Tag Archives: beta heroes

Alpha & Beta Heroes in The Avengers (aka I’m having a fangirl moment)

5 May

The Helvetican and I went to see The Avengers last night. I frequently have to drag my hero to summer popcorn movies, or have mercy on his soul and take the teens while he’s at work. However, he likes comic book characters and the good movies Marvel has been making with them, so he went willingly.

I LOOOOOOOVED The Avengers! Of course, with Joss Whedon writing and directing, how could it be anything but fantastic? Great script, a ton of fabulous lines, with so much humor to balance out the tension. Effects were beautifully done. I thought it was a perfect start to the summer movie season.

But the very best reason to love it, particularly as a romance writer and reader…the heroes. Heroes everywhere! And not just heroes, but a fantastic heroine: Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow. Now there’s a girl who is very well aware of her strengths and abilities. She can hold her own, kick ass, use all her feminine tools to get the job done as needed, and still be a woman with a vulnerable heart underneath it all. There’s another heroine, too: Agent Maria Hill. She’s a tough girl, a soldier. We didn’t get to know her very well, but I liked her!

But back to the heroes.

  • Tony Stark, Iron Man. Brilliant, witty, snarky, egotistical, self-centered. He is a definite alpha and heroic because he does the right thing no matter what it costs him. I love that he is beautifully matched with a woman who can turn him on his ear and run him in circles when she chooses.
  • Dr. Bruce Banner, The Hulk. Brainy, quiet, caring, thoughtful–but simmering underneath. He is a beta hero with a serious alpha undercurrent. And a shifting issue.
  • Thor…well, hey, it’s hard to look past a god, especially when he looks that good (and this from a woman who’s not big on blonds or beards). He’s an alpha through and through, especially now that this god has grown up and learned about responsibility and protecting others. Extremely powerful, but capable of great love and gentleness.
  • Steve Rogers, Captain America. Serious, strong of character, reserved, decidedly old-fashioned, doing the right thing no matter how hard, because that is what must be done, taking charge because someone needs to rise to the occasion. A very gentlemanly alpha who has beta tendencies.
  • Nick Fury brought The Avengers together, and is doing what needs to be done in the background to keep the world safe, even from his superiors, if necessary. Definitely falls into the alpha designation.
  • Agent Phil Coulson, a supporting character throughout the films leading up to this one. He’s quiet, cool, calm, polite to a fault, genial, but able and willing to do what needs doing. He’s not your usual alpha, and I’m inclined to think on a personal level he’s much more of a beta, so we’ll go with a beta with an alpha streak.

My favorite, though? Surprised the heck out of me. Agent Barton, Hawkeye…OMG, yes, please. He’s definitely an alpha, but what is it about this character that caught my attention, especially when he’s not exactly at his best for a while there? Is it the archery thing? I admit to a serious weakness for a man with a bow. Is it the fact that he is quietly, outrageously efficient, ruthless, with high attention to detail, the best at what he does without being a cocky bastard, and yet is a man with emotions under it all? I haven’t quite figured it out. So, strictly in the interest of research, I’m heading out to see it again with my daughter!

Who is your favorite comic book hero?