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Heroic Communists
A heroic character that self-identifies as Communist


(permanent link) added: 2011-09-24 22:25:05 sponsor: JesusSaves edited by: Arivne (last reply: 2014-07-31 10:35:57)

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The inverse of Dirty Communist, the Heroic Communist is both a Communist (although sometimes in name only) and heroic within the story being told.

This character type is mandatory in works created under Communist regimes for obvious reasons (and can lead to some Values Dissonance for non-Communists) but was rare in Western media (absent World War II, when the Soviet Union was "on our side" ) until the 1980s, with the thawing of relations between the superpowers.

Note that "reminds you of Communists" doesn't count for purposes of this trope, unless the character in question comes from an explicit Fantasy Counterpart Culture version of Communism.

Compare Chummy Commies, which is when non-Communist media treats Communists as friendly but not necessarily heroic, or Not So Different.

No Real Life Examples, please.


Examples

Comic Books
  • The Oktober Guard from G.I. Joe, who were the titular organization's Soviet counterparts.
  • Superman: Red Son is made of this trope. Well, Superman is a Type III anti hero here, but still.
  • Kilowog of the Green Lantern Corps.
    • He comes from a species with communitarianism as their Hat before they were all killed. Twice. On Earth, Communism was the closest thing humans had. So he helped Russia create the Rocket Reds.
    • Speaking of which, individual Rocket Reds have generally been heroic and at least nominally Communist. As opposed to the Rocket Reds who showed up in numbers, who were almost always Elite Mooks for either misguided government orders or the latest mind-controlling villain.
  • Gates of the Legion Of Superheroes.
  • Red Star, a sometimes member of the Teen Titans, in The DCU.
  • Still in the DC Universe, the Great Ten, China's superteam, some of whom are heroic and most of whom are at least nominally Communist.
  • Marvel Comics has the Winter Guard, a Russian version of The Avengers. Some of the members, including the current versions of Red Guardian and Crimson Dynamo, are communists.
  • The comic Den Maskerade Proggaren plays this for laughs, with the titular character being a fanatical communist superhero. His powers comes directly from the workers of the soviet union: It is implied that this is the very reason why the soviet union fell.
    • Also, he's a yuppie at day (just like Batman) and masked communist at night (also just like Batman, except for the "communist" part).
  • Marvel Comics has Collective Man, a Chinese Communist superhero who is portrayed as a decent guy. There's also Radioactive Man, another Chinese Communist who started as a villain, but is shown as one of the nicer and more altruistic members of the Thunderbolts during his tenure on that team.

Film

Literature
  • Lucifer's Hammer had a cosmonaut who was part of a joint US-USSR mission and was trapped in the US following the disaster. He helps the protagonists fight off the cannibals and maintains that he is still a communist. However, with society reverting to a feudal, pre-industrial state he concedes that communism will have to wait.
  • In Tom Kratman's Countdown books, a number of Chinese and Russians who join the mercenaries proclaim themselves to be communists. They are so disgusted with how corrupt their nations have become that they prefer to work for the capitalist Americans.
  • Early works by the Strugatsky Brothers (including the early Noon Universe novels) were all about Heroic Communists, mainly because nothing else would get past the Soviet censorship at the time. Their later characters are progressively less heroic and communist.
  • The Strugatskys and the rest of their generation of Soviet sci-fi writers were primarily inspired by Ivan Yefremov's Andromeda Nebula, likewise featuring Heroic Communists.

Live-Action TV
  • Hogan's Heroes
    • In the Pilot Episode there was a Russian - and by extension Communist - POW with Hogan et al. who was heroic, since he was part of Hogan's La Résistance group. Dropped for the series (possibly the actor didn't want to continue the role).
    • There was also a female Russian spy Hogan had a love-hate relationship with.
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. Illya Kuryakin is a Soviet Naval officer, and a good guy.

Tabletop Games
  • Champions supplement Red Doom. There are plenty of Dirty Communists in the book, but also some Communists who are true heroes, including Sputnik (Yuri Kamonov), Ivan (Dmnitri Tiomkin) and Nemesis (Constantin Kowalski). Most Western superheroes would probably like them as people and only fight them reluctantly.

Theater
  • Perchik from Fiddler on the Roof. Technically, he was never referred to as a communist, but it was pretty clear that was what he was. He argued for universal freedom and equality, and tried to fight injustice when he could. Tevye took a liking to him even though Perchik's liberalism clashed with Tevye's belief in tradition.

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