After the movie The Avengers came out, a few of us (nerdy) people began to wonder what superheroes were actually liable for in the event of…you know…saving the world.
For instance: After the Avengers saved New York City, would they be legally responsible for cleaning it up? Would insurance cover the damage? Would the government foot the bill?
Well, fear not, fellow curious nerds! James Daily and Ryan Davidson, attorneys and co-authors of The Law of Superheroes, were at New York Comic Con with all the answers.
With regard to the Avengers paying up after saving New York City from obliteration, Daily and Davidson classified the threat as an act of war. So the federal government would step in since “New York has been a federal damage relief area since the 1960s so it can be fixed up every Tuesday.”
Other questions answered: Would it be cruel and unusual punishment to imprison an immortal superhero to life in prison? (The answer was pretty unanimously yes).
Another question that came up more than once in the conversation (and on Daily and Davidson’s blog, Law and the Multiverse) was whether or not Superman (and other nonhuman intelligent aliens) would have the rights of humans.
How do you deal with otherworldly alien superheroes? Can you deport them? Would they even be defined as humans at first shot? If Superman were nonhuman, he would be an animal. He would earn endangered species status…no native environment left and he has a lot of people trying to kill him.
Law can be confusing any day, but especially when the basic laws of our land don’t apply to the superheroes (and villains) who protect it.