Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    The Spirits of Vengeance K7P5V's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois
    Posts
    12,509

    Default

    For my money, it was Punisher, but in curious what your impression is.

    Personally, I've always thought that "anti-hero" equals "villain." I don't believe in the concept of good guy does bad guy stuff. But I acknowledge it is a thing, so who was first?
    IIRC, someone mentioned Prince Namor: The Sub-Mariner being one of the earliest examples...

    Last edited by K7P5V; 05-01-2022 at 05:16 PM. Reason: Made Adjustments.

  2. #2
    Better than YOU! Alan2099's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    7,358

    Default

    I think for the concept of an "anti-hero" to exist it first has to have something to be anti- against.

    Because of that, I wouldn't list any character created before the comics code as an anti-hero.

  3. #3

    Default

    Namor is who I'd pick, as well.

    My opinion: it kind of depends on what you consider an "anti-hero". I see two types: "heroes" that aren't hesitant to kill their opponents; and then the misunderstood "heroes" who often opposes the "regular" heroes...yet still end up fighting traditional villains, too. Namor fits this second mold, as well as the Hulk.

    You could argue that some Golden Age heroes, like the Crimson Avenger or The Shadow were anti-heroes. In that they would use sometimes lethal methods against their foes. Some of the original Batman stories follow in this mold, as Batman wasn't too concerned if a bad guy died (I think there's an early story where Batman lets a bad guy fall off a helicopter, and the story ends two panels later).

    When the "Superhero formula" became more prevalent as the 40's progressed-- specifically the "code against killing"--- the lethal methods began to disappear. I think this was part of the transitioning from pulp heroes to what became "comic book heroes" and the switch in audiences. By the 50's, the comic book hero formula had been established and had broken off from "pulp heroes".

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan2099 View Post
    I think for the concept of an "anti-hero" to exist it first has to have something to be anti- against.

    Because of that, I wouldn't list any character created before the comics code as an anti-hero.
    There is a lot to this, I think. It is something of a post-modern idea, but essentially the term was invented to describe protagonists that did not fit into the mold of the melodramatic traditional heroes of the Victorian Age.

    However, any hero of myth did not fit into the mold of modern heroes. Heracles, Achilles, Cuchulain, Siegfried -- all of these characters were selfish, murderous and cruel. Elizabethan plays had heroes with equally criminal character traits. In the Golden Age of comics, the pulp magazines had characters like Conan, Philip Marlowe, The Continental Detective. John Carter of Mars. For every Buck Rogers or Lone Ranger, there were ten characters more like Mike Hammer. In the history of literature, there are more "anti-heroes" than regular old heroes.

    Still, as far as characters intentionally meant to be portrayed against the puritanical moral codes of their day, the French Arsene Lupin would be one of the earliest. This would later inspire the criminal protagonists of Fantomas and the German Dr. Mabuse.

  5. #5
    Mighty Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    1,241

    Default



    I guess if were talking comics The Shadow.

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member phantom1592's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    3,748

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan2099 View Post
    I think for the concept of an "anti-hero" to exist it first has to have something to be anti- against.

    Because of that, I wouldn't list any character created before the comics code as an anti-hero.

    Meh... there were heroes before the comics code. Anything from Robin hood to King Arthur were considered 'Heroes'. The code of chivalry, love it or hate it, was a very 'heroic' code to live by.

    Anti-heroes are by definition. A protagonist or notable figure who is conspicuously lacking in heroic qualities.

    There's never really been a 'lack' of those types of characters. Whether it's Shadow or Batman or even Sam Spade or the like... There's always been that 'I do bad things for the best reasons' archtype.

  7. #7

    Default

    Main character of the Count of Monte Cristo, Edmond Dantes. Dude was just a freed slaves on a vendetta. He did herioc actions but getting revenge was his #1 priority
    december 21st has passed where are my superpowers?

  8. #8
    Comix Addict! Comics N' Toons's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    171

    Default

    If you wanna talk comics? I'd go with Prince Namor! If you wanna talk pulps? Pick one... The Shadow, The Avenger, Zorro?

    What about The Green Hornet, debuting on radio in '36. He was literally a hero who posed as a villain.

  9. #9
    Fantastic Member Tulku's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Delaware, USA
    Posts
    459

    Default

    I would not consider either The Shadow or Zorro or Green Hornet to be an "anti-hero." The Shadow and Zorro were both straight up heroes. The Hornet was only posing as a crook--so was a straight up hero. Just because the authorities chased after them does not change any of that. I would nominate Arsene Lupin: a thief. An actual, honest-to-goodness thief, who often happened to do down worse crooks. In his lineage, there is The Saint. But Lupin came first.
    "Age is not defined by years, but by regrets...I'm an old man now." --Fighting Yank, "Project Superpowers"

  10. #10
    Comix Addict! Comics N' Toons's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    171

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tulku View Post
    I would not consider either The Shadow or Zorro or Green Hornet to be an "anti-hero." The Shadow and Zorro were both straight up heroes. The Hornet was only posing as a crook--so was a straight up hero. Just because the authorities chased after them does not change any of that. I would nominate Arsene Lupin: a thief. An actual, honest-to-goodness thief, who often happened to do down worse crooks. In his lineage, there is The Saint. But Lupin came first.

    Fair points! I do know that Arsene Lupin was an influence on The Shadow.

  11. #11
    Fantastic Member Tulku's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Delaware, USA
    Posts
    459

    Default

    Thinking a little further, Arsene Lupin showed up ca. 1905. Prior to him was gentleman thief A.J. Raffles (1898).
    "Age is not defined by years, but by regrets...I'm an old man now." --Fighting Yank, "Project Superpowers"

  12. #12
    Fantastic Member Tulku's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Delaware, USA
    Posts
    459

    Default

    Doing a little further research, one might also nominate Grant Allen's "Colonel Clay," (1897) a con man whose main distinction was that his only, repetitive victim was "The African Millionaire" (Sir Charles Van Drift). The episodic novel ends with the trial of Clay, who uses the occasion to expose the underhanded business tactics of the millionaire. He ends up convicted, but destroys the millionaire's reputation in the process. The novel is "widely regarded as the first to feature a criminal protagonist."
    "Age is not defined by years, but by regrets...I'm an old man now." --Fighting Yank, "Project Superpowers"

  13. #13
    BANNED
    Join Date
    May 2022
    Posts
    82

    Default

    I would probably agree about Namor,. Starting off with antiheroic and heroics and then in the Silver Age, crosses into antivillainy a number of times.

Posting Permissions

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