One of the more interesting things about Beginning of a Hero reviews was that a few of them mentioned how Luke Callindor wasn’t heroic. He was immature, unpolished, reckless, and selfish. First, this is the beginning of a series, so starting him out as the perfect hero is ridiculous. I have 15 books to grow him into that role and even at the end he’s going to have moments. All of that is for another topic. Today, I’m curious what people want in their fictional heroes.
I’ve heard everything on this topic. Many times I’ve heard people voice what they want and then deny a character to epitomizes it. For example, I spoke with a person who wanted a powerful, unstoppable, beacon of justice hero. When I mentioned Superman, this person scoffed at the idea because he was ‘lame’. So, I guess there was something else in their personal hero equation that Superman didn’t meet. They claimed Batman as perfect, so I’m guessing smart and tortured soul were secretly on the list. It’s funny how many people go on about the noble, shiny hero and then gush about an anti-hero that’s about as shiny as a broken lightbulb. So, there is an element of a person not accepting what they really want in their heroes. I’ve yet to figure out this mentality.
Personally, I want my heroes to have a weakness. I’m not talking about kryptonite or the color yellow (Green Lantern at one point). I meant, I like my heroes to have aspects of humanity in them. They can get mad, get sad, be happy, and have a range of emotions. I think this is why I have trouble getting behind Batman because I always see him as tortured, which gets old. To counter this vulnerability, I like my heroes to have a lot of courage and the drive to help others. Even if they are tossed into an event that they don’t understand, I like it when a hero decides to be the good guy. It doesn’t have to be at the beginning, but at some point the hero has to acknowledge being a hero. To go through an entire adventure and continually deny you’re a hero against all evidence rubs me the wrong way. Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland comes to mind. By the middle of the film, I was ready to slap Alice because all she did was deny she was ‘The Alice’ in the face of constant evidence.
Power-wise I’m torn. I enjoy Superman even though I don’t like heroes to be utterly unstoppable. He might be the exception to my rule because he’s been around so long and he is what he is. More current heroes that have multiple powers, no weaknesses, and are perfect make me mad. Eragon came off like this to me. I believe in fantasy, a character needs some training or a history. If they don’t have it then they need to make mistakes as they go on their adventure. For example, Luke Callindor starts his adventure after a lifetime of training. That’s why he can do what he does. Darwin Slepsnor gains his sleep magic at the beginning of his story, which is why he works of instinct and causes a heap of trouble. I need that explanation of why a hero is the best in the room or proof that he or she is not the best in the room.
There are other little facets of heroism that I look for, but they tend to come to mind only when I’m reading. So, what do other people look for in their heroes?
Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower Coming July 31st!!!!