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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member K7P5V's Avatar
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    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 Conn Seanery; 09-26-2020 at 12:56 PM.

  2. #2
    Better than YOU! Alan2099's Avatar
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    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

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    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

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    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
    Incredible Member The no face guy's Avatar
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    I guess if were talking comics The Shadow.

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member phantom1592's Avatar
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    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
    Incredible Member OopsIdiditagain's Avatar
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    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
    OP characters make me itch

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