ideas for future episodes.
In episode 3, Suicidal Villans, it’s just your loyal host, Matthew, going deep on Suicide Squad and the good guy/bad guy trope. Spoilers for Suicide Squad, Batman, and lots of other things.
I saw Suicide Squad about a week ago, and had a lot of thoughts about it. I expect it’s going to inspire a number of upcoming posts where I go deep on specific aspects, including the nature of redemption, the Joker/Harley relationship, and the character of Amanda Waller, but for now, I wanted to start with some quick thoughts, in no particular order. Some are about ethics, some are just reactions to the movie, all of them are addressed to the makers of the movie, for no particularly good reason. (more…)
Superhero Ethics is launching a podcast to compliment the blog!
Our inaugural podcast is a discussion between myself and author and fellow superhero enthusiast,Paul Christopher Hoppe, about one of our favorite charecters- Batman. We cover Batman’s ideas about violence and killing, the difference between vigilantism and vengeance, and who did more damage to the Batman brand- Snyder or Schumacher.