The unethical superhero: Why science in The Flash needs some oversight

This is the view you'd have if you were imprisoned in the Flash's secret extrajudicial detention center. (credit: The CW Network)

Marvel is fast becoming synonymous with the superhero—a pair of blockbusters and two critically praised Netflix shows just this year will have that effect. But they aren't the only game in (cape)town.

DC Comics might not have anything as coherent as a cinematic universe road-mapped out to the end of the decade, and Batman's box office success has yet to rub off on the Green Lantern or a 21st-century Superman. But the company is making a serious go at competent TV series as of late, particularly The CW series The Flash. However, as much as I've found myself enjoying the adventures of Barry Allen and his comrades, it can hold my peace no longer. It's time for someone to say it: Science in Central City is in desperate need of some ethical oversight.

Time and again, the Flash and his team—all trained scientists—ignore fundamental protections of research subjects and a disregard for human rights. That's no small quibble for a tentpole superhero supposedly interested in justice and doing good. But, as I'll explore, there are real-world historical precedents for many of these transgressions.

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