The VC's Heel-Face Turn, and Lori becoming a Mary Sue

Meet 5 hungry vampires who sure know how to show their school spirit...and the wacky crew of monster hunters out to get them!

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tau neutrino
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The VC's Heel-Face Turn, and Lori becoming a Mary Sue

Post by tau neutrino » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:54 pm

[Edit: added a poll, "Would you want to be turned into a Hominus nocturna?" from this page's observation that "In some fiction, vampirism is nothing more than a lifestyle choice; since these vampires get extended life, superhuman strength, and still have great sex from just a few drops of blood each night, it's difficult to understand why anyone stays human."]

(Since the webcomic links aren't working, I have some page numbers for the Bookwalker edition.)

Going from the first book to the last, the Vampire Cheerleaders have a pretty dramatic Heel-Face Turn. The beginning makes it clear these aren't the Twilight kind of vampires. They pretty much act like sociopaths, drinking from innocent people against their will and enslaving them (like Leonard and the Hartleys). They even framed their football team for a drug fueled orgy to cover up for Heather's feeding frenzy. Heather didn't mind killing at the start, even her mother, and Lori's prohibition against seems just to avoid getting caught. Leslie is supposed to be the nicest one, but she still treats Leonard like a slave. Suki is described as "The bad seed. She knows that guys dig Asian chicks, and she knows just how to use her talents to bleed 'em dry (pun intended)." (Alternate here.) She brags about glamouring guys into giving her whatever she wants (p.39, vol.1). She's unambiguously stated to have killed Zoe's boyfriend and isn't upset about Candice's possible staking. She even kicks Leonard in the head. But by the end she's a good-hearted nymphomaniac who has to be consoled at the deaths of two non-human aliens she just met and wants to save an unknown girl (Katie didn't). Heather scolds Suki for snacking on people and glamouring them, something she was happy to do one book earlier. So how do we go from here (p51, vol.3) to here (p.156, vol.4) and here (p.14, vol.1) to here (p.66, vol.4)? It might have been explained in the proposed Vampire Cheerleaders Camp It Up, but as it is now it doesn't track.

The B squad have their own version, going from backbiting "spoiled little twats" to uniformly chipper and nice. Lita, of course, had her own dramatic and inexplicable Turn.

Lori defends Leonard from abuse by the others, but did it herself earlier when he was slow getting in the trunk. At the end of the book, Leonard even excuses his enthrallment by saying "It was all in the spirit of fun", which is depressingly the last defense of bullies. It's less believable than if Martha Dunnstock had said it in Heathers.

Like the title says, in the fourth book Lori Thurston not only gets a Heel-Face Turn, she becomes a Mary Sue. Originally presented, she's arrogant, shallow, and two-faced. Her existence is stuck in a rut, trying to achieve her perfect senior year, which you'd expect from a static vampire. She's also not very smart and not much of a leader. She can barely keep her Suki and Zoe from vamping out in public, despite being their maker. She may have made the squad what it was, but it was just a five person team in a small school. By taking all the power, excluding a coach and putting the human juniors in a separate B squad, she forced the team to start from scratch after she left town. If anything she stunted it. Heather was the one who thought of competing in the national contest. She doesn't anticipate Heather losing control after being turned. When she discovers the situation, her anger management issues make her try to stake Heather despite her talk of family. Leslie and the others come up with the solution, and she fails to get all of the other team. Both times when she's captured by gorgons, she has to beg for help or be rescued by others. After Vegas, she goes back to Bakertown, despite Bianca's people having her cellphone. At the prom, she can't lead her team, fighting alone after getting a boost from them.

Her transformation into a Mary Sue starts in Vampire Cheerleaders Get Rescued, similar to Reys in The Force Awakens by mastering a blade she's just gotten hold of (Stephanie's jian). Although Adam said the final arc was about Katie, Leonard, Suki, and Stephanie Kane, Lori gets the biggest development. She's described as a cool leader and inspirational sire. (What mores did she instill, other than "Don't leave corpses because it'll cause problems"?) Her origin shows her turned as an innocent victim, later attacked by old geezer vampire hunters as opposed to a Tiffany Winters expy, despite the shout-out to her. Her narcissistic desire for a perfect senior year becomes a tribute to a fallen friend. Then she's a heroic Lori the Riveter, a leader able to successfully infiltrate a Reptilian lab, a literal Vampire Savior (ironic, because Demetri Maximoff is an anti-hero at best), and finally the Admiral and Commander of a thinly disguised Yamato (blasphemy!). She's figured out the truth of her origin without any evidence, and overcome her anger management issues to rise to the highest military rank. With her vampire strength and command of technology, she's probably the strongest character at the end, so strong she had to be kept out of the fight or it would have ended prematurely. Stephanie seems closer to her than her own sister and best friend. When did Queen Bee become a compliment? It's from the inspiration for Mean Girls and means the Alpha Bitch. Lori's even used as an example. It's like going from the Vegeta in the Saiyan arc in Dragonball Z, and then he's suddenly a beloved hero calling himself the Great Sayaman.

In a way, Lori and Stephanie switched metaphorical places after Vampire Cheerleaders Get Rescued. The shallow cheerleader becomes a strong career woman, while the independent outsider becomes a brood mare whose main function is producing offspring. Similarly, the PMS members were intended as the protagonists and the VC as the antagonists. As opposed to the latter who reveled in their cryptid powers, the PMS side was pro-human. Stephanie and Charlotte were human, and Katie and J.C. would have chosen to become human in a heartbeat, even submitting to PETM to suppress their natures. The PETM bureaucrats and pro-cryptid protesters were mocked, depicted as determined to punish the PMS even for clear self-defense. Initially separating the groups caused a Broken Base, with the pro-VC side on Facebook becoming bigger (or at least louder). In the final book, their roles have been reversed so that Katie even apologizes to Leslie and Zoe for ruining their prom. Did anyone apologize for nearly killing Charlotte? It's uncomfortably like in high school where the popular kids get away with murder (literally in Suki's case).

The reason this grates is that if you do get tormented by a clique of cheerleaders in high school, you can console yourself that like most people obsessed with high school popularity, it's almost certainly their peak while smart nerds like you go on to better things. Lori herself uses it against the Ainley Aces when she says "Fat and pregnant in five years" (p.28). With this, you get the impression that the cool kids really were better than you; in fact, losers like you were holding them back. To add further insult, the vampires (except for Heather) have the cool jobs like interstellar amusement park execs, star fighter pilots, and space admirals. These are kind of careers a geek like Leonard would fantasize about and the popular kids would have mocked. In the end, they have them while the actual geek is an out of shape hikikomori.

If you remove the mystical and moral disadvantages from vampirehood, such that the VC can love being vampires and still retain their humanity, then they really are better than human as Heather says. Ironically, the series began mocking Twilight (whose vampires have Nightmare Fuel of their own that should make you think twice about becoming one) and ended with the VC as heroic Friendly Neighborhood Vampires who make the Cullens seem depraved. Some of the pro-VC people were what I called "vampyre fanboys" who insist vampires can do no wrong or even "vampyre supremacists" who claim vampires are superior to humans. (It comes from the series The House of Night, even worse than Twilight.) So is Adam trolling or just giving in?

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