Antiheroes

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

3. Punisher
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
watchmen
I know this is a group and not an individual, but lumped together they are some great anti-heroes.

5. John Constantine
hellblazer
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

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Nelson
Nelson
11 years ago

I’ve thought about this before. Who would you consider to be the first Anti-hero?

Nelson
Nelson
11 years ago
Reply to  Nelson

In comics, that is…

Scott VanderPloeg
Admin
11 years ago
Reply to  Nelson

I’d go with Namor.

marshallmccarthy
11 years ago

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. 🙂

Ed Campbell
11 years ago

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!!!!!

Laura
Laura
11 years ago

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.

marshallmccarthy
11 years ago
Reply to  Leigh Hart

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)