One of my major gripes about Dominic Deegan lies with the fact that Dominic often saves the day, whether directly or manipulating things behind the scenes. To be honest, it was getting rather tedious. I mean, who honestly wants to read a story where you know the good guy is going to prevail and not even get his clothes scuffed? It’s like watching the New England Patriots thoroughly trounce another football team by 20 points. What’s the point? Where’s the enjoyment? (Then again, I’m not big into sports, partly because I dislike the big wins. When the game is tight, it’s different. But landslide victories are boring, be they sporting events or stories.)
So I’ve been rather surprised with the latest DD where Dominic has proven fairly ineffectual against the Demon Siegfried in his attempts to corrupt his former friends Jayden and Milov and drag them into the depths of Hell itself. I’m unsure if Michael Terracciano finally listened to complaints about the almost Mary Sue-esque nature of his star character or if he nerfed Dominic so to focus the strip more on Jayden and Milov’s struggle against Siegfried, but there is a definite feel to the comic lately that suggests that we could very well see the Fall of yet another hero. Indeed, it’s entirely possible (if unlikely) that Siegfried could prevail against his former friends.
The best stories are those where you can honestly believe the hero’s life is in danger. This sense of mortality in the hero humanizes them, and creates tension surrounding the story. It makes the story worth reading, and something that captures the imagination. People like to root for the underdog. Nor do heroes always have to win. You can lose a battle or two and still win the war. And sometimes… the cost of victory is so high that it is almost better to lose. It is these close fights that draw readers in. This sense of danger has long been lost to DD… and it’s a welcome surprise to see it return once again. If Dominic remains more human and less protagonist demigod, then Dominic Deegan may once again be worth reading.