“Gone, Gone the form of man, Rise the Demon, Etrigan!”
(Those of you familiar with the quote and the picture get extra points!!!)
For the rest of you, Etrigan is a Demon. An anti-hero from the DC comic universe. He’s eternally bound to the soul of Jason Blood by Merlin the Magician and an eternal enemy of Morgaine Le Fey.
Aside from my love of comics in general and the anti-hero of Etrigan specifically, there is actually a reason I’m writing about Etrigan. He’s not a good guy. He’s really not. He is an honest-to-sin Demon with a hideous temper and a murderous rage for anything involving his enemies. Even his human alter-ego, Jason Blood, isn’t really a good guy. But he’s the hero because he’s just a little bit better than the bad guys. His single-minded devotion to his cause often puts other people, even innocents, in danger, but he never sets out to hurt them and if saving the world will thwart the plans of those he hates, Etrigan will happily do it. Not for the people he saves, but for the sake of vengeance and hatred.
So, how good do our characters have to be to be the good guy?
Does it even matter if they’re the ‘good’ guy?
What’s your character’s dark side? What are they like when they really lose it? How far do they have to be pushed before that happens? I like exploring the other side of characters, even if it doesn’t readily appear in the book. It gives them depth and focus. A place to reach into when things get really bad.