Violence

The Ethics of Arrows, with JP Fairfield

JP and ArrowMy guest this week is JP Fairfield, of the Nerdgasm Noire Network and Operation Cubicle podcasts.  Together we explore the latest season of Arrow, the costs of being a hero, and why long suffering Quentin Lance deserves a break!

 

 

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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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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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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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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V for Dystopia

evey-vThis week, Paul and Matthew are joined by Logan Grendel, who talks with them about V for Vendetta, dystopian stories, and the ethics of violence. (It all ties together, we promise!)

“Dog man” Logan Grendel is a writer, artist, and activist born and raised in New York City. He is also a lifelong fan of comics, fantasy, and dystopian tales of all kinds. His own photo/graphic novel creation Harlequin’s Song was completed in 2006, and has never seemed more timely.

 

Urban Dog Care NYC is Logan’s dog-walking business and main source of dog stories, about which you shouldn’t ask unless you have several hours to spare. For a brief, humorous look at his findings, read his new book Putting Paws to Pavement.

 

dystopia

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

We would love to hear your thoughts and responses.  Continue the conversation with us on Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

 

Podcast: Killing President Luthor

super-vs-lexShould Superman kill President Lex Luthor? What should superheroes do when supervillains are elected by the people? Tune in as Paul and Matthew do their best to get themselves on an FBI watchlist by exploring these questions and more- along with a surprise guest appearance half way through!

Contains spoilers for Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, and episodes of The Justice League.

 

You can download the podcast by right clicking here or subscribe to us on Itunes by searching for Superhero Ethics Podcast.

 

 

 

QUESTIONS AS WE START AGENTS OF SHIELD, SEASON 4

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?

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Who is my Batman? Part 2

batman-microphoneIn part 2 of our inaugural podcast, Paul Chrisopher Hoppe  and I continue the discussion about one of our favorite superheros- Batman.

Check it out, and let me know what you think!  Also, please subscribe to the podcast on Itunes, by searching for Superhero Ethics!

 

Right click here to download the mp3