And I'm not talking about car insurance. I'm talking about alpha males. Alpha, alpha, alpha. Join me for a three part alpha male fest guaranteed to make your heart pitter-pat. ;)
I've been doing a lot of thinking about the third installment of whatever this crazy series I'm working on is. *sigh* Yes, I know I'm supposed to be editing The Treasure Hunter's Lady because I make the declaration that I would, but. . . my brain runs in all directions.
THL is balanced by an alpha hero and a heroine who definitely has an alpha streak, but one little look from those whiskey-colored eyes and she melts. They make each other work. The hero, Abel, finds his breakthrough in the heroine and gets in touch with his omega side. Very nice. The second story in the series, The Sky Pirate's Wife, is dominated by Captain van Buren, who had his dreams crushed, so he builds a shell around himself and becomes very, very alpha. I'd be hard pressed to say whether I liked the good captain or Abel better. Abel, at least owns a sense of humor. The captain is a little trickier, but it's his stoicism that makes him humorous.
I'm having trouble with my alpha hero from the third novel, which has been through titles and been through titles. Yeah, that's a work in progress. So, clearly I'm hung up on alpha heroes. Here's why:
I was a Brown Coat before it was cool. I am madly and irrevocably in love with Captain Malcolm Reynolds. Oh, what a brooder. Great hair and superb comebacks. I have listened to Joss Whedon's commentary on Mal. I have studied him from as many angles as I can, deconstructing his character, which isn't easy given there's not a lot of back story on him. You take what you get and basically discover his story begins when the Independents lose the war.
What makes Mal an alpha? Besides the hair and comebacks.
Angst. He started out a simple man leading other men in a cause he believed in. He ended up a broken man who not only lost a battle, he lost the war. (Veterans are sexy, no?) The very first scene in the Firefly episode 'Serenity', his hopes are dashed all to hell. Which breaks him. It's enough to break anyone. So he rebels even more than he already had against the Alliance--to quote him, "May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one."--and takes off to some of the farthest reaches of the 'verse. The only person he's close to is his first mate, Zoe. And to be honest, he doesn't exactly share a lot with her, despite what her husband Wash thinks (see the episode 'War Stories'). There's an obvious sexual tension between him and Inara. Mr. Whedon is the expert at making couples miserable. Mal won't, for a second, hesitate to save a beautiful woman, but he also admits that Inara confuses things for him. Has to be love, has to be. Then there's cheerful Kaylee, who expresses obvious friendly affection for Mal, but in the movie, she also admits he sometimes doesn't have human emotions.
Wherein, I disagree. He takes in fugitives, knowing full well what that could mean for his life of freedom. He has the utmost respect for his crew. Even though he runs Inara's career path down at every possible turn, he loves her. I'm not really sure what's up with the Mal/Jayne relationship. Even after all this time I wonder if Jayne isn't simply muscle and comic relief. Hmm.
I think he wanted to stop feeling. He thought getting away from everything would allow that to happen. Maybe he didn't intend for his crew to become family, but they did. We watched the emotion surge when he lost friends. We watched him take on the impossible (going back to the first episode and spanning it to the movie) and therefore, become mighty. No matter what the consequences, he risked everything to let the truth shine. (Was it just me or did that sound extremely cheesy? Cheesy, right?) He went full circle and maybe got back some of his original character. Alpha hero, heartthrob. Best of both worlds.