And when heroes have people to protect on long journeys, they seem to be more sociopathic in conversation and action. I love, love, love the Jack Reacher and Joe Pike series but they would be horrible company. If it wasn’t part of the story and the author’s wishes; the men would have a hard time keeping their clients sane. Sure Jack Reacher talks a little, but his one syllable answers aren’t nearly enough to keep the awkward levels down for more than a few hours. And Joe, thank goodness he has the sociable Elvis Cole around.
Frankly, in real life, most lone wolf heroes would be more likely to be the serial killers and sociopaths they hunt. Most truly good detectives have at least one sidekick because good ideas develop by knocking up against other ideas. Sherlock Holmes isn’t just being overbearing when he tells Watson what he’s doing, he’s thinking through his ideas. The mad scientist alone in his lab is partially mad because he’s alone- he has no one to bounce his ideas off of, or who can say, “Whoa, dude. Are you sure it’s a good idea to blow up the moon?”
I want to go back to Dave’s friends for a minute, and the reason I mentioned God of War. Dave has powerful friends. His intrinsic ability to see the gods for what and who they really are allows them to speak with him and ask for help without having to do some difficult dream invasion or ritual. They know he’s only human and will provide whatever physical help they can. Either they go with Dave or send him in with a team of their own men. This is because most of Dave’s enemies will not be human. All Dave has for him are pragmatism, a berserker-like rage, and a lot of guns.