Sex six things that give dark hero appeal
I had a boy friend years ago who loved C&W music. Corny, I know, but the lyrics can ring true. Take Waylon Jennings’ ladies love outlaws. Whenever I meet a dark hero on the screen or page, the chorus comes to mind:
Cause ladies love outlaws
Like babies love stray dogs
Ladies touch babies like a banker touches gold
Outlaws touch ladies somewhere deep down in their soul
We do love our bad boys! Bella Swan falls for a dead man. Beauty falls for a Beast. Sookie Stackhouse gets with the hottest vampire on screen; Milton’s daughters are enchanted by their Angel of Ruin. Speculative fiction has produced an abundance of dark heroes and as I begin writing a new series, I find myself asking, what’s so mesmerizing about bad boys? Here are my top six reasons to date them.
#1 Dark heroes are hot. This is not just a visual quality but an energetic one and it can transcend the traditional notions of beauty. The dark hero has something. You feel it right away and whether it is eye blazing good looks like Damon Salvatore or the Joker’s sexy ugly, he sets your night on fire.
#2 Dark heroes are erotic. They’ve been touched by Eros, the god of love. Harriet Eisman describes it like this: Eros brings beauty, meaning and divinity into our lives. It comes to us through a very particular epiphany, a passionate inspiration . . . We long to follow it always. But this is not the whole story. For Eros also brings us obsessions, cruelty, abandonment, and betrayal. It may come through anguish . . .
#3 Dark heroes are Mysterious. Their past is sketchy, or tragic. They carry a burden that has become their secret mission. This makes them unpredictable. Not formulaic. They can do the unexpected. They can get away with murder.
#4 Dark heroes speak their minds. They have the best dialog ever because they don’t care what others think. It means their voice can be sharp, edgy and liberated. Their conversations flow in ways the moralistically constrained characters cannot.
#5 Dark heroes are amoral. They break rules and usually feel good about it. If they perform a selfless act, it’s not because it was the ‘right thing’ to do but because they were moved by their hearts. This is incredibly beguiling.
#6 Dark heroes are powerful. That’s alluring in itself but they are also comfortable with such power. Writers and directors can put them in more danger and under more duress. The risk factor skyrockets because they are so hard to kill!
Hot, dangerous, dark and mysterious, there can be no doubt. The erotic nature of the outlaw touches us somewhere deep down in our souls. How about you? Who are your favourite dark heroes? I’d love to hear about them!
Kim Falconer is the author of the Quantum Enchantment and Quantum Encryption trilogies. The latest in the Quantum Encryption series is Road to the Soul and Kim is currently working on the page proofs of the third book in the series, Journey by Night! Visit Kim’s website and find out more about Kim and her books!