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Antiheroes: Where Do They Really Stand?

Published on August 2nd, 2016 | Updated on August 2nd, 2016 | By FanFest

What defines a “Superhero”? According to the Dictionary a Superhero is a hero possessing extraordinary, often magical powers.  As we know, a hero goes around saving the world from evil, but where do we place a hero who commits evil? An antihero is often a word used to describe such heroes.  Not quite villains, not quite heroes. They lack in qualities such as, idealism and morality.

 

Let’s take Deadpool for example. One of the most well known comic characters since the release of the movie . If we were to look at that alone, would you define Deadpool as a hero?  We are introduced to Mr. Pool while he is on a rampage to find and kill Francis, for making his face look like an “old avocado.”

While on the search for Francis, he doesn’t care about the casualties as long as the job is done.  Deadpool goes around to people who are linked to Ajax.  He shoots multiple people, cuts the hand off of one guy, stabs many, and even runs a guy over with a Zamboni.  He doesn’t care if you are a man, or a woman, he will kill until he gets what he wants.

Image: MCU

 

Batman is another superhero that could be added to the list. Bruce may have morals when it comes to killing, but that doesn’t stop him from doing so. Look at the comic “Flashpoint” there is no argument that you could classify Batman as a villain. “Flashpoint” is a comic where the universe is altered. Thomas Wayne is Batman who looks to get revenge on the person who killed his wife and Bruce. Thomas kills anyone that comes his way.  He almost kills Barry for coming into the Bat Cave.

Would Batman still be considered an anti hero if he kills a true villain? In “The Killing Joke” -if you have not read it, shame on you- Batman kills the Joker at the end. Through out the comic he says to the Joker numerous times “I’ve been thinking lately about you and me.  About what’s going to happen in the end.  We’re going to kill each other aren’t we?” Towards the end of the comic, Batman finds the Joker at a carnival. The Joker tells Batman his ‘Killing Joke,’ which leads to him being strangled to death by Batman.

Image: DC Comics
Image: DC Comics

 

Frank Castle a.k.a. the Punisher, is considered a hero by some and a villain by others. He is a character that murders crime bosses and other criminals. Though he is getting the crime off the streets, many may say that his methods are not of the usual hero. Frank had joined the Marines, after studying to become a priest.  He was unable to forgive those who did evil.  After time away in the Marines, Frank returned to his family.  One day while walking through Central park with his family, they witnessed an execution by the Mafia. The Costa crime family murdered everyone on the spot who saw it, Frank survived, but his wife and childeren did not.  Since then, Castle makes it a mission of his to take out the crime bosses.

Some would say that the Punisher is a villain because of how he kills.  He not only kills, but he tortures, kidnaps, and other illegal methods until the job is done.  Frank will not kill the innocent unless he knows they are secretly evil.

 

Image: Marvel Comics
Image: Marvel Comics

 

“The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout “Save us!”… and I’ll whisper “no.”

-Rorschach: The Watchmen

One of the best lines from Rorschach.  After the death of the Comedian, Rorschach continued fighting crime, even after the law was passed that outlawed masked vigilantes.  He is fulled by hatred toward society, and his firm belief in wrong from right.  Because of this, it leads to his death by the hands of one of the Watchmen.

Rorschach wears a mask that is ever morphing.  Like the ink blot test, it is black and white, just like his views on crime.  There is no gray area.  Rorschach is sent to prison after the police find him in a house with a dead body.  He scolds himself for falling into the obvious trap.  When taken to prison, he sees many of the people he put in there. One trying to kill him, does not end well for him.  Rorschach counters every move, breaks the glass at the lunch line and pours hot liquid on him, burning the man.  He has no care in the world after this and simply says

“Let’s get this straight, I’m not locked in here with you.  You’re locked in here with me”

Image: DC Comics
Image: DC Comics

 

Some of the best heroes are not as good as they seem.  Each hero has a story that would make us question if they are a true hero.  Who would you add to the list of antiheroes?

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