Are superhero shows getting too violent? | The Tylt

Are superhero shows getting too violent?

Superhero idealism comes and goes, ranging from all-good good guy saving a cat stuck in a tree type stuff to gritty, bloody antihero gore, in the mode of Frank Miller's “Dark Knight Returns” or Alan Moore’s “Watchmen.” All aspects of the hero/antihero spectrum have their place, but have superhero TV shows become too violent? 

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In recent years, we’ve seen the golden-age inspired heroism of “The Flash” and the optimistic do-gooder style of "Supergirl," both of which veer away from the initial darkness and rage of “Arrow.” But at the same time, Marvel’s Netflix shows, especially “Daredevil” and “The Punisher” have gone all-out for darkness, cynicism, and realistic and copious violence. And beyond either, Amazon Prime’s “The Boys” is full of eviscerations and broken bones. Even fans of the rougher shows have been squeamish about “The Boys.”

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Real life is violent. That’s beyond question. Guess what? Superheroes are not realistic. They aren’t supposed to be; that’s the appeal. In everyday life, morals are ambiguous and decisions are perilous. Heroism in comics and the other media they inspire should embrace the fantasy of power as a means to create value, hope and safety rather than control and corruption. In fact, the more life is destructive and chaotic, the more comic heroism and goodness is necessary, not as an escape from the truth but as a reminder of that which is worthwhile and benevolent in life. 

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While idealism has its place in the comic world, so does violence, deceit, and a whole host of ugly actions. Storytelling should not be sanitized. The fact that a violent story is uncomfortable to watch means that it is effective in portraying the darker side of life. And what’s the point of a hero if there’s no evil for her to fight against? It could further be argued that extreme violence, as with “The Boys” is as much a fantasy element as flight or invisibility. Splattering blood and viscera is not an everyday occurrence, even in some of the worst places on Earth. The gore is like an exclamation point, emphasizing the wrongness against which the hero fights. 

FINAL RESULTS
Entertainment
Are superhero shows getting too violent?
#KeepHeroesGood
A festive crown for the winner
#KeepHeroesGritty