Skip to main content

Superheroes and the Law



Is Batman a state actor for constitutional law purposes? Can the IRS tax Superman for squeezing coal into diamonds and not paying taxes? Can Ben Grimm sue Reed Richards for turning him into The Thing?  Important legal questions like these are addressed in one of the library’s newest books The Law of Superheroes by James Daily and Ryan Davidson. 

The Law of Superheroes takes a large chunk of the law, including Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Evidence, Tort, and Administrative Law and applies it to the “facts” of the world of comic book superheroes and supervillains with interesting results. Super-characters have all sorts of adventures and applying legal analysis to those adventures makes for not only interesting context but is also instructive in teaching how the law works. I ask you, isn’t analyzing Superman’s immigration status (he’s an alien!) more interesting than reading some dry old Supreme Court case on immigration? While this volume is not a marriage of case book and comic book it does make for stimulating, yet light, legal reading. 

To answer the questions posed above:  Batman: Yes, see Edmonson v. LeesvilleConcrete Co., Inc. 500 US 614 (1991), Superman:  In the comic a senior IRS agent argues that since Superman had saved the world he could declare everyone as a deduction (doubtful), The Thing: No, Ben Grimm assumed the risk knowing that space exploration was dangerous.

The Law of Superheroes by James Daily and Ryan Davidson. K487 .L38 D35 2012

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Law School Exams: A Guide to Better Grades

It’s that time of year again. Law students across the country are poring over their class notes and supplements, putting the finishing touches on their outlines, and fueling their all-night study sessions with a combination of high-carb snacks and Java Monsters. This can mean only one thing: exam time is approaching.

If you’re looking for a brief but effective guide to improving your exam performance, the O’Quinn Law Library has the book for you. Alex Schimel’s Law School Exams: A Guide to Better Grades, now in its second edition, provides a clear and concise strategy for mastering the issue-spotting exams that determine the majority of your grade in most law school classes. Schimel finished second in his class at the University Of Miami School Of Law, where he taught a wildly popular exam workshop in his 2L and 3L years, and later returned to become Associate Director of the Academic Achievement Program. The first edition of his book was written shortly after he finished law school, …

Citing to Vernon's Texas Codes Annotated: Finding Accurate Publication Dates (without touching a book)

When citing to a current statute, both the Bluebook (rule 12.3.2) and Greenbook (rule 10.1.1) require a  practitioner to provide the publication date of the bound volume in which the cited code section appears. For example, let's cite to the codified statute section that prohibits Texans from hunting or selling bats, living or dead. Note, however, you may remove or hunt a bat that is inside or on a building occupied by people. The statute is silent as to Batman, who for his own safety, best stay in Gotham City.
This section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife code is 63.101. "Protection of Bats." After checking the pocket part and finding no updates in the supplement, my citation will be:
Tex. Parks & Wild. Code Ann. § 63.101 (West ___ ). When I look at the statute in my bound volume of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, I can clearly see that the volume's publication date is 2002. But, when I find the same citation on Westlaw or LexisNexis, all I can see is that the …