Plot armor is one of the many talking points that people have brought up when discussing superheroes for quite some time, as it allows the heroes to do things that ordinary people can’t do and survive situations that should, by all means, be the end of them. In the grand scheme of things, plot armor can help a hero by showing that they’re simply that tough and that they’re favored enough to be allowed to hang around. But plot armor can also weaken a hero’s chance of being remembered in a meaningful manner since, after using plot armor for so long, there’s no point in thinking that character is ever in any danger since they’ll usually be given a way out that might make sense at the moment when one’s adrenaline is running high but makes no sense later when one’s rational mind takes over.
Here are five ways in which plot armor can help a hero and five ways it weakens them.
10. Helps: It keeps them from dying.
If there’s one thing that fans don’t like to see is the death of a favorite hero on screen, and while this has happened, it’s still been remedied more often than not in one way or another. When Superman died, it was believed that one of the greatest superheroes ever had been lost. But his resurrection was kind of cheap since it made his sacrifice essentially worthless.
9. Weakens: It lowers their credibility as a worthwhile character.
If a character has to rely so heavily on plot armor, it tends to mean that they’re not that strong of a character, to begin with, and need a great deal of help from the writers to survive their own story. Some would definitely argue the fact that the writer can make certain that this doesn’t happen, but the point here is that plot armor can shore up weaknesses and faults.
8. Helps: It builds them up in the eyes of the fans.
A hero, or even a villain, doesn’t become an inspiration on their own. They need the writers that are behind them, they need the story they’re given to tell, and they need the fans that will come to love them. If one part doesn’t work, then the whole thing can fall apart, and not even plot armor can make a difference.
7. Weakens: There’s no real danger, hence no real sacrifice.
It does look like there’s plenty of danger in the movies, doesn’t there? But somehow, some way, there’s usually a way to save the hero, or the hero to save themselves, that shouldn’t be possible, but it is all the same. If there’s no true danger, then there’s no real sacrifice, and plot armor makes certain that there’s no danger that a hero can’t escape from.
6. Helps: Allows more movies to be made.
Sequels kind of require a living hero or heroes, and that’s where plot armor can come in yet again since if a hero survives, there are bound to be other villains and situations that will need their special type of justice and power to handle.
5. Weakens: Their story begins to grow stale.
There are a lot of heroes out there who can carry a story for a while simply because people enjoy watching them, but after a while, it becomes tough to maintain that kind of energy and interest. Once the story begins to fade when it comes to the overall interest people show, it’s time for the plot armor to be taken away and the hero to deal with things in a more realistic fashion.
4. Helps: It creates better battle scenes.
Imagine this, if a hero were able to be taken out in the first couple of minutes of a battle, it would be kind of a pathetic outing for that individual. Sure, there are heroes that have been used as examples and have been dropped quickly, but plot armor is usually used for those who are the main characters and therefore need the extra boost.
3. Weakens: Heroes become OP and quite boring.
Seriously, what’s the point of a hero that no villain can beat? Black Adam recently became another addition to the OP characters of the big screen that appears to be unstoppable, unless, of course, he’s damaged with the type of power or material that is hard to come by.
2. Helps: It creates legacy characters.
It’s kind of a cheap way to create a character that’s going to be around for a while, but since plot armor can be a sneaky and useful trick, it can be used to create characters that will last for a while. To be fair, it’s kind of tough to criticize, especially since a lot of people would rather keep heroes around for a while rather than dump them when their popularity starts to wane.
1. Weakens: New heroes have to be far more powerful, or they stand no chance of being recognized.
The downside of keeping a hero around for so long is that, eventually, new characters will come along, but they have to be even more OP and ridiculous. If not, they might not get noticed, or they might not last that long.
Plot armor isn’t always a good thing.