Monthly Archives: May 2011

Joining a team- Wolverine: Loner AND Team Builder

Greetings, heroes!

Today I want to talk about the benefits of just being a part of a team, even for the most rebellious among us.

Rebellious!

I’m pretty sure we all know Wolverine.  Short, muscular, and with thick facial hair the envy of young men everywhere, Wolverine has all the necessary components of a true badass.  He has an unbreakable skeleton, regenerative healing power, and two foot long retractable blades which can emerge from his fists at will.

He's even cool as a bobblehead!

Wolverine is the definition of the rebellious anti-hero.  He’s tough, a loner, is often seen with a half-finished cigar, and is known for pithy lines like, “I go…where I wanna go” Continue reading

Joining a team

If you’re a superhero, its not a stretch to say that you either belong to a team or will join one shortly.  Few heroes go through their careers without becoming part of a team at some point, and plenty of heroes belong to more than one team.  Moreover, some superhero teams are constantly taking on new members, meaning that, at the time of this writing, a team like the Avengers has over 100 members, past and present.

Over the last 30 years, the Avengers change team members as often as they change their underwear

 
 

How to heroically use violence

Now that you’ve decided to clean up your city as a vigilante, it’s time for action!  Pull on your solar-powered armor, jump into your flying hover cycle, and take to the streets!  Wait, what’s that below you?  Is that an elderly woman having her purse stolen?  No police in sight and the criminal is getting away.  Looks like you’re going to have to stop that thief, superhero!

Before you jump down there and knock that scoundrel’s lights out, I have a quick question for you: does your solution involve violence?  More problems in comics are solved through a strong punch than any other method.  This does not mean, however, that violence is always the most heroic action. As you seek to undertake heroic actions, your use of violence will either distinguish you from the villains you battle or place you within their midst.

Shown: Excessive

 

 

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Doing the Right Thing- Heroic Ethics

Hello, heroes.

Looking back over the three categories of ethics, what fails to emerge is a clearcut, definitive category that encompasses what we think of when we think of a superhero.  Each category has heroes who adhere to it principles.  But it is also easy to criticize each category for its incompleteness.  Each category requires limitations because following any category too closely leads away from heroism.

Every hero has their problems

 

Doing the Right Thing- Being Heroic

Greetings, heroes!

The last two topics discussed the ethics of situations.  They argued that, in a given situation, it didn’t matter who performed the action in question, so long as it was performed ethically.  But this isn’t how real life works.  When the Joker drives a truck around destroying things, he’s a maniac who should be locked up.

This will not end well

 

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Doing the Right Thing- When the Ends Justify the Means

Greetings again, True Believers!

One common criticism of heroes such as Superman is that they are “Boy Scouts”: heroes who naively do the right thing in every situation.

Notable exceptions abound

 

Doing the right thing- Moral Duty

Greetings superheroes! 

So we’ve all been there: a fellow hero has been forced to work for the enemy, typically through a loved one held hostage,  and is being used to steal a powerful artifact or cut power to a city or something like that.  You have a difficult choice to make.  Do you stop your fellow hero and friend from performing the dastardly deed?  Or do you help him in the robbery, thus preventing injury to his loved one?  This is a typical hero dilemma, and for a good reason: it bridges two viable ethical categories.  If you help your friend with the robbery, you might save his loved one.  If, on the other hand, you knock out your friend, you stop an evil act, but potentially doom the one he loves.

Batman knows what to do!

 

Doing the right thing: Ethical categories

Now that you have your superpowers and are back from those 5 long years learning martial arts in the Far East, you’re ready to hit the streets and start saving the world.  But before you try to do the right thing, have you stopped to consider how you determine what the right thing is?  Sure, there are some cases where the right thing to do is easy.  Captain America didn’t know how good he had it when he started out.

This feels right

 

Gaining your ability- Good old fashioned hard work

Having read the last two posts on gaining powers, I’m sure you’ll agree that gaining superpowers or building super-weapons is difficult, morally challenging, and quite frankly more than a little dangerous.  If either of these methods is not your strong suit, then do not despair!  There is one more method available to the aspiring superhero, and in many ways, it is the “easiest” method of the three.  I’m talking, of course, about getting out there and training until you are fit, toned, and so skilled that nothing can stop you.

Generally speaking, there are three main types of the insanely skilled hero.  The first is the special forces type who just happened to be in the most elite service unit in the military and who learned some really neat things while serving.  For example, the Punisher.

T-shirts like that only come in one color

 

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Gaining Your Ability- Technology

Greetings, superheroes!  As promised, this is a continuation of a previous post on how to gain your powers in a heroic manner.  The last post covered the high-risk high-reward scenario of attempting to gain superpowers.  The unfortunate part of attempting to gain an ability that way it that you are far more likely to kill yourself than come away with any real benefit.  Sure, you might become a huge green hulk after being exposed to a gamma ray bomb, but more likely the bomb will do what bombs are designed to do: kill you.

Pictured: Survival Highly Improbable.  Chance of becoming a Hulk: Certain.

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