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Quotes: Invincible Hero

Fiction

"There is no greater bore than perfection."
General Zaroff, The Most Dangerous Game

On works

"Let the guy be a little fallible. Those are the ones I am interested in watching when I go to the movies. I want to see the flaws, the dirt under the fingernails. If he is invulnerable, how can you identify with this guy? As absurd as it may seem, you have to believe in it, or else the audience won't and they won't get their money's worth."

"No one wants to look up to you anymore, Superman. They don't want to strain their necks."

"So you can kill a man and take a machete like a champ. A concrete block can do that! But you can't kick one out of a moving truck and call that a character arc."

"Anyone who is watching Doctor Who in any spirit based on the idea that the Doctor might not save the day is simply being televisually illiterate."

"Wolverine has become so ridiculously overexposed in the Marvel Universe that his supposed 'greatest foe' can be unceremoniously dead for a year following a disastrously stupid Jeph Loeb storyline, and no one has really noticed. Much like Crystal Pepsi and car phones, Sabretooth is something a post-'90s world no longer needs.

That said, Sabretooth manages to die in a fantastically idiotic fashion for a character that was once so important. You see, Wolverine has a magic katana made out of his own soul that nullifies mutant healing factor. Wait—I'm not sure you caught that. Wolverine has a
fucking magic katana made out of his own soul that nullifies mutant healing factor. Ahem."

"One of the reasons that the original story works so well is because Wolverine wasn’t the absolute unstoppable badass that he would become during the Dark Phoenix Saga. Since his only real power at the time were his enhanced senses (at the time the story originally ran, I don’t think they’d even clarified whether his claws were part of his body or just special gloves that he wore), it was easy to believe that not being able to trust them would be a crushing blow for him.

Here, on the other hand, we have a Wolverine who
starts out as a super badass... Wolverine have to be afraid of? He can heal from any injury, so you can’t harm him physically — even pain is just a passing sensation with no real consequences. You can harm him emotionally, but since he has trouble with his memory, is there even any indication that emotional pain would even be lasting? I mean, I always thought it would be a cool explanation for his memory loss by establishing that he had a sort of emotional healing factor to go along with the physical one, where he just overwrote painful aspects of his past and friends he’d outlived so that he wouldn’t have to suffer from that knowledge. Whether or not that was the actual explanation (it’s not), that’s kind of how it ended up working in practice. So when you have a character who can never truly be hurt, what does he have to fear? Nothing. Wolverine has never experienced fear."
—The X-Men Episode Guide, "Proteus, Part 2"

"It is a mistake to treat Batman as if he is a character. Batman, along with Superman, is the apotheosis of the Modernist 'machine made out of words' image of writing. Batman is a set of narrative functions — a set of capabilities. He is defined not as Bruce Wayne but as a particular mode of narrative. Ontologically speaking, Batman always wins.

Grant Morrison gets this. That is why his Batman stories strain all limits of credulity in favor of sheer awesomeness. Batman vs. the Devil. Batman reincarnating through history as Cave Man Batman, Witch Hunter Batman, and Pirate Batman. Batman vs. gods. Batman is axiomatically defined as that which wins. And so telling a good Batman story amounts to making that victory something interesting — not something unlikely."

"Why should I care about this guy? He feels no pain and nothing can kill him, so therefore he's essentially a story device for action sequences."

"We’ve officially gone from a regular bullet to the head knocking adamantium-skulled Wolverine out to dozens of bullets not even bothering regular-skeleton Wolverine."
Matt Wilson on X-Men Origins: Wolverine

"The closest a fist has ever come to Steven Seagal's face in a movie is when the script calls for his character to eat a hot dog. In fact, there's a Hollywood legend that when Steven Seagal eats a hot dog, they have to slow the film down just so you can see it."

"We had a whole decade of movies in the Die Hard genre that all featured a lone, scared, outmanned commoner taking on a well-armed opponent through sheer heart and determination. Those underdog stories have been replaced at the top of the box office by tales of unstoppable forces of nature beating the piss out of laughably outmatched opponents (even the Die Hard series is like this now, as of Part 4). Sure, you still get stories like The Hunger Games, but they're handily outnumbered by both superhero franchises and other films that follow the same 'invincible badasses who answer to no one' template (RDJ's Sherlock Holmes franchise, James Bond, The Fast and the Furious movies, anything made by Michael Bay)."

"These fight scenes are so one-sided they're lame to watch. Not one person has laid a blow on Forrest in the whole movie. Not one."

"The most exciting thing to happen in the second one, the most implausible thing, was that he lights a trail of gasoline coming out of a jet that blows up. Now, he throws jets at people."
Half in the Bag on the character of John McClane

"And some of them end up dying because I write military fiction and in military fiction, good people die as well as bad people. Military fiction in which only bad people — the ones the readers want to die — die and the heroes don't suffer agonizing personal losses isn't military fiction: it's military pornography."

"Despite weighing about 110 pounds, Scott effortlessly defeats every ex he goes up against, and he can even take on 12 guys at once without breaking a sweat. And I ask you, is there anything more boring than a fight scene where you know the hero can't possibly get hurt?"

"I never appreciated 'positive heroes' in literature. They are almost always cliches, copies of copies, until the model is exhausted. I prefer perplexity, doubt, uncertainty, not just because it provides a more 'productive' literary raw material, but because that is the way we humans really are."
Jose Saramago

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