Why Is it Okay to Kill in Marvel Movies?
Killing is a very controversial topic when it comes to superhero movies. Why are superheroes in the MCU allowed to kill their enemies without criticism?
Killing in comics has always been a controversial subject. Killing is what can separate a hero from a vigilante. If there is a hero who kills his enemies the question almost always arises, what makes this hero better than the villains he killed? So let’s figure out which superheroes kill and why we consider it okay. Since there are so many comic books and overlapping universes, I’ll focus only on the Marvel movies.
Now to be clear, we are just talking about superheroes that kill regularly. This isn’t about a superhero that has to kill the villain in the final battle because he has no choice. This article won’t be debating whether Tony Stark did the right thing at the end at the end of Iron Man by killing Obadiah Stane. Tony saw it as his only chance to stop Obadiah before Obadiah was about to kill him. Whether killing his lifelong friend and business partner makes him less of a hero is a topic for a separate article.
Speaking of Tony Stark, he is the perfect example of a superhero that regularly kills his enemies. I’m not counting the men he killed when he escaped the cave because he didn’t have a choice. His only way to escape was to kill the men who kidnapped him. The more interesting part is what happens once he decides to be Iron Man. Tony finds out that Stark Industries has been dealing under the table and that a town called Gulmira is being terrorized by the same men who captured him, the Afghani terror group The Ten Rings. These men are using Stark Industry weapons to terrorize innocent people. Iron Man flies in and kills the terrorists and saves the town.
Let’s jump to a different superhero that has killed, Captain America. It shouldn’t really be a shock that Captain America kills; he is a soldier during wartime. Like most soldiers in World War II, he had to shoot at the enemy and that means taking a life. So while Captain America is portrayed as a boy scout, he clearly doesn’t have a “no killing” rule.
Thor is similar to Captain America in that he also kills during wartime. At the beginning of the first Thor movie, Thor is waging war against the Frost Giants of Jotunheim. He is killing them left and right but, just like Captain America, because it’s during a war it’s accepted
Lastly, in the first Avengers movie, the Avengers all kill the Chitauri while New York City is under attack.
Let’s review who has been killed by Marvel superheroes; members of the Ten Rings, Nazis, the Chitauri and Frost Giants. What do all of these people have in common? None of them get due process that is guaranteed to citizens of the United States. This is the key difference to why we are okay seeing these people killed, and why we don’t consider these heroes wrong for killing them. Frost Giants, Chitauri, Nazis and foreign terrorists do not typically get trials. There is a reason none of these villains are American, because that’s when the line gets blurred. In season 1 of Arrow, he’s considered a vigilante and the police department wants to arrest him because he is killing American citizens; yes these men are guilty of some crime but they should be arrested not killed. No one claims that any of the heroes from the MCU should be arrested for killing. The only reason people are upset and want them regulated in Civil War is because of the collateral damage they cause. No one has a problem with the people they kill because no one thinks aliens or Nazis should get due process so it’s okay for them to get killed.
This is what makes the Incredible Hulk so interesting; he has killed Americans. When the army attacks him he fights back and it’s assumed some of them die at some point during the fights. The Incredible Hulk has killed Americans and that’s why he’s viewed as a monster. He’s uncontrollable because he crossed that line that other superheroes haven’t crossed, killing those who should receive due process is when someone is no longer considered a hero.
About the Creator
Big nerd with passion for television, the 90s and ridiculous trivia.
Did you know America never lost a war when donkeys were used?
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