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  1. #46
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    I guess so, Americans are big on "personal responsibility" (which means if you fail it's not society's problem or anyone's concern) but not big on powerful people having more responsibilities on account of their power.
    It's your personal responsibility to be born with a trust fund.

  2. #47
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Such claims against Spider-Man would be quite impossible and prohibitive. That kind of "speak to the manager" charges are usually not affordable to low-rent thugs and small-timers. Filing those charges would also expose and bring more attention to them. Likewise, Spider-Man legally has no existence...he's not on the citizens registry, has no social security number and so on. Aside from asking the police to find and expose Spider-Man, legally he can't be sued.
    The implication was that the guys knew Spider-Man would never come into the station to sort things out, and they were just taking the opportunity to needle him.

    That's basically an attempt by Marvel editorial to divest Frank from the problematic part of his real world fandom but it's done too clunkily. The real underlying issues with Frank Castle, namely his gun collection and belief that he has the right to bear arms and so on, needs to be tackled. Because he's still a poster-child for NRA. I honestly don't know if that can be done.
    I'm not sure how it can be done either. The only real way to address the problem, at least as I see it, is to treat Frank like the villain he truly is. Have him kill innocents in his war on crime and not get too broken up about it. Because the whole idea of a guy waging literal war on the streets without massive casualties is ridiculous.

  3. #48
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    I'm not sure how it can be done either. The only real way to address the problem, at least as I see it, is to treat Frank like the villain he truly is. Have him kill innocents in his war on crime and not get too broken up about it. Because the whole idea of a guy waging literal war on the streets without massive casualties is ridiculous.
    There's an editorial mandate against 'the last Punisher story' (https://www.cbr.com/punisher-ultimate-story-never-told). So Marvel always knew that it was an issue with the character but they just powered through catering to the market of right-wing gun nuts among their fans in the hope that reality would never be intrude on the issues there.

    It's kind of interesting that there are more issues with Spider-Man worrying and fretting about being a vigilante than there are with Frank worrying once about his belief that criminals are scum who can be executed without a second thought. Frank Castle works best in the larger context of the Marvel Universe since part of his appeal was that he "killed where other heroes didn't" which tapped into the "why don't you just kill him" frustrations that readers have. Without that, he's a psychopath whose beliefs about guns are validated by the stories making him the protagonist of reality.

  4. #49
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    There's an editorial mandate against 'the last Punisher story' (https://www.cbr.com/punisher-ultimate-story-never-told). So Marvel always knew that it was an issue with the character but they just powered through catering to the market of right-wing gun nuts among their fans in the hope that reality would never be intrude on the issues there.

    It's kind of interesting that there are more issues with Spider-Man worrying and fretting about being a vigilante than there are with Frank worrying once about his belief that criminals are scum who can be executed without a second thought. Frank Castle works best in the larger context of the Marvel Universe since part of his appeal was that he "killed where other heroes didn't" which tapped into the "why don't you just kill him" frustrations that readers have. Without that, he's a psychopath whose beliefs about guns are validated by the stories making him the protagonist of reality.
    Funny thing about that was that he was created and intended as a villain in the first place, manipulated into going after Spider-Man for the death of Gwen Stacy, only to relent when he realized Spider-Man was innocent. (Relatively speaking, though it could be argued he still bore some responsibility by virtue of letting Norman Osborn go free for so long, even though the Punisher wouldn't be privy to that detail.) It wasn't until vigilante movies started getting popular, from my recollection, that he was retooled as an anti-hero and spun off into his own series. That aside, I do like Kaitou D. Kid's post contextualizing how Spider-Man can be viewed and treated as a threat to/by the establishment and that fueling his demonization in the media and the antagonism he's often subjected to by the NYPD and other law enforcement agencies.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  5. #50
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    I usually don't care for Bob Chipman but he has an interesting video on the Keystone Kops (https://www.escapistmagazine.com/v2/...e-big-picture/). He points out that for a long time police were often featured exclusively as comic figures in Hollywood movies before becoming subjects of serious dramatic interest.

    He asks towards the end, about the fact that there are anti-superhero satires like The Boys or Kick-Ass but there aren't usually for cops (except for Bad Lieutenant I suppose) in the same vein anymore. Anti-Superhero satires like The Boys and Garth Ennis' stuff tend to a lionizing of police and military, even if from an ironical perspective.

    That's kind of what I mean about anti-vigilantism cutting both ways. We tend to think that stories attacking vigilantism is from a progressive view but it can also be from a more reactionary/authoritarian perspective.

  6. #51
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    I usually don't care for Bob Chipman but he has an interesting video on the Keystone Kops (https://www.escapistmagazine.com/v2/...e-big-picture/). He points out that for a long time police were often featured exclusively as comic figures in Hollywood movies before becoming subjects of serious dramatic interest.

    He asks towards the end, about the fact that there are anti-superhero satires like The Boys or Kick-Ass but there aren't usually for cops (except for Bad Lieutenant I suppose) in the same vein anymore. Anti-Superhero satires like The Boys and Garth Ennis' stuff tend to a lionizing of police and military, even if from an ironical perspective.

    That's kind of what I mean about anti-vigilantism cutting both ways. We tend to think that stories attacking vigilantism is from a progressive view but it can also be from a more reactionary/authoritarian perspective.
    In Garth Ennis's case, it's that he feels superhero stories tend to devalue police and military work and personnel, at least from my recollection.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    That certainly was part of Spider-Man's appeal back then. Although to push back on this a bit, there's that much debated and controversial moment in ASM#38 where Peter mocks a protest (admittedly a white-led non-political protest). And I am sure if you squint you will find moments where Peter has politically been iffy. There's that one story, I think "Secret War" (singular) where Nick Fury appointed him and other Avengers to depose the democratically elected government of Latveria to place a puppet there instead and Peter did that willingly.
    You can find problematic things in all art forms. It doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of the opposite. For example, I can point to issues like ASM # 68 or 105 where Spider-Man helps protesters and openly expresses support. Secret War came out at the same time as JMS’ Spider-Man, who was an inspiring high school teacher and turned against the government during Civil War.

    I think the scene in ASM # 38 is debatable. My take is that those protesters were what we could call “pseudo-woke” or “Twitter limousine liberals” today. Also, some people think Ditko left the book because of that scene. Rumor is that Marvel warned Ditko to not draw it again because it would alienate readers, and that’s when Ditko decided to leave. I personally don’t believe the rumor, but I think its existence says a lot how people interpret Spider-Man.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The fact that Spider-Man's villains are largely old white men also lends to that. And the biggest villain, Norman Osborn/Green Goblin is certainly the embodiment of American white male privilege and American impunity, a guy who fails upwards, commits crime after crime and escapes punishment.
    I see more gender themes in Spider-Man's villains. Most of them embody toxic masculinity tropes and want to 'come out on top', in some shape or form. The only exception I can think of is Doc Ock, who was bullied and persecuted for not being a "real man" similar to how Peter was. (He still wants to 'come out on top', though.)

  8. #53
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    Spider-Man's secret identity prevents him from making a citizen's arrest. And its no where near as simple as just punching a robber and webbing them up. You know how police have to read someone their Miranda rights before they can arrest them? Its not exactly the same for a citizen's arrest, but they do have to follow a procedure that involves informing the criminal properly. And then there are tons of laws protecting said criminal from someone using force on them. Its complicated. Spider-Man can't just go around punching people for crimes and have it work out legally. And what is the police report going to say - Spider-Man said this guy is guilty? Thats a mistrial waiting to happen, because it could be anyone under the Spider-Man mask having any motivation.
    Last edited by Scott Taylor; 06-02-2020 at 02:56 PM.
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  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huntsman Spider View Post
    Funny thing about that was that he was created and intended as a villain in the first place, manipulated into going after Spider-Man for the death of Gwen Stacy, only to relent when he realized Spider-Man was innocent. (Relatively speaking, though it could be argued he still bore some responsibility by virtue of letting Norman Osborn go free for so long, even though the Punisher wouldn't be privy to that detail.) It wasn't until vigilante movies started getting popular, from my recollection, that he was retooled as an anti-hero and spun off into his own series. That aside, I do like Kaitou D. Kid's post contextualizing how Spider-Man can be viewed and treated as a threat to/by the establishment and that fueling his demonization in the media and the antagonism he's often subjected to by the NYPD and other law enforcement agencies.
    ASM 129 and Death Wish ( Bronson interestingly enough both ASM 129 and Death Wish Bronson (original) came out in 1974, what people overlook about Castle and Paul Kersey ( Bronson), is how unhappy they really are, because the only thing they loved died. That is actually the same problem James Bond has ( Tracy and Vesper) , it was also addressed in the movie One Foot In Hell with Alan Ladd, where he goes crazy and becomes a vigilante after his wife dies. I do think Castle is more of an anti-hero ( I remember when he saved Spidyís life and Blade wanted to kill him)., and it is hard to feel sorry for murderers like the Maggi.

  10. #55
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NC_Yankee View Post
    ASM 129 and Death Wish ( Bronson interestingly enough both ASM 129 and Death Wish Bronson (original) came out in 1974, what people overlook about Castle and Paul Kersey ( Bronson), is how unhappy they really are, because the only thing they loved died. That is actually the same problem James Bond has ( Tracy and Vesper) , it was also addressed in the movie One Foot In Hell with Alan Ladd, where he goes crazy and becomes a vigilante after his wife dies. I do think Castle is more of an anti-hero ( I remember when he saved Spidy’s life and Blade wanted to kill him)., and it is hard to feel sorry for murderers like the Maggi.
    Yeah, that much is true.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  11. #56
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Taylor View Post
    Spider-Man's secret identity prevents him from making a citizen's arrest. And its no where near as simple as just punching a robber and webbing them up. You know how police have to read someone their Miranda rights before they can arrest them? Its not exactly the same for a citizen's arrest, but they do have to follow a procedure that involves informing the criminal properly. And then there are tons of laws protecting said criminal from someone using force on them. Its complicated. Spider-Man can't just go around punching people for crimes and have it work out legally. And what is the police report going to say - Spider-Man said this guy is guilty? Thats a mistrial waiting to happen, because it could be anyone under the Spider-Man mask having any motivation.
    Sure. But if a concerned citizen tied up someone on the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted list and left them for the authorities to find, they'd arrest them just the same. The criminal wouldn't magically get a pass on their suspected or known crimes as long as the authorities followed their proper procedures.

  12. #57
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Taylor View Post
    Its not exactly the same for a citizen's arrest, but they do have to follow a procedure that involves informing the criminal properly.
    There usually aren't too many procedures and precedents to fall back on citizen's arrests because it's fairly uncommon. So a lot of that can be waved as "ain't no rule". I will say that the establishment and existence of superheroes would create a lot of new laws were it to be taken seriously but that's not gonna happen in the Marvel Universe in any extensive fashion at any rate.

    And what is the police report going to say - Spider-Man said this guy is guilty?
    The police report can say that "eyewitnesses saw criminals firing guns and robbing and ran away only to be stopped and webbed up by the vigilante called Spider-Man who promptly fled the scene before the police arrived and made the arrest". In that scenario, the police can wipe their hands clean, as well as Spider-Man. Since they had nothing to do with Spider-Man stopping these guys and the police wanted these criminals for an action that had independent witnesses and corroboration, Spider-Man's presence and intervention can be treated like say a random car accident that stopped the getaway driver, or any number of hijinks and chance stuff which happens to dumb crooks.

    Thats a mistrial waiting to happen, because it could be anyone under the Spider-Man mask having any motivation.
    It would only be a mistrial if the defense lawyer can establish that Spider-Man was acting or intervening with direct police support in that specific instance, which would be impossible to do and which the police have a huge amount of evidence to contradict owing to the vast number of anti-Spider-Man operations they have conducted.

    It would work with Batman since GCPD has a Batsignal on their roof, and there's numerous evidence of Batman and Commissioner Gordon working together. So with Batman you can definitely establish collusion between law officials and an unlicensed vigilante. But Spider-Man doesn't have that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huntsman Spider View Post
    In Garth Ennis's case, it's that he feels superhero stories tend to devalue police and military work and personnel, at least from my recollection.
    Superheroes as a fantasy affecting our conception of heroism and so on is a valid critique (as in Alan Moore's works and a few others) but take it too far as Ennis does, and you get comics which glorify the British Empire (like his Kev series which quotes Kipling unironically) as well as comics that seem to validate the most authoritarian tendencies of police and military. I see that as "Limey loves 'Murica" syndrome which you see in Ennis as well as Millar, where British (Northern Irish and Scottish respectively) writers tend to lionize aspects of American culture and society they liked from an outside perspective to critique aspects of their society and because of a lack of critical grounding, end up, reinforcing and validating reactionary ideas. It's like people disliking American liberals from being naive (which is valid as a starting point) but then go all the way to saying that the conservatives are smart because they point out liberals are dumb and end up reinforcing the conservative agenda (as in the case of SouthPark).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitou D. Kid View Post
    You can find problematic things in all art forms. It doesnít mean there isnít plenty of the opposite.
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitou D. Kid View Post
    I see more gender themes in Spider-Man's villains. Most of them embody toxic masculinity tropes and want to 'come out on top', in some shape or form. The only exception I can think of is Doc Ock, who was bullied and persecuted for not being a "real man" similar to how Peter was. (He still wants to 'come out on top', though.)
    I'd say Doctor Octopus does in fact embody toxic masculinity, and certainly Slott's and Gage's take on him in Superior and their attempt to find sympathy for him is based on a certain artificial and unquestioned sympathy for him being a "nerd" and in the view of both writers for a weird kind of thing where they "appreciate the real beauty" and so on and such nosh. I'd say Doctor Octopus is a kind of Hank Grimes/Falling Down-esque "angry white man", i.e. the kind who looks at Fight Club and misses the point, and becomes the bad fan of the Matrix films, or thinks that Walter White is a role model. He represents middle-class entitlement among sections of the academic and scientific elite, who start from a valid place in decrying American anti-intellectualism that devalues their work, but go off the deep end and take the wrong lessons from that. And certainly classic Doctor Ock, before the 90s(all the sob story origins with Ock come from the 90s, it never existed before, and considering that Hank Grimes/Falling Down/Fight Club are all 90s stories, I think there's a reason why), was a terrorist and gangster without redeeming elements. Paul Jenkins once compared Ock to Ted Bundy and he had no time for sympathetic-Ock. Among adaptations, the Molina Octopus is free of that but in that movie Octopus is just an AI interface puppeterring a host, not really a character. In the PS4 game, he's very much reconciled and brought to his roots as a Falling Down/Walter White terrorist/gangster.

    Peter also embodies part of that "angry-white-man" attitude, but also a more benign and relatively harmless one. Remember his first instinct to use his powers wasn't "robbing banks or taking over the world" but becoming a proto-Justin Bieber showman/celebrity (so Jameson is right that fundamentally Spider-Man exists out of vanity and chasing fame rather than doing the right thing). That's certainly a vapid use of his talents but in an of itself, a desire for fame and showbiz, is not a serious issue. It becomes so when he becomes careless and inattentive to the consequences of his inactions.

  13. #58
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    Sure. But if a concerned citizen tied up someone on the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted list and left them for the authorities to find, they'd arrest them just the same. The criminal wouldn't magically get a pass on their suspected or known crimes as long as the authorities followed their proper procedures.
    Well absolutely. If the Green Goblin existed really, the cops would know what to do with him if they found him unconscious and webbed up. Same goes in Gotham, all the common bad guys are pretty much old hat to the cops. But Batman is a detective and tends to have evidence, even so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    There usually aren't too many procedures and precedents to fall back on citizen's arrests because it's fairly uncommon. So a lot of that can be waved as "ain't no rule". I will say that the establishment and existence of superheroes would create a lot of new laws were it to be taken seriously but that's not gonna happen in the Marvel Universe in any extensive fashion at any rate.
    Yes, there would be new rules necessary if superheroes really existed. But this gets into too much speculation for this conversation, because there are way too many ways that could go wrong or right. I mean, are there also aliens in this world and how do we deal with them? What exactly are the rules for Superman if Mongul is headed towards earth with a Cosmic Nullifier? How do you govern Reed Richards' activities in the Negative Zone?
    Every day is a gift, not a given right.

  14. #59
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Taylor View Post
    Well absolutely. If the Green Goblin existed really, the cops would know what to do with him if they found him unconscious and webbed up. Same goes in Gotham, all the common bad guys are pretty much old hat to the cops. But Batman is a detective and tends to have evidence, even so.
    With Batman legally it's far more problematic than with Spider-Man.
    -- Batman is obviously operating with the consent of the police and has never been legally deputized.
    -- They have a Batsignal located on the roof of Police HQ.
    -- There's numerous evidence of collusion between a vigilante and the Police Commissioner.
    -- Whatever evidence Batman has acquired and deposited, it's clearly not been acquired with the proper procedures or with a warrant. And yet since he's acting rather blatantly with police support, a defense lawyer has a lot of good arguments to invalidate arrests. Especially for American citizens like Batman's rogues usually are.

    If a private citizen acting without police support and help were to bring forth evidence or leak ito the press and so on, that evidence can be used since there's no question on the part of the police about needing a warrant or following procedures. That's why whistle-blowing is such a big deal and why WikiLeaks was a big thing until they got bought by Putin.

    What exactly are the rules for Superman if Mongul is headed towards earth with a Cosmic Nullifier?
    Well Mongul is not a human being. Since he's acting as an invader of a superior force threatening the whole planet, then legally he would be considered a war criminal. Legally though, under the "ain't no rule" justification, Superman can fry Mongul's skull with heat vision and walk scott-free since Mongul has no legal rights and recognition as a human being. If Superman were to attack and kill Mongul in battle, then it would be justifiable under Geneva convention's law and custom of wars where violence towards enemy combatant is licensed. Legally speaking, for instance, Norman Osborn cannot be considered guilty for killing Ben Reilly. Ben Reilly is not a human being, he's a clone. Since he has no legal recognition as a person, Norman Osborn killing him wouldn't qualify as murder.

    How do you govern Reed Richards' activities in the Negative Zone?
    In the case of CIVIL WAR, Reed Richards' would be judged for war crimes and excessive force in terms of detaining many US citizens without due process, without habeas corpus, in unsanitary conditions and certainly I'd say him illegally cloning Thor would at the very least have him debarred and black-balled from the scientific community with many universities rescinding their doctorates from him.
    Last edited by Revolutionary_Jack; 06-02-2020 at 03:48 PM.

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    The implication was that the guys knew Spider-Man would never come into the station to sort things out, and they were just taking the opportunity to needle him.



    I'm not sure how it can be done either. The only real way to address the problem, at least as I see it, is to treat Frank like the villain he truly is. Have him kill innocents in his war on crime and not get too broken up about it. Because the whole idea of a guy waging literal war on the streets without massive casualties is ridiculous.
    in Stern's Spectacular run. Detective Snider asked nicely for Spidey to come to the station to give his report and Peter actually went and gave a statement until he was chased out by Lt Kreating which Snider got angry at.

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