I’m very pleased to welcome Lou Morgan to the blog today. Her debut novel, Blood and Feathers, is due for release 2nd August. I’ve had my eye on this book for what seems like ages, so I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. If you read this blog on a regular basis, then you know I have a thing for angels right now, so this book seems like the perfect read. Please give a warm welcome to Lou.
I love a good hero. Mind you, I love a bad one too – so, in no particular order here’s my top 10…
1. Maximus – Gladiator (Russell Crowe)
“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the the armies of the North, General to the Felix Legions; loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife… and I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”
You can’t not love Maximus. He ticks all the boxes: intelligent, brave and fiercely loyal, he’s a man out to avenge his family, right a wrong and – basically – save the entire Roman Empire. And nothing is going to stop him. Sold into slavery as a gladiator, he manages to not only adapt to his desperate situation, but to turn it to his advantage… and to show off some pretty nifty moves with a sword while he’s doing it.
2. Victoria – RED (Helen Mirren)
Victoria is a joy to watch. She’s retired, and she’s taken to baking and flower-arranging. Her hair is immaculate, and the lady can work a dress. But she still takes the odd hit contract on the side, just to keep her hand in. And, boy, can she handle a machine gun…
3. Alice – Resident Evil (Milla Jovovich)
Killing zombies. Running down buildings. Flying planes. Taking down monsters and evil conglomerates. Avenging humanity. Running and kicking and climbing and jumping and hitting and shooting and- sometimes – all of those at the same time. Is there anything she can’t do?
She’s been superhuman. She’s been human. She’s been killed, she’s been experimented on, she’s been cloned. And still she keeps on going. If I were Umbrella, I’d be a little bit afraid. Wouldn’t you?
4. Marcus Wright – Terminator Salvation (Sam Worthington)
I like Marcus, I really do – even though the first time we meet him, he’s about to be executed and is generally Not A Very Nice Man. He’s our way into the brave new world of the future, and he doesn’t exactly have the easiest ride. But maybe there’s more to Marcus than meets the eye, as he discovers…
5. Jason Bourne – The Bourne Identity (Matt Damon)
The joy of Jason Bourne is that even he doesn’t know who he is. Sure, his driving is a little “erratic” and he can kill a man with a biro, or win a fight using only a rolled-up magazine, and he has a lock-box full of passports and money… but who doesn’t, right? Right. We get to watch as he tries to piece together his story, single-handedly taking out every assassin and obstacle sent to slow him down…
6. Steve Rogers / Captain America – Captain America: the First Avenger (Chris Evans)
When you first meet Steve Rogers, you can’t help but fall in love with him. He’s a genuinely good guy: he’s determined and brave and kind… and all-round nice. And that doesn’t change when he’s given the Vita-ray treatment, becoming Captain America. Honest and courageous (and with old-fashioned manners to boot), he’s possibly the ultimate hero.
7. William James – The Hurt Locker (Jeremy Renner)
It’s fair to say that James falls very firmly into the “anti-hero” category. An adrenalin junkie, he’s flippant, impulsive, arrogant and – more than once – completely out of control. He’s a fascinating character; fearless while in his element of the theatre of war…. but utterly defeated by the cereal aisle.
8. Driver – Drive (Ryan Gosling)
If Michael Mann ever made a film about a superhero in LA, Driver (and we never know his name: the closest we ever come is hearing him referred to as “the kid”) would be its focus. He’s a hero with a secret double-life, clearly identifiable by his clothing. Batman has the Batmobile. Driver has a late-model Mustang (or, by day, a Chevy Malibu in place of Bruce Wayne’s Lamborghini). Batman has his costume and his bats; Driver has his scorpion jacket. Batman prowls the mean streets of Gotham and Driver rolls down the highways of LA. He’s a hero, alright.
9. Dean Winchester – Supernatural (Jensen Ackles)
Dean started out as the goofier Winchester. The one who worshipped his father, who dearly loved but clearly didn’t understand his younger brother.
He’s a man to whom family is everything; a man who will defy angels and devils and Death himself to do the right thing… who will sacrifice quite literally everything he has for his brother, Dean is an unstoppable force of nature with a hell of a car and a weakness for bacon cheeseburgers.
10. Roland Deschain – The Dark Tower series (written by Stephen King)
Roland, son of Stephen. Last of the Gunslingers. I came to The Dark Tower series late (and, in fact, I’m still reading my way through it. Who knows, but by the time I finish, I may hate Roland…) and, like all late converts, my enthusiasm for it knows no bounds. Roland, as its centrepiece, is one part spaghetti Western to one part Arthurian legend, with a handful of dystopia thrown in for good measure. Surly, ruthless and with motives are often dark enough to drive him to desperate actions, he’s a reminder of what his world once was, before it “moved on”.
Honourable mentions: Captain Jack Sparrow; Aragorn; Wolverine; Buffy Summers.
Born in Wales, Lou Morgan grew up in a house with an attic full of spiders and now lives on the south coast of England with her husband, son and the obligatory cat. She studied at medieval literature at UCL, is very mouthy about archery and likes cathedrals, comics and Christopher Nolan films. (Photo: Ⓒ Rhian Bowley)
Lou is kindly giving away one copy of Blood & Feathers to one lucky UK commenter. For entry into the giveaway, please answer the following question: Who’s your favourite Hero or Anti-Hero? Please leave your answer in the comments section of the blog post, then fill out the form below. This giveaway ends 1st Aug 2012
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED