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What makes someone a hero? Does it matter if they choose their path is chosen, or it is assigned to them? Does a hero have to have something terrible happen to them, to inspire them to become heroic? And which villains come the closest to being heroes in their own right?

To celebrate our 50th episode, we got all three hosts, Paul, Matthew, and Jacob, on the line to look back at some of our past discussions. Unfortunately, there were technical issues, and we lost a lot of that conversation. We will be trying again soon, but meanwhile this is a shorter teaser episode, in which we look at the question that underlies so much of this podcast- what is a hero?

Stay tuned for a full version of our 3 way conversation coming as soon as we are able to re-record it. (And all learn when to hit the record button!)

You can download the episode with a right click  and clicking "save link as" or subscribe by searching for Superhero Ethics on Itunes or on Stitcher.

Agree or disagree with what we talked about, or want to add your own thoughts? Let us know! You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or email us at superheroethics@gmail.com

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*** SPOILER WARNING ***

Even our show notes have spoilers

Is Cap’ right to claim “We don’t trade lives?” Could Thanos have been stopped if our heroes made different choices? What role does hubris play when heroes don’t want to make tough choices? And how much of an idiot was Peter Quill?

In this episode, Jacob and Matthew dive deep into the questions that came out of Avengers: Infinity War, exploring Thanos himself, the various ways the Avengers tried to stop him, and our hopes for where things go in the coming movies and tv shows.

Agree or disagree with what we talked about, or want to add your own thoughts? Let us know! You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or email us at superheroethics@gmail.com

Note- We recorded this episode live again, which led to a great discussion, but also caused some sound issues. Jacob did a heroic job cleaning things up, but we know it is still not up to our normal standards. Please know we are aware of that, and and are taking steps to ensure we return to our normal quality in upcoming episodes.

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Should the heroes who enforce justice, also decide what is or isn’t just? Where are the lines between heroism, vigilantism, or just using your powers to do what you want? And does great power actually come with great responsibility, or is that too much to ask of people with powers?

In this episode, Jacob and Matthew use Kingdom Come, a fantastic 1996 run of Superman comic books, as a jumping off point to dive into these questions and more. This episode explores questions around justice, power, law enforcement, and accountability, in the superhero world and our own. And while the books are amazing, (and find-able online!) you don’t have to have read them to appreciate this conversation.

Agree or disagree with what we talked about, or want to add your own thoughts? Let us know! You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or email us at superheroethics@gmail.com

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What is the responsibility of a filmmaker to stay true to a book? What is the problem with 'girl as prize' romance plotlines? And is it possible Jacob and Matthew enjoyed the movie of a book they are so critical of?

This week, Jacob and Matthew throw down their quarters for a two player, two part, deep dive. They start out talking about the book and their hopes and concerns about the movie- than hit pause, watch the movie, and finish recording the podcast that same night! We dove into a number of issues, taking as comprehensive and well ordered approach to the work as anyone can at 11pm. 

Agree or disagree with what we talked about, or want to add your own thoughts? Let us know! You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or email us at superheroethics@gmail.com.  Twitter hashtag: #Readyplayerethics

You can download the episode with a right click  and clicking "save link as" or subscribe by searching for Superhero Ethics on Itunes or on Stitcher.

 

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In part 2 of our discussion with Author and Star Wars Geek Extraordinaire, Becky Allen, we dive into Rey’s Journey, explore Luke’s issues with the Jedi, and critique some of the critiques of the movie. You can find the first part of our discussion in our previous episode.

Agree or disagree with what we talked about, or want to add your own thoughts? Let us know! You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or email us at superheroethics@gmail.com

Becky Allen is the author of Bound by Blood and Sand and the sequel, Freed by Flame and Storm. She grew up outside Ithaca, New York, and graduated from Brandeis University with a major in American studies and a minor in journalism. She is the product manager for TheBody.com, an online HIV resource, and loves New York, brunch, and feminism.

You can find and purchase Becky’s books at her Goodreads page, or follow her on any of the following sites:

For more about fridging.

At the end of this episode, we reference an upcoming podcast on codes of honor and Brandon Sanderson’s, The Way of Kings. Due to some technical issues, we wound up publishing that episode before this one was ready.

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What is the narrative power of failure, and how is it used in The Last Jedi? What did we learn from Admiral Holdo and Po about power, and trusting leaders, and the role of gender in that? 

Author and Star Wars geek extrodinaire, Becky Allen, joins us again to discuss these questions and more. It turns out the three of us had a lot ot say on this topic, so this is only part 1, of a 2 part episiode! Stay tuned for part 2 to hit next week.

Agree or disagree with what we talked about, or want to add your own thoughts? Let us know! You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or email us at superheroethics@gmail.com

Becky Allen is the author of Bound by Blood and Sand and the sequel, Freed by Flame and Storm. She grew up outside Ithaca, New York, and graduated from Brandeis University with a major in American studies and a minor in journalism. She is the product manager for TheBody.com, an online HIV resource, and loves New York, brunch, and feminism. 

You can find and purchase Becky’s books at her Goodreads page, or follow her on any of the following sites:

 

 

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Should life always come before death? Should we favor the journey over the destination? And can there be an episode of Superhero Ethics without Matthew? In this episode, Jacob is joined by special guest Rob McKenzie for a discussion of The Way of Kings, book 1 in the Stormlight Archive, by Brandon Sanderson.

In particular, they focus on the oaths of the Knights Radiant, discussing the ethical implications of this moral code within the book, and as it applies to other stories, and the real world.

 

Rob McKenzie is a science fiction and fantasy reader and Magic the Gathering judge from Minnesota. He is passionate about interesting books, running great gaming events, and helping other people have fun with their passions. 

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What makes Netflix’s The Punisher so good, and so troubling, at the same time? Can you tell a story about the evils of guns and violence, while glorifying gun violence? And can anyone explain the concept of collateral damage to Karen?

Special guest Jessica Plummer joins Jacob and Matthew as we dive into these questions and more. Jessica is a writer, podcaster, and superhero obsessive. She's written about the Punisher here and here. You can find her on Twitter at @jess_plummer, or follow her Superman movie podcast, Flights and Tights, at @flightstights

 

Agree or disagree with what we talked about, or want to add your own thoughts? Let us know! You can find us on Twitter, and Facebook, or email us at superheroethics@gmail.com

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A hero is supposed to be devoted. To their country, to their cause, to their friends- whatever it may be, heroes are often defined by the thing they are willing to go to any extreme to protect and defend.

But what happens when that goes too far? On this episode, Jacob and Matthew discuss the costs of devotion, looking at the ways a cause can blind a person to the damage it is doing, to themself or to others.

This post contains spoilers about Captain America, Babylon 5, the Punisher, the 100, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Agree or disagree with what we talked about, or want to add your own thoughts? Let us know! You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or email us at superheroethics@gmail.com

 

Our next two shows will be about The Punisher and Star Wars The Last Jedi, respectivly.  Have a question or a comment about either that you want to hear us discuss? Let us know!

 

 

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What happens when social media and public opinion rule the world? How does an all-male species react to the birth of female child? And can Seth McFarland leave behind the problems of much of his earlier writing.

Like the Star Trek shows it pays homage to, The Orville uses science fiction to hold a mirror to our own world. Matthew and Jacob explore this show, the questions it raises, and some of their concerns about t.

Agree or disagree with what we talked about, or want to add your own thoughts? Let us know! You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or email us at superheroethics@gmail.com

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