Playing With: Anti-Hero

Basic Trope: A hero who doesn't have the qualities of a regular hero.
  • Straight: Jack is a vigilante who wants to make the world a better place by murdering criminals.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified:
    • Jack lives in a Crapsack World.
    • Jack lives in a Death World.
    • The government is evil, by fighting against them Jack is considered a criminal.
    • The setting is completely lawless and Jack stands up for the people doing things that would be against the law in our world to help out others.
  • Inverted: Jack is an Anti-Villain.
  • Subverted: Jack appears to be killing crooks left and right, but it turns out he didn't have control of his actions at the time; when he's back to normal, he's The Cape, through and through.
  • Double Subverted: Jack is revealed to have been Brainwashed and Crazy, but underneath that...he's just as brutal.
  • Parodied: Jack tries to bring about his own brand of harsh justice, but he lives in a Sugar Bowl society where there's hardly ever even any conflict — Billy spends most of his time angsting that there's nothing to Angst about.
  • Zig Zagged:
  • Averted: All the heroes in the story actually act conventionally heroic.
  • Enforced:
    • "No one's interested in a flawless hero anymore, let's give this guy loads of issues and have him be all morally ambiguous!"
    • Alternatively: The author is trying to prove some point about the nature of heroism, or else is deconstructing The Hero or The Cape, which requires Jack to do some questionable things in the name of justice.
  • Lampshaded: "The Chosen One seems a tad unheroic."
  • Invoked: Jack is a sadist, so he decides to start taking it out on the people who society says deserve it, lowering the crime rate as he does so and leaving the town happier for it.
  • Exploited: The villain takes steps to make Jack a Hero with Bad Publicity to get him out of the way.
  • Defied: Jack feels himself slipping into antiherodom, and works hard to maintain his moral code.
  • Discussed: "Jack's not exactly a Nice Guy, but he's on the side of good. No, really."
  • Conversed: "How did this guy not wind up in prison yet?"
  • Deconstructed:
    • Jack is rapidly becoming just as brutal as, if not WORSE than, his villains, and when he's killed all of the real threats to society, he's still a dangerously unstable and violent individual.
    • Alternatively: Jack is arrested for killing a criminal because, as it turns out, murder is murder.
    • Jack kills a "criminal", only to find out the real villain's still out there. This leads Jack to question his methods, feel guilty, and wonder if all those lives he's taken away before were really the lives of innocent men & women.
    • Jack kills a murderer, only to find out the killer was another Anti-hero who only killed villains like him.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Jack has a line he will not cross; the villains are much worse than he is and he really is making the world a better place through his actions.
    • Jack seeks therapy to help him become a more mentally stable individual.
    • Billy decides to be even more careful not to kill an innocent (wo)man again & take time to make sure he has solid evidence against them and that the evidence wasn't planted there against the suspect before killing them.
    • Billy tries to learn about the villain's motives & make sure the villain(s) isn't really another anti-hero before killing him/her/them/it.
    • Alternatively, Billy suffers from Moral Myopia.
  • Plotted A Good Waste: Billy's morally questionable actions makes him a more complex character and are used to analyze what "the qualities of a hero" truly are, and what it is that makes someone "heroic".

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