While the Avengers’ authority has been brought into question in various storyline, a new Marvel comic reveals that police officers take issue as well.
Warning: Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Marvels Snapshots #1
There has been no shortage of critiques toward Marvel’s Avengers when it comes to the destruction they leave behind while battling their enemies. Civil War famously explored the accountability behind masked heroes and questioned whether or not their unchecked authority outweighs the services they provide. Now it’s been revealed that even the cops of Marvel’s America take issue with how damaging the presence of a super-authority can be for surrounding civilians.
Avengers: Marvels Snapshots #1 by Barbara Randall Kesel and Staz Johnson explores Marvel’s New York City from the perspective of average, every-day individuals. And it turns out gigantic robot fights and super-powered throwdowns are simply a commonplace occurrence the average New Yorker, for better or worse, must get accustomed to. While some citizens thrive in or get mundanely acquainted with their city being an arena for reoccurring destruction, those who’s job it is to protect people during these grandeur spectacles take issue with costumed entities such as the Avengers.
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One of the main characters this issue is a police officer named Jay Sero. While the Avengers cause mayhem in an epic fight that sweeps across the city, Jay helps the surrounding civilians get to safety. As they wait within a bunker, people begin recounting their many run-ins with New York’s superheroes. Most speak of these interactions as tantamount to encountering a celebrity passing through their neighborhood, but Jay’s story features a slightly more hostile encounter.
While out at a bar and drinking with his fellow officers, one of Jay’s comrades begins loudly criticizing New York’s superheroes. But Tony Stark happens to be drinking at this very same bar, and he’s not having it. Since this takes place prior to Stark revealing his secret identity, the billionaire philanthropist frames his argument as defending his personal bodyguard, Iron Man, for protecting “bluebellies” like Jay and his squad. Jay’s partners defend their position by affirming that they do the same job as any superhero, but without the expensive jets and armor. However, it’s Jay who steps in and calmly engages Stark, asking him to understand their perspective. “It makes our job harder knowing that all these super heroes, if they’d just take two minutes out of their battles…that could mean the difference between life and death for somebody at our level.“
As it turns out, Jay’s point of view has a lasting effect on Stark, as Iron Man later confronts Jay and gives him Stark’s personal phone number for the next time two-minutes becomes paramount in saving lives. And thanks to that interaction, the armored Avenger answers Jay’s call later on when innocent lives are on the line. In an era when the power of real-life authoritarians is being called into question, Marvels Snapshots incorporates the perspective of the average person while also providing hope that a calm and collected discussion on such a matter can penetrate the viewpoint of those with great power, and even persuade them to consider more constructive choices in essential moments. It’s all part of the combined ingredients of realism and hope that has made the Marvel Universe the staple it is to this day.
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