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Law and the Multiverse
November 30, 2010 10:06 AM   Subscribe

Law and the Multiverse
Have you ever wondered "Does Batman's close cooperation with the Gotham police department make him a state actor for Fourth Amendment purposes? Is evidence that he gathers even admissible?" Well, I did.

Law and the Multiverse is about overthinking the legal implications of common comic book tropes, characters, and powers. I've tried to keep the style and content accessible to the layperson, and you might even learn a thing or two about the law along the way. Of course, these are just light-hearted hypotheticals and are no substitute for legal advice from your attorney, who I am not. If you're planning to become a masked vigilante or villain, consult a competent attorney in your jurisdiction.

I welcome any ideas, suggestions, and feedback.

By the way, does anyone know of a good source for comic book images? I'd like to include illustrations, but I don't know how to get them except the obvious, non-kosher way. I think my use of a few, small images would be covered under fair use as a non-profit educational commentary, so it's getting them in the first place that's the trouble.
posted by jedicus (13 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
This project was posted to MetaFilter by The Whelk on November 30, 2010: The Keene Act And You

Actually, I'd consider shopping this idea around a bit. I'm sure the various publishers would love the chance to milk some additional revenue from their various properties, and a "Superman and the Law" book might work in the way that the various "X and philosophy" books have done. You might find that the publishers are willing to work with you directly.

Also, if you're looking for collaborators, sign me up. :)
posted by valkyryn at 11:10 AM on November 30, 2010


I'd like to include illustrations, but I don't know how to get them except the obvious, non-kosher way. I think my use of a few, small images would be covered under fair use as a non-profit educational commentary, so it's getting them in the first place that's the trouble.

Along the lines of valkyryn's train of thought, you should consider having this illustrated (by an enthusiastic MeFite?) instead of seeking out images from existing books.
posted by carsonb at 11:20 AM on November 30, 2010


If any MeFites want to contribute comic-book-style illustrations I'd welcome them with open arms. I'd even pay for a decent illustration to put up top.
posted by jedicus at 11:25 AM on November 30, 2010


There was an idea somewhere in Batman around the 1960s that he'd been duly deputised in the Gotham City police force, and therefore had all the arrest powers and so on that implies. I can't remember if this was in the comics or the TV series, though.

Also, I seem to recall that income from Reed Richards' many patents was used to help clear the compensation claims arising from the FF's battles with various super-villains in the heart of New York City.

Incidentally, where did you get that handy little "post this to mefi" badge. I want one!
posted by Paul Slade at 11:32 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks for those tips, Paul Slade. I'll look those up. The bit about Reed Richards is especially useful, since I was planning a post on just who pays for rebuilding in the aftermath of a superhero/supervillain fight.

The "post this to mefi" button shows up on MetaFilter Projects that aren't your own (so you see it on my Projects posts but I don't).
posted by jedicus at 11:42 AM on November 30, 2010


this is faaaantastic.
posted by sawdustbear at 1:38 PM on November 30, 2010


http://marvel.com/universe/Human_Torch_(Johnny_Storm)

There's a recent mention here, but I was thinking of something much earlier - perhaps from the Kirby era. Can't be much more specific than that though, I'm afraid.
posted by Paul Slade at 1:44 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I posted this so mightgodking would look at it cause he should.
posted by The Whelk at 2:51 PM on November 30, 2010


If you're planning to become a masked vigilante or villain, consult a competent attorney in your jurisdiction.

This is comedy gold.

A friend of mine and I spent much of high school wondering why and how super-villains spent the vast sums necessary to acquire and maintain international bands of henchmen, lairs, gadgets, etc., seemingly with no aim or incentive beyond knocking over mom and pop jewelry stores and pissing off Superman and TGDB. Especially since they never, ever succeeded.

TL;DR: "It's hard to see the economic incentive."

I will be of no help in this endeavor, as I have no legal skills whatsoever, but godspeed, my friend, godspeed.
posted by randomkeystrike at 3:09 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's...it's...beautiful...
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:13 PM on November 30, 2010


As someone who spent last night untangling the history of espionage organizations in the DC Universe for my current writing project, I am, of course, in for every single post. Thinking way too hard about comics (especially when you don't take it too seriously) can be way too much fun.

Original illustrations would be really cool to go alongside your posts. But if you want an alternative or something to use until you start getting those in, there's a large and ready stock of comic images in the Grand Comics Database at www.comics.org, a huge archive of scanned covers waiting for your use.

Could I suggest this cover for your most recent Batman post?
posted by Inkslinger at 5:39 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is AMAZING.


Can you write one on the evidentiary admissibility of evidence obtained through Professor X's mind-reading abilities? I'm sure it would implicate Fifth amendment issues as well.


Also, please feel free to enlist me for free legal research, editing, and/or ideas...after finals, though.
posted by HabeasCorpus at 10:17 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I found this highly entertaining even though I have little interest in comics.
posted by desjardins at 2:38 PM on December 18, 2010


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