SuperHero Complacency LegislationA column article, Comics Bulletin Soapbox by: Judson Miers
The following is an address recently delivered on the floor of the U.S. Senate as transcribed by SBC's Jim Miers:
"Citizens of the World,
At the dawn of a new year, I see a problem of cosmic proportions. I see an ever-increasing imbalance in the world, indeed the entire cosmos.
There is a problem which has existed since the day that Superman put on his cape. It has existed since Bat-Man begun lurking in the shadows. It has existed since the Spider-Man first awed us as a performer by spinning webs and sticking to walls. There is a problem brought on by superheroes, indeed spawned from their existence as a universal counter-balance to the super-powered that have sworn to protect us.
My fellow citizens, there is something more evil and damaging than all of the criminals and world wars and technological blunders of all time. It comes in bright and colorful costumes. It comes bearing the promise of protection and security. It comes with t-shirts and slogans. It comes with good intentions, but we know where good intentions ultimately lead us…
This evil of which I speak is super-powered individuals, both hero and villain. Follow along with me… There were no super villains before there were superheroes. Before Superman and the JLA and the X-Men and the Avengers and the rest of those loonies, we just had to only contend with normal heroes. Normal humans that had bad, even evil intentions, but they were “normal.” They were able to be combated by normal/human means and by normal humans. Super heroes were not the reaction to super villains. Rather super villains are the direct result of super heroes.
It wasn’t until we welcomed superheroes into our midst as saviors, protectors, gods did the “Underground Cold War” begin…
It is my belief that if not for the presence of superheroes, we would not have super villains today. It is the very nature of evil to seek to destroy that which is good, to corrupt that which is descent, and to soil that which is innocent. The greater the good; the much greater the evil!
Because of the very essence of evil and the ever-increasing escalation between evil and those that struggle against evil, I propose that the superhero community be held partially accountable for the evil acts which are performed by the super villains that they have sworn to stand against.
I know this is controversial. I know that this may sound heretical. I know that the superheroes like the Avengers and the Justice League and others have caused the villains to escalate their actions, their powers, their own ruthlessness to gain the advantage.
In truth, I am exceedingly grateful for the presence of superheroes. Who has not had their spirits lifted by the glimpse of Spider-Man as he swings by? Who has not admired the valor and moral conscience of Captain America? Who has not been uplifted by the knowledge that there were men and women sworn to protect us in our slumber from threats not yet imagined? Who would question the motives and character of such people? Certainly not I!
My issue is that these superheroes risk life and limb to apprehend these super villains and deliver them to the authorities who are ill-equipped to handle their incarcerations. These super villains just break out of their incarcerations to inflict their evil on the world again. There is a legal term for not stopping a crime which one either knows will imminently occur or a crime which is occurring and is acting with complacency, and that term is “accomplice.” While the accomplice does not perpetrate the crime, there is a level of responsibility and legal culpability. If a citizen sees a crime in progress and chooses not stop it, he is legally responsible for a portion of the punishment. Being an accomplice is just as morally and legally wrong as standing idly by after the prison cell of a dangerous criminal is left open, and someone watches him/her walk right out without so much as raising the alarm or trying to stop them. If these dangerous criminals have committed crimes before and have vowed to commit them again and you don’t stop them, you deserve to be in their cells with them!
Because the superheroes are partially responsible for the problem of the super villains, they are then partially responsible for their actions. The recent conflict in the Marvel Universe between those who would register the superhero community and those who resist the registration has brought this crisis to the surface. Those who support superhero registration and the United States government which sponsors this registration are responsible for the actions of those superheroes who have taken part of the program, and those who oppose registration are responsible for their own actions.
Because of these costumed super-powered individuals, whether good or evil, there has been an escalation in damage to property and harm to non-combatants. Who is held responsible for this escalation? Who pays for the cost of combating super-powered? It’s the “normal” people who bear the brunt of the burden!
It is our responsibility to safeguard the next generation from the excesses of the super-powered community, whether good or evil. It is our responsibility to enact legislation that will hold those who endanger life and property, whether good or evil. It does us, normal humans, no good to have super-powered protectors if there is an escalation of violence and damage from super-powered criminals. If fact, this results in a negative balance overall.
I realize that these super heroes have saved the planet many times over, but if not for their existence, how many more calamities, near-misses, and alien races, infections, infestations could have been averted? How long will we be caught in the crossfire of super-powered individuals trying to prove their superiority? How long will our lives be in danger because we humans do not possess extra-human powers?
The answer is clear: Either all of us should be given extra-human powers (and since there is not a reliable method to provide the general population with such powers), or those who use these powers should be held accountable for their actions.
No longer can this problem be ignored. Backed by such individuals as Lex Luthor and J Jonah Jameson, I have written and sponsored a bill that will be introduced into the United States Congress that will address this issue. Join with me and send your support to Washington for the SuperHero Complacency Act!"
Senator John Q. Public