Friday Heroes – The Eternal Optimist

I’m never doing two themed weeks of posting in a row again, as I’m already tired as can be of these damn things. On a more cheerful note, I had a nice, relaxing day off today, which is certainly a good thing.

The Eternal Optimist proved to be a tricky entry, as it’s hard to find a hero who doesn’t falter at least a little in his or her journey. Naturally, I’m allowing for some wiggle-room on this subject so as to not end this post by ripping my hair out.

Whether chosen by destiny, or simply because they’re inherently, overwhelmingly good, these heroes remain positive in even the most grim situations. They’re certain, beyond almost all doubt, that they will find victory in their quest, as they are on the path to defeating evil and doing good. Generic heroing stuff, of course. 

A key element to this type of hero is a child-like innocence not really present in older, more worn-down heroes (though I’m sure that somewhere out there is an older hero who completely shits up this line of thinking). Younger heroes, less battered by an endless career of saving the day, seem to be more prone to keeping optimistic in even the darkest of times. An ideal example, by my reasoning, of this type of hero is Steven Universe. Yes. That Steven Universe. Hear me out before you judge.

Aside from being one of the best cartoons on TV right now, containing some really great messages for its viewers, this show has one of the strongest, most endlessly positive heroes ever.

Steven inherits a gem from his mother, Rose Quartz, and is made a member of the Crystal Gems–including Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl, all of whom are aliens who chose to protect Earth against their own people. Though Steven knows little at first about the circumstances that lead Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl to call Earth home, he joins them with a certain unbridled excitement about being a Crystal Gem. He sees them fighting off monsters to help keep the Earth safe, and wants to help in doing so. When the odds seem stacked against the Crystal Gems, Steven’s attitude seems to help get them through almost any situation (no matter how dire, but I won’t spoil anything because GO WATCH THIS SHOW). He is the morale boost the other Crystal Gems (I swear to whatever ancient, dark Gods are listening that if I type “Cyrstal” instead of “Crystal” one more time I’m going to throw my laptop into the effing Sun) need when they’re feeling like they can’t possibly win, or that Steven isn’t ready for a particular mission.

This past season has shown that Steven’s ability to find the good in every situation is instrumental in him being a strong hero, which in turn brings out the strengths in those around him. And I so wanted to go into this topic making fun of how silly this type of hero was, only to find myself surprised.

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