Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#164) -- Anti-Heroes

In the battle of hero vs. anti-hero, what's your preference to write? Why?

Neither. (How's that for a non-committal response?)

But it's the truth. I'm not a big fan of the anti-hero that followed the history-making Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. (After all, what may be a natural progression for Batman doesn't mean it's the best route for any -- read: EVERY -- other hero.) I don't think that every hero needs to be dark and gritty, nor every hero's city grimy and sleazy. But neither do I prefer writing the typical silver age clear-cut good guy vs. clear-cut bad guy (white hats vs. black hats) either.

I prefer my heroes heroic (measured by their willingness to sacrifice their own happiness or comfort or safety for the greater good or someone else's good) but with feet of clay. They need to have faults. They need to have failures, both in life and in their morality. They need to struggle with pain and loss and bad decisions and impossible choices. But they still need to be heroes when the proverbial push comes to the proverbial shove.