01 April 2013
Superhero State Policy
On the way to school today 11-year-old was telling me about a mock trial they would be performing today at the local university. Apparently Thor is in hot water over his abuse of Bruce Banner, breaking or bruising his coccyx as a preventative measure...that is keeping him "hampered" before he can become The Hulk.
"Thor uses violence to stop violence, Dad. I mean, the idea is if you kill someone they can't give you anymore trouble, right?"
Hmmm...the trial will be decided on "legal" considerations? Or is there a moral or ethical consideration?
You seem to have stumbled onto the US rationale for being the world's largest penal state and the world's largest invading and occupying military, my boy.
And I suppose we might more easily understand this as a very real aspect of superhero comics. It is a medium used to aggressively promote Team America (Captain America).
I've always loved the fact that Captain America, patriot-extraordinaire, is an underling meant to simply do the dirty work for the "good guys."
As far as I'm aware these comics were born during WWII and became the building blocks of baby-boomer ideology.
In any event, the simplicity of the story and the medium--there is good, there is evil; our violence and murder and terror is good, any other violence that doesn't fit with our violence is evil and needs to be eradicated. This is then easily extended to any other aspect of us/them ideology.