QUICK FIX DOUBLE FEATURE: Harsh Vintage Justice
HAWKMAN versus MATTER MASTER
Black Reign: Part Two (DC)
Where: Hawkman #23 When: Early March 2004
Why: Geoff Johns How: Rags Morales
Lately we've been talking a bit about harsh justice, and it's application to the superhero world, and this entry gives us the opportunity to take a look at that theory in practise.
It's a particularly interesting topic, given all the different angles. Generally speaking, the sacred cows [like Wonder Woman] are protected from the moral ambiguity of lethal justice, yet, oft times it's these vintage characters that are more likely to be identified with harsh enforcement reflective of the war-torn times they were created in.
The debate rages on between the two schools of thought. For many the definition of a superhero is to be above the moral ambiguity average humans, soldiers, or heroes are regularly faced with. It means not being forced to pull the trigger to save innocent lives, instead using the fantastic to end danger.
We recently discussed a similar argument of whether or not Captain America ever used lethal force during his times in the frontline of the Second World War [Captain America #405].
The morally ambiguous hero got a bit of a tarnished reputation, passing through the eighties and nineties with the baggage of excess, and poor interpretation. The posterboy becomes characters like The Punisher, who more overtly straddle the line of what's right and wrong with a stonecold attitude toward life and death. For the most part these characters do good, eliminating the evils that evade justice by conventional law, but there is always that underlying negative of what we know in reality of the vigilante.
Full Article: http://secretearths.blogspot.com/2007/09/quick-fix-double-feature-harsh-vintage.html