Black Cape, Black Ops

Posted: December 12, 2012 by kdatherton in Uncategorized

Last night, while North Korea sent a rocket skyward, I went on a tear about IR lessons from Superhero Movies. Here they are, in storified tweet-narrative form.

  1. the_boy
    My ideal Superman movie has him trying to solve Afghan war, where invulnerability, freeze breath, & x-ray vision struggle to succeed at COIN
  2. the_boy
    Uncomfortably glossed over during Watchmen film frenzy is fact that the Comedian & Dr Manhattan won Vietnam through sheer force & brutality
  3. the_boy
    so there is some precedence for SupermanCOIN, though it’s darker than the Man of Steel is generally interpreted.
  4. the_boy
    Iron Man actually has the war but like many careers in NatSec it features an early Afghan jaunt as resume-bolstering before career elsewhere
  5. the_boy
    Batman, for all his emphasis on justice, only stays abroad long enough to train/heal before committing himself to fighting #FirstWorldCrime
  6. the_boy
    Thor involves a terrorist attack in a long-settled but still troubled war, insider attacks, unmanned killer robots, & attempted genocide
  7. NSlayton
    @the_boy So…Thor and Loki are the renegade Russians from every bad 80s and early 90s action film?
  8. the_boy
    Green Lantern was terrible and I dare anyone to extract strategic logic from it
  9. the_boy
    @NSlayton non-state actors though, or without official sanction. Rogue elements. Asgard would claim the fighters if not the attack.
  10. the_boy
    Captain America is basically a love letter to the Office of Strategic Services, & imagines a far better shadow war than we got in WWII
  11. NSlayton
    @the_boy Also the consequences of giving advanced units autonomy. Contrast Cap’s regulation with the Skull’s.
  12. the_boy
    X-Men First Class is about the foundational days of the CIA, also the risk of concentrating too much authority & lethality in too few people
  13. the_boy
    Iron Man 2 is about why the drone program is a far lesser threat than autonomous individuals w/gen5 aircract. See also:…
  14. the_boy
    X-Men 1 & 2 are both terror & paramilitaries, X2 featuring comptition btwn paramilitary & DoD operatives. X3 is why Ratner shouldn’t direct
  15. the_boy
    Kick-Ass is basically paramilitaries vs narco-terrorism, with child soldiers & assumed warcrimes.
  16. the_boy
    Scott Pilgrim is entirely about signaling & infiltrating a trust network.
  17. the_boy… (if you’re enjoying these tweets, cannot recommend enough @JDanaStuster‘s tour de force on Batman Inc & IR)
  18. the_boy
    The lack of a Black Widow movie is basically just bullshit
  19. the_boy
    Spiderman 1: bioweapons vs chemical weapons. Spiderman 2: bioweapons vs nuclear weapons. Spiderman 3: bioweapons vs bioweapons disco.
  20. NSlayton
    @the_boy Amazing Spider-man: Bioweapons vs. bioweapons biological attack.
  21. the_boy
    Daredevil is about the limits of rendition when fighting a lethal foe outside the law. (okay, or it’s a vigilante lawyer, whatevs)
  22. the_boy
    That’s it for my IR/superhero binge. Why this when DPRK just fired a missile? Because DPRK rocket launch before S Korean election is old hat
  1. rodsjournal says:

    Thanks for the Interesting takes. It perked me up on a Thursday morning reading this.

    Although I’ve got to go back to watching some of those moview again to get a refresher, something however struck me – “Iron Man 2 is about why the drone program is a far lesser threat than autonomous individuals w/gen5 aircract[aircraft].” Could you elaborate? I don’t remember/don’t see this connection.

    • kdatherton says:

      Sure! In Iron Man 2, Tony Stark, Lt Rhodes, & Ivan Venko have their final battle in powersuits, that can only be checked by powersuits. Right before that, Stark & Rhodes defeat an entire swarm of combat-ready drones, proving that their armor is far superior to the AIs they were fighting.

  2. rodsjournal says:

    Thanks for your clarification and elaboration…though I must say I never saw the powersuits as analogous to ‘Gen 5’ aircraft before this! If only because they (both powersuits and Gen 5 aircraft) don’t yet exist. Right?

    I won’t underestimate the potential for drones to become more autonomous as time passes and technology develops. As a comparison – I believe human beings will likely see more Terminator-style drone warfare in the future.than, say, bio-diseased-enhanced ‘drones’ like zombies being let loose/deployed.

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