Friday, May 21, 2021

Rectification: Superheroes Aren't Heroes

Reasons to look up to Superman: he punches harder than you do.

Reasons to look up to Batman: he has more money than you do.

Reasons to look up to Captain America: he has better drugs in his blood than you do.

Reasons to look up to Thor: his parents came from a higher plane than yours did.

Reasons to look up to Hulk: he's angrier than you are.

Reasons to look up to Optimus Prime: literally anything you care to mention.


Alrenous said...

Are you surprised the only character on TV who can get away with being decent is the alien robot? I'm not surprised. He has an excuse for eschewing humanism.

dave br said...

Reasons to look up to Optimus Prime: he's taller than you.

Degwin said...

Optimus eschewing humanism? His trademark quote is "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings", aka textbook humanism. Sure, they toned that stuff down in the movies, but that was because Michael Bay only cared about giant robots punching eachother to death. Only big difference I see between Optimus and those superheroes is that Optimus is "normal", a regular soldier amongst his people. He has no special powers, nothing that makes him better then his own kind, just a lot of virtue and dedication to his cause.

Alrenous said...

Optimus isn't pure, no. Just a step above everyone else.

You can twist it if you want. "Sentient beings" clearly doesn't include most humans. Anyway he undermines that gaffe during the several times he tries to straight-up kill Megatron.

dave br said...

Well Optimus did say that "Freedom" is the right of all sentient beings, not that "life" is. Megatron would still be free dead, right?

Degwin said...

"Sentient beings" would explicitly refer to humans, even in the movies. Hypocrisy isn't always evidence of character intent, sometimes it's just a plot hole. Traditionally, Megatron is portrayed as the anti-humanist, the one that sees humans as weak and treacherous, unworthy of protection and deserving of being ruled by others. Optimus is the one set up as the defender of humanity, who sees good in them despite their ills. You can see this more clearly in the first Bay movie, where there's a speech Optimus gives on exactly that.

You're correct though that Optimus doesn't have some stupid prohibition on taking life when necessary. That's the benefit of it being a "war story", rather then a story about catching criminals.

On the subject of that, I remember all sorts of people making a big deal when the Man of Steel movie came out, and it ended with Superman breaking General Zod's neck. "He's Superman, he shouldn't kill people." You have a super powered being that wants to terraform the planet and kill every human being, what else are you going to do with him? There's not a prison in the world that could hold him, and nothing could justify keeping a man that dangerous alive. Liberalism really is just a two-faced cult of niceness. "Don't you dare shed blood in front of my face, do it out back where I can't see it."

Alrenous said...

Yes, it's supposed to refer to humans, but in empirical reality we can see it doesn't.