Iconic Heroes not only have a Core Ethos, but that Ethos is also the fundamental story structure one can expect when you read one of those stories. When you got a ticket for SPECTRE, you knew damn well that you weren't going to watch Bond do a manners comedy routine. You were there to see the hottest girls, one of the hottest men, serious spy drama and action, and world-spanning adventures in exotic locations. Just as you're a fucking retard to ignore the Iconic Hero as a reliable way to get paid, you're also a retard if you poo-poo the Iconic Story that routinely goes along with them. Let's bring this back to my Iconic Hero, Ken, and his Core Ethos: Ken kills monsters preying upon Mankind to purify a corrupt world.
This, played straight and literal, makes his core story that of a monster hunter. Yet there is a flexibility here that I'm using to inform Ken's overall development in his iconic stature. As I noted previously, the big break is the Cataclysm; beforehand, Ken's an increasingly disaffected vigilante sort whose story would remind you of the Deathwish series and afterwards it becomes a monster-on-monster story that blends my love of Howard's barbarian heroes with Vampire Hunter D. There are influences from the Westerns in Ken's iconic story structure, as one would expect from a man like me, but in essence it is this simple- and simple is flexible:
- Ken encounters a monster attack.
- Ken attempts to tell the local authorities so they can do their jobs.
- Ken finds that the authorities are unwilling or unable to do their jobs.
- Ken finds out why the authorities are useless, or worse.
- Ken can't walk away from the situation, so he does the job himself.
- Ken leaves having killed the monster, but also unable to stay.
- Ken moves on.