Anti-heroes are lots of fun, both to read and to write about. Not all anti-heroes are created equally, though. Here are five of the best, and what’s so great about them.
1. Ellington Feint- All the Wrong Questions by Lemony Snicket
Ellington Feint is doesn’t fit in with Snicket’s main supporters, but she and Lemony understand each other in a way the others don’t.
Snicket’s drawn to her because of that, but never knows if she’s truly helping him, or if she’s really aiding Hangfire and his nefarious schemes. This all gives her character a mysterious air to match her question-mark shaped eyebrows.
2. Loki- Loki: Agent of Asgard by Al Ewing
Although much of the second half of this series gets messy with crossovers (which happens a lot with comics) this whole kid Loki storyline is one of my favorite comic arcs. Loki wants to act for the ‘good’ side, but people won’t trust that he’s changed. And then in Agent of Asgard, the god of lies is paired with a woman who can see through any falsehood (not as fun as it sounds), resulting in one of the best friendships in comic books.
Loki’s an interesting anti-hero because he wants to be better, but he’s stuck with old habits, people’s expectations, and the guilt of killing his younger self (if you haven’t read the series, just trust me on this). All three of these factors are explored throughout the story, and they’re fun to see play out.
3. Orual- Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis
If you haven’t read this book, what are you doing with your life. Read it. Spoilers ahead!! Orual truly believes she loves her sister, but her love is so twisted and selfish that she destroys her sister’s happiness. She rants against the gods for their distance, but doesn’t realize what their presence would mean. She spends most of the book as a bitter woman, blaming everyone but herself for her mistakes.
Part of the reason people like anti-heroes is because they’re often more relatable than heroes. Orual- angry, selfish, bitter- is closer to how we all act at times than we’d like to admit.
4. Inej- Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo
I could go with any of the crew, but Inej is 110% my favorite, so there. She’s a super skilled climber, acrobat, and spy, and doesn’t use those powers for altruistic goodness. She’s willing to murder, lie, and steal to get her way, even when she doesn’t want to. But although her methods are unsavory, she does most of it to reunite with her parents. Also, she’ll only kill ‘bad’ people and doesn’t take that lightly, either.
She’s fun to live through vicariously, especially at the end of Crooked Kingdom. Even though I wouldn’t hunt down someone who’d hurt me, it’s thrilling to read about.
5. Logan- Logan
Logan doesn’t want to get involved in the superhero business again, and understandably. In his situation, there doesn’t look like there’s much worth saving. But once he decides to help Laura, the bad guys had better watch out.
He’s awesome because he becomes less of an anti-hero through the movie. He’s less selfish, more willing to care for others. His arc is one the viewers can root for.
Who are some of your favorite anti-heroes?