Monday, November 15, 2010

Badass Heroes

Top 10 Badass Heroes

The following are my Top 10 badass heroes. Taken from movies, video games and other forms of media these represent the creme de la creme. These are heroes that range from everyman badasses placed in incredible circumstances to those with special powers or abilities that make them infinitely more awesome. You may feel free to agree or disagree but these are the best and brightest ass kicking heroes in my opinion.

Number 10 - Blade

Blade is what is known as a Dhampir, more or less a half-vampire, this allows him to walk around in the day time earning him the nickname Day Walker. This also means he is immune to most of the weaknesses that commonly plague vampires. Due to the fact his Mother was killed by a vampire during childbirth he has a huge vendetta against them and spends his time cutting them to shreds with various bladed weapons (his name is Blade after all). He emerged in the 1970s as one of the earlier African American superheroes and a trilogy of films about the super-hero have been made, starting in 1998 with BLADE which starred Wesley Snipes, help solidify the hero even more.

Number 9 - Indiana Jones

Based on the heroes of old serials from the 1930s Indiana Jones is an archeologist by occupation. Most archeologists don't regularly get into fist fights over artifacts or end up shooting Nazis but Indiana Jones is just that kind of guy. One of the things that kept the character compelling, at least for me, is the frequency at which he gets his ass kicked, he spends much of the movie in various types of peril and ends up bleeding and bruised by the end of the ordeal. This everyman attribute makes for a far more interesting movie - there's nothing immortal about Doctor Jones. Together with allies like Marcus Brody he recovers ancient artifacts with sacred or religious significance and despite being a dyed in the wool skeptic he usually comes face to face with some pretty crazy shit.

Number 8 - Hellboy

Hellboy is a demonic comic book character created by Mike Mignola for Dark Horse Comics. A baby demon who is stranded on Earth during a Nazi experiment into teleportation he is found by several Allied soldiers and raised by paranormal expert named Professor "Broom" Bruttenholm. In the end Hellboy becomes a good guy, he shaves off his demonic horns, takes a liking to pet cats and spends his days fighting monsters in the employ of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. The character really came to life on the big screen thanks to a classic dead-pan everyman performance from actor Ron Perlman. You might think Hellboy has it easy but he gets the crap beat out of him in both Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army - not that he can't hold his own in a fight.

Number 7 - Gordon Freeman

Doctor Freeman is the protagonist in the first person shooter game Half-Life. It truly is amazing how badass a silent character it can be but perhaps its his ability to be badass without corny one-liners that does it. Not only must he shoot aliens, blow up helicopter gunships and hold his own against massive towering Striders but he also has to solve puzzles and think. A 27 year old physicist carrying the fate of the human race on his shoulders while bonking zombie heads with a crowbar, the only thing that could make him more badass is if he finally capitalizes on all that alone time with Alyx.

Number 6 - Drizzt Do'Urden

Drizzt is a Dark Elf featured in author RA Salvatore's books. The Dark Elves live deep underground and only come out to raid the surface Elves at night. Drizzt steps away from his heritage and makes his own path forsaking the ways of his race to live on the surface and be a hero. He wields dual scimitars and is all but unbeatable in a one on one confrontation. Its hard to describe just how badass he is if you haven't read the books. Just go out and buy the Dark Elf Trilogy and Icewindale Trilogy.

Number 5 - John McClane

Hopefully you've seen Die Hard, in fact hopefully you've seen all four Die Hard films. If you haven't than you won't be familiar with this guy. A New York police officer John McClane ends up in the wrong place at the right time an awful lot. He's thwarted terrorists, thieves and all sorts of henchmen and he gets bloodied and beat up in the process. Bruce Willis is one of the most unassuming action stars, he isn't overly tall and he isn't a muscular beast but he's believable as he outsmarts, outguns and outfights the bad guys in each installment. Hopefully he's not too old and we'll get one more adventure before Willis throws in the towel on the character.

Number 4 - Duke Nukem

Duke Nukem is a foul mouthed narcissistic hero who must fight off an alien invasion. His voice is a parody of Clint Eastwood while his manner and lines are variously grafted from films like They Live and Army of Darkness. He is an amalgamation of all of the over-the-top hero stereotypes perpetuated in the 80s and 90s. The character himself, at least on the cover of Duke Nukem 3D, bears a resemblance to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Duke Nukem is one of the funniest and most badass heroes in history.

Number 3 - The Terminator

Originally a villain the Terminator is a machine designed for one purpose, killing things. In the second film, however, the Terminator is sent in to protect John Connor instead of killing him. It must protect John from an even more advanced Terminator known as the T-1000. Arnold Schwarzenegger offers one of the best performances of his storied action hero career as the T-800 Terminator. He is subtly funny when he needs to be and the robotic way in which he delivers some of the movies great lines is classic. He is a cold cool killer yet by the end of the film he's learned a lot more about emotions and what it is to be human. The fact that he manages to hold his own against a machine more advanced than him makes him one epic badass.

Number 2 - Batman

Batman is, first and foremost, a detective. But when forensics and clues fail he turns to beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands. Apparently Batman is also an expert in multiple forms of martial arts having studied for years as Bruce Wayne before assuming his bat persona. When hand-to-hand combat fails Batman turns to his gadgets using an arsenal consisting of ancient weaponry like smoke bombs that a ninja might use and high-tech body armor, vehicles and spy equipment. Batman exists in the DC Universe where most super-heroes have super-powers and yet manages to hold his own in a fight, that alone would make him a badass.

Number 1 - Wolverine

Wolverine has been plagued by having one of the worst origin movies ever made but despite this I couldn't ignore how awesome the character actually is. James Howlett (Wolverine) has mutant powers including increased strength, agility, sense of smell, and super fast healing. He also possesses six one foot long bone claws which protrude from his knuckles allowing him to both slice and impale enemies easily. He was part of a top secret program called weapon X that grafted an indestructible metal called adamantium to his bones AND claws. Wolverine is all but immortal being already more than a century old and still appearing as if he is in his thirties or forties. He is definitely the most badass members of the X-Men due to his feral unpredictable nature, claws, and badass set of super-powers in general. Let's hope the next Wolverine does justice to the true ferocity and awesomeness of the character.

So that's it, my top 10 badass heroes list. Here are the badasses who didn't make the list:

King Leonidus
James Bond
Maximus (main character from Gladitor)
Liu Kang
Rocky Balboa
Every Bruce Lee Character Ever
Morpheus or Neo

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