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Superhero Ethics: 10 Comic Book Heroes; 10 Ways to Save the World; Which…

by Travis Smith

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Whether in comic books or on movie screens, superhero stories are where many people first encounter questions about how they should conduct their lives. Although these outlandish figures--in their capes, masks, and tights, with their unbelievable origins and preternatural powers--are often dismissed as juvenile amusements, they really are profound metaphors for different approaches to shaping one's character and facing the challenges of life. But, given the choice, which superhero should we follow today? Who is most worthy of our admiration? Whose goals are most noble? Whose ethics should we strive to emulate? To decide, Travis Smith takes ten top superheroes and pits them one against another, chapter by chapter. The hero who better exemplifies how we ought to live advances to the final round. By the end of the book, a single superhero emerges victorious and is crowned most exemplary for our times. How, then, shall we live? How can we overcome our beastly nature and preserve our humanity? (The Hulk vs. Wolverine) How far can we rely on our willpower and imagination to improve the human condition? (Iron Man vs. Green Lantern) What limits must we observe when protecting our neighborhood from crime and corruption? (Batman vs. Spider-Man) Will the pursuit of an active life or a contemplative life bring us true fulfillment? (Captain America vs. Mr. Fantastic) Should we put our faith in proven tradition or in modern progress to achieve a harmonious society? (Thor vs. Superman) Using superheroes to bring into focus these timeless themes of the human condition, Smith takes us on an adventure as fantastic as any you'll find on a splash page or the silver screen--an intellectual adventure filled with surprising insights, unexpected twists and turns, and a daring climax you'll be thinking about long after it's over.… (more)
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Mr. Smith dissects the internal dynamics of ten superheroes. Most are very popular like fan favorite Wolverine (my husband's favorite), Iron Man, and Thor to name a few. As well as maybe lesser superheroes Green Lantern and Mister Fantastic. Yet, when you read this book, you will understand the reason why Mr. Smith chose to feature the superheroes that he selected.

Mr. Smith pits the different superheroes against each other in the following chapter:

The Best of the Beastly featuring the Hulk vs. Wolverine, Beacons of Imagination featuring Green Lantern vs. Iron Man, Responsibility and the City featuring Batman vs. Spider-Man, Ideals in Action featuring Captain America vs. Mister Fantastic, and Gods in a Longbox featuring Thor vs. Superman.

Mr. Smith finally concludes his thoughts in Contestation of Champions explaining which superhero comes out on top. What I liked about this book is that it is relatable for the present times. The superheroes are not just featured as comic book persona or movie legends but as types of people in the modern world. Mr. Smith writes in a way that everyone can understand without being too "wordy". Pick up a copy of this book today and see if you agree with the superhero that came out on top. ( )
  Cherylk | Jun 4, 2018 |
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Whether in comic books or on movie screens, superhero stories are where many people first encounter questions about how they should conduct their lives. Although these outlandish figures--in their capes, masks, and tights, with their unbelievable origins and preternatural powers--are often dismissed as juvenile amusements, they really are profound metaphors for different approaches to shaping one's character and facing the challenges of life. But, given the choice, which superhero should we follow today? Who is most worthy of our admiration? Whose goals are most noble? Whose ethics should we strive to emulate? To decide, Travis Smith takes ten top superheroes and pits them one against another, chapter by chapter. The hero who better exemplifies how we ought to live advances to the final round. By the end of the book, a single superhero emerges victorious and is crowned most exemplary for our times. How, then, shall we live? How can we overcome our beastly nature and preserve our humanity? (The Hulk vs. Wolverine) How far can we rely on our willpower and imagination to improve the human condition? (Iron Man vs. Green Lantern) What limits must we observe when protecting our neighborhood from crime and corruption? (Batman vs. Spider-Man) Will the pursuit of an active life or a contemplative life bring us true fulfillment? (Captain America vs. Mr. Fantastic) Should we put our faith in proven tradition or in modern progress to achieve a harmonious society? (Thor vs. Superman) Using superheroes to bring into focus these timeless themes of the human condition, Smith takes us on an adventure as fantastic as any you'll find on a splash page or the silver screen--an intellectual adventure filled with surprising insights, unexpected twists and turns, and a daring climax you'll be thinking about long after it's over.

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