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18 May 2011 @ 04:09 pm
Four Words of Ill Omen  
In the classic Star Trek episode, "City on the Edge of Forever", Jim Kirk tells Edith Keeler of a poet yet to be born, who espouses the three words, "Let Me Help", over any others—including "I Love You".

(As an aside, I've always ascribed that sequence to Ms. Fontana's rewrite; it seems far more in tone with her work and her ethos than with those of Mr. Ellison.)

I have come to realize, of late, that I agree with that sentiment, and, indeed, always have.

Conversely, there are four words, four words that many consider innocuous, or, at worst, insensitive, that have always made me look at the speaker with grave suspicion. They are the Words That Cannot Be Trusted; they are the Words That Always Betray A Villainous Intent.

They are "For Your Own Good".

When you understand my aversion to these words, perhaps you might understand my aversion to Mr. ab3nd's description of The Authority as an example of "superheros making the world a better place".

I make no apologies when I must agree with the late Mr. McDuffie:

The Justice Lords are the Bad Guys.

eggshellhammereggshellhammer on May 19th, 2011 12:48 pm (UTC)
They definitely aren't the Good Guys. Bad Guys is more debatable.
eggshellhammereggshellhammer on May 19th, 2011 12:48 pm (UTC)
what the fuck am I talking about, I haven't even seen the cartoon in question
Pakapaka on May 19th, 2011 05:17 pm (UTC)
You know about http://www.amazon.com/Your-Own-Good-Child-Rearing-Violence/dp/0374522693 right?

And I think this is one of the prime conflicts of drama in superhero comics or games. The hero could make everything better for everyone, and all that needs to be done here, is a little bit of domestic spying, or a few murders, or... I mean, once you get beyond the "meta" reasons which include ironically "we have to protect innocent children from reading dozens of four-color murders," that's the big reason superheros don't kill, right?

And I actually think part of the point of The Authority is that they're not good guys per se. Part of why the comic isn't that the characters have superpowers but also more free will, so it's vitally important that they be viewed more as people than as pure-and-simple heros.
Your Obedient Serpentathelind on May 20th, 2011 12:48 pm (UTC)
I did not know about that book. Looks like I'm not the only one who Gets It.
Kymrikymri on May 20th, 2011 03:55 pm (UTC)
The Authority is an excellent bit of graphical storytelling (I have the two huge slipcover hardback volumes that are among my most favored possessions).

That said, I think it's inarguable that the Authority are 'The Good Guys' ... but only insofar as they're in the way of The (increasingly) Big Bad(s).

Frankly, they're a bunch of dicks. But what can you expect when you look at the writing credit for the series?
Your Obedient Serpent: Captain America 01athelind on May 21st, 2011 01:49 am (UTC)
I'm sure The Authority is eminently readable; I enjoy and respect Mr. Ellis' work, and consider Transmetropolitan to be one of the finest science fiction in the comics medium, as well as one of my all-time favorite SF works in any medium.

I'm just not interested in superheroes who act like ... well, like Warren Ellis characters.

Edited at 2011-05-21 01:53 am (UTC)