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Trying to wrap my mind around New Avengers 21 (spoilers)

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alaska1125

dINGO

Postby alaska1125 » Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:24 pm

Without having read the bulk of the comments here, I was wondering why the dystopian future is so prevalent in multimedia. Between this (which I pretty much dislike), DC's Future's End and Injustice, and basically every sci-fi based movie coming out, it feels like it's everywhere. I suppose it's been a trope that's been around forever, but the fact that everyone I bump into knows the term "dystopian" seems like we're settling into a weird comfort zone. I'll admit, I don't love it being the new staus quo in Avengers. Call me naive. :smt102
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Chessack

Great Scott!!!

Postby Chessack » Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:40 pm

Herald wrote:But those professionals aren't trained to deal with GALACTUS, are they?? The police officers' ability to read someone their Miranda Rights isn't exactly going to thwart him.


In addition to this point, some superheroes DO have broad, government-sanctioned authority (or they did, back in the day). For example, pre-Crisis, both Superman and Supergirl have world-wide police powers granted to them by the U.N. Any country that is a member nation of the U.N. would be required to recognize their authority to enter the country's borders and make arrests. The U.N. trusts Superman and Supergirl to do this responsibly because they have always used the minimum force against the bad guys. Superman and Supergirl ARREST people and turn them over to the local authorities... They only STOP the crime in progress (or maybe take action to prevent one from happening)... They don't mete out the punishment. They let the legal system do that.

They are also not the only ones. In the Stan Lee era of X-men (issues 1-19 or so, I believe), the Xavier worked for/with the U.S. government. The government was aware of and supported his school, and his project with the X-men. In later years this relationship of course broke down, but originally, they were a government-sanctioned team.

Additionally, under most interpretations, at least until recently, Captain America is a government-sanctioned superhero and has broad authority in the U.S. and its territories. Additionally, his membership/leadership of the Avengers then gives THAT team both legitimacy and authority as well -- it'd be akin to having a police lieutenant be a member of the local community watch.

And finally, classic Batman is another great example. The city's police commissioner explicitly sanctions Batman's behavior and even calls upon him with a world-famous, special signal, right? People see that in the sky and they know, "The police are calling upon Batman." So it's not fair to consider Batman to be some lawless vigilante. He's working WITH the cops' approval and AT their request.

Now, this isn't the case for all superheroes, but in fact in the Silver/Bronze age, it was not at all uncommon for heroes to be working almost as government sub-contractors. Over time writers started changing this and asking "what would happen if these guys were not approved of by the government?" starting with Roy Thomas and the X-Men, and eventually bleeding over into other books. But originally, many superheroes were explicitly approved of by local and even world governments, and were not simply acting as lawless vigilantes.

I don't know how to multi-quote different people in one post but PDH said this:
So, OK, Rorshach believes that there are terrible injustices happening all over the place and that it would also be an injustice for the people responsible for those crimes to 'merely' suffer a jail sentence, so he goes and kills them all. Ozymandias believes that an even more terrible injustice is about to happen so he drops Cthulhu on New York and slaughters over a million people to save the world.


Again... Superheroes classically do NOT dish out punishment. They capture criminals and hand them over to the appropriate local authorities. What is being described here for Rorshach and Ozy is them dealing out punishment -- they are acting as judge, jury, and executioner. But that is not the role of a superhero any more than it's the role of a cop. Superheroes are making, as Herald explains, citizen's arrests. That's ALL they are supposed to do. They are not supposed to punish anyone. In fact, when they start dealing out punishment is when they classically are said to have gone over the line.

Remember... heroes arrest and turn over to the authorities. They do not punish.

It's the anti-heroes, the neutrals, the vigilantes, and the villains/thugs who do the punishing.
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Pharozonk

Motherfucker from Hell

Postby Pharozonk » Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:40 pm

It;s because every damn writer now these days has read Days of Future Past and suddenly thinks every story involving the future should copy that great story. Unfortunately, they just suck at making anything good out of it. :smt102
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Chessack

Great Scott!!!

Postby Chessack » Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:45 pm

alaska1125 wrote:Without having read the bulk of the comments here, I was wondering why the dystopian future is so prevalent in multimedia. Between this (which I pretty much dislike), DC's Future's End and Injustice, and basically every sci-fi based movie coming out, it feels like it's everywhere.


Dystopian future is hot right now... it's a fad... a trend. Like all fads, it'll fade and be replaced by something else in a few years.
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habitual

Silly French Man

Postby habitual » Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:53 pm

Chessack wrote:
Dystopian future is hot right now... it's a fad... a trend. Like all fads, it'll fade and be replaced by something else in a few years.


Dystopian futures have been a fad since H.G. Wells.

Hab
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alaska1125

dINGO

Postby alaska1125 » Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:57 pm

habitual wrote:
Dystopian futures have been a fad since H.G. Wells.

Hab

I agree, but it seems more prevalent than ever. Fad? Something more societal based? Thinking too much about it? (Probably the latter, but it's an itch in the back of my brain.)
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Spektre

FROGMAN

Postby Spektre » Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:29 pm

PDH wrote:
Let's look at the full quote.



What right do they have? Well, they have the power to do it, which is what gives them the right according to Chessack. Everything else is about how he thinks they should exercise that right, not about what gives them the right in the first place.

A principled difference between what the U.S. government does and what Superheroes do, for example, is that they are democratically elected, something which cannot be said for most Superheroes. This is one of the reasons why writers sometimes want to explore the justification behind the superheroes' brand of vigilantism instead of just taking it for granted that it's perfectly fine. It's because it's not obvious that it is perfectly fine.


It IS a difference, perhaps under some definitions even a principled one. Certainly not a moral difference. To turn a phrase...or paragraph.

A principled difference between what libertarians do and what the US. Government does is libertarians realize the use of force against another is not made legitiamte simply because it's popular. Morality isn't decided by a vote. This is one of the reasons why libertarian literature sometimes wants to explore the justification behind the government's brand of force, instead of just taking it for granted that it's perfectly fine. It's because it's not obvious that it is perfectly fine.
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Spektre

FROGMAN

Postby Spektre » Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:38 pm

Rockman wrote:gotta say that I think being more realistic does not mean that it is not fun.


I agree. For me more realistic = more fun. However I think the problem with today's comics is not "more realism", it's more "grimdark."

It's almost as if TPTB don't believe ANYONE can be "good". That good is an outdated "unrealistic" premise.

And as to the Nu52. I DO enjoy realism. When I'm told...this guy that you saw marry this girl actually never married that girl...yeah, that hurts realism and thus enjoyment to me.

The Nu52 was a very, very bad idea, regardless of execution.
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Spektre

FROGMAN

Postby Spektre » Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:42 pm



The quote is good one but is getting dated. I'd say that even more recently, to extend the analogy, what they seem to be trying to tell us is: "We took apart your old trusty watch of 50 years and found out it never told the time."
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Chessack

Great Scott!!!

Postby Chessack » Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:43 pm

alaska1125 wrote:I agree, but it seems more prevalent than ever. Fad? Something more societal based? Thinking too much about it? (Probably the latter, but it's an itch in the back of my brain.)


It's a fad. When Hollywood finds a formula that works (or any media, including comics), they glom onto it and do it to death until people get sick of it, each producer copying the prior ones. There have been fads like this before. Westerns were huge in the 50s-60s and then died out, for example. Disaster movies were big in the 90s-early 200s and are still occasionally done but not as much as they used to be. War movies were big for a while, then went out of style. Monster movies were big for a while (Wolfman, Frankenstein, Dracula, etc), then went out of style. Etc.

Right now, one of the things that's "in" is Dystopia. Fits with the whole GrimdDark fad.
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Spektre

FROGMAN

Postby Spektre » Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:57 pm

Chessack wrote:
No, according to me power gives you responsibility. And not just superheroes. People with power to do things to help each other are supposed to do so -- it's sort of the golden rule. If your neighbor's house is on fire, and you have a hose, then you have the power to save your neighbor's house. Most moral people would agree that you ought to step in and help, despite not being deputized by the government to fight fires. The power of the hose makes you responsible to your neighbor -- it doesn't give you special "rights." And in fact if you had a hose and could have helped but you didn't, and your other neighbors on the block find out, they'd probably all call you a jerk (or worse) for not pitching in. Because helping other people who are in trouble is part of what we're supposed to do. It's called being a Good Samaritan -- and it's generally admired.



Which as I say, would be fine if you were right, and "writers sometimes" explored it. My problem is, that's all they seem to do anymore, and they use fancy terms like "deconstructionism" to justify it. But what it really amounts to is that the writers of today implicitly REJECT the Good Samaritan model. They either don't believe in it, or else don't believe anyone could actually BE a Good Samaritan for real -- that in the real world everyone is out for himself, nobody is "that good" and everyone has some evil inside that is just begging to be explored. Sure that neighbor with the hose helped you, but he only did it because the fire was threatening the secret underground tunnel he was building into the bank to steal money... etc.


For the most part, I agree with you but to PDH's point, sometimes its not so simple.

So you have the hose, the power and by your reasoning, the responsibility to put out the fire. What happens to the house just to the other side of the fire you flood and destroy, because you had the power and responsibility. What happens when because the water you used up from your well can now not be used to keep your crops alive and they die causing some to starve? I had 3 more examples but the idea is the same.

AS for the current crop of creators not being able to believe people can just be "good", you're absolutely right.

If I were Hearld, I might say something along the lines of, "It's simple jealously that they cannot brook someone better than they are. If I were Herald.

:)
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BubbaKanoosh

2009 Most Valuable Poster

Postby BubbaKanoosh » Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:59 pm

Grayson wrote:Cyclops was right.


+1
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BubbaKanoosh

2009 Most Valuable Poster

Postby BubbaKanoosh » Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:01 pm

Namor isn't really a hero, in my mind.

He's drinking buddies with Doom for chritsakes.
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john lewis hawk

Founder of The Outhouse

Postby john lewis hawk » Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:00 pm

alaska1125 wrote:Without having read the bulk of the comments here, I was wondering why the dystopian future is so prevalent in multimedia. Between this (which I pretty much dislike), DC's Future's End and Injustice, and basically every sci-fi based movie coming out, it feels like it's everywhere. I suppose it's been a trope that's been around forever, but the fact that everyone I bump into knows the term "dystopian" seems like we're settling into a weird comfort zone. I'll admit, I don't love it being the new staus quo in Avengers. Call me naive. :smt102

It's due to people's mistrust of society.
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Grayson

Outhouse Drafter

Postby Grayson » Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:12 pm

BubbaKanoosh wrote:+1


I think that you'll agree that the Illuminati owe Scott Summers an immediate apology and any perceived crimes should be swiftly expunged from his record.

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