Superheroes As Moral Anarchists

When I reviewed Spider-Girl Volume 1 recently I talked about May “Mayday” Parker disobeying her parents and engaging in vigilantism in a positive light. This would have made me uncomfortable in the past, but my thinking on the nature of Justice and morality has been changing recently. Thinking about why I was so happy with May’s misbehavior, I came to a question: are superheroes moral anarchists?

Definitions A and C are what I am referring to when I say “moral anarchists.” These are people who work outside of the law and are willing to engage in acts that would be deemed criminal, for the greater good. The concept of doing things for the greater good is problematic when the actions are immoral. The law is not always moral. At times the law is immoral. If doing something illegal preserves the life or property of an innocent, doesn’t morality outweigh the law? Looking at it that way, it seems reasonable to me that individuals with superhuman abilities would volunteer their time and put themselves at risk to do good. Good people help people when they can. Good people with incredible abilities would likely do the same at a grander scale.

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