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  1. #16
    Mighty Member capandkirby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by capandkirby View Post
    The problem with the SHRA is that its an antithesis to the superhero genre.

    Most of the heroes were inspired by a vacuum that existed in real-life society, especially the Golden Age heroes. Superman was conceived because Jerry Siegel's father, a store-owner, died during a store robbery. So he birthed into existence a being who was good, and just, and strong, and would have prevented such a tragedy from occurring. Batman rose from the popularity of such heroes as Zorro or Dick Tracy... who were popular because, in real-life, the Prohibition had resulted in the rise of organized crime, so a hero immune from cop and city official corruption, who fought for the people against such corruption, particularly in a large metro area, really appealed. Steve Rogers was created because America wasn't taking a stance against Hitler, we were in a state of isolationism and there were even a lot of Nazi sympathizers in the country and that made Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, both Jewish, understandably furious. If America wouldn't protect the Jewish against a mad-man, then they would create an America who would. Cap was a political protest. The Punisher rose out of the disillusionment of the Vietnam war, how soldiers had been drafted into a war very few supported and came back and put on the streets, riddled with PTSD, without so much as a thank you for your service from the country who had forced them into said service to begin with, and none of them received adequate treatment for the scars, both mental, and physical, the war had left on them.

    The superhero genre revolves around the idea that the Earth needed special people with special powers beyond the capabilities of real-life governments or first responders, and, more importantly, beyond their rule book and political swaying. The creators were implying, some more subtly than others (and some not subtly at all), that sometimes those institutions weren't enough: not fast enough, not honest enough, not earnest enough, not strong enough, not ballsy enough, to be the hero the people need. Superheroes were an attempt to fill that void. That's the entire point of them. Making them a part of the institutions that Kirby, Simon, Siegel, Shuster, Kane, Finger and Conway were pointing out the flaws in is an antithesis to that intent.

    Moreover, it's not as if the government in the MU has been portrayed as being trustworthy or honest or just enough to control what amounts to an army of drafted superpowered people at their beck and call. Currently in the MU Roxxon is doing what ever the heck they want, including helping Malekith invade Earth, not to mention human experimentation, and getting away with it (Immortal Hulk, Avengers, Invaders). And they have political backing and politicians in their pocket. A Roxxon representative was shown at a UN meeting. Fisk is the mayor of New York. In the Cap book, a group called the Power Elite, consisting of the Lukins (Alexander is possessed by Red Skull), the Watchdogs, Fisk, the Chadwicks are not only attempting to take over America via collusion, they also have the press in their pocket and are controlling that. So is Roxxon.

    I had a very interesting conversation with a mutual on Twitter the other day that posited the following question: if the X-Men have given the US drugs that are supposed to cure multiple diseases and extend life, why is Aunt May sick and dying? And one of the conclusions we came to is that maybe the government is not actually distributing said drugs. Maybe they are hoarding them. Maybe this is a future plot point. We already know that Roxxon is on the verge of offering superpowers to whomever has the money to pay for it.

    And then there's the fact that the US created the Squadron Supreme, and Russia revitalized the Winter Guard, all under the direction Mephisto, in order to rage a superhero war with Atlantis and the Avengers.

    My point is that the world governments in the MU aren't exactly awesome (far, FAR from it), and since the SHRA was shown on panel as being the brainchild of the Bush administration (see below), this fact was true even back when Civil War came out, so the thought of these governments, and the US government in particular, having a registration that inscripts superpowered citizens is not... good (<- understatement).

    All this said, one could argue that the SHRA, like the superheroes themselves, was created to point out the flaws in the system, as it was a metaphor for the Patriot Act. Millar, through his own admission, was drawing attention to how disturbingly easily Americans bartered their personal freedoms for security. Cap, representative of civil liberties, was always intended to lose and Iron Man, representative of big brother, was always intended to win, because that is what happened in real-life. Thus the flaws in the SHRA were a reflection of real-life. But that status couldn't remain within Marvel, because, as I said above, the very nature of superheroes is to point out the ails inherent within society, not be a part of them.

  2. #17
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    Which begs the question: if vigilantes with powers really believe that the American government is villainous, why don't they overthrow it? If democracy is just another supervillain, then end it and replace it with a superhero oligarchy, in which only superheroes, characters who have a much more consistent record of moral integrity, are allowed to vote.

  3. #18
    Mighty Member capandkirby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelC View Post
    Which begs the question: if vigilantes with powers really believe that the American government is villainous, why don't they overthrow it? If democracy is just another supervillain, then end it and replace it with a superhero oligarchy, in which only superheroes, characters who have a much more consistent record of moral integrity, are allowed to vote.
    Numerous reasons:

    1) it negates the point. The point of the superhero story is to point out flaws, not be the ultimate solution to them, because superheroes don't actually exist, so the moral of the story is that (wo)mankind, itself, needs to look for solutions within the realm of reality using superheroes, as a work of fiction, to provide inspiration to want to fight for what's right. It's like Roddenberry's Star Trek. It's hopeful. It's goals. It's the idea that eventually mankind will get their heads out of their butts and better themselves enough to a point where all races and genders serve together without bigotry, and a future without war is possible, therein mankind can move on to more important matters, like advancements to medicine, exploration and technology. It's meant to be inspiring, it's meant to galvanize real people to want to make a difference within the real world. And it has, as numerous technologies, not limited to the cell phone and Google translate, were directly inspired by Star Trek. Another example would be Dana Scully inspiring so many young women to join STEM, fields notoriously male-dominated. In other words, fiction inspires real-life mobility. Cap did it. He was invented as a political protest, but once America *did* join the war (almost a full year after the first Cap comic), Cap helped galvanize many people to enlist and to fight. So basically it's up to mankind to solve these issues, superheroes merely draw attention to the issues, prevent people from burying their heads in the sand, and they also serve as motivation. You're supposed to read Spider-Man and come out thinking, how can I help my neighborhood/community. You're supposed to read Cap and wonder, how can I help America be better and actually live up to it's ideals instead of bastardizing them. You're supposed to read Iron Man and realize that a (wo)man is not defined by his/her worst mistakes, and that you can use your big brain to help mankind reach new levels of technology to the betterment of all.

    2) that would be an ending. Serial storytelling is not supposed to have a definitive end. That would put Marvel out of business.

    3) And on that note, and ties directly to points one and two, an ending would be counterproductive. The point to any story is the struggle. To use the SHRA example. The SHRA was a metaphor for the Patriot Act. Millar himself has said this. Bluntly. He hasn't hidden that fact. Reality itself had an ending. It passed. It's still a part of us, however unfortunate that may be. Therein Millar's point would not be preventing it from passing, that already happened. The point is highlighting ways that it could AND HAS been abused. re: Negative Zone = Guantanamo Bay. Fake war with Atlantis = Iraq. Biased reporting = Fox News. etc.
    Last edited by capandkirby; 01-14-2020 at 01:24 PM.

  4. #19
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    CW 1 was just as much or an unconstitutional goat rope and CW 2 was with Captain Marvel acting on no real crimes being committed...just the visions of a psychic saying something was going to happen.

  5. #20
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    with the way the marvel government is, and i've said it before, the only real way is anarchy

    legitimately every time i see it, even captain america in AvX, somehow everyone ends up with overreaches
    it's like the government is corrupting or something
    Last edited by Ichijinijisanji; 01-14-2020 at 01:36 PM.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ichijinijisanji View Post
    with the way the marvel government is, and i've said it before, the only real way is anarchy

    legitimately every time i see it, even captain america in AvX, somehow everyone ends up with overreaches
    it's like the government is corrupting or something
    Anarchy or oligarchy is the logical endpoiint of a character who believes that democratic institutions should have no right to regulate him because he is morally superior to the voting public. Indeed, in practice anarchy and oligarchy would blur in such a character if said character were powerful enough to enforce his personal definition of justice.

  7. #22
    Mighty Member capandkirby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelC View Post
    Which begs the question: if vigilantes with powers really believe that the American government is villainous, why don't they overthrow it? If democracy is just another supervillain, then end it and replace it with a superhero oligarchy, in which only superheroes, characters who have a much more consistent record of moral integrity, are allowed to vote.
    By the way, I'm pretty sure that Marvel has plainly gone for the stance, especially recently, that the governments within the MU are corrupt, I mean, call me reading into things, but pretty sure we're past the point of being beyond a reasonable doubt in that regard...




  8. #23
    Mighty Member capandkirby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by capandkirby View Post
    By the way, I'm pretty sure that Marvel has plainly gone for the stance, especially recently, that the governments within the MU are corrupt, I mean, call me reading into things, but pretty sure we're past the point of being beyond a reasonable doubt in that regard...
    Continued...




  9. #24
    Mighty Member capandkirby's Avatar
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    Continued...




  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelC View Post
    Anarchy or oligarchy is the logical endpoiint of a character who believes that democratic institutions should have no right to regulate him because he is morally superior to the voting public. Indeed, in practice anarchy and oligarchy would blur in such a character if said character were powerful enough to enforce his personal definition of justice.
    the first assumption is that a state can be influenced by the voters and not the other way around. A lot of the time we see a whole lot of power centralized, and over time through propaganda and illusion of choice the value of the voter falls. Plus the current state of marvel does have shades of oligarchy (or even real life USA has shades of it)

    anarchism doesn't necessarily have to be free of democracy, they're just opposed to authority or hierarchy. They can be more in favor of direct democracy or consensus-decision-making


    though some forms of government in marvel definitely have monarchies like with asgard or wakanda (but atleast asgard has a worthiness hammer thing)
    Last edited by Ichijinijisanji; 01-14-2020 at 02:57 PM.

  11. #26
    Mighty Member capandkirby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelC View Post
    Anarchy or oligarchy is the logical endpoiint of a character who believes that democratic institutions should have no right to regulate him because he is morally superior to the voting public. Indeed, in practice anarchy and oligarchy would blur in such a character if said character were powerful enough to enforce his personal definition of justice.
    You're creating a false dichotomy. Either one or the other. Either the unregistered sign, or they're anarchists. It is possible for democracy to exist but for bad laws and unjust, inhumane treatment to exist simultaneously. It is not undemocratic to fight an unjust law, particularly within a society where free speech, the right to peaceful protest and the right to due process exists. Squelching protest, the way the pro-registration side did, was NOT democratic nor were Reed, Stark and Skrull!Pym trying to uphold democracy, they were creating a state of martial law, which is about as undemocratic as you can get. Those with superpowers were told they had to sign (wherein the pro-registration side knocked on Jessica Jones' door in the middle of the night and told her she HAD to sign or else, even though she had no intentions of being a superhero at that time as she had JUST had a baby)...



    Or they were thrown into a prison with dirt floors, and no beds, denied medical treatment, where the prison was located in an area that slowly drove those who inhibited it insane...



    It is not undemocratic to say, this is wrong, and refuse to sign. Protesting is pointing out that there is a flaw in the system that needs to be fixed.

    Obama, himself, thought the SHRA to be unconstitutional...



    Because. it. was.

    Keep in mind that SHIELD starting enforcing the SHRA before the thing had even passed. When Hill open fired on Steve for refusing to arrest anyone who didn't sign, the SHRA hadn't even gone through congress yet.
    Last edited by capandkirby; 01-14-2020 at 03:29 PM.

  12. #27
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    No, that's not what I said. What I said wasn't even about the SHRA in particular, which was so inconsistent from book to book as to be meaningless. They couldn't even make up their minds whether SHIELD was an American or United Nations organization, after all. What I said was that the logical endpoint of a character who believes that democratic institutions should have no right to regulate him because he is morally superior to the voting public is anarchist or oligarch, or combination of both if the character is powerful enough to enforce his personal morality. Which was a response to people like Ichijinijisanji discussing that subject, which again is separate from the SHRA in particular.

  13. #28
    Mighty Member capandkirby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelC View Post
    No, that's not what I said. What I said wasn't even about the SHRA in particular, which was so inconsistent from book to book as to be meaningless. They couldn't even make up their minds whether SHIELD was an American or United Nations organization, after all. What I said was that the logical endpoint of a character who believes that democratic institutions should have no right to regulate him because he is morally superior to the voting public is anarchist or oligarch, or combination of both if the character is powerful enough to enforce his personal morality. Which was a response to people like Ichijinijisanji discussing that subject, which again is separate from the SHRA in particular.
    Again though, not in a country where the right to free speech, peaceful protest and due process exists. You have to look at context. You're trying to say you either worship the rule of every law, or you hate democracy. But why is this 'someone' considering themselves 'above the law'? Is the law they are protesting fair and just or does it infringe on their constitutional rights? You can respect democracy but still protest a law that is an infringement on personal liberty. These are not mutually exclusive. History is riddled with unfair laws. I'll give a direct example. Public Law 503, otherwise known as Japanese internment during wartime. And that horrible human rights violation of a law wasn't publicly apologized for until 1988, decades after the war. Would you consider anyone protesting that heinous law thinking themselves above Democracy? Anarchists? I wouldn't. I would consider them, rightfully, pointing out a flaw (and a rather tremendous one at that) in the system, as is the right (and moral obligation) of any citizen.
    Last edited by capandkirby; 01-14-2020 at 04:36 PM.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by capandkirby View Post
    You're trying to say you either worship the rule of every law, or you hate democracy.
    No, again, you're strawmanning me. I believe in the right to peaceful protest. That right is vital to a functioning democracy. I also believe that when cops and soldiers are free, no one else is. The regulation of cops and soldiers is vital to the freedom of society as a whole. Miranda laws, body-cams, a whole host of limitations on the freedom and privacy of policemen and soldiers is vital to maintaining the freedom of people as a whole. All the things you have been praising are endangered by making policemen and soldiers free of regulation. Superhuman vigilantes have volunteered for a role in society that combines policemen and soldier. And having volunteered for that role in society, they should have the same regulations, because those regulations are vital to the freedom of society as whole. Freedom isn't something you can just plunk down in a chunk. You end up with cops and soldiers being monsters, corporations polluting everything and forming monopolies and hiring children if you just plunk down a wad-o-freedom.

    Now then, I'm sure you're about to give a bunch of examples of the SHRA not being in line with what I just said. Okay then, I'm the enemy of that version of the SHRA as well. But that doesn't mean the choice is to just plunk down a wad-o-freedom. Instead I'd want a version of super-vigilante-regulation that IS in line with what I've said.

  15. #30
    Mighty Member capandkirby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelC View Post
    No, again, you're strawmanning me. I believe in the right to peaceful protest. That right is vital to a functioning democracy. I also believe that when cops and soldiers are free, no one else is. The regulation of cops and soldiers is vital to the freedom of society as a whole. Miranda laws, body-cams, a whole host of limitations on the freedom and privacy of policemen and soldiers is vital to maintaining the freedom of people as a whole. All the things you have been praising are endangered by making policemen and soldiers free of regulation. Superhuman vigilantes have volunteered for a role in society that combines policemen and soldier. And having volunteered for that role in society, they should have the same regulations, because those regulations are vital to the freedom of society as whole. Freedom isn't something you can just plunk down in a chunk. You end up with cops and soldiers being monsters, corporations polluting everything and forming monopolies and hiring children if you just plunk down a wad-o-freedom.

    Now then, I'm sure you're about to give a bunch of examples of the SHRA not being in line with what I just said. Okay then, I'm the enemy of that version of the SHRA as well. But that doesn't mean the choice is to just plunk down a wad-o-freedom. Instead I'd want a version of super-vigilante-regulation that IS in line with what I've said.
    Here's the thing though, the Avengers HAVE been regulated, and they all agreed to it, including Steve. And it was done in a way that didn't infringe on their civil liberties. Before Disassembled. Meaning that, before Disassembled being an Avenger was a) completely voluntary and b) they acted like a non-state actor for the UN, like Greenpeace or the Red Cross. They showed up for a crises, they did everything they could to mitigate it, and they had a contract with the UN stating they were allowed to do that, but that also gave them guidelines they had to follow, protocol. What I mean by bringing this up is that there is that was a third option, written into comics prior to Civil War, that fell between invasive regulation/forced conscription (re: the SHRA) and complete freedom to do whatever. However, Civil War never addressed that as an option, it went straight to forced conscription. Steve showed up at SHIELD two weeks before the SHRA even went before Congress, was asked by Hill who he thought would most likely protest the new law when it passed, he answered honestly and was told 'good, then go arrest them'. Logically, after the immediate horror of being asked to do this, especially for a law that hadn't even passed yet, he said no, and was then attacked and SHOT AT with freakin oozies by SHIELD for that 'no'. Meanwhile Jessica Jones and Luke Cage were awaken in the middle of the night and told they had to sign, even though one of them had no interest at all in using her superpowers, or else. And Jessica Drew is kidnapped, tied up, told that no one ever liked her, and told if she didn't sign she would be treated as a traitor to god and country. And anyone is logistically wondering why the anti-registration side protested? No one can seriously claim, with a straight face, that anyone on the pro-registration side initially approached anyone on the anti-registration side with anything in the general vicinity of diplomacy or respect to get them on-board this new law. And even when Stark finally did ask Steve if they could talk about it, just before Steve used the electron scrambler on him, it was only AFTER Stark had tricked him out of hiding and knocked all of Steve's team out with tranquilizers. I don't blame Steve for his 'screw you' by that point. I would have had decidedly stronger words for the pro-registration side were it me. Because by the time that Stark had done that, many civil liberties had already been infringed on. There was already a pattern established, and it wasn't a good one.
    Last edited by capandkirby; 01-14-2020 at 05:37 PM.

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