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How super is superhero justice?

Lyubansky, Mikhail
June 4, 2015

Source: (2012) Web-only article with Tikkun 27(1).

We can see some semblance of restorative principles in several existing superheroes. Aquaman’s most recognizable power, for example, is essentially enhanced communication skills—he is able to communicate with the marine community, which he summons when he needs help—and it is notable that Wonder Woman’s greatest weapon against crime is truth, in the form of her magic lasso. Yet both Aquaman and Wonder Woman also work within the conventional punitive systems, apprehending criminals and turning them over to the authorities as members of the Justice League. The truths Wonder Woman extracts with her lasso are not offered voluntarily, and the marine life that comes to Aquaman’s aid does so in order to overpower his adversaries. Neither is intended to have a restorative effect and neither produces one. (excerpt)


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