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[[quoteright:350:[[ComicBook/BloodHunter http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/90sestcover_4454.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Everything that was wrong with [[UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks comics in the '90s]] in one cover.[[note]]\\
From the top: Stupidly overpriced first issue; Title (if you can read it) includes "Blood"; Publisher (again, if you can read it) you've never heard of; Improbable blade; Torn cape; Wolverine knock-off mask that frames face; [[EyesAlwaysShut Youngblood's]] [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall disease]]; Gritted teeth; Improbable anatomy; Improbable muscles; Improbably huge and just plain improbable gun; Awkward pose; Lots of pouches; Huge boots; Hidden feet; Artist's signature on rubble.[[/note]]]]

->''"In roughly the span of a page or so, [[ComicBook/ScarletSpider Kaine]] has dismantled the Kraven stand-in and kills him with his stupid 'Mark of Kaine' face-disfigurement move I canít even bother to want to explain. Yeah! Doesnít that make you want to go out and read a ''million'' Kaine comics right now? I mean what could be more interesting than scowling on a rooftop and then slapping around all of the interesting characters before offhandedly killing the bad guy? I'm sure at the time Marvel wrote the issues they were dreaming of a Kaine ongoing series and Kaine underoos and Kaine video games."''
-->--'''''Blog/ToplessRobot''''', [[http://www.toplessrobot.com/2008/11/the_13_dumbest_spiderman_storiesjust_from_the_clon.php "The 13 Dumbest Spider-Man Stories.. Just From The Clone Saga"]]

The Nineties Anti-Hero is a specific version of the AntiHero. Not all such characters were created during [[TheNineties the 1990s]], but that was the time when they were most common and most popular.

This guy is the polar opposite of your [[TheCape typical]] SilverAge {{superhero}}. Not only are they flawed, they may lack ''any'' heroic attributes. However, they're rarely [[IneffectualLoner ineffectual]] or pathetic (in the eyes of the writer, anyway), instead being a NominalHero appealing to the audience strictly due to being [[TheDeterminator totally committed to... whatever the hell they're doing at the moment]]. They have [[AvertedTrope no compunction]] about [[ThouShaltNotKill killing]] [[JokerImmunity villains]], and indeed, this may extend to ''anyone'' who gets in their way; facing TheCape or any hero who does mind, they sneer at them as [[GoodIsOldFashioned outdated]]. Their super-powers (if they have superpowers -- many are {{Badass Normal}}s) [[BadPowersBadPeople tend towards the lethal]] as well, and may include [[SpikesOfDoom growing spikes out of one's body]], the power to [[BloodyMurder psychically boil blood]], a LovecraftianSuperpower, and, for good measure, [[SuperheroPackingHeat guns.]] [[MoreDakka Lots of guns]]. They are usually either demonic or technological in origin.

Male Nineties Anti-Heroes are ridiculously muscled, and [[TooManyBelts often wear lots of pouches]] or [[BadassBandolier bandoliers]]. There's a good chance he's either [[YoungerAndHipper young and "hip"]], or middle aged with lots of long, grey hair, [[PermaStubble beard stubble]], and [[CoveredInScars scars]], but either way, he's likely to be RatedMForManly incarnate. He also probably has at least one eye that looks [[ElectronicEyes fake]], [[RuggedScar injured, or disease]]d and he carries a [[{{BFG}} ludicrously oversized gun]] or [[{{BFS}} sword]] that no human being could possibly carry.

Female Nineties Anti-Heroes, like [[MostCommonSuperpower most female superheroes]], have large breasts and small waists, but ''unlike'' most female superheroes, this is often taken to disfiguring extremes courtesy of the ineptitude of the trope's [[RobLiefeld pioneering artists]]. They don't tend to [[{{Stripperiffic}} wear very much clothing]] (or if they do, it'll be typical superheroic [[PaintedOnPants barely-there "spandex"]] which showcases their exaggerated/inaccurate anatomy). But [[SuperheroesWearTights they still usually wear tights in some form]]. The ultimate extreme of the female version was the "bad girl" subgenre, featuring ludicrously buxom, near-naked {{Dark Action Girl}}s, generally with some kind of supernatural nature or origin, hacking and pouting their way through plots designed solely to offer as much {{Gorn}} and FanService as possible.

Usually they'll have [[DarkAgeOfSupernames one word, gritty names]] that used to be [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast reserved for villains]], often [[MyNaymeIs creatively misspelled]] ('Shade' becomes 'Shayde', etc) to appear more dramatic or, because [[XtremeKoolLetterz poor literacy]] [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall is kewl]], to make the character look [[TotallyRadical radical]]. [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial Never, of course, for trademark purposes]].

In terms of characterization, they have - at most! - only four emotions: [[{{Angst}} brooding]], [[DeadpanSnarker sarcastic]], {{Badass}}, or just plain [[AxCrazy psychotic]]. How much of any one side they show over the others is the main thing that sets them apart from each other.

Artist/writer RobLiefeld is most prominently associated with Nineties Anti-Heroes (and pouches). Todd [=McFarlane=] and Jim Lee are also prominent artists from the period.

The origins of this trope extend at least to the mid-'80s; two critically praised comics, ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' and ''Comicbook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns'' were both published in 1986. Both comics were influential in that they "[[{{Deconstruction}} deconstructed]]" traditional {{superhero}}ic tropes, employing them for more sophisticated ends; ''Watchmen'', after all, is considered by some to be the greatest comic of all time. The Nineties Anti-Hero was born when other writers [[TheThemeParkVersion connected the success of these series with their dark mood and overt violence]], mixed their limited understanding of these works with tropes from the action movies of the time, and went from "heroes with flaws" to "characters constructed entirely of flaws". This may have been a natural progression - in his history of superheroes/autobiography ''Supergods'', GrantMorrison says:
-> At the time, it was a dreadful setback for the idea of "grown-up" superhero comics. In hindsight, it was America's inevitable reaction to ''Watchmen'', and the only response that could possibly be effective: Fuck realism, we just want our superheroes to look cool and kick ten thousand kinds of ass.

Speaking of action movies, an argument can also be made that the Nineties Anti-Hero came about more from the influence of the ActionHero archetype that was popular at around the same time than anything seen in ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}''. Indeed, many nineties anti-heroes would spout {{one liner}}s that would not at all be out of place in an Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger or StevenSeagal movie.

Note that, in spite of the cynical-sounding write-up, this is not a [[TropesAreNotBad bad trope]], it's just very difficult to describe without making the whole premise sound inherently ridiculous. Much DarkerAndEdgier fiction tends to suffer from this problem. [[PoesLaw This can make sorting out the parodies a little tricky.]]

If one is replacing an older more optimistic hero, you have an example of an AntiHeroSubstitute. It's also one of the stages of the superhero {{Reconstruction}} (as seen in that Trope's page image.)

Commonly paired with SuperheroPackingHeat.

Generally these prominent figures are TrueNeutral or ChaoticNeutral in the CharacterAlignment.

See also: DesignatedHero and ByronicHero. Should not be confused with the HeroicComedicSociopath, who is blatantly evil and PlayedForLaughs. Generally, Nineties Anti-Heroes tend to stay in NominalHero territory though some can be {{Villain Protagonist}}s.



[[folder:{{Anime}} And {{Manga}}]]
* Guts from ''{{Berserk}}''. He has a [[DarkAgeOfSupernames gritty but simple name]], [[ImplacableMan doesn't care about hurting people who get in his way]], [[HeroicBuild is ridiculously muscle-toned]], [[BadassBandolier has too many bags on his person]], a {{Badass}} with angst and [[DeadpanSnarker sarcasm]] to boot, and has a ludicrous {{BFS}}. Being from 1988, he's also a forerunner in weapon choice.
** However, back in the Golden Age arc, he was a more sympathetic guy.
* Revy from ''Manga/BlackLagoon''. Rough but cool name, nihilistic outlook, stripperiffic outfit, sizable... tracts of land and a gun in every hand. To top it all off, the story is set in the mid-nineties.
* ''Franchise/BlackRockShooter'': The eponymous heroine has the idiosyncratic name spelling, skimpy clothing, BadassLongcoat, fights without uttering a word with her humongous, morphing cannon and black katana and fights to ''kill''. Add the ability to shrug off lethal wounds without blinking and a blue flame around her left eye. She's only missing one thing: The MostCommonSuperpower.
* Killy from ''{{Blame}}'' ''is'' this trope - minus the "hip" clothing and ridiculous muscle mass. The series was even created in the mid-90's.
* Accelerator from ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex''. Rough but cool name, rough outlook and [[SuperPowerLottery oversized power]].
* ''{{Digimon}}'' is full of ''non-human'' examples (though many look humanoid), especially the early generations created during the nineties, reaching from [[{{Badass}} Badass Furries]] to HollywoodCyborg dinosaurs.
* Vegeta of ''{{DragonBall Z}}'' started off as just another psychotic villain, but evolves into this trope during the Freeza and Cell sagas. Even after becoming a full-on good guy in the fight against Buu, he still retains a shred of his former badassery, such as punching out his opponent for mouthing off to him at the World Martial Art Tournament.
** ''{{DragonBall Z}}'' as a whole is a very Iron-Age-ish anime - except it doesn't itself very serious in that spot.
* The general characterization of Kurei from ''FlameOfRecca'' after the TournamentArc. Despite separating himself and his loyal followers from the Uruha, and pursuing the same quarry as Recca and his allies, his vicious and ruthless nature remains unchanged, even until the end of the series.
* Depending on continuity, the protagonists from ''[[Manga/GetterRobo Getter Robo]]'' may be portrayed as such. The early cartoons tried to [[LighterAndSofter remove this aspect]], but it's back in newer adaptations.
* Alucard from ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'' - minus the ridiculous muscle mass. Not to mention, he was born in the nineties.
* MDGeist, [[OlderThanTheyThink despite being from the 80's]].
* ''RurouniKenshin'': Saito Hajime [[{{Expy}} is basically what]] ThePunisher (mentioned below under Comics) would be if he were a late Nineteenth century Japanese Sword wielding policeman. While he does not have the physical appearance of this archetype, his brutal nature and lack of regard for human life certainly fit it.
* In ''TigerAndBunny'', the inhabitants of Sternbild City are introduced to the concept of the Nineties Anti-Hero with Lunatic, a menacing vigilante who unhesitatingly kills criminals, racks up the property damage like nobody's business, and mocks the established superheroes for their idealistic 'weakness'. Given what end of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism the show occupies, he serves as both a villain and a KnightOfCerebus during his introduction. Though later episodes in the series put him in a more sympathetic light.
* ''ViolenceJack'': Jack is possibly the oldest example having been created in 1973.
* Ogami Itto from ''LoneWolfAndCub'' has to be older, being first published in 1970. If you think about it he has all the tropes of the typical dark age anti-hero. His Katana is heavier and more ungainly than others since it was designed for cutting the heads of people who committed Seppuku, thus qualifying it as a {{BFS}}. He pushes around a babycart bristling with weaponry, including but not limited to: a Naginata, ''Film/JamesBond'' style wheel-blades, and (at least in the movies) a freaking makeshift cannon! Framed for a crime he didn't commit and sentenced to commit Seppuku, he is rebelling against authority by his mere existence. He's constantly brooding and frowning and he will kill anyone who gets in his way without a moments notice. In fact, since he makes a living as an Assassin he will kill anyone who DOESN'T get in his way also, if the money is right.
* ''{{Skullman}}'', prototype of the LighterAndSofter, but still rather edgy ''KamenRider'', is another good example from the 1970's.
* The main character of the ''Anime/{{Witchblade}}'' anime is more of a subversion than in the comic book. She may be an extremely scantily-clad woman who's fight scenes are the epitome of OrgasmicCombat, but out of costume she's a very amiable single mom.
* ''YuYuHakusho'': Hiei, originally a one-off villain, was more or less this being a demon with a jigon eye who doesn't just [[PlayingWithFire use any fire]] but with HellFire, could care less what happened to humanity as long as it didn't involve him, and won't hesitate to cut anyone deep who was in the way of his goals. Though unlike most of the examples on this page, he prefers speed over brute force. He also has a soft spot for his younger sister [[MoralityPet Yukina]], but [[KnightTemplarBigBrother that is more of a reminder of why one shouldn't get on his bad side]].
* [[MobileSuitGundam00 Fon Spaak]] and [[MobileSuitGundamSEEDCE73Stargazer Sven Cal Bayan]] from Franchise/{{Gundam}} have a very strong Nineties Anti Hero vibe to them. They are both savage and brutal Gundam pilots with a sadistic streak. They are a contrast to characters like Setsuna F Seiei and Kira Yamato.


[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Rorschach and The Comedian of ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' are probably the joint {{Trope Codifier}}s. Unfortunately, [[MisaimedFandom nearly everyone failed to realize that they weren't supposed to be sympathetic characters,]] and things just deteriorated from there.
* The Chase Lawlyer version of ''Comicbook/{{Manhunter}}'' from DC and ''Nightwatch'' from Marvel, both of whom were [[FollowTheLeader rather shameless rip-offs]] of ''Spawn''.
* There have been some comparisons of [[ComicBook/{{New52}} The New 52]] with the early days of ImageComics, which may be something to be expected when you've got Image co-founders Jim Lee and RobLiefeld working for you.
** In particular, Superman is far more angsty and brooding than he was in the old continuity, and most of the superheroes seem to be far more violent as well.
** During [[GrantMorrison Grant Morrison's]] run on ''ActionComics'', in one alternate universe Lois Lane, Clark Kent and Jimmy Olsen created a device that would allow the user to create a super powered Tulpa. They wanted to create TheCape, however the executives thought this trope would have more wide-market appeal, and deliberately attempted to invoke it. It didn't go quite [[GoneHorriblyWrong right]] though.
*** Except this is ''exactly'' what the executive who stole the idea from them wanted, to create a ridiculously over-the-top parody of Superman to kill him with, being as he was a demon from the 5th Dimension with a major grudge against the Man of Steel.
* Franchise/{{Superman}} and Franchise/{{Batman}} got [[AntiHeroSubstitute Anti-Hero Substitutes]]. For Superman, it was the Eradicator, [[TheDeathOfSuperman one of the four replacement Supermen who appeared after he died.]] For Batman, it was [[{{Knightfall}} Jean-Paul Valley, the man formerly (at the time), known as Azrael, who replaced him after Bane broke his back.]] Nightwing chewed Bruce out over it and Bruce himself admits it was one of his worse mistakes.
* Superman himself became this in the ElseWorld story ''SupermanAtEarthsEnd''.
* ImageComics specialized in these for as long as the fad lasted:
** {{Spawn}}, quite possibly the most popular Nineties Anti-Hero. [[DarkAgeOfSupernames Edgy one-word name]], grim-n-gritty {{backstory}} (an assassinated mercenary damned to Hell and sent back as a soldier of Satan), killing bad guys who were slightly worse than him, and written and drawn by Todd [=McFarlane=].
*** Spawn is a very interesting example, as a lot of effort is put into humanizing him and he comes off as a far better character than the average Nineties Anti-Hero. But then, [[LongRunners being around for a while]] tends to do that.
*** The first issue of Spawn also had a little parody of the tropes common appearance. Entertainment TV TalkingHeads commenting that while the spikes and chains are "totally gauche", trying to bring back capes is a bad idea.
** ''ComicBook/TheDarkness'' and ''Comicbook/{{Witchblade}}'' both exemplified this trope. The former is a former mafia hitman who becomes a living vessel of the world's dark energies, complete with an army of flippant, happy-go-lucky demons who delight in every opportunity to torture someone; the second is a pornolicious detective with powers both lethal and which rip her clothes off whenever she uses them.
*** The former, however, is a {{Reconstruction}} of this trope, since he's much more subtle and complex than many other examples.
** ''{{Youngblood}}'', RobLiefeld's MagnumOpus. What this implies about Liefeld's abilities is for the reader to decide.
* The second-tier Marvel superheroes ''Darkhawk'' and ''{{Sleepwalker}}'', both of whom had their heyday in the early 1990s, are arguably subversions of this trope. While they have strange and bizarre appearances, neither one was especially dark in their tone, at least compared to titles like ''Spawn'', or the other characters that exemplify the Nineties Anti Hero. ''Darkhawk'' was about a kid who followed in his policeman father's footsteps by fighting crime with the mysterious alien armor he had obtained, while simultaneously keeping his NuclearFamily from falling apart. ''Sleepwalker'' was about an alien from another dimension that became trapped in a human's mind and manifested to fight crime while he was asleep, carrying on the similar role he had carried in his home world. There were, both in the letter columns of the old ''Sleepwalker'' comics and more recent web postings, positive responses from fans who ''liked'' the fact that Sleepwalker wasn't a violent antihero.
** ComicBook/{{Darkhawk}} is actually an interesting case of this, as he at one point finds a journal of his father's, the last entry stopping with him and his partner preparing to go in pursuit of a hit-and-run driver before seeking medical attention for his victim. Chris refers back to this several times to remind himself to take a harder edge, before discovering the journal had a stuck page, in which his father hesitates, calls an ambulance, and makes sure the old woman who was hit survives.
* ValiantComics had a number of Nineties Anti Heroes.
** Bloodshot: Mobster Angelo Mortalli was framed by the Carboni crime family, forcing him to become a witness for the state. While under Federal protection, Mortalli was betrayed by his protectors and sold to Hideyoshi Iwatsu to become a test subject for Project Rising Spirit.
** H.A.R.D. Corps: A group of Vietnam veterans who where revived from comas by a corporation who fits them with brain implants that give them psionic powers, and [[YourHeadAsplode explodes if they're killed, or caught]]. One of them [[KillEmAll dies in every other issue]], so they're always being replaced.
* ComicBook/{{Aquaman}} became a version of this in TheNineties and lasting until InfiniteCrisis. He grew his beard out to adopt a FatherNeptune look, and lost one of his hands and had it replaced first by a hook and then by a form-changing magical water-hand. He also adopted a more aggressive attitude on behalf of Atlantis. These changes were actually very well-received by much of the DCU's fanbase, and is considered an implementation of this trope that actually worked, as the goal of Peter David's revamp was to essentially [[{{RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap}} rescue Aquaman from the scrappy heap]] that ''WesternAnimation/{{Superfriends}}'' had left him in. Unfortunately, years later much of the general public is ''still'' unaware of the revamp, and [[InkStainAdaptation still picture poor Arthur as he was in Superfriends]].
* Pretty much everyone in Dark Age arc of ''ComicBook/AstroCity'', as one might expect in a deconstruction of TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks. There is also lampshading aplenty. There is a notable subversion in the character of Hellhound who, despite having the demonic background, monstrous appearance, torn leather and chains costume and "edgy" name, is actually a NobleDemon, and a respected ally of the local Captain America and Spider-Man expies.
* ComicBook/TheAuthority represent an entire Justice League of Nineties Anti-Heroes. They are, however, unusually idealistic for their kind, as part of their remit is to "make the world a better place". [[KnightTemplar Their methods,]] however, seem to involve copious amounts of ultra-graphic violence (no ThouShaltNotKill for them), ruthless cynicism towards their enemies, and disdain for opposing points of view -- they once overthrew the government of the United States.
* BlackAdam: He was never this in the original Fawcett owned [[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]] comics, but under DC's revival has [[DependingOnTheWriter sometimes portrayed as this archetype]], being someone [[HeelFaceRevolvingDoor who has joined and fought alongside the Justice League as many times as joining battles against the league]], depending on whether which side benefits his own goal to regain the power of Shazam from Billy Batson [[KnightTemplar to enact justice as he sees fit]].
* During the early '90s, ''Bloodlines'', one of the most loathed CrisisCrossover to hit TheDCU, produced a glut of Nineties Anti Heroes, few of whom lasted more than a couple years, including Gunfire, Mongrel, Razorsharp, etc., etc. Probably the only one to be remembered fondly is ''Comicbook/{{Hitman}}'', a, well, super-powered ''hitman'', who alternated between being a paragon of the trope and a clever send-up.
** ''Hitman'' also blatantly parodies this trope when Tommy encounters Nightfist, a ''Batman'' ripoff who takes out drug dealers with a pair of giant metal fists (which he wears over his normal fists) and then steals their drugs.
* Joe Martin did a DeconstructiveParody of this in the one-shot comic book, ''Boffo in Hell'', starring the two main characters from his newspaper comic strip, ''MisterBoffo'' (although everyone and everything ''except'' these two were drawn in a more-realistic, superhero style); the title was a reference to ''{{Spawn}}''. In it, the government suspects that people are mean and violent because of self-esteem issues. As an experiment, they take a bunch of psychotics, [[TooDumbToLive give them a bunch of super-powers so that they'll feel "special"]] and then have them do community service among the public. Needless to say, it doesn't go as they planned. Earl Boffo, the dim-witted title character, winds up [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass gaining super-powers of his own (with a Spawn-like appearance to match) and - completely by accident - manages to subdue and kill the murderous anti-heroes]].
* {{Cable}}, of the New Mutants, X-Force, and the Comicbook/{{X-Men}} was a major TropeCodifier. Tragic and mysterious past? Check. {{BFG}}s coming out the ass? Check. A "{{Badass}}" look that used to be reserved for villains? Check. His first appearance was even in 1990. Over time, though, he's been developed into a more heroic[=/=]complex character, somewhere between MessianicArchetype and AGodAmI.
** According to [[http://www.faqs.org/faqs/comics/xbooks/main-faq/part4/section-2.html the rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks FAQ]], RobLiefeld originally designed him as a villain, but later reused the original design when he was asked to create a "New Leader".
** Cable's leadership was also a catalyst in giving the existing members of the New Mutants a 90's Anti-Hero look, even though many of them did not have the personality traits.
** Not long after Cable's introduction, Liefeld followed up with Feral and Shatterstar, who were basically 90's Anti-Hero expies of Wolfsbane and Longshot respectively.
* ComicBook/{{Cyclops}}, of the ''Comicbook/{{X-Men}}'', had his personality largely unchanged, but despite having been nicknamed "Slim" his whole life suddenly developed a chest that pro wrestlers would find intimidating.
** His personality ''has'' changed later though. During GrantMorrison's New X-Men and especially after he became pretty much Nineties AntiHero despite the fact that it started in 2003.
* {{SelfDemonstrating/Deadpool}} (created by none other than Liefeld himself) started out as a villain, then moved into AntiHero territory, and when [[MyRealDaddy a non-Liefield writer got a hold of him]] became more of an AffectionateParody.
** As with Cable, Deadpool ''also'' has guns coming out his ass. [[AssShove It involves an awful lot of lubricant]].
* A strange example is Deathlok the Demolisher, who was created well over two decades before the heyday of the trope. Each of the various version of Deathlok have very 90's Anti-Hero traits to them: he is always a dead man resurrected as a cyborg (cyborgs being common in 90's comics), and turned into an unliving cybernetic weapon that uses huge guns as it's primary method of offense. Usually however the plot often involves Deathlok's ''unwillingness'' to succumb to his programming and kill wantonly, instead struggling to non-lethally dispatch his foes.
* In 1994, DC turned DoctorFate into an Anti-Hero named Fate who was a grave robber and had melted Dr. Fate's helmet into a knife.
* The ''Magazine/DoctorWhoMagazine'' comic introduced a full-blown Nineties Anti Hero to the ''Doctor Who'' universe in the shape of Abslom Daak, Dalek Killer. He's a "[[ChainsawGood chainsword]]"-loving professional criminal and multiple murderer who was exiled by a future Earth society to a Dalek-occupied world to kill as many Daleks as possible before his inevitable death (although he turned out to be {{Badass}} enough to survive). Of course, he first appeared in 1980 and in some ways was a deconstruction, so could be considered an UnbuiltTrope.
* ComicBook/{{Doom}} has the Doomguy going around and punching and/or shooting things...just because. He's also borderline psychopathic.
* Around 1994, Guy Gardner, a roughnecked, "macho" member of the GreenLantern Corps, was reinvented as "Warrior," with ridiculously huge muscles, tattoos all over his body, and the ability to form his arms into any kind of weapon he could think of, mainly gargantuan guns. Rumor has it that the reinvention was the result of writer Beau Smith writing the pitch as a joke and accidentally having it approved. He eventually reverted to his old (but still roughnecked) GreenLantern persona after the fad played itself out.
* ComicBook/{{Ghostrider}}: The various holders of the mantle have had varying degrees of this with most having Demonic/Infernal derived powers received via a DealWithTheDevil ([[{{Expy}} Actually]] [[BiggerBad Mephisto]], but you get the point) and [[HellBentForLeather leather clad]] [[BadassBiker biker]] outfits, complete with [[ChainedByFashion chains]] and [[SpikesOfVillainy spikes]]. The most blatantly exaggerated example is Vengeance who can see [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vengeance_(comics) here]].
* ComicBook/HolyTerror: As one of the individuals who influenced the Dark Age of Comics, it was the natural evolution of Creator/FrankMiller that he would eventually create a Dark Age Anti-Hero of his own in the form of "The Fixer". He is a BloodKnight so [[AxCrazy psychopathic]] that even the darkest iterations of Batman (of which he is a CaptainErsatz), including even those by Miller himself, would seem saintly by comparison. This is demonstrated with The Fixer's slaughter of the Al-Qaeda cell [[spoiler:in the underground of Empire City]] with a multitude of guns, ranging from pistols to bazookas, as well as a chemical weapon of some sort ([[MoralEventHorizon and yes, you read correctly]]). Granted, while the setting tries to justify his methods in that he is fighting a Terrorist group who is orchestrating an act of war rather than the typical mobsters and other criminals that would be the purview of the Justice system to try and punish,[[note]] (and to what extent should either the military and/or law enforcement be involved in addressing terrorism is [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment another matter of debate]]).[[/note]] but this comic's portrayal of Al-Qaeda, and [[UnfortunateImplications Islam in general]] [[http://www.wired.com/2011/09/holy-terror-frank-miller/ for that matter]], is so cartoonishly over the top that it resembles something out of a ''ComicBook/ChickTracts'', thus ultimately [[{{Narm}} detracting]] from the serious message that is supposed to be expressed, thus unintentionally reminding audiences why this archetype [[DiscreditedTrope fell out of favor in the first place]] and could possibly [[CreatorKiller end Miller's own career]].
* ''JohnnyTheHomicidalManiac'' parodied both the male and female versions of this trope in one of its "Meanwhile" stories.
* ''ComicBook/KingdomCome'', by Mark Waid and Alex Ross, was in part a savage denouncement of Nineties Anti Heroes, and was one of the things that caused the changeover from the DarkAge to the ModernAge. One of the themes of the comic was the classic generation of superheroes fighting the violent "modern" heroes. Of course, the "classic" heroes shared some of the blame as well; many became just-as-violent {{Knight Templar}}s attempting to deal with it. The "face" of the anti-heroes, Magog, is practically every DarkAge stereotype rolled into one cybernetic, sacrilegious package (though Waid and Ross admitted a certain fondness for him due to how over-the-top he was). [[spoiler:In a brilliant twist of idealism, Magog realizes how screwed up he is, turns himself in, renounces violence, and is one of the people left alive at the end; in the prose novelization of the story, he becomes the Dean of Students at Paradise Island!]]
** Magog himself was able to pull a CanonImmigrant, and was introduced in the Main DCU in a JSA storyline. In 2009 he got his own solo series, which is something of an AffectionateParody of the old school Nineties Anti-Hero. His RoguesGallery includes an insane homeless man with mind control powers and a silver haired woman who talks like a 1980s valley girl.
* ComicBook/LadyDeath: She is a {{Stripperific}} DarkActionGirl with a {{BFS}} who coincidentally first appeared in print in 1991.
* ComicBook/{{Lobo}} was [[WordOfGod created to parody]] this sort of character.
* ComicBook/MarshalLaw is an AntiHero who specializes in hunting heroes, though as he always says, "I haven't found any yet."
* At the end of the "Omega Effect" ''ComicBook/ThePunisher''/''ComicBook/{{Daredevil}}'' crossover, Daredevil [[DefiedTrope defies]] and {{deconstruct|edTrope}}s this to Frank Castle's partner, Rachel Cole.
-->'''Rachel:''' You know what gives me strength? My ''loss''. [[NotSoDifferent We're alike that way, I imagine.]] Admit it: ''nobody'' who's a stranger to that particular pain could ''ever'' be as driven as us.\\
'''Matt:''' ''Never...'' [[ShutUpHannibal *throws one of his sticks at a wall so hard behind her]] [[SwordPlant it plants in it*]] [[{{Beat}} ...]] Don't you ''ever'' say that to me again. That is a ''repellent'' statement. It is a ''vomitous insult'' to every cop -- every ''fireman'' -- every soldier ''alive'' who steps up to fight for those who can't! ''I am sorry'' for your ''loss''! But if you ''genuinely believe'' that only the ''death'' of a ''loved one'' can motivate a human being to take up a ''cause''... then get your ''[[TakeThat pathetic, cynical ass]]'' out of my ''way'' so I can ''do my job''!
* Penance in the MarvelUniverse, originally the happy-go-lucky character Speedball, is a strange version of this. After believing himself responsible for the death of 612 people in ''Comicbook/CivilWar'', he designs a costume in dark colors designed to give himself constant pain with 612 spikes. This was intended seriously, but having happened long after the 1990s, is treated like a parody in most of his appearances outside ''{{Thunderbolts}}''.
** And even in {{Thunderbolts}}, he's not taken very seriously. [[DarkerAndEdgier While much of the cast is too deeply mired in their own psychoses to notice that anyone else exists]], the few teammates who do interact with Penance generally express disgust at what they see as his "[[{{Wangst}} adolescent self-pity]]".
** And, very tellingly, he's sent to see a psychologist!
* Speaking of ''ComicBook/ThePunisher'', he definitely fits this trope [[DependingOnTheWriter when written by certain authors]]. He's vacillated between a somewhat reasonable vigilante fully willing to abide by other heroes no-killing rules during team-ups, to an frothing lunatic who'll murder jaywalkers (retconned into being due to drugs he was exposed to without his knowledge), to being a serial killer who uses his family's deaths as a justification for the endless war he wages to sate his bloodlust.
* ''{{Shadowhawk}}'' was a ImageComics title about a successful, [[ScrewTheMoneyIHaveRules scrupulously honest]] African-American attorney who refused to fix a case for an organized crime outfit and, in revenge, was kidnapped by them and dumped after being given an injection of the AIDS virus... which prompted him, in a fit of rage and desire to try and make some sense out of the world, to don [[PoweredArmor exoskeletal armor]] and start brutalizing thugs as a vaguely Batmanish vigilante. The suits got more and more elaborate as the disease took its toll, to help compensate for his weakness, but he ended up dying of the disease anyway.
** Apparently even series creator Jim Valentino ''hated'' the character, and killed him off purely out of spite. Why he even bothered with the whole affair in the first place is anyone's guess.
*** That may be why the second Shadowhawk ended up so... different.
* Comicbook/{{Spider-Girl}} has [[EvilTwin April]] [[CloningBlues Parker]], that is simply a jerk version of main protagonist with powers of Venom. She fits this trope perfectly, right to the point that woman she once saved from bandits run away, because she was more violent that they. Oh, and she [[spoiler: killed Tombstone]] too.
* One of Spider-Man's lesser villains, Cardiac, was one of these.
* {{Supreme}}, who eventually moved from a Nineties Anti-Hero ripoff of Comicbook/{{Superman}} into an affectionate {{homage}} to the SilverAge Superman (largely because Creator/AlanMoore took control of the character).
* The late eighties and early nineties had the ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'' sister team, the "Team Titans," who were this to the point that one of them took to calling himself Deathwing.
* Likewise, in TheDCU, Jason Todd (Batman's second Robin) has been a Nineties Anti Hero type ever since he came BackFromTheDead. Amusingly, he was absent for the entire decade.
* After ''ComicBook/DarkEmpire'' revealed that [[Franchise/StarWars Boba Fett]] survived falling into the Sarlacc, Fett was given various one-shots and miniseries and basically acted like the Star Wars equivalent of this.
* The Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles were originally like this: later versions made them more unambigiously heroic and less feral.
** The Turtles actually predate this as they came out in 1984. They were more of an AffectionateParody of the sort of work that Creator/FrankMiller and [[ComicBook/CerebustheAardvark Dave Sim]] were putting out at the time.
* ComicBook/{{Venom}}. First there was the "black suit" Spider-man, basically a Nineties Anti-Hero before his time, caused by an alien symbiote bonding to him. He later removes the symbiote, and it bonds to another man, becoming Venom, basically an Evil Spider-man. That would have all been well and good, except Venom proved to be something of an EnsembleDarkHorse, and entered his peak of popularity during the peak of the Nineties Anti-Hero's popularity, and thus Venom was given his own Comic and re-worked into one. Then they have Venom's Symbiote give birth to a second one, which bonded with a SerialKiller to become Carnage, an evil(er) Venom. This opened the floodgates. Venom's symbiote gave birth to 4 more Symbiotes, but these fused into a single one which bonded with a police officer to become another Nineties Anti-Hero Hybrid, meanwhile Carnage's Symbiote gives birth to yet another symbiote which bonded with another police officer to become yet another Nineties Anti-Hero called Toxin.
** Kaine. [[http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/77/77799-44367-kaine_super.jpg Seriously, just look at him.]] (At least he was [[RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap salvaged]] in SpiderGirl.)
*** And in the 2012 ''ComicBook/ScarletSpider'' comic series written by Chris Yost, Kaine is now trying to be more of a traditional super-hero and move away from the Nineties Anti Hero motif altogether.
** ComicBook/{{Morbius}}. Edgy leather gimp suit, magical demonic powers, slaughtering bad guys by the dozen, less moping and more badass-itude and even more exaggerated 90's villains to fight with... Only aversion might be that the 90's comic made him more generic handsome.
** The entire plot of ''[[Comicbook/SuperiorSpiderMan Superior Spider-Man]]'' sees Doc Ock [[GrandTheftMe stealing Peter Parker]]'s body and using it to become a darker, more "badass" version of Spidey. He even has a black and red costume that was originally designed by Alex Ross for the [[Film/SpiderMan first movie]] (since MovieSuperheroesWearBlack). The entire thing is a bit of an IdiotPlot, since it requires all of Spider-Man's friends and teammates somehow not realizing that Peter Parker has been replaced.
* ComicBook/WarriorNunAreala: [[ShotgunsAreJustBetter "Shotgun"]] [[BikerBabe Mary]] [[BadassGay Delacroix]], who was created specifically [[RedOniBlueOni to complement]] the protagonist [[IdealHero Shannon Masters]]. Though Delacroix is a downplayed example over all.
* The "Winter Soldier" mega-arc by Ed Brubaker in ''CaptainAmerica'' subverts a lot of these tropes. When Cap's sidekick {{Bucky}} turned out to be NotQuiteDead after all, he was revived as a brainwashed assassin with a cyborg arm; it could have been really stupid, but it wasn't. Then, when Bucky took over as Captain America, he seemed poised to be a GrimAndGritty alternative to the more traditional model, with much made of him carrying a gun -- however, Bucky almost never uses the gun, and in fact tries overcome his past and be a more traditional superhero.
* ComicBook/{{Wolverine}} went from being a complicated, interesting character in the 80's to "stabby stabby stabby!" in the 90's. It took "Enemy of the State" and "Wolverine: Origin" stories to restore his former glory.
* In the DarkHorseComics superhero line ''Comics Greatest World'', ComicBook/{{X}} filled this role. He was at least willing to give you one warning, a vertical slash across the face. If the X across your face or an image of your face was completed, however, he killed you. No exceptions. He was willing to do whatever it took to cleanse the city of Arcadia of its crime and corruption.
* There's an obscure ''ComicBook/XMen'' character named "Random", who started out as a recurring character for the second incarnation of ''ComicBook/XFactor'' and can turn his arm into a gun. In ''ComicBook/GenerationHope'' #15, Pixie calls him "Johnny '90s". What's generally forgotten in later appearances is that Random is a shapeshifter who was [[YoungerThanTheyLook actually a 13-year-old kid when first introduced]], and took the form of a muscular giant with gun-arms because it's what he thought a badass was ''supposed'' to look like.
* ''ComicBook/TheTick'': Big Shot, who also appeared in the animated series, was originally introduced as a one-off character in the comic as someone hanging out at the vigilante table in the superhero club. While other vigilantes had complicated backstories, Big Shot's reasons for being a gun-wielding vigilante? "I just like to kill people."

* ''Film/TheCrow'': Eric Draven (in contrast to his counterpart from the [[ComicBook/TheCrow original comics]]) is a subversion. While he may look the part with his gothic inspired attire and tragic backstory, he is one of the most amicable individuals on this list (at one point [[PapaWolf he]] even confronted Sarah's mother over her drug use demanding she take better care of her). His more malicious side only shows up whenever around [[BigBad Top Dollar]] and his henchman who have [[PayEvilUntoEvil the misfortune of his crossing paths with him]].
* Hakaider from the anime/tokusatsu series ''Series/{{Kikaider}}'' becomes this in the movie ''Mechanical Violator Hakaider''.
* Mr. Furious in the movie ''Film/MysteryMen'' is a parody and subversion of these kinds of characters; he would very much ''like'' to be one, and tries his hardest to come up with a back story fitting this mold (with most of his proposed names being some combination of [[DarkAgeOfSupernames 'Phoenix', 'Dark', 'Dirk' and 'Steel']]), but is in fact ultimately a rather shy, gentle and meek man called Roy. In fact, the realization that he's ''not'' one of these types is enough to prompt a moment of HeroicBSOD for him.
* ''Franchise/TheChroniclesOfRiddick'': Riddick is a morally ambiguous mass murderer who will kill anyone who gets in his path and is only good [[BlackAndGrayMorality in comparison to the enemies he faces]].
* ''Film/SmallSoldiers'': Deconstructed and [[TakeThat brutally satired]] in this 1998 film in the form of the Commando Elites, a group of toys with sentience via [[AIIsACrapshoot a microchip]] who invoke this trope in-universe. They are willing [[TheUnfettered to use whatever methods]] to get and destroy the Gorgonites (whose only crime was [[FantasticRacism that they weren't human looking like them]]), including attacking bystanders who had no involvement with either side of the conflict, kidnapping and attempting to kill hostages, and [[ItMakesSenseInContext turning a girl's Gwendy dolls into killing machines]] with one of their fallen comrades' chip. Chip Hazard, the Commando Elite's leader, repeatedly justifies their actions because the Gorgonites are "[[DesignatedVillain the bad guys]]" and they are "[[KnightTemplar the]] [[DesignatedHero good]] [[TautologicalTemplar guys]]".
* [[http://www.laweekly.com/informer/2012/08/01/mtvs-diggity-dave-says-james-holmes-called-him-before-dark-knight-massacre-did-his-sick-batman-spinoff-inspire-aurora-shooting The Suffocator of Sins]]: This film, directed and starring "Diggity" Dave Aragon of PimpMyRide fame, was to feature a DarkerAndEdgier Batman-[[{{Expy}} like]] vigilante who, based on trailers that were released for it is strongly implied to be this trope, uses firearms and mercilessly kills criminals while hunting down a Neo-Nazi Villain. The film now seems to be in limbo following the 2012 Aurora Theatre Massacre, whose perpetrator, James Holmes, seemed [[MisaimedFandom to have been inspired by this film]].
* The Franchise/{{Terminator}}: More specifically the one from 1991's ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'' who is a [[HeroicBuild Muscle bound]], [[HellBentForLeather Leather clad]] cyborg with no hesitation against destroying anyone who got in the way of his directive until he was ordered by [[KidWithTheLeash John Connor]] not to kill anyone.

* Ace became one of these in the ''DoctorWhoNewAdventures''. On TV, she had been a rather messed up but still rather bubbly and exuberant school-girl with a taste for explosives and chemistry. In the books, she became a hardened and gritty BloodKnight space marine. It was relatively mild compared to some examples of the time, but it was this trope nonetheless.
** Several of the Doctor's other companions in these stories were also quite close to the NinetiesAntiHero archetype, also being rather hardened and angsty space marine types.
* Parodied in ''The Man in the Ceiling'' by Jules Feiffer. Jimmy's friend Charley Beemer (who doesn't like capes) commissions him to draw his idea of a comic, which would feature a superhero named Bullethead, a weapon of death who drills through his enemies with his head, with lots of severed bodily parts to be drawn in detail (which the author refuses to show, since it's written for children).

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* An episode of ''AreYouAfraidOfTheDark'' featured a comic book nerd becoming obsessed with a violent Nineties Anti-Hero type comic character who he thinks is the coolest thing ever. [[DeconstructedTrope That is until this character comes to life, and he comes to realize just how uncool violence really is.]]
* The obscure 90s comedy series ''Series/{{Bob}}'', starring Bob Newhart, focused on a comic book creator of a Silver Age hero named "Mad-Dog", who was forced by his new employers in the 90s to reinvent his character into a hero of this fashion.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Faith. Also an AntiHeroSubstitute. Unlike virginal Buffy, she drank, swore, and had sex. She's also more ruthless as a Slayer than Buffy, and she wound up JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope after an AccidentalMurder and went on a FaceHeelTurn.
** Spike came as close to a televised version of Lobo as you could get. He rode a bike, lived for battle, hated all forms of authority, smoked ciggies and listened to rock n' roll. His PopularityPower ensured the heroes would never kill him off, and Buffy eventually fell in love with him.
** Wishverse Buffy is what Buffy might be like had Todd [=McFarlane=] or Creator/MarkMillar gotten their hands on her.
* Parodied in ''Series/{{Community}}'' with "Kickpuncher", a series of [[StylisticSuck D-grade]] ''Franchise/{{Robocop}}''-style movies that main characters Abed and Troy watch [[SnarkBait primarily to]] [[{{MST}} make fun of it]].
* An episode of ''Series/CriminalMinds'' has a comic book artist create a character named "[[DarkAgeOfSupernames True Night]]" who seems to be one of these. It has plot significance because the ways Night kills the other characters in the comic reflect murders the artist is committing in real life. In fact, if one looks at the episode a certain way, it can be viewed as a brutal {{deconstruction}} of this trope and DarkAge comics in general.
* An episode of ''Series/{{Dexter}}'' features a comic book character ([[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QI0N5hv1yw The Dark Defender]]) based on Dexter's SerialKillerKiller self that is a ''perfect'' 90s Anti-Hero; "Stalker of the night, his blade of vengeance turns wrong into right..." The "real" Dark Defender, upon seeing a pin-up of the character, has the most satisfied smile on his face for all of three seconds before he shakes it off as absurd not for any moral reasons (Dex is a PoeticSerialKiller and ''proud of it''), but because, "[[AwesomeButImpractical Miami's too hot for all that leather]]". He does later have an IndulgentFantasySegue where he crashes the key moment of his "SuperHeroOrigin", kills the bad guys and saves [[spoiler:his mother from being [[DeathByOriginStory hacked to gibbets with a chainsaw]].]] In leather.
* The Ninth Doctor from ''Series/DoctorWho''. Though he came much later he still follows the formula perfectly, dark past, broods a lot, comes dangerously close to killing his enemies (being stopped just short by a companion), makes sarcastic one liners frequently and he dresses in a black leather coat.
** The War Doctor, with Nine's leather jacket, a BadassBandolier and a more violent methodology. However he seems a deconstruction of this trope, he doesn't like how ruthless the other Time Lords are becoming and while prepared to destroy Gallifrey this is only a last resort, with the later Doctors disowning him for this. It is later revealed he hadn't actually destroyed Gallifrey but due to TimeyWimeyBall it is three regenerations later that the Doctor remembers this.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'': Sylar, the BigBad of the first season, is this from Season 2 onwards.
* ''Series/HikoninSentaiAkibaranger'' has an episode that parodies PowerRangers, with an image of a comic book cover depecting the head of the "Powerful Rangers" as an overmuscled character drawn in the style of the 90's anti-hero.
* In a serial of ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'', the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Cockroach Dopant]] runs a website where people list those that have wronged them for him to assassinate. While basically a glorified contract killer, he considers himself this trope, calls himself "Roachstar" and "the Dark Exterminator", and even has [[spoiler:and draws]] his own manga in-universe.
* ''{{Smallville}}'' lampshades this by having a comic-geek-turned-supervillain threatening to push Chloe off a tall building and that it is "big in the nineties".
* Iron Enforcer represented this type of "super hero" in the first season of ''WhoWantsToBeASuperhero''. Unfortunately for him, StanLee is not fond of this archetype. So he made him a villain instead.
* ''XenaWarriorPrincess''. It's all there; stripperiffic costume, [[TheAtoner a dark, violent past]], [[XtremeKoolLetterz a name that is spelt with an "X"]], a distinct lack of compunction about killing her enemies, frequent brooding, sarcasm and extreme badassery.

[[folder: Newspaper Comics]]
* Being a six-year-old NightmareFetishist, [[ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes Calvin]] thinks these are the coolest comics ''ever''.
-->'''Calvin''': Oh no, Captain Napalm's [[BloodyHilarious getting his kidneys punched out]] with an ''I-beam!''

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Late 90s [[Wrestling/{{WWE}} WWF]] saw most of the baby {{face}} in this era act as such, with the charge being led by acts such as [[Wrestling/StoneColdSteveAustin "Stone Cold" Steve Austin]], [[Wrestling/DwayneJohnson The Rock]], and Wrestling/DGenerationX.
* The WWF trend was the direct result of having to compete with Wrestling/{{WCW}}, who hit on this concept with the Wrestling/NewWorldOrder. While the [=nWo=] were essentially just [[EvilIsCool popular villains]], the [[AHouseDivided Wolfpac]] formed and as definite 90s antiheroes up until the FingerPokeOfDoom. The most successful aspects of the WWF's Wrestling/AttitudeEra were directly inspired by the [=nWo=], the Austin vs. [=McMahon=] feud, almost universally considered the key to the WWF's resurgence, is the [=nWo=] vs. WCW with the roles reversed. WWE also borrowed heavily from the growing underground success story known as Wrestling/{{ECW}} and allowed a number of wrestlers to develop their own grittier [[TheGimmick gimmicks]] but the need to change was a result of WCW's runaway success with the [=nWo=] angle.
* The ongoing success of MMA (''UFC'' in particular) in 2010 has seen a partial revival of this trope in WWE with the resurgence of the [[HeelFaceTurn newly-turned]] Wrestling/RandyOrton (especially when compared to his [[SilverAge Hoganesque]] counterpart Wrestling/JohnCena).
* Referenced by Rory Mondo in Wrestling/{{CZW}}, where he complained that the baby face Danny Havoc went too far when he tried to light him on fire when the [[GimmickMatches match stipulation]] was barbed wire casket. Havoc responded that if Mondo didn't want to burn alive he shouldn't have kicked out. CZW did start in the 90s after all.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Blazblue}}'' has this in Ragna the Bloodedge. Not only does his name sound like something right out of the DarkAgeOfSupernames, he's also ill-tempered, has TooManyBelts, a {{BFS}} that unfolds into a [[SinisterScythe scythe]] (fittingly called "Blood-Scythe") is motivated by {{Revenge}}, and has no problems with harming anyone who gets in his way. To top it all off, his powers consist of draining the life out of others by using the power of [[CastingAShadow darkness]] in the form of summoning parts of an EldritchAbomination.
** The hilarious {{Irony}} in Ragna is he's {{Adorkable}} and a bit of a loser, with most of the cast snarking and looking down at him. He has a crippling fear of ghosts, and ScreamsLikeALittleGirl, and indeed a lot of the game's humour [[ButtMonkey takes place at his expense]]. He's also quite a nice, compassionate guy beneath his gruff exterior, [[RealMenWearPink and he's a great chef]]. Essentially, while he has the badass appearance and power-set of a textbook Nineties Anti Hero, his abrasive and headstrong personality get him into trouble more often than not. [[spoiler: In fact, much of his CharacterDevelopment revolves around him realizing that his "destroy my enemies" mindset typical of a Nineties Anti Hero hasn't gotten him anywhere and instead vows to use his power to protect his loved ones.]]
* His spiritual predecessor, Sol Badguy of GuiltyGear, also fits the mold. Well-muscled, a {{Stripperiffic}} outfit with TooManyBelts, and a bad attitude, even sharing a few similarities with [[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure Jotaro Kujo]]. He's something of a subversion, as despite his rough exterior, and brutal methods, [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold his goals are completely altrustic]].
* It's hard to tell who's supposed to be a hero in ''VideoGame/BloodStorm'' and who's a villain. They all have menacing one-word names, are all capable of ultra-violence, all look positively Liefeldian and almost all of them are dicks with selfish motives and no care for others (Tremor manages to at least buck this trait by being the only unambiguously good character in the game.)
* ''ChampionsOnline'' has many player characters fitting this trope, and also a few amongst its [=NPC=] cast:
** The Drifter. Got [[{{Retcon}} retconed]] from a mystic cowboy into a Cable-esque cyborg cowboy.
** Black Mask (the 10th) is a female example. Her costume is the single most revealing of all heroes, and her power is [[SuperheroPackingHeat carrying a big gun]].
** The PRIMUS Recognition Vendors, mainly to display the 90's style [[AndYourRewardIsClothes costume unlocks]] they are selling.
** The ''Bag Vendor!'' [[FridgeBrilliance Because what kind of character would know more about pouches?]]
** The default costumes for the [[PoisonousPerson Scourge]], the [[KatanasAreJustBetter Blade]] and the [[DualWielding Specialist]] archetypes, being based on {{Spawn}}, Deathstroke and {{Deadpool}} respectively.
*** The costumes for the Marksman, Soldier, Impulse and Unleashed also kind of.
** While not exactly antiheroes, quite a few villains get at least the look right. Amongst those are Hard Target, Leathal, Drago and the ascended fan creation Devana Hawke.
* ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' lets you make these with all the SpikesOfVillainy costume pieces that are equally available to heroes. Though there's no real representative of them in-game (it has more of a SilverAge flavor), the closest could be Hardcase, an [[AntiVillain Anti]]-VillainSue and [[TheScrappy one of the most loathed contacts in the game]].
** Infernal could also count, being a demon-binding, [[DarkIsNotEvil evil-looking good guy]], but his {{backstory}} of coming from a HeroicFantasy inspired alternate dimension may be a jab at the overused MedievalEuropeanFantasy {{MMORPG}} setting.
* One of the criticisms levelled at ''VideoGame/{{DmC Devil May Cry}}'' is that it tries to take a light-hearted series and give it the full Nineties treatment, leaving it overwrought with attempted edginess and shallow satire. This is exemplified by the reimagining of Dante, who is a few pouches and a bucket of steroids away from leaping off a Liefeld cover.
* Asshole!Warden in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' has a tendency to wander through Ferelden, kicking ass and taking names, while slaughtering whatever unconscious wounded soldiers or small children get in the way, condemning a significant number of elves, men, and dwarves to AndIMustScream fates for the sole purpose of getting cooler-looking allies during the final battle, and slaughtering the entire Denerim Circle of Magi for the sake of convenience.
* By the standards of [=JRPGs=], Caim from ''{{Drakengard}}'' is a Nineties Anti-Hero, bordering on straight-edge VillainProtagonist if not for the happy side effect that the people he happens to be on a genocidal rampage against want to destroy the world.
** And then once those bad guys are all defeated, he goes straight back to [[RogueProtagonist gleefully slaughtering EVERYBODY in the sequel.]]
* VideoGame/DukeNukem. A sex obsessed, mirrorshade wearing ActionHero wannabe who hangs out in sleazy biker bars and strip clubs, with a LanternJawOfJustice and blond flattop haircut. He's armed to the teeth with {{BFG}}s (as it's a {{FPS}} and all), addicted to steroids (or whatever those pills are) and loves to spew {{one liner}}s like "''I've got balls of steel''", "''Some mutated son of a bitch is gonna pay!''" and of course the immortal "''[[TheyLive It's time to kick ass and chew bubble gum. And I'm all out of gum.]]''" And his games were big in the early [[TheNineties 90s]]. Duke is generally accepted as being a full parody of the 80s/90s action hero rather than actually being one. He's no exception to the fact that most parodies and extreme cases of this are deeply entrenched in PoesLaw though.
* In the later 90s, ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' came out.
** In later installments of ''VII'', Cloud Strife is played completely straight this way, but in the original game itself, he was a rather cheerful (if at first apathetic) fellow with some backstory problems and memory issues, but mostly averted this. Following his appearances in the ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' games and ''[[Anime/FinalFantasyVIIAdventChildren Advent Children]]'', he could be the poster boy for this trope. He certainly [[http://semna4.webs.com/KH_Cloud_1.jpg looks the part]] in the first ''Kingdom Hearts''.
** Squall Leonhart also plays this completely straight, but is given a FreudianExcuse in that he's been raised as a {{Child Soldier|s}} from the age of about 5 or 6. He, too, appears in ''Kingdom Hearts'', quiet and snarky as ever, but he seems to have opened up quite a bit (at least to Yuffie and Aerith). His disposition does improve greatly in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', where he's mellowed out (getting to return to your once-doomed home world and rebuild it is likely to do that) and acts as a BigBrotherMentor to Sora.
* Tombstone from ''FreedomForce vs The Third Reich'', a series that is an {{homage}} to the high SilverAge of comic books, is a Nineties Anti-Hero. And he ''still'' fits into the game, because his overblown "dark and tormented" act makes him just as laughable as the rest of the cast.
-->'''Alchemiss''': ''[sarcastically]'' So how did ''you'' spend your sabbatical, Tombstone? Performing in musical theater? Raising puppies?
-->'''Tombstone''': [[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: animals wither in my presence. ]]

* ''Franchise/GodOfWar'': If Kratos' muscle-bound and grizzled appearance combined with his multitude of oversized weapons and [[DarkAndTroubledPast dark backstory]] don't convince you, then his lethal and very brutal methods and [[NoIndoorVoice HIS MONOLOGUES IN WHICH HE DECLARES THAT]] [[RageAgainstTheHeavens HE WILL ASCEND OLYMPUS TO KILL THE GODS!!!]] may show otherwise.
* Varik, the protagonist of ''VideoGame/TheHalloweenHack'', is made to look like this, what with being a brooding, alcoholic bounty hunter with a Dark and Mysterious Past. We quickly find out this is not played straight at all - his stats suck, and he's honestly scared of the undead monsters.
* ''VideoGame/ImmortalSouls'':
** John Turner is a subversion of the trope. He certainly ''looks'' the part, with his black leather coat, dark jeans, GunsAkimbo and baseball bat, incredibly muscular build, and gritty hardcore fighting style. He even is a vampire and a former street racer, to boot. But personality-wise he's pretty much a softie DorkKnight who cares about helping innocents when nobody else will, with his only flaw being that he wishes somebody else ''would'' do so, so he doesn't have to.
** Raven, on the other hand, is a much more played straight example, who both looks and acts the part (albeit more conservatively dressed than average). She even got herself turned into a vampire specifically so she could hunt down and enact BloodKnight-fueled revenge on the monsters in question.
* K' from ''TheKingOfFighters''. Given life at the end of the decade but still fits in with the trope. Abrupt and harsh name ("Kay-Dash"), cold-hearted SOB who only cooperates when it suits his end (his victory pose has him saying he's good enough to fight your whole team), and has a laser-like focus on his objective (stamping out the NESTS organization and anyone associated with it). However, he ''does'' move away from this a bit as time goes on.
* The ''LegacyOfKain'' series gives us two interesting examples. While Kain is more or less a straight example character wise, Raziel is a much more heroic/noble character, ''however'', his character design positivly drips of it. The reason for this is because the game Dev team outsourced the concept art to Top Cow (a comic studio that broke off from {{Image}}, responsible for such works as ''ComicBook/TheDarkness'' and ''Comicbook/{{Witchblade}}''). The reason for this is because of complex corporate politics behind the creation of SoulReaver, which was being made at the same time as Eidos was having Top Cow publish the ''Franchise/TombRaider'' comic.
** Kain himself is an odd example: while certain an incredibly anti-heroic person, is remarkably sophisticated whereas most examples of this trope are noticeably (and unfortunately) somwhat more crude, and though arrogant and callous in the extreme his ultimate goals are fairly noble, even if his motivations are selfish. Meanwhile Raziel is far more outright heroic, often trying to do the "right" thing in any given situation, except his attempts nobility often leads to even worse things then he attempted to prevent. It might be said that Kain is an outright ''VillainProtagonist'' while Raziel is a true Anti-Hero as Raziel ATTEMPTS to be good but his imperfections cause him to fail, whereas Kain doesn't bother to try at all and ends up helping the world anyway as a side effect.
* Jack Cayman of {{Madworld}} and AnarchyReigns. Well muscled? Check. ChainedByFashion? Check. "Edgy" weapon in the form of a [[ChainsawGood chainsaw]]? Check. No compunctions about killing people? ''Check''.
* Renegade!Shepard in the Franchise/MassEffect series: a ruthless and pragmatic person, willing to take the morally grey (or outright black) actions to get the job done. Basically, s/he is out to save the galaxy, but doesn't much care who or what s/he tramples to get there. Some of the Renegade choices available (particularly in [[VideoGame/MassEffect1 the first game]]) can paint Ren!Shep as uncaring, incredibly xenophobic and a human supremacist with near sociopathic levels of disregard towards others.
* MortalKombat: Scorpion (by virtue of being inspired by ComicBook/Ghostrider (who is listed under comic book section of this article) is an undead, [[PlayingWithFire fire wielding]] Ninja who is a WildCard [[HeelFaceRevolvingDoor who will assist]] which ever side is most convenient to his own agenda ([[spoiler: Though the latest released game as of this posting possibly may set him up to be a more of an outright evil, though [[AntiVillain Anti-villainous]], character in the future]]) and is the most brutal fighter in the series, with the exception of [[EvilOverlord Shao]] [[DropTheHammer Kahn]], to boot due to being fueled by his unquenchable rage.
* The Prince started to go this route in ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaWarriorWithin'', where he became more dark [[MemeticMutation and smouldering with generic rage]] (to the point of growling angrily while smashing pottery) thanks to being hunted relentlessly by [[TheJuggernaut the Dahaka]] after his actions in the previous game.
* ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'' has Alex Mercer. Mercer intends to stop a [[ZombieApocalypse bioweapon outbreak]] and the [[ArmiesAreEvil military unit willing to destroy New York to contain it]], mainly by murdering his way through both. Mercer, being a shapeshifter, can transform himself into a clawed, bladed abomination. Players also regenerate health by violently killing and consuming people and monsters, including civilians. This leads to some GameplayAndStorySegregation, where the gameplay gleefully embraces player's [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential darker tendencies]], while the cutscenes try to make the main character sympathetic.
** ''VideoGame/{{Prototype 2}}'' replaces Mercer as the protagonist with James Heller, making Alex the villain in the process. Heller broods substantially less than Mercer, but makes up for it in being always angry, all the time. They tried to make him a bit more sympathetic than Mercer; jury's out on whether they succeeded, as many fans of the first didn't like the change in Mercer's characterization to accommodate Heller as a protagonist, and [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential the game still tries it's best to stoke its players' sadistic tendencies]].
* ShadowTheHedgehog is not actually an example but he was heavily marketed as one for his spinoff game where he swore, used guns, and rode motorcycles to fight an alien invasion. This resulted in him becoming a [[BaseBreaker controversial character]] [[BrokenBase among the fanbase]].
** To note: In ''Sonic Adventure 2'', he was a villain who did a HeelFaceTurn at the end and [[NeverFoundTheBody seemed to die at the end]]. ''Sonic Heroes'' is [[LighterAndSofter lighter]] overall than ''Adventure 2'' but here he is a regular AntiHero and spends most of the game following Rouge around anyway.
* ''VideoGame/TwistedMetal'': [[MonsterClown Needles Kane]] (AKA Sweet Tooth), who debuted in the first game released in 1995 and was created by David Jaffe (also the director for the GodOfWar series), is a highly sociopathic BloodKnight who has no compunction to killing anyone in his way to getting to at [[BigBad Calyspo]].

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* Parodied in ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' with the [[http://www.homestarrunner.com/aprilfool10.html Xeriouxly Forxe April Fool's Joke]], where everyone gets a more spiky, angular design, more weapons, gritted teeth, XtremeKoolLetterz in their names, and angry faces.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The overall look is parodied in ''Webcomic/CommanderKitty'', where after Nin Wah whispers to Zenith some ideas for CK's new threads, the android ends up designing for him [[http://www.commanderkitty.com/2012/08/15/nin-wahs-agenda/ a bulky outfit with enough spikes and pouches to make Rob Liefield blush]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall '90s Kid's]] ideal comic book hero is ''Bloodgun'' a faceless dude with a gun that shoots stuff all the time.
* Battlecat, a [[TheCowl cowl]] active in the New Orleans of the ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'', is the epitome of this trope from that setting. Ballistic, Fusillade, and Ablaze are all good examples as well.
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic: Devil Boner!, introduced in his review of ''Film/SmallSoldiers'' (mentioned above under the Film section). He is a spiked-and-black leather-jacketed guy armed with a [[{{BFG}} Machine Gun]] [[SarcasmMode of Peace]] as well as the ability to pyrokinetically blow things apart with his mind, which is [[BlatantLies totally child-friendly]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Spoofed in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'', where Timmy called upon the help of several [[EraSpecificPersonality different versions of the Crimson Chin]] to defeat an escaped supervillain, including a bandoleer-wearing, gun-toting "edgy" version of the Chin from the eighties. He was apparently the only version that ever got away with profanity, but was canceled because of it anyway.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheTick'': Spoofed with Big Shot, a [[ComicBook/ThePunisher Punisher-esque]] character who shoots up inanimate objects while tears run down his face. After running out of bullets, he says [[FreudianExcuse "Why didn't you love me, Mom?"]] and collapses, sobbing, on Arthur. He's someone so obviously messed-up that the Tick tells him to 'seek professional help'-- the ''[[CaptainOblivious Tick]]''! When next seen in "The Tick vs. The Tick," after Big Shot has done so, he's relatively well-adjusted and tries to convince the Tick and Barry to discuss their problems rationally. With emphasis on 'relatively' well adjusted. He starts foaming at the mouth when he mentions how he used to solve all his problems with... ''violence'', and gives a rather, um, ''passionate'' outcry for Barry to "put it in the happy box!". In his final appearance in the show on "The Tick vs. Neil and Dot's Wedding", Big Shot goes on a shooting spree... With a camera, having channelled his enthusiasm for firearms into flash photography.
* When the ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' briefly decide to split up as separate superheroines, with Blossom taking on a WonderWoman-ish persona and Bubbles dressing up as a cute bunny girl, the sullen and quick-tempered Buttercup reinvents herself as "Mange", a [[ComicBook/{{Spawn}} brooding, shadowy character with glowing green eyes]] who only emerges at night. Unfortunately for Townsville, this means she has to wait until nightfall to stop a monster attack in the middle of the day: she spends the hours beforehand just brooding awkwardly in the living room. Or watching TV, that part was never quite clear.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLifeAndTimesOfJuniperLee'' also spoofed it with Boomfist, who battles an idiot MadScientist in a futuristic CrapsackWorld and delivers {{family unfriendly Aesop}}s. Although he does respect Juniper's abilities and [[spoiler: makes a HeroicSacrifice]].
* While not exactly a superhero, Matrix in ''WesternAnimation/ReBoot'' is pretty much this trope to a T, as a foil to Bob's idealistic Silver Age-ish personality. Matrix also serves as a partial deconstruction of this type of hero. The events that made him this way left him an emotional wreck and he has difficulty adjusting to peace.
* The Pack was an (in-universe) live action example in ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}''. The actors eventually turned into supervillains through a series of literal {{Xanatos Gambit}}s, complete with actual powers and an even more Dark-Age-ish look.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'': While developed after the 1990s, Brock Sampson is a semi-affectionate parody of this trope.
* ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'' became one of these in an alternate future where Gosalyn disappeared (because she had been sucked through time into that alternate future). He might've been this earlier on, but by the time Gosalyn ran into him he had long ago [[JumpedOffTheSlipperySlope crossed the line]] and was solidly in the KnightTemplar category.
%%* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/Ben10Omniverse'' with [[http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/04/21/this-week-ben-10-met-a-rob-liefeld-version-of-himself/ this]]
* Deconstructed in ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'': an episode saw Optimus Primal's aggression turned way up by a computer virus- to the point he tries to kill someone and orders himself locked up. He ultimately storms off to retrieve the anti virus, saying that making a plan first is cowardly. While he's certainly more than capable in battle, to the point Megatron comments on it, he also takes on severe damage as a result, and it's only through the cunning of his normal persona and the plan of his allies that he survives. Interestingly enough, [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Dinobot]] ultimately decries this trope and provides the best commentary applicable to it, calling Optimus' altered mindset a "berserker" and this line, when Cheetor tries to emulate this approach:
-->'''Dinobot:''' There is no strategy, only blind aggression!
* ''WesternAnimation/CaptainSturdy'', a {{Pilot}} for a proposed series that aired as part of WhatACartoon, presents an inversion and parody of this archetype. The eponymous character, an aging Silver Age era superhero, watches as a Nineties anti hero type character demonstrates how a hero should approach criminals, but then threatens to tear off a hypothetical criminals arms. When the character is told "what if he has no arms?", the hero then does a 180 and [[StrawmanEmotional begins to mope about the hypothetical criminal's]] [[TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth misfortunates]]. Captain Sturdy already didn't have a high opinion of the Nineties anti hero character, but after this he especially became disillusioned with how the Union of Super Heroes are [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad more concerned about avoiding offending people than doing what is necessary and pragmatic for the common good]].
* ''SkysurferStrikeForce'' featured typical "Iron Age" character designs, but was otherwise not very edgy.