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Super Hero Ethics
Bar Harbor
Dear Marvel and DC,

Please stop creating stories which revolve around ethical debates about superheroes. It is impossible to honestly tell such a story without coming to grips with the fact that the vast majority of your protagonists are one or more of:

• extralegal vigilantes
• people who solve almost all of their problems with a combination of brute force and deceit
• people who routinely lie to their loved ones
• people who encourage minors to participate in the above activities

I’m not saying it’s impossible to tell good stories about superhero ethics – but I AM saying that it is impossible to do so within a shared corporate universe that is dedicated to maintaining the profitability of its trademarks. (And given that those corporations are direct descendents of organized crime cartels, getting them to ever put ethics or story values above profits is always going to be an extreme uphill battle.)

This rant brought to you by the fact that I recently caught up on a bunch of Marvel comics which were involved in the Civil War II crossover. A lot of characters had to suddenly be a lot stupider than they previously had been in order for that conflict to happen.

I note that Squirrel Girl was not involved. My personal headcanon is that she was off-planet during this mess. If she HAD been around, it would’ve been wrapped up in one or two issues, three tops, and would never have gotten so heated as to deserve the title ‘Civil War’.

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Yeah -- to my considerable disappointment, Civil War II was actually a significantly worse story overall than Secret Wars was. (A fairly low bar, although to be fair I hated Secret Wars quite a bit less than I expected to.)

It does occur to me to ask, though: you *have* read Strong Female Protagonist, right?

Yes, though I'm not caught up with the webcomic. SFP is, among otjer things, am existence proof that it IS possible tp tell excellent superhero stories which revolve around discussions of superhero ethics.

Yeah, that's why I brought it up -- it's the one truly serious examination of the topic I've seen. (I not only pushed it on Kate, she's suggested it as an upcoming topic for the Wellesley Book Club.)

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