Saturday, December 27, 2008

Fantasy Heroism, 2008: Heroes Big, Small, Cartoony, Complicated

(Published Dec. 27, PDI-Super)

By Oliver M. Pulumbarit

It was a good year for escapism, as a bunch of fantastic adventures paved the way for a variety of characters that amused, even inspired.

Heroism had different faces in the big and small screens. In 2007, sentient robots, pirates and flawed warrior-kings, among others, made their presence felt.

From hesitant saviors to devoted defenders, the fantasy figures of ’08 were also altruistic though imperfect. Several costumed crimefighters, unexpected champions and chosen mortals (and immortals) found the courage to make a difference in their respective worlds:

Iron Man
Wealthy weapons designer Tony Stark’s abduction and lengthy incarceration forces him to invent a powerful suit of armor. He still has his vices, but he now devotes his new arsenal and resources to protecting innocents.

Dana Scully
Ex-FBI Agent Scully’s practically seen everything, but some answers still remain elusive now that she’s a full-time doctor. That doesn’t stop her from finding them, and helping solve a bizarre new case along the way.

Playful elephant Horton, despite being discouraged and branded as a troublemaker by others, saves the microscopic land of an unseen civilization.

Speed Racer
Young racing champ Speed defies a corrupt corporation and helps expose the rottenness with a little help from his loyal friends and family.

Harvey Dent
He was a fearless D.A. before the Joker destroyed his life. Gotham City’s “White Knight” was a man that the Batman sincerely respected for his tenacity and quick thinking.

Sookie Stackhouse
The telepathic waitress is a simple young woman who occasionally does the gutsy thing. She saved a helpless vampire from human muggers, and sometimes helps out strangers with her unusual gift.

Sam Winchester
The dedicated monster-hunter’s brother, Dean, is scheduled to go to hell because of a mystical deal. Sam becomes more proactive, and looks for ways to prevent that fate.

He initially had Buzz Lightyear-esque delusions of grandeur, but the dog who thought he had powers really cares for his young owner. He proves his loyalty and heroism even after his made-up world fell apart.

Hiro Nakamura
His adventures have gotten really convoluted lately, but the powerful teleporter remains an incorruptible and optimistic character.

The legendary princess fearlessly fights and defeats jungle thugs, and even gives a woman’s abusive husband a beating. She also voices out her non-conformist views.

Robert Neville
The last man on Earth in “I Am Legend” hides from a legion of nocturnal creatures. But when he discovers other human survivors, he bravely risks his life to save them, and possibly, countless others.

Dan Vasser
Often unprepared for time-travels to the past, the Journeyman nevertheless adapts and does his best to figure out things that need fixing, and people that need saving.

The Pevensies
Siblings Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy return to Narnia, make tough decisions, and fight like hardened warriors even before the arrival of their favorite deus ex machina, Aslan.

Chuck Bartowski
“Adorkable” Chuck is often rescued by his agent handlers, but the guy with government secrets downloaded into his brain sometimes saves the day, as well.

Edward Cullen
Weak screen mythology aside, the vampire pretty boy with Robert Smith makeup has some distinct heroic traits. Apart from fighting his beastly tendencies, the telepathic, immortal teen protects oft-endangered human Bella.

Ahsoka Tano
Just like her Jedi mentor Anakin Skywalker, the young Padawan can be whiny and reckless. But despite the need to prove herself, she’s quite a benevolent person and a capable peacekeeper.

The Dark Knight decides not to pursue the woman he genuinely loves to focus on his unending crimefighting mission.

Jack Harkness
The intrepid gay adventurer and immortal leader of the Torchwood team, apart from his willingness to jump into the fray, is protective of time travel trauma victims.

He was just a martial arts fan at first, but after some valuable training, the plucky panda proves that he can be an effective fighter and protector.

The loose cannon sometimes catches criminals, but often endangers civilians in the process. But he reforms and owns up to bad things he’s done. After discovering his secret origin, the immortal becomes a better, more active guardian.

Sarah Connor
Mother to a destined hero in a war against human-hunting machines, she’s a decisive leader and a seasoned combatant.


Reno said...

Haven't seen True Blood yet, so I'm surprised to see Anna Paquin sporting blonde hair. She looks better with it, IMO.

Belated Happy New Year, Oliver!

OLIVER said...

Hi Reno! Happy New Year din. :)

Watch True Blood... it's a good show. And Anna Paquin looks great!