It’s a stroke of genius when writers are able to manipulate an audience to sympathise and possibly even empathise with fictional characters known as murderous fiends.
Suicide Squad 2016 seems to have managed it with the romance between psychotic characters Joker and Harley Quinn.
In my humble opinion, I don’t relish morally depraved fictional characters revamped in a way that can send the wrong message to the audience, but to my guilty pleasure, I did enjoy the innovative adaptation of these renowned comic book agents of chaos, and commend any writer who can change one’s thought process on villains.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen that these powerful scripts and character portrayals can actually influence or—perhaps more accurately stated—act as a catalyst for insane activity. Think of mass murderer James Eagan Holmes who was convicted of 24 counts of murder and 140 counts of attempted murder for the 2012 Aurora, Colarado shooting at The Dark Knight cinema screening. Even though mental illness was more the cause, he was a fan of Batman and coloured his hair in an unforgettable tone representative of the Joker.
My reaction to Suicide Squad’s depiction of these fictional killers reminded me of my goal with my young adult fantasy novels.
Today’s writers commonly create anti-heroes and villains because society calls for identify with fallen, flawed characters. Vampires are especially compelling by contemporary standards, despite the fact that they’re killers; readers/ viewers lap up the vampire theme, forgetting the modus operandi of these creatures; they’re cannibals.
With my fantasy novels like the Fall from Grace series, I intend to resurrect popularity with ‘the good guy’ and actually show why the morally virtuous are more appealing than the villainous. This is not going to be an easy task in western society that now applauds what was once shameful and humiliating, and laughs at those with traditional values…nevertheless, my goal is to turn that perception back to its origins.