Why Heroes Need to be Kept in Check

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There have been many conversations and arguments surrounding how powerful certain heroes are over the years, and it’s right that this should be so since there are times when one hero or another has been seen to cause a serious amount of damage in the name of doing the most good.

One could argue that such collateral damage isn’t their fault, and that would be a sound argument since, in order to combat the villains that make heroes necessary, there are times when even the heroes have to think of surviving before anything else. But as it’s been seen in the comics and the movies, heroes do need to be put in check every so often in order to remind them that they’re no more above the laws of humanity than anyone else is.

Trying to regulate heroes is a tricky thing since, on one hand, their level of power is needed in their worlds, but on the other, their power can break their worlds if they’re not kept in check. Far too often, though, the only thing keeping heroes in check is their own sense of morality, which can slip every now and then. 

 

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It’s tough to regulate heroes since people in their world do need their services

Blaming heroes for the damage that’s caused by their battles is a bit hypocritical since the fact that they’re so badly needed against supervillains kind of levels the playing field when it comes to the chaos that’s caused as a result of such fights.

Turning over the control of a hero’s power and abilities to a regulated force, such as the police or the military, feels like a mistake in the making since the Civil War story arc in Marvel comics was a gigantic mess that had no clear winner. The act of placing heroes in check is a risky one at best since it hampers them in a big way and puts limits on what they can do, and as is typical, villains don’t set those types of limits for themselves. 

Despite the downsides of this act, making sure heroes don’t go rogue is important

Too many heroes have gone bad over the years to think that it can’t happen, and yet many of them have turned everything around and been forgiven whatever transgressions came during their heel phase. The problem with this is wondering what it will take to set them over the edge again, especially since heroes are no better than the average individual when it comes to their personal lives.

In order to be a perfect hero, it feels as though one would need to have a moral compass that could pick the right decision at any given moment and also be able to justify their actions to anyone who might ask. But since nothing is perfect, no matter how it might appear, trying to keep heroes accountable for what they do while still calling upon them when they’re needed comes with a level of difficulty that many storytellers have found daunting over the years.

After all, how does one protect and cherish life when there’s a good chance that they’re going to have to disregard those who are in the path of the destruction to come?

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There are other reasons for keeping one hero or another in check

There are times when heroes think they know best, and in truth, they’re simply following their own self-interest, much as they might think others would do if they were held under the authority of an organized force. Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to this type of dilemma to regulate the type of power that is needed to combat a supervillain, especially since most heroes have no say in where the battles take place, as the villains often find whatever advantage they can to upset the hero.

Trying to treat heroes like a regulated police force would be a mistake since it would mean that a government would be able to send them on any errand they wished and that any said government would be in command of a power that would make them a stronger force than any nation on earth. Imagine the USA being able to command the Avengers, the X-Men, and any and every other superhero team to quell one fire after another the world over. It’s a scary thought to be sure. 

At the end of the day, regulating heroes is a can of worms that doesn’t need to be opened. 

Even mentioning the idea is abhorrent to some people since heroes are held to a different standard, kind of like celebrities. But after a while, it’s important to remember that they still need to be accountable for their actions at times, especially since their power is often the type that can ruin and end the lives of many people at a time if used improperly. 

Heroes aren’t perfect, as it’s been noted over the years. 

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