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posted by martyb on Friday November 09 2018, @06:49PM   Printer-friendly
from the ends-justify-the-means? dept.


It's superheroes and not their super-villain counterparts that we should really be afraid of. This idea has been explored in a number of superhero movies, including such diverse fare as The Incredibles, Watchmen, and the post-Sokovia adventures of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In each, lawmakers shackle our protagonists in response to the collateral damage caused when they step in to save the day.

But perhaps collateral damage is not what we should be worried about. According to a new study, the "good guys" are actually significantly more violent than the antagonists they're trying to stop. These findings were presented on Monday at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Pennsylvania pediatrician Robert Olympia and his colleagues sat through 10 superhero movies released in 2015 and 2016, cataloging each specific act of violence and noting whether it was committed by a protagonist or villain.

As anyone who has sat through a recent summer superhero tentpole can attest, there is a lot of violence to catalogue—on the order of 23 acts per hour for the good guys, with just 18 violent acts per hour for the bad guys. And it is mostly guys—male characters were five times more likely to engage in violence than female characters.

Well, it's edgier that way.

[For the sake of discussion, here's a 3-minute clip on YouTube: Incredibles 2 Fight Scene in Full: Jack-Jack vs. Raccoon (Exclusive). How many violent acts do you count? --Ed.]

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11 2018, @02:23AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11 2018, @02:23AM (#760548)

    It's rather jarring that it took the writers so many decades to realize that maybe, just maybe, Superman and Batman having what amounted to a fanatically-compliant catch-and-release program for genocidal and/or omnicidal maniacs, usually sentenced to the same prison they broke out of 20 times before at their convenience, just might not be working.

    Besideswhich, most villains have most of their misdeeds off-screen. It would be a little difficult to have the villain's henchmen pillaging cities and slaughtering the inhabitants in graphic detail in a movie that's only a few hours long and rated PG-13. Most people would rather watch a hero kick the villain's ass rather than watch every agonizing moment it takes him to burn a city to the ground.