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No killing?

14 Dec 2021 03:11 #72946 by Thefirstone
No killing? was created by Thefirstone
So how far do you prefer to take/what do you think of the trope of superheroes not killing their enemies, however much they may arguably deserve it, as used in stories?  Personally I’d say that there’s a difference between crimes in progress and the huge armies in each Avengers movie, which could be considered an act of war.  I’ve also wondered if the outcry over police brutality over the last few years would impact how superheroes would carry themselves.  One general story idea I’ve had for a while is an alien supergirl stationed on Earth as a combination of border patrol and a park ranger.  That is, her mission statement is to deal with alien criminals and monsters who are on Earth illegally/pose a threat to Earth and those who live here, and has a license to kill when it comes to them, but not to human villains.
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14 Dec 2021 04:43 #72948 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic No killing?

So how far do you prefer to take/what do you think of the trope of superheroes not killing their enemies, however much they may arguably deserve it, as used in stories?  Personally I’d say that there’s a difference between crimes in progress and the huge armies in each Avengers movie, which could be considered an act of war.  I’ve also wondered if the outcry over police brutality over the last few years would impact how superheroes would carry themselves.  One general story idea I’ve had for a while is an alien supergirl stationed on Earth as a combination of border patrol and a park ranger.  That is, her mission statement is to deal with alien criminals and monsters who are on Earth illegally/pose a threat to Earth and those who live here, and has a license to kill when it comes to them, but not to human villains.
You've just described a Velorian Protector, for what its worth. 

Shadar

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14 Dec 2021 07:05 #72949 by Rjjt456
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So how far do you prefer to take/what do you think of the trope of superheroes not killing their enemies, however much they may arguably deserve it, as used in stories? 
 
Personally, I don’t write about my characters killing. It doesn’t interest me that much, and I haven’t really considered.

BUT You might be able to use the act of killing someone as a plot device. Think about it. The “No killing” rule for many comic book characters shows that they have ideals, rules, and standards that they hold themselves against. When Superman killed the Joker in Injustice it just showed how he had crossed the line/was in the middle of doing it.

You can definitely use it in a story: Our Heroine is in a position where she needs to kill/accidentally does so. They could also be framed for it and the mistrust in them can then be a struggle in of itself.

Lots of opportunities!
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15 Dec 2021 08:26 #72952 by anonxyzus
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Park Ranger. That sounds interesting.

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15 Dec 2021 10:57 #72954 by jimbob
Replied by jimbob on topic No killing?
I understand the logic, heroes can't just go around killing people left and right and still expect the public and governments to be ok with them basically being independent military forces. I only really have issue when it's written as an inconsistant story crutch to just make the heroes life as difficult as possible. Ie, when the enemy is nothing worth troubling about they'll kill but balk at killing an actual major character and let them keep getting away to cause problem after problem because they want the heroes lift to be as angsty as possible. And also when they're just stupid about saving the villain regardless. No Batman you don't have to save the Joker from his crazy exploding doomsday device he was gonna blow Gotham up with anyway that is entirely a problem of his own making.

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15 Dec 2021 12:19 #72955 by slim36
Replied by slim36 on topic No killing?
A single protector figure for an entire planet would need something to keep attackers at bay.   if single attackers are driven away one at a time, they could combine forces   A way to banish offenders and prevent them from returning?   Draining powers of attackers without killing them and make the protector stronger each time?  

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18 Dec 2021 02:58 #72976 by Jabbrwock
Replied by Jabbrwock on topic No killing?
I'd say a lot depends on the setting, including where the superwoman came from, where her attackers came from, and how many other supers of at least approximately similar power levels there may be in the world.

Is she a normal human endowed with tremendous power somehow? That gives her more leeway than a visiting alien. But even a visiting alien can have quite a lot of leeway in how she deals with invaders from another world, which she (or even the empowered human) would not enjoy when dealing with a local criminal, even an empowered local criminal. And if the setting has hundreds or thousands of high powered supers, no one of them will have the kind of moral impact from her decisions, no matter how potentially lethal, as a single superwoman having to bear the moral burden of being the world's only super.

I'm sure there are tons of other factors that could influence the morality of the choice.

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18 Dec 2021 13:15 #72977 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic No killing?

A single protector figure for an entire planet would need something to keep attackers at bay.   if single attackers are driven away one at a time, they could combine forces   A way to banish offenders and prevent them from returning?   Draining powers of attackers without killing them and make the protector stronger each time?  

That's an interesting concept... the "bad aliens" would learn that every time they battle the protector, she'll drain their powers and get stronger. So if they don't kill her on their first encounter, then it just gets harder until the planet she's protecting is impossible to attack. 

So maybe the strategy is to secretly send a couple of experienced Protectors to a newly protected planet along with a newly-minted teenaged Protector, to back her up while she takes on any rogue aliens or attackers/infiltrators or whatever. Once she's won a few battles and gotten strong enough, then they can leave her on her own. 

Of course, such a young Protector needs a local Terran to teach her the ways of the world and its customs and languages and so forth so she can fit in, perhaps underground, perhaps in public. There are endless story opportunities to tell the tale of this "mentor/guide" and the young Protector who he is teaching their ways. 

I'm sure we'd all sign up for that job. Pays not so great, but the perks are terrific. 

Shadar
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18 Dec 2021 15:43 #72979 by slim36
Replied by slim36 on topic No killing?
Another twist might be to make the protectors with a term limit, like 30 or 50 years.  Perhaps a lifetime of fighting planetary scale enemies would take a mental toll on even a supermind with photographic recall.  With enough surplus energy a replacement protector could be generated in time to be trained.   It might be a challenge to outlive generations of humans and continue to stay engaged enough to keep forming new relationships.  Perhaps a older protector might become unstable and become unable to contain their energy.   At the right time they would launch into space light years away to transform into a new star.  This could be a self destruct mechanism to avoid capture, a defeated protector could explode into a supernova.   In Lucifer Mom had an energy leak that killed at least one person before she was sent to another dimension.

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19 Dec 2021 19:11 #72988 by MisterK
Replied by MisterK on topic No killing?
My own creation, Ms. Infinity, strongly prefers not to kill if she can help it. But will kill if it's absolutely necessary. Her powers are such though that it rarely is (She once defeats an entire superhuman army singlehandedly without a single kill.) Also, as a writer, I'm just not one who enjoys showing excessive violence. It's stated that she WOULD kill if necessary, and no doubt HAS in the past, but we never see it.

 

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21 May 2022 20:38 #74309 by AUphoric
Replied by AUphoric on topic No killing?
Jabbrwock: "I'd say a lot depends on the setting, including where the superwoman came from, where her attackers came from."

Yes. My current story has the superwoman being ruthless to the enemy, but then, Empire Zukenov did invade in order to conquer, enslave, expand their empire. "Pretty please go away, will you?" isn't enough.

slim36: "Another twist might be to make the protectors with a term limit, like 30 or 50 years."

I put this in a part of my story that hasn't been published yet. In the Aurora Universe, wormholes between solar systems make possible spaceship travel between the stars. In my version, in the new Wormhole Guardian program, the teams serve for ten years. If they like the job as first line of defense at the edge of the solar system, they can stay on. Nobody thinks less of them if one term is enough. This is different than planetary Protectors who make a life on their protected planet, for the rest of their lives.

"It might be a challenge to outlive generations of humans and continue to stay engaged enough to keep forming new relationships."

Brantley Thomas Elkins has exciting and emotionally moving stories about this, like his "Empress of the Dawn" trilogy. They are a big part of why I wanted to try writing Aurora Universe stories myself. There's a little bit of this theme at the end of Zukenov (part 6, not yet published), and I want to write more in future stories about that personal toll of outliving those one protects, serves, and loves. It's a great chance to add some real drama and romance and psychology themes to make the stories richer than just "watch her beat up the bad guys!"

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