So let’s talk about my comic protagonists for a moment. Well, for a long moment. We’ll start with Plasticine Cube and Metallic Spheroid, though in the PC/MS comic it’s very true that Plasticine Cube bugged out halfway through. I do plan on doing more with it at some point, but for now, he’s got protagonist status because he’s one of the title characters. Here’s PC/MS in their first strip:

This sets up their dynamic and also their basic personality traits. Plasticine Cube is analytical and much less prone to impulsive behavior, while Metallic Spheroid is a bit more self-centered. Throughout the comic, Plasticine Cube tries to act as a balance for Metallic Spheroid and round off his rough psychological edges. This still doesn’t stop Cube from making his share of mistakes, including (spoilers) faking his death and leaving Metallic Spheroid to deal with a pyramid incursion. Spheroid is id, Cube is ego. The other characters act as a sort of super-ego. Once freed of Cube, Spheroid fully indulges his base desires and pretty much goes on a rampage. These two are implicitly designed to work with each other as a whole. When the comic returns, it will explore how Cube reacts to having Spheroid side-lined for a little while. In any case, Spheroid’s motivations are to indulge his desires. Cube also wants to fulfill his desires, but recognizes that a status quo must be preserved.

Here’s Milty and Ceesia, because even though their comic ostensibly reviewed comics, it did have a minor plot.

The dynamic here is much more blurred initially, but becomes stark as the comic goes on. Milty is the ego, Ceesia acts as an id. This is honestly the only way it could have been, since he’s a comic-reviewing robot and she’s some sort of alien girl. It was very taxing to review a different comic each week but the characters are returning at some point soon. Milty’s general attitude towards everyone else was like Spheroid’s, except while Spheroid was simply arrogant because of his supposed beauty, Milty thinks he is supreme because of his awesome mind. Removed from Ceesia’s proximity for too long, Milty becomes far less able to function and requires outside assistance. He is dependent on her, but she is not dependent on him and seemingly receives no benefit from this situation. Milty’s motivation is to do his job properly. Ceesia wants that, too.

Then we have Charleston Charge, from Area 42.

Charleston Charge was my first human protagonist, and as thus, he doesn’t easily fit the id/ego dichotomy. Charleston’s main drive is knowledge, but only knowledge that is interesting to him. He has a certain amount of cunning but isn’t very book-smart. As a human, he is also driven by the need for relationships and his drive for knowledge is both a benefit and detriment to this quest. He is able to befriend both Subject M (who we’ll be getting to in a moment) and Perverto (who we won’t, since his motivations are fairly clear despite some hiccups coming from his programming) without batting an eye, but also quickly earns the enmity of Elvin Clovar and the alien Michael Smith. He just wants to live his life the best way he can, and when we last see him, he’s attempting to help a young woman escape and do his best for his adopted city. If he had half a mind to, he could put on a costume and be a traditional super-hero because his will and body are strong. However, he also finds it very hard to function alone and works best when paired with someone else. Paired with Subject M or his eventual partner Crystal Zephyr, he is able to really flourish as an individual because having someone on his side helps give him a sense of self-worth that allows him to fight harder and learn faster than if he was simply on his own. When he no longer has a partner, his sense of self-worth diminishes which leads to him plunging into things like trying desperately to be normal, or alcohol abuse. He is also very emotional, but is generally at his happiest when investigating or fighting alongside someone he cares about.

Then, we have Subject M.

Subject M is more or less a chameleon, but he still has motivations and various drives. Subject M spent most of his life before Area 42 in an orb floating through space and was very isolated except for pop culture, which greatly influenced his personality. He is generally good-natured and empathetic, and is generally a pacifist except when really moved to defend himself or his friends. Subject M finds it difficult to find his place in the world due to his nature as an immigrant from another planet, which carried over to his stint in Zeitgeist but uses this feeling as a way to experience more situations than the other characters. This can also allow him to get distracted very easily by the pop culture that was his only window to the outside world for so long. He is also very uninterested in the future or the past, mainly living for the present. This does not mean he does not have friends, and he still considers Charleston Charge and Perverto his best friends. Basically, he is adaptable to the many situations he finds himself thrown into and what he wants most of all, perhaps, is a tiny bit of normalcy in the center of all that. Crystal Zephyr is very similar to this, which is perhaps why most of her interactions with Subject M were somewhat hostile and those with Charleston are generally not. Despite this hostility, neither she nor Subject M wanted to do any lasting harm. Subject M generally doesn’t.

Finally, we have the Green Dove.

The Green Dove just wants to be somebody. Since his character is semi-autobiographical, he is prone to depression and social anxiety which leads him to be an isolated hero. He does not make friends easily, but will help those that need it, and he just wants to make a name for himself doing what he wants to do with his life. So far, we haven’t really seen him make any friends. We’ve just seen him try to improve himself and his outlook and personality, and while it seems to be working, he currently has to figure out if his previous status as a hero with actual ability was more than just a fluke. Also, due to his semi-autobiographical nature, it’s unlikely he will ever engage in any romances. We may meet his friends at some point, because he does have them, they are just living different lives than his.

Thank you for reading this very self-indulgent essay.