Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Waid Wednesday #6: Six Qualities of a Hero

Late posting. And thin. Sorry. Horrific week, dead desktop computer beyond resurrection. So, this, sent to me almost two decades ago by award-winning writer/artist Ty Templeton, who in turn cribbed it from a then-recent PSYCHOLOGY TODAY article. Author lost to time (and to Google), exact citation lost to time, but this list has been in my head nonetheless ever since I first read it and is an invaluable checklist/touchstone that, to this day, I refer to every time I write a story in any genre.

THE SIX QUALITIES OF A HERO:
Competent
Brave
Moral
Selfless
Relevant
Successful

While all six characteristics are not always 100% present in every hero (see: Jones, Indiana, who fails u-t-t-e-r-l-y and r-e-p-e-a-t-e-d-l-y at Quality Six), I find the list terrifically insightful and have come to learn that if my hero is missing one or more of these qualities, I had better be able to articulate why...and if/how that makes it a better, more compelling story. Because generally it does not.

In the comments: debate. And, for extra credit, defend Indy to my satisfaction. Good luck with that.

49 comments:

Dan Reads Comics said...

Indy actually proved to be quite competent in the most recent film, and that was part of the problem. What made the first three so entertaining is how spectacularly he failed at everything he did.

Ugluks Flea said...

Whether Indy was ever successful or not depends on what you consider to be his quest - was it just about the treasure hunting, or (as a quasi-scientific archeologist) was it about the discovery?

Certainly could be argued he was a failure using the first definition, but in the second he met with more success: He determined the location of the Idol in the middle of the South American jungle. He found the Well of Lost Souls, and retrieved the Arc... He used cooperative scholarship to determine the location of the Grail.

Okay, sure, the Ankara Stones thing was a bit of a lost cause, the Arc was lost to bureaucracy and the Grail fell in a hole, but like I said he wasn't so good at the treasure hunting thing... or at least keeping hold of the treasure once he found it.

However, gaining knowledge isn't about an end state, it's the about the process of discovery.

And that's one to grow on...
***Cue after school special graphics ***

bitmaestro said...

Terry Rossio wrote the best explanation/defense of Indy that I've read:

Impressive Failure
Screenwriting Column 08
by Terry Rossio

"This guy's an action hero?
Yup. Because he fails so damn impressively, from start to finish. Indy fails so well, in fact, the audience is impressed as hell, and hardly aware of the fact that he's failing. The defeats are just setbacks that create more opportunities for heroism. As an added benefit, Indy wins the audience's sympathy -- the poor guy's trying so hard, you can't help but root for him."

Elize Morgan said...

I have to say that there's something to be said in the competent/successful divide in a lot of ways - there's nothing to say that the moral hero being a questionable thing - the morality generally being a movable thing (Hamlet, say).

Michael Clear said...

And, for extra credit, defend Indy to my satisfaction.

It's hard for me to defend Indy due to the fact that the Nazis used the Ark of the Covenant to win World War II and we all now live under the domination of the Third Reich but oh, wait, that didn't happen due to the hard work of one Henry "Indiana" Jones Jr.

Jason Porath said...

I can't defend Indy. He has stumbled through life, met every important historical figure, and been at almost every major historical event from 1910-1950. He's Forrest Gump with a whip.

Dean said...

For my nickel, the best stories deal with a tension within the hero regarding one of those qualities and, often, define them narrowly:

Competent: In "The Godfather" series, Michael is extremely successful as a Mafia Don, but as a result fails as a husband, a brother and a father. His competence is essentially infinite in one and only one area. Similarly, the first "Star Wars" trilogy is utterly focused upon the growth of Luke Skywalker into a competent Jedi, but he certainly doesn't start there.

Brave: "High Noon", anyone? or the entire Lee-Ditko run on "Spider-Man"? The prospect that the hero might just opt-out of the fight is a pretty great hook.

Moral: Most of the best super-hero concepts illustrate one (and only one) virtue. The best Superman stories are always about love. Batman stories are about prudence . Spider-Man is great in illustrating fortitude.

Conversely, those same characters are often deadly dull when demonstrating other virtues. They become "goody two-shoes".

Selfless:
Again, this is much more interesting as a trait that is in some doubt. Han Solo is a classic example. Wally West in his early years as the Flash.

Relevant:
Not sure what this means in this context. Maybe relevant to the problem at hand?

Successful:
Doesn't this exclude tragic heroes, like Hamlet?

Alan Scott said...

I think Mark is probably using 'Hero' in a narrower definition than you are, Dean. Hamlet is the main character and protagonist of his story, but I don't think he's a hero--In fact, the play is so compelling precisely because he's not.

And Michael, the Nazis would've gotten their faces melted with or without Indy's help. The only real difference is that Marion wouldn't have left the Himalayas.

trail of bread said...

It occured to me that Terry Nation in Blake's 7 developed a team of heroes singularly lacking in most of those points - particularly Avon and Villa. Competant - maybe.
Brave - Villa never. Moral - neither of them. Selfless -rarely. Relevant - not very. Successful - they got bumped off quite regularly, and Avon killed his best friend before dying. So that is no then.

Come to think of it Farscape was similar - though Crichton was both brave and moral

Mr. Chris said...

I have to say, I'm somewhat wary of this list of heroic qualities, since it seems somewhat narrow. It allows for Superman and Comrade Lei Feng to be recognized as heroes, but not Gilgamesh or Achilles.

I agree with Elize Morgan that there's a lot to say about the divide between competence and success, and in fact I think that "successful" is the one item on this list I have a real problem with. The first four qualities on the list really are qualities that the hero possesses; personality traits that comprise the hero's character. Relevance isn't exactly a personal quality of the hero, but I suppose it's what allows the audience to recognize the hero as being a hero, so I'm willing to buy the idea that it's a necessary metafictional quality for the hero to possess.

Being successful, though, is something that's in large part external to the hero. In a world with no challenges, a hero will always be successful, but that doesn't make for a very interesting narrative. And a hero who routinely overcomes impossible odds or overwhelming opposition without ever failing when it really counts (as opposed to suffering temporary setbacks)isn't believable to me. Learning to deal with the consequences of failure is part of being human, and any hero who can't occasionally be brought low by factors outside their control exists in a fantasy world that bears little resemblance to reality (thus calling the hero's relevance into question). If I see a character who never fails, I begin to suspect that it's because the author has designed the setting and story in such a way as to guarantee the hero's success, and not because of any particular virtue on that character's part.

I suppose that last paragraph could basically be boiled down to "Being successful might be a necessary quality for a Mary Sue, but it's not necessary for a hero."

Kirk said...

I'm going to disagree with other posters here - I do think "successful" is usually a requirement. However there is a degree of confusion which Mark introduced unintentionally.

The hero does not need to be consistently successful. He needs merely be critically successful. In the end. I chose that adjective because I contrast it with "ultimately" successful. The hero wins a - or the - critical event.

I'll add that I think the same clarification applies to the other qualities as well. At the critical point, whatever it may have been, was the hero competent | brave | moral | selfless | relevant | successful ? The lack of several of these explains my distaste for Frodo Baggins as a "hero". Samwise was the true hero of the tale, but Frodo got the glory.

jmo, of course.

Kirk said...

two amendments to the preceding. First, grammatical - critically is an adverb, not an adjective. (I r an edjimacated man, I r.)

Second - it dawns on me that in this crowd the semantic weight of that particular adverb isn't where it is for me. No, I don't mean "acclaimed by alleged experts." I mean at the event that determines the climax of the story. Usually that IS the climax. The success may be pyrrhic, or it may require sacrifice unintentional and unwanted. The hero may return to being unsuccessful in the denouement. But at the event that determines the climax, the hero is successful. And that event is (to me) the critical point of the story. Thus the hero is critically successful.

Andrew said...

Screw Indy.

Spider-Man is practically DEFINED by his lack of the "Successful" quality, so... you're the big comic book writer and I'm not, so right back at you, Waid.

Defend either Spider-Man's status as a hero or "Successful"'s place on that list.

John said...

Someone ask Greg Rucka what he thinks of Indy as a hero/person...

Meike said...

My condolences for your computer.

Okay, going away from the whole Indy thing, the one thing I can't stand is a hero who is too perfect. Sure, those are six good qualities, but you have to be careful not to overdo it. I like my heroes with some darker sides - or maybe it's just that I like anti-heroes? (Which I think is a stupid phrase, either he/she is a hero or not.)

laloca said...

i'm afraid i was too busy batting my lashes at indy in class to notice that he was supposed to be successful.

John said...

Excuse me, Mr. Clear, but I must insist that you address him properly; that is to say that his full name is Col. Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones Jr (Ret.), PhD.

K said...

The definition of "success" also may be argued. As an example, Spartacus failed to win his revolution, but he died without bowing to Roman authority. His refusal to capitulate is considered by many to be a success, even if he did not "win" in a traditional sense. In the original Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, the Little Mermaid DIES rather than kill her Prince when he marries someone else. Yet for Anderson, the Little Mermaid is successful in that she gains an immortal soul--for a religious man like Anderson, eternal life with God was much greater victory than mere life with a Prince.

Jon said...

One could interpret "success" to be the thing that's most important to the character--whether it's what they think is important or not.

In Indy's case, as Ugluks Flea said, it isn't actually the personal possession of the artifacts that are principal to Indy; it's the chase, and the discovery. What happens after is almost secondary.

Even for stories where the hero loses to impossible odds (300, for example), this holds up - it is the resistance that matters to the character, and if he dies fighting he has succeeded even if the empire falls.

Interesting to ponder.

Anonymous said...

Interesting stuff to think about. I agree with Dean that the tensions surrounding these qualities are frequently what makes a hero story interesting -- someone with all of them, in no doubt, is typically just annoying for his or her perfection.

This adds a nuancing insight about bravery that I gathered from -- of all places -- Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. The best heroes typically aren't unafraid. (Unafraid frequently translates into taking pointless risks.) Rather, a hero is afraid, but does dangerous things anyway -- it is their heroism that allows them to overcome that fear.

-Betsy

Keith R.A. DeCandido said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keith R.A. DeCandido said...

Yeah, the last two characteristics strike me as iffy. To quote one favorite hero of mine, Jean-Luc Picard, "It is possible to do everything right and still lose." And Andrew is right: if success is a criterion, then Spider-Man, it can be argued, isn't a hero. OTOH, it also depends on how you measure success, doesn't it? And it also depends on how much you reward effort -- and if success is a criterion, then why is "competence" there also? Surely the one comes from the other?

To trail of bread: Speaking as the person scripting Farscape comics for the guy who wrote this post, those characters didn't start out as heroes, except for Crichton, and several of them never were even with his influence. He's the only one who is, but he also dragged the rest of the Moya crew in the direction of heroism (see, for example, the decision to rescue Aeryn in "Nerve"). Sometimes the journey's the interesting part....

Dean said...

And Andrew is right: if success is a criterion, then Spider-Man, it can be argued, isn't a hero. OTOH, it also depends on how you measure success, doesn't it?
I would say that is critical. I am deeply dubious about a definition of a "hero" that excludes Classical Greek Theater, Shakespeare and the best adventure hero created during my childhood. If Indiana Jones, Othello and Oedipus are "merely" a protagonists according to this definition, then I would say that it is not of much use.

However, if you narrow the definition of success to include only the hero achieving his, or her, personal objective, then that is acceptable. Indy merely wants to survive and by not dying he "wins". Othello wants piece of mind, just not the way he eventually gets it. Oedipus wants to find the murderer of King Laius. Well ... he does do that.

And it also depends on how much you reward effort -- and if success is a criterion, then why is "competence" there also? Surely the one comes from the other?

Actually, no. Luck plays a huge role in outcomes. I can buy that Heroic Fiction is about virtue (in this case having an aptitude) being rewarded, even if that reward does not exactly look the way the Hero would like. What makes a Tragic Hero tragic is is that they have unique abilities that interact with their character flaws to create their downfall.

This is the problem with serialized story-telling, like comics and most TV. There is no defined ending, so the Hero is constantly required to show that they are competent without ever really achieving their goal. As a result, they develop more virtues and abilities over time. Superman, for example, used to have a lot more flaws than he does today. Jerry Siegel wrote as being arrogant. In the Wesinger years, he had a cruel streak and had enough love interests to make James T. Kirk blush.

All that got sanded down and smoothed over time.

John said...

To Kieth:

I actually saw Farscape as Crichton's journey AWAY from being a hero - years of being trapped in a pretty brutal society makes him less and less the shiny white knight than he was when he first arrived.

By just before the end of The Peacekeeper Wars he's practically a bad guy, threatening to destroy the entire universe for little reason other than the fact that he can't bear to live in it anymore.

I know DK always maintained that Farscape was a love story - and it is - but at least as much a part of it was the story of Crichton going from good to bad and finally back to good again. You know, like Darth Vader's story, only without three shitty prequels.

John said...

By the by, if you are the sort of person who reads this blog and you haven't seen Farscape, GO. WATCH IT. NOW.

You are missing the best science-fiction show of the last ten years, and what was in its time one of the best shows on televison.

Seriously, watch it RFN.

Jeff Lipton said...

I would say that any character that shows a six characteristics consistanly is a Mary Sue, not a hero. The character should have several characteristics strongly throughout and have some glimmwer of the others (which rules out Thomas Covenant and Han Solo -- at least in the first movie).

Part of makes a work great is the hero's triving for one or more characteristic -- s/he can fail and still be a hero.

Cunningham said...

As you say (or at least hint at) Mark, I find that I'm far more interested in characters who are struggling to live up to these qualities than those who already have them all in abundance.
Take one quality out of the equation, explain why it's missing, and this is a much larger stone to be thrown in the story pond with greater ripples to be felt.

Abel Undercity said...

I don't know if Kirk is capable of blushing so much as just being flat-out jealous of Supes' Weisinger-era exploits: "He did a MERMAID?! God DAMN it, Spock!"

Coren said...

Well, if Ty Templeton said it, then hotdamn, must be true.

What comics needs is more Ty Templeton. He did amazing things on the kids DC line back in the day

Dean said...

Abel, I always think that it says a lot about the comic book publishers that after umpteen re-boots, retcons and "What Ifs ..." that no one has looked very hard at what Weisinger and (to a large extent) Jerry Siegel were doing with Superman. Lee, Kirby and Ditko have modernized, given neo conservative take and then post-modernized. The closet filled with Batman's toys has been dug through to the point that Grant Morrison is re-working Bat-Mite. However, no one seems to pull down their Superman Essentials and notice that seemingly every issue is about a bachelor with two different girl-friends who want him to settle down and, yet, he still has a wandering eye.

In Superman #162, he splits into two different people so that he can have both Lois and Lana. There are not of lines to be read between there. The guy is almost Don Draper. However, the now standard Ultimates-style R-Rated revamp of the Man of Steel might lead to some Lana Lang side boob. Naturally, that would cause the fabric of civilization to fall apart.

Meanwhile, a couple summers ago one light comic character took out a gun and blew the brains out of another light comic character's head. On panel.

Keith R.A. DeCandido said...

John, your interpretation of Crichton's actions in The Peacekeeper Wars is 180 degrees from mine. And I think trying to keep incredibly dangerous technology out of the hands of lunatics (Scorpius, the Scarrans) is a very heroic action, which is what he was doing.

PKW was more of a cautionary tale on Crichton's part. He didn't want to destroy the universe, but he was backed into a corner, and had to demonstrate to everyone to be careful what they wished for.

nobodez said...

Really, it comes down to thinking of things from a different point of view. I redefined the six traits into terms I could understand and compartmentalize. From my young days in Cub Scout, and later in journalism.

Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.

Who - Moral. Morality is defined all by who you are, who the people around you are, and who the audience is.
What - Successful. Success is defined and what you ultimately accomplish, and like Morality, depends on your point of view. Jones was successful in getting away from the Russians during the bomb test. I'm sure we can all agree what his methods weren't the best, but success was not questioned.
When - Relevant. Relevancy is all about when you do what you're doing. Climbing a mountain is one thing, but being the first to climb the mountain, now that's something.
Where - Brave. Braveness depends on the context of where you do something, Rescuing a princess in a tramp freighter, impressive, but nothing really out there. Rescuing said princess in said tramp freighter out from the middle of a moon sized (and shaped) fully operational battle station. You're braver than I thought.
Why - Selfless. Why you do something is important. Stealing from the mob during a wedding may be brave, but doing it because your old friend's husband was charged for the murder committed by said mob boss, that's selfless.
How - Competent. Shades of grey here. Getting the Pink Panther back is funny if you blunder into it, but impressive if you use skill and cunning and an unquestionable loyalty to the… wait, wrong gag.

Monsterbeard said...

Indy is always successful at getting into trouble.

Glenn Hauman said...

Indiana Jones, not successful?

In the first film, he saves the girl at least three times. He figures out where the Ark really is. He defeats squads of Nazis single handedly. He infiltrates Nazi bases-- twice. He survives hundreds of miles on a outside of a submarine. He gets the Ark out of Nazi hands twice (though it does take a literal Deus Ex Machina to do it the second time.)

In the second, he rescues the children and destroys the cult terrorizing the countryside.

In the third, he gets the cross back after decades of hunting for it. He infiltrates even more Nazi strongholds and defeats even more Nazi soldiers. He finds the Grail and he repairs a strained relationship with his father.

Seems pretty successful to me, guy.

Anonymous said...

Having most of those six qualities would probably be needed to make a good hero, especially in mainstream comics. I don't think they are necessary for a good protagonist.

While there's much to be said for a good hero, I think the prevalence of heroes in mainstream comics has made the landscape profoundly boring. I'd be happy if I could find a good protagonist with only two or three of those traits, but I understand breaking the mold like that is probably hard to do. Still, one can dream.

Anonymous said...

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J. Mark Baker
now in Milwaukee

Peter David said...

How do you define "successful," Mark? To me, the only reasonable definition is whether the hero accomplishes his stated goal.

RAIDERS: Find the ark and get it to the US Government. He did that.

TEMPLE OF DOOM: Restore the sacred stone to the village and free the children. He did that.

LAST CRUSADE: Rescue his father. He did that.

Indeed, TEMPLE OF DOOM is the only one in which he acts in a totally selfless manner. In the first film he's ordered by the government; in the third he's looking for his dad. Only in the second does he act like a true hero and undergo a quest which is ("fortune and glory" mantra aside) largely a humanitarian endeavor. Yet it's generally considered the weakest of the three.

For that matter, limiting the definition of a hero to success means that you've just taken Frodo off the list of heroes. He's got one job: Toss the ring into Mount Doom. He fails utterly. You want to make the argument to LotR scholars and fans that Frodo isn't a hero?

Nor, for that matter, is King Arthur a hero since the Round Table cracks and Camelot falls.

Don Quixote is not a hero because he pretty much spends a thousand pages getting the crap kicked out of him and accomplishing little to nothing.

There's all kinds of heroes, Mark. Noble heroes. Failed heroes. Comical heroes. What, you never heard the phrase, "He made a heroic effort"?

Heroism isn't measured by success. It's measured by the lengths to which you go to achieve your goal (a goal that will ideally benefit the commonweal in some way.)

PAD

Peter David said...

Heck, I'll give you another one that just occurred to me.

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is generally considered the strongest of the "Star Wars" films. But by your definition, Luke Skywalker isn't the hero.

He succeeds in exactly one thing in two plus hours: Blows up an AT-AT. Otherwise: Nada. His training as a Jedi? He runs out before it's completed, breaking his promise to his teacher that he would see it through. Save his friends? He became totally sidetracked--indeed, fell into a trap set for him--and they got out themselves. Destroy Vader? Uh...not so much. Han has to save him from freezing to death, Yoda has to extract his X-wing from the bog, Leia has to guide the Falcon to save him from dangling, and R2-D2 has to jumpstart the ship to save him from the Empire.

Except for that one ATAT, he was a complete failure up and down, far more so than Indy ever was.

So do you want to argue that he wasn't the hero of EMPIRE? Because, y'know...good luck with that.

PAD

Justin said...

How is Spider-Man not successful? He tries to stop evil doers from doing evil, and he generally succeeds. He's not "successful" in his *personal* life, but that's because the character makes "stop crime and save lives" his primary goal above "get a good job and build a steady social life."

In fact, the interesting thing about the early Spider-Man stories is they're all about learning from your mistakes and ultimately succeeding. Go through the Essential Spider-Man vol. 1 and count how many stories follow the formula of "Spider-Man confronts villain, villain defeats or escapes from Spider-Man, Spider-Man thinks of a way to beat the villain and does so."

Spidey almost never gets it right on the first try, but on the second attempt, he invents a device that negates the Vulture's flying ability, develops a chemical to fuse Doctor Octopus' arms together, wears rubber gloves so that he can actually make contact with Electro, and so on.

As for Indiana Jones, I think a bigger problem than *failure* in Raiders of the Lost Ark is a perceived *lack of agency* in the climax. The Nazis don't get the power of the Ark whether Indy's there or not, so it appears he's useless in the final scene. However, if he's not there, Marion doesn't know not to look at the Ark when it's opened and might very well have died too, so Indy's real success (in that scene and in the whole movie) is that he saves Marion's life and "gets the girl," while the initial (and ultimately unimportant) goal of recovering the Ark is literally filed away and forgotten about.

Glenn Hauman said...

How is Spider-Man not successful?

Have you read "One More Day"?

If you prefer, you can argue that he's never successful at the one thing he really wants to do, which is negate his mistake and bring back Uncle Ben.

Dave said...

RAIDERS: Find the ark and get it to the US Government. He did that.

I haven't really watched the rest of them for long enough to comment but, in this case, there's a fairly solid counter to be made that Indy's goal (explicitly stated in the first act and epilogue if I'm remembering correctly), was to recover the artifact for study and research, and instead it was simply taken away, catalogued and locked up in a warehouse for storage. So, while he completed the government's goals, he didn't achieve his own.

Cunningham said...

@Peter David -

I would argue that you really can't consider EMPIRE to be a whole story complete unto itself - it is a chapter / 2nd act of he larger, complete story that is the trilogy.

Taken in that context, as a whole, Luke Skywalker is a hero.

Justin said...

Glenn: I don't feel it's fair to say Spider-Man's "never successful at the one thing he really wants to do," because as a goal, saving Uncle Ben is unrealistic. (Well, technically it's realistic because the Marvel Universe has time travel, but we'll ignore that.) Batman's never going to save his parents, either, but they're both generally successful in their day-to-day goals (capture the Mad Hatter/Electro, save hostages, etc.) Wonder Woman's never really going to bring about world peace, but if she can stop Dr. Poison's plan, I count it as a success.

And I didn't read "One More Day" and I'm really enjoying Spider-Man comics right now, so I don't care about anything that happened there at all.

McDuff said...

See, I tend to have an entirely different take on it. Hero is something you do, not something you are. Admittedly there's a bit of a classical bias here, but to me protagonist doesn't become a Hero because she's competent and moral and selfless, but because she takes on a significant quest, storms the underworld and returns with the ambrosia of the gods. And other mixed-up references. In other words the fundamental quality of the hero is "there at the time" (John McClane is a true hero), and the secondary qualities are all variations on the curve from "unable to avoid action" to "bloody mindedly persuing it".

I think a good example of how that works is Rincewind in the Discworld novels, who does the hero's job while actually being a coward and a petty thief. Of course there are many other farcical characters who fall in and out of success by sheer blind luck and who can still be considered "heroes" in the literary sense.

Of course, this may all be way off base.

Dean said...

Regarding Spider-Man, I think I posted on another thread that I am dubious about claims about the essential nature of a character that are based on stories not written by the creator(s) of that character. There are exceptions (i.e. Alan Moore sort of owns Swamp Thing), but as a general rule it is best to go to the original source material.

With that in mind, here is how the first batch of Spidey stories end:
- Amazing Fantasy #15: Spidey discovers that he let the man who murdered his uncle get away.

- Spider-Man #1: Spidey becomes a wanted fugitive.

- Spider-Man #2: catches the vulture, sells first set of pics to J. Jonah Jameson and has a nice moment with his Aunt.

-Spider-Man #3: Allows the alien bad guys to escape in a fire and takes the subsequent blame.

Spider-Man #4: Defeats Doc Ock, but starts a rivalry with Johnny Storm.

Spider-Man #5: Ends with the following from our hero, "Can they be right? Am I really a crack-pot, my time seeking fame and glory?"

Of those six issues, Spidey has a record of 1-4-1. If that were your favorite NFL team, they would not be printing play-off tickets.

JAQO said...

What then would be the qualities of an anti-hero?

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Anonymous said...

And then there's the notion of "partial" success. Indy didn't accomplish everything he might have wanted to, but really, how could he have? He was up against forces that no mere mortal (except maybe Batman or Captain America) could have fully triumphed against. So you take what victories you can.

There was some discussion about "competent" and "relevant" too, and I think that factors in. Indy may not have been fully successful, but he was unquestionably competent. And he was crossing swords with Nazis to achieve important (i.e. relevant) goals, such as to keep the God Radio out of the Nazis' hands, lest they use it for evil. He could have picked an easier goal, such as scoring with Colonel Dietrich's wife, and I'll assume he would have been both competent and successful, but it would not have been a relevant victory.

www.lamparas.biz said...

This will not truly have success, I consider so.