So, we’ve had an interesting and in-depth look into the greatest so-bad-they’re-good characters in TV. But there are more mediums than the small screen out there, so let’s turn that particular page and cast our eyes over those individuals who walk the line between good and evil, and do so over the panels and pages of our favourite comic books. Here we are; Isle Of Geek’s Top 5 Comic Book Anti-Heroes.
5) Catwoman, Batman
One of the most popular characters in the Batman universe, Catwoman has been both a thorn in the Dark Knight’s side and his most-commonly recurring love interest, on par with Talia al Ghul. Originally a feisty cat burglar who had an affinity for jewels Catwoman was introduced to the DC universe to both engage Batman in a battle of the sexes and act as his love interest as he tried to reform her. Different from other Batman villains such as Joker and Killer Croc in that she didn’t actively seek to kill people, Catwoman has always tip toed along the line between hero and villain, but somehow always keeps her nine lives intact.
4) V, V For Vendetta
One of Alan Moore’s most infamous creations, V instantly strikes a chord with any comic book fan thanks to his unique appearance, ever-grinning Guy Fawkes mask and array of knives. Designed to be completely morally ambiguous, Moore wanted readers to decide for themselves if V was a real hero fighting for a cause he believed in, or simply a psychopath with a grudge against the government. And in a way, he’s a bit of both – V stands and fights for the freedom that has been robbed from the British people by the fascist Norsefire regime, but his methods are just as brutal as the government’s own. As V himself says; “Anarchy has two faces – the Creator and the Destroyer.”
3) Rorschach, Watchmen
Easily the most recognisable hero on this list due to his trademark detective garb and signature mask, Rorschach is another of Alan Moore’s vigilantes who constantly crosses the line from hero to villain, only to jump back again. A moral absolutist who refuses to compromise, Rorschach seeks to punish evil at any cost and using whatever means are at his disposal. Highly intelligent and resourceful, Rorschach has injured and killed people in a variety of means, with escalating numbers, but he has only done so while pursuing his goal of ridding the world of the evil that plagues it, such as when he brutally murdered Gerald Grice, after Grice killed a six-year-old girl. Rorschach’s balance between defender of the innocent and sociopathic murderer shifts as often as the inkblots on his ma – oh, sorry. His face.
2) Deadpool, Marvel Comics
The Merc With A Mouth, as he has come to be known, Deadpool is one of the best-known characters in Marvel Comics’ continuity, both in his own series and sharing stories with other characters such as Wolverine and Cable. A disfigured and deranged mercenary, Wade Wilson is famous for his tendency to break the fourth wall and his healing factor similar to that of Wolverine, which keeps the cancer he developed from killing him, but unfortunately doesn’t stop the pain he feels, adding to his already unstable mental state. While he is, first and foremost, a killer (and a bloody good one at that), Deadpool has worked alongside some of Marvel’s best-known heroes, including The Avengers. And he’s been absolutely hilarious and terrifyingly mad with every second that goes by.
1) The Punisher
Frank Castle might not have Rorschach’s mind or Deadpool’s wit, but he has the greatest motive in his one-man quest to vanquish criminals – the loss of his family. A vigilante who employs military training along with murder, coercion, extortion, threats of violence and torture in his war on crime, The Punisher mercilessly hunts down criminals to ensure that what happened to him will not happen to anyone else. Hi motives are pure, but his methods are far from it – memorable Punisher stories include one where he lures a gang into a zoo, traps them in a polar bear enclosure and causes their deaths by punching an aforementioned bear in the face, causing it to maul the gangsters and kill them. The ultimate tortured soul, the Punisher is the only character we can sympathise with and be terrified of at the exact same time.
Are there any bad guys with a hint of good that you think should have made the list? Leave us a comment and don’t forget to share!