An alternative title for this blog was also “Top Five heroes that make me question my own sexuality” and “Top Five heroes I would secretly fancy if I was gay!” XD
Bonnie Tyler once asked “Where have all the good men gone and where are all the gods?” For the longest time, the dashing hero was a staple in fiction. We all loved reading about a brave, noble man – be they prince or pauper – coming to save the day! And whilst these days, many readers seem to be turning more to the strong female leads in fiction (me included) I still think that there is still a place for a hero.
I’ve done various Top fives about my favourite female leads in various medias – and women that I think are totally badass – but that’s not to say that I don’t enjoy a really badass hero now and then – as long as they are done right. So today, I’ve decided to give the boys a place in the sun and talk about what I consider to be my personal favourite badass heroes. These are the top five males in fiction that, for any number of reasons, I think are totally badass! As always, these are just my own personal opinion – and listed in no particular order.
Just a little warning – there maybe some spoilers ahead! Without further ado, here is my Top Five Badass Heroes!
1. Oliver Queen from Arrow
I gotta be honest, I didn’t think I would like Arrow nearly as much as I did – considering that Green Arrow wasn’t really a character that I followed in great detail. In fact, when the show first started, I felt that it was trying to be too much like Batman. But actual fact, whilst the first series had a few issues story wise, the second series really upped the ante and series three – my god... that first episode of series three!
Oliver Queen was a billionaire stranded on an island for five years – during which time he went through a lot of crap (to put it mildly), but also taught himself to be a badass archer. Returning from the “dead” and returning to Starling City, Oliver uses a list given to him by his father of nasty people that have done bad stuff. He returns to fight those who have “failed” the city – becoming the Vigilante, the Hood and then eventually the Arrow.
Story wise, Arrow is pretty basic and most of it seems to follow the same formula as Batman, but Oliver Queen is FAR from being just a clone of Bruce Wayne. There are many sides to his character, the playboy millionaire, the tortured soul, the trained assassin and the noble hero. He’s a guy that has a lot of weight on his shoulders – even when he has people to aid him, he feels it’s his duty to right the wrongs of the city. Like any hero, he struggles to keep those he loves protected by keeping his identity a secret – but the more he tries to hide his secret, the more his family seem to suffer (although members of his family were also involved in the corruption of the city in some way). And despite trying to keep a tough appearance at all time, sometimes it does get too much for him and he just feels like a good cry now and then (it’s all right, Oliver – we love a guy that’s in touch with his feelings).
But most of all, Oliver Queen as the Arrow is just BADASS when it comes to fighting! His accuracy with his bow and arrow is just superhuman – even when the target is on a motorcycle! But he’s no wimp in close combat either and he’s managed to beat up many bad guys at once – even giving Slade Wilson a decent fight in combat. I did kinda object to the way that, in the first series, he just seemed to kill a little too much for my liking and I’ve never really been too fond of heroes that kill unnecessarily – but he’s toned this down a lot in the later series – which has actually led to some interesting story branches.
What I like most about Arrow is that Stephen Amell, who plays Oliver Queen, does a lot of his own stunts – so he gets two thumbs up from me. I always respect actors that aren’t afraid to do their own stunts where possible.
Oliver Queen is overall a well rounded character, tough, heroic and also emotionally damaged. There is so much humanity in Oliver Queen that we can love him not just for being a hero, but for the person he is trying to be. Although, do we really need so many topless scenes with him. I mean, yeah he’s muscular and all... but come on guys! It’s just a male chest! How can anyone possibly be attracted to...
Er... all of a sudden... I’m starting to question my own masculinity...
Um... let’s just move on!
2. Seto Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh
Yeah, yeah, I know Yugi Moto was the hero in this show – but in my opinion, Seto Kaiba should so have been the main character? Why? Because he was a FAR better character than Yugi in my eyes (sits back and waits fan girl hate).
Ok, so the premise of Yu-Gi-Oh as a series was pretty silly to be honest – mostly it was a platform for selling card games. But for what it was, it had some really entertaining characters. Kaiba being one of them. A rich kid that seemed to have an infinite amount of resources at his disposal – and a super intelligent mind – he created a number of machines that could help bring duel monsters to life in 3D. But he also had an arrogant streak that meant he wanted to be the best in life – mainly due to the tough upbringing from his father.
Kaiba has been a “frienemy” to Yugi Moto – somehow getting involved in the major plotline in some way – usually to rescue his annoying kid brother! Unlike Yugi, who is usually kind and overly protective of his friends, Kaiba is pretty much out for himself. Now that should kinda make him the bad guy of the show – but to be honest, I actually think this makes him stand out. The main theme of Yu-Gi-Oh is Friendship – but the problem is that this theme gets shoved down the throat of the viewers almost every episode – and the amount of heroic speeches that Yugi and Tea give about friendship and playing by the rules really grates on you. So it’s refreshing to have a “screw the rules, I have money!” type of character (Thanks to LittleKurriboh for creating that meme!).
What’s not to love about Kaiba? He plays by his own rules, he’s super smart AND he has the Blue Eyes White Dragon – which is for all purposes the most powerful dragon in the Yu-Gi-Oh universe (at least it was back then). He even once possessed the God Card Obelix the Tormentor – a monster that could pretty much destroy everything in its path. Not only that, but Kaiba has one of the badass coats ever! Just look at the picture I posted! It always stays in that one position the whole time and never moves. And if that’s not enough – he even has a Blue Eyes White Dragon plane! Seriously, this guy is just a technical genius!
What annoyed me most about Kaiba was – and this may upset some Yugi fan girls – that I REALLY wanted him to beat Yugi in a duel just once. JUST ONCE! (The first series battle doesn’t count as Kaiba had to blackmail Yugi to not attacking). I mean, this is just my opinion but Kaiba was a FAR better duellist than Yugi! Yugi only won because he happened to pull the right card at the right time (Heart of the Cards my ass!) and somehow won. Come on, I’m sure I’m not the ONLY one to want this!
Seto Kaiba may not have been the star of the show – but he was definitely one of the more entertaining characters in my eyes. Now if only there was a way they could have got rid of his annoying kid brother...
3. Carl Frederickson from Up
Sometimes, being badass doesn’t mean fighting off an army of evil soldiers, or creating awesome tech, or even stopping a villain from taking over the world. Sometimes the most badass thing can just be a simple act of love.
In Up, Carl lived with his wife Ellie (both she and him were fans of explorer Charles F Munzt) for many years, making a promise to her to Paradise Falls. Then, in a heartbreaking opening sequence– that still makes people weep when they see it – Ellie dies, leaving Carl alone for the rest of his life. But when he’s threatened to go into a retirement home, Carl decides to make good on his promise, attaching thousands of balloons to his house so that he can fly it to Paradise Falls – accidently picking up Wilderness Explorer Russell along the way. It leads to an amazing adventure where their struggle to get to Paradise Falls is compounded by the discovery of “Kevin” a rare bird that Muntz (who has gone insane from years of hunting this bird) is trying to capture.
Now Carl himself is not exactly a spring chicken – but do NOT count him out because of his age. I mean, the guy is a technological genius! He turned his entire house into a floating hot air balloon and created a masterful steering mechanism so that he could pilot it. He’s also pretty tough as he was able to drag the house along when they were forced to walk AND he could fight Munzt in a sword fight – so he’s pretty fit for his age! Sure he could be a little grouchy sometimes, but at his heart, he is a lovely guy that just wants to fulfil a promise he made to his wife.
Carl I think stands out from a lot of badass heroes because of the fact he’s not a young man – he’s a guy near the “twilight” of his life. But despite this, he still goes ahead and masters a plan (however unrealistic) to make his wife’s dream come true. And that’s what makes him such an amazing character – everything he does he does for his wife. Come, admit it, you got teary eyed during that montage and the scene where he looked through his wife’s book.
Carl Frederickson shows no matter what age you are in life, you can still make your dreams come true. And that, for me, makes him a badass hero! Give this man the Ellie badge!
4. Jack Bauer from 24
Jack Bauer is quite possibly the most balls-out action hero there is. This guy makes Chuck Norris look like a sissy and it’s easy to see why! Jack Bauer does not **** around! He goes in for the quickest and best solution to any problem – even if it means someone getting killed or tortured!
A CTU agent that has seen a LOT of crap in his life, Jack has battled everyone from rogue CTU agents, to terrorist organisations, to Russian mobsters to the Chinese Government. And he’s faced them all down and blown the hell out of them! Seriously, this guy has gone through things that no one man could survive in his life. He’s been shot at, stabbed, been tortured, suffered broken bones and was even once killed for a short time. But no matter how many times you try to kill Bauer, he always comes back stronger than ever! God help you if you should fail to try and kill Bauer – because he WILL mess you up... and that’s only if he decides to let you live!
A common complaint that many people (within the show and outside) have of Jack is his willingness to do horrific things to gain information, be they torturing a suspect or stealing from his own people to get necessary information. Sometimes, Jack’s schemes involve innocent people getting hurt or killed. Although Jack himself acknowledges that he’s done some terrible things, he defends his actions by taking a pragmatic approach to the situation. Everything he does is for the bigger picture and, ironically, he’s often correct – as what he does leads to the downfall of the criminal syndicate.
It’s not been without its casualties though. Over the course of the nine series of 24, Jack has lost his wife Terri and several lovers (Audrey and Rene to name a few). Not only that, but his relationship with his daughter Kim is strained to say the least. Many times he has just wanted to settle down, but his duty and desire to see the bad guys punished means that he has to put aside his own dreams for the good of the country. But even Jack Bauer, whilst seemingly invincible, has his breaking point. A really poignant scene for me was at the end of series 3 when Jack Bauer secretly broke down crying after the pressure of the day. Poor guy!
Yes, Jack does some pretty nasty things – even to people that probably don’t deserve it – but it’s always been for the greater good. And the fact that he makes these choices so that others don’t have to shows how far he is willing to go to protect the country that he loves – even if it despises him. And did I mention that he was a balls out action hero? Well, if it comes to it, he has no problem pulling out a weapon and blowing you away if you so much as stand in his way.
You may not agree with his actions, but just be glad he’s on our side!
5. Flynn Rider from Tangled
I’m just gonna come right out and say it – and I don’t care how people interpret this. I – love – Flynn – Rider! If there was ANY character out there that could turn me from heterosexuality, it’s this guy! Ok, that’s probably a bit of a stretch... but even so...
Anyway, Flynn Rider (or Eugene is his real name) is quite possibly my favourite Disney hero of all time – and one of the most rounded characters in any Disney film. In Tangled he is a thief that steals a crown, and to hide himself from the palace guards (and the other thieves he tricked) he hides in a tower, where he meets Rapunzel. To cut a long story short, Rapunzel takes the crown he stole and makes a deal with her – take her to see the floating lights and she’ll give it back. Flynn agrees only with the idea of getting his crown back – but then realises there is another dream worth pursuing. And so begins what some Disney fans believe to be the best love story of any Disney film.
What’s not to love about Flynn Rider, other than his dashing good looks? For one thing, unlike a lot of heroes in Disney films, he’s not a prince or from a royal family. He’s just a guy that wants to have a rich and profitable life, turning to thievery after he was inspired by reading stories of a swashbuckling rogue (which is where he got his name from). The audience can relate to that as who wouldn’t want to want the best from life. It makes him a lot more realistic than him just being born a prince.
I really like Flynn’s character. He’s a little cocksure and kinda arrogant, often using wit and sarcasm to deflect anything that comes his way – but Rapunzel shows him that there is more to life than just money. And with her, he finds a new dream. Also, Flynn has some pretty cool scenes in the film. For one thing, he fights off palace guards with just a frying pan! That in itself is awesome! Sure, Rapunzel has to bail him out more than once in the film, but Flynn is pretty good at taking care of himself when he has to. I have to say the best scenes are with him and the horse Maximus – they never cease to make me chuckle.
Oh, and let’s not forget Flynn has the smoulder! It’s powerful enough to make women swoon and men question their own manliness! Yeah, admit it guys, you swooned a little when he did the smoulder! XD
But the main reason I think Flynn is so badass is because he makes, what is in my eyes, one of the most heroic sacrifices of any character in a Disney movie. When injured by Mother Gothel, Rapunzel tries to save Flynn in return of willingly becoming her prisoner. But Flynn, not wanting her to be a captive, cuts of her hair and lets himself die so that she can be free – telling her that he was his new dream. But Rapunzel cures him when a tear falls from her eyelash onto his skin (eyelash is still a hair after all) and brings him back. And then they live happily ever after.
I personally am not really big on the whole “Knight in Shining” armour trope – but Flynn Rider is a welcome change on that. He is a fun character with many good traits, but at the same time he’s still relatable as he just wants to find his dream. We need more characters like Flynn Rider in my opinion – he could certainly show Kristoff from Frozen a thing or two about being a hero!
Agree with my list? Disagree? What heroes do you believe are badass/make you swoon/question your own sexuality? Comment below to let me know.
Thanks for reading guys! Stay safe.