Blind characters not unknown in film, books, comics
On Last Monday’s “Nerdarchy: Live Chat,” the chat itself talked for more than a half hour about different kinds of blind characters. I figured I’d expand on the lore a bit more.
The first of the truly famous blind characters was Zatoichi. There have been dozens of movies surrounding the character, a TV series, and two reboots. Truly one of the best and most beloved blind warrior characters in cinematic history. As a truly bling character, Zatoichi’s fighting skills are severely hampered and his victories usually come in the form of learning everything he can about his enemy and then defeating him with one, quick attack with his sword. Zatoichi maintained a strange, reverse-grip on his katana, the first cinematic character to ever hold his sword that way. He would keep his blade sheathed and then deliver a killing blow and re-sheath his blade before the human eye could even register more than the slightest of movements.
A direct homage to Zatoichi was Rutger Hauer’s role in “Blind Fury.” With a cult following, Blind Fury is a low-budget film that never warranted a sequel, but it held up as one of Hauer’s most memorable performances (better than “Escape from Sobibor” but less than “Blade Runner”). He was a genuinely kind man with a hidden sword in his cane, bringing an entire new craze for hidden weapons.
The most famous in the modern day would have to be Daredevil, thanks in no small part to the Netflix series. I’ll save the description of the character for the video you can find below.
There are other blind characters in the comic book universe, not the least to mention would be “Shroud,” who was rendered blind as part of a mystical spell that allows him to generate his own darkness up to thirty feet around him and “see” in that darkness.
We can also bring up “See no Evil, Hear no Evil” with Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder. Similar to the above “Blind Fury,” but a whole lot funnier, a blind man and a deaf man must find a way of working together to solve a murder. The end fight is especially cinematic. My previous sentence is also extremely sarcastic.
The last character I will reference is my favorite blind character. Paul “Mu’adib” Atredis, the Kwisatz Haderach from the Frank Herbert novels “Dune.” In the second book, “Dune Messiah,” Paul is caught in a nuclear attack that renders him blind. While the blind are typically exiled into the desert to be eaten by the huge sandworms, called Shaihulud in the ancient Freman culture, Paul is the leader and does not go to the desert as he claims that he is not truly blind.
In fact, Paul can see by seeing the future and the different ways the future can play out. This way, Paul is able to see better than anyone. Whether blind or not, Paul knows the steps he’s taken while traveling the past and present and can “remember” his visions of the future to utilize a form of clairvoyance and cosmic awareness. He could shoot a man, if he chose, because he already foresaw where that man would be and where he would himself be when he needed to shoot the man.
That scene doesn’t happen, it’s just an example of what he could do.
You may ask how he allowed himself to be rendered blind in the first place if he could see the future. The answer to that lies in the climactic ending, which is amazing and some of the best writing ever.
That’s all for this week. Hey, did you know that I take requests? If there’s a comic book related article or write-up you’d like me, Professor Bill, to undertake, then just give me a shout-out (translated to – comment below) and I’ll get “write” on it.
I know, that was bad.
Comic Book University
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