Yeah, yeah, I will get to those essays. This is just a different meta thing that popped dramtically into my brain. My standards for heroes and villains, and how they differ. Namely: who I root for. (Besides the Davidson Wildcats)
I began thinking about this when I realized how little sense it makes that my favorite Marvel character is an occasionally genocidal, often fairly insane supervillain, and yet I want to see Scott Summers and this trophy girlfriend they're claiming is Emma Frost die horribly in magma, preferably on-panel. This is a bit of a turnaround for me, fandomwise. Generally I root for the heroes. They're the heroes, after all. The villains are the villains. I understand that.
And maybe that's the issue. I have low standards for my villains. I do not expect to see Darth Vader cuddle puppies, and that is part of what makes it such a heartwarming moment when he won't let the Emperor kill Luke. For anyone else in the cast, this would be a no-brainer- leaving it for as long as Vader did would in fact make them less of heroes. On the other hand, I fully expect Luke to try to save his father- it's why he's such a wonderful, selfless, desperate for a family again guy. (Side note: I've got it in my head that out on Tatooine, being a lawless desert full of little farms, family is everything, sort of like out in the country. When Luke loses Owen and Beru, he literally has nothing left, and so he of course easily clings to Obi-Wan, Leia, and even Han. But that is a half-formed story for another time.) When Cyclops, who I'm apparently supposed to hold up as the hero, is shacking up with his mistress and I'm supposed to believe it's a Love Story For the Ages, I draw some lines. I could totally get behind Scott and Emma as a messed up relationship between messed up people- that's the sort of paring I like. But when it's presented as the second coming of Scott and Jean, I can't get behind that. It doesn't click for me. It actively annoys me.
(Of course, Marvel also apparently expects me to believe that trading your marriage to the devil for your dead aunt (who had ALREADY reached Her Time, and as a Presbyterian, I can respect reaching One's Time) is a perfectly selfless, heroic act that will have no negative consequences whatsoever, and men are "more interesting" without wives or women, and- okay, that's another rant for another day...)
Also, dear idiot fanboys on the message board I should not visit, feminism is not evil. I'm sorry you live in your mom's basment and can't get laid. Don't take it out on us.