I used to like the traditional hero when I was younger, but as I have gotten older I don’t seem to like them as I used to, don’t get me wrong they still pose the intent of good will and the warm fuzzy feeling that you get after reading and watching them.But as I started to get to know fictional characters such as Wolverine, Spawn and Batman and more recently on T.V and at the movies characters such as House M.D, Riddick (Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick) possibly some of Sin City and even good old Jack Sparrow .
I’m uncertain what it is but I find them so much more interesting to watch, it’s probably because of their instability and the fact that they don’t confirm to the traditional guidelines to what a hero should embody and don’t follow the normal rules.
Wikipedia probably has the best definition:
When the anti-hero is a central character in a work of fiction the work will frequently deal with the effect their flawed character has on them and those they meet along the narrative. In other words, an anti-hero is a protagonist that lives by the guidance of their own moral compass, striving to define and construe their own values as opposed to those recognized by the society in which they live. Additionally, the work may depict how their character alters over time, either leading to punishment, un-heroic success, or redemption.
I hope that there are more stories and characters that emerge as this, because as the traditional hero ( Superman, Justice League, Sir Galahad are probably the best examples) might have had its time, the world today isn’t able to believe that someone can be that pure and wholesome and still be mentally stable. Such characters I think will remain in the realm of fiction, but someone with a flaw that would be his/her downfall that makes them more human, more damaged more like us.
I would like to note the fact that I’m mainly referring to fictional heroes here, there are many cases for people to be considered heroes or to have possible heroic qualities the list is way to long (Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Mother Teresa) and can list those that have fought for a cause or an ideal that should have existed but didn’t, I am not arguing this.
Like The Architect said in The Matrix Reloaded possibly an imperfect world is a perfect one, so possibly making characters flawed like us makes them more believable, it makes sense because many of the comic book anti-heros are some of the most revered that you will come across: Batman and Wolverine are the best examples off the top of my head.