Back again for our new round of hero vs hero. Literary crush vs. literary crush. Captain Blood has, so far, taken the win for the first two rounds.
Captain Blood: once a slave then a pirate then a … what it a governor? Something like that, but ultimately, Captain Blood is the lover of his heroine.
Anyhoo, lovely Captain Blood, literary crush.
So, Captain Blood versus Archie Goodwin. Who the heck is Archie you ask? Well, he’s the man about town for the brilliant Nero Wolfe. Together those two men are the righters of wrongs, solvers of crimes of a whole-freaking-bunch of books and stories. Wolfe lurks in his home sending out minions in order to solve crimes and his number one man is the clever, energetic, and charming Goodwin.
Archie first appeared in 1934. For the sheer number of stories, Archie is the clear winner. But he’s got his pluses and minuses like all our heroes. Like Captain Blood, Archie is intelligent, energetic, strong, and charming. Captain Blood is the commanding hero of his tale. Unlike Captain Blood, Archie reports to another.
But who would you choose?!??!?!?
Archie, though heroic, needs Wolfe to solve crimes. But is that such a problem? We don’t live in a vacuum and people need each other. Maybe the real win there is that Archie is the member of a family of men who solve crimes, right wrongs, and generally outdo other teams. Like the police Or the FBI. Or whatnot. It is only when Captain Blood works with others that his story goes wrong. The inability to judge and work with other men is surely a problem.
But then again, Archie lives in Wolfe’s home. Who wants to have a literary crush on a character who only has a bedroom?
The problem with good ole Archie? He is the hero of a number of stories where the writer previously determined that he would never change the set up. You can read a Wolfe-Goodwin story in any order and nothing materially will change to the back story, so it isn’t necessary to read in order. Which means Goodwin is the constant, free-wheeling charmer. Yes, he’s more appealing in every way than Captain Blood. If only because he was from an age where men took women dancing, bathed regularly, etc. So charming or not, no woman will ever fully entice Goodwin.
So the faithful and constant Blood or the charming and un-pin-downable Goodwin? Could you capture Goodwin’s heart, he’d be the winner of this round of literary crush. No question. Mmmm, Goodwin. But since the nature of his character is that he’ll never be caught I’ll have to give it to Captain Blood once again.
For me…fidelity and commitment wins over dancing.