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L'homme Fatal

01 Jun 2015 22:29 #42517 by shadar
L'homme Fatal was created by shadar
A common enough formula for strong male character, including superheroes, is to provide a challenging female presence who is also highly attractive. The Femme Fatal is trying to kill him, but thanks to lots of chemistry and her supreme hotness, they wind up in a sexual relationship and he wins her over to his side. Or she dies..

The argument put forth is that super heroine movies/shows have done poorly because no one writes or casts the male equivalent of the Femme Fatal (L'homme Fatal). Something I hadn't considered.

Anyway, check out the link and see what you think:
america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2015/6/su...of-lhomme-fatal.html

By the way, the "Supergirl" he refers to is the 1984 movie (follow the link to read the original email from the Sony executive who started this thought.
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02 Jun 2015 03:29 #42526 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic L'homme Fatal
Shadar just might have an homme fatal of his own waiting in the wings. But I'll leave it to him to tell about it, if he so chooses.

--Brantley

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02 Jun 2015 11:20 #42539 by Markiehoe
Replied by Markiehoe on topic L'homme Fatal
"Why do Good girls like Bad boys" is a pretty common trope in storytelling.
Maybe not so much in Superheroine movies.
Jean falling for Wolverine in the X men movies comes to mind.

This trope bothers me in the Superheroine genre.
I can't explain why.
I like my good girls to be good.

I remember when my local bookstore closed I bought the entire run of Adam Warren's Empowered trade paperback.
Five issues.
I started reading it but just stopped cold when she fell for Thugboy.
Issues 2 through 5 are still in the shrinkwrap.

Turning a bad boy to the light side is a good thing but him getting the ultimate reward after a life time of being a bad person.
Not for me.

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02 Jun 2015 11:39 #42541 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic L'homme Fatal
The more I think about it the more I see the angle of this idea but, at the same time, I find myself scratching my head. It definitely makes a lot of sense from certain perspective, establishing a sexual (not necessarily a love) interest is a time tested narrative technique, but I don't know how well it would work using the avaible tropes in a reverse gender scenario. Perhaps it's because the narrative convention (and real life in many ways) tend to showcase males as more aggressive, making the usual subtle play I consider integral to the femme fatale archetype hard to put together.

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02 Jun 2015 16:21 #42544 by AuGoose
Replied by AuGoose on topic L'homme Fatal
Hmm. Arguably there's a little of this going on with Spider Martins and Taylor (in The Lioness). The tension between them isn't strictly sexual, but he is very much an alpha male working hard to maintain his aura of mastery in the presence of a superwoman. He's not particularly kidding when he mentions he's contemplated a whole range of betrayal scenarios that might serve him well. And he's not entirely blind to the fact she's literally built like a teenager's wet dream.

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02 Jun 2015 17:41 #42548 by castor
Replied by castor on topic L'homme Fatal
I would argue you see this a lot in superheroine fiction and the kinda superhero fiction

Steve Trevor(in the comics and it time in the 70s show) was all about this. The strong super macho guy who is diana rival-most of his stories tend to go with "Yeah i am stronger then you so why don't you got to the kitchen" but end up with him helping her out. And yeah this is rommantic, but there is a strong element of sexual tension there as well. Even in the 40s comics it is cannon that he wanted to get in her pants(though how much she wanted it varied).

In Movies this is basically the plot of Catwoman- Prudence has to deal with a sexy strong bad boy cop( whose name i am not going to look up for this). He wants to arest her, but instead...*cue sax*.

You see it in Tank Girl. With Kangaroos. Moving on...

And in the kinda super stuff, in Underworld is all about Sexy Female Vampire deaing with Strong Werewolf guy. Hunger Games involves Katniss dealing with her maybe Rival the Hyper Buff Peta(well in the books). This is all over Young Adult fiction etc. Hell Daniel Craig is in Tomb Raider as her rival with a terrible accent but good abs.

You can see this all over-there are tons of Bad boy super tough guys who the woman has to break before becoming her lover.

( And yeah in Legend of Korra you see an intresting variation of this as, Two Strong powerful woman are fighting over the same man. Until they decide to ditch him and hook up.)

But not so much here and that is intresting. As a writer i played with that a little in my Mazing Girl Stories with the jerky rival hero-who in the last story is killed. -You see it pop up here and there- but not so so much. Dru has done a story or to, Lioness...but agian not so much at least not to the level of most.

and Its true that you don't see it 84 Supergirl-but i think it kinda works for it. The romance in that suprisingly sweet and gentle and i think is one of the movies best features, with its tone of somethings that wistfully not going to be. Got in a duscssion about Alien 3 the other day and i do think one ofthe movies best feature(in a bad movie) is the rommance. We See Ripley as an incredible badass who is strong and tough etc etc...but well she falls for a sad slightly Cynical man who yet is both Gentle and suprisingly decent underneath. It gives a movie a sency of poignancy before the bad effects.

I guess it goes two the ways of doing a strong girl rommance:

1. She is very Strong and the strength goes to her rivarly.

2. Shes suprisingly gentle and the rommance comes to that.

As i a guy who typpically writes 3000-10,000 word stories, which aren't that long 2 is if nothing else Quicker. The classic "first they hate each and then they love each other "plot takes time. As a guy who works a lot in Short Film, getting complicated changing relationships is tricky.

Also for the Genre its almost reverse sexism. For this kind of story to work the men has to be at some level an equal to the woman..which you know is something that in a lot of stories here is a trick.

But perhaps it shouldn't be. You need tension in stories-you need challenges that are belivable. I kind of like the recent trend in Uberish fiction on movies to give basic superheroine stories Like insurgent where the heroine is strong...but maybe not strong enough. You have to figure it out, in better ways then the 85 Red Sonja movie where "i will never be with any man who can not beat me in single combat"- kinda ways.

So yeah i do think you see this-but not so much here. But perhaps you should.

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02 Jun 2015 20:37 #42552 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic L'homme Fatal
There's the whole Shades of Grey thing, which I guess appeals to women either because they're masochists or because the Bad Boy is "converted" at the end (That's what they say; I haven't read the books and have no desire to do so.). Same with the romantic vampire novels, I guess.

It's harder to figure why a supergirl would want a Bad Boy in the first place, even assuming a convenient lack of supermen leaves her no sexual outlet but ordinary guys. I guess a goody two shoes would be too boring, but you'd think there'd be men who could appeal to her on other levels -- like intelligence, courage of conviction in a troubled world, etc. And not being intimidated her power, but even being drawn to it -- fucking a goddess has to be a turn-on for them.

--Brantley

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02 Jun 2015 21:49 - 02 Jun 2015 21:55 #42553 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic L'homme Fatal
In my thinking, we're talking about the male equivalent of the Femme Fatals that you might see in a Bond movie. Someone who is capable and very attractive and dripping in chemistry, but they are clearly out to figure out Bond's secrets or kill him. But Bond always seduces them and wins them over to his side, or they get killed (not by him).

So when we turn that around, we're talking about a guy who our super heroine is strongly drawn to, with great chemistry between them. But he's really out to figure out her secrets and do away with her. Not for himself, but for some bigger bad guy who controls him. And she knows that. And despite being an ordinary human, he's capable of that with technology or weapons or whatever.

So he's not a 'bad boy" in the context of the motorcycle rebel trope He could come across as charming, wealthy, sophisticated. Or to go another way, an ex-military type. She thinks she can turn him around, and he's more than willing to let her think that.

But this isn't a romance novel approach to male characters, but truly a gender-bent Femme Fatale. He's working on her emotions and desires to exploit her. To find her weakness. But she still finds him irresistible, and is perhaps over-confident relative to her abilities.

The problem is that most women don't respond to seduction the way men do. But given she's essentially invulnerable and superstring, perhaps she's thinking more like a guy than most women. She doesn't think she can be hurt.

The idea is to build suspense as the reader knows all the evil he's up to, but our super heroine has only a hint of that. She believes he's fixable. The reader knows he isn't. And in the end, he very nearly succeeds.

Anyway, this could go many ways, but that's my thinking. But this is a hard trope to turn on its end. Whether its the thing that salvages the super heroine genre by making it exciting to ordinary viewers/readers, I don't know. But it is an interesting direction.

To Brantley's point, I'm going to try and depict something close to this is a Velorian story I'm working on with him. Not sure if I can pull it off, but its worth a try.
Last edit: 02 Jun 2015 21:55 by shadar.

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03 Jun 2015 04:42 #42556 by ArgentDragon
Replied by ArgentDragon on topic L'homme Fatal
Thinking about this, I'd say the closest equivalent would be Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon. He's an equal. He's dark and mysterious. He's not entirely on the side of good at the beginning. He's encouraging, helping out just enough to give the girls a breather to marshal their strength again to overcome the villain on their own.

Another good example could be Lara's male rival from the Tomb Raider series; can't remember his name ATM.

But in terms of pure 'Homme Fatale', I really can't think of a character that would be the male version of Catwoman or Black Cat; usually amoral but works on the side of good because of feelings for the heroine.

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04 Jun 2015 02:14 #42563 by inactive
Replied by inactive on topic L'homme Fatal
I've played around with a straight inversion - something from the point of view of a supervillainess who falls for the dishy secret agent / hero type. Is he really in love with her, or is he only interesting in foiling her plans for world domination and bringing her to justice?

I've never quite been able to nail it down. I think superwomen are just too smart to fall for "The Honeypot".

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04 Jun 2015 06:36 #42572 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic L'homme Fatal
The essence of it is seduction. Which per a dictionary definition is: "Seduction is the process of deliberately enticing a person, to lead astray, as from duty, rectitude, or the like; to corrupt, to persuade or induce to engage in sexual behaviour. The word seduction stems from Latin and means literally "to lead astray".

The way that men and women focus on tasks, and the ways that we are diverted from that are different. Even more is that seduction as regards to sex (the narrower, more common interpretation) is handled completely differently between the sexes. So it doesn't surprise me that a simple inversion story won't ring true.

None of this answers the question whether a L'homme Fatal will make a super heroine story leap off the screen for mainstream viewers. We're just saying that its hard to write. But its an interesting thought.

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04 Jun 2015 07:06 #42573 by martinblasick
Replied by martinblasick on topic L'homme Fatal
A satisfied person can't be seduced according to The Art Of Seduction. This is perhaps why it's unseemly for Supergirl to go for something for the sake of a naughty thrill. In a way isn't every bad boy a l'homme fatal?
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04 Jun 2015 12:14 #42576 by AuGoose
Replied by AuGoose on topic L'homme Fatal
That suggests you just need to make the object not so satisfied...

What do you hold over the girl who thinks she has it all...?

Hmm.

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04 Jun 2015 14:07 #42578 by inactive
Replied by inactive on topic L'homme Fatal

AuGoose wrote: That suggests you just need to make the object not so satisfied...

What do you hold over the girl who thinks she has it all...?

Hmm.


The things she's lost and the things she never knew she was missing?

Or, if she truly has it all: a box to keep it in. :)

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04 Jun 2015 15:00 - 04 Jun 2015 15:06 #42580 by AuGoose
Replied by AuGoose on topic L'homme Fatal
One of the oddest things about heroes - they don't generally seek MORE POWER. Which is bizarre as they know better than almost anybody the difference between having ordinary quantities and extraordinary quantities. In fact most stories treat it as some sort of fall from grace when a hero strives to better themselves (at least by any means other than "Good" "Clean" training...).

So L'homme might be able to offer more power. Especially if the heroine just got handed a stinging defeat.
Last edit: 04 Jun 2015 15:06 by AuGoose.

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04 Jun 2015 15:37 #42585 by castor
Replied by castor on topic L'homme Fatal

martinblasick wrote: A satisfied person can't be seduced according to The Art Of Seduction. This is perhaps why it's unseemly for Supergirl to go for something for the sake of a naughty thrill. In a way isn't every bad boy a l'homme fatal?


Well plenty of things really.( If your making a character in fiction of any kind who is completly satisfed then your doing it wrong.)

Here are things to tempt them with:

1. Defeat of ennimies.

2. Protection of Loved ones(see star wars)

3. Normalcy even if its just for a second (a big theme of my stuff)

4. Companionship(a hero is by defenition at some level alone. Not just with a man but well with a group or family)

5. Base level lusts (not just sex, but one of my favorite joke stories was about a vampire who was seduced by the great taste of bacon)

6. Justice.

7. Recognition and fame.

8. Traditional Power-ie "Queen of the world"(most heroes don't seek power, but it can be tempting)

9. Undoing a mistake.

10. Sollittude

you could craft stories where the metaphorical devil offers a lot of things

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04 Jun 2015 15:49 #42588 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic L'homme Fatal

geekseven wrote:

AuGoose wrote: That suggests you just need to make the object not so satisfied...

What do you hold over the girl who thinks she has it all...?

Hmm.


The things she's lost and the things she never knew she was missing?

Or, if she truly has it all: a box to keep it in. :)


At this point I think that it might be more interesting to see if anyone can either spark or create a desire in her. I can think of one example with Irene Addler and Sherlock Holmes. The reason why they are such a popular pair is that Conan Doyle implied that there could be a interest from Holmes (which is exceptional), which spawned from the fact that Irene Addler was able to beat him at his own game makeing her unique and elevating her, in Holmes's perception, above any other woman.
I think that a similar logic might be applied here, even if the girl has truly everything, a smart homme fatale would be the one that knows how to spark her interest by making himself hard to reach for her or by exploiting a blind spot in her defenses that she dont know about.

AuGoose wrote: One of the oddest things about heroes - they don't generally seek MORE POWER. Which is bizarre as they know better than almost anybody the difference between having ordinary quantities and extraordinary quantities. In fact most stories treat it as some sort of fall from grace when a hero strives to better themselves (at least by any means other than "Good" "Clean" training...).

So L'homme might be able to offer more power. Especially if the heroine just got handed a stinging defeat.


This could be a good scenario, but I don't agree with the premise. In general heroes are heroes exactly because of that: they have power and they fear it because they know how easily they can slip while using it. In "For the Man Who Has Everything" Alan Moore established one of the best example of this using Superman: what is the deepest desire of the man of steel? To be ordinary. I think that this could be true for many character -- though not all.

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