HEROIC SACRIFICE

Sacrifice is central to being a hero, super or otherwise.  Sadly, much of Hollywood has given up on this.  All endings, it seems, must be happy.  In classic storytelling, the great heroes died or at least suffered great loss.  In X-MEN:TAS we had our team face personal sacrifice whenever we could.  The first story climaxed with Morph sacrificing his life for his closest friend, Wolverine (see below).  In the much later “One Man’s Worth,” Storm and Wolverine sacrifice their undying love to save someone they have never met in this timeline (Charles Xavier).  One of the greatest moments in the history of sacrifice in storytelling was the final shot of the movie “The Searchers” (1956).   John Wayne’s character has just given five years of his life, struggling, searching for and rescuing his niece.  He brings her back and heals the pioneer family that had lost her.  One by one the happy family go inside the house, leaving the heroic uncle standing alone in the doorway.  The words “Ride away…” are sung on the sound track.  John Wayne looks into the house for a moment, seeing something he can never quite be part of, then walks off alone.  He did what he had to do; he sacrificed.  When I meet people who loved X-MEN:TAS, nearly every one says: “You had me when you killed Morph.”  This show, they decided, was different.  Mark Edens and I, who made this initial choice, just took it for granted that personal sacrifice was at the center of what it means to be a hero.  I guess we’re just old-fashioned.

morph-pushworld-for-our-love

searchers

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