I have said that I don’t warm up to new characters easily, and it’s true. If anything, I find myself hostile to new characters. Here’s a new person, taking up panels that could easily be devoted to characters that I already like.
Lately I’ve been examining what exactly causes a new character I hate to become someone I like. It helps when they’re shown to be someone I can understand, but I understand plenty of people I don’t like.
What it comes down to are ‘click’ moments, moment when the character is so fantastic that I’m lifted out of my knee-jerk misanthropy and become a fan. I haven’t found any particular common thread to these moments, but I’d like to share some with you.
Sasha Bordeaux: She becomes Batman’s sidekick for a little while. While sidekicking she meets up with Huntress during a crisis. Huntress saves her, and snarkily says, “You can thank me later.” Sasha replies, “Why wait? Thanks!” That’s when I began to like her, to cheer her on, and to follow her. She’s a decent person. Not a weak person. Not a soft person. A strong person with a level enough head not to answer rudeness with rudeness. She exemplified the strategy of turning the other cheek. In Gotham. That takes some doing.
Cheshire: In the Villains United miniseries, Mockingbird threatens to kill her child in order to keep her on the team. Her strategy? Immediately betray the team. Oh, and sleep with a man to get pregnant so she can ‘replace’ her child. When the other members rightly point out that his is sociopathic on a level never seen before, she says something like, ‘We were caught and only I managed to cut myself free. Because I dared.’ Damn. Just damn. It’s horrible and it’s fantastic.
Booster Gold: When he tried to save Ted Kord despite knowing the world would suck because of it. That’s just self-explanatory. What? I’m not made of stone!
Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown: These two entirely won me over when they spar until both of them vomit and then decide to do it again the next day. Their friendship is literally my lead-in to both characters. It features everything I like, people being kind to each other, being loyal, helping each other out, and a broken jaw every now and then. Really, it’s a chick flick waiting to happen.
Share your own ‘click’ moments, if you have them, below.