Characters / Darkman

Dr. Peyton Westlake/Darkman

  • Anti-Hero: He can and will be extremely ruthless but struggles to put the total good of everyone in the city over his own revenge. He goes after mobsters and criminals, enjoying the suffering he is giving them. Also while he will never harm innocent people, his unstoppable rage doesn't stop him from breaking the fingers of an Asshole Carny while incognito.
  • Badass Longcoat: He finds it in the trash, but it is no less badass.
  • Bandaged Face: His heavily burned face is covered in bandages and gauze to hide his identity and prevent further harm.
  • Berserk Button: Don't call Darkman a "freak", try to cheat him out of a carnival prize, or as noted below, the surgery that keeps his burns from being unbearably painful had the side effect of giving him a lot of these.
  • Blessed with Suck: The treatment that cut off his pain, allows him to be super strong and tough, but also makes him prone to severe mood swings.
    • Cursed with Awesome: However, he does possess superhuman strength, durability, and agility caused by the surgery. Once he was able to adapt to the surgery procedure, he was able to kick a lot of ass and escape mostly without injury.
  • Coat, Hat, Mask: Well, more accurately: Coat, Hat, Bandages.
  • Composite Character: Of The Shadow and The Unknown Soldier mixed with Universal Horror characters.
  • The Cowl: Works in the shadows, as smart as he is ruthless, and never stays for a "thank you".
  • Dark Is Not Evil: While not in disguise, dresses entirely in black, yet he is the hero... sort of.
  • Disability Superpower: Indirectly invoked — Westlake didn't get his powers from the explosion, but as a side-effect of the doctors' attempts to treat him.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: He could have, but chooses not to in the end.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Slightly subverted. He rarely uses any type of firearm, preferring to use science and his strength. When he does, it's for show. However, that doesn't exclude the fact he does murder Skip with his own fake machine gun leg in the novelization of the first film.
  • Eyes Are Unbreakable: Despite being caught in an explosion and repeatedly dipped head-first in a big vat of acid, his eyes are completely unharmed.
  • Facial Horror: His face is disfigured beyond recognition following Durant's attack on his lab.
  • Feel No Pain: The nerve endings connected to his skin were severed, rendering him incapable of feeling pain.
  • Friend to All Children:
    • In Return of Durant, it is shown that while Darkman prefers to be alone, he doesn't mind giving back a basketball to a kid that lost it.
    • While he hates Rooker in Die Darkman Die, he doesn't take it out on his wife or child. In fact, he went out of his way to protect them. In the end, he actually sacrifices the only stable synthetic skin to fix the kid's face when he could have used it on himself.
  • Genius Bruiser: As a scientist, he makes strategies for his attacks on Durant and his gang.
  • Good Lips, Evil Jaws: Zigzagged. He's a pretty violent Anti-Hero, and his teeth are exposed because his lips were burnt off.
  • The Grotesque: He lost his entire life and most of his face after the accident, leading him down the path to becoming "Darkman".
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Due to his amplified emotions, he can get real mad real quick. One scene in the first movie has him breaking a carny's fingers because he refused to give a prize for winning a game.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: He is the first superhero to admit that he would end up like that. The scene where Pauly has been killed, he's sitting on top of a building saying "What have I become? What have I become?"
  • Immunity Disability: The destruction of his nerve endings allows him to Feel No Pain... but has also cost him his sense of touch.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Thanks to his adrenaline rush, he is not only strong, but has excellent aim. As proven when, during a minor bout of stress, he managed to win a carnival game with the baseball during the first film.
  • It's Not You, It's Me: At the end of the first film, he chooses not to return to his old life and renew his relationship with Julie, stating that he's changed on the inside as well and cannot subject anyone to his new vicious nature.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Darkman usually has a stray cat living with him.
  • Made of Iron: Darkman can get hurt, but since he's lost all sense of touch, tends to ignore it.
  • Manipulative Bastard: In the first movie, he was able to fool Durant and his cronies into believing Pauly stole their money. In the second movie, Durant caught on to his disguise trick. However, rather than it giving him an advantage, it made Durant paranoid that any of the mooks could be Darkman. He went as far as tugging a guy's face to make sure he wasn't Peyton.
  • Master of Disguise: Slowly became one over the course the first Darkman, but more or less perfected it by Return of Durant.
  • Mood-Swinger: Despite his status as a hero, his amplified emotions cause him to swing from one to another. As Darkman, he goes from a raging psychopath to a crying baby. Even as Peyton, he is too overly happy almost border-lining to slasher smile material.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Liam Neeson's American accent slides all over the place, till the point where you can hear his Ballymena accent coming in.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Since Darkman is missing roughly 40% of his skin, he pretty much needs a Healing Factor, or he'd keel over from various horrible diseases and the injuries he sustains in battle. Die Darkman Die states that he does have rapid healing.
    • Westlake also seems to be the world's greatest vocal impersonator (although the first movie does show him taking the time to practice). Also a talented ventriloquist, as he somehow manages to speak coherently without lips.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: His main motivation is to kill those who ruined his life. Lampshaded by Strack during the final fight.
  • Sense Loss Sadness: After the accident he suffered, which left him severely burned, the title character was subjected to an experimental medical procedure that severed the nerve endings close to his skin; as a result, he's no longer able to feel pain... or any physical sensation at all. He's not happy about it, and in the third film, when Bridget Thorne claims she can repair his nervous system and allow him to feel again, he jumps at the chance.
  • That Man Is Dead
    Darkman: Peyton is gone....I'm everyone and no one. Everywhere and nowhere. Call me....Darkman.
  • Tragic Hero: Darkman is probably one of the best examples.

Robert G. Durant

  • Ambiguously Gay: At least to his minions in the first film. During a meeting with a couple of goons, one of them mentions that Durant may have a thing for Rick after Durant congrats Rick after killing Yakko.
  • Bad Boss: He's willing to throw his own men out of windows.
  • Big Bad: In Return of Durant.
  • Convenient Coma: In Return of Durant, to explain how he survived being BLOWN UP at the end of Darkman.
  • Fingore: Durant has the habit of collecting people's fingers as trophies.
  • Gayngster: Possibly. There's a hint in the deli scene that Durant may have a thing for Rick.
  • Hellish Copter: In the first movie, he dies when his helicopter crashes. He gets better in the sequel.
  • Joker Immunity: He seemingly died at the end of the first film, but is revealed to have merely fallen into a Convenient Coma in II. Spin-off stories also have him coming back from the dead as everything from a Deadite to a reanimated head attached to a Spider Tank.
  • The Mafia: Strongly is a member and leader of a mafia group, or considers himself to be one.
  • Mysterious Middle Initial: Whatever the G stands for in Robert G. Durant.


  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Her hair is a gold as her heart, as she still loves Peyton despite his disfigurements.
  • Distressed Damsel: At the climax of the first film, Julie is taken hostage by Strack and it's up to Peyton to rescue her.


  • Frame-Up: Darkman is able to make it look like the Pauly and Ricky were about to leave town with money. Guess how Durant reacts to this.
  • Destination Defenestration: How Durant kills him.


  • The Stool Pigeon: As soon as Darkman gets his hands on him, he spills the beans on Durant and the gang. However, since he killed Peyton's lab assistant and friend, it doesn't save him.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: He only appears in a couple of scenes in the movie before Darkman kills him.


  • Evil Laugh: Lets one loose when he grabs Skip's prosthetic leg and opens fire on Eddie Black's men in the opening sequence.
Smiley (grabs Skip's leg and opens fire): Hee hee ha ha ha ha ha! DIE!

Louis Strack Jr.

  • Bad Boss: Accidentally kills his henchman and doesn't care.
  • Big Bad: Drives the plot of the first film with his corrupt dealings to make his dream city.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: See Faux Affably Evil.
  • Chekhov's Skill: He claimed that before he became head of his company that he started out as a High Steel worker. This made him skilled enough to keep balance on the beams while fighting Darkman, who was struggling not to fall off.
  • Classic Villain: Pride, Greed, and Ambition are his defining traits.
  • Disney Villain Death: Darkman drops him off from a skyscraper.
  • Faux Affably Evil: For the most part, he initially seems genuine with his feelings towards Julie and wants to help her out. In reality, he's a greedy Manipulative Bastard willing to do anything to make his dreams a reality.
  • Fisticuffs Boss: Much of his moves during his final fight with Darkman is punching the hell out of him.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Due to hiring Durant to steal a document for him that involves attempting to kill Westlake for it, he is indirectly responsible for the birth of Darkman.
  • It's All About Me
    Strack: What do you think, Julie? Who's the real monster here? I destroy, to build something better! Whereas you? You're a man who destroys for revenge! Look! Look about you! It's all mine! Because I built it! I built it all!
  • Underestimating Badassery: When Darkman is holding him inches before his death, Strack brags about how he won't be killed by him. Sadly for him, Darkman disappoints and drops the bastard.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: He wants to steal the Bellasarious Memorandum, destroy any of the areas in the city, and build a brand new section that will, as he sees it, bring in a new era for the city.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: When Darkman gets the jump on him, he mistakes Darkman for The Cape and gloats about how he won't be able to kill him. He's so wrong.