The Law of Superheroes

James Daily, Author, Ryan Davidson, Author
James Daily and Ryan Davidson. Gotham, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-592-40726-2
Reviewed on: 07/30/2012
Release date: 10/11/2012
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In this insightful and entertaining look at how comic book heroes would be affected by real-life laws, Daily and Davidson—attorneys by day and authors of the popular blog “lawandthemultiverse.com”—aren’t afraid to ask the tough questions about superhero behavior. If asked to testify in court, “Could Spider-Man wear his mask? And could he somehow dodge questions about his identity?” The Joker may be mentally ill, “but is he legally insane?” And if Nitro burns Wolverine “knowing that he’ll survive, is it still attempted murder?” Fortunately, Daily and Davidson are neither smart alecks nor ironic, and they take their work as seriously as Batman taking on his arch-villain Bane (although they can be as witty and sly as Catwoman at her best). Their intelligent exploration of ideas in constitutional law, criminal law, evidence, criminal procedure, business law, and even intellectual property always makes for fascinating reading. And a discussion about whether or not the evil Mephisto had a valid claim on Ghost Rider’s soul offers hope for current law school students: “if you like the idea of twisting altruism into a legal defense for the Devil, then you may have a bright future as a defense lawyer.” (Oct.)
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