The character in question -- Mal Reynolds from Serenity -- had about three seconds to decide whether he would risk his entire crew to save a guy he didn't know. He decided he could not. He then shot the man because under the circumstances, a quick death was merciful. Given Joss Whedon's age, I doubt he has ever been in combat, but I think John Calimee must never have even read about it. Does he actually think real soldiers never let anyone innocent die, or only killed "bad guys"? War constantly asks soldiers to do things that seem immoral. Yes, Tolkein and Kirby both separated good from evil in their work -- and unless they were insane, both knew this was wishful thinking, a fantasy. That fantasy was their response to war, but it certainly isn't the only valid response. Look at the work of director Samuel Fuller. Samuel Fuller fought in WWII and when he came out, he had no use for do-gooder heroes. John Calimee should look at Fuller's Pickup on South Street and see what he thinks of the hero of that film. Or try the work of Sam Peckinpah, another WWII vet. Perhaps Kurt Vonnegut. Tolkein's and Kirby's work is wonderful, but not every fantasy needs to be set in a world in which heroes never have to choose the lesser of two evils. Whedon's "heroes" (and Whedon never called Mal Reynolds that) are willing to make those choices -- this shows respect for real soldiers and respect for his audience. Calimee could learn from the example."As I sat in the theatre watching the movie Serenity , I wanted Josh Whedon to lose his licence to write when he had the "hero" kick a man off the rail of his craft and then shot the guy dead.... Do you know if Josh Whedon had served in War? Watched the friend next to him get his brains blown away? If he's seen the life of a man slip away due to his own hands? If he had, I doubt he wouldn't write his heroes this way. Jack Kirby fought the real deal. Tolkien knew the meaning of War. They meant it when they separated good from evil."