During my Friday traditional getting stuck in the weekend traffic jam I had some thoughts about heroes. Especially comic book heroes.
Today the most common hero need to be a good guy with some dark or bad habbits. A good example is Batman. From day one he was a guy with the intention to frighten his foes and make the encounter with him a terrifying event, so they would never ever follow the path of crime again. Many other heroes followed this example and especially during the dark age of comic history the Anti-hero mastered this appearance (maybe with a bit more violence).
Nolan's Batman, serious and in a very "realistic" setting, laid a new path for the modern thinking of what a hero should be and how he would look like. The Marvel movies are the perfect opposite of this movement and they are much more affiliated to comic and the young-readers. Which way you prefer is a matter of taste and isn't the topic but we recognize that all those media-dominating heroes are subordinated to the premise of a mix of good and bad habits of a character. A character like Wolverine wouldn't work without his bad-ass stamping nor a Tony Stark without his arrogant and playboy attitudes.
So all those comic-book heroes has been tuned a bit darker since their birth. Even the Man Of Steel was updated with a more alienating appearance and thinking. But what am I looking for?
I'm looking for the ultimate hero. Not a martyr, who even gives his life for the good cause, but a real righteously character who is cocksure of his destiny to fulfil an entire life for the greater good. The archetype of the white knight without the ridiculousness of a "Prince Charming".
This character would be the hardest to write, because the connection between the reader and the character has to work on a very high level of idealistic understanding. His, or of course her, inner impulse to do good equals a strong religious belief and those kind of creeds are damn hard to transport.
In comic-books I never experienced such a kind of character nor in fictional books or films. Of course never in real history.
In my opinion this "real" hero will never exists because nobody can write an acceptable and believable character and story which won't force the writer to create a compromise between the high standards for the ultimate hero and the need to make the character appealing to the reader. It's so much easier for us to embrace our own inadequateness in a character then be inspired by higher concept ideology transported by a pure vessel. Sad but true.