The Deterrent Effect of Superheroes?
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on January 12, 2005 - 17:43
Superhero comic books assume to a large extent that superheroes can actually be effective in combatting criminal activity. But how effective would they be?
Matt Yglesias says not really unless they acted as leaders of larger numbers; Bradford Plumer flip-flops a bit but seems to come down on the side of not really since lone superheroes can't be everywhere at once.
Ezra Klein disagrees noting that "the very thought that, somewhere in the city, some guy with powers unknown and a really unpleasant attitude towards lawbreakers was waiting to tie you up in a web or swoop down and kick the crap out of you offers a real deterrent capability."