Bonnie Burton says hurrah for the misfits and oddballs
There’s nothing more exciting to watch than misfit antiheroes and underdogs claiming victory against the bad guys of the universe. Whether you root for Groot, Rocket Raccoon and the rest of the ragtag crew in Guardians Of The Galaxy, or believe in a kid on a moisture farm who just wants to find adventure and help out a princess, the outsiders will always be the coolest kids in SF.
Perhaps we adore oddballs the most because they mirror our own history of being considered the adolescent losers and lone wolves. I can relate to feeling like a misfit on more than one occasion all throughout my long legacy as the last kid picked for anything. I never quite fitted in with all the other self- assured kids who could make friends instantly and master sports without really trying.
I was the kid people looked at with one raised eyebrow. Sure, I may have had imaginary friends longer than most children, and I would talk to public trashcans pretending they were robots. So what? I was a different breed of awesome. I was a creative eccentric trapped in an awkward pre- teen body.
I wore all black to make a statement. I would recite Shakespeare soliloquies in Klingon during high school auditions for Hamlet. I wore glowin- the- dark lipstick for photography lab just so I could freak out classmates while we processed film in the dark room. I’d use a ouija board in the school library to pretend ghosts were my tutors.
So yeah, I can relate to the dissidents that are heralded as beloved sci- fi and fantasy heroes. It’s so much more fun to celebrate heroes that have dealt with the same trials and tribulations as we do. It’s called the Hero’s Journey for a reason.
Harry Potter would never have been the hero we needed if he came from a loving home and got everything he desired from the get- go. He needed to have a horrible childhood, minimal friends and a questionable history for us to really get excited when he stood up to unfair professors, prejudiced wizards and Lord Voldemort himself.
Luke Skywalker would have been downright dull if we’d met him at the Jedi Academy instead of trapped on a moisture farm with his aunt and uncle, fixing broken droids and dreaming of a more exciting existence.
Rocket Raccoon wouldn’t have been the warrior he became unless he had to prove he could take on an army at his minute size. Even Groot had to overcome a few issues for being a giant with a limited vocabulary.
There’s also heroes who started out exactly like us – goofy geeks with zero game. Spider- Man started out as the science whiz kid before he became the guy who could catch criminals with web from his wrists. Keeping his secret identity intact, he still has to put up with taunting peers, an overbearing newspaper boss and a chaotic love life.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is another great example of what it means to suffer through high school living a double life. I barely survived my high school years just trying to get good grades while making at least one friend so as not to turn into a complete social outcast. I can’t imagine doing that and saving the world from armies of vampires and demons.
Thankfully all these bizarre heroes exist for us geeks to look up to so we know that we’re not alone with our personality quirks and antisocial behaviour. We want to be loved, appreciated and wanted just as much as our strange superheroes.
I can’t wait to see what exceptional adventures the next batch of weirdo heroes have in store for us. I hope they continue to inspire me, as well as the next generation of freaks and geeks who could use someone like them to look up to.
I would talk to trashcans pretending they were robots
Bonnie reckons we have more in common with mutants, Wookiees, aliens, moisture farm kids and riotous raccoons than we thought.