The kill-or-don’t-kill conundrum returns!
I’m honestly a little ticked by how this is showing up again, here, since there was quite an ethical dialog about it going on in the talkbacks while I was watching DEATH NOTE and TRIGUN. See, I often feel like I’m “over” certain thematic discussions if I’ve already seen them explored in something else before, so it’s doubly-amusing to me that this is showing up in a superhero story. I’ve seen the merits of capital punishment argued many times in the likes of BATMAN: KNIGHTFALL, KINGDOM COME and basically any comic relating to the Punisher since I was a kid first getting in to comics, so the whole debate’s a little old hat for me. Not to say that it doesn’t make for a good story, but it’s something I can’t get too riled up about since I went through the whole back-and-forth about it years ago.
If I’d watched DEATH NOTE or TRIGUN at earlier age, I might have held a strong opinion about Kira was justified for killing criminals (only to later realize that he really wasn’t, because he’d never have all the facts at hand) and then I might’ve had a strong opinion about how Vash was correct in his avoidance of lethal force (only to realize that it’s maybe less correct in a lawless wasteland without any visible prison system.)
And here we are again, with the discussion getting started all over with the introduction of this rogue and very extreme vigilante, Lunatic. I’m sure plenty of you lunatics are going to have some blood in your teeth about how he’s actually got the right idea and how all of these Hero TV simps are idiots. For me, the weight of his argument about the proper handling of bad guys is going to depend on whether the creators of this show just copy superhero comics’ “rules” or if they actually take advantage of the storytelling benefits of a limited series like this.
I often hear detractors of Batman bring up how the characters’ refusal to kill villains is unacceptable enough to ruin all of his stories for them. Isn’t he ultimately losing more lives in the long run by letting the Joker live? What people kind-of miss about that is that, in a more realistic scenario, the Joker would just rot in jail forever, or until a court of law decided he needed to be executed. Him breaking out of jail, over and over again, is just one of the conceits of an ongoing serial you need to accept the same way you accept how all the characters never age that much. Fans want to see popular villains come back and if, say, DBZ was still running today, you can be pretty sure that Frieza, Cell and Buu would have all been resurrected several times over.
So, to bring it all back to TIGER & BUNNY, I’m definitely siding with Kotetsu and his frustration over not being able to save the criminals’ lives, too - - even though I won't be surprised if many of you think he's a dummy for doing that.
Whoa… I got going, there. Who says this show doesn’t make you think?
Watch this episode "The Wolf Knows What the Ill Beast Thinks” below, decide for yourself and then read my comments on the previous episode here.