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#1 Posted by Eternal19 (2076 posts) - - Show Bio


#2 Posted by Eternal19 (2076 posts) - - Show Bio

I vote no

#3 Posted by Lvenger (21294 posts) - - Show Bio

Hell no they aren't. If being a Superman fan has taught me anything it's that no kill codes are far from outdated.

#4 Posted by Or35ti (1101 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't believe that superheroes should kill, but if more and more innocent lives are butchered because of the hero's following of a strict code then it shouldn't be so strict. There should be exceptions.

#5 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23238 posts) - - Show Bio

No.  
 
The day someone like Superman starts freely killing, is the day the term "superhero" should no longer be used. They'll all just be superhumans. 

#6 Posted by Decoy Elite (29923 posts) - - Show Bio

Heroes that kill have consistently proven to be far more unhinged than their non-killing counterparts.  
That's why I don't like guys like the Punisher, they're only vigilantes to kill criminals, not save lives. 

#7 Posted by Macabre_Machinations (9 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes, but clearly no kill codes do appeal to an audience that would typically be reading CMBs

#8 Posted by guttridgeb (4832 posts) - - Show Bio

No.

#9 Posted by gravitypress (2066 posts) - - Show Bio

There is too much killing in the media it makes us as a society indifferent to the killing of others.

#10 Posted by Aiden Cross (15526 posts) - - Show Bio

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

No. The day someone like Superman starts freely killing, is the day the term "superhero" should no longer be used. They'll all just be superhumans.

Exactly.

#11 Posted by ALFMutant (165 posts) - - Show Bio

Superheroes should not kill. The judiciary system should kill.

#12 Posted by roboadmiral (553 posts) - - Show Bio

The problem with the code is that it costs more lives than it saves. A Punisher-style kill-'em-all approach isn't necessary, but those who have proven that they cannot be contained and cannot be reformed have it coming.

I also think there's a logical jump that a willingness to use lethal force makes one not a hero. We accept it in almost every other type of heroic figure except for superheroes. Jedi kill (if reluctantly, which is how I think superheroes should be), the Fellowship of the Ring and their allies killed innumerable sentient beings over the course of their journey, but somehow having tights and a cape changes the rules? I don't follow.

There also seems to be a strange distinction between "superhero" and "vigilante" in the Viner community. Unless a superhero operates with expressed government sanction under the rule of law, they are, by definition, a vigilante. As Batman put it in the Dark Knight Returns "Of course we're criminals."

Superheroes are first and foremost about protecting the innocent. By failing to kill genocidal maniacs who can escape imprisonment at will, superheroes are allowing all of their future victims to die. And for what? For some sense of moral superiority? That's a very selfish brand of superhero; the sort who sacrifices the lives of the people they've sworn to protect to their own self-image.

#13 Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt (13704 posts) - - Show Bio

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

No. The day someone like Superman starts freely killing, is the day the term "superhero" should no longer be used. They'll all just be superhumans.

this.

#14 Posted by YourNeighborhoodComicGeek (20446 posts) - - Show Bio

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

No. The day someone like Superman starts freely killing, is the day the term "superhero" should no longer be used. They'll all just be superhumans.

@Decoy Elite said:

Heroes that kill have consistently proven to be far more unhinged than their non-killing counterparts. That's why I don't like guys like the Punisher, they're only vigilantes to kill criminals, not save lives.

Agreed.

#15 Posted by Manhunter2070 (120 posts) - - Show Bio

If anything, no kill codes are a modern invention. For example, Batman used to kill in his first few appearances, even Robin kicked a guy off a building in those issues.

#16 Posted by Aronmorales (9305 posts) - - Show Bio

@Or35ti said:

I don't believe that superheroes should kill, but if more and more innocent lives are butchered because of the hero's following of a strict code then it shouldn't be so strict. There should be exceptions.

This.

#17 Posted by BlackWind (7243 posts) - - Show Bio

No. It highly depends on the character and the situation they are in.

Wonder Woman or Aquaman will try to keep it as non lethal as possible but won't lose any sleep if a complete monster dies.

#18 Posted by KnightRise (4762 posts) - - Show Bio

Killing your enemy isn't always justice.

#19 Posted by Sloucher (13 posts) - - Show Bio

@roboadmiral said:

The problem with the code is that it costs more lives than it saves. A Punisher-style kill-'em-all approach isn't necessary, but those who have proven that they cannot be contained and cannot be reformed have it coming.

I also think there's a logical jump that a willingness to use lethal force makes one not a hero. We accept it in almost every other type of heroic figure except for superheroes. Jedi kill (if reluctantly, which is how I think superheroes should be), the Fellowship of the Ring and their allies killed innumerable sentient beings over the course of their journey, but somehow having tights and a cape changes the rules? I don't follow.

There also seems to be a strange distinction between "superhero" and "vigilante" in the Viner community. Unless a superhero operates with expressed government sanction under the rule of law, they are, by definition, a vigilante. As Batman put it in the Dark Knight Returns "Of course we're criminals."

Superheroes are first and foremost about protecting the innocent. By failing to kill genocidal maniacs who can escape imprisonment at will, superheroes are allowing all of their future victims to die. And for what? For some sense of moral superiority? That's a very selfish brand of superhero; the sort who sacrifices the lives of the people they've sworn to protect to their own self-image.

This is a good point.

#20 Posted by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman and Batman started out as killers in the late 1930s. I heard the no kill rule was introduced later on to appease parents bec most customers of comics were kids. The no kill rule did work well with the fantasy approach of dc since it is a nice fantasy to think that things can get done without killing and without deaths like heaven on earth. In realistic movies or war movies, you will need super heroes who are willing to kill if needed.

#21 Posted by MysteriousUsername (1210 posts) - - Show Bio

Pointing out the golden age portrayals of characters doesn't exactly work when you consider that many golden age heroes weren't really that heroic from a modern perspective. I remember one golden age story where the hero in question tricked an old man into shooting and killing his own criminal son.  
And then the old man died of a heart attack while the hero watched on laughing. 

#22 Posted by mrdecepticonleader (18743 posts) - - Show Bio

Nope,no way.In fact I think it is more a relevant theme today.

#23 Posted by akbogert (3227 posts) - - Show Bio

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

No. The day someone like Superman starts freely killing, is the day the term "superhero" should no longer be used. They'll all just be superhumans.

QFT.

That said, there's still a place for "true" vigilante justice. The heroes catch the people that slip through the cracks in the flawed justice system. But I think there's a place for those who catch the people that slip past the heroes. At the end of The Killing Joke, it would have been wrong for Gordon to kill Joker. It would probably also be wrong for Batman to kill him. But someone, anyone else, really should have just put a bullet through his head. Would have saved countless lives and prevented a great deal of physical, emotional, and psychological damage to a great many innocent people.

The issue, of course, is that we won't agree on what "justice" actually means. Say what you will, but most of us want to see a killer killed, sentenced or not.

#24 Posted by Jorgevy (5114 posts) - - Show Bio

@MysteriousUsername said:

Pointing out the golden age portrayals of characters doesn't exactly work when you consider that many golden age heroes weren't really that heroic from a modern perspective. I remember one golden age story where the hero in question tricked an old man into shooting and killing his own criminal son. And then the old man died of a heart attack while the hero watched on laughing.

who?

I know Bats used guns and stuff and Supes was kind off a jerk

#25 Posted by MysteriousUsername (1210 posts) - - Show Bio
@Jorgevy: It was some no-name Golden Age hero who never appeared once the Silver Age set off.  
Can't even remember his name. 
#26 Posted by The Stegman (26114 posts) - - Show Bio
@Aiden Cross said:

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

No. The day someone like Superman starts freely killing, is the day the term "superhero" should no longer be used. They'll all just be superhumans.

Exactly.

Agreed
#27 Posted by Jorgevy (5114 posts) - - Show Bio

@MysteriousUsername: oh ok thanks though!

#28 Posted by Immortal777 (7735 posts) - - Show Bio

@The Stegman said:

@Aiden Cross said:

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

No. The day someone like Superman starts freely killing, is the day the term "superhero" should no longer be used. They'll all just be superhumans.

Exactly.

Agreed
#29 Posted by spidermonkey2099 (615 posts) - - Show Bio

No, each superhero has his/her own moral code. That is part of what makes them interesting.

#30 Posted by kuonphobos (4931 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes. May be the main reason I don't read costumed characters. Too artificial.

#31 Posted by SC (13413 posts) - - Show Bio

No, simplistic black and white codes are outdated.

What heroes kill demons? Robots? Accidentally killed insects? Eat meat? Yet still have no kill policies no matter what? As long as they fit certain criteria? I don't kill cows, but I am okay with them being killed and buying products that have their delicious meat in them. Since I do that I would also kill a cow if I had to to feed myself and others. Many comic book characters live in worlds and universes with diversity, scale, types and quantity of life that makes our own reality look barren. So really codes to do with defining life, defining rights, defining morality and ethics, defining the right thing to do, in various situations, and defining the necessity of overruling the rights of some over the rights of others. Well a yes or no answer isn't enough for me. I expect similar of others and especially those that label themselves heroes.

Moderator
#32 Posted by JediXMan (31332 posts) - - Show Bio

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

No. The day someone like Superman starts freely killing, is the day the term "superhero" should no longer be used. They'll all just be superhumans.

This.

Moderator
#33 Edited by Charlie_Jade (523 posts) - - Show Bio

@colonyofcells said:

Superman and Batman started out as killers in the late 1930s. I heard the no kill rule was introduced later on to appease parents bec most customers of comics were kids.

It was introduced because of 'mccarthyism' and a group of people you may called farleft social thinkers or rightist conservatives who all blamed comics on teenage delinquency

During the 50's this weird german dude named Fredric Wertham published a report connecting comic book reading, saying comics causes juvenile crime, comicbooks make juvenile sex, comics are responsible for juvenile drug taking etc....like idiots today, they blame violence on music and video games. The U.S. Senate even held hearings to investigate Wertham and the Mcarthyist claims, new censorship group was born the Comics Code Authority prohibiting any controversial comics. As a result Batman, Cap America, Superman etc stopped killing people and all Tales from the Crypt titles banned.

It's still happening a little today

John Earl Hunter, 27, and Michael Allen Kennedy, 33, of Planet Comics in Oklahoma City, Okla., were charged with eight counts of distributing obscene materials "on or about the 30th day of August, 1995." Their store was raided (while they were out of town) with no prior notice given, no advance warning.

http://www.theroc.org/roc-mag/textarch/roc-20/roc20-19.htm

More recently, you have the case of Michael Diana. Diana is a Florida native who was self publishing his own mini comics. Now thanks to a court order Diana is not allowed to associate with anyone under the age of 17, draw, and is subject to unwarranted search and seizures of his residence by police. I’ll repeat that. If Diana tries to make comics again he will be thrown in jail. Even more recently is the situation of Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s comic opus of Jack the Ripper, From Hell. Several issues of From Hell were not allowed into Australia because customs stated that issues contained scenes of extreme graphic violence. As far as I know you are still unable to get those issues in Australia.

http://www.crushermagazine.com/rev804/whats.htm

but the 50s was completely backward

In continuity,

Superman and Batman killed all the time

CaptainMarvel was an even bigger psycho than Thor or Punisher

#34 Posted by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

I have heard that publishers are doing self censorship to avoid too much violence and too much sex bec. traditionally comics were for kids, and later on for teens.

#35 Posted by Freefa11 (2424 posts) - - Show Bio

@roboadmiral said:

I also think there's a logical jump that a willingness to use lethal force makes one not a hero. We accept it in almost every other type of heroic figure except for superheroes. Jedi kill (if reluctantly, which is how I think superheroes should be), the Fellowship of the Ring and their allies killed innumerable sentient beings over the course of their journey, but somehow having tights and a cape changes the rules? I don't follow.

I would even bring up mundane police officers. The police are certainly not encouraged to kill first or use their firearms without just cause, but pretty much everyone realizes they have very dangerous jobs and there will be times when it is necessary. Can you imagine a police officer absolutely refusing to carry a firearm? Or one that begins lecturing his partner on the evils of killing, and that "there has to be a better way" in the middle of a firefight with armed criminals, possibly even going so far as to actually take his partners gun to prevent him from killing them? In the first example, he'd probably be fired instantly. In the second, he'd likely be fired and charged with criminal negligence, endangering an officer, obstruction of justice, and possibly a number of other criminal offenses.

I'm mainly speaking about American police, of course. I am aware that some countries do not arm their officers with firearms (though I suspect the police in those countries do not get shot at so often).

I understand the history behind the comics code and why comics needed to take this route, but sometimes I find the extreme preachiness of it offensively unrealistic and surgarcoated. The characters with these kinds of "codes" make it seem like it is morally and ethically horrifically wrong to kill someone under any circumstances, but in real life, humanity realized a long, long time ago that sometimes it has to be done. Even nowadays, in real life-or-death situations, no one but the most obstinate peace-nicks would blame someone for killing in self defense, or in defense of another's life. It's pretty much a given that it's acceptable in those situations.

Superheroes are first and foremost about protecting the innocent. By failing to kill genocidal maniacs who can escape imprisonment at will, superheroes are allowing all of their future victims to die. And for what? For some sense of moral superiority? That's a very selfish brand of superhero; the sort who sacrifices the lives of the people they've sworn to protect to their own self-image.

I agree, and I also tend to find it extremely pompous, especially coming from a character like Superman, who can survive a freaking supernova. Of course his perception of being threatened is going to be different from a normal person's.

Captain America bugs me with it too sometimes, since he was actually in the military and should have been trained in the use of lethal force and understand when it is necessary.

#36 Posted by Ultimate_Riddler (289 posts) - - Show Bio

I really think it depends on the character and whether it makes sense for them or not. As Freefa11 just said above, Captain America should be trained in the use of lethal force. I don't think the code itself is outdated, just maybe applied a little too often. Then again, I don't follow current comics too well.

#37 Posted by ZEELLO (223 posts) - - Show Bio

It really sours no-kill-codes for me to find out that they were the result of censorship.

#38 Posted by tupiaz (2241 posts) - - Show Bio

@roboadmiral said:

The problem with the code is that it costs more lives than it saves. A Punisher-style kill-'em-all approach isn't necessary, but those who have proven that they cannot be contained and cannot be reformed have it coming.

I also think there's a logical jump that a willingness to use lethal force makes one not a hero. We accept it in almost every other type of heroic figure except for superheroes. Jedi kill (if reluctantly, which is how I think superheroes should be), the Fellowship of the Ring and their allies killed innumerable sentient beings over the course of their journey, but somehow having tights and a cape changes the rules? I don't follow.

There also seems to be a strange distinction between "superhero" and "vigilante" in the Viner community. Unless a superhero operates with expressed government sanction under the rule of law, they are, by definition, a vigilante. As Batman put it in the Dark Knight Returns "Of course we're criminals."

Superheroes are first and foremost about protecting the innocent. By failing to kill genocidal maniacs who can escape imprisonment at will, superheroes are allowing all of their future victims to die. And for what? For some sense of moral superiority? That's a very selfish brand of superhero; the sort who sacrifices the lives of the people they've sworn to protect to their own self-image.

Both Star Wars and LoTR is act of war. Huge different.

#39 Posted by BlackWind (7243 posts) - - Show Bio

@spidermonkey2099: You wouldn't believe how many people think all heroes subscribe to Batman and Superman's code of morality. I once had to correct someone who said something along the lines of "Wait until Superman hears Wonder Woman killed someone"

#40 Posted by WaveMotionCannon (5698 posts) - - Show Bio
@roboadmiral

The problem with the code is that it costs more lives than it saves. A Punisher-style kill-'em-all approach isn't necessary, but those who have proven that they cannot be contained and cannot be reformed have it coming.

I also think there's a logical jump that a willingness to use lethal force makes one not a hero. We accept it in almost every other type of heroic figure except for superheroes. Jedi kill (if reluctantly, which is how I think superheroes should be), the Fellowship of the Ring and their allies killed innumerable sentient beings over the course of their journey, but somehow having tights and a cape changes the rules? I don't follow.

There also seems to be a strange distinction between "superhero" and "vigilante" in the Viner community. Unless a superhero operates with expressed government sanction under the rule of law, they are, by definition, a vigilante. As Batman put it in the Dark Knight Returns "Of course we're criminals."

Superheroes are first and foremost about protecting the innocent. By failing to kill genocidal maniacs who can escape imprisonment at will, superheroes are allowing all of their future victims to die. And for what? For some sense of moral superiority? That's a very selfish brand of superhero; the sort who sacrifices the lives of the people they've sworn to protect to their own self-image.

This. No kill is very outdated
#41 Posted by akbogert (3227 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd just like to note, though it contributes little of value to the actual debate, that I quite appreciated Catwoman's line about Batman's gun policy in The Dark Knight Rises.

Also, McCarthyism is terrifying.

#42 Posted by entropicage (10 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm gonna have to say no. You don't have to kill to stop crime. It just leads to escalation from the other side again, and again.

#43 Posted by lykopis (10746 posts) - - Show Bio

I am on the side of no-kill codes being outdated. If anything, it's the "out-dated" part that I take issue with.

The stories brought forward now are much more dark, realistic (somewhat) and the characters on both sides of right and wrong are being presented the same. No kill codes are great and I don't necessarily disagree with those who love them because it's that idealism that brought in many of us fans, but to me -- not feasible anymore.

It's like when I come across a thread that puts forth Batman's refusal to kill has cost many people their lives because the villain broke free from jail or what have you. And then wasn't there some story where he convinced the man responsible for killing his parents into committing suicide? Something about him being a dead man anyway in prison because once the inmates discovered his actions led into the creation of Batman or some such? (Sorry, not really knowledgeable in things DC so I apologize if I am way off).

So -- isn't that arguably Batman killing someone? Which by the way, I really love that idea (again, this is from a non-Batman fan so be gentle with me.)

I expect heroes to not kill if it's not necessary but you know, sometimes it is. And a no kill code doesn't make sense to me anymore.

#44 Posted by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

No kill rules are ok in works of fantasy but we all know that in reality, lots of killings are happening everyday in fighting crime and in wars. We all have to at least eat plants to survive so we all have some experience of killing every day.

#45 Posted by ZEELLO (223 posts) - - Show Bio

@colonyofcells said:

No kill rules are ok in works of fantasy but we all know that in reality, lots of killings are happening everyday in fighting crime and in wars. We all have to at least eat plants to survive so we all have some experience of killing every day.

Plants don't have consciousness.

#46 Posted by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

Plants also have life. In our own bodies, there are probably thousands of evil cells and cancer cells getting created every day that our own soldier cells have to kill so lots of killing going on in our own bodies which are made up of a colony of eukaryotic cells in symbiosis with trillions of bacteria. Our skin cells are also sacrificed every day in order to protect our body.

#47 Posted by Kairan1979 (16926 posts) - - Show Bio
@akbogert said:

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

No. The day someone like Superman starts freely killing, is the day the term "superhero" should no longer be used. They'll all just be superhumans.

QFT.

That said, there's still a place for "true" vigilante justice. The heroes catch the people that slip through the cracks in the flawed justice system. But I think there's a place for those who catch the people that slip past the heroes. At the end of The Killing Joke, it would have been wrong for Gordon to kill Joker. It would probably also be wrong for Batman to kill him. But someone, anyone else, really should have just put a bullet through his head. Would have saved countless lives and prevented a great deal of physical, emotional, and psychological damage to a great many innocent people.

The issue, of course, is that we won't agree on what "justice" actually means. Say what you will, but most of us want to see a killer killed, sentenced or not.

#48 Posted by quirky_anecdotes (344 posts) - - Show Bio
If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.

'

#49 Edited by xybernauts (853 posts) - - Show Bio

@roboadmiral said:

The problem with the code is that it costs more lives than it saves. A Punisher-style kill-'em-all approach isn't necessary, but those who have proven that they cannot be contained and cannot be reformed have it coming.

I also think there's a logical jump that a willingness to use lethal force makes one not a hero. We accept it in almost every other type of heroic figure except for superheroes. Jedi kill (if reluctantly, which is how I think superheroes should be), the Fellowship of the Ring and their allies killed innumerable sentient beings over the course of their journey, but somehow having tights and a cape changes the rules? I don't follow.

There also seems to be a strange distinction between "superhero" and "vigilante" in the Viner community. Unless a superhero operates with expressed government sanction under the rule of law, they are, by definition, a vigilante. As Batman put it in the Dark Knight Returns "Of course we're criminals."

Superheroes are first and foremost about protecting the innocent. By failing to kill genocidal maniacs who can escape imprisonment at will, superheroes are allowing all of their future victims to die. And for what? For some sense of moral superiority? That's a very selfish brand of superhero; the sort who sacrifices the lives of the people they've sworn to protect to their own self-image.

While I see what your saying, I think what makes superheroes romantic and unique is their reluctance to kill. It's an art style that shouldn't be altered. One could argue that their is a messianic spiritual component involved that explains why superheroes don't kill. It's because their goal is to save everyone, even the hardened criminal who seems beyond redemption. I think it's their ability to try and save everyone, even when they seem beyond redemption is part of the beauty of their character. Ironically I watched two movies that reflect this exact concept; Oscar nominated Les Miserable (2012) and Life of Pi. The most beautiful aspect of humanity comes when you can see yourself reflected in even the worst among us. We lose a part of that humanity when we stop seeing others in ourselves, so by extension heroes might lose a part of their appeal if they did the same.

Also DC comics Kingdom Come graphic novel addresses this in a way that makes sense. Once you give heroes this power where does it end? It's a slippery slope. People talk about being realistic, but realistically do you really want some guy going around being judge jury and executioner? As Kingdom Come showed, it sets a bad example for other potential would be superheroes who would then follow such examples. Realistically no ones judgement should be considered so absolute not even that of a superheroes cause "realistically" no one is perfect.

#50 Posted by Sharkbite (293 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes. Rigid No-Kill Codes are far outdated.

Look at a real hero like, say, Commissioner Gordon. A man with no powers at all, but still determined to fight crime against a superior breed of criminal, in order to defend the good people of Gotham. What does Gordon's Code, the Code which applies to all Peace Officers, state. "Minimum force nessesary to overcome resistance and defend life." Those are the magic words that police officers swear by.

A good person doesn't go willy-nilly killing everyone who opposes them. We're not talking Punisher style Always-Kill codes. We're talking about, if it's the only way to save a life, if a choice has to be made, then the choice is simple: good guy lives and bad guy dies.

Our real life police officers abide by a code that permits killing when necessary. Shooting some nutball who's got a sniper rifle on a college campus murdering people does not make your local police officer a villain; it makes him a hero. Those rigid, inflexible codes from people like Batman are not just outdated, but they quite literally get dozens of innocent people killed every year.

Captain America doesn't kill every single villain he fights, but when he has to in order to save lives, he's not afraid to pick up a gun and put the bad guy in a grave. Cap is not some vigilante or villain; he's a good man defending innocent people. Killing doesn't inherantly make one evil; killing innocent people does.

Batman's (and all other) No Kill Codes are entirely a selfish thing. Batman does not care how many people the Joker murders in the future. Batman does not regard the widowed women who lost their husbands unnecessarily, or the grieving parents who found their children slaughtered at the hands of a lunatic. Batman only cares about Batman. And whenever Batman is asked about his No Kill Code, he admits as much. "I can't kill because of what it would do to me", regardless of what it does for others.