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Oct. 21st, 2016

Traumatic Childhood trope

"Star Trek is one of those happy, clean, bright futures which means there is a high ratio of adults to children in adult bodies."

Came across this comment - actually an author's response to a comment on a fic - and the sentiment kinda just struck me. It does seem to be one of the aspects of my dissatisfaction with the reboot Star Trek film - the playing up of angsty manchild trauma as the main fill-in for character interaction.

And, even looking beyond just the Trek franchise, it's a little pervasive in Hollywood films as a whole, isn't it? I mean, the reboot Superman and Batman are all about revisiting their childhood traumas over and over again in every film and reboot. Perhaps this is also the reason why Iron Man is not my favorite MCU film/character.

I think it says a bit about my personal tastes...

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May. 29th, 2016

Finally Saw CA:CW Yesterday...

Yes it's good. It didn't disappoint even though I had fully spoiled myself on the plot before walking into the theater. (Aside: And a nice theater it was too; a new AMC at the New Park Mall which had large leather couches for seats, with an electronic foot rest. Nice.)

Read more... )

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May. 24th, 2015

Avengers 2 review

Finally saw the movie today. I actually went in with...fairly low expectations, so at least I was pleasantly surprised. If you treated it as a sequel to Avengers 1 and ignored all character development in IM 3 and Cap 2, it's a decent sequel.

I would have liked to see the process of the team actually building up into the dynamics we're dropped into, but I guess team building would've required a separate plot all on its own and there was no way to squeeze it in without ruining the pace. Still, even a throwaway line about how long they've been working together as a team again would've helped the audience get a general idea of the background events since Cap 2.

Also couldn't help but feel that Joss was trying to jerk around the fandom just for the purpose of jerking around the fandom rather than for the sake of a good story. The characterization of Clint and the giving him a family I feel was also his FU to the odd masses of Clint/Coulson shippers -- not that I minded this particular development for Clint, personally, since I wasn't one of those shippers. The real litmus test will come in the following Avengers films, to see if they'll kill that family off like they did in the Ultimates for the cheap shock value.

The Nat/Bruce thing was a total waste of character development that could've been better spent elsewhere. They did such a good job staying away from making the strong female lead a romance focused role with Avengers 1, Cap 2, and the Peggy Carter series. Pity they blew it here. Also, the whole sterility = monster thing was just as horrible as everyone said it was. If that wasn't the message intended by the film, then your scriptwriters totally blew it.

What I did like...

Action scenes were pretty good. Didn't drag on for too long aside from the Hulkbuster one (that one was obviously pandering to the fanboys).

Clint and Steve's interaction with the twins were good buildup.

Steve had some really sassy lines and some really inspirational lines. As he's still my favorite, I liked. that. Also loved his scenes with Thor, the two make a really good pair on the battlefield. He also budged the hammer just a tiny bit... (my headcanon is that when the Bucky arc is finally over he might be able to lift it.)

I also actually liked it that he didn't throw a fit at Tony over the Ultron thing, that he was only a little passive aggressive about it but still trusted Tony to be on the team afterwards. Most fangirls who project too much of themselves into fics tend to forget that as far as shown onscreen, Steve is more about doing what needs to be done than indulgent in melodrama. And that he's not an actually a closeminded asshole just because they want to make Tony a woobie. /rant

Ultron and Vision weren't as bad as I feared they would turn out to be, which is good. Still a lot of hand-wavey about how it all happened but I'm going to just chalk all of it up to space magic.

Some further thoughts and concerns...

It's already somewhat evident that with the expanded cast, it's hard to squeeze in enough characterization for everyone. Even if they're permanently dropping Hulk from future Avengers movies, they are still accumulating major characters like whoa, which will make things even tougher in the next film. It's not that I want them to start axing more characters in the films until then...but I do wonder how they're going to handle it.

There's not a lot of decent post-AoU fanfics, at least on AO3, period. Usually there's a glut right after the movie comes out. Even the Steve/Tony ships aren't drawing from it. Not sure what that means in terms of the fandom reaction to the movie...

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Jul. 16th, 2014

MCU Fic Recs

I've been following a lot of Marvel movie-verse fics since watching Winter Soldier.

There's been a ton of Steve/Bucky fics. A lot of them are...formulaic, though. The standard fare plot elements of: Steve & Sam go looking for Bucky, Bucky is traumatized, rehab happens, sometimes involving the rest of the Avengers. So I'm trying to pick out either the standouts of that plot formula, or fics with a unique twist to them.

Circling Back - Slash. Standard plot, but one of the better written ones. I like the way it brings in the other side characters, including what seems like the Ult version of Spidey. There's also a sequel which is sometimes from Bucky's POV, but that's still a WIP.

lonely houses off the road - Eventual slash. Bucky reaches out at his own pace. Sam is probably thinking 'why me'? Steve of course is the last to know.

Guns & Bagels - Slash. Humor. The Winter Soldier breaks into Steve's apartment. He wasn't the only one.

but i knew you - Slash. AU of the film. What if the Winter Soldier started to break his programming from the moment of "but I knew him"?

Unusual Weather - Slash. Humor. Featuring Asgardian booze as analgesic, and Bucky as a mouthy (and handsy) drunk. Poor Tony.

May Include Unexpected Side Effects - Slash. Humor. Written prior to Cap2. More handwavey comic-science tranquilizers with funny side effects.

A Four-Letter Word - Slash. Humor. The frustrations of a superhero's schedule.

give me your answer do - Slash. Humor. The fic's own summary says it all: Bucky knows it's going to be a bad one when Steve wakes up again, lifts his head up from the side of Bucky's fancy electric hospital bed, and says, "Now don't get mad until I explain."

Between a Captain and a Hard Place - Slash. Humor. (I notice a trend...) Steve and Bucky get stuck in a morgue drawer. Surprisingly, this does not lead to PWP!Porn.

the sirens and the thunder - Slash. AU elements. Featuring Selkie!Bucky through the timeline of the first Cap movie.

Recursive - Steve/Peggy. Steve & Bucky Bromance. Post-CATWS, Steve runs afoul of the Time Gem and gets punted back in time. Armed with future knowledge, he decides to nip the project Winter Soldier in the bud. (I'm not sure how authentic the WWII stuff is, but I liked it.)

Oasis - Gen. Post-CATWS Bucky centric. Landscaping therapy. That's a new one.

Mind the Cap - Gen. Post-CATWS. Sam handles Steve's bedside visitors after the events of the movie. Also has various sequels in the series that's more standard fare.

Case Notes - Post-CATWS. Pre-slash Steve/Bucky. The POV from a therapist of the Avengers. Loosely part of a series but you don't need to read the others.

tin soldiers - Steve, and later Bucky, in the modern day as told by social media. Not quite actual slash as it is the "fangirls" arguing for slash. Gets a bit hard to follow sometimes, but the concept is pretty novel.

Two-Whell Bicycle series - Slash. Post-CATWS. The Winter Soldier as a split personality apart from Bucky, and somehow Steve is still the bigger mess. Also, the tag at the end of the second one is seriously chilling whiplash.

Pay it Forward series - Gen. Post-CATWS. A bit of humor. A bit of slice of life. Also featuring Natasha and Tony/Pepper.

Tracked Progress - Unrelated to TWS. A post-Avengers fic starring Hawkeye and crossed over with White Collar.

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Jun. 10th, 2014

MCU x Exalted RPG crunch - Steve Rogers

Because this has been eating up my brain for over a month now and I have 80 pages (WTF brain?) of stuff written down on Google docs...

cut for those who don't care )

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Jun. 9th, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Saw this the past weekend. It was ok, I guess.

Is it just me or did Fassbender...gain weight? I initially thought they got a new actor for Magneto, before the end credits rolled.

Alas, not so much interactions/chemistry between (young) Charles and Eric this time, which is kinda a let down from my expectations after XMFC. I guess fanfic has spoiled me too much. There was slightly more feeling between old Charles & Erik, but they didn't get enough screen time together. (Which is a shame. C'mon... it's Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen).

Some WTF moments and thoughts...

* How long did it take Trask to build them demo robots? Long enough for Eric to find out where they're manufactured and follow the train to DC; for Charles to fly back from Paris, then fly to DC; for Kitty to...not die of blood loss in the future? He built a dozen giant flying robots in like...2 days? With 70s tech? Man, Tony Stark must be crying a few universes over.

* They...did they kill off Emma, Sean, & Alex off screen? WTF? I mean, the boys you might be able to explain away as getting drafted for Vietnam. But Emma?

* Ok so Mystique picked up past!Wolvie at the end in Strycker's guise. But...doesn't that mean in the new timeline, Wolvie is never experimented on by Weapon X and never gets metal claws?

* Post-credits tag shows Apocalypse, so I guess they are doing another sequel? Is this going to still be with young Eric/Charles in the 80s/90s? Or in the new "future". It seems weird to me since this movie feels really a lot like closure for the storyline begun in XMFC. They could've put a "The End" at the end and it would've felt complete. *shrug*

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May. 8th, 2014

Ramblings from a fangirl (Exalted/MCU)

So I have been reading a lot of Worm fanfics on the Spacebattles Creative Writing forum. A lot of the best crossover fics I've seen have been with the Exalted RPG. The discussions on those threads invariably get inundated by Exalted game mechanics, so I've learned more about those than I've wanted to.

Anyway, so then I was watching CA:TWS. And throughout the movie, I kept thinking - My god, Cap is such a Zenith (Exalted "sub-class" for the Solar "class"). He would make a great Exalt expy. And then afterwards I ran a google search to see if any Exalt games/fans have tried to create a character sheet for Cap and came across this discussion.

So anyway my imagination runs away with me... )

EDIT: For my own reference

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Apr. 26th, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

First, let's get my squeeing out of the way. I absolutely LOVED this movie. Love <3<3<3!!! I went into the theater with high expectations. I was not disappointed. It ticked ALL of my likes. Cap, you are my favorite superhero evar!! <3<3<3

*cough* *ahem*

Attempted coherency... )

There's other stuff I loved, but the above covers most of the big things.

Incidentally, this reviewer's posts? I agree with all of it. ^_^

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Dec. 23rd, 2013

We don't want the girls

Paul Dini: Superhero cartoon execs don't want largely female audiences


Just. What.

I don't even...what is this BS...

A more calm and knowledgeable analysis of the marketing economics that's probably behind this idiocy.

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Dec. 15th, 2013

Movie Review - Thor 2

Saw Thor 2 today. I liked it, better than Thor 1 actually. Maybe it's because I didn't have high expectations going in this time, or maybe because there's less emphasis on Loki (I still don't get the fandom's obsession with him... OK I get the why, I just don't feel it myself).

Read more... )

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Oct. 14th, 2013

Humanity is not Ready for it

I hate this trope. I really really do. I hate it more when it shows up in science fiction.

[rant] )

One final thought. Do you know what I want to see in a modern sci-fi story? The covert SpecOps team rescuing the brilliant scientist from a luddite (super-)villan who wants to destroy the scientist's knowledge/research, so that said scientist can publish their findings to the world and improve life for everyone. Bonus points if the Snarky!Commando refutes the villain's claims that humanity "is not ready" for the horrors that said discoveries will bring, by pointing out humanity already has existing technologies that is more readily weaponized, and yet seems to be doing just fine. Is there any of that around?

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Dec. 7th, 2012

Bucky/Cap recs

For cashew. :)

till i wake your ghost & push your old numbers - These two are companion fics, one mainly from Bucky's POV & one mainly from Steve's. Kinda stream of consciousness angst centering around their reunion in the present.

Run to Ground - Something of a Steve/Nat/Bucky fic. Black Widow takes on a mission to recover the Winter Soldier. Steve kinda invites himself along.

when i offer you survival, you say it's hard enough to live - A much more lighthearted fic. The Avengers have a secret admirer. Or maybe just Steve.

seven minutes in heaven - Cap has a mission to catch the Winter Soldier and he completes it. In a closet. And out of it. Bit of a PWP.

Impact Winter & sequel Welcome to Whereever You Are - The Winter Soldier is brought in from the cold, SHIELD is paranoid, and Steve helps his best friend on the road to recovery.

make one dream come true (you only live twice) - Bit of crack in this one. It's the Avengers versus the Winter Soldier. Steve makes a really bad James Bond, but he does somehow manage to...seduce?...the girl enemy.

in each place and forever - Snippets out of Bucky's life and how it revolves around Steve.

Salt For the Sea - Word is out that the Winter Soldier has been permanently deactivated. Steve goes a little berserk. This fic is kinda OOC for Cap IMO but I still kinda like it.

Ducklings series: Imprint, Awakening, and Sugar in My Bowl - The first one isn't really Bucky/Steve but kinda sets the stage with some of the minor characters in the second fic. The third fic is pure PWP.

but hey, you're all right - The Winter Soldier is a mail order bride. Every one's brains breaks a little, in different ways. Angsty!Crack if that's even possible.

Jun. 22nd, 2012

Avengers Recs

cut for length )

May. 29th, 2012

Movie Review - Avengers

So I finally got to see the Avengers this holiday weekend. I have to say that Marvel Studios has hit another one out of the park. Even five weeks after the domestic debut, the theater was still packed. I had to sit somewhere the front and crane my neck up to watch the film up close cuz there were no seats left in the entire rear section. According to google news, the film is doing really well at the box office and in critical reviews as well.

Here there may be spoilers )

Oct. 30th, 2011

Oh, comics...

(And oh, deleted movie scenes...)

EDIT: OMG *dies*

EDIT2: For real?
EDIT3: d'aww

Oct. 28th, 2011

Oh, FOX...

"How much do you love Charles Xavier?"

Man, they stuff they got away with in our Saturday morning cartoons... XD

Oct. 24th, 2011

Brain breaky....

Insert evil laughter

(Also, recs list continues to be updated)

EDIT: More, not quite brain breaky evil laughter.

In a fab montage, the pair go on a recruiting drive, in which they perch on a strip-club bed.

"That scene got exceptionally silly at one point," says McAvoy. "I don't know if I'm even allowed to tell you what originally happened. But it got pretty f---in' kinky. I'm not joking."

Was the dashing duo's bromance, uh, consummated?

"Unfortunately no. But there was a little bit of cross-dressing going on. That's all you need to know."

(For the record, McAvoy would have preferred it if Xavier and Magneto stayed together. Like, really together. "It is a little bit of a mini-tragedy that him and Magneto don't, you know, have sex and become married and become best friends.")

EDIT2: *cracks up*
EDIT3: *squee*

Oct. 23rd, 2011

Erik/Charles in comics

The art isn't that great, but the comments are priceless. XD

Oct. 15th, 2011

Mostly XMFC Fic Recs

These are all Erik/Charles fics. So yeah, slash. As promised, I tried to stick to non-epic/one shots with no angst.

Read more... )

EDIT6: Still going...

super-oblivious!Charles - Crack. Erik gives himself a concussion with head-desking.

Holiday Lights Battle - Crack and Holiday Fluff. Mitosis cookies!

--- Some non XMFC recs! ---

The Dementors of Azkaban - AU for HP year 3. Pure crack.

Lessons with Hagrid - More crack. In which Hagrid teaches Occlumency.

Oct. 13th, 2011

while going through scans daily...

Civil War done right, at least, in the respect that both sides get a fair representation of their arguments, both with valid points, and neither side automatically demonized. Also, does it look like Scott is turning into Magneto and Wolverine of all people is turning into Prof. X?

I need a XMFC slashy icon.

EDIT: Not XMFC, but there be some hilarious Avengers icons here. Yeah, Thor, shake it, Baby! ^_-

EDIT2: snerk

EDIT3: Cyclops the strategist. Non-humor this time.

Oct. 6th, 2011

China 2011: Day 19-20

Nothing happened yesterday. Today we head back to the U.S. Unfortunately, there is a 9 hour layover in Taiwan. So I'm wasting some time at the transfer station.

On the ride over from Nanjing on the Airbus, I got a chance to watch "Green Lantern." Yeah, it was about as underwhelming as expected. For a character that is basically billed as a "space-cop", there is precious little scenes that are space related or heavy sci-fi. Pretty much all of the scenes of Oa were covered in the trailers, and "Iron Man” had more high-tech than this movie.

My complaints of DC's incompetence at characterization still stands. I'd hate to think that the average movie-verse DCU earthling is so bad that the likes of movie-Hal would be the best choice for courage for the GL ring. Then again, none of the other DC movies have exactly turned out any paragons of virtue either. Give me Marvel, at least when it comes to the movies, I guess.

Sep. 17th, 2011

Movie Reviews: X-Men First Class and Super 8

First of all, I saw both of these as an in-flight movie and not on the big screen, so I guess any CGI or SFX that was made to have them look cool in the theater was probably lost in translation. I'll mainly be commenting on the other aspects of the movies than how they look...

X-Men was great, just like everyone said it was. The pacing was fast paced, the plot carried you along with every tide, the fact that you knew who was going to end up on which side didn't detract from the suspense of how things are going to get there.

The plot was... ok, it was pretty standard comic book. Let's not talk too much of plausibility of the bad guys' plan. There are also some other visible plot holes, but they don't detract too much from the movie. The more important plotline of Xavier finding young mutants in need and becoming a mentor to them was nicely done.

The characterization They did an awesome job with the two stars – Xavier and Magneto (nobody cares about the villain). I especially like that they managed to give Xavier some depth instead of cardboard xerox of MLK Jr., let him have some flaws that make so much sense on him, and yet still make him the goody two-shoes guy. Magneto was more uneven if looked at overall, but he certainly had quite a few moments that really made the guy shine.

Most of all, there was chemistry between the two of them that just sizzled, arguably even better than frickin' Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen playing off each other in the previous movies. I can certain see where all the slash fics are coming from, because there are so many emotionally heavy scenes between the two of them that just make you go "Oh my god they are so totally doing it behind everyone's back."

The rest of the cast is good too (except the dragonfly-girl which made me go "bwah?"). Mystique is great. Banshee is great. Havok is great (though I wonder how they're going to tie him into continuity with Cyclops). The villains were...not that great, but nobody really cared about them.

Three thumbs up for X-Men First Class.

Next, we have Super 8, which unfortunately did not live up to the hype. I was expecting horror. I was expecting sci-fi. I was expecting more than just 3 frickin' scenes with the alien that the plot is supposed to be centered on.

Instead, we got barely pubescent teen drama, with all the you like her, I like her, she likes you, our parents don't want us to talk to each other... GAH. If I wanted a relationship chick flick I wouldn't be going to something billed as sci-fi/horror!! Who the hell wants to see barely-teen soap operatics in their sci fi?!

Aside from the kids who are pretty much living out of Lady Luck's pocket, everyone else... sucked. The deputy guy who was Romeo's (can't remember the kid's name) dad--nothing made me care about this guy thoughout his angst and dysfunctional relationship with his son and the later turnaround; whatever. I barely got what the hell was going on with the other guy that was Juliet's dad (I can't remember her actual name either). The other kids in support roles were annoying and utterly transparent in their roles for the movie. The alien, as mentioned before, was largely absent. The military – bleh, so annoyingly one dimensional it makes me long to rewatch Stargate instead. And everyone else was pretty much cardboard/fodder.

FYI: Horror is not randomly killing people out of the blue. That's just playing people for the shock value. It is not horror if we don't evey care about 100% of the people killed.

Worst of all, the climax was an utter anti-climax, and then it just skips to the end credits. W. T. F. Who wrote this crap?

Two thumbs down for Super 8.

Aug. 9th, 2011


Hilarious and drool-worthy fake blog posts and fanart for Cap (and Tony).

EDIT: And Bucky!

Jul. 24th, 2011

Movie Review - Captain America

Just saw the movie today. Dragged my mom with me since the supermarket she needed to go to was right next to the theater. Verdict? I like it. I would even verge to say I loved it.

The Good: The characters. Definitely. Times 100.

Cap was spot on what he should be, which is a level of goodness and niceness you don't see much anymore in today's emo/snarkiness/cynicism overwhelmed entertainment products. He's humble, which is a lot unlike the other superegoesheroes out there. He's well adjusted...though that credit probably goes to Dr. Erskine for choosing the right person to become a hero (makes you want to ask the GL ring what the heck its criteria were, huh?). He's adorably bumbling when it comes to women. And yeah, I honestly cried in the scene where he said his goodbyes and crashed the Hydra plane (not knowing he'll be on ice for the next 75 years).

(Also, the thought occurs to me that Steve's virtues are the same that Superman/Clark Kent, the iconic character, is supposed to also have. But alas, only one of these characters actually managed to pull it off in the movies...all of their movies combined. -_-)

Peggy was probably one of the, if not the best female lead in a superhero movie so far. She kicks butt and takes names, and can probably shoot a fly at 50 paces. She dominated (and I mean that seriously) all the guys she meets. Alas, she's probably the one who got the least far with her guy as well. One kiss and a promise for a date before he crashed into the ice.

Howard Stark also made me squee... he's a lot like Tony from IM. Same flashiness when he gave his World's Fair demo (though alas I think his son got better engineering skillz), and is totally insane enough to fly behind enemy lines and still make it out alive. And the scene at the end where he's spending his millions to scour the North Sea for any sign of Cap is just heart wrenching. More since we know he died before Cap was finally recovered. *sniff*

Dr. Erskine was a character that was barely a footnote in the comics as part of Steve's background. Here, he's fleshed out in the few times he appears and is probably one of the wiser and cooler "old mentor guy" figures around.

Tomme Lee Jones Col. Phillips... I think all the reviews online have said everything better than me about how he rocked.

The Meh/Bad:

I'll agree with some reviewers that the pacing could use some work. The end where Cap wakes up in the modern world I think should be moved to the post-credits teaser, IMO. Or, at least make it shorter and vaguer. Otherwise it takes a lot out of the emotional impact of Cap's sacrifice.

Also, the unclear end of Bucky (typical stereotype of falling into the abyss...if you don't see the body then they're not dead) I think was kinda unnecessary, since I doubt they're going to do anything with the Winter Soldier storyline of comic fame. IMO it would've been better to go with the Ultimates storyline and had Bucky survive everything and be in his 90's when Steve returns, as the one last touchstone in the brand new world he's thrust into.

Making Hydra into a rogue Nazi element was kinda...odd, but I guess I could get where they're coming from. A little too hard to explain why Germany didn't win the war in the Marvel timeline with the gear Hydra had available otherwise. Still. It was kinda odd. And I still think it's a little odd that the US was on the wrong side of the tech parity with Hydra. Even with the Norse superscience that Red Skull had, wouldn't he have been limited by other raw materials and funding like the rest of Germany? Ah well, chalk it up to standard supervillainy handwaving.

Anyway, in summary: Two thumbs up for Captain America!

Mar. 22nd, 2011


So, apparently Xander from Buffy is today's preeminent SI for fanboys to insert themselves into, get powered up six ways to Sunday, go on a multiversal jaunt, end up with a harem, and take out their aggression at any other characters they don't happen to like. Yeah, I get that. All the way back since Ranma was pretty much the same thing for anime fanfic authors.

It doesn't stop me from bristling at the latest soapbox ranting of the sockpuppet author when I was skimming through a BVS/Girl Genius/DCAU xover that is just rehash of the old rant about how superheroes with a moral code are somehow responsible for the actions of their rogues. Heck, it's not like the same issue hasn't been raised in the comics themselves. But alas, I've rarely seen the argument actually written out well without handing the idiot-ball to one side of the argument and the jerk-ball to the other. Ironically, the comments to that second scans_daily link contains far more insightful arguments toward both sides of the issue. Of course, the first link was a sort of good try for the comics writers, but of course that was back in the days when superhero comics were still run out of newspaper strips. (Oh how the "art" of comics have degraded to these sensationalism-is-all days. :P)

Anyway, personally, I've never bought the whole idea that the superheroes are responsible for their villains thing. It always smacked of the whole 'shift the blame'/'blame the victims' line of thinking, and most attempts to argue it in the stories nowadays appears to absolve the villain of their own culpability for the apparent goal of inducing wangst and emo for the hero, as well as justifying bad plot.

Secondly, I've never really felt that the role of executioner should fall on the shoulders of the heroes - at least, let me amend that, for foes in a civilized setting that are capable of being executed/locked up by mundane means and methods. Uber-powered bad guys that want to blow up the planet or something...Yeah - if the hero is the ONLY one with the capability to end the threat (and especially imminent future threats) to the public/humanity/Earth, they should shoulder the responsibility of terminating said threat. But for the likes of Joker and such, I would expect the responsibility to rest where it has always been - with the legislature (if exceptions need to be made in the death penalty laws of the state) or with the courts (if death penalty is already legal). Blaming the hero in that case seems to be a scapegoat for the public to avoid their own implicit culpability for these villains, which is not any less than the heroes in these cases.

And the thing bugs me the most in certain fics... is the way that some authors look down on various superheroes for having and sticking to a moral code. I mean, I don't get it. Why would you WANT people with superpowers or means beyond normal men to NOT have a moral code? To have a flexible moral code that can be bent when the fancy strikes them or whoever can manipulate them? I really, really don't get it.

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