Last we checked, “Cops” and “Live PD” had been taken off the air, and the writers for fictional cop shows were taking a step back after the death of George Floyd (remember him?) and reconsidering the way they portrayed police on television. Oh, and LEGO sent out word to its stores to hold off on advertising police-based sets (and also the White House set). “Paw Patrol” got called out for portraying a dog police officer as the good guy. In other words, the usual suspects overreacted in the race to virtue signal.

Now TIME is offering up the hot take that superheroes are basically just cops in capes, and we have to have a conversation about how superheroes are portrayed on film.

Eliana Dockterman writes:

Most of the blockbuster Marvel and DC comics movies skirt the issue of who should define justice for whom. Captain America: Civil War and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice briefly float the idea of superhero oversight but both devolve into quip-filled CGI fistfights. (In fairness, the Civil War storyline in the Marvel comics more thoughtfully plumbs the depths of that socio-political debate.)

What’s more, given that the creators and stars of these movies have historically been white men, it’s hardly surprising that so few reckon with issues of systemic racism—let alone sexism, homophobia, transphobia and other forms of bigotry embedded in the justice system or the inherent biases these superheroes might carry with them as they patrol the streets, or the universe.

We’d always thought “The Avengers” was missing something — the fight against transphobia in the justice system.

Yeah, we know. What’s amazing about that? And who can’t wait for Marvel’s next phase to “fix” that problem?

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