"But instead of handing over St. Peter's keys like some kind of two-dollar pussy carjacking victim, God takes one look at this thing and is just like, "Mike, show this fucking douchebag the door". The Archangel Michael calmly nods his head, slowly takes the cigarette out of his mouth and flicks it onto the floor, cracks his knuckles and confidently strides towards Lucifer."
The archangel Michael is one of three namedangels in the Abrahamic tradition, and is ranked as the commander of the army of God. Generally seen as the foil to Satan (former angel Lucifer), Michael is one of the most important Angels in the Company of Heaven, as well as a first-class Badass. Unless Jesus (or Mary) does it personally, Michael will be the one who finally banishes or kills Lucifer for good. Interestingly though, while the Book of Revelation (as quoted above) depicts Michael as leading the heavenly host in this fight, the iconic image of him standing over a defeated Lucifer and kicking him out of heaven personally actually comes from non-canonical texts, and got folded into popular mythology over time.
Michael has commonly been depicted banishing Lucifer from heaven by using the sword, so the Sword of Michael may show up in fiction quite a bit. Said sword is often granted the epithet "Flaming" and Michael himself is strongly associated with the fire element. He's sometimes identified with the Angel of the Sword who guards the way back to Eden.
In occult grimoires, he is listed as the planetary angel of the Sun, ruling over the sign of Leo and being described as "arrogant and prideful". note Interestingly, another angel, Shamsiel, is listed as ruling over the Sun, being the guardian of the East and also ruling over the Fourth Heaven. Both Michael and Shamsiel are also cherubs. This is sometimes present as Genius Bonus in some works.
Being both a soldier and a representation of God's authority, Michael is venerated as the patron of professions of authority and warfare. He is specifically identified as patron saint of police officers and the military, and he was also venerated in the Middle Ages as the patron saint of chivalry. Many knightly orders were dedicated to him, including France's first chivalric organization, the Order Of Saint Michael. Michael is also associated with soothing the suffering of the sick, so he's a patron of healers as well, specifically paramedics (who can overlap with other professions under his patronage, like combat medics). Michael is also associated with sailors.
Michael is also the patron saint of various organizations and geographical locations. He's the patron saint of Germany, and of the cities of Brussels and Kiev (in Belgium and Ukraine, respectively). Most impressively, after the Battle Of Lechfeld in the Middle Ages, Michael was declared patron saint of the Holy Roman Empire itself, which would easily make him the most venerated figure in Christianity short of God/Jesus himself(selves).
Because of meaningful names, most characters simply named "Michael" will generally be good guys. Since they are Michael In Name Only, please don't list them here.
Subtrope of Celestial Paragons and Archangels. See his brethren in Archangel Gabriel, Archangel Raphael, Archangel Uriel, and (possibly) the Fallen Angel version in Archangel Lucifer, aka Satan. Also take a look at Our Angels Are Different.
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Anime and Manga
In Bastard!! Michael is presented as an extremely busty female (as is Archangel Gabriel). As a point of interest, some religious sources say that angels are genderless, so Michael would not be partial to what form he/she/it takes when on Earth.
Angels in Bastard!!, however, are most definitely NOT genderless, even if they try denying it - much to Michael's chagrin when Heroic Comedic Sociopath and lech extraordinaire Dark Schneider decides to cop a feel or twelve.
In My Balls (of all places) Michael accidentally seals Emmaniel, The Queen of Terror, into one of Kouta's ... family jewels. He does come back later to defeat Satan, in a sense. (Let's just say it brings a whole new twist to Michael using his "Sword" to defeat Satan...) Needless to say, this is a raunchy ecchi comedy.
He is the guardian ghost of Marco in Shaman King, and the first Angel seen there.
There's also the sword Curtana Original and its replica, Curtana Second, said to grant its wielder(s) the same type of power as that of Archangel Michael so long as they're within the borders of England. They still won't be as powerful as Fiamma though, since Curtana is a mere human imitation of a divine power and not a direct bestowal like Fiamma's is, and Fiamma isn't limited to wielding Michael's power alone.
Michael appears in Saint Oniisan along with Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel. He constantly worries that Jesus might be persecuted while on his vacation on Earth. It's been mentioned that he has a slight temper, but can be appeased by cute pictures of cats. He is also not good at telling lies. At all.
The Great Archangel is about a meter high and has an awful personality in Angel Sanctuary. This is due to his Astral powers rapidly maturing, at which point the growth of the Angel stops. The personality is due to his rage at his brothers' betrayal of Heaven. Heterosexual life partners with Raphael. He's not extremely important to the plot, but he is somewhat important.
A version of him appears in 07-Ghost. Teito /Wahrheit Tiashe Raggs holds the Eye of Mikhail while Ouka/Rosaemanelle Ouka Barsburg holds the Eye of Raphael.
Appears in High School Dx D as the leader of the angel faction as a result of [[spoiler : God's death]].
He shows up in Lucifer. He and the title character are on surprisingly good terms.
He's also appeared in other DC/Vertigo books, notably TheSpectre, where he handed the title character's ass to him not once but twice when he tried to break his way into Heaven.
Archangel Michael is a character in Battle Pope. As commander of celestial host, he looks pretty much like a winged General Patton.
Appears in the final two issues of Archangels: The Saga where he comes to the main characters' aid and faces off against Ballera, the series' Big Bad, doing so with a rather memorable Pre Ass Kicking One Liner
Michael: You must leave this earth realm and return to the pit, or face me in combat and suffer the same fate. Which do you choose?
Ballera responds by attacking him without saying a word
Michael is referenced in Sonic X: Dark Chaos as one of four Archangels (himself, Gabriel, Raphael, and Tephiroth) who lead the military forces of the Angel Federation. An attache of Metatron, he is a hotheaded and aggressive berserker who personally leads the armies of the Angel rebellion against the Demon Empire. He is willing to exterminate entire galaxies if the Demons control them.
Films — Live-Action
In End of Days, Jericho Cane, currently possessed by Satan, impales himself on a sword held by a statue of Michael to stop Satan from having sex with Christine York.
Michael is summoned to fight the djinn in one of the Wishmaster movies.
In the Prophecy trilogy, Michael is leading the Good Angels in the second part.
He's the only angel on our side in Legion, though he cuts his own wings off at the beginning of the movie and so winds up physically human. He gets eviscerated by the razor-edges of Gabriel's wings and dies, but gets better and spares Gabriel's life.
Michael is name-dropped in the Ghost Rider film, when Johnny takes refuge in St. Michael's church. The stained glass windows in the church depict Michael in his traditional spear-wielding pose. The gravekeeper doing Jonny's stitches mentions "Saint Michael himself" banishing the Devil from Heaven.
Flat Earth Agnostic Knight of the Cross Sanya got his holy sword Esperacchius from Michael. For bonus points, the first knight we're introduced to is named Michael Carpenter, and Dresden refers to him as "The Fist of God".
Michael has been alluded to on several other occasions, such as by Queen Mab in Small Favor, who knows him as "the Prince of the Host".
In the first book of the Young Wizards series, The Lone Power has Archangel Michael on the phone as he sits at his office desk, casually calling him Mike and asking if he sent the protagonists into the alternate New York. "Moonfire and noon forged metal - you know, your kind of stuff." While they seem to be on generally good terms with each other, it's clear that they're still officially at war.
Manwë isn't exactly Michael, but he's very clearly positioned as Middle-Earth's counterpart to him, down to being the highest ranked divine being after Eru and being the good counterpart to Morgoth.
Tulkas is more alike in terms of personality, as he's the Vala who likes to wrestle and fight, though he's a comparatively low-ranked Vala rather than anything close to a leader or "God's right-hand". He is the embodiment of elemental arse-kicking, though. In that respect, he can be seen as stronger than his brothers and sisters, and he was the only one Morgoth was actively afraid of even before his powers diminished to the point that any of the other Valar could beat him in a fight.
In the original conception of the Silmarillion(Unfinished Tales), there was a Vala whose province was war and battle; but he was edited out of the final cut and his attributes transferred to Tulkas on the grounds that having a Vala of War would not have been appropriate in the good camp and who in any case would have been redundant in the original perflect world envisioned by the Creator.
In Katherine Kurtz' Deryni novels, there is an order of warrior-monks, many of whom are also powerful sorcerers, called the Order of St. Michael; you don't mess with the Michaelines. (They are contrasted with a pacifistic order of healer-monks called the Order of St. Gabriel.)
Taylor Caldwell's Dialogue With The Devil consists of a series of communications between Michael and Lucifer.
In Supernatural Dean Winchester, Michael's vessel, is described as "The Michael Sword". In this form Michael is destined to slay his brother Lucifer (who will occupy Sam's body) to end the Apocalypse and bring about Paradise on Earth. Michael himself has finally made an appearance by way of the 1970s version of John Winchester, revealing that the Winchester bloodline is made up of his vessels. Dean is not happy to learn this. Also, he's just as much of a know-it-all dick as Lucifer. And then it turned out that Adam could also be used as the vessel. While inhabiting Adam, he's thrown into Lucifer's cage along with his brother in the season 5 finale.
Michael is alluded to numerous times by demons in Reaper, and his famous sword becomes an object of interest toward the end of the first season as well.
Dominion, as the TV sequel to Legion (in the film section above), naturally continues to use Michael in the role of Big Good, now primarily serving as the guardian of the city-state of Vega (formerly Las Vegas) and the unwanted mentor of series protagonist Alex.
Latter-Day Saints believe that Michael assisted in the creation of the world, and subsequently came to earth as the first man, Adam.
Seventh-Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Michael is another name for Jesus Christ, used in his pre-Earthly existence. Some people who subscribe to preterist interpretations of Revelation also identify Michael with Jesus.
While Michael is commonly perceived as one of the highest-ranking angels, some Christian traditions place archangels at the bottom of the angelic hierarchy, as God's lowly messengers and soldiers. The highest orders in these traditions are inhuman in appearance and have more metaphysical duties. Others differentiate between lower-case archangels and capital-A Archangels, with the latter being above all the ranks and Michael being the highest of them. However, angelic hierarchies are Word of Dante, as angel talk is extremely limited in both the Hebrew scriptures and the Greek scriptures. Hebrew canon never even uses the term "archangel."
The point being that Satan was defeated by one of the little guys, making this a precursor to the story of David and Goliath.
In the Catholic church, Michael is the Patron Saint of soldiers. St. Michael medallions are thus fairly popular in the armed forces, often attached to keychains or dogtag chains.
In In Nomine Satanis / Magna Veritas, the much more tongue-in-cheek (read: blasphemously humorous) original French RPG, he's a converted Viking that sometimes relapses into some pagan practices (such as weapon worship or keeping trophies). Also, he still wields a battle axe instead of a "noble" weapon. But nobody says anything, because without him Heaven's forces would lose their best warrior.
In the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, Lightsworn Arch Michael gets his name from the Archangel Michael, hence the "Arch" in the card name. He can retrieve his fellow Lightsworn from the grave and place them back in the deck, indicating his might.
In Shin Megami Tensei I, he commands the forces of Law and is the Final Boss of the Chaos route, or one of two in the Neutral route (you can take out him and Asura in either order).
Commonly a high level persona of the Judgment Arcana in the Persona series.
In Persona 3: FES, personas can be infused into a certain material to make special weapons. Most personas give rise to a generic weapon whose power depends on the starting level of the persona, but Michael is one of the few exceptions – his weapon is a very powerful one-handed sword that enhances magic.
In the Guilty Gear series, one of Justice's moves (And later its Overdrive variant) references Michael and his weapon (Michael Sword and its Overdrive version "Michael Blade") It stands out amongst the series' myriad Shout Outs to heavy metal bands.
In the Touhou Fangame, The Last Comer, the Archangel Michael appears under the name of Michel San't Angelo.
In The Salvation War, Michael is a Magnificent Bastard trying to make it look like Yahweh is subjugating the angelic population of Heaven, so that when the armies of Earth invade Heaven, they'll think the angels were just as much victims of Yahweh as the dead humans that the angels are using as domestic slaves. It involves truly massive amounts of douchebaggery, but it's probably what saves the bacon of most of the angels who haven't been killed yet by the end.
SCP Foundation: SCP-001's guardian angel may be him. His sword could cut anything including people, drones and even an ICBM.
Wrong. More likely, he's Johpiel, another archangel who is tasked with keeping humanity out of the Garden of Eden.
In Animerica, Michael was left in charge as God left to take a day of rest that lasted over one thousand Earth years. After appointing the twelve apostles to watch over Earth, Michael, along with Archangel Gabriel and Archangel Raphael, left to watch over Earth. However, they did a terrible job. Fearing God's return and punishment, Michael discovered the realm of Unoya, a realm that shapes itself to your pleasures that is outside God's jurisdiction. The three Archangels created three keys that would take them to Unoya, but the keys were rushed and thus incomplete. However, Michael still ordered that they be used. The resulting fusion with the keys caused a disaster, sending the three keys to Earth and trapping the Archangels in Limbo.
One-shot character Groovy makes mention of "The Sword of Michael" in a second-season episode of The Venture Bros.. An expy of Scooby that only the expy of Shaggy believes can talk, it tells him that he is the sword, says something about cleansing fire, and was likely prompting him towards serial murder a la the Son of Sam.