Top 10 Comic Book Anti-Heroes - Best of WatchMojo

VOICE OVER: Dan Paradis WRITTEN BY: Matthew Thomas
Written by Matthew Thomas.

Sometimes comic book heroes aren't so black and white. Welcome to, and today we're counting down our picks for the top 10 comic book anti-heroes of all time.

For this list, we've looked at comic book characters whose deeds are meant to do right in the world but their motives or past may be suspect. We're also considering characters that are in it for themselves, but ultimately find themselves battling against villains, more often than not.

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Sometimes comic book heroes aren’t so black and white. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 comic book anti-heroes of all time.

For this list, we’ve looked at comic book characters whose deeds are meant to do right in the world but their motives or past may be suspect. We’re also considering characters that are in it for themselves, but ultimately find themselves battling against villains, more often than not.

#10: Judge Dredd

In a dystopian future where crime has gotten out of hand, the position of law enforcer has been given to specific men who are simultaneously judge, jury and executioner. The most famous and deadly of them all, Dredd is incredibly effective at killing and takes great pleasure in his work. Dredd may appear more supervillain than anti-hero at times, but then we remember how effective of a deterrent he is and how great he is at destroying those foolish enough to cross the law.

#9: V

One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. V exists in a London that is under the thumb of a corrupt government and he’s had enough. As such, he tries to launch a revolution for the hearts and thoughts of the general public. Once held in what can only be described as a concentration camp, he bides his time before killing those who held him, blowing up landmarks and goading the public into overthrowing the government. While V fights for what he believes is the common good, his methods are highly questionable.

#8: The Red Hood

When Red Hood debuted in the “Under the Hood” comic book storyline, his identity was shrouded in mystery. That is, until it was ultimately revealed that the man beneath the mask was Jason Todd, who’d at one time been Robin. Taking control of Gotham City’s gangs, he strives to destroy the drug trade and violence of the land, but resorts to criminal acts to do so. He commits murder again and again against those he deems worthy of it, justifying his actions with a calling card on which it is written: “let the punishment fit the crime.”

#7: John Constantine

An occult figure who fights against the forces of Lucifer, if you find yourself in John’s protection, then some things have gone seriously wrong in your life and he is truly the only thing standing between you and hell. Fraught with cancer and destined for the underworld upon his death, Constantine sold his soul to stay on Earth. He has since spent his newly acquired years saving the tormented in the hopes of permanently freeing his soul from eternal damnation.

#6: Venom

The Eddie Brock version of this character often referred to himself as a “we” because he considered himself a combination of the alien symbiote and a man. Beginning his life as a villain, Venom was consumed with hatred for Spider-Man and Peter Parker before “they” began to desire something different in life. Calling themselves a lethal protector, Venom does not fight crime in a traditional sense, but would not allow bad things to happen to the people in his area either. Venom is never going to set out to be just the good guy, but as his character’s evolved, he’s no longer as bad as when he started out.

#5: Catwoman

Another character originally created as a straight-up villain, Catwoman is a thief that has a moral code all her own - and if you cross it, you’ll pay the price. At times smitten with Batman and others not so much, which is understandable considering he’s the man who has thwarted her criminal schemes over and over again, Catwoman’s MO is not to go out into the night to fight crime like Bruce. Rather, she’ll save lives when she can along the way.

#4: Rorschach

The son of an abusive mother who was also a prostitute, Walter Kovacs’ growing disgust toward the criminal element seems natural. But it was after tangling with a man who killed a little girl that he was truly stripped of any empathy and he became a ruthless killing machine. Spending the rest of his life fighting criminals, never considering that he had become one himself, Rorschach soon became a scourge of the crime world. So when he himself was sent to prison, he seemed to be at great risk. Instead, he continued to destroy criminals while behind bars! In short, everyone should fear him as he’s always watching and uncompromising.

#3: Spawn

When a government operative makes the mistake of questioning his superiors, they send his friend and partner to kill him in grisly fashion. Once dead, Al Simmons finds himself in hell because of the innocents he killed before his death. He makes a deal to re-join the living in order to see his wife and comes back in the form of Spawn. Once back on Earth, his attention turns to the wicked and he brutally kills those who he thinks deserve to be killed as well as any others who cross him.

#2: Deadpool

Never has a nickname been more apt for someone than the Merc with a Mouth, as Deadpool is as likely to kill you as he is to mock you and everything you stand for. Originally a villain, when he began to take part in the “Heroes for Hire” comic titles, Deadpool also began to take jobs to kill or steal for good, which subsequently began a change in the character’s behavior and goals. Despite this, he still has zero issues killing when needed.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Elektra
- Deadshot
- Gambit

#1: The Punisher

When Frank Castle’s family was killed, he was reborn as The Punisher, a man consumed by a desire to punish criminals and the corrupt with extreme prejudice. Using his military training to dispatch anyone unfortunate enough to find themselves in his crosshairs, The Punisher may be a force for good as he destroys the wicked - but he is no choir boy. Inarguably one of the most violent characters to come out of mainstream comics, in the heart of this predator there is no sympathy left for anyone.

Do you agree with our list? Which comic book anti-hero do you think is the best? For more comic book Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to