View Full Version : super hero musing

2010-11-13, 10:14 AM
So i was thinking suppose you are a superhero in a city and you see an individual steal an item of trivial value like say a candy bar.

You can try and stop them but you know for whatever reason that this individual is powerful enough that they can not be apprehended with out a great deal of destruction of property.

assume that the individual is not wanted for any other crimes

what would you do?

2010-11-13, 10:25 AM
Supervillians stealing candybars, eh?

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." -Edmund Burke

There must be carnage! :smallbiggrin:

2010-11-13, 10:45 AM
Eh, I'd let it slide. Nobody would like it if I started a battle that causes a crapload of collateral damage just because Lex Luthor stole 40 cakes. Even if that's terrible.

2010-11-13, 11:02 AM
I'd wait until this tough villain was out of earshot, telepathy range, etc and then pay for the item myself (assuming I've got pockets on my superhero uniform). A few bucks out of my pocket is worth the lack of carnage.

2010-11-13, 11:05 AM
......I'd ask them nicely, unless they're the omnicidal maniac sort. If they refuse, I'd pay for it myself. And during our next big climactic fight, I'd call them out for being petty and trite, not worthy of being a "super" villain.

2010-11-13, 12:42 PM
Every one is so reasonable, this is basically what i thought as well

2010-11-13, 12:56 PM
going with the standard tropes of the genre?

casualties: 2 city blocks, 27 vehicles, several trees, possibly a historic landmark/statue.

candybar & villain... APPREHENDED (though it might take 2 issues)!

2010-11-13, 01:12 PM
Well, most of the time, arrests don't take violence even when the guy could theoretically overpower the police. So assuming that the superhero in question has a social status similar to police (or actually is police), there may not be a fight--especially if the guy stealing the candy bar knows about his powers. Most people will not commit attempted murder to cover up a petty crime like shoplifting.

Shoplifting, though, is not a crime that will hurt someone very much, and at most it means community service or similar. If there's a chance that people will be hurt if you try to arrest the guy, then the best you can do is ID him and tell the store manager so he can decide whether to press charges.

2010-11-13, 03:48 PM
Even more in Canada as a non-peace officer (read the Criminal Code, its awesome) it is illegal, and an assault, if you attempt to stop a person that you have not witnessed commit an indictable offence (these are similar to felonies in the US, stuff like theft over $5000, homocide, alarming the Queen, etc.)

Definintion of Peace Officer (http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/C-46/section-2.html)

Powers of Arrest (http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/C-46/section-494.html)

2010-11-13, 04:00 PM
I don't think anyone's talking about getting into a fight with the guy as a first move. More, trying to stop him from leaving, not necessarily with physical force. If he escalates, then sure, but you don't stop a shoplifter with a fist to the face.

2010-11-13, 04:12 PM
I don't think anyone's talking about getting into a fight with the guy as a first move. More, trying to stop him from leaving, not necessarily with physical force. If he escalates, then sure, but you don't stop a shoplifter with a fist to the face.

You also don't stop a shoplifter by touching them either. It's an assault, in most common law jurisdictions anyways, both civily and criminally. I can probably find of a few dozen precedents that would allow for being touched after shoplifting a candy bar that allows the shoplifter to sue the store, and employees as well anybody that assisted in the assault. The preceding is assuming that you want to play things realistically according to the law.

There are also issues revolving around negligence here, the super hero would be liable for any damage caused by such a confrontation from anybody injured. You'd probably be looking at a massive class action law suit against the hero, and the government. They knew, or should have known, that such actions were negligent. Again, this is assuming that you want to go with a realistic approach to how the law would handle such things.

In a comic book situation, yeah you let the guy go, there are better things to do then chase super powered candy bar stealers. Unless that's the point of the story. Judge Dredd is kind of like that.

2010-11-13, 04:15 PM
...you don't stop a shoplifter with a fist to the face.

Unless you're Captain Hammer. He would probably punch out the shoplifter, then heroically present the bag of chips to the store owner as the shoplifter's SO frantically tries to wake them up.

2010-11-13, 04:18 PM
Am I concerned about my alter ego remaining secret?

Yes: No, one chocolate bar isn't the end of the world.

No: Hell yeah!! Mere mortals are simply the scenery for our epic duel, their lives mean nothing if such a fiend gets away with a single act of villainy.

2010-11-13, 04:54 PM
I'll step up and be honest. It depends on my powers and how much I dislike the guy. If I know he's going to do future misdeeds, etc.

In other words, yes, I might start wanton destruction over a candy bar. But it'd be symbolic.

2010-11-13, 05:01 PM
Imma say no.
you should let him get away.

then again, I would likely be the one stealing...
...just to tick off the hero

2010-11-13, 08:00 PM
Step 1. Tap him on the shoulder and tell him that you saw him steal the candy bar. Do it loudly enough that other people can hear you.

This will result in either:
a) he is embarrassed and sheepishly returns/pays for the candy bar. Problem solved!
b) he flees - fleeing a police officer (and, by extension in a legalizes heroism world, a superhero) who is trying to talk to you is obstructing justice and/or resisting arrest, which does allow the police officer to act with the minimum necessary force to prevent the escape. Go to step 2.
c) he turns and offers violence or the threat of violence, thus making any damage I do to him self-defense. Go to step 2.

Step 2. "Seriously, man. It's a candy bar. You really want to rumble over this? Either you take me out, in which case you've committed a serious crime and you're going to have every costumed adventurer on you like white on rice, or you lose, and you're busted for stealing a candy bar. This is a no-win situation for you."

This will result in:
a) "Fine, take your damn candy bar!" Problem solved!
b) "It's worth it for the delicious, delicious candy!" Guy is obviously unhinged, and would need to be dealt with at some point anyways. Might as well get it over with now.
c) "I hate you, hero! I KILL YOU!" See b.

2010-11-13, 08:03 PM
that assumes a superheros is legally similar to a police officer and for the sake of this discussion lets assume all he can do is preform a citizens arrest (or vigilante justice).

2010-11-13, 08:05 PM
I'd pay for the candy bar and then tell them I did with a smile on my face, giving him a pat on the shoulder before flying off.

2010-11-13, 08:39 PM
Depends on the mood.

If it were an insane, over-the-top superhero game (this is why you put it in the Roleplaying Games section, right?), a massive, building leveling fight would be in order.

If not, then a more peaceful solution, like kindly telling the thief.