We are all too familiar with superheroes through reading comics by Marvel and DC comics. Superheroes come in all shapes and sizes, aiming to rid the world of evil. Growing up in America, we always looked up to a superhero that would fight the bad guys before chaos erupts the area.
A superhero is someone who possesses extraordinary talents or superhuman powers. The ultimate moral goal within every superhero is to protect us from all of the evil in the world. Some common traits that we associate with superheroes include having a strong moral code, extraordinary powers, concealing with a secret identity, donning a distinctive costume, having a gallery of archenemies, a detailed backstory, and having an underlying motif/theme. Each trait is very similar to many of the superheroes we follow through comic book. Some familiar superheroes we know include Spiderman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Wolverine, and other notorious characters.
On the other side of the spectrum are the antiheroes. Antiheroes are protagonists who lack conventional heroic qualities such as courage, idealism, and morality. Many antihero figures possess darker personality traits including dishonesty, disagreeableness, and aggressiveness. It wasn’t until the late 1950s where literature started creating antihero characters in stories. Early works of literature portrayed antiheroes as alienated figures that were unable to communicate with the world. Some familiar antiheroes in works of literature included Severus Snape, Raoul Duke, and Jay Gatsby.
Antiheroes have been portrayed in television and film within the past few decades. In fact, the first antihero character on TV was Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files. James Gardner portrayed what would become one of the most iconic characters in television history. Hollywood introduced us to a myriad of antihero figures including Walter White, Don Draper, Tony Soprano, Dexter Morgan, Nancy Botwin, Frank Underwood, and many other conniving characters.
So when it comes down to superheroes and antiheroes, I enjoy learning about the antihero characters. Antiheroes seem like evil people, but I understand how they constantly learn to improve on themselves by helping out those less fortunate. Many of these characters have a crazy backstory and they work to help others. Walter White only supported his family by creating methamphetamine because he felt unappreciated in his career. Learning about the origin of the antihero character is intriguing because it is interesting to see what kind of life they lead.