Should the heroes who enforce justice, also decide what is or isn’t just? Where are the lines between heroism, vigilantism, or just using your powers to do what you want? And does great power actually come with great responsibility, or is that too much to ask of people just because they have powers?
In this episode, Jacob and Matthew use Kingdom Come, a fantastic 1996 run of Superman comic books, as a jumping off point to dive into these questions and more. This episode explores questions around justice, power, religion, law enforcement, and accountability, in the superhero world and our own. And while the books are amazing, (and find-able online!) you don’t have to have read them to appreciate this conversation.
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.
The following contains spoilers about the movie, Justice League.
It took me a while to figure out how I felt about the new Justice League movie. Walking out of the theater, I felt pretty neutral. I didn’t love the movie, but it was ok. It was certainly miles better than the dumpster fire that was Batman vs. Superman, but that’s a pretty low bar to clear. It had a good deal of humor, and I’ll happily pay to see Ezra Millar as The Flash. The plot was fine- nothing that exciting or interesting, but not terrible. The villain was boring and forgettable, and while an interesting bad guy is often what makes me love a particular story, I’ll admit that there have been some highly enjoyable superhero movies where the villain was the weakest part. (I’m looking at you, Iron Man and Obidiah Stain.)
Ever since she appeared in All Star Comics #8 in October of 1941, Wonder Woman has raised questions about issues such as gender, power, violence, and truth. Yet, in all her different iterations and with all her different writers, Wonder Woman has never provided simple answers to these questions. Instead, her legacy is that of a conversation spanning 70 years, with each new version of Princess Diana a commentary on the last ones. I was excited to read Wonder Woman and Philosophy: The Amazonian Mystique because it promised the chance to dive neck deep into that conversations. It did not disappoint.
“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:
Earlier this week I recorded a talk with Krystal Kara, founder of the Be Super Initiative. Unfortunately, the recording got terribly garbled, so I can’t post it. I’m working on transcribing it and should have that up for you all soon, but meanwhile i wanted to tell you more about her and her great organization.
Krystal Kara is the creator of the organization Be Super. Be Super 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.
I got to meet Krystal at Wiscon recently, and was inspired by the work she and Be Super do. In the attempted podcast, We talked in general about her organization and the work it does, and about the new Wonder Woman movie- what we liked, what we had trouble with, and the discussion Be Super hosted after a showing of the movie. I hope to have the transcript up soon, but in the meantime, check out the great work they do!.