Good And Evil Don’t Wear Capes

Jul 22 2012 @ 9:38am

Jim Emerson wishes superhero flicks would stop making such clear divisions between villains and heroes:

"Good vs. evil," stated as a kind of equation, makes for lame drama, because if the choice is so clear, nothing is at stake. The Big Lie about the Holocaust, to use the most extreme popular example of the 20th century, is that it was perpetrated by people whose only motivation was to "do evil." I see that as a form of Holocaust denial, an abdication of responsibility and a refusal to deal with the realities of human nature.

Alyssa Rosenberg builds off Emerson's thoughts:

Cheering for someone who we are told is a hero, even if we have no idea what they stand for and what they stand against, feels good, but it’s ultimately a distraction, an experience that produces the feeling that we stand together with the people cheering alongside us in the theater even if we understand ourselves to be championing totally different things. What does Spider-Man, in his latest iteration, stand for? The idea that the police are an institution limited by both resources and perspective whose work should by the work of vigilantes, even if their agendas compete? What do The Avengers stand for?