#1 Posted by Omaeka (30 posts) - - Show Bio

I've been thinking about this, and have spoken to quite a few people who think for example, that Frank Castle is a scumbag, and he's worse than the criminals he kills. Why?

The perfect example I'll be using for this is Batman & The Joker. The first time they met, how many people had Joker killed? 1? 10? 100? Nowhere near his final kill count, that's for sure. Now how did Bruce Wayne handle the situation? Lock him up, over and over, subdue, arrest and lock him up. Each time he would break out and kill hundreds more, his final death tole being in the thousands. What would Frank Castle have done if he met Joker in his early years? Bang, dead. Thousands of deaths would of been prevented, yet Frank is viewed upon both by fellow heroes and readers alike as being as bad as those he hunts. Yet in my opinion those thousands of people Joker went on to kill, should be on Wayne's conscious, he is just as responsible for them, as he could have prevented them yet didn't, because he didn't want one death on his conscious he couldn't sweep under the carpet, blood on his hands he couldn't just wash away, like he has done for all of Joker's victims.

Frank's confirmed criminal kill count is 48,000 something, he only kills killers, if somebody is for example a mugger who would never go as far as to kill, he wouldn't kill them, that's not his M.O. so we can safely assume that the 48,000 he has killed are capable of cold blooded murder. Had he apprehended them and given them to the law, how many would of inevitably escaped? I would say that Frank has saved countless innocent lives by doing what he does, yet the 'heroes' like Captain America and Superman only seek to apprehend killers, giving them opportunities to kill again, and are potentially responsible for that.

What are your thoughts? Are the heroes responsible for the millions of lives lost due to the follow-up murders from the villians that escape after being caught? Or are guys like Frank Castle unnecessary?

#2 Edited by SoA (5706 posts) - - Show Bio

anti-heroes are my favorite . i can understand the whole truth , justice, etc and people want to see their heroes fly around and uphold the law. but for anti-heroes like castle , wolverine, ghost rider, etc there are some people who laugh at the idea of prison and need to be put down . less superman ,more punisher .

#3 Posted by amutant (280 posts) - - Show Bio

Something about the justice system, fair trial, not being judge jury and executioner, yada yada yada

#4 Posted by Wolverine08 (47669 posts) - - Show Bio

Have you noticed that even though Punisher kills all the "bad" people he comes across there are always more? That's because killing doesn't solve anything or create peace. If killing did solve all problems and create peace, there wouldn't be countless wars fought because the last war would have created peace and solved all problems. That's why people like Punisher are frowned upon, they take lives, but they never solve the whole problem and the cycle of bad continues.

#5 Posted by BlackWind (7970 posts) - - Show Bio

It's a "You kill him, you'll be just like him" thing. Which is actually a pretty damn self righteous attitude. Or the "Its not our place to pass judgment" card, which falls flat again when the the justice system continuously fails. As far as those anti heroes are concerned, what good is the law if it isn't protecting anyone?

#6 Edited by Omaeka (30 posts) - - Show Bio

@wolverine08 said:

Have you noticed that even though Punisher kills all the "bad" people he comes across there are always more? That's because killing doesn't solve anything or create peace. If killing did solve all problems and create peace, there wouldn't be countless wars fought because the last war would have created peace and solved all problems. That's why people like Punisher are frowned upon, they take lives, but they never solve the whole problem and the cycle of bad continues.

What good does letting them live do though? They just take more innocent lives as a result. If every hero/superhero/anti-hero killed criminals who are capable of murder, then tens of thousands of innocent lives would be saved in the short term, and millions of innocent lives would be saved in the long term. Plus, if you knew that committing a 1st degree crime was going to get your face melted off by Superman's heat-vision or your spine shattered by Captain America's vibranium shield, who would ever go that far? Nobody. Criminals in comics kill because there is no consequence to them, they go to prison, break out (killing a few dozen innocent guards for a laugh) and then go back to their sprees. 1st degree criminals 'cycle' on because only a minority of them are murdered by guys like Frank, the rest are PROTECTED (yes you read that right) by superhuman heroes like Sentry and Rogers.

P.S. You never commented on the amount of lives the killers save nor about the people who die due to criminals living on to murder more.

#7 Posted by BlackWind (7970 posts) - - Show Bio

It can also reflect badly on the superhuman community. A few costumed killers can make the public wonder if everyone is that way.

#8 Posted by Decoy Elite (30160 posts) - - Show Bio

Frank doesn't only kill killers, he kills criminals.

The Batman thing is a bad example because a) we all know the DC reasons why Batman can't kill Joker and b) it's clearly established that killing will lead Batman down a very, very bad road for the character.

The reason antiheroes that kill are given a harsh treatment by fans and other heroes is that many fans view murder as a bad thing and that's what they're doing, committing murder in the name of justice, but committing murder none the less.

However the moral ambiguity of the situation is suppose to be part of the point, it's why so many antiheroes faded from popular consciousness, because they forgot the ambiguity and tried to play murderess madmen as strait heroes.

No the point is that you get stuck in their weird little catch 22 where if the character truly wishes to punish all criminals beyond the bounds of law then they too in their own way because a criminal in their own right. Adding in other heroes who follow a code to try prevent this latent vigilante hypocrisy adds to the complexity of the situation. With the intention of this creating an interesting dynamite for the narrative.

Thus I surmise that taking away the moral complexity of the scenario actively harms the narrative and erodes away at what could make it more interesting for the reader.

#9 Posted by Extremis (3475 posts) - - Show Bio

Because killing is wrong. If heroes start killing they cross the line that separates them from the scumbags they try to lock up from innocent people. In trying to rid the world of evil, one must be careful not to become the monster they are trying to stop (or something like that).

#10 Posted by SideburnGuru (1364 posts) - - Show Bio

While I agree, the effect would save more lives.. the bottom line is, you would be the villain.

If you continously kill people, no matter the standards, you're still a murderer. Does it mean you're upholding the law, and perhaps saving people? Well, sure. That is a good thing. I don't look down upon that in comics. However, I always do tend to appreciate heroes like Captain America. They don't like the idea of killing. Personally, I feel the law in comics are a bit messed up. Instead of looking at the hero saving lives, let's look at the government that are involved in these comics.

Each time Batman turns Joker in, they put him into an ASYLUM. What the hell? Why haven't they gave him the death penatly yet? See, it's stuff like that, which should also come into play.

On that note, Punisher is a bad example to me. While I like the character, the guy is an extremist. Same with Rorschach. That guy just stole an old ladies purse? BETTER GUN HIM DOWN.

It's all about how you look at it, honestly.

#11 Edited by XImpossibruX (5526 posts) - - Show Bio

For some obscure reason in comics killing someone is considered evil no matter what the circumstance, even if you are protecting innocents.

Which would label all of our war veterans as heartless murderers, but they tend to try to ignore that.

Basically the "no-kill" policy BS is just a plot device so villains can return after committing horrendous crimes.

#12 Posted by Wolverine08 (47669 posts) - - Show Bio

@omaeka:

Yes, in a way, Batman is somewhat responsible for the deaths Joker has caused due to Batman refusing to kill him. But the problem is, killing Joker won't solve anything. There will always be murders no matter how many are killed. In the end, killing and not killing both don't solve the problem. Thus, neither is "better" it boils down to opinion.

#13 Edited by Omaeka (30 posts) - - Show Bio

@sideburnguru said:

On that note, Punisher is a bad example to me. While I like the character, the guy is an extremist. Same with Rorschach. That guy just stole an old ladies purse? BETTER GUN HIM DOWN.

Frank isn't like that at all. Frank has been mugged quite a few times in the comics, he never kills the mugger, simply beats them to a pulp and leaves them (a statement by the wrtiers, IMO). Frank punishes people in accordance to their sins, the worse your crime, the worse your Punishment.

The people he goes after in the comics are always either criminal syndicates or crime families, and the occasional band of chaotic mercenaries. He doesn't involve himself with street level crimes unless it's right in front of him and unless the criminal is armed and dangerous, he wouldn't kill them. Frank is a very deep, intellectual character. He is one of the few true heroes of Marvel IMO. The man has done more good for the world than almost anyone else, and he doesn't mind what it makes him become in the process, if he dies at the hand of a superhero or has to face ridicule all his life, he's prepared to do that. And when it comes down to it, that's a big driving factor that prevents other 'good' characters from taking lives, what THEY may become, or how THEY will be seen by others, not the actual effect their actions have on EVERYONE ELSE.

Frank is the ultimate embodiment of selflessness.

#14 Posted by russellmania77 (16632 posts) - - Show Bio

Frank is a scumbag for punching in danger polar bears

#15 Edited by SideburnGuru (1364 posts) - - Show Bio

@omaeka: Then I apologize for the misunderstanding. Don't get me wrong, I do like Punisher. I have tons of Punisher merc, and tons of Punisher comics. However, for a few comics, pretty sure I saw him just go after low level criminals and just gun them down.

And it is about morals. As I said, don't try to downplay the heroes who don't kill though either. While some of them may get out of them, it's under THEIR moral code. Is a police officer a bad guy for arresting a person, and handing them into the law? No, he's doing what he needs to do.

Consider them that. Heroes like Batman, or Captain America turn these criminals into the law. Which, as I said, the law should be the one that strikes down on them in that case. Can't blame the hero if the law isn't going to put them down. It surprises me Joker hasn't just been on the electric chair yet, and put down for good. Punisher plays judge, jury, and executioner. Captain America incapitates them, and hands them into the law. Both are doing heroic things, one just isn't as ruthless.

Neither are bad heroes. One just makes sure the villain is gone for good. The other is in hopes the law will put them in their place. Sadly, the law in the comics are the things that fail them.

#16 Edited by i_like_swords (20429 posts) - - Show Bio

I love pretty much any character who takes the law into his own hands in the way Frank Castle does. Punisher has become one of my favorite characters. Deadpools also a favorite but he's more on the anti side rather than the hero.

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#17 Posted by lykopis (10869 posts) - - Show Bio

Well, some people consider Elektra an anti-hero, some consider her a villain but it's comics. For me, the motto of live by the sword, die by the sword applies here.

When I see an anti-hero give someone a second chance, it soothes me as well. Castle is a killer and yes, that whole judge and jury comes into play with him. In real life, I am Spiderman but in comics, I am more Elektra. With her, she kills and plies her trade without remorse -- it's just a job and it's confined to those who fit into the whole live by the sword motto. With Frank, there is no second chances.

#18 Edited by Fuchsia_Nightingale (10191 posts) - - Show Bio

You need both, non killers and kill factories

#19 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29814 posts) - - Show Bio

Because they kill and don't stop killing. Your title answers your question.

#20 Posted by ThatGuyWithHeadPhones (14064 posts) - - Show Bio

They don't really ''save'' anyone they just fights villains so imo they're not really hero.

#21 Posted by GraniteSoldier (10563 posts) - - Show Bio

Even in the military, if a man surrenders then he is a prisoner. No matter what he may have done, we must take him alive. Personally, it helps me maintain my humanity when you're surrounded by animalism. But...if they are fighting back? Or threatening a brother in arms, child, bystander, innocent, or what have you, then you shoot to kill. You put the rabid dog down. Again if they surrender, then they are a prisoner. It's a very important distinction, and one that helps me feel more human than animal.

#22 Edited by RedLantern23 (898 posts) - - Show Bio

In my opinion an anti hero "killer" is way more realistic than your standard self righteous no kill hero.

#23 Edited by Reignmaker (2360 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm ok with some characters having a "no-kill" rule, but for many of them it feels very forced and pointless. Don't expect it to be fixed anytime soon.

#24 Posted by w0nd (4534 posts) - - Show Bio

Even in the military, if a man surrenders then he is a prisoner. No matter what he may have done, we must take him alive. Personally, it helps me maintain my humanity when you're surrounded by animalism. But...if they are fighting back? Or threatening a brother in arms, child, bystander, innocent, or what have you, then you shoot to kill. You put the rabid dog down. Again if they surrender, then they are a prisoner. It's a very important distinction, and one that helps me feel more human than animal.

exactly. I hate, HATE in comics when a mad man is going on some rampage, the hero comes in and punches him a little too hard, doesn't kill him but sure they guy is injured, then someone has the audacity to get mad at the hero. Spider-man vs green goblin in one issue, the crowd is screaming at Spidey because he's causing property damage, what does he do he picks up a mail box and smashes goblin over the head, and the crowd turns on him.