Saturday, August 18, 2012

#OBSummer Author's Top Ten with Christopher Starr

My Top Ten Heroes

I’ve been talking about villains since the A to Z Challenge this past April. Villains are fun, they make the story happen. They’re colorful and memorable and get to do the evil things we all wish we could—if there were no penal system. I love villains. I really do. But, for all their dastardly deeds, most villains are only fun if they have a hero to torment so here, for the first time ever, are my Top Ten Heroes.

10. Ramona Quimby
I don’t know about you but I grew up on Beverly Cleary books. Yeah, I know, I’m all masculine and strong and there’s nothing about me that says sensitive, but I do have a softer side. Like Sears. I followed precocious Ramona through her elementary school career—from the eating of the first bite of every single apple to the death of her cat to her father’s unemployment. Life was her villain and she did what all of us endeavor to do: live. This character was alive and flawed and young and real to me—she made me learn what a timeless character could truly be.

9. Wolverine
Enough of the mushy stuff, Wolverine was the first “hero” I saw who was perfectly fine with killing. He wasn’t a happy guy at all—there was no witty repartee with this cat. It was all slice and dice and move along. Honestly, Wolvie earned my respect with his comic debut: it was against the Hulk—the HULK—and my man jumped right in there and handled it. You know he’s only like 5’ 2”, right? The Hulk? That’s the first time we see him. Claws that cut through anything. Unbreakable skeleton. Healing factor means he can’t die. He has a horrible temper. And he’s the good guy…

8. Harry Potter
I gotta give credit where credit is due, Harry an alright hero. It isn’t his exploits that make him pretty freaking fantastic, it’s his growth. He starts as a kid, doing kid things and we experience the wonder of magic and all that jazz. Then midway through the series, it gets deep, students start dying and suddenly you have a full-blown war on your hands. Harry is the epitome of the hero’s journey. He grows with his villain, with the challenges he faces, and we watch him move from boy to man to warrior. His arc is incredible.

7. Ellen Ripley
It takes a special kind of person to stand up to a perfect creature that bleeds acid and has a little baby mouth dying to eat you and survive. Its takes someone like Ripley to face down the Alien Queen, save a group of space marines, take over a prison colony, get cloned over the course of 400 years and STILL manage to screw the company that tried to kill her to begin with.

6. Wonder Woman
This Amazonian princess is the queen of comic book superheroes and the only woman strong enough to hold her own with the Man of Steel, the Bat, and the Flash. You know the deal, the bulletproof arm bands, the golden lasso of truth, the invisible plane. This woman doesn’t need an introduction; she needs her own movie! Seriously, the Green Lantern instead of Diana Prince?

5. Michael the Archangel
OK so I’m partial to this one given that he’s the hero in my own book. But let’s look at the legend: there is an angel in Heaven who thinks he is on par with God—with God!—and Michael is the one who kicks him out. Whether you follow the religion or not, Michael took out a guy who wanted to be God and thought he could do it. That’s quite a tall order.

4. Rocky Balboa
Is there a greater cinematic testament to American perseverance? Rocky is such an icon to achievement, to the pursuit of a goal, that any worthwhile undertaking is now done to his theme song. He’s everyman—he’s been up, down, beaten by life (and Mr. T.), and, in spite of insurmountable odds, refuses to lay down. Rocky is, at his core, unbreakable.

3. Obi-Wan Kenobi
It isn’t that he’s nice with the lightsaber. It isn’t that he learned the secret of immortality. It’s that he’s willing to do what he has to do. No matter what. Obi-Wan had to take out his boy—his BEST FRIEND—and did it masterfully: 3 severed limbs and left him to burn. Alive. Then hung out in the desert to watch over his kid. That’s commitment.

2. Superman
Supe is a god trying to be a man. When you strip away the cape and the bullet-proof-ness, the lasers that shoot out his eyes and the ability to fly faster than the speed of light, well, you still have a bunch of other powers. But, at base, he’s an orphan trying to fit in, trying to find his way in a world he’ll never truly be a part of. He’s a loner, in a different way than, say, Batman—he’ll outlive us all, he’ll forever be alone. And yet, he shows up every day, S on his chest, trying to do the right thing.

1. Spiderman

I love Spidey because he’s just a kid who got powers one day and tried to make the best of the situation. He loses everything important to him, he doesn’t always know what he’s doing, he makes mistakes. He has incredible one-liners. And somehow he’s still trying to find a way to balance all his responsibilities. Be who he should be to everyone in his life. He wins some; he fails a lot. But he’s who and what we’d be—what I’d be—if we were in his shoes.

There you have it folks, my Top Ten Heroes. Now back to our regularly scheduled villainy programming.

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Genre - Religious Fantasy 
Rating - PG13

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  1. I'm glad to see Ripley in this list. She is the first person I thought of when I saw the title of this post.

  2. Thanks for checking it out! Alien is my FAVORITE movie and it wouldn't have worked without her. And her face when she saw the Alien Queen was classic! Thanks again!

  3. Two thumbs, way WAY up for Ellen Ripley!! You have a great list!!

    1. Thanks Seryniti! I had to include Ripley. I think there should more love for Wonder Woman and Ramona is a personal hero for me.


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