Whoosh! Issue 47 - August 2000

JOXER: DEATH OF A HERO
By Tina M. Dunckel
Content copyright © 2000 held by author
Edition copyright © 2000 held by Whoosh!
858 words



Startled, Joxer's first excuse was 'It went off while I was cleaning it!'

Joxer defends Argo in INTIMATE STRANGER.


[1] How does one define a hero? There are obvious ways, such as defeating evil (whatever it happens to be in a given week), protecting the innocent, not backing down no matter the odds, etc. But there are other ways of defining a hero, ways that come from the heart and are truer measures. It may not be so evident on Xena: Warrior Princess, but there is another kind of heroism, a kind of greater importance than the more obvious kind. It is the kind that so defined Joxer the Mighty.

[2] When we think of a hero, we so often think of a Xena- or a Hercules-type. Very seldom do we think about the guy next door. That guy next door might give every extra cent he has to charity and spend his weekends helping disadvantaged kids, and we still would not view him as a hero. Why does a character have to kick b*tt before s/he seems heroic to us?

[3] At first Xena was trying to atone for her past sins by doing good. This was not heroic. However, now that she has evolved and has put that past behind her, she does good because she wants to, not because she feels she has to. She has come into being a hero. Joxer has always had a kind heart, even when he was trying to be bad. He has always been the unrealized hero.

[4] The first time we viewed a heroic Joxer was in FOR HIM THE BELL TOLLS (40/216). True, it was a spell that Aphrodite had placed upon him, but a spell could not, as Xena informed us at the end of the episode, transform someone into something totally different from what they were in their soul. Joxer was transformed into a swashbuckling stud because that is what he was on the inside, only for some reason he was never able to let it out. Perhaps his self-esteem was too low, because of being branded "the black sheep" of his family, that he did not believe he could ever attain what he truly wanted.

[5] One may think of Joxer as a nuisance or as the bumbling yet lovable fool, or one may see him as a kind, simple man who truly was a hero. Even with his uncoordinated fighting and his often-lacking common sense, he had a hero's heart - so much so that many times he risked his own safety to try to protect Gabrielle, the woman he loved, even though she was better able to protect herself. That is exactly how he died. He did not think, "If I do this, I might die". The only thing he was thinking was, "If I do not do something, Gabrielle will die". That is the truest form of a hero: one who gives of himself without a second thought.

[6] It is unfortunate Joxer died not realizing what a truly outstanding human being he was: kind, gentle, creative, funny, caring, generous, devoted father, and loyal friend. Joxer was all these and so much more. No doubt Gabrielle has taken to writing Joxer as the hero of her scrolls since his death. Perhaps she thinks about him longingly and realizes she passed up the greatest opportunity of her life. Perhaps as she looks at Virgil and thinks to herself, "I would have been proud to have him as a son".

[7] Joxer, a man? Yes. A hero? Most definitely. A legend? Maybe not, but he should be. Is he a character who will be remembered as fondly as MacGyver? Absolutely.

[8] In closing, Joxer will be missed. It is a great hope of many that the Xena writers will delve into Gabrielle's feelings about Joxer's death in the upcoming sixth season.

[9] Goodbye, quiet hero.



Biography

Tina M Dunckel Tina M Dunckel
I am married and have four children, all boys, aged 4-16. When the youngest child was born, I quit my job as a customer service representative for a large bank to stay at home with him, since he would be the last child - that, plus I really, really hated that job. I've been writing, hopefully, a novel for the past six months. My favorite show is, obviously, Xena. I loved MacGyver (Xena's reincarnation, just a thought). My hobbies are playing CRPGs, reading, playing with the kids and my dog, a beautiful eight month old Norwegian Elkhound named Kodi Blue, and writing.


Favorite episode: THE QUILL IS MIGHTIER...(56/310)
Favorite line: "Gabrielle awoke with a jerk", which was what she had wrote in the scroll and when Aphrodite said "when pigs fly" and Ares replied, "You fly". He always has the best lines. THE QUILL IS MIGHTIER...(56/310)
First episode seen: CHARIOTS OF WAR (02/102)
Least favorite episode: I wasn't too crazy about MARRIED WITH FISHTICKS (105/515) and I never really liked the Alti character, so any episode with her in it would be at the bottom of my list.








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