Thursday, January 21, 2010

Externalities: Angel Edition

Superheroes fight crime and save lives. But by doing so they impose certain costs on people not directly involved. These are superhero externalities.

Angel unwittingly causes the death of an innocentAngel #29 by Bill Willingham and Brian Denham

Since Los Angeles went to hell and back, Angel has become something of a celebrity. Now everywhere he goes, people are starstruck. Seems pretty simple and non-threatening. As in any transaction, Angel reaps the benefits of being famous (more casework, more money, etc.) but also pays a cost for it (less free time to brood, a sense of disillusion, etc.).

Unfortunately the people he is protecting are paying an unintended cost, as demonstrated when Angel walked into a local coffee shop for a cup and accidentally created a panic that the neighborhood was under attack by a vicious (and equally fictitious) demon. This seemingly innocuous event resulted in multiple injuries and death.

Angel himself goes on to comment on this predicament of unintended consequences:

The public pays for Angel's fame

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

John Constantine is a model of externalities. Generally speaking, if you're an old friend and he talks you into helping him, you're dead.

Tom said...

I saw this headline on twitter and was all excited to hear about what sort of trouble grown-up trust-fund mutants can get other people into while funding research and testing in genetic manipulation - then I was all "wha? Worthington fights demons in LA?" and THEN I was all "Oh, Angel not Archangel.

Note to self: Archangel, blond, blue skin, wings

Note to ecocomics: You guys should do more posts on WWIII!

colsmi said...

Will it be of any consolation to the innocent bystanders of the IDW Angel Universe that, given recent disclosure over Wheden's non-involvement with the Angel title, their suffering, according to many JW adherents, never actually happened? No Whedon, no canon. That should make it alright for them.

There are many parts of all our lives that should be open to being declared non-canon.

ShadowBanker said...

colsmi - That's true! The Angel universe doesn't even exist anymore! Am I the only one who thinks Brian Lynch's Angel: After the Fall was way better than Buffy: Season 8? I feel like they picked the wrong one to keep in canon.

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