Take a Walk on The Dark Side

TGIF! Casey Wyatt here. In case you missed it last week, all month long I’m participating in Night Owl’s summer fun web hunt, check out my latest post – Vampires in Space – for more details.

I don’t know about you, so far this summer, my favorite movie has been The Avengers. First off, my hat goes off to Joss Whedon for doing a great job anchoring the story to the previous films: Iron Man 1 & 2, Thor, and Captain America. To my knowledge, this kind of cross story has never been done before. Bravo to all the filmmakers and to Marvel as well.

I seldom see movies in the theater for a second time and I made a rare exception for The Avengers. Yup, I loved it just as much the second time around. As a writer, I can’t help admire that the bad guy (Loki) and the damaged guy (Bruce Banner/Hulk) turned out to be the most compelling characters in the film.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Thor (the yummy Chris Hemsworth), Tony (Snark) Stark (the incorrigible Robert Downey jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans) and The Black Widow (Scarlet Johanson). They are all awesome. But there is just something about a bad boy.

For example take Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner looking mighty buff). He was more fun when he was on the dark side. Lethal, deadly and focused. Also enjoyable, the simmering sexual tension between him and Natasha (which as Marvel fans know – they were lovers at one time).

Mark Ruffalo’s turn as Bruce Banner, is by far, the most human, tortured and heartfelt performance of the Hulk I’ve ever seen. The rumpled clothes, soft spoken manner and repressed anger made Hulk more believable and redeemable.

And there’s Tom Hiddleston’s electric return as Loki. There were a couple of times, when I felt like I was watching a young Hannibal Lechter. Yet, he never came across as totally evil. Just that he enjoyed stirring the pot and, thankfully, didn’t really care about eating anyone’s liver.

All these messed up, mischievous and morally ambiguous men reminded me of the characters that intrigued me most from my favorite romance novels. Right out of the gate – J.R. Ward’s Vishous and Zhadist. They are the two most screwed up vampires in the series and I love them for it. I also enjoy Charlaine Harris’ Eric. Especially when you didn’t know if he really cares or not. And more recently, Karen Marie Moning’s Jericho Barrons and V’Lane (trust me – she keeps you guessing the whole time).

There is something satisfying about watching and waiting to see which side of good or evil, or somewhere in between, the tortured hero or villain will end up. This could be why I’m totally bored by Superman. The guy is just too darned perfect, which in my book equals a big yawn!

So do tell. Who likes a “good” bad guy or a damaged hero? Come on . . . I know I’m not the only one!


28 thoughts on “Take a Walk on The Dark Side”

  1. I LOVED The Avengers. Great story, great writing, and about as much eye candy as a movie can contain and not be distracting 🙂 I agree, Loki stole the show. I love the tortured/dark hero/antihero: Heathcliff, Mr. Rochester, even Mr. Darcy. Hidden depths of passion, secrets, suffering — that’s the stuff great characters are made of. and that’s where conflict comes from.

  2. Haven’t seen the Avengers yet. Must get to that one, for sure. Although I love the bad boy persona rife with internal conflict and woundedness, my heart still belongs to Mr. Right. I love a man who stands up for the little guy, fights against the evil’s of a “morally ambiguous” villain, and kicks butt while looking uber hot…thank you, Superman. I’ll take boring over borish any day. I’ve had my share of bad boys…way too high maintenance:-)

    1. Oh PJ, please go see the movie. It’s a great story about a doing the right thing and fighting evil (there are 7 Mr. Rights and 1 Ms. Right). Not to mention, as Suze said, lovely eye candy to feast upon.

      I do agree that in real life, the only way to go is with Mr. Right. Only in fiction can a villain be somewhat admirable! Probably because they are safely ensconsed on the screen/page.

  3. I love tortured heroes. JR Ward and Sherilyn Kenyon do them up right. I really am into torturing my own heroes to. It adds an extra dimension to their character that sparks reader identification and makes them more human. We’ve all got things that torture us. Flaws that drive us crazy. If we were all perfect or the people we write about were, it would be a boring world.
    Loved the blog. You’ve made me want to see the movie!

    Write on,
    Teresa R.

    1. Teresa, the movie delivers the goods. In fact, I recommend seeing Thor and Captain America beforehand if you can. Definitely Thor because that movie shows the motivation behind Loki’s actions and his strained relationship with his brother.

      I once read that the Persians, when making their beautiful carpets, always added an imperfection so as not to insult the Gods (since only the Gods could be perfect). And so I always tell myself to remember a Persian Flaw (or two, or three!).

  4. So I don’t have to feel like a freak anymore? Is it safe here? –looks around– OK, yes. My first thought, when Loki came onto the scene, was “Ohohohoho yeah!” But as I was with one of my friends who fights for the side of the blond and muscle-bound, I did not say anything. Mind you, I like superheroes as much as the next gal. But there is something about the “dark side” that fascinates me and really adds a dimension to characters that I just want to explore deeper. LOL I think this is why I married my husband… (but don’t tell him that!) I like being the center of his sensitive self, while on the outside he can be rather… well, his profile at work says he is a “creative domineering” type. He sums it up by simply saying he’s an a-hole. 😉

    This was a fun post, Casey, thank you!

    1. Nooo, you fit in here for sure 🙂

      Have you seen Thor too? If you haven’t, please check it out. One thing about Loki is that he is the God of Mischief, so you he just enjoys stirring things up. Granted in The Avengers he is really a menace, but if they follow the comics, at some point he may switch to the good side (until he can’t resist the mischief again).

  5. Saw it – Loved it. My favorite “hero” is Iron Man because I love Robert Downey, Jr. (the real life bad boy). I too did like Loki. In lore, Loki is the God of Mischief and he sure did cause that in this movie. Tom Hiddleston did a wonderful job with the role. He was dark … he was bad … he was attractive, and still there was something about him; perhaps it was my hope that somehow there was a chance of redemption for him. I loved the movie … Bravo to the screenwriters, directors and, of course, the wonderful actors who bring our comic book heros (and villains) to life. Now … you may know from reading past posts that my favorite bad boy is Damon Salvator (Vampire Diaries) played by the hot and sexy Ian Somerhalder. He’s a bad boy with heart. How can any woman possibly resist him? I know I couldn’t.

    1. Luckily for us Loki fans, he will back in Thor 2. From what I’ve heard (and based on the bad guy casting), it sounds like Loki, Thor and Odin will be working on their issues and possibly join forces. I guess we’ll find out in May 2013. I can’t wait.

      I have not watched VD, but I know exactly who Damon is (because I get Entertainment Weekly). And I do love Robert Downey jr. I’m so relieved he managed to wrangle his personal demons because it would be a shame if we all couldn’t enjoy his great performances.

  6. I didn’t much care for the movie. All flash little story. But I adore Jeremy Renner and I want to see him in MORE movies! He was the best, the greatest, the most compelling character in The Hurt Locker.
    Every character in The Avengers was interesting, it’s just that the movie was so busy and so campy – and maybe camp is good.
    I do think Mark Ruffalo portrayed a good Hulk. Very good Hulk.

    1. Jeremy Renner is awesome. I may just go see the Bourne movie because of him. As far as The Hurt Locker, were there other actors? I swear all I remember is HIM.

    1. I hear you Jamie. I’m more interested in his intensity as an actor. He reminds me of Russell Crowe his presence gets your attention even if he’s not the prettiest man on the screen!

    2. I like him, but I don’t think of him as hot, like “beefcake” hot. Like Casey said, I think it’s more his intensity as an actor, and in Avengers, I like his character.

  7. Now wait a minute. I just discovered that Samson, the one in the bible, goody two shoes, (ha) was not only bossy and went around killing those Philistines, but he was pushy as well. He demanded his father get him this woman, from a tribe that was unacceptable to his tribe. When that fell through, he went around looking for someone else, and found trouble in his Delilah. Then there is David, that would be King David in the bible, who screwed everything up, including Bathsheba. David was my hero, he would screw up, then go back to God for forgiveness, then screw up again, etc, etc, etc. Get thee behind me God, for I screwed up once again, said David, and me too. We are all guilty of screw ups, and yes, I speak for myself.

  8. Hi Casey,
    Great post! Like you, I saw the Avengers twice, which is unusual. I love, love, loved it! And you’re right, Loki won me over in this one. I thought I was a Thor girl all the way, but found myself drawn to Loki instead. He’s a tortured soul that just begs to be redeemed. I’d love to see Hollywood make a movie where someone falls in love with him and melts his heart. I blogged about the whole Loki phenomenon myself a few weeks back at BlameItOnTheMuse. So many people chimed in! Obviously, I wasn’t the only one who came away inspired.

    1. Hi Marlo! Thanks for stopping by. I will be checking out your post for sure. Based on what I’ve read, Thor 2 will have more of our favorite bad boy. I can’t wait!!

    1. It’s funny. I didn’t catch the Loki bug until The Avengers. I noticed him in Thor and I really enjoyed him, but in Avengers he really stands out. It’s hard not like a bad guy who’s having so much fun.

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