Long hours, little recognition, and forget dental-it’s tough being a superhero. Things just got tougher. I’m writing my memoirs from a jail cell, instead of my super-secret hidden fortress. I’m surrounded by walls I could smash with my bare hands, but I won’t break the law, at least not willingly.
I never meant to kill Dr. Faustus. He’s always been invulnerable. I thought slugging him with the Statue of Liberty would distract him from vaporizing New York City. Yes, it was a national treasure, but freedom isn’t free, and neither is being a superhero. Someone had to pay*, and the judge ruled it was me, Captain Sparrow.
I was branded a vigilante and striped of my secret identity. According to the law, I had every right to fly around in my costume**, just not to fight crime. Hummmph, I didn’t see anyone else stepping up to eradicate that army of robotic velociraptors. I needed that plasma cannon. Limits to the Second Amendment? My astrophysics…
Haven’t you always wondered if Superman could sue someone for exposing his identity? Is the use of telepathy by Dr. X an invasion of privacy? Is the Joker legally insane? Who pays the bill when a superhero destroys a skyscraper or two while defending New York City?
James Daily, J.D. and Ryan Davidson, J.D. are comic book geeks, and lawyers, and in The Law of Superheroes, they explore the hypothetical legal ramifications of comic book characters, and the powers they possess. You’ll learn about basic principles of law through comic books.
The Law of Superheroes grew out of the blog Law and the Multiverse, which applies real world legal principles to comic book story lines and characters. The authors know by experience that legal educational materials can be a little boring. Batman is exciting, and even if you aren’t a comic nerd, you probably know who Batman is.
There are decades of comics, and an enormous amount of material. Superman has been running almost uninterrupted since 1938. Comic book writers have created complex and detailed worlds with their own unique histories, and a variety of legal situations that aren’t going to appear in most works of literature.
Comics are fun, and can invite creative thinking. What Civil Rights would mutants have? Would the Second Amendment apply to Wolverine’s claws? Could Superman be elected President of the United States? Comic books can be analyzed as any other work of art or literature.
The goal of the authors is not to provide a legal reference, but rather an introduction to legal reasoning through the weird and wonderful world of comic books. Maybe the next time you read about a Supreme Court case, you can wonder how the decision would affect your favorite superhero.
Thirty-three consecutive life sentences? Isn’t that cruel and unusual punishment? I haven’t aged a day in eighty-three years. I’m not even sure I can die of natural causes. I could live forever, and rumor has it that Dr. Faustus is still alive and scheming. He never does stay dead. I wonder if I could get my lawyer to sell my supercomputer and raise money for an appeal???
*Taxis are transportation for citizens to get to work. No cars, no job, and insurance companies don’t cover vaporization?
**With a flight plan filled out in triplicate of course…
Law? Or Order? Comment and let me know. You can be a real life superhero and buy a copy of “Hobo Finds a Home”. Keep those crazy writers off the street.