“Okay, you can either work in groups or by yourself.” Those words would either cause dread or elation in your heart when you were in school. It would then be followed by the shouting of names and moving of desks. And the rolling of eyes by the few who opted to work alone.
Then, if you fast forward into adulthood, it doesn’t change that much. Just less desk moving and a few more who want to work solo. We grow up and realize that working alone is sometimes easier.
But is it really?
Which is Better in Nerd Culture: The Team or the Solo Hero?
If we look into nerd culture, there are many teams out there and they seem to be on the rise. Many groups, not just of superheroes, that get things done very well. They work together and win.
On the other hand, there are a few individuals that work better alone, in solitude with no ties holding them back.
So, which is better? Not just for the world but for the people involved?
Let’s take The Avengers. We have a group of superheroes that pull together in times of need to save the world. When a problem is too big for just Iron Man or just Captain America, they gather their friends and fight the Big Bad together. Fwiends! Yay!
But they also fight amongst themselves.
“Do it this way!”
“No, Tony. You’re wrong! Do it this way!”
“Shut up, Cap!”
And there you have Civil War. (Not really but you get the idea…)
But let’s look at another genre, outside of the comic book realm: The Golden Trio from the Harry Potter universe.
Individually they have their strengths. Harry has his luck, Hermione her brains, and Ron…his smile? I guess.
I tease. I love Ron.
But I think we can all agree, Harry would not have lived for very long at Hogwarts if it weren’t for his best friends. Ron even says it in the last book that they wouldn’t get very far without Hermione. They are stronger as a team. They work best together.
Just not on homework. Hermione does it all.
Let’s try another genre. How about anime?
Sailor Moon is very powerful. In fact, she is the most powerful of all the Sailor Senshi. She can kill a monster with the wave of her hand/crystal/wand/whatever season it is weapon.
But her friends, the Sailor Senshi, make her even stronger. She is standing for love and justice. And Sailor Moon has so much love. For her friends, her family, her city, the world. And her friends remind her of that when she needs it most. They are there to be support, physical or emotional. Yes, she could technically save the world alone but why do that when you have friends that are willing and able to help? And who make you a happier person.
However, not everyone works well with others. Deadpool, for instance, just makes people angry. Batman just gets angry. Batwoman isn’t technically part of the Bat Family so she tries to stay on the sidelines.
I will say, though, in a lot of video games, the protagonist is usually alone. Lara Croft, Samus, Nathan Drake, and the list goes on. Let’s face it, any time Lara has a person with her, she leaves them in the dust.
What makes a good team? Chemistry, cohesion, and effectiveness.
Is the team doing what they need to do?
No? Then stop it.
Katniss is fine on her own (Rue not included because let’s face it…Rue is actually the Mockingly). Katniss never wanted to be the Mockingjay. She wanted to save Prim. Which would have happened if everyone else would have kept their noses out of her business.
Teamwork gone wrong… As we all know, teamwork can go very right or very wrong. It can destroy a city or save the world. Or it can make a project amazing or just plain crap because you had to do it all by yourself because your teammates suck!
But whether you are part of a superhero team or just doing a school or work project, work with your team if you can. Be the next Golden Trio or Justice League. Or opt to work alone like Batman or Lara Croft. But whatever saves the world is okay.
You do you.
So which is better?
You decide. Let us know which you would rather be a part of when on a mission to save the world in the comments below.