ahhh, superhero registration. a concept invented by a generation of mewling infants who are horrified at the notion of a world that isn’t measured, marked, metered, stamped, and saran-wrapped for them by Big Mommy Government for their safety.
Superheroes are supposed to be archetypes of individualism– lone people who rise up to do what hidebound and often corrupt Powers That Be will not or CANNOT do, who do good deeds simply because they CAN. The Hero Registration trope just turns them into stooges and flunkies of those in power…. mall rent-a-cops in slightly sillier costumes.
What is really pathetic is that such an oxymoron as “licensed heroes” is so common that most writers seem to regard it as common sense. The idea of free willed individuals, acting without playing Daddy May I, makes them faint like hothouse flowers. But in an age of speech codes, “safe spaces” and trauma counseling for overhearing contradictory opinions, it’s all that can be expected of them, one supposes.
I suspect that has less to do with the Big Bad Government Control and more to do with the fact that law enforcment cooperating with random civilan vigilantes would be even more absurd.
Batman works well as a clandestine vigilante because of commissioner Gordon, but short of straight up copying that dynamic, I don’t imagine there’s much leeway to make it work.
“…archetypes of individualism– lone people who rise up…” What, like the Justice League?
There’s also the minor fact that in this world heroes and their sidekicks get paid. It is a job, not a hobby. They fill out paperwork and follow procedures just like the police, they just have different tools with which they work. Free willed individuals sounds very cool, but Batman would never get a single conviction to stick and would likely have the city of Gotham tied up in lawsuits for property damage alone.
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