#1 Posted by Eriskegal (24 posts) - - Show Bio

I am no stranger to feeling deeply connected with various character creations. Whether on television series or in a book, when there is an emotionally tragic event in the life of someone you've invested time following, there comes a certain level of heartache. To me, this is one of the signs of amazing writing and facilitating of a good story arc. If you can invoke tears or anger in a reader or viewer, you're doing your job!

I'm interested in seeing what characters you've felt this kind of connection with, why, and what kind of emotion did it spark in you?

#2 Posted by Superguy0009e (2265 posts) - - Show Bio

Spider-Man

He is the first hero I fell in love with and is someone I hope has a dignified death (meaning death of his series and character, not death of the character)

#3 Posted by JediXMan (30321 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll get feelings of sadness and happiness if the writing is good. I'm pissed off when the writing is bad.

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#4 Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt (12949 posts) - - Show Bio

Spider-Man

Hal Jordan

Tim Drake

Black Canary

Batman

Ralph Dibny

there are more but im not in the mood to go through them all.

#5 Posted by The_Hooligan (97 posts) - - Show Bio

Rice Boy's ending hit hard. Seriously.

#6 Posted by Yung ANcient One (4770 posts) - - Show Bio
I become invested a great deal depending on the writing, and how long I've spent following the story.  (+)
#7 Posted by Rabbitearsblog (5835 posts) - - Show Bio

Almost all of the X-Men characters, when written right.

#8 Posted by joeagentofhand1 (4362 posts) - - Show Bio

There are few fictional characters that I feel bad for when they die or something bad happens to them, but Nite Owl I's death really got me.

#9 Posted by The_Lunact_And_Manic (3286 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman, Dick Grayson, Black Canary, Zatanna...

#10 Posted by KnightRise (4785 posts) - - Show Bio

Dick Grayson, first and for most. But I feel like I can analyze and take about major characters for days

#11 Posted by akbogert (3217 posts) - - Show Bio

@Eriskegal said:

I am no stranger to feeling deeply connected with various character creations. Whether on television series or in a book, when there is an emotionally tragic event in the life of someone you've invested time following, there comes a certain level of heartache. To me, this is one of the signs of amazing writing and facilitating of a good story arc. If you can invoke tears or anger in a reader or viewer, you're doing your job!

I'm interested in seeing what characters you've felt this kind of connection with, why, and what kind of emotion did it spark in you?

This is the story of me & X-23.

I didn't know much about her while reading Kyle/Yost's X-Force, but found her interesting, so I went and bought their miniseries covering her creation/birth and childhood, Innocence Lost. I don't really know how to articulate what about that story struck me. Maybe it was everything -- the horrifying way in which she was born (they kind of mechanically raped her scientist/mother into birthing her), the way she was denied a childhood, the way her mother tried so hard to show her kindness even though doing so meant risking her own life, and the way she was forced to do terrible things even, and especially, when she didn't want to and when it meant hurting the only people who had ever been good to her. Maybe it was seeing her arm, with the scars from self-inflicted wounds which she would continue to inflict on herself whenever she felt ashamed of who she was but didn't understand what she'd done wrong. It was such a deep tragedy, and she was just a girl, even behind all the conditioning and the attempts to turn her into a machine, she was still a girl. I cried at the end of that story.

Sometimes X-23 gets the rap of being some pointless Wolverine rip-off that people only like because she has tits. After having read Innocence Lost, I was deeply offended by that. I don't know Logan's past, so I'm not going to make the same mistake of unfairly disregarding him, but frankly I've never been half as interested in him as I was about her, about the way she behaved, and about how she was always struggling to just act like a normal person and finally have freedom over her own life. I've read through Target X, NYX: Wannabe, and Liu's whole X-23 run. And the whole time, I've cheered for her with every slow, hard-won step towards being free, being able to love herself, maybe even someone else.

I suppose the way she dresses, if you don't really know anything about her, you might just say she's hot. Some people no doubt like her for that reason, and think about her in that way. For me, and maybe it's because she was supposed to be a young teen and I'm almost 24, I've always felt a bit more of a paternal thing. I want to protect her from evils like Kimura. I'm right there with Logan wanting to impale Scott's head for putting her back on a kill squad to exploit her skills. And now she's in a death camp, once more with no control over her life, being asked (and likely being forced) to kill, or maybe to kill herself (which for any other character might be honorable, but for her it's just one more case of her believing that other people deserve to live more than she does, it's just one more cut (albeit the last one) on the arm that tells the story of a girl who never got to be a girl).

So the kinds of emotions? Sympathy. Horror. Compassion. A weird kind of love. A desire to protect. And now absolute lividity on her behalf. It's irrational, I suppose, but in a way, after all this time, she's as "real" to me as any fictional character could ever hope to be. I grew physically ill when I read about Avengers Arena, and the situation Laura had been put into. I actually almost threw up. And even a month after the fact, I'm still slowly simmering over it, because I'm powerless to do anything about it. Sometimes that emotion can get the better of me; I have a difficult time accepting attacks against her or her fans because in a way they feel all too personal; and while I can't lash out against Hopeless, I can to some extent lash out against other readers. I'd like to think I've grown remarkably calmer since I joined -- and it's worth noting that my feelings on this were so strong that I actually joined Comic Vine specifically so I could jump into the discussion about whether Avengers Arena was "everything wrong with comics" or not. But if there's one wound I can't stand having salted, it's her and her predicament. The fact that I haven't actually gone overboard sometimes surprises me.

I care about X-23 because of the amazing stories told by Kyle & Yost, and even to some extent by Quesada and Liu (but mostly the former pair). I have spent a lot of time getting invested in her, and all the positive emotions I mentioned above, the ones targeted towards her, are because of the strength of that writing. To that extent I agree with you about emotion proving a writer is doing a good job. But Hopeless and the people behind Arena are now eliciting their own emotion from me, not a new one or positive one, but an inevitable one born up from the pre-existing emotions I had for the character. They, too, are making me feel something, making me angry, likely to make me cry. But they ought not be commended for that, because they are simply feeding off the devotion I had prior to their work. To say that them making me angry is a sign of a good job is akin to saying that someone killing a close friend of mine is a good job: hurting someone people care about is guaranteed to evoke something, but that doesn't make it inherently a positive thing to do. To be clear, I'm not saying that was your point, but some people (including Hopeless and his editor) actually have pointed to reactions like mine as a good sign for them, and I felt like this was a good place to address it.

So, yeah...how emotionally invested?

The limit does not seem to exist.

#12 Posted by Eriskegal (24 posts) - - Show Bio

Wow. That's a heck of a read right there. I have felt an emotional connection with characters in television shows, much the same way you have connected with your comic book character. I'm sure no one wants to be bored with the details, but I find it easier to find that deep connection with live action actors than a drawn image. However, I have had my share of upsets when it comes to changes in drawn/written characters (or the end of them) that I can relate with. If I were drawn to superhero comics, and were as intensely aware of the history of your favorite character, I'd likely love her - as I relate to some of her past easily.

By the way, please don't take this the wrong way - your intense attraction to this character and your upset at the writer(s) who may wish to create her demise makes me worry for said writer(s) much like I would the author in Misery.

#13 Edited by Raw_Material (3212 posts) - - Show Bio

Hal Jordan - why Geoff, why?!?!

The Punisher - Almost cried...

Aquaman

Hulk

Leonardo from TMNT

Mikey from TMNT

probably other characters that I haven't mentioned, but these are just the ones on top of my head.

#14 Posted by akbogert (3217 posts) - - Show Bio

@Eriskegal: Well, maybe if Yost were the one trying to kill her off...

Heh. But nah, Annie's just a little too psychotic for me to ever be like her. Great story though.

I can understand why you'd be more drawn to live-action characters, though part of me thinks that kind of attraction will almost always be partially aimed towards the actor/actress portraying the character (at least, that tends to be the case for me). Comic characters maintain a kind of integrity across writers and artists which most live-action characters would be unable to maintain across multiple actors. I'm sure if I watched more television, particularly shows with longer runs, I'd develop a similar attachment to at least a few characters. It's why I dread watching Buffy, because I know Whedon's reputation...

#15 Posted by lightsout (1827 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd say I may get shocked at a certain event or reveal, but I don't think I've really felt very happy or sad because of comic-events (however, I have gotten that child-like, wide-eyed, giddy feeling at moments where the hero "shows up to save the day" (like Superman showing up in Kingdom Come to stop the young-punks on the bridge, Or in DKRises when Batman "debuts" on his bike, etc).

I don't know if it's "emotionally invested", but I take a lot from the familiarity with the characters. That is, I started reading comics with Marvel (read Planet Hulk & WWHulk I believe it was), then thought "now I'll read some DC", and for the most part I haven't turned back - I got hooked. I really like a lot of Marvel's characters, but because I've read (relatively) much more DC books, I'm so familiar it's hard to peel myself away and start into another "world".

#16 Posted by Agent9149 (2894 posts) - - Show Bio

Emma Frost.

Midnighter.

#17 Posted by Blood1991 (8098 posts) - - Show Bio

Too many to list honestly..... Maybe I should get help.

#18 Posted by Fuchsia_Nightingale (10180 posts) - - Show Bio

Not very, yeh or meh.