It never really occurred to me how many of our heroes are orphans.
Superman was the last survivor of a planet that perished. He was adopted by loving Earth parents, but he's one of the iconic orphans in fiction.
His counterpart Batman, of course, lost his parents at an early age and their deaths defined his entire life and mission.
Spiderman's origin also involved losing his beloved father figure - but he was already an orphan, being raised by his Aunt and Uncle.
Luke Skywalker's parents were evidently long gone, as were Harry Potter's. When we meet the movie version of Iron Man, his parents are already gone and Stark has some issues around that. The Hulk had a dead mother and a monstrous father.
Jesse Custer, the hero from “Preacher” had wonderful, strong, cool parents, who of course were killed when Jesse was a kid, leaving him in the care of his demented Grandmother.
The Blues Brothers in the classic film were raised by nuns in an orphanage. As were the Three Stooges in their modern day movie adaptation.
Even Elvira was a nun-raised orphan - and she turned out great!
In many manga, even the comedic sort, so many teenage heroes have dead parents, which allows them to have a house to themselves and nobody to put a stop to whatever chaos will unfold in the story.
Going back to old fairy tales, there is so often a deceased mother, and a nasty step-mother who shuns the young MC, sending them off into the woods.
So many orphans!
Sometimes the hero's status will set up a long-lost family or secret lineage plot. Or maybe it sets up the main character as more of an outsider. Someone could feel like an outsider even with living parents, but maybe this helps dramatize a main character who is incomplete in some way, who has a journey of self discovery to make, and without an easily available confidant. They have to make their own way and find their own answers with less protection and guidance they might have had otherwise.
Many series characters, like in sitcoms, WILL have parents who show up sometimes. This is handy in a different way, to provide conflict and comedy for the characters.
S'what crossed my mind today, anyway…
See you next time!
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Banes at 12:00AM, May 25, 2023
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