Last time, I went on another rant regarding the lack of females taking the main role of hero. In that line of thinking, I wonder what actually makes a good main character. I do have my own thoughts on the matter…
Now, when I say a good hero, I don’t mean “good” in the sense that he has to be noble and kind and all that. No, what I mean is that the main character is memorable and iconic. Sure, being noble and kind may instantly define that person as a heroic character. But having those traits doesn’t mean that he (or she) will be memorable and iconic.
I guess the most important thing is not necessarily the traits of the character. Rather, a memorable character has to have something that’s clearly his. I guess I have to think about Bruce Lee in a sense. Whenever you see Bruce Lee fight, you know it’s Bruce Lee. His fighting style was extremely different from what we saw before. His stiff movements and mannerism while he moves are unique to only him. I mean, did anyone think that a man belting out high-pitched screams during a fight was a manly sound? Well, Bruce Lee thought so and it’s now iconic and something we owe him.
Personality is also important. Almost all popular characters in fiction have personality traits we remember. I think one of the reasons why Wolverine became the most popular X-Men character was because of how he acts. He has an attitude that’s different from the other heroes that came before him. He calls people “bub” and, while a team player, rather go solo.
Nathan Drake of the Uncharted series is also memorable because of his flamboyant personality. Even when he was jailed in a foreign prison for several months, he still has the guts to act like a jerk when he realizes who’s helping him get out.
Finally, that character has to tap into something we want to be. Something we’re afraid to do. Batman is a brooding person, devoid of any real personality. But he is the epitome of what a person can be if he puts his mind to it. Because of hard work, training and dedication, Batman is known at the superhero that can beat other superheroes…and he’s just an ordinary person!
There are probably more reasons why a character becomes memorable but these are the things that are probably the most important. But if there’s a place that has memorable characters, you don’t have to look further than wrestling… which I’ll go into next time!
Do you have other opinions as to why your favorite character in comics, TV, movies, etc. is your favorite? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section!