Is it even possible to make ‘good guys’ cool anymore?
From the moment they released the first image of the new Joker (Suicide Squad 2016) in 2015, many could predict the direction producers were headed.
With his innovative, physical appearance, they intended to make the Joker cool; someone to aspire to…and judging by the YouTube comments on various Suicide Squad videos, they succeeded.
Men say the Joker is the ultimate alpha male and want to be him.
Women now want to be with him.
I have already confessed that the Joker Harley ‘vat scene’ (which is actually a perverted form of romance) possessed a dark, magnetic allure to it. It was really well-written; the dialogue, choreography, and music brought appeal, pleasing contemporary audiences universally. And yes, I liked it very much as a long standing fan of Batman who had never seen this angle to the characters.
However, I also saw the incredible danger of the material and the fantasies it will create, which is a very warped version of what a romantic relationship should be; Joker proceeded to rescue Harley from captivity twice in the film, heightening the twisted love they share and making the Joker–a psychopathic, narcissistic, megalomaniac, serial killer–some form of hero.
It solidified the challenging ambitions that I have with my fiction characters Lord Sleth, Axel Brown, and Malaide Field of Fall from Grace – a goal to make ‘good guys’ look cool again.
Dead are the days when the hero was the hero simply because it’s ‘the right thing to do.’
Now, it has to be vengeance or some manner of darkness that makes the heroic character enigmatic and increasingly attractive to the audience.
One of my favourite quotes is from a fictional hero, who again has an incredibly dark past, but his motivation is on the right track:
“I want to help people, because they shouldn’t suffer as they do…” – Angel, TV series
So I wonder…is it possible for fiction heroes to be admired, respected, and appreciated for just being the ‘good guy,’ or must they be scarred?
I think as long as I avoid going over the top with the ‘goody goody’ angle like the video below where Batman orders an orange juice (Batman special), things will work out…