It’s interesting to watch these superhero shows and see the values the heroes hold. Courage, wisdom, virtue, and mercy are all great virtues these heroes value do deeply but, at times, they take it too far. The CW shows have always been a big offender in this way with Clark refusing to kill in Smallville and the same rule for Supergirl and the Flash. This is what made Arrow such a breath of fresh air when it came out in 2012. The virtuous and idiotic reasoning of Clark Kent had grown tiresome on me and I longed for something different. Granted Arrow has flip flopped on the no killing rule several times but it’s been better than most shows in this regard and was a breath of fresh air.
Spoilers for season 5 of The Flash follow
Sadly, The Flash this season has been less than impressive with Nora being a big reason why. Her character is immature, naive, ridiculously childish and not fun to watch. Where Iris was the bane of the show last season, now it is Nora. The fact that she is working with Reverse Flash and not telling her family is one of these idiotic ideas I’m talking about. Yeah, let’s work with my father’s mortal enemy and not say anything cause that’s a good idea. But I digress.
The real issue I have isn’t even with Nora but with the self righteous refusal to not give the cure to Cicada without consent. I understand that if they gave the cure the story would end and there are 5 episodes left but give us a different story then. How thick do you need to be to think it’s better to let numerous people die just to make sure you don’t give someone a cure that could save all those people without consent? It’s something I struggle with on the no killing issue. Superman kills Zod in Man of Steel because he felt there was no other option. This is a perfect example of a hero doing the right thing, making a difficult choice and still saving the day. You could argue he had other options but the character himself did not see another way out and made the difficult decision to end a life to save countless others.
Instead the heroes in The Flash and other shows send a message that their moral high ground is more important than the lives of others. They refuse to give a cure, kill the villain, or do something else that is morally gray because it doesn’t fit their code. In the end it winds up killing more people. Should Superman have allowed Zod to kill that family? I’d strongly argue no, and that it would have been the cowardly option. Likewise, not killing or nuetralizing Cicada has already resulted in many deaths throughout the season.
I’m not saying a heroes first instinct should be to kill or seek the morally gray option but I am saying, in a super powered world, it’s hard to be black and white about everything all the time. As people our day to day lives are riddled with complex decisions that make us think outside the box and occasionally do things we wouldn’t otherwise. This doesn’t make us bad people, it makes us able to adapt yet some heroes lack this skill set.
Having a code isn’t inherently bad either. Look at Batman for instance. He has a code but he gets the job done and well. Granted I’d argue he should have put the joker down years ago but he wouldn’t hesitate about nurtralizing a meta human’s powers for crying out load. He keep Kryptonite handy in case Superman goes ham because he values the lives of others above doing something that may hurt someone’s feelings such as the stupid decision the DEO made to get rid of all their Kryptonite because Superman and Supergirl didn’t like them having it only to them need it a season or two later. Daredevil is another example of a hero with a code yet he does what needs to be done to take the villains down, even if it means severe harm coming to them. Yes, he doesn’t kill but he gets his hands dirty.
Can you imagine if the police asked for consent to shoot back in an active shooter situation and chose to let the criminal kill tons of people because there was no consent? That is my issue with the moral code in some of these heroes. Consent in sexual relations and consent in defending oneself or others are vastly different and yet looked at as the same idea by some of these heroes. Give me a hero like Batman, Daredevil, the Man of Steel Superman, or Arrow (for the most part) any day over these self righteous “heroes” who refuse to do what must be done and thereby allow innocent people to die.
*Gets off soap box*