Heroes can be boring- let’s talk villains! Rik Hayashi joins us to talk about the villains who have a point, the ones we can sympathize with, or even sometimes agree with. What makes someone a villain? What are the lines between a villain and a hero who is willing to do anything for the cause? We talk Sinestro, Killmonger, and what happens when Ben Sisko goes for a walk in the Pale Moon Light.
Harley Quinn has quickly become one of the most popular, and the most controversial, characters in comic book media. Returning guest and comic book nerd and critic extraordinaire joins us for an in depth look at this fascinating character, whose portrayals span the range from wacky kids show villain to abuse survivor to kinky sex symbol. In this episode we look at the evolution and development of the character, the questions she raises both in her stories and about her stories, and our hopes for her future.
Here it is, our 50th episode! All three hosts, Paul, Jacob, and Matthew, come together to re-examine some of our favorite questions and discussions from past episodes. We talk about the Joker, different ways of understanding violence, when heroes can or should kill, humorous vs. serious portrayals of heroes, and plan for the eventual ascension of our robot overlords.
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.
Also of note- we were a bit punchy for this episode. It led to a great, and funny, discussion, but also a few slips of the tongue- including Matthew’s references at various points to “Chris Kapernick” and “Stuporman.” Please forgive those errors.
DoesIs 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!
Was Astra right in Supergirl season 1, that some terrible acts can be justified in order to save the world? Is there some value to authoritarism if it leads to solving our problems? Should we just put the scientists in charge?
This is the first in a series that we will from time to time return to over the coming months, in which Paul and I explore what happens when you find yourself agreeing with the ‘villain.’ So often we get villains who have goals we might see as admirable, but our hero tells us the methods are wrong. But are they always?
(This post contains spoilers about Suicide Squad, and the Star Wars movies.)
Recently, I was talking to a friend about the moment when the Star Wars prequels truly lost me. We had already laughed about all of the bad dialogue and wooden acting, and agreed that no words were needed about the Binxian heresy. But as I explained to him, I wasn’t talking about the worst or the most laughable or groan worthy moment from those movies- instead I was bringing up the moment where I realized these movies had truly abandoned any of the complexity and nuance that had been such a bulwark of the original story. I was talking about the moment in Attack of the Clones when Count Dooku, leader of the separatist movement, reveals that he has been working all along for Darth Sidious, the man who will come to be known as the Emperor.
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.
This post contains spoilers about Star Trek: Deep Space 9 episodes Homeland and Paradise Lost.
I’m four seasons into a binge watch of Star Trek: DS9, and I’m enjoying it far more than I thought I would. The characters and stories show a bit more depth and maturity than I am used to from Trek, and the break from episodic story telling is a welcome relief. But it’s still Trek, with all of the camp, the 2-dimensional non main characters and middle school approach to love, sex and relationships that I have come to expect.
So I’m not sure I can describe how surprised I was to get to the end of Homeland, the first in a two-parter in the middle of season 4 and realize I was watching a complicated, nuanced take on an issue with as much, if not more, relevance today than it had when it first aired. Even more surprisingly, the characters were in conflict and I didn’t know who I wanted to win!
This was something pretty new. And after getting to the end of the two-parter I’m comfortable saying its some of the best story telling Star Trek has even done.