Falling for the Bad Guys: The Evolution of Hero Worship

Welcome to Will You Rise or Will You Fall? in honor of heroes, villains, and even sidekicks!
What side are you on?

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I didn't grow up loving superheroes or the worlds they inhabited. I never read comic books (I'll admit it: I'm one of those people who, after seeing a comic book adapted to a movie, will ask her more knowledgable friends a lot of questions after the fact! "Is that really how he wound up in a wheelchair?" "Does he really break his back in the comics?" "Why are are all the reviews calling her tragic?") or watched the animated series for the various Marvel/DC series. I've seen most of the adapted films, however. At the moment, I would say I'm more partial to the Marvel movies than I am the DC ones, if we're talking franchises. I think they're smoother, tighter, and easier to understand without needing to know all the background.

What's funny is, if you'd asked me a few years ago, I'd always tell you the heroes were my favorites. Every time. Because who doesn't love a hero, right? They're the good guys. The winners! And yet....I really adore a good villain origin story. Villains often have much meatier backstories because they've been so much and have, essentially, been broken. I love exploring the psychology for what makes a villain tick. If I see a book from a villain's POV, I automatically want it because I know it will be that much darker and grittier. Yet I still love a good hero story as well!

What I love most about the upcoming release of RENEGADES by Marissa Meyer is that it explores both sides of the equation and makes readers understand both points of view. Heroes aren't all good, and villains aren't all evil. Well, maybe they are. But there is so much MORE going on than the black-and-white we all immediately take for granted, and it makes it harder to say what side you're on.

After all, every villain thinks they're doing the right thing, right? It's the winners who decide the way we'll perceive the outcome of a battle!

Who are some of your favorite heroes/villains/sidekicks/etc? What makes you run out and grab a book or a watch a movie in this genre?