5 Problems Superheroes Would Have (Movies Don't Address)
Wouldn't it be awesome if your favorite superheroes came to life? Insurance agents would become billionaires. Spandex manufacturers could employ entire towns. Bank robbers would be, like ... so foiled. Extra foiled. But there would probably be some downsides, too. Like ...
Contract Laws Would Have To Be Rewritten
In the world of superheroes, death is little more than an unscheduled break between punching a bunch of assholes in discount Halloween costumes. Both Captain America and Superman, the blue-clad flagships of Marvel and DC, have "died" and came back to life more times than the Winchester brothers.
Nobody here is reacting in the appropriate manner, which is "Eh."
But while their returns from the Great Beyond were joyous occasions in the comics, in the real world, they'd cause total anarchy. Proving someone's death would become the biggest hassle ever. Every time you'd try to cancel your dead grandma's phone service or credit cards, Comcast or VISA would be all, "Yeah, but what if she was a Kryptonian or a super soldier, and will resurrect soon? Let's give it a few more months before we do something crazy, like stop billing her."
In superhero universes, death is probably treated like workplace injury -- everyone assumes you're faking it, and almost certainly hires investigators to catch alleged corpses coming back to life. In Netflix's Daredevil, there even exists a cult of ninjas with the ability to bring people back from the dead. Are they alive? Are they dead? Do they still owe Columbia House money?! That's something we'd need to figure out, and fast.
They'll revive Elektra as many times as needed to get a decent spinoff out of her.
All of our existing contracts would have to be torn up and rewritten completely. On the plus side, newlyweds would get to say, "'Til death do us part ... barring one of us being an alien, or the work of occult ninjas."
Superhero Insurance Would Bankrupt The World
According to people with way more time and brains than us, the damage caused to New York in the first Avengers movie was around $160 billion. What's really depressing about that number, though, is that roughly zero percent of it would be covered by anyone's insurance.
And zero percent covered by Stark Industries. 'Cause shawarma and scotch aren't going to pay for themselves.
Some policies may insure limited "Acts of God," but that really only covers Thor's mis-thrown hammers. And even if someone wanted to argue that the Chitauri invasion was a terrorist attack, then that still wouldn't mean shit, because casualty and property insurance almost never cover terrorism. That all would have to change after the first real-life supervillain massacre.
Good luck suing the terrorists for damages when their mailing address is billions of light years away.
In a matter of days, super insurance would hit the market, and all of us would be required to buy it. We're not only talking about ordinary citizens; we also mean companies, schools, and restaurants all having to pay huge money to cover their asses in case of another alien invasion or a killer robot suplexing downtown.
"Mind Control" Would Excuse Every Criminal
The Netflix series Jessica Jones features a villain, Kilgrave, with the terrifying ability to make others obey his every command. Steal, lie, commit suicide -- anything. The series kicks off when Kilgrave orders a girl to kill her parents, and the superpowered Jessica Jones tries to get her acquitted on account of her having been mind-controlled.
"Seriously? If you're going to try that bullshit, at least come up with a better fake name than KILGRAVE." -- every disbelieving judge
But ... couldn't literally every criminal out there make the exact same claim? They could and most likely would, because our legal system cannot find anyone criminally liable without the intent to commit a crime, which you can't have with mind control in play.
At the end of Jessica Jones, Double-J has proven the existence of superpowered individuals who can control our actions, while another Marvel series, Agents of SHIELD, has put mind control on the government's radar with the introduction of Hive. So now, "mind control" should logically be a very popular legal defense in the Marvel universe.
"Hey, how about you start mind-zapping people into actually watching this show?"
Between Marvel and DC, their comics feature more than 1,300 telepaths. So until tests for mind control are developed, every criminal is off the hook as long as they play that card in court. Killed your spouse? "David Tennant made me do it." Drive drunk? "Must have been Hive." Domestic terrorism? "Clearly it was the work of ... Emma ... Frost?"
"Uh, she also made me write any of the weird fanfic about her you find on my laptop."
Celebrity Superheroes Would Dominate The World
The real world is full of woefully undeserving people being elevated to celebrity status, from Kim Kardashian to Donald Trump. But the whole thing would get far worse if superpowered individuals really existed. The superheroes would get top billing, of course -- we even see some of that acknowledged in Superman and Spider-Man comics -- but the real world is a much sicker place. The villains would get their time in the spotlight, too. Just look at celebrity serial killers for a preview of how that would go down.
Imagine how many groupies would throw themselves at an imprisoned Joker insisting he's misunderstood. Wait, you don't have to ...
The world already has a big market for disturbing celebrity souvenirs, including things like Britney Spears' used pregnancy test or Gary Coleman's sweatpants. Every superhuman conflict would see a surging black market for mementos -- stray pieces of Iron Man's armor, errant batarangs, alien bits. We see brawls over home run baseballs, so imagine what people would do to get, say, a severed Chitauri dong.
Fights over batarangs would end real fast once the original owner joined in.
Politics Would Soon Revolve Entirely Around Superheroes
Did you die a little inside when you discovered that Clint Eastwood might be endorsing Donald Trump for president? Now try to imagine how it'd feel if it was Captain America throwing his weight behind The Orange One. Same for Superman, the big blue Boy Scout who's basically the All-American lovechild of Washington and Lincoln. One word of endorsement from him could shape the entire world. And if that's not scary, imagine if a superhero ran for office. After all, who could say no to a campaign slogan that was essentially "I saved the world from an alien invasion. You guys owe me."
"Oh, you don't like my free trade proposal?"
Then there are the legal issues we'd have to figure out. Can a person with a secret identity endorse a candidate? Is Superman an American citizen? Can a political candidate use the image of an Avenger in their campaign without consent?
"HULK VOTE GREEN PARTY!"
Plus, if superheroes were real, all of politics would boil down to who can get more capes and masks behind their campaign. Which ... honestly sounds a million times better than the utter shit show the 2016 election has already turned out to be. Fuck it -- this November 8th, we're writing in Squirrel Girl.
For more downsides of the superhero business, check out 6 Awesome Superpowers (That Would Suck in Real Life) and 7 Awesome Super Powers (Ruined by Science).
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