8FOLD/ACRA: Jolt City # 4, The Green Knight-Darkhorse Team!

Tom Russell milos_parker at yahoo.com
Sat Dec 2 12:42:20 PST 2006

Martin Phipps wrote:
> There's another problem: obstruction of justice.


> Martin Rock defeated the Crooked Man but didn't tell the police he was
> the Green Knight.


> The Green Knight defeated Nathan Willis but didn't tell the police he
> was Martin Rock.

> If either of these cases went to trial, wouldn't Martin Rock have to
> testify?


>  The Green Knight can't testify without making a mask
> statement (because they need some way to know that it is really him)...
> but does that mean he can't be compeled to testify (and therefore
> reveal his identity) in a case that would require his testimony?

Hmm.  There have been heroes in the Eightfold universe since at least
the forties, if not the eighteen-hundreds.  A single hero has probably
put away many crooks, both super-powered and otherwise.  But such
heroes wouldn't have revealed their secret identity in order to testify
against those crooks!

I think, perhaps, that a legal system which accomodates the presence of
super-powered, unofficially-sanctioned vigilantes would _not_ allow
those vigilantes to testify in court.  Their eye witness testimony
would be considered inadmissable as evidence.

Which is why, for example, Martin doesn't just go up and say, "I know
Snapp's a druglord".  The police and D.A.'s office needs better
evidence than that.

At the same time, there's the question, then, of what happens when
superhero meets supervillain, beats him up, and turns him over to the
police?  Hopefully, there would be enough evidence against him, and
it's just a matter of capturing the guy-- which is where a superhero
would come into play.

I suppose if someone revealed their identity or made a mask statement,
then they could sue for civil damages in court.  Otherwise, I think
superheroes could not bring lawsuits to court, or have lawsuits brought
against them.

Now, if a hero has acted in a way that's quite frankly criminal, I
think they then would be arrested and tried, with their masks on-- kind
of like the Trial of the Flash.  If he's found guilty, then the mask
would come off.

> Now, Martin Rock can testify in court but that brings up another
> problem: perjury.


> Technically you're commiting perjury -and obstruction of justice- even
> when police question you and you make inaccurate sworn statements.  If
> Martin Rock were asked point blank in court where he had been for ten
> years and what he had been doing and he didn't mention that he was the
> Arcobat then is he "telling the truth, the WHOLE truth and nothing but
> the truth"?

I think that's a bit of a reach-- it's the job of the prosecution to
ask specific questions.  And he could always invoke the fifth
ammendment of the questions got too specific.

> And what if a smart DA were to question Danielle, Pam and
> Darkhorse, add it all up and then ask Martin point blank on the stands
> "Are you the Green Knight"?

I think that such questions simply wouldn't be asked in court, as a
courtesy to the vigilantes and as a point of law.  Otherwise, someone
could ask _every_ witness in a case whether or not they are this hero
or that one.

> What does he say then?  It's like Superman
> who stands for "TRUTH, justice and the American way" and then says
> "Gee, Lois, I wish I were strong like Superman".  Liar, liar, pants on
> fire. :)

If you can show me one-- even *just* ONE-- example of the real
Superman-- that is, the Silver Age Superman, the one that does, in
fact, stand for Truth, Justice, and the American Way, and always will--
if you can show me one example of him lying, I'd be very much

Because he would never say, I wish I were strong like Superman.  He
never _once_ lies.  She might ask where he was while Superman was
fighting Titano, and Clark Kent might say, "Oh, just monkeying
around"-- but that's not a lie, is it?

You find me an example of Superman actually telling an actual,
bold-faced, refutable lie.  Even when he, as the "Great Superman Book"
would put it, protects his identity "through an elaborate ruse", he
never actually _lies_ about it.

Because that's a line he won't cross.  Remember, this is the same
Superman that, when he discovers he has broken even an asinine and evil
law of another planet, will surrender to the authorities and allow them
to pass judgement.

> I wouldn't mind seeing some more legal procedure in this series.  I
> know that the impression that one gets from reading old comics and
> detective novels or watching old detective shows on TV is that the
> story ends when the bad guys are arrested but sixteen years of Law and
> Order should have taught you that this is only half the story. :)

Actually, there will be a little bit of court-room action in the very
next issue.  And I'll make sure some of this speculation about the
legal status of four-colours makes it way into those pages.

I wonder what Saxon Brenton-- RACC's resident extrapolator of the
ramnifications of super-heroics in a real world-- would think of all
this, and what wondrous extrapolations he would come up with for the
Eightfold Universe?

I wonder also what treasures await us in the first issue of MY FATHER'S
SON, by that same Aussie?

> Martin


More information about the racc mailing list