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Anti-Hero Team

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"So here we are. A thief, two thugs, an assassin, and a maniac."

An Anti-Hero Team is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, a group of people consisting of Anti Heroes. Sometimes, there will be an Anti-Villain on the team or even an Ideal Hero or The Cape. In that case, it will be a mixed team. Both Token Good Teammates and Token Evil Teammates can show up on these teams. The mix of exact moral alignments makes these types ripe for internal conflict, but when push comes to shove, they stick by each other more often than not.

Often leads to Black-and-Gray Morality, Grey-and-Gray Morality, Blue-and-Orange Morality, or Polite Villains, Rude Heroes. Overlaps often with Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits and/or Neighbourhood-Friendly Gangsters when the gangsters or rogues in question are the good guys.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Comics also has Daimon Hellstrom: The Son Of Satan. The Badass Crew he joins in Marvel Zombies 3 is a team of antiheroes, including Morbius the Living Vampire and Werewolf by Night.
  • The late 1980s and early 1990s had the Teen Titans' sister team, the "Team Titans," who were this to the point that one of them took to calling himself Deathwing.
  • The Outsiders, Batman created them to be superhero black-ops team to take on missions the Justice League wouldn't normally do out in the open.
  • While the Thunderbolts are more of a villain team, the Marvel NOW! team is an anti-hero team, consisting of killers led by General Ross, the Red Hulk. It consists of the Punisher, Elektra, Deadpool, the Leader and Agent Venom. Of everyone on the team, Agent Venom is the only straight-up hero.
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy, like their film counterparts below, feature the half Spartax Starlord, the deadliest woman in the galaxy Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, and Drax the Destroyer. They also feature members such as Angela, Iron Man, Mantis, and Kitty Pryde.
    • Ironically, the original Guardians, back in the 1970s (and from the 31st century—why yes, they were Marvel's answer to the Legion Of Superheroes) were a straight up heroic team, right up to a former Avenger, Vance Astro, wielding Captain America's shield.
  • Suicide Squad, verging very close to a straight up Villain Team, they're still forced to carry out heroics by their boss, Amanda Waller.
  • The underlying concept of My Little Pony: Nightmare Knights. The security at Eris' casino only allows entry by the worst and the villainous, so Princess Luna can't rely on the usual, heroic, protagonists; instead she has to assemble a team of reasonably reformed villains to fit the bill.
  • The Transformers (IDW): The Wreckers, the team the Autobots send in when a mission absolutely has to be carried out, no matter the cost. Their members have included a former Dirty Cop whose beating of Megatron in his cell ultimately caused the war, a trainer who would murder his students on the say-so of the god of death's voice in his head and a brutal thug who used to be Megatron's coworker, and their missions are noted for an unusually high density of war crimes. About the only reason they're not the bad guys is that they do fight for the good side and are willing to fight on through heavy losses to carry out the mission.

    Fan Works 
  • In Brave New World, we have Team Quantum's Aeon. The rest of Team Quantum still count, but Aeon takes it further when he sucks Team Ebony in his stomach-mouth and puts them through Training from Hell. As a reward, they are now fearless and can use time-themed attacks, but are severely traumatized as a result. Even the rest of Team Quantum didn't like what he did.
  • Child of the Storm has the Avengers, based on their MCU counterparts who are also this, with the addition of a Reformed, but Not Tamed Loki to the roster. On the one hand, they're arguably more prone to doing questionable things than their canon counterparts in some respects, but on the other, they try to apprehend rather than kill where they can while on Avengers duty, and individually, Thor and Tony are more classically heroic (if in a Knight in Sour Armor sort of way in Tony's case), with Thor being a textbook Knight In Shining Armour.
  • The Outlaws in The Virtue of Revenge are a team of superheroes who have no issues with killing their enemies as well as torturing them. This puts them at odds with the Justice League, who adhere heavily to a Thou Shalt Not Kill policy.
  • The Slayer, Ricky, and I.M.P in The Wanderers and Hunters of Hell (and Ricky) are this. The Slayer is a massive dick who wants to kill his teammates and almost everyone around him thanks to his immense hatred for demons and is actively holding himself back in that regard, Ricky is a weed-addicted moron who gets on everyone's nerves, and the members I.M.P are all assassins who are only interested in killing Vagabond for the reward money and tow the line from being reasonable (Moxxie and Millie) to utter jackasses (Loona).
  • Infinity Train: Knight of the Orange Lily: The White Gestalt are all filled with anti-heroes in someway: Gladion and London fall under Knight in Sour Armor (with London receiving Adaptational Heroism compared to his Lucha Underground iteration), Specter is an Unscrupulous Hero (who was once part of the villanous Knights of Hanoi), and Tokio is a Classical Anti-Hero.
  • One for All and Eight for the Ninth has the Tea Spillers, composed of Mr. Compress, Gentle Criminal, La Brava and Twice. They want to be famous, and chose to do so by exposing corrupt organizations such as the Hero Commission and the Meta Liberation Army.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Justice League, there's at least Batman (who's on a redemption path after giving up his Terror Hero ways he displayed in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) and Aquaman (whose noble side only kicks in when he realizes how big the threat to Earth is).
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
  • The Four Horsemen of Now You See Me both parts 1 & 2. The magicians do semi-heroic acts, but in a larcenous manner. They also have some fairly dark backstories, and are motivated by jealousy and revenge.
  • The Ocean's Eleven team are all criminals: master thieves, con men, hackers, and so forth. However, the audience are given a rooting interest in them because their targets tend to be actual villains who have it coming to them.


    Live-Action TV 

  • Heist!: Maggie's crew are all thieves, con-artists, and other less-than-reputable types. However, they're all working to undermine the influence of a Corrupt Corporate Executive who's far worse than they are.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Mage: The Ascension, the protagonist faction is usually the Traditions as they fight against the "evil, soulless" Technocracy, making the protagonists of Panopticon Quest an Anti Hero Team. The Technocracy obviously has a different view as to who the heroes really are, but given the nature of the setting, most experienced mages or Enlightened Scientists would count as anti heroes.

    Video Games 
  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!'s main playable cast consists of an former corporate assassin, a cybernetic mercenary, a sadomasochistic bandit killer, a service bot reprogrammed into a killing machine, a doppleganger for one of the series' future Big Bads, and an amoral, bloodthirsty aristocrat who joins them solely to kill things for fun. They're on a mission to save the moon and the planet it orbits from destruction, but commit morally gray acts to do it along the way with varying degrees of moral dilemmas. If even that.
  • Jet Set Radio has the main characters be rollerblading teenage street gangs that cause vandalism via graffiti. But they do so for the sake of freedom of expression against a powerful if tyrannical corporation that has turned Tokyo into what's basically a Police State, as well as just messing with the law enforcement; who want them dead.
  • The King of Fighters XI introduces the Anti-Kyokugen Team, consisting of Kasumi Todo, Eiji Kisaragi, and Malin; each of whom has a personal grudge against Ryo Sakazaki, Robert Garcia, and Yuri Sakazaki respectively. Sadly for them, they end up as a comedic group of punch clock villains.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie: C's party is comprised almost entirely of former assassins, terrorists, and other one-time criminals. For most of the game, they work behind the scenes doing what's necessary to uncover the truths behind the current incidents in Crossbell and move the more public-facing heroes in the right direction, including claiming responsibility for an airship hijacking, stealing equipment from an Intelligence Division officer, and breaking into a prison to contact a VIP.
  • Shepard and his/her squadmates from the Mass Effect series, especially if Shepard is being played as a Renegade. The squad from Mass Effect 2 is the most clear cut example, as Shepard is joined by two members of a paramilitary terrorist organization, a vigilante, a Deadly Doctor, a master assassin, an Ax-Crazy biotic convict, a genetically "perfect" member of a Proud Warrior Race, a Knight Templar who can be replaced by her Sex Demon daughter, a Geth Platform, a master thief, and an Only in It for the Money mercenary. Tali is the only member who doesn't qualify as an Anti-Hero, and she makes it clear she is only there as a favor to Shepard.
  • Persona 5: The Phantom Thieves of Hearts are made up of delinquents and social outcasts who feel repressed in their daily lives and use their powers to correct the injustices of the world around them, regardless of the legality of their actions.
  • Rise of the Third Power: Most party members are filled with less than ideal heroes who struggle to work together due to differing goals and values.
    • Rowan is an alcoholic with a Hair-Trigger Temper against any authority figure who gets in his way and cannot negotiate his way out of a paper bag.
    • Corrina is a Blood Knight who wants to die in the glory of battle.
    • Arielle is a Classical Anti-Hero who spent most of her life as a sheltered princess with no political experience, making it hard for her to prove her legitimacy or convince Tariq to aid the Resistance.
    • Reyna is so desperate to prevent a war that she's willing to take advantage of Rowan's feelings for her to get him to work for the Resistance.
    • Aden has no interest in the Resistance's ideals and only works with the party to kill his sister.
    • Although not to the same extent as Gage, Rashim has a self-righteous streak and looks down on other party members for their less heroic backgrounds.
    • Natasha is a former Arkadyan spy who helped Noraskov take over Arkadya in the first place, which she admits that she can never redeem herself for. While she's with the Resistance now, she's still willing to resort to extreme measures to stop her former boss.
    • Prince Gage is complicit in Noraskov's fascist purging of his own citizens, something that the party won't let him forget even after he joins.
  • The Homura Crimson Squad of Senran Kagura fame become this after the events of the first game, when they abandon Hebijo Clandestine Girls' Academy and become renegades. While they're technically no longer evil shinobi (though that moniker really didn't mean much even then), they're not as morally upright as the Hanzo elites and are more dedicated to their own personal business than being heroes. That said, they have a strong habit of getting involved against the forces of evil and fighting alongside their rivals regardless, and in Deep Crimson, they're acting as more "proper" heroes since they're protecting citizens from the yoma out of their own free will while the Hanzo elites are also dealing with more morally-grey actions such as their orders to kill a seemingly-innocent person the yoma are after.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Team Chaotix. They'll do good, but they expect to be paid-handsomely. Vector at least has his better moments, such as finding a kid's lost toy for free.
    • Team Dark, consisting of Shadow, Rouge, and E-123 Omega, have been this ever since Sonic Heroes. They may help save the world, but mainly for their different reasons. Shadow only fights whoever gets in the way of his goals, Rouge is only interested in jewels, and Omega attacks whatever the former two point him at.
  • Star Fox: The Star Wolf team started as a generic "evil Star Fox" group, but in sequels, the team becomes more anti-heroic. The removal of the two "scum" characters Pigma (a traitor) and Andrew (nephew of the main villain in Star Fox 64) and the addition of a ladies' man named Panther (who falls in love with a character on the heroes team) gave them an opportunity to work with Star Fox.
  • Tales of Berseria: The playable characters are a demon who eats other demons, a slave who has broken free of his binds, a traitor to the holy faction of the world, a Blood Knight samurai who only cares about beating one opponent, the first mate of the world's most infamous pirate crew, and a cynical witch who loves to push people's buttons, and that's not counting the people they kidnapped and forced to join them. They're outright called "a group of villains" at one point.
    • Though to be fair to the traitor, she basically had no choice but to join at the point she did because she had at that point realized going with the more heroic looking faction would actually screw over the entire world. In fact, at first, she fully intends to be The Mole, but circumstances completely change when she is given proof of the Abbey's corruption, and even worse, its dogmatic extremism in just how it tries to go about saving the world. In terms of moral fiber, Eleanor never changes her ideals, she just matures them to fit a more Gray-and-Grey Morality world. Tellingly, by the end of the game, she joins back up with the once-villainous faction as their Christ-figure and leader, and uses what she learned traveling with Velvet's party to make the Abbey actually heroic, and starts the Shepard system that would protect the world all the way up to the sequel. Which, by the way, is a period of many thousands of years.

    Visual Novels 
  • The playable cast of Spirit Hunter: NG are all societal outcasts in one way or another. Main character Akira is an anti-social underground fighter, his best friend Seiji is the heir to a Yakuza family, Kaoru is an occult Idol Singer with hidden Guile Hero tendencies, Ban is an unethical journalist, Rosé is a stage magician with criminal tendencies, and Ooe is a Cowboy Cop who doesn't play by the rules. Their collective lack of morals does come in useful when they need to break into forbidden areas to investigate spirits.

    Web Original 
  • Critical Role:
    • In the first campaign, Vox Machina is this, which is pretty standard for a D&D adventuring party, best emphasized in Episode 26. Keyleth means well, but is a Classical Antihero with her self-doubt and awkwardness; Tiberius is a classist loner without remorse for buzz-sawing an old woman to death; Vax and Vex are prideful (nearly to the point of self-destruction in Episodes 24/25) and money-obsessed, respectively; Percy seemed level-headed, but is hiding a survivor complex among other psychological issues that are only getting worse with time; Grog doesn't even bother with a pretense of Good, being a Blood Knight hedonist with a Chaotic Neutral alignment and only his alignment sets him apart from Scanlan. Even Pike slit an unconscious guard's throat once (and paid for it). The Whitestone arc also has a lot of the team getting darker and darker, with enemies who are running away being executed, being tortured, and instigating a violent, bloody revolution.
    • In the second campaign, there's the Mighty Nein. It consists of a kleptomaniac rogue who rarely thinks things through (Nott), a Byronic, Unscrupulous Hero of a wizard (Caleb), a cynical, self-described asshole (Beau), an tactless and amoral (if chipper and good-hearted) trickster (Jester), a Consummate Liar of a carny who's more than willing to scam people out of their money (Mollymauk), a warlock who appears to have made a pact with an Eldritch Abomination (Fjord), and a fallen angel barbarian from a hostile nation (Yasha). All of them are pretty eager to commit various crimes, including theft, buying drugs, mail fraud, and even pirating a ship. As Matt says in Episode 35:
      Matt: This is not a moral group. By any stretch of the imagination.
      • Later, they're joined by a mellow grave cleric that serves to balance out most of the other members (Caduceus), and the secretive shadowhand of the aforementioned hostile nation.

    Western Animation