Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Then how can you call them good guys?

Lebovitz's Limit: Do the good guys torture? (Via)


  1. I've been thinking about this a fair amount, in part because I'm annoyed at seeing more torture in some of the things I'm reading.

    Notably, I'd say Batman tortures but he doesn't kill. (Going by Geneva standards hear, beat downs to get information count) I'm okay with that, although I think it's important to note that in the real world probably at least 5-10% of Batman fights would result in the unintended death of people on the other side. But it's a fictional universe, so be it. What I can't handle are good guys that torture and kill.

  2. The short answer is, of course, that good guys don't torture. I don't even mind the protagonists doing it, now and then, so long as it is known that it is excessive and over the line. Greg brought up Batman who does occasionally torture people for information - but often his allies are totally creeped out by his behavior in that regard. They view it as being deeply suspicious and often flatly wrong.

    What bothers me is that more and more in more and more comics I'm seeing mass murder and torture where it is NOT clear that it's wrong. That it is justified in some fashion, usually deeply creepy. So in X-Force, now, you have Cyclops ordering murders and torture with some sort of racial purity justification that just skeeves me out, or Iron Man sitting in at a vivisection without comment about it's horror. I've been seeing it and really, really not liking it.

  3. Good guys may be so angry that they WANT to torture. They may even threaten to torture. But I can't really see them...if they ARE good guys...actually torturing someone.

    Except the Punisher of course. But he's just crazy.