Superman

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by urbandefault, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not a rant at all. It never made sense in any way a real person would accept; as seen in many a superhero film, there are some clearly lethal villains who cannot be captured, forced to stand down, surrender or leave. In situations of that kind, the villain has to be killed, otherwise the hero is playing with the lives of the innocent all to maintain his or her self-image related to an unworkable, largely irrational code. As seen in Captain America: The First Avenger, the final fight aboard the Valkyrie was in no way a mission to capture the Red Skull, who was intent on launching advanced bombs on populations around the world, potentially killing hundreds of millions of civilians. Knowing this, Cap was aboard to kill the Red Skull, not talk him down, or apprehend him.

    In Man of Steel, Zod was not going to listen to pleading, accept negotiation (not that there was any way to negotiate with a super-powered tyrant) when he launched the World Engine, or was set to murder a family. There's no tired grinning, winking to the camera and picking a villain up by the collar to hand him off the police. The same applies to Thanos. If a threat is to sell as a believable threat, the hero--on occasion--has to accept there are no options other than to eliminate the villain. Failing that, the innocent suffer to unimaginable degrees (especially with the plans and actions of the three named antagonists).
     
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  2. Gingerbread Demon

    Gingerbread Demon Stealer of all the cookies in time and space Premium Member

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    And since I'm plowing my way through the series Supergirl I see this a lot with her "no kill" policy and super sunny disposition and it kind of irritates me, that's kind of what brought out my rant.
     
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  3. M'rk son of Mogh

    M'rk son of Mogh Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Maybe it's a cultural thing, but no killing is a pretty good character element to have, especially with a role model like Kara that a lot of young girls look up to. We obviously don't get enough of that in real life so having a fantasy character to look up to (remember, adults, these characters aren't real) is actually pretty positive.
     
  4. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If it's any consolation, her sister Alex has probably killed hundreds of people.

    ...

    Brando got on a roll, and he never takes notes, so he said that Jor-El is from the planet "Kryptin".

    The baddy Kryptonian Lord Norr from Season 4 of Lois and Clark was also saying "Kryptin".

    Weird coincidence or really deep cut?

    Another note from season four of L&CTNAOSM, noble families are represented by boys and girls, but the womyn carry within them the right to rule, and then it's the dudes who actually govern, or at least that's what seemed to have happened.
     
  5. Supervisor 194

    Supervisor 194 Captain Captain

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    If these stories were taking place in the real world, a no kill rule would not make sense, true, just as in the real world OF COURSE soldiers would be expected and cheered for killing invaders. But that's not what I look for in a Superman story. I want to see the character use his powers in clever ways and find a way to win whatever is at stake, without being dragged down to the level of the real world. I prefer writers who approach Superman from that point of view, rather than writers who want to bend him to be subject to the harsh reality of life. To be sure, you can tell great stories using either approach, but one resonates with me and one doesn't. YMMV.
     
  6. Gingerbread Demon

    Gingerbread Demon Stealer of all the cookies in time and space Premium Member

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    Oh no that's fine and I get that. That's a super cool reason to keep that in the character and the show but as a viewer that was just one thing that stuck out to me, despite the fact I do like the show for what it is. I really do. Just that aspect stuck out and bugged me a little.
     
  7. YLu

    YLu Commander Red Shirt

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    A no killing rule makes sense IF the character can genuinely stop the stop the bad guys without killing them. Which, since the writers controls what happens in these fantasy stories, can indeed be the case. (In Joe Casey's run on Superman comics, he took it further and made Superman a literal pacifist. He never hit his enemies but instead found other ways to de-power/pacify/contain/etc. And it WORKED because these are fantasy stories and the writers control the circumstances.)
     
  8. Gingerbread Demon

    Gingerbread Demon Stealer of all the cookies in time and space Premium Member

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    True to a certain point. But when you set them in a world that is a stand in for the real world real world rules to an extent should apply.
     
  9. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Kara is not a cop or a soldier.

    She has no training in lethal force, or legal permission to use lethal force.

    Even if it would be really hot if she was drenched in the blood of her enemies.
     
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  10. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So considering that virtually the majority of superheroes are vigilantes who operate outside the law, they should be in prison too?

    Because, try to beat up people who don't adhere to your personal concept of right and wrong dressed in a flamboyant costume in real life, and I'm sure the police will want to have a few words with you ...
     
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  11. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It makes strangely sense ...
     
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  12. Gingerbread Demon

    Gingerbread Demon Stealer of all the cookies in time and space Premium Member

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    I can't argue any of that you are correct.
     
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  13. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Oliver Queen spent half a season in jail.

    I feel like Kara has been deputized by the DEO, and if the DEO was a legally sanctioned operation rather than a final solution to the alien problem dreamed up by xenophobes 20 years ago to keep white humans with money, safe... No seriously, the real Hank Henshaw wanted to kill all aliens, and he was in charge, which was probably not a coincidence.

    The lack of oversight is probably how John was able to change the DEO's mandate without much pushback.
     
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  14. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We had a similar discussion on another forum and the consensus that a superhero couldn't operate for long, even in the States which citizen's arrest is allowed. (We are talking about bona fide superheroes a là Batman or Daredevil, not "real-life superheroes", who are just people doing community work dressed funny).

    Even if they weren't killed first, they would inevitably screw up. They would interfere with a police operation, accidentally arrest an innocent person, or kill a suspect. There is a reason why in theory a functioning society should have the police forces maintain public order, police forces which (always in theory) must answer for their actions and not private citizens who hide their identity behind a mask.
     
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  15. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But that's not a sustainable plotting model. There will always be criminals / threats that cannot be easily captured, de-powered, never open to surrendering or negotiation (as in the movie examples posted yesterday) and will kill anyone for whatever motivates them. That does not leave the option for a non-lethal option to end to the conflict. If every villain ends up de-powered / contained / pacified, etc., there's no risk for the hero (or civilians), as the expectation would set in that the hero will always end his conflicts in the equivalent manner of a 1980s Saturday morning cartoon.
     
  16. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There's this theory I like about Batman.

    It's all fake.

    All the villains, and cops and Commissioner Gordon are crisis actors employed by Alfred, because Bruce is a arrogant billionaire playboy who only thinks he has the skills of Batman, when really he's a delusional idiot who wants to be Batman, and would fall flat on his face if every scenario was not rigged in his favour and scripted.

    Above fits the 1966 TV show perfectly.
     
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  17. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Uh, it's literally the plot of Neil Gaiman's Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?

     
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  18. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    To me having characters like Superman kill regularly goes completely against what those kind of characters are supposed to represent. These characters are supposed to be the absolute ideal hero, and killing is never the ideal solution, it's always the absolute last resort, when every other option has failed. For me a big part of what makes Superman such a great hero, is the fact that he has that much power, but uses to protect people, and preserve life, rather than taking it.
    I'm not saying no hero should ever kill, there are plenty who do, like James Bond, but those are always darker characters, in a more grounded world, which is almost the complete opposite of what Superman is.
     
  19. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, the problem with wanting Superman to not have a "no kill" rule, is that you're trying to make the Superman story a story for adults. And it's not a story for adults -- it's a story for children. It's a childhood fantasy of having unaccountable power yet being morally justified in its use at all times. It is a wish-fulfillment story. It's not supposed to be realistic.
     
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  20. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The problem with that view of Superman is that he exists in the same universe as the other DC characters, experiencing the same things they do, or facing similar threats. For that reason alone, he cannot be the four-color equivalent of the character seen on the Super Friends, but one having to deal with / respond to situations that are not always wrapped up with a slap on the wrist and an accusing finger-wag.