As my last post seemed to hint at, this blog post that follows the superhero trend was going to be about my favourite villains. However after what has happened in Brussels today; celebrating acts of terror, even if fictional, doesn’t feel right. Often we use films to escape from the horrific truth about life. That horrendous things aren’t contained to the big screen, but happen every single day. They often happen in areas of the world that our media doesn’t care about, because they don’t fit the narrative. Today however, as on November 13th it’s happened on our doorstep again. First and foremost I wish to send every positive thought I have towards the people of Belgium today. However I also want to say don’t allow this to warp your life view. Don’t become Katie Hopkins who demands we #StopIslam. Don’t be like Donald Trump, blaming the attacks on world leaders who allowed refugees in. Keep in mind, a lot of refugees are innocent Muslims who are fleeing the exact horrors we witnessed today. Also keep in mind the good in the world. The messages of love and support that are being spread across social media from people of every kind of background shows that this world isn’t full of villains, but in fact most people are inherently good. So in that vein I’ve changed this from a post that looks at the bad guys in my favourite films and also isn’t looking at the superheroes, with their money and powers. Instead I want to look at the fringe players in these epic tales. Regular human beings who are just inherently good. Taking on the world without the powers and money is much braver.
5. Lois Lane – Man of Steel
Unlike anyone else on this list Lois Lane isn’t part of an army, or doesn’t wield a badge. She is just a journalist. I guess rather than bravery, due to her line of work, morbid curiosity would probably be a more accurate term. Still, chasing down someone she senses is a super-powered alien, then wanting to just sit and talk to them, that takes courage. Then let’s not forget getting on to Zod’s ship, and conspiring with the memory of another dead super-powered alien to take down a bunch more super-powered aliens. Basically Lois Lane is without a doubt one of the most stupid people on planet earth, but at the same time one of the bravest and badass people.
4. Agent Phil Coulson – The Avengers
For Thor, staring down Loki took strength as he was his brother. For Tony Stark, it was bravado, he always knew he could whip his suit out if necessary. For Agent Coulson, a simple human being, to stand up to and take a pop at someone who is basically a god and low key (geddit) an ice giant could be seen as pure insanity. Rather than leaving it all to the big supercharged heroes surrounding him, he saw his chance and he took it. As Tony said “He was out of his league, he should have waited.” He knew The Avengers needed something that would rally them together. In sacrificing himself, he managed to do what Fury couldn’t and that was to get all of these gigantic egos to work together and without that, Loki would have won. He’d certainly be higher on this list if it wasn’t for the fact he had an entire army behind him. Makes him slightly above a normal human.
3. Peggy Carter – Captain America: The First Avenger
Again someone else who had the Army behind her and also I’m kind of cheating a bit here. Most of her astonishing and brave accomplishments come in the TV series Agent Carter. However still in Captain America she runs head first in to battle without a small bit of hesitation and also supervises a bunch of young men in the army, punching one who tries to undermine her authority square in the chops. To be a woman in the army at this period of time, never mind one with her bravado and lack of thought for the rules takes bravery on it’s own. But to plan a secret mission involving a super solider and an eccentric billionaire genius, that could have easily lead to the end of her career took gumption. Like I said however, slight cheat here, the reason she beats Coulson is her almost single handed attack on Hydra in Agent Carter.
2. John Blake – The Dark Knight Rises
I refuse to call him Robin, up until that little line at the end of the film he was John Blake and he was a cool, moral badass and that’s the character I’m talking about. First of all he gets a mention in here, because he’s the most intelligent person in Gotham. He manages to figure out Batman’s identity! I mean who’d have thought the man with a tank and helicopter would end up being the richest man in town! He is the man who wasn’t afraid to shout down the police commissioner, argue with Catwoman and just hands down take on an entire militia with nothing but his service handgun and a stupid amount of bravery. He is basically Bruce Wayne, but without the money and a fraction of the anger. Most of all however he was concerned with saving the orphans and the city that helped him when he was in need. In the end he had the bravery to drop the badge that has protected some of his more morally ambiguous decisions and go it alone. As he describes it, dropping the shackles that stopped Gordon and becoming the figure that gets their hands dirty.
1. Commissioner James Gordon – The Dark Knight Trilogy
James Gordon has been one of the most common characters in Batman folklore and has always been a fan favourite. Arguably he has never been portrayed better than Gray Oldman in the Dark Knight trilogy. A figure who has set out to take on Gotham’s underbelly in all forms. This doesn’t just means trying to fight the mob bosses, the insane villains and the thousands of henchmen. It also means fighting his own. With a massively corrupt police force both underneath him and above him. Other than Alfred he could be the only person Batman trusts. He fakes his own death, shoulders the burden of the true story of Dent and attacks the mobs where it hurts them, their wallets. In this he arguably neglects his family a little bit, but surely it is worth it. Other than Batman, Gordon has done more for Gotham than anyone else and that is why he will forever be a fan favourite for time to come and I can’t wait to see how J.K Simmons handles the weight of the role.