I find the numerous ways that authors make paranormal characters their own creations fascinating. There are ever evolving breeds of vampires, shifters, and mythological critters out there. Actually, you could even throw in aliens for good measure.
The most interesting thing to me is the way that these characters have shifted from the villains to the heroes and heroines. What drives us to find redeeming value in them? Is it because we are fascinated by the possibilities that they offer? Or is this drive to redeem them our attempt to limit the fear factor of the originals?
I have a friend who theorizes that there is an actual underground movement to desensitize the public so that when the others finally reveal themselves to ordinary humans, we'll not panic. And of course that very theme has been explored in several books.
If that were true, then what is the real agenda? Are we the patsies to be controlled and subjugated? Or are we the partners in the future?
I'm reminded of that scene in Independence Day (the movie) when all the people are dancing on top of a tall building with signs of welcome... and then the spaceship blast the building to bits. Unlike so many of the "alien" movies in recent times, that particular movie took the position that aliens would be hostile.
I remember an old black and white movie from my youth where the space ship lands and the alien appears and demands, "Take me to your leader!" And I wonder, who would that be? Who would be in charge of the alien negotiations? Don't we have enough troubles working with other countries without having to deal with aliens and others?
Perhaps that's the real reason we choose to humanize all of our boogey men--because the idea of actually having to cope with the real thing is more than we want to think about. It's more than we want to face. And it's certainly less scary to give them human ideals than to deal with the possibility of their decidedly unfriendly agendas.
So what's your take on them? Good? Bad?