“There’s only one God, ma’am.”

So, this past Sunday, a group of ninja gorillas invaded my home, crushed all my potato chips, and kidnapped me. No fear gripped my heart. I knew that ninja gorillas are bound by 80’s cartoons standards of violence, which meant that I couldn’t die. I was more intrigued than anything. The last time ninja gorillas had kidnapped me, it was in retaliation for my forcing their entire family to watch Dirty Dancing. It should be said, ninja gorillas have no sense of style. When you’re 400 pounds and wear a plaid bandana, you don’t need style. So I’m told.


They forced me to watch the Avengers. You know, that big movie that everyone’s loving? When you combine Joss Whedon and comic books, it’s usually a safe bet that something good will come out of it. And, yes, I enjoyed the film. Go see it.

This isn’t a review, though. The ninja gorillas said I couldn’t write a review or else they would force me to watch every season of Power Rangers without a bathroom break.

So, two of the characters in Avengers are gods: Loki and Thor. At one point, Loki has been captured. Thor breaks him out, looking to beat him up some. Captain America can’t allow that, of course. An ally shouts, “Those are gods!”

Captain America responds, “There’s only one God, ma’am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.”

Perfect character moment. Captain America speaks volumes there about who he is and what he stands for. There were actually cheers in the theater when that was said — and it wasn’t because any ninja gorillas were threatening anyone.

Personally, I was amazed. First off, this is a big Hollywood film bankrolled by Disney. Saying something like that in a Hollywood film, even as a throwaway line, is a pretty big deal. But, even more, the film was written and directed by Joss Whedon. He’s an atheist!

And you see, this is what makes Whedon such an amazing writer and director: he lets his characters, even good guys, espouse beliefs he doesn’t agree with. He lets them go with that and not get shouted down or proven incorrect. No one tried to correct Captain America. No one laughed at him (in the film, at least). The line was said, and then they got back to the plot.

Examine your writing. Do you allow characters to have views that you disagree with? That’s good character writing. You may have noticed that not everyone in the world agrees with you. Let that disagreement seep into the worlds you create.

And go see Avengers. Don’t make me send ninja gorillas.


8 thoughts on ““There’s only one God, ma’am.”

    1. Captain America is hard to write because he’s often viewed as “too perfect” — very similar to Superman, though obviously on a different power set. But you get the right writer on him — man! Good stuff!

  1. Cap’s “perfection”/ too-good-to-be-true-ness is partly his large character flaw. He’s like a modern day paladin. This is why he and Tony butt heads so often in the comics- different worldviews. And yes, a good writer makes Cap real. He just wants to do what is right. He’s been given the ability to and he will try his hardest to do so. But even Cap gets burned out.
    Whatcya writing Steph?

    1. I’m working on a story that involves a character who’s openly homosexual, and another who is a closet alcoholic. I’ve been neither, I don’t condone either, but the story calls for it. I have experience dealing with the second, but I’ve had to seek out people to understand the first character. It’s been eye-opening, and a little gross, too. But that’s what the story needs. So I keep going.

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