Superhero

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:

 

 

 

LARPing! The ethics of role playing games

“First political larpingyou have to realize that it’s not just a game, it’s a community… In the end it’s each of us making the choice, not the character, of what’s going to happen; what we’re going to say, how we’re going to do it.”

Special guest, JP Bauer, has been playing role playing games for twenty years and live action role playing games for twelve. He is an outspoken proponent of stronger ethics in the role playing community.

 

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

The articles JP mentioned during the episode are listed below:

 

How have you navigated ethical questions in LARPs and role playing games We’d love to hear your thoughts! Continue the conversation with us on Twitter or Facebook!

A Fair Fight?

 

Fair Fight

What is the value in fighting fair? Paul and Matthew explore the trope of the Fair Fight, looking at its value and its problems. What does a hero do, when the opponent refuses to follow the rules? If one side follows rules that the other ignores, is that a virtue that will inspire others, or a weakness for an opponent to exploit? We explore these questions in regard to Iron Fist, Firefly, superhero movies in general, and our current political situation?

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

 

 

 

 

Should our heroes fight fair? Should we? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Continue the conversation with us on Twitter or Facebook!

 

 

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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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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