While standing in my local comic book shop the other day, I was looking around and noticed something. A lot of comics have anti-heroes as their main characters. This got me thinking, why are there so many anti-heroes?

Looking back to older comics, the main characters were handsome clean cut men who knew the difference between good and bad; it was black and white. They wore bright colours and capes making it obvious that they were on the side of good. I believe that this was because the reading demographic was so young.  Over the years, the readers have gotten older, craving more relatable and realistic characters. This is where the anti-hero comes in. For them the black and white line between good and bad is blurred into a grayish hue allowing characters to have a bit more personality and a more shenanigans than the regular hero.

During my research for this article, I decided to ask my friends and Twitter followers who their favourite anti-hero is. I had a couple people ask me, “is so and so considered an anti-hero?” Well, an anti,hero is technically someone who lacks heroic virtues and qualities, but I think a hero  with attitude also qualifies as an anti-hero.

Now for the list of my favourite anti-heroes!

1. Spider Jerusalem
Spider Jerusalem
My all time favourite anti-hero, this rude, vulgar potty mouth bastard stole my heart in the series Transmetropolitan.

2. Catwomen
This sexy thief gets herself into trouble, but once in a while walks on the good side of things

3. Punisher
When asking my friends and Twitter followers, this anti-hero was the most popular. Probably because he looks so sexy in a tight t-shirt!

4. The Watchmen
I know this is a group and not an individual, but lumped together they are some great anti-heroes.

5. John Constantine
This chain smoking Brit is from the series Hellblazer. He is one sexy badass.

I would love to know who your favourite anti-hero is, and what you consider an anti-hero to be.

I would also like to give a shout out to my awesome Twitter followers for the anti-hero suggestions, especially:
@HopeLNicholson, @kingdomofevan, @Rebel_Loo, @drquinzel.

Leigh Hart
Leigh Hart

Leigh Woodhall - Soapbox Nerd. Aerialist. Writer. Podcaster. All around tough guy (but a lady version). Follow me on twitter @Leigh_Louise

Articles: 55


  1. The major difference between a hero and anti-hero is, classically, the Hero acts out of a sense of duty. They have to do something for the greater good. Anti-Heroes, on the other hand, typically have a more self centred reason for what they do. Revenge, personal gain, that sort of thing. I always believed that the reason for the Anti-Heroes popularity is that, for the most part, their motivations fall closer to a real persons. Although, that being said, a really well rounded character should fall somewhere in between. Take Wolverine. He’s an Anti-Hero, in the classic sense, but exhibits Heroic qualities.

    Just a few thoughts. 🙂

  2. Tops on my list would be Punisher. You gotta cheer for a guy who will do what has to be done, when other heroes can’t use The Punisher’s methods.

    Hit-Monkey is on my list too!!!!!

  3. I think anti-heroes might just be a little more believable in some regards. The idea of the boyscout, Superman, is just too cut and dry and not as believable for a lot of people.

    It also reflects the world we live in, compared to things 50 years ago.

  4. I love Wolverine, and I was debating on making him my #1! Then I decided to choose characters who were clearly more Anti-hero. Plus the list was only 5 and not 10

  5. Wolverine is an interesting case. While early on you can definitely call him an Anti-Hero, he’s been developed soon much over the past thirty years that he’s drifted back and forth over the Hero/Anti-Hero divide. A couple of my favourites would be Deadpool and Conan the Cimmerian (Still works with comics, as there was the Savage Sword of Conan comics by Marvel back in the 70’s/80’s)

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