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Captain America vs. The Patriot Act? 303

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the what-would-superman-do dept.
Nerd_52637 writes "Yesterday, Marvel Comics released the first in its miniseries Civil War, which can only be described as a gutsy comic-book series focusing on the whole debate over homeland security and tighter government controls in the name of public safety. The seven-issue series once again puts superheroes right back in the thick of real-world news, just as DC Comics has Batman battling al-Qaeda in a soon-to-appear comic and Marvel's X-Men continue to explore themes of public intolerance and discrimination. In Civil War, hero is pitted against hero in the choice of whether or not to side with the government, as issues ranging from a Guantanamo-like prison camp for superheroes, embedded reporters and the power of media all play in the mix as Superheroes are ordered to register as human WMDs or be branded fugitives."
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Captain America vs. The Patriot Act?

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  • by i am kman (972584) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:24PM (#15266881)
    Kudos to Marvel!

    Comics in general and Marvel in particular have had a long tradition in embracing social issues - witness the classic Marvel comic series that decried on McCarthyism. This one is interesting because they aren't really taking sides.

    Of course, many cartoons these days are overtly political (Southpark, American Dad, Boondocks) - at least Marvel tries hard to let the readers make up their own minds and explore the issue themselves.
  • Um... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann.slashdot@nOsPaM.gmail.com> on Thursday May 04, 2006 @06:38PM (#15266958) Homepage Journal
    From TFA:

    There is, for instance, one accident where a group of novice superheroes gets in over its head, leading to the death of a schoolyard full of children.

    The politicians are concerned about public safety. So Congress passes a bill forcing all superheroes to register with the government as human weapons of mass destruction, and to work, in effect, for Washington. Superheroes who don't comply will themselves be branded fugitives.

    Geez, weren't the X-men already hiding from the government for being dangerous?

    Try something more intelligent, people. Talk about the ISPs snooping on you, about the RIAA lobbying the congress, about the Patriot Act, DRM, DMCA and all that stuff that's being shoved down our throats.

    But do it in the near future, present a fear-driven country, where all civil liberties are ALREADY lost. We want to see people being arrested for having analog TV's! For copying music in authorized formats! For using encryption in their e-mails! We want Big Brother! (in the comics, that is)
  • RED SKULL!!! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 04, 2006 @09:40PM (#15267857)
    I still say the Red Skull was just a metaphor for Communism, even if he was a red-faced Nazi. Red Skull == Red Menace, something that Captain America, or his faithful followers, must deal with.
  • "Debate" is a hoax (Score:1, Interesting)

    by menace3society (768451) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @10:13PM (#15268000)
    Anytime you say you want to have a debate about military prisons, secret interrogations, or the general reduction of freedom in the name of public safety and security, you're coming down against it. The very idea of debating in order to decide which is right takes the side that democratic processes and freedoms are more important than strict safety and security: since public discussion is a democratic process, the notion that a public discussion should determine whether or not true democratic process is more important than security is preternaturally determined to come down in favor of democratic processes. If it doesn't, the people involved are idiots.
  • by GunFodder (208805) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @11:14PM (#15268241)
    I recently read the Watchmen again. It nicely captured the sense of impending nuclear holocaust that was a staple of the Cold War era. The Cold War ended along with the Soviet Union back in '91.

    In the Watchmen the Soviet Union invades Afghanistan and threatens Pakistan, which nearly provokes World War III. Nowadays we invade Afghanistan and Iran, and no one does anything except quietly complain about American imperialism. It just isn't the same without another nuclear superpower.
  • Book: Brave Men Run (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mo26101 (518770) on Friday May 05, 2006 @07:48AM (#15269345)
    There is a very good book that addresses people with "super powers" and how the government reacts: Brave Men Run [bravemenrun.com]. The audio version of the book is available for free as a podcast.

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