Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Captain America and Secondary Characters

A few weeks ago, hubby and I went to see Captain America. I was super excited, mostly because I’m almost always impressed by the way that Marvel makes things feel fresh, even when it’s a story almost identical to one we’ve already seen before.

The thing with this movie is that it had the chance of feeling like a sequel. It had that chance of feeling like it was just a filler, since it’s using all of the same characters that we’ve already seen. There was the fact that they were going to fight one another, but we’ve seen that before. They’re not known for getting along for very long.

I was pleasantly surprised, again.

I think the best thing about each additional movie is that they always add at least one or two more characters to the group. It changes the dynamics and makes us see them all in a new light. Honestly, the fight scene at the airport wouldn’t have been as entertaining if they’d all done this before. You have Ant Man and Spider Man trying to figure out how they fit into the group. In fact, the veterans take time to let Spider Man know that he’s doing it wrong.

Adding additional characters can be a double edged sword. You don’t want things to feel too stale, with the same characters over and over, but you also don’t want to overwhelm the audience with so many bodies that they can’t keep them all straight.

The biggest thing to remember is that each character needs to have a purpose. They can’t be there as a mere body, one to add to the battle, or to the body count. They need to have a reason to be there, one that matters to them. And they need to have some kind of relationship with your main characters. Otherwise, they’re in the wrong story. Secondary characters, just like main characters, need to be crafted with care, and given a personality and a reason for the audience to root for them.