|1.||The Gray Champion|
A character in Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "The Gray Champion," often associated with his collection "Twice-Told Tales."
To literature students, Gray is far less well-known than some of Hawthorne's more successful literary works, such as "The Scarlet Letter."
In the story, he is a pilgrim-esque ghost figure that appears briefly in the 18th-century world to protest power abuses by a British officer.
While he does little in the story but march around, denounce the officer, and then vanish into thin air, his spirit of defiance stirs and inspires the crowd around him. Shortly after this, the officer loses his position, just as the apparition of Gray had promised.
The tale warns of pride coming before a fall in the human heart, similar to how Scarlet Letter warns against lust, secrecy, and hypocrisy. While the events of the story are pre-Revolution, the tone is very much that of the American Revolution.
The story was written in 1835, and became part of Twice-Told Vol. 1 in 1837. As of 2006, little has been done by Hollywood in terms of making any sort of movie or adaptation or anything of Gray Champion, though several movies have been made of Scarlet Letter, and a few movies have been attempted at some of Hawthorne's other works.
While not a comic book character by design, Hawthorne's character has an introduction style that befits typical comic book superhero conventions:
(See QUOTE 1)
Other lines stick out, such as:
"Who is this gray patriarch?" and more. Towards the end of the short story, Hawthorne-as-narrator promises a possible return of the character, beginning such with these lines:
(See QUOTE 2)
Some of these openings, quotes, and closings are not unlike typical lines used in modern-day superhero tales.
"Suddenly, there was seen the figure of an ancient man, who seemed to have emerged from among the people, and was walking by himself along the center of the street, to confront the armed band. He wore the old Puritan dress, a dark cloak and a steeple-crowned hat, in the fashion of at least fifty years before, with a heavy sword upon his thigh, but a staff in his hand, to assist the tremulous gait of age..."
"And who was the Gray Champion? Perhaps his name might be found in the records of that stern Court of Justice, which passed a sentence, too mighty for the age, but glorious in all after times, for its humbling lesson to the monarch and its high example to the subject..."