The Anti-Hero

Published: 27th March 2009
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Great, iconic heroes we're not short on. They are commonplace and well known. Spider-Man, Captain America, Superman and the like are tried and true, and true blue, and all that good stuff. And that's fine and well, we need that. But somewhere along the way someone decided we also needed a darker type of hero. An 'anti-hero' if you will.



Who the first superhero was is a an issue that will forever be debated, but I think it's fair to say that the first somewhat anti-hero had to be DC Comics' Batman. While he's not quite as much of an anti-hero as, say, marvel comics the punisher, he's certainly no bright and happy-go-lucky ball of sunshine either. He does have morals and limits, unlike many anti-heroes, but he still leans more to the darker side of the spectrum than his contemporaries of the truth and justice ilk.



The previously mentioned marvel comics the punisher is probably a more appropriate example of an anti-hero. He does what he does for justice, but he also does it for revenge. And, unlike Batman, he has no limits. He willingly kills and tortures those he deems worthy of his brand of justice and feels no remorse over it. He is one step away from becoming that which he despises, but yet he plays for the side of the angels and has fans all the same.



So what defines an anti-hero then? Is it just having a darker tone to their character, or a darker outlook on life? Perhaps, but in general they are also loners who don't care about the public or personal perceptions of their behavior or character. They do what they want when they want as long as it meets their goals and feels right. They take no crap from anyone and stand up to everyone, and this has gained them a faithful audience of rebels who are tired of living their lives for other people. They provide a voice and actions their fans can't take in the real world.



In recent times, though, almost everyone is becoming an anti-hero. Wonder Woman now kills when she sees fit, Iron Man imprisons his own peers and creates a clone of Thor who kills a hero, and the list goes on. The dark sides of Superman, Spider-Man and Captain America have been seen, and Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four has been revealed as a selfish prick at times.



There are heroes, and there are anti-heroes, but the line is so blurred these days that one would be hard pressed to tell the difference.



Author Bio



Follow the exploits of rockers DEMON TWEAK and the racing clan HARD DRIVING HEROES, as they battle the evil trickster Loki at http://www.classic-comic-book.com . Also read articles on your favorite classic comic book heroes written by our resident historian VIRGIL THE STORYTELLER.

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