New Doc Ock Hits Spider-Man
Have you seen the new Doctor Octopus, designed by fan-favorite artist Humberto Ramos? Click to dig the Doc.
Marvel Hires New Publisher
Following such rumors, Marvel today announced that Bill Jemas has been replaced as Publisher. Now read who took his job.
CrossGen's Solus #7
CrossGen thinks you'll love George Pérez's new issue of Solus. And to prove it, here's a five-page preview.
Marvel Searches For She-Hulk
Writer Geoff Johns and artist Scott Kolins reunite for Marvel's Avengers as they search for She-Hulk.
Virtex Returns For Digital Webbing
A comic about a cybernetic cowboy that hunts outlaws riding dinosaurs? Where do we sign up? Read on and find out.
Marvel's Mutants Gains New Penciler
Marvel's New Mutants has a new artist onboard, and we've got a five-page preview. See if he's got the chops.
Image Rocks Out With Shangri-La
Are you ready to rock and roll? Image is, with their upcoming graphic novel Shangri-La. Read the details here.
Marvel Teams Up For A Good Cause
Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk team up for charity in a special December one-shot. Read all about it.
Davis' Marquis Returns In December
Guy Davis' sin-slayer is back in The Marquis: Intermezzo, coming from Oni Press. Read all about it.
Marvel Unveils '04 FF Plans
Marvel plans three Fantastic Four series for 2004, and we've got the details and preview art. Check this out.
2F2F DVD Contest
The hit street racing film 2 Fast 2 Furious is driving to DVD players near you. Win a free copy from Slush and Universal.

Superheroes and Moral Relativism
By Joshua Elder


This week Joshua Elder makes the case against moral relativism and for Truth, Justice and the American Way.

I have always wanted to be a superhero. One of my earliest memories is of running around in a red cape my mother sewed for me - jumping off the furniture and pretending I could fly. I was drawn to the black and white morality that the superhero represented: a world where there was a right and wrong and the distinction between the two was not hard to make.

This was an acceptable worldview for a child, but not for a man with a $120,000 education from Northwestern University. If I have learned anything from that institution, it is that there is no good and there is no evil. They are concepts far too limited in their scope, and they fail to take into account the complexities of the world in which we live. They are primitive labels designed for and by the simple-minded.

That is what I was supposed to learn, but I still put more stock in the lessons taught to me by Professor Clark Kent. In his world, the tenets of moral relativism do not hold sway. In his world, evil is very real, and it cannot be bargained with nor can it be appeased. In his world, evil must be confronted by the righteous if it is ever to be defeated. In that respect, Superman’s world is no different from our own. We were brutally reminded of the existence of evil on September 11 when a group of 19 fanatics killed thousands of innocent people. And for what? What “root cause” could possibly justify such an act? What word but evil could possibly describe such monsters?

Yet when President Bush declared that: “Ours is a war against terrorism and evil,” and that the United States must “rid the world of the evildoers,” he was mocked and reviled by the intelligentsia both at home and abroad. Just another example of American moral "simplisme," as French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine put it. Perhaps those words would have more impact if Vedrine did not represent a nation that bent over backwards to appease the Third Reich to the point of rounding up French Jews to be shipped to German concentration camps.

In fact, the French have always been more “sophisticated” than we Americans when it comes to questions of good and evil. Perhaps that is why they have never truly embraced the superhero. Only in America could people be optimistic enough to believe that if a man were able to leap tall buildings in a single bound or bend steel in his bare hands that he would use that power unselfishly for the betterment of mankind. Only in America would the mightiest military in history be deployed for purely humanitarian missions in places like Bosnia and Somalia. Only in America is there a genuine national commitment to the axiom that inspired Spider-Man to first strap on his web-shooters: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Not that America is without its faults or failings, but our nation’s history is one of constant struggle to overcome them. It is little wonder then that we Americans embrace the superhero so wholeheartedly. We earnestly believe that Truth, Justice and the American Way are ideals worth fighting for.

I wonder if mom still has that cape lying around somewhere...

Article continued below advertisement


E-Mail Author  |  Archive  |  Tell A Friend



Sword of Dracula
Slush launches our Halloween countdown with the first in a series of spooky reviews. First up? New series, Sword of Dracula.
John Byrne's IMO
This week John points out that fans cannot read the minds of creators, although you wouldn't know that by listening to some of them.
The Dead Zone
Flesh-eating zombies battle the last remaining police officer in Image's new series, The Walking Dead. We review the first issue.
Steve Niles Interview
Slush interviews Steve Niles, the acclaimed writer of 30 Days of Night, who tells us about the relaunch of Fused.
A Spidery Preview
Have you seen the new Doctor Octopus, designed by fan-favorite artist Humberto Ramos? Click to dig the Doc.
Kill Bill Review
Slush reviews the first installment of Quentin Tarantino's kung fu slasher masterpiece, Kill Bill.
Viper Interview
Slush takes a look at new publisher Viper Comics, and interviews the guys behind two of its hottest books.
Peanuts Collected
Cartoon fans rejoice. Fantagraphics is reprinting the entire collection of Charles Schulz' Peanuts. Read on for details.

CHANNELS:  Features | Columns | Reviews | News | Film & TV | Forums | Slushfactory.com

Copyright © 2003 Slush Factory Entertainment (E-mail)
All Rights Reserved : No portion of Slush may be reprinted in any form without prior consent