It’s something so often encountered and/or mentioned in stories (be they comics or novels or film) that it’s becoming in itself a cliché: Heroes aren’t interesting because they’re straight arrows. Villains are fun because they’re the ‘bad boys’, the ones that can do all the shady things and that makes them interesting.
I find this a misconception.
I think that characters aren’t boring or fun due to their placement in the ‘villain-hero’ spectrum (or even ‘antagonist-protagonist’ spectrum) at all. It depends far more (if not entirely) on how much they are actually built to be more than simple token placeholders for that story’s needs.
A character that lacks a basic consistent motivation grid (i.e. strong, medium and low motivating stimuli), aspirations and hopes and a plan of action (or reaction) that syncs up with said motivations, aspirations and hopes will end up being blander than a dry cracker, and it won’t matter one bit if they’re the villain or the hero of the story.
That said, whether we as the audience ascribe to that character’s motivations, aspirations/hopes and logic or not is irrelevant- we will still be interested and fascinated even.
Lastly, I suppose that (at least lately) there have been several stories where the villains had more of the above than did the heroes. But that I think is simply a creative choice and a fad rather than anything inherent in the role of the story’s designated do-gooder.
The biggest proof of that, is stories that don’t contain any villains- every character is good, and there are several that can be characterized as heroes. Cases in point are “Inside Out” movie, “The Secret Garden” novel, “Spitfire” from our very own DD comics, and so on.
So what do you think? Is being a ‘straight arrow’ a de facto boring thing to be for a character in a story?
Tantz_Aerine at 12:00AM, Feb. 4, 2017
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