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Civil War
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VirusZero Offline
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Post: #1
RE: Civil War
Suppose for a second that super heroes were real, that anyone smart or strong enough or with some sort of power could go out and become a hero/heroine. Would you want heroes to be register/controlled somehow or should it be that anyone with a power should have the freedom to do as they please for the greater good/to help people?

These are essentially the issues in the Marvel: Civil War story which sees a group of heroes playing mercenaries chase down a dangerous super-criminal. The super criminal (named Nitro) uses his power to explode to kill a schoolbus full of children to escape the pursuing heroes. The tragedy leads the US to question whether heroes should be Free or Licensed. With various heroes leaning one way or the other. (Iron Man being pro-registration, Captain America being pro-freedom).

So then, what are your thoughts on the matter?
03-17-2012 09:36 PM
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DamascaRamza Offline
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Post: #2
 
I'd go with pro-freedom, superheroes are generally just people with powers who want to help those in need and don't usually expect anything in return, if they were forced to be under the control of any world government, it would be like saying "Fuck you and fuck your ideals, you're our bitch now." in any terminology you'd prefer.

I haven't read Civil War myself, I know what happened due to the internet though, I hate that they made Tony Stark the pro-registration side.

It kind of makes him a hypocrite (Or even more of a hypocrite, I haven't read very many Earth-616 comics, mostly Ultimate Marvel.) since he doesn't want his Iron Man suits to be available to the general public, yet he expected every superhero to join up and let the government leash them and be told who they can and can't help as if they were some generic minion.

Yes, it's tragic that a supervillain killed a bus of kids to escape the heroes pursuing him, but how is that the hero's fault? Do they suddenly control villains too? In that case, Spider-Man should make the Green Goblin, Doctor Octavius, Venom, Carnage and every other villain, dead or alive sit in a jail cell that prevents them from using their powers.

Hey Reed Richards! Use your powers to control your arch nemesis and make him drown himself so he doesn't ever bother you again! You can obviously do it since all superheroes can control their enemies and if they don't, a bunch of crap happens!

It's a risk that the US government in the Earth 616-verse has to make, superheroes should be allowed to fight freely without being on a leash, since they're more then happy to kick ass and take names without being paid to do it like the police or a soldier.

So in a nutshell, I'm pro-freedom.

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03-18-2012 01:18 AM
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VirusZero Offline
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Post: #3
 
Not wanting his armor to be made available to the public and wanting registration are 2 different things though.

Having the armor available would be disastrous. Villains would love having tech that good to use to commit crimes and it'd make stopping them that much harder without heavier casualties.
Even normal people with access to more powerful tech could incite more crime/heroics which would lead to issues. So the Iron Man tech would definitely not have been shared. (Which is why Tony Stark originally joined the Department of Defense as the Secretary of Defense... Because the military started using his tech again and he wanted to control it rather than try to fight them again. Since he did that before and it didn't work out so well...)

The registration was designed with several goals. The first goal was training heroes. So instead of someone just deciding to be a hero, they would get registered and be given: first aid training, CPR training, first responder training, martial arts/self-defense training. This way a hero would be equipped to deal with many situations in the proper manner instead of recklessly charging in.

Which is what happened in the Civil War storyline. The heroes charged in without thinking of a plan and forced the villains into a desperate situation. And since the villains were in a desperate situation and had no qualms about using whatever means necessary to escape capture, it resulted in tragedy. If the heroes had thought of a plan then casualties could have been avoided.


The second goal of the registration was to provide accountability. Since the heroes wore masks/costumes to conceal their identities, anyone could be a hero and take risks and make huge decisions regarding others without any fear of backlash. If things got bad they could pull off the mask/costume and fade away never having to worry about any criminal charges being laid or lawsuits being brought against them.
Which was part of the issue in the civil war story... The young heroes playing mercenaries were doing it for a reality TV series to boost ratings. They wanted attention and didn't think about the risks at all. They made reckless decisions and cost many people their lives.

The third goal was to provide the opportunity for proper benefits to the heroes though optional employment with SHIELD which included health care for any injuries they suffered in the course of duty. Since being a hero would almost ensure they were going to get hurt at some point or another so it'd be a nice assurance that they had some sort of health care and insurance benefits.

Personally, I'd rather have heroes trained/licensed than being free. Though with one minor change... The secret identity would only be know to those who really need it. (EX- High ranking commanders in SHIELD who would be deploying the heroes who worked for them. )
Yes, this means that heroes don't get a true secret identity, but it means that there wouldn't be public unmaskings/reveals and public wouldn't know who they are and lessens the chance that the villains are going to know them. (There is never any chance that a villain couldn't find out their secret identity. Especially some of the genius level ones. They could just tag the hero, trace them back to their home and watch them unmask or something.) But it would still give that hero some security to know that they aren't going to have their family constantly targeted. (But with the governmental aid, they could get their family some help to ensure they are safe from villains if their identity was compromised. Which they wouldn't have otherwise. And wouldn't it be good knowing that if something happened that you had a team of heroes looking out for you and your family? )

Though I'd also want to make sure that the heroes had strong legal defense team since undoubtedly people would try suing them...
03-19-2012 03:12 PM
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Jet Offline
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Post: #4
 
Heheh, looks like its 1-1. We might have our own Civil War reenactment here on EF.

As for myself, I am... conflicted. As were many heroes I imagine.

On one hand, if you try to regulate the heroes you're going to have fewer people willing to don the mask and costume and self sacrifice to help others. Which is partly the goal of the Pro-Registration side, they only want committed professionals getting involved, not someone sloppy or inexperienced. But that is like a slap in the face if you're just an individual who only wants to help other people. Sure you could argue that its not hard to get registered, but you might be a hero with a good reason not to.

The Registration Act is kind of similar to gun control laws, you can almost take some of their more common arguments and apply them here.
"When guns are illegal only criminals will own guns."

Imagine some alternate universe (Marvel likes to create those) where all heroes were registered and controlled by the government. Some smart villain such as Doom could take over the government and every hero on earth in one move. Yeah you'd have some heroes start to rebel, but then Doom wouldn't be dumb enough to reveal himself, he'd have some puppet politician. Or he could order every hero come in for a physical inspection or something and brainwash them one by one. When you've got your eggs all in one basket you play a very dangerous game where nothing can ever go wrong - ever. And eventually, especially in the comic book universe something always goes wrong.

Regarding Tony Stark - I think he's a dick in this story ark. Out to protect his own skin really, by remorselessly forcing others to obey. Its funny, because on the surface I would've thought that Ironman and Cap would be leading each other's side, but when you think about the characters and the circumstances leading up to the Act you understand. I just feel like Stark automatically sided with the Pro-Registration side because his identity was already publicly known. And to save his own skin, he signed on to head up the hunt for his fellow heroes. (And again, with all the heroes fighting amongst themselves I feel like Doom or someone should've used the chaos and infighting to make a play - but they stayed quiet and let all heroes everywhere duke it out.)

In the end I stand with the Anti-Registration. Yeah, the Pro-Registration side has merit, and all of that training and health care would be great - but I feel like there's too great a risk of corruption within and without heroes operating on the outside everyone is screwed.

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03-19-2012 04:26 PM
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VirusZero Offline
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Post: #5
 
The problem I see with the Freedom side is that everyone with the option of becoming a hero just because they can isn't always a good thing. Yes they may want to do good... But that doesn't count for anything if their actions result in more harm being done.
Consider a real life example... Suppose a person collapses and stops breathing and someone runs over to help. The helper attempts CPR, but doesn't know how to do it properly. They end up breaking the person's ribcage and cause broken ribs to puncture the lungs. The medics arrive but are unable to do anything thanks to the intervention of the "hero". The helper now faces charges for intervening. They don't get to hide for their actions.
It's like that but applied to superpowers.

Though as a further revision to the Superhero Registration Act, it'd be possible to make the hero register but not provide their secret identity. Make the hero like a corporation. EX- Spiderman Inc. Where the person behind the mask is a private citizen but the hero is a corporate entity so you can sue the hero but not the person.
The training and benefits would still be provided to ensure safety though.


As for Doom/other villains, I think they sat out to let the heroes fight it out hoping that the hero's strife would give them time to plot/plan for later and maybe take out a few heroes in the process.
But you're right it would be risky for all that knowledge to be in one place. And its something that a villain would love to have access to. So in that regard I agree that it is quite risky. But on the flip side again, if Doom did take control of the government it wouldn't really matter since the heroes still aren't like police per say. They don't exactly follow the orders of the government, they'd be assigned to SHIELD (if they accepted employment) or work as freelancers with proper training. So sure Doom would know who they are... But he wouldn't be able to outright command them without the hypnotizing (or some similiar method).
03-25-2012 11:05 PM
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Jet Offline
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Post: #6
 
I'm surprised you used the CPR example Virus, I actually think it works better for the Freedom side. In the United States (and I'm fairly sure in Canada as well) there are Good Samaritan laws which protect a rescuer from liability, even if they are inexperienced. The idea is that we as humans have a 'duty to render aid' if its within our power, and current laws reflect the idea that we should focus on helping rather than considering the legal ramifications. In CPR it is especially crucial that someone step forward and try to save the victim, the first couple of minutes are so crucial and if no one attempts CPR the victim will likely die before professional medical help can arrive.

In Minnesota and Vermont they actually take it a step further, not only to they absolve rescuers of any legal ramifications - they actually impose them if you stand around doing nothing. You are actually required by law to provide some sort of "reasonable assistance," even if its only to call 911, failure to do so can actually be a petty misdemeanor. So yeah, current laws would tend to favor the Anti Registration side, doesn't matter if you're a professional, they want you to act if you're in the position to help save a life.


-----------------
And now I'm going off topic but as someone who has spent 6 years as a lifeguard and actually administered CPR, I can tell you that cracked ribs will happen. Doesn't matter if you're an average joe off the street or a big time doctor who has been preforming CPR all his professional life, sometimes ribs break when you give CPR. And that's partially why we have Good Samaritan laws, so some ungrateful b*tch can't turn around and say "well sure he saved my life, but I'm going to sue him anyway for breaking my ribs in the process, I didn't ask for that."

Also, if they're unconscious its implied that they gave consent and would want you to help them. If they're actively choking however, and are still conscious then consent is not implied, and you have to ask if you can help them before going to administer aid. If they say no, then you're just supposed to wait until they pass out before saving their life. Yes, they teach you these things as a professional rescuer, kind of sad when half the course involves making sure you can't be sued for doing your job. The world we live in.
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So going back to your example Virus, the helper would probably not get in trouble. And if the victim didn't survive it wasn't through his or her lack of experience - if no aid had been given the victim still would have died, even if their ribs were in perfect condition when the medics arrived. The human brain just cannot go that long without oxygen, and its essential in most cases that first aid be given.

Same case with superheroes. If a super-villain is about it kill a couple innocent people and you're on the scene but not registered, you can't necessarily wait for someone registered to show up. You feel a duty to help, and you do what you can, even if someone is hurt or killed, you can hold your head high knowing you did your best. To stand by and let someone get injured or die would eat a hero up inside.


I do agree however that some compromise could be reached. Amend the wording in the Registration Act, give the heroes some flexibility and it would be better received. Something this controversial shouldn't have to be black and white.

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03-26-2012 06:05 PM
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VirusZero Offline
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Post: #7
 
I've never had to perform CPR, though I have had the training. But the reason I mentioned it was because that if you don't know how to perform CPR and try it which then results in injury/death... You are not protected under Good Samaritan laws (at least in Canada you aren't). You're only protected under those laws for things you attempt that you've received training for. This is what separates those of us with training from persecution versus Joe-blow off the street. Plus the fact that we have an entire organization backing us so if they try to sue us that organization steps in on our behalf and goes: "We trained them, they used our methods... Your life is saved and our legal team is ready if you'd like to continue this."


Indeed, I was warned that cracked ribs very well can happen, and it's likely to occur simply because of the CPR method itself. Though my point in mentioning it was that if someone doesn't know what they're doing they can cause a tremendous amount of damage, going beyond just cracking a few ribs to breaking them and puncturing internal organs. Thus exacerbating injuries for when paramedics arrive.


You're right, a hero wouldn't be able to watch bad things happen and do nothing. Which is commendable. But if they choose to intervene then they would have to accept any fallout for what happened if they acted recklessly and/or purposefully endangered others. Which is a core issue with current heroes and something I'm getting at with why I brought the CPR up. Untrained heroes aren't a menace like J. Jonah Jameson wants people to think, they just need a better support network to help protect them.
03-26-2012 07:06 PM
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