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  1. #1
    StRaNgE Member! Eskana's Avatar
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    Default Would you want paid superheroes?

    So, I'm sure this question has come up before... It certainly does in comics...


    If superheroes existed in the same way they do in DC (meaning, they've been around a while, and are just kinda part of the "way things are," as opposed to some new, sudden development), what would you prefer?
    Superheroes who acted on their own moral code (whatever that may be)?
    Superheroes who acted as part of the government or military?
    Superheroes who were paid per job, although they may throw in some jobs for free when needed?
    Some other option?


    Reading the new "Blue and Gold" made me think of it, plus reading the solicit for DC's new "One-Star Squadron," a team doing pretty much the same thing as Blue and Gold are (not sure if there needs to be more communication in the DC offices, or it's on purpose...)

    Anyway, your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Original CBR member Jabare's Avatar
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    The J-man

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    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eskana View Post
    So, I'm sure this question has come up before... It certainly does in comics...


    If superheroes existed in the same way they do in DC (meaning, they've been around a while, and are just kinda part of the "way things are," as opposed to some new, sudden development), what would you prefer?
    Superheroes who acted on their own moral code (whatever that may be)?
    Superheroes who acted as part of the government or military?
    Superheroes who were paid per job, although they may throw in some jobs for free when needed?
    Some other option?


    Reading the new "Blue and Gold" made me think of it, plus reading the solicit for DC's new "One-Star Squadron," a team doing pretty much the same thing as Blue and Gold are (not sure if there needs to be more communication in the DC offices, or it's on purpose...)

    Anyway, your thoughts?
    All of the above. I like heroes being heroes for various unique reasons, makes it more interesting. Besides, manga like My Hero Academia, One Punch Man, and anime like Tiger & Bunny make paid "pro" heroes work just fine. My biggest problem is if DC or Marvel tried doing the paid hero thing like Japanese superhero fiction does they wouldn't be able to resist screwing it up in some big event...

  4. #4
    Relaunched, not rebooted! SJNeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabare View Post
    The Boys is a perfect example of what metahumans would be like if they existed. As big a nerd as I am, I do not want to live in a world where my fellow shitty human beings have the powers of Superman (aka Homelander IRL).
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  5. #5
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJNeal View Post
    The Boys is a perfect example of what metahumans would be like if they existed. As big a nerd as I am, I do not want to live in a world where my fellow shitty human beings have the powers of Superman (aka Homelander IRL).
    This.

    I mean, I consider myself far less selfish and greedy than most people, I have little interest in forcing my own views on people, but if I had powers? I know damn well I'd eventually burn everything to the ground. To imagine that kind of power in someone with less scruples than me is truly a terrible thought.

    I don't even think the Boys has the right of it. The supes are a bunch of twisted bastards, but all they're interested in is fame and fortune and satisfying whatever vice/s they have. Scary, but easy to manipulate if you find the right motivator. No, much more terrifying would be the real world people, the ones with convictions, given that kind of power.

    I mean, just imagine some Q moron who could blow up buildings.

    Not a world I wanna live in.

    Of the options the OP listed, I vote for "heroes for hire." I have no trust in politicians or in the restraint of regular (super powered) people. But I do believe in the power that money has over folks, and that seems to be the most viable leash on the list.
    "We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe."

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    Relaunched, not rebooted! SJNeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    This.

    I mean, I consider myself far less selfish and greedy than most people, I have little interest in forcing my own views on people, but if I had powers? I know damn well I'd eventually burn everything to the ground. To imagine that kind of power in someone with less scruples than me is truly a terrible thought.

    I don't even think the Boys has the right of it. The supes are a bunch of twisted bastards, but all they're interested in is fame and fortune and satisfying whatever vice/s they have. Scary, but easy to manipulate if you find the right motivator. No, much more terrifying would be the real world people, the ones with convictions, given that kind of power.

    I mean, just imagine some Q moron who could blow up buildings.

    Not a world I wanna live in.

    Of the options the OP listed, I vote for "heroes for hire." I have no trust in politicians or in the restraint of regular (super powered) people. But I do believe in the power that money has over folks, and that seems to be the most viable leash on the list.
    Well said!

    Maybe an Amanda Waller type with their finger on the buttons wouldn't be so bad either...
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  7. #7
    Incredible Member Captain Nostalgia's Avatar
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    Of the three options let's see....

    1. Superheroes who acted on their own moral code (whatever that may be)?

    I like this option the best, because traditionally superheroes are supposed to represent ideal goodness and morality..... that we don't usually get in the real world.

    They help others out of the goodness of their heart, not for profit.

    Sure there are a few bad apples out there (The Punisher's moral code) but for the most part they are the good guys for a reason.

    Superheroes who acted as part of the government or military?

    For me this is the second best option (Captain Atom ect), and realistically if superheroes were living in our reality many of them would probably be getting some sort of government salary to subsist on for their services.

    Superheroes who were paid per job, although they may throw in some jobs for free when needed?

    To me this is my least favourite option, but if your a B lister hero like Booster Gold, it may be the only option if he wants to fund his lavish lifestyle.

    Superheroes are supposed to rise above the real world selfishness of working for profit.

    In the real world I would hate to see superheroes working for big corporations like Monsanto or Exxon, as its only a matter of time before you start serving private interest over the public good.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eskana View Post
    So, I'm sure this question has come up before... It certainly does in comics...


    If superheroes existed in the same way they do in DC (meaning, they've been around a while, and are just kinda part of the "way things are," as opposed to some new, sudden development), what would you prefer?
    Superheroes who acted on their own moral code (whatever that may be)?
    Superheroes who acted as part of the government or military?
    Superheroes who were paid per job, although they may throw in some jobs for free when needed?
    Some other option?


    Reading the new "Blue and Gold" made me think of it, plus reading the solicit for DC's new "One-Star Squadron," a team doing pretty much the same thing as Blue and Gold are (not sure if there needs to be more communication in the DC offices, or it's on purpose...)

    Anyway, your thoughts?
    A la The Conglomerate? Seems unethical

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Nostalgia View Post
    Of the three options let's see....

    1. Superheroes who acted on their own moral code (whatever that may be)?

    I like this option the best, because traditionally superheroes are supposed to represent ideal goodness and morality..... that we don't usually get in the real world.

    They help others out of the goodness of their heart, not for profit.

    Sure there are a few bad apples out there (The Punisher's moral code) but for the most part they are the good guys for a reason.

    Superheroes who acted as part of the government or military?

    For me this is the second best option (Captain Atom ect), and realistically if superheroes were living in our reality many of them would probably be getting some sort of government salary to subsist on for their services.

    Superheroes who were paid per job, although they may throw in some jobs for free when needed?

    To me this is my least favourite option, but if your a B lister hero like Booster Gold, it may be the only option if he wants to fund his lavish lifestyle.

    Superheroes are supposed to rise above the real world selfishness of working for profit.

    In the real world I would hate to see superheroes working for big corporations like Monsanto or Exxon, as its only a matter of time before you start serving private interest over the public good.
    If you think about each of these too hard, the problems emerge.

    Take the moral code one. Yes, it is what has traditionally motivated superheroes. But moral codes are a lot harder to be certain off when you drag real-world politics into it, and we happen to live in one of the most politically and socially divisive eras of American (and possibly global) history.

    Here's a question for you...how should superheroes deal with bank-robbers? The traditional answer is simple - apprehend them and hand them over to the authorities. That's the answer that would have been provided and endorsed by mainstream media, politicians across the spectrum, and frankly, most average law-abiding citizens, 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago.

    Today, you'd have people saying that superheroes apprehending bank-robbers is 'immoral' and that they should let them be, if not actually rob banks themselves and distribute the spoils among the 'people'.

    You'd also have people saying that for superheroes to do the 'moral' thing, they should shut down the activities, violent or non-violent, of this group of people or that group of people. Or that they should support this cause or that cause. And inevitably they would be seen as a 'villains' by anyone who doesn't agree with their actions politically.

    Then we get to the government option, which I do feel is perhaps a more realistic one. But the question arises - are superheroes deployed at home or overseas? Are they law enforcement or are they soldiers?

    If they're soldiers, you'd either have a superhuman arms race, or complete military domination by whichever side has the superheroes.

    If they're law enforcement, then you have questions about legal boundaries and police-community relations. Would superheroes constantly be facing charges of police brutality? What counts as a 'reasonable use of force'? Does using psychic powers violate a suspect's right to privacy? How could you prove that evidence hasn't been obtained illegally using psychic or other powers?

    Not to mention, lately, policing has become a very divisive political issue as well.

    And then we come to the paid superheroes. If this was a thing, I'm guessing superheroes would be akin to a) private military contractors, b) private security, c) law enforcement consultants.

    PMC's runs into some of the same problems as them working for the military with arguably even less accountability. Them being law enforcement consultants runs into similar issues to them being cops (though I guess in such a case they might only agree to work with the cops on select cases where they're really needed and which also tallies with their own moral code?) Private security I guess is the 'safest' option because they would be restrained by the law to a considerable degree, but it would also give them a very limited mandate.

    To sum up, in real-life, a superhero with a 'moral code', if they are sufficiently powerful enough, would inevitably be seen as a tyrant by those opposed to their actions. Being in the military or police, or being consultants to them, raises similar questions facing the real-world military and police (and in the military example, could lead to a global arms race). Being security guards limit their scope considerably.

  10. #10
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Nostalgia View Post
    Superheroes who were paid per job, although they may throw in some jobs for free when needed?

    To me this is my least favourite option, but if your a B lister hero like Booster Gold, it may be the only option if he wants to fund his lavish lifestyle.

    Superheroes are supposed to rise above the real world selfishness of working for profit.
    Have you seen My Hero Academia or One Punch Man? There heroes get paid for their work, yet are still extremely heroic. Kind of makes sense, in that if they're paid for their superheroing they don't need another job to support themselves. They can be out doing superhero work more and save more people if they don't have to work at another job 8 hours a day in order to buy groceries and pay the rent.

    Like I said, certain manga and anime make it work.

  11. #11
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    accidental double post, sorry

  12. #12
    duke's casettetape lemonpeace's Avatar
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    I'm not sure, but I know one thing: ain't no way in hell could I trust a state sponsored or controlled superhero. all the classism and white supremacy at the root of the American machine, and you want me to trust a super-powered being that's explicitly willing to break the law for "the greater good" but also functions as an arm of, and in the interest of, said machine? no sir.
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  13. #13
    Incredible Member Captain Nostalgia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    If you think about each of these too hard, the problems emerge.

    Take the moral code one. Yes, it is what has traditionally motivated superheroes. But moral codes are a lot harder to be certain off when you drag real-world politics into it, and we happen to live in one of the most politically and socially divisive eras of American (and possibly global) history.

    Here's a question for you...how should superheroes deal with bank-robbers? The traditional answer is simple - apprehend them and hand them over to the authorities. That's the answer that would have been provided and endorsed by mainstream media, politicians across the spectrum, and frankly, most average law-abiding citizens, 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago.

    Today, you'd have people saying that superheroes apprehending bank-robbers is 'immoral' and that they should let them be, if not actually rob banks themselves and distribute the spoils among the 'people'.

    You'd also have people saying that for superheroes to do the 'moral' thing, they should shut down the activities, violent or non-violent, of this group of people or that group of people. Or that they should support this cause or that cause. And inevitably they would be seen as a 'villains' by anyone who doesn't agree with their actions politically.

    Then we get to the government option, which I do feel is perhaps a more realistic one. But the question arises - are superheroes deployed at home or overseas? Are they law enforcement or are they soldiers?

    If they're soldiers, you'd either have a superhuman arms race, or complete military domination by whichever side has the superheroes.

    If they're law enforcement, then you have questions about legal boundaries and police-community relations. Would superheroes constantly be facing charges of police brutality? What counts as a 'reasonable use of force'? Does using psychic powers violate a suspect's right to privacy? How could you prove that evidence hasn't been obtained illegally using psychic or other powers?

    Not to mention, lately, policing has become a very divisive political issue as well.

    And then we come to the paid superheroes. If this was a thing, I'm guessing superheroes would be akin to a) private military contractors, b) private security, c) law enforcement consultants.

    PMC's runs into some of the same problems as them working for the military with arguably even less accountability. Them being law enforcement consultants runs into similar issues to them being cops (though I guess in such a case they might only agree to work with the cops on select cases where they're really needed and which also tallies with their own moral code?) Private security I guess is the 'safest' option because they would be restrained by the law to a considerable degree, but it would also give them a very limited mandate.

    To sum up, in real-life, a superhero with a 'moral code', if they are sufficiently powerful enough, would inevitably be seen as a tyrant by those opposed to their actions. Being in the military or police, or being consultants to them, raises similar questions facing the real-world military and police (and in the military example, could lead to a global arms race). Being security guards limit their scope considerably.
    Well I didn't address option 1 (Moral code) in the real world. I simply stated that I like the fantasy of superheroes living up to the ideal moral code of goodness that we seldom find in the real world.

    I recognize there would be immediate problems if they were transported into the real world, particularly street level fighters.

    I'd reply in more detail to your response, but you've injected a lot of politics into it, which means if I reply I will most likely get quoted by someone else and dragged into a 2 page political debate that I have no desire to engage in.

    I will answer the government question though, as I did expand upon the real world. I think employing superheroes in law enforcement is inappropriate, particularly street level heroes, because they have already acted as law breaking vigilante's.

    I think employing superheroes in the military (Captain Atom) to utilize as a super weapon or anti terrorist unit (Hawk & Dove) is appropriate. If you think American foreign policy is inherently colonialist and evil than obviously you will feel the opposite, but otherwise, I think the use of metahumans would save a lot of American soldiers lives on the field.

    I already stated that I would be generally opposed to superheroes working for private corporations, or private security firms as you have mentioned.

  14. #14
    Extraordinary Member j9ac9k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemonpeace View Post
    I'm not sure, but I know one thing: ain't no way in hell could I trust a state sponsored or controlled superhero. all the classism and white supremacy at the root of the American machine, and you want me to trust a super-powered being that's explicitly willing to break the law for "the greater good" but also functions as an arm of, and in the interest of, said machine? no sir.
    As the OP mentioned, this is about the DCU, not the real world. (or Snyder's version of "grown up": the DCEU) Also, there's already plenty of "state sponsored" enforcers - from the police to the armed forces and everyone in between. Would you trust them all? No - but would you distrust them all? Many POC proud servicemen and women might have their own feelings about that. Would a non-state sponsored super-person (vigilante) with zero oversight be inherently better since they take it upon themselves to act for the "greater good" (I would say no, since most people suck regardless)

    If we've learned anything these past few years in America is that "the machine" has already done its work - the endless hours of straight white male american exceptionlism has created an immutable mindset in some people, whereas the government actually still has a mechanism to openly debate and challenge policy, including how to deploy supes.
    Last edited by j9ac9k; 09-16-2021 at 12:39 AM.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member Korath's Avatar
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    Honestly, a real world with supers would be a nightmarish place. Even if people wants to do good, they are bound to have some seriously destructive battles.

    Let's say someone really believe capitalism is the root of all evil and wants to help the world and its population escape certain doom by getting ride of it, while another entirely believe in free market and opposes all who would try to topple it because for him it's the only way to save the world and it's population from certain doom... you are bound to have some seriously brutal fights.

    And that's without taking into account the endless possibilities for social and clashes in our societies.

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