This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I don't have to watch you Miss Frost. I can smell you."
11945 members | you are not logged in | 31 October 2014




Tweet







August 12 2010

SFX Magazine poll - Who is your favourite Vampire of all time? And while you're at it, vote for your favourite anti-hero too. There's Whedonverse choices galore.

These polls are pretty awesome
Dr Horrible is an anti-hero?
I beg to disagree.

These polls are impossible! It's like trying to cast your fantasy fiction team. ARRGH! (Face? Meet desk. You two are going to become very good friends.)
Gonna have to go with Spike. Complexity is hot.
Sorry - the original spiky haired dude with fangs gets the nod.


PS: Float your cursor over 'nod'.
BreathesStory: What is "your fantasy fiction team"?
Yep, awesome and impossible. The hero poll is a nightmare! At least with several categories, you can spread the love around a little. The anti-hero poll has some very odd selections though. Probably needed a separate comedy category.

My votes were Han Solo, Buffy, Batman, Death, Bender, Spock, Giles, Rorschach, Darth Vader and Mitchell.
Sweet mother of all that's holy, is that ... it can't be ... ? Surely not an anti-hero poll that (for the most part) actually knows what an anti-hero is ? Wonders never cease ;).

That one was dead easy until about half-way down. Avon and Gully Foyle ? And then Rorschach and Slippery Jim his own self ? And then V ? How choose ? Went with Gully in the end cos if I didn't he might kill me filthy and I wouldn't want that (being named after one of my favourite book shops doesn't hurt either).

Vampire was Darla because the other Whedonverse entrants will be getting plenty of votes from their respective contingents and Jessica's too new a character to really judge properly yet.
Just looked at the anti-hero category again and I see that it's actually "Anti-Heroes, Slackers & Accidental Good Guys". That makes sense of some of the inclusions (like Rincewind and Lister), but it's still an odd mixture.
Oh my. Lots to love here. Went with:
Hero: The Doctor (love Wesley & Mal more, but if I were in trouble, I'd definitely call The Doctor)
Heroine: Buffy
Robot: Data (should've been Cameron, but I spent so much more time with Data...)
Vampire: Spike
Anti-hero: Rorschach
Superhero: Batman
Sage: Giles
Alien: Spock
Villain: Gaius Baltar (smarmy for the evil win!)
Monster link isn't working for me.
Yeah, I hadda go with Rorschach, too - for anti-hero over Dr. Horrible - although it really hurt to do it.

I don't usually care about these polls, but the anti-hero category sucked me in...

... and then I stayed for a few others.

Vamp: I havered between Spike and Dru, and went with Dru. She just tickled me so much.

Monster: I went with the Cybermen for a sorta twisted reason - I hate them so much, but mostly 'cause of the awfulness of Torchwood episode 4. (And Aslan was a monster? Really? Oh, I don't know about that... and Lorne was a stretch, too. I don't think monster means what you think it means...)

Superhero: Gaiman's Death

Alien: Spock. Hands down. I'll always love you, baby.

Sage: Giles. This one was tough, and I almost hit Dumbley-dore, but... he annoyed me more than Giles did, though I love them both: so Giles won out.

Villain: Baron Harkonen (Dune). Unredeemed and unredeemable. I love Baltar, but... he's closer to, though not exactly, anti-hero for me. Gaius gets a bum rap from folks, but I've always thought that seeing him as nothing but an out-and-out villain kindof missed the point. I almost picked Voldemort. Note: I think Her Imperial Majesty, Jadis, Queen of Narnia, Chatelaine of Cair Paravel, Empress of the Lone Islands should have been on that poll.

Hero: Our Captain Mal (tho, yeah, jcs - for a big apocalypse-y problem, I'd definitely want Dr. Who on my side.)

Heroine: Our Buffster
OOh... anti-heroes was tough. I was tempted to vote for Lister, Jayne, or Rorschach... but Jim DiGriz won me over 20+ years ago.
Dilemma: Wesley Wyndam-Pryce or Captain Malcolm Reynolds to save the day...?

Well, Wesley's great and all, but he usually has really, really bad luck. Also, when the pressure's on, he starts thinking about the big picture and begins to see people as expendable assets. While I can appreciate that, I'd rather rely on Mal and his 'leave no man behind' attitude. Oh, wait - Mal would probably just shoot me and save himself the trouble... *sigh*

You know what, I'll just vote for the Doctor. Sure, he would probably be more concerned with saving the entire universe than just little ol' me, but I'm sure he would try his darndest.
One flattened forehead later... So according to these polls (which I answered while wearing blinkers in an attempt to keep out the other pesky polls) my "fantasy fiction team" would be:

Vampire......Selene (Because she was Just. So. Cool.)
Hero.........Mal (Because he keeps getting back up, even when emotionally battered)
Heroine......Emma Peel (Absolute torture, that one)
Superhero/comic book character....Death (Because Storm wasn't available, dammit.)
Anti-hero....Tank Girl (She just does it for me.)
Villain......Scorpius (Because though Lucas brainwashed me early, Scorpius truly creeped me out)
Monster etc..Death (I can't believe they made me choose between Death and the Aliens!)
Alien........Chiana (Because Alien Resurrection Ripley wasn't available. Forget the rest of the movie. Sigourney Weaver was amazingly other.)
Robot etc....HAL (Because the know-it-all AI prickles my spine.)
Sage etc.....Alfred Pennyworth (Because he's always on your side, compassionate, tells it like it is (politely), and doesn't keep information from you for your own good.)

1. These polls definitely needed a sidekick category, if you ask me. (I want my Zoe!)

2. I surprised myself by the lack of Whedon verse characters. I think it's because their true power for me, is the chemistry of how they rub up against each other.

3. Now if I was really going to cast a fiction team, I would try and balance out the personalities and capabilities a little better. Also, that's an awful lot of alphas. (Joss has my sympathies with the Avengers gig.) And I really wouldn't need two incarnations of Death, after all. One is plenty. ~_^

4. You know, there probably ought to be a fantasy fiction league with positions to be cast and missions played out. I can't quite envision how the point system would work though...

5. Just so you know, I'm trying mightily to keep the cork wedged in the plot bunny bottle... ...I don't think it's working.

6. If you can't access the monster/creatures/supernatural beings poll via the link, I got to it from a site search using the words "monster" and "poll."
My list was Indy, River, Dream (sorely disappointed that my favorite X-Man and favorite Sandman character were both missing, though), Aslan (and I'm still angry over this one too; nobody should put me in a position to choose between Gollum, Lorne, and JESUS), Marvin, Dr. Zoidberg, Giles (took me that long to choose a Buffyverse character!), Rorschach, Vader, and Angel.

All over the map, that. I have pleased myself with my own geekery. Most fun I've had today!
Personally I really want to be there when BreathesStory tells Zoe she's a sidekick ;).

That makes sense of some of the inclusions (like Rincewind and Lister), but it's still an odd mixture.

Rincewind's the hero of (most of) the stories he appears in and yet he's a coward, he's selfish, he's incompetent in more or less every way (except not dying which, granted, is a very handy skill to have ;) and he's not big or strong or particularly kind or noble. That's pretty close to the definition of an anti-hero in my book.

For me, of the characters I know on there, the least fitting are Gene Hunt (he's just a hero IMO albeit, these days, not a very PC one - so to speak ;), Snape and Zachary Smith (who's pretty much just a villain, albeit a fairly ineffectual one - from my distant memories of the original 'Lost in Space' that is). Lister fits anti-hero (or hero or certainly slacker/accidental good guy) as does Rimmer, Doctor Horrible's an anti-hero, as is Jayne (albeit with a heart of gold and great taste in hats ;). Vila could fit anti-hero I suppose but he arguably shouldn't be on there (it's only just occurred to me but isn't he the only male character from "Blake's 7" that we know by his first name ? Kerr Avon, Roj Blake, Del Tarrant and Olag - yes I did have to google that - Gan. And yet all the women were known by first names - Dayna, Jenna, Cally, Soo-Lin. Coincidence or profound cosmic conspiracy ?).


[ edited by Deanna_Lynne on 2010-08-12 20:13 ]
Sidekick/number one/right hand...person?

I'd better start working out more. And maybe take up tumbling and target practice, while I work on getting either one of those invisibility cloaks or a ticket to the next solar system.

Well, there is all the sir-ing and defer-ing, not to mention the following... So yeah, maybe it really is more of a command chain relationship between an officer and their chief NCO, which strictly speaking, isn't exactly a hero/sidekick relationship. I figure sidekick's probably the closest category in terms of voting though, so it can match the hyper accuracy of the other category titles. ~_^

*holds up hands* No offense intended, Zoe!

ETA: sarcasm

[ edited by BreathesStory on 2010-08-12 20:44 ]
...while I work on getting either one of those invisibility cloaks or a ticket to the next solar system.

This is Zoe we're talking about. Get both ;).

True enough, you could probably have a category "Best Second in Command" or some such (Zoe, Riker ... ?) but "Sidekick" seems more in keeping. It's just like that short Star Trek skirt from last week in that I can imagine her expression.

(No. 1, XO or maybe more bosun ? Yeah, Zoe's like Harper to Mal's Sharpe I reckon - started as his sergeant, became his friend, willingly stayed his subordinate. Though technically, Mal was a sergeant too right ? So originally she must just've deferred to him because he was the one who ended up leading when their commissioned officers either died or had breakdowns at Serenity Valley. Interesting to know whether he stepped up because of seniority or just because he was most suited/willing)
Having looked up the definition of "anti-hero", I now understand what you're saying, Saje. But I much prefer the commonly understood meaning to the dictionary definition. It's too wide - every central character that lacks the traditional heroic attributes is an anti-hero. I'd rather call characters like Rincewind and Rimmer unheroic and reserve anti-hero for Mad Max, Snake Plissken, etc.
It looked like Mal ended up as the equivalent of a platoon Sargent and Zoe a squad leader--which would also make her a Sargent. (At least if it is like the US Army.) However... she feels more like a Corporal to me for some reason. Which would maybe make him originally a squad leader and her one of his team leaders--before any battlefield promotions anyways. It did look pretty hairy out there. I agree, I figure they were really the only ones left by that time to BE in charge.

So I'm going to put down the "sir" thing as an Alliance/Browncoat verse specific anomaly. It did express brilliantly in one word, a spectrum of complexity. Although... on third thinking, if their Officer died, Mal would become the de facto officer... So the "sir" thing makes complete sense! Yea! Sense making! *whew*

And yeah, I was definitely thinking of Sharpe and Harper as being the closest to the Mal/Zoe relationship.
Hi there, don't forget that Summer Glau is nominated in the Heroines category (River Tam) and also in the Robots category (Cameron from TSCC).

But the main reason i wrote a comment is to ask you to support Summer Glau in another poll.
On the EW.com Sexy Beast bracket game, Summer Glau managed to reach the semifinale and she will face Edward from Twilight.
She doesn't stand a chance without the Whedonverse showing some support.
The matchup should come out in 7 hours at this link :

http://popwatch.ew.com/
I have a soft spot for Vampire Willow, who was somehow overlooked in this list of evil blood suckers.
Yeah, 'best subordinate' totally should've been its own category.
However... she feels more like a Corporal to me for some reason. Which would maybe make him originally a squad leader and her one of his team leaders--before any battlefield promotions anyways.

Yeah, you might be right. May have to watch the pilot again but she might even be referred to as Corp or Corporal at one point (or maybe it's in 'The Message', with Tracey). So Mal was the sergeant and Zoe his corporal.

But I much prefer the commonly understood meaning to the dictionary definition. It's too wide - every central character that lacks the traditional heroic attributes is an anti-hero.

See, until it popped up on here (not this time, one of the previous times quite a while back) to me the dictionary definition was the commonly understood meaning (because that's, y'know, what it means ;). The reason some people don't agree with it (IMO) is that too many folk have seen TV/film anti-heroes and just assumed "Oh, it's being a bit dark and ruthless that makes you an anti-hero" because mercy for one's enemies is usually one of the easiest heroic qualities to ditch while still clearly being a hero (i.e. it's harder to get rid of courage or competence and still present a character as a hero because we're so wrapped up in the traditional heroic qualities). In other words anti-heroes in TV/film are very much limited by our conception of what a hero is. That's why Rincewind is indeed a more or less perfect anti-hero because apart from actually being the one that saves the day - i.e. the hero - he has virtually no heroic qualities at all. From the Discworld books someone like e.g. CMOT Dibbler would be just unheroic since he doesn't have heroic qualities and doesn't save the day.

It's a spectrum though I think, with Rincewind very close to the anti-hero extreme and e.g. Mal very close to the traditional hero end. And wherever there're arbitrary lines there's room for honest disagreement ;).
The only really easy choices for me were Spike and Buffy. Although Buffy is in some awesome company .... Ripley, River and Kara Thrace.
Actually Mal was a pretty easy choice, as well.

I totally disagree with Baltar being in the Villain category, especially considering the other villainous choices. I really think he fits more into anti-hero territory. So I went with The Joker. Since the pic was of Heath Ledger, I was voting more for the actor than the character.

I loved that they included the B5 aliens, G'kar is definitely my all-time favorite alien.

This "boffin" thing is making me tear my hair out. Who made up this word anyhow,when I wasn't looking and without consulting me, and how do they blend it in with sages and mentors? Topher in the same category as Gandalf and Giles and Dumbeldore? WTF??
I refuse to recognize the existence of this word, it makes NO sense. Which will possibly last even longer than my refusal to type "SyFy" :_)
So ... sorry Giles, had to go with Gandalf.

Since this is SFX, Dr. Who characters will probably win in every category they're in, anyhow. And yet, I can't resist voting in these polls. :)
Saje: More like old-fashioend chauvinism in its death throes; remeber that show is 30 years old.
Not sure chauvinism was in its "death throes" 30 years ago (though it'd be nice to think so) but I was wondering along those lines DaddyCatALSO. Vila was kind of weak and cowardly and maybe they were deliberately lumping him in with the women ? Thing is, most of the women were, in fact, portrayed as much tougher/more competent than Vila (Jenna was a hot-shot pilot, Dayna was a weaponeer, Soo-lin was a mercenary, Cally was a soldier in the resistance) so i'm not sure it's quite as simple as that. Maybe just pure coincidence.
Are you really arguing for the dictionary definition though, Saje? There's no requirement for an anti-hero to be a hero, just a central character. That means Frasier is an anti-hero. That's part of why I said it's too wide a definition.

The meaning of words changes over time anyway. For now, I'd just rather use the word "wrongly". ;)
Sure the meaning of words changes over time, you hear that a lot when people use a word "wrongly" (and then usually only when they agree with the change ;). For that to apply though i'd say that most people would need to see 'anti-hero' that way and we already know that at least I and the forum members/staff of SFX apparently don't (as I say, for the most part they have it right) so i'd say that's still undecided. Also, the "wrong" definition is basically just a hero IMO (a gritty/dark/complex hero, however you want to put it) so using it that way actually removes a word from our vocabulary, means there's a concept that we can no longer describe because we've chosen to change a word's meaning and describe one thing with two words. And I can't really see the sense in that.

Mileage varies though and 'anti-hero' will probably go the way of 'begging the question' ;).

(except in this case there's very little reason for it. People getting "begging the question" wrong - through ignorance/laziness/an unfamiliarity with Google/etc. ;) - is annoying BUT totally understandable IMO, the "wrong" meaning - of basically "raises the question" - is actually more intuitive given the phrase itself, although we're still losing a subtle distinction between "circular reasoning" and "begging the question" it makes sense to me for that phrase's meaning to change in common usage. But "anti-hero" practically has its meaning built into the word - it's a hero who's in many ways the opposite of a hero, an "anti-hero". So that's harder to get)
But as I just said, the dictionary definition of an anti-hero doesn't require the character be a hero. It could be a purely comedic character or even a villain (if they're the main character). I don't think the correct meaning is obvious from the word. It means any central character other than a typical hero. It's so vague that I don't think we need a specific term for it.

it's a hero who's in many ways the opposite of a hero


I certainly prefer that definition, because I do think that anti-heroes should be a subcategory of heroes. (You get into the problem of who is a hero though. Rimmer, for example, is so lacking in heroic characteristics that I can't class him as a hero, so he can't be an anti-hero.) I just want to make that definition more specific. It is the abundance of "dark" heroes that has caused people to use anti-hero to describe them, but I think that's the same thing that justifies it. We could really do with a term for this pretty sizeable category (and not "dark heroes" cause that's terrible ;). I've never thought "I really need a word for a hero that lacks one or more unspecified heroic attributes, but I don't have one, damn", so I can't see the travesty in changing it's meaning to one that I've used plenty of times.

I think the fact that the category is called "Anti-Heroes, Slackers & Accidental Good Guys" is actually an acknowledgement that plenty of people don't see the latter two types as anti-heros. As I was saying originally, it's a odd mix of characters. They're very different from each other and I don't see the usefulness of having one category cover them all.

Anyway that's all I want to say on the subject (probably more). Last word to you if you want to add anything.

[ edited by NotaViking on 2010-08-14 15:45 ]
Yeah, guess I will, ta ;).

(pity, was enjoying the discussion)

But as I just said, the dictionary definition of an anti-hero doesn't require the character be a hero.


he·ro
–noun,plural-roes; for 5 also -ros.
1.
a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.
2.
a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal: He was a local hero when he saved the drowning child.
3.
the principal male character in a story, play, film, etc.

an·ti·he·ro
–noun,plural-roes.
a protagonist who lacks the attributes that make a heroic figure, as nobility of mind and spirit, a life or attitude marked by action or purpose, and the like.

pro·tag·o·nist
–noun
1.
the leading character, hero, or heroine of a drama or other literary work.

Fair point, it doesn't require it BUT it doesn't preclude it either (the protagonist can be the hero, they just don't need to be). I've been using 'hero' and 'protagonist' interchangeably (as in 'hero' definition no. 3 above but non-gender specific) which is sloppy and confusing.

I certainly prefer that definition, because I do think that anti-heroes should be a subcategory of heroes.

Hmm, a subcategory of heroes that, somewhat paradoxically, doesn't have some/most/any of the qualities of a hero. To me that's different enough to be worth acknowledging and by making the distinction we highlight interesting questions about what it means to be a hero (the continuum rather than black/white nature of it etc.). Where's the line ? IMO there's an interesting tension between what we consider civilised behaviour (traditional heroes have many of the characteristics of "civilised people") with what we may actually want to see happen (legal justice is, at its best, a fine and noble thing but it's surely not as satisfying as the wilder kind that e.g. Mad Max metes out). And also between the heroic ideal and what's actually possible in the real world (I think most people would consider "dark" heroes to be more realistic for instance - to me BTW the abundance of "dark" heroes makes them just heroes, they're so common that you can almost say that's just what a hero is nowadays. As I say above though, the line between dark heroes and anti-heroes is fuzzy, as with all arbitrary categories).

I think the fact that the category is called "Anti-Heroes, Slackers & Accidental Good Guys" is actually an acknowledgement that plenty of people don't see the latter two types as anti-heros.

Well yeah, neither do I ;). I never claimed slackers and accidental good guys are the same thing as anti-heroes (I also mentioned the poor choice of category when this poll was first posted last week in relation to "Sages, Boffins and Mentors" - sages and mentors in one category I can buy but boffins are different enough that they shouldn't be lumped together IMO). There's some overlap but plenty of differences.

It means any central character other than a typical hero. It's so vague that I don't think we need a specific term for it.

Well, employing your reasoning above, i'd say that the fact that there's a separate "Villain" category shows that plenty of people see a distinction ;). I'd also add that without a separate word/sub-category then you're simply rendering the category hero as broad/vague as you see the definition of anti-hero (i.e. if "heroes" also includes "characters lacking heroic qualities" without in some way distinguishing them then what does it even mean ?).

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.



joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home