Smith, Travis: Superhero Ethics. 10 Comic Book Heroes; 10 Ways to Save the World; Which One Do We Need Most Now? West Conshohocken: Templeton, 2018. (152 S.)
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|Resource type: Book
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 978-1-59947-454-0
BibTeX citation key: Smith2018c
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Keywords: Ethics, Superhero, USA
Publisher: Templeton (West Conshohocken)
Superheroes are at the forefront of popular culture and have been for several years. The genre is a cultural phenomenon that shows no signs of fading. The premise of Superhero Ethics is that we should take this phenomenon seriously. These comic book stories are more than popcorn amusements. Read as metaphors, they can illuminate various approaches to forging our characters, directing our lives, relating to others, and promoting the common good.
As the audience response to this year’s Avengers: Infinity War shows, millions of people around the world are heavily invested in the motivations, decisions, and destinies of their favorite superheroes. These characters speak to people in profound ways that are often underappreciated. In Superhero Ethics, Travis Smith investigates what they are saying—what messages about life they’re communicating.
Throughout the book, Smith frames his analysis around a single question: Which superhero embodies the kind of ethical character we should strive to emulate in today’s society? He arrives at his choice by structuring the book as a contest. He takes ten top superheroes and pits them one against another, chapter by chapter. The hero who better exemplifies how we ought to live advances to the final round. By the end of the book, a single superhero emerges victorious and is crowned most exemplary for our times.
Among the timeless questions Smith explores are:
Table of Contents
Introduction: Challenge of the Superheroes (3)
1. The Best of the Beastly: The Hulk versus Wolverine (15)
Conclusion: Contestation of Champions (143)
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