I love, love, love reading books or watching movies that have heroes with heart. What do I mean by that? Hang on and I'll explain. Saturday night I saw the movie Captain America. In case you're like me and haven't read a lot of comic books, let me share with you what I found out about this wonderful hero.
Captain America first appeared in comic books way back in 1941. Joe Simon came up with the idea for this character. At first he was going to name him Super American, but Simon wasn't happy with the name (nice to know other authors struggle with names). There weren't a lot of captains in comics, so he decided on Captain America.
The first comic featuring Captain America hit the shelves before Pearl Harbor. It showed Captain America punching Adolf Hitler. Over a million copies sold. The public overwhelmingly loved this new hero. I think I know why.
Steve Rogers (Captain America) is a hero with heart. As the movie opens, Rogers is trying to enlist in the army. The doctor gives him a 4F rating because of asthma and a load of other ailments. But that doesn't stop Rogers from yearning to serve. He is determined to do what he feels is right. So, of course, the audience pulls for him. While trying to enlist again, Rogers finds a friend in Dr. Josef Reinstein, who sees the goodness in Rogers. Reinstein believes that Rogers would make a great candidate for his new serum that will turn an ordinary soldier into a super-soldier. The serum turns Rogers into a muscular man who makes women swoon, but--and this is very important--it is Rogers' strong belief in doing what's right for the right reason and against incredible odds that makes him a hero with heart. We already liked him before he went through the transformation. We liked him because he gives us hope. We liked him because we saw in him what we want to become--brave and couragous.
Joe Simon has shown how to write a hero with heart. First give him/her flaws, then strengthen them by showing how they overcome those flaws by making wise choices for the right reasons.
Easy, right? :/
How do you write heroes with heart?
I thought you might be interested in learning more about this movie so here's the trailer.