Lucinda Elliot

Marty Sue’s and Adrians, too…


It has sometimes occurred to me, apropos romantic heroes who are always dashing and macho, Byronic and Brooding and in charge – that it is strongly connected the question of the Male Mary Sue.

A Mary Sue is of course, a heroine or other female character who is good at everything and desired and admired by everybody.While author’s obviously ought to be aware of creating this absurdity in portraying an admirable and competent female, I gather that there has been such a fear of creating a Mary Sue heroine that women authors particularly have tended to go to opposite extremes, so that their heroine always gets the worst of the exchanges with the hero, etc…There unfotunately does seem to have been a certain return to the female protagonist who places her fate trustingly in the hands of the male…

Yet, there seems to be far less of a fear in creating a male equivalent of a Mary Sue. I gather that such a character is known as a ‘Marty Sue’ but I heard somewhere that a good term would be an ‘Adrian’. That sounds a good idea to me.

You know how it is with this type of hero; not only do all the men admire him, but every women goes weak at the knees at the sight of him.He’s usually a hard drinker, but he never falls on his face, and if he’s a gambler, then no amount of drinking will make him lose at cards.

Whatever misfortunes may plague him, he will rise above them, for he is, above all, a Leader of Men…He’s programmed to rise to the top. It’s a sort of physical law, like a cork popping up.

Presumably, this magnetic quality applies even if when he isn’t looking his best and his breath must certainly be off after a night of carousing. But these heroes, of course, never have bad breath, let alone hangovers; their mouth has an automatic self cleansing facility. I have commented already upon the complete absence of the vomiting reflux amongst such heroes, even when in a high fever. They also have a self cleaning utility for their noses, which never run.

Should one of these men be thrown into a deepest dungeon, they wouldn’t smell after six months without a bath, though their breeches might become a little ragged about the knees. They would practice fortitude, because that is the way that they have been programmed.

I suppose Sir Lancelot, pictured above, rescuing Guinevere, is an early example of this type of hero, and he has a long series of followers…

I have also wondered what would happen should a gang of these over achievers come together. It would certainly be difficult if there was only one pretty girl in the room, as who would she choose? Perhaps she would fall in love with all of them at once, suffer sensory overload, rush from the room, and fall down in a swoon.

If, after a session of carousing, they decided on some cards, who would win? Perhaps all of them at once. What would they talk about? Maybe nothing at all. They might all remain Mysteriously Aloof and Strong and Silent. T hey don’t do Mouthing Off either.
‘A slow evening, Mr B…’ Sir Lancelot would comment.
‘Slow no more, Sir. A host of dragons have begun terrorising the area, and one has just set fire to Lovelace’s’ breeches. Did you see the cad sneak out after cheating all evening? I didn’t like to speak of it, because that would be Whinging, and we don’t Do Whining.This was conflict for me, and my circuits began to overload,as we Don’t Do Unassertiveness, either. I was torn between slapping his face and calling him out, and the fact that he is after all, cad though he is, One of Us and that can’t happen between us. ‘
‘Me, too, Mr B. I fear we all may need re-programming, for I felt my circuits overload, too. Ah, I must see to slaying those dragons – though I would have thought it was usually the ladies who had the affect of setting fire to Lovelace’s breeches.’
‘Mayhap he cheated the dragons at cards, too…’

3 Responses

  1. Philip Jose Farmer’s Riverworld resurrects an entertaining variety of historical figures. The duel between Richard Burton and Cyrano de Bergerac is a scene I will never forget.

    I think, though, a bar full of alpha male romantic vampire leads would descend rapidly into chaos. The solitary female might decide thereafter that there are saner people to hang around with…

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