hwilkinson

hwilkinson

Hayden is a Researcher at the University of Oxford and PhD Candidate at the Australian National University. His research focuses on ethics and decision theory. @HaydenWilko

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Latest Articles

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What should the Marvel heroes have been doing to really improve the world?

Superheroes are supposedly motivated by compassion for others and a strong sense of duty. Given this, you’d expect them to do more with their powers than just punch evildoers into submission – there are loads of problems in the world that superpowers could really help with e.g., natural disasters, famines, disease, climate change, poverty, lack of energy (I’m looking at you, Tony Stark), etc. So what else should the Marvel heroes have been doing offscreen? What does that say about the characters if they weren’t doing those things? And why is it that screenwriters/comic book writers don’t think to build this into the fictional world – is it just lack of imagination?

  • I think this question is particularly interesting following Black Panther, where Wakanda's duty to the world is such an overarching theme. It can provide a great contrast to everything that's come before. – abran 2 years ago
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  • This is a really fascinating topic. I think at the heart of it is the fact that we strongly associate 'superheroes' with 'action'. To most of us, superheroes 'taking action' is yeah, punching evildoers, not really doing something as intensive as scientific research or lobbying. The skillsets of most Marvel superheroes don't really align with those issues. Tony is an engineer specialising in weapons (who had a change of heart about that, so yay?), Cap in another time would've been a highly-skilled mercenary... Actually, Banner could be an exception, given his expertise in biochemistry... It could also be that the stakes are 'awesomer' if they manifest through a tangible enemy, rather than something as abstract and therefore difficult to fight against like poverty. – Starfire 2 years ago
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  • This is an interesting take on The Avengers. I would say Avengers fighting famine, poverty, etc. would make for a great new focus for future films. – Yvonne 2 years ago
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  • In the first Avengers movie, Tony explains that he is, in fact, contributing to the clean energy market. Black Panther's big opening scene shows him taking down human traffickers, and at the end of his movie Wakanda begins offering assistance to the world. There's no reason to think that the superheroes who are allowed to show their faces in public are not helping with the world's problems in between movies. We just don't get to see it happening, because it doesn't make for interesting superhero movies. Also, I think it speaks to human nature. People tend to use what power they have for personal gain. These superheroes can make the world a better place by fixing the environment, but they can also do it by fighting people and aliens and robots, which feels much more personal. We the audience can empathize and engage with the latter. – noahspud 2 years ago
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  • Working more inclusively with the governments and try to solve other real world problems. – Abhilash 2 years ago
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Latest Comments

hwilkinson

If Netflix had been around 15 years ago, we would have had 5 more seasons of Firefly.

Netflix and Impact
hwilkinson

“Each person or group of people represents an enemy Harry Potter must face and defeat on his epic journey to take down Voldemort, the harbinger of death who stole everything from him as a baby. As Harry faces increasingly high stakes and complex adversaries, he grows and matures. More importantly, readers have the opportunity to grow, learn and mature with him.”

I always got the impression that Harry didn’t have a whole lot of personality, least of all one that changed over time. And he rarely took the lead on his own adventures – things mostly just happened to him. I really enjoyed the article, but this might be a little bit of a stretch.

Harry Potter: The Importance of Antagonists
hwilkinson

Could not agree more.

Video Games And—Wait, Another Darn Tutorial?