In reading over the last few posts it occurs to me that what we are really talking about is direct communication. When a character needs to convey something, we try to "show" it instead of "telling" it. A very fine line indeed. I often chuckle to myself when I read my fantasy novels because like the old movies, the bad guys usually wear black, scowl a lot and wreak havoc.
The good guys are generally portrayed as flawed but ultimately courageous, kind, strong and likeable. People often think it's easier to create good guys, but it's actually easier to create bad guys.
For whatever the reason, lately, Hollywood has produced a number of movies based on comic book characters. Inevitably the bad guys are praised, given awards and multifaceted personalities (i.e., Heath Ledger as the Joker) while the heroes are dismissed as one dimensional characters who ultimately kills the bad guy. The only one I've seen that changed this paradigm was “Iron Man.” There the hero was the flawed but ultimately the good guy. Maybe that's why I liked it best.
Why is that? Shouldn't our good guys be the ones holding the storyline while the bad guys are just there to help our very human good guy attain his/her potential? I find it much harder to like the good guys given this one dimensionality. I mean everyone knows who Luke Skywalker is (my perfect hero) but everyone really likes Darth Vader.
As writers with a higher calling shouldn’t we work on making our good guys more real and more likable than the bad ones?