Though superheroes spend day and day out fighting crimes and stopping bad guys, anti-heroes have a class of their own. Infamous and even adored by doing non-heroic antics for a heroic cause, take a look at the 15 best comic book anti-heroes of all time:
Originally introduced as a supervillain, Floyd Lawton is an expert marksman who will dare to assassinate anyone as long as he is getting paid for the job. Often hailed as the world’s greatest assassin amongst all comic book heroes and villains, Deadshot has even given Batman a tough time.
Knowing the dangers of the world he lives in, Deadshot always tries his very best when it comes to the protection of his ex-wife Susan Lawton and their daughter Zoe Lawton. From Secret Six to Suicide Squad, Deadshot slowly transitioned from a villain to an anti-hero.
14. Judge Dredd
Appearing in British comic books published by Rebellion Developments, Joseph Dredd is a law enforcement officer and a nightmare for criminals. Living in a dystopian future city of Mega-City One located in North America, Dredd is a “street judge” but does not spare second thoughts if he has to engage in unarmed combat.
With the authority to convict, sentence, arrest, and even execute criminals as he pleases, Judge Dredd takes great pleasure while doing his job which may seem more villainy than anti-heroic. Still, at the end of the day, his actions definitely raise questions but they get results.
Throughout her appearances, Catwoman has proved that she truly is one of the most mysterious and untrustworthy comic book characters of all time. If she is an adversary of Batman on one day, there is still a strong likelihood of being his threatening rival the very next day.
With her whip and seductive looks, Selina Kyle is as deadly as she is beautiful. Though she has embarked on several adventures with Batman to apprehend criminals, her intentions have always been doubtful as they allowed her to steal jewelry and other expensive items along the way much to the dismay of the Dark Knight.
No matter how good you are at playing cards, do not cross paths with Remy LeBeau aka Gambit. The mutant has the ability to control, create, and even manipulate pure kinetic energy the way he pleases and is one tough dude whether it comes to hand-to-hand combat or using his signature staff as a weapon.
Gambit’s history as a criminal is not something the X-Men were too fond of as trust issues always became a major issue among the two parties. Though the mutant seeks redemption, the anti-hero image has become a permanent part of his persona.
11. The Mask
As one of the most prominent characters of Dark Horse comics, the life of Stanley Ipkiss changed forever when he found the mysterious wooden mask that grants the wearer miraculous and cartoon-like superpowers at the cost of sanity and control.
With the powers to do anything and being nearly unstoppable, The Mask has created enough troubles that can put professional criminals to shame. Admitted that he interrupts unlawful activities numerous times, The Mask does more harm than good and would even kill or destroy if it means cracking a joke.
Born James Howlett and better known as Wolverine, the mutant has countless fans and serves as one of the greatest X-Men members of all time. Possessing animalistic senses coupled with long adamantium claws, Wolverine does not hesitate to mercilessly kill someone when it comes to crime-fighting.
However, unlike the rest of the anti-heroes in the list, Wolverine has a conscience as his morality often intervenes in his battles. Still, the X-Men member is one mean anti-hero as he perfectly states,
“I’m the best there is at what I do, but what I do best isn’t very nice”.
9. Red Hood
The identity of Red Hood was a mystery until the character unmasked to reveal himself as none other than Jason Todd. Thought to be mercilessly killed by the Joker, the former Robin was resurrected and aimed to minimize crime by controlling it instead of completely eradicating it.
Going against everything Batman taught him, Todd would do anything to make his presence known in the criminal underworld of Gotham whether it is killing someone, committing a crime, or even going face-to-face with his own mentor.
8. Ghost Rider
Desperate to save his adoptive father from cancer, Johnny Blaze sold his soul to the devilish Mephisto. Endowed with incredible powers that can manipulate hellfire, the motorcyclist took on the alias of Ghost Rider to raise hell on earth. At least for the criminals.
Bent on those who kill the innocents and commit crimes, Ghost Rider aims to create heaven even if he has to create hell as a prerequisite option. With his ability to internally burn his victims by the horrific penance stare, Ghost Rider is a perfect anti-hero.
With all honesty, V is responsible for sky-rocketing the sales of Guy Fawkes Masks all over the world. Leaving that aside, the mysterious vigilante is an anarchist and firmly believes that the government is the root of every problem in society.
Seen as a villain by many, V is steadfast in believing that he is actually a freedom fighter and feels that his actions are justified as long as he is foiling the government’s plans if they even have any slight chances of potentially damaging the society in any way possible.
After bonding with the alien symbiote rejected by Spider-Man, Eddie Brock takes the alias of Venom and becomes one of the most aggressive and violent characters the comic book readers have ever seen. His intentions of fighting crime have always been questionable as he clearly does it for the fun he experiences while inflicting pain on people.
Relying on deadly force on more than one occasion, Venom and Spider-Man have not always seen eye to eye. The two have teamed up from time to time but the same can be said about battling against each other as well. Though the character has a fair share of doing good, Venom is nothing less than an anti-hero.
5. John Constantine
Do not let his looks fool you, the seemingly common working-class individual is a magician, con man, occult detective, and exorcist. Selling his soul in exchange for getting cured of cancer, John Constantine aims to buy his way to heaven by doing some good in his life.
Intervening in the devil’s endeavors every now and then is just another day for Constantine as he hopes that it will be his only way from escaping eternal torment after death. With his anti-social and violent tendencies, the chain-smoker’s reckless attitude has often cost several people’s lives.
There are only a handful of great superheroes apart from DC and Marvel Comics and that is where Spawn comes in. Superhuman strength, resurrection, immortality, empathy, teleportation, you name it and Spawn has it.
After questioning the morality of his superior officers, Lt. Colonel Albert Francis “Al” Simmons was killed and his soul goes to hell because of unknowingly killing several innocent lives while taking orders from CIA.
Simmons immediately makes a deal with Malebolgia in exchange for his soul so he could return to Earth but resurfaces as a supernatural being who kills anyone he feels deserve to be killed in the most brutal ways possible.
Taking on the alias of Rorschach, Walter Joseph Kovacs knowingly became a criminal while killing criminals. A ruthless and unlawful individual who firmly believes in moral absolutism, Rorschach is bent on punishing evil no matter what the cost is.
Highly over the top when it comes to brutally killing lawbreakers, Rorschach has a natural distaste for the criminal underworld and forced himself to become a part of it in order to end it.
For the Merc with the Mouth, murder is as common as cracking a joke. An innovator of ultraviolence and extreme brutality, Deadpool is a mentally stable human mutate with a sick and twisted sense of humor. Originally a villain, Deadpool evolved as an anti-hero and so did his viciousness.
Despite having no issue when it comes to killing, Deadpool is one of the most loved and unique comic book characters of all time to the point of breaking the fourth wall and interacting with the readers to crack a joke once in a while.
1. The Punisher
After his family gets killed, war veteran Frank Castle was reborn as The Punisher and became obsessed with killing the corrupt and criminals by any means necessary. A master of martial arts, guerrilla warfare, stealth tactics, Castle is not someone you would like to meet in a dark alley.
Truly above the law, the Punisher fights super villains, gangsters, and even the powerful men that the law cannot touch. Resorting to massive explosions and a large variety of military weapons, Frank Castle undoubtedly stands out as the greatest comic book anti-hero of all time.
Hope you like our list of the best comic book anti-heroes of all time. Please share your views in the comments below!