Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Favorite Anti-Hero?

  1. #1
    Famicom Pirate Custom rank graphic
    Parodius Duh!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    1,558

    Default Favorite Anti-Hero?

    What is your favorite Anti-Hero???

    I dont know what to consider mine...but I guess Man-Thing would be an Anti-Hero...Whoever Knows Fear...BURNS at the touch of:


  2. #2
    Alex (Level 15) maxlords's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    7,534

    Default

    Miracleman, no question:
    Last edited by maxlords; 08-17-2011 at 10:48 AM.
    scooterb: "I once shot a man in Catan, just to watch him die."

  3. #3
    Pretzel (Level 4)
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    945

    Default

    Howard the Duck. One insane comic.
    Dude, they should have seriously put Kissinger and Nixon in their own reality/sit-com show. It would be like the odd couple.

    Nixon: Is that chairman Mao on the phone?
    Kissinger: Yes, but you can't speak to him, you're too drunk right now.

  4. #4
    Crono (Level 14) Pantechnicon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Alburquerque
    Posts
    6,697
    Xbox LIVE
    Zeno2112

    Default

    I'm not sure we're all working on the correct definition of "anti-hero" here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Merriam-Webster
    A protagonist or notable figure who is conspicuously lacking in heroic qualities.
    While this can apply to characters such as Howard the Duck or Man-Thing, my conventional understanding of the term as it applies to comics is that it's more of a designation for characters such as Wolverine or the Punisher, who by common-sense reckoning are not necessarily "good" people themselves but still tend to do things which benefit the side of right and justice.

    All that being said, I find myself increasingly disliking anti-heroes for reasons I don't want to get into just yet at the risk of threadjacking. So I'll politely hold my tongue for now and see if the thread grows any legs first

  5. #5
    Pretzel (Level 4)
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    945

    Default

    I can't speak for anyone else Pantechnicon, but I'd certainly like to hear your thoughts on antiheroes. I suspect they mirror my own, but your analysis is likely to be better.
    Dude, they should have seriously put Kissinger and Nixon in their own reality/sit-com show. It would be like the odd couple.

    Nixon: Is that chairman Mao on the phone?
    Kissinger: Yes, but you can't speak to him, you're too drunk right now.

  6. #6
    Shmup Hooligan Custom rank graphic
    Icarus Moonsight's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Houston Texas & Ancapistan
    Posts
    6,856

    Default



    Can't get much more Anti-Hero than that...


    This signature is dedicated to all those
    cyberpunks who fight against injustice
    and corruption every day of their lives

  7. #7

    Default comics..

    Miracleman
    Love to read books such as Comic,Novels & Comic books stories.

  8. #8
    Crono (Level 14) Pantechnicon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Alburquerque
    Posts
    6,697
    Xbox LIVE
    Zeno2112

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kirin jensen
    I can't speak for anyone else Pantechnicon, but I'd certainly like to hear your thoughts on antiheroes. I suspect they mirror my own, but your analysis is likely to be better.
    Sorry to keep you waiting literally months for this. I just don’t get around DP as much as I used to.

    Anyway, my objections to the anti-hero: First, as a character model, I think the anti-hero has been entirely played out. I cannot dispute that there was some novelty in the concept at one time, but I believe that everything that could have been wrung from the archetype has probably already been put down on paper or film.

    That point leads somewhat into my next objection; that the anti-hero, particularly when newer incarnations are manifested, is probably the product of an uninspired writer. So you need to create a new character with potential long-term viability and mass market appeal? Easy, PZ. Just throw on some giant guns or blades, suffuse the persona with a sufficient, albeit ill-defined, portion of something called "attitude", inject a strong, self-regulated (and wholly arbitrary) stricture against harming "innocents", and then just sit back and wait for the sweet residual checks from all those Hot Topic T-shirt sales to come pouring in to your mail slot.

    But my biggest objection to the anti-hero has to do with those aforementioned kids in the T-shirts. Look, I loves me some superhero comic books, and I'm all for the escapism that they provide. But the anti-hero, as an object of fan veneration, takes that escapism too far into a realm of conviction I can only describe as moral laziness.

    I am somewhat skeptical of the notion that people have an innate desire to be good, but I am utterly convinced that, at the very least, nobody ever wants their bad deeds held against them. And therein I think lies the appeal of the anti-hero, i.e. - You can be as big of an a**hole as the universe can tolerate, and yet somehow when the dust settles you wind up doing more for the side of what's good & right as opposed to what's clearly evil & wrong. This is a fantasy of convenience, or as I described it earlier, moral laziness.

    I guess it's just part & parcel that the older I get, the more I find myself appreciating characters such as Superman, who always does the right thing, despite the fact that essentially nobody could ever stop him should he choose to do otherwise. Or Spider-Man, who always does the right thing despite the fact that doing so regularly leads to him getting kicked in the teeth. I'm never going to fly, and I'm never going to climb a wall, but I can take inspiration from these guys and try to follow their moral example and - who knows? - make the world a little better place for everybody around me. On the other hand, if I tried to follow the moral examples set by anti-hero yahoos like Deadpool or the Punisher, I'm more likely to wind up somewhere between completely friendless and in jail.

  9. #9
    Peach (Level 3) Hawksmoor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sandy Springs, GA
    Posts
    690
    Xbox LIVE
    Badge 714
    PSN
    midnighthobo

    Default

    Excellent post Pantechnicon, but I think your objections to the anti-hero archetype are a bit misplaced. Granted, there is little to admire about many prominent anti-heroes like Deadpool and The Punisher, but it seems to me that has more to do with the writers and the dimensions of the characters than the archetype itself.

    I see the anti-hero as a more realistic embodiment of humanity. Traditional comic heroes like Superman, for the most part, lack the flaws and imperfections that we all innately have. They are typically pure as the driven snow, good to the core, in perfect physical condition, and rarely - if ever - prone to error. I will say that this is less true now than it once was, primarily because of the way series like Watchmen and The Dark Knight thrust the flawed hero into prominence.

    Nevertheless, I think the anti-hero is closer to who we all are than the typical superhero. Consequently, I find them easier to relate to. The goody-goody, Pollyanna sort of heroes seem wholly implausible and disingenuous to me. You could argue, as you eloquently did, that they are models we can aspire to be like, but I would counter that complete moral and ethical purity aren't really that desirable. Our imperfections, inner strife, moral/ethical ambiguities, and general frailty are what makes us us. Were it possible to attain superhero-like perfection, we would cease to be human.
    Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one. - Thomas Paine

    America can always be counted on to do the right thing after they have exhausted all other possibilities. - Winston Churchill


  10. #10
    Captain Caveman (and Son!) Custom rank graphic
    Sunnyvale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    1,286
    Xbox LIVE
    My XBOX is dead, not live.
    PSN
    PSN? PSchah!
    3DS Friend
    Friendless :(

    Default

    I think the antihero is a cool archetype, if done well. Using your flaws as strengths is often the moral, and I don't personally find it lazy. Some writers might be lazy, but that's got nothing to do with the antihero.
    And, my favorite 'superhero' nowadays (and he IS a superhero, as much as Batman) is Dexter. Antihero extraordinaire!

  11. #11
    Crono (Level 14) Pantechnicon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Alburquerque
    Posts
    6,697
    Xbox LIVE
    Zeno2112

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ”Hawksmoor”
    I see the anti-hero as a more realistic embodiment of humanity. Traditional comic heroes like Superman, for the most part, lack the flaws and imperfections that we all innately have. They are typically pure as the driven snow, good to the core, in perfect physical condition, and rarely - if ever - prone to error…, I think the anti-hero is closer to who we all are than the typical superhero. Consequently, I find them easier to relate to. The goody-goody, Pollyanna sort of heroes seem wholly implausible and disingenuous to me.
    I think your interpretation of what “anti-hero” means exactly is a considerably watered-down one. In my original post I referenced a dictionary definition for the term, and the idea that the anti-hero is “…conspicuously lacking in heroic qualities” is fundamental to this. “Heroic qualities” in this context doesn’t refer to super-strength or the ability to fly. It refers to behavioral attributes such as courage, integrity, selflessness, etc. There are plenty of superheroes with human weaknesses but also possessing those attributes. This is what makes them “heroes”, by definition.

    It was probably a mistake for me to mention Superman because he is a pretty easy target to knock down in this kind of debate. But I also mentioned Spider-Man and let’s not ignore this. Spider-Man has weaknesses, issues, etc. like we normal people but this doesn’t make him an anti-hero. According to your interpretation of the term, nearly every Marvel superhero character created after 1961 would fall into the anti-hero category.

    If anything, Spider-Man’s issues make him more heroic than Superman could be since Spidey has to deal with the consequences of doing the right thing. Superman foils an armored car robbery and it never occurs to him to keep any of the money because he doesn’t need money, so he flies off once the police show up. Spider-Man is tempted to take a little of the money but he’ll never act on that temptation. Next thing you know Peter Parker is being evicted because he didn’t make the rent on time, or Aunt May is dying because Peter can’t afford to pay for the life-saving surgery or whatever. This makes Spider-Man heroic, yes, tragic, perhaps, but not an anti-hero by any stretch.

    Like I said, we can’t fly or climb walls, and if Superman seems an unreachable goal, is it too much then for us to want to be more like Spider-Man in our approach to hard ethical problems? Or is it just easier to hope that what we lack in moral conviction we can make up for a mixture of looking awesome and not-giving-a-sh!t?

  12. #12
    Crono (Level 14) Pantechnicon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Alburquerque
    Posts
    6,697
    Xbox LIVE
    Zeno2112

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ”Sunnyvale”
    I think the antihero is a cool archetype, if done well. ..And, my favorite 'superhero' nowadays (and he IS a superhero, as much as Batman) is Dexter. Antihero extraordinaire!
    I don’t want to spend too much time on this only because Dexter isn’t a comic-book character, but otherwise the character, as well as your reaction to him, perfectly embody everything I have come to dislike about the idea. It’s telling, for instance, that your primary response is to declare him “cool”, and the question of whether or not he’s doing the right thing comes secondary to this. You’re choosing the sizzle over the steak, so to speak.

  13. #13
    Peach (Level 3) Hawksmoor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sandy Springs, GA
    Posts
    690
    Xbox LIVE
    Badge 714
    PSN
    midnighthobo

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pantechnicon View Post
    I think your interpretation of what “anti-hero” means exactly is a considerably watered-down one. In my original post I referenced a dictionary definition for the term, and the idea that the anti-hero is “…conspicuously lacking in heroic qualities” is fundamental to this. “Heroic qualities” in this context doesn’t refer to super-strength or the ability to fly. It refers to behavioral attributes such as courage, integrity, selflessness, etc. There are plenty of superheroes with human weaknesses but also possessing those attributes. This is what makes them “heroes”, by definition.
    I don't think you can use a dictionary definition, or any definition, to encapsulate the totality of something as complex as an archetype. What exactly are "heroic qualities"? I think it depends on a lot of different factors; culture, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and ideology to name a few. For example, almost all Americans see members of the U.S. armed forces as the personification of what a hero is. To me that's a matter of perspective.

    One could just as easily see them as misguided pawns in our country's neocolonialist efforts and pursuits of resources (i.e. oil) to try and sate our seemingly inexhaustible appetite. One nation's heroes is another nation's terrorists, invaders, and/or occupiers.

    It was probably a mistake for me to mention Superman because he is a pretty easy target to knock down in this kind of debate. But I also mentioned Spider-Man and let’s not ignore this. Spider-Man has weaknesses, issues, etc. like we normal people but this doesn’t make him an anti-hero. According to your interpretation of the term, nearly every Marvel superhero character created after 1961 would fall into the anti-hero category.
    What does and does not constitute a hero, anti-hero, or villain is highly subjective/relative. We have to be cognizant of the fact that we are looking at this through the lenses of a predominantly Western literary tradition. From that vantage point, it's fairly clear cut. However, if you encompasses more Eastern literature, such as pivotal works from India, China, Japan, and Russia, it's not so straightforward anymore.

    If anything, Spider-Man’s issues make him more heroic than Superman could be since Spidey has to deal with the consequences of doing the right thing. Superman foils an armored car robbery and it never occurs to him to keep any of the money because he doesn’t need money, so he flies off once the police show up. Spider-Man is tempted to take a little of the money but he’ll never act on that temptation. Next thing you know Peter Parker is being evicted because he didn’t make the rent on time, or Aunt May is dying because Peter can’t afford to pay for the life-saving surgery or whatever. This makes Spider-Man heroic, yes, tragic, perhaps, but not an anti-hero by any stretch.
    I would agree, though I suspect his inclination to take some of the money may diminish over time, to the point that it doesn't even occur to him any longer (assuming armored car robberies are a fairly common occurrence for him). Behavior often shapes thinking, just as much as thinking can shape behavior. Also, unlike the rest of us, Peter Parker rarely finds himself in an untenable situation because he can use his abilities as Spider-Man in creative ways. If he's desperate for money he can just set up a camera, take pics of himself as Spider-Man, and sell them to J. Jonah Jameson. Problem solved.

    The primary source of his heroism is the tragedy of his uncle Ben's death; he initially used his powers for monetary gain as a wrestler and turned a blind eye to a fleeing robber that would later end up killing his uncle. That is why he became heroic; it's more atonement than innate goodness.

    Like I said, we can’t fly or climb walls, and if Superman seems an unreachable goal, is it too much then for us to want to be more like Spider-Man in our approach to hard ethical problems? Or is it just easier to hope that what we lack in moral conviction we can make up for a mixture of looking awesome and not-giving-a-sh!t?
    By no means am I advocating apathy. Far from it. More than anything I am trying to point out that the delineations between hero, anti-hero, and villain are more opaque and murky than we might like to admit.
    Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one. - Thomas Paine

    America can always be counted on to do the right thing after they have exhausted all other possibilities. - Winston Churchill


  14. #14
    Key (Level 9) treismac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Savannah, GA
    Posts
    1,932

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawksmoor View Post
    One could just as easily see [members of the U.S. armed forces] as misguided pawns in our country's neocolonialist efforts and pursuits of resources (i.e. oil) to try and sate our seemingly inexhaustible appetite. One nation's heroes is another nation's terrorists, invaders, and/or occupiers.
    Anti-heroes of the world, unite!!

    In all seriousness, my favorite anti-hero would probably have to be Zatoichi. I consider him a "soft" anti-hero in some regards, but I still love that fellow. The first movie is absolutely beautiful.

    My apologies that Zatoichi isn't a comic book hero, by the way.
    Last edited by treismac; 02-29-2012 at 02:10 AM.

  15. #15
    Key (Level 9) treismac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Savannah, GA
    Posts
    1,932

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawksmoor View Post
    ... I would counter that complete moral and ethical purity aren't really that desirable. Our imperfections, inner strife, moral/ethical ambiguities, and general frailty are what makes us us. Were it possible to attain superhero-like perfection, we would cease to be human.
    I will grant that complete moral and ethical purity do not always make for compelling characters in fiction, but I would disagree with the notion that there is something desirable about having flaws as a human. Yes, a flaw can be a defining characteristic of a person that "makes" them who they are, but they could still be who they are, only better, without such a flaw, seeing as that one lost characteristic was not the sum total of who they were in the first place, since we are much too complex as humans to have our personality completely deconstructed by the loss of a single or handful of flaws. Shedding flaws and striving towards perfection do not make us less human, but they do make us more divine (loosely speaking). Take two great archetypal holy men: Buddha and Christ. They are both very compelling characters and they both were very human. Buddha is a better example than Christ, because he became the Buddha, meaning he was not always awakened (i.e. "containing no flaws" for the sake of this discussion), where as Jesus was always the Christ and God (unless you're a gnostic) and never had flaws. The young prince, Siddhartha, did not become less human or less interesting when he reached enlightenment. Sure he became less easy to relate to as a character, but his humanity was not lost and his post enlightened state seemed pretty kick ass to me in comparison to his previous state.

    Please note, Hawksmoor, that I write all of the above with the following quote by you in mind:

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawksmoor View Post
    By no means am I advocating apathy.
    One further note: I have read comic books with both Jesus and Siddhartha in them, so they technically are good to go for this discussion.
    Last edited by treismac; 02-29-2012 at 02:21 AM.

  16. #16
    Insert Coin (Level 0)
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    North America
    Posts
    8
    Xbox LIVE
    Kabrelle
    PSN
    Kabrelle

    Default

    Though a tad bit mainstream nowadays, I've always liked Rorschach of the Watchmen.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •