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"I think I'm on the wrong ship."
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September 08 2013

Vote for Mal Reynolds on IMDb Poll. For best US TV antihero. There's also Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D on a Most Anticipated New Shows Poll here (Log in required).

Wait, what? Why Mal is antihero all of a sudden?
I'm not sure he's exactly an antihero, but he's not far off.

For one thing, he very much does not want to think of himself as a hero, but as a thief.

In the pilot he shoots Dobson as soon as he boards Serenity. In the train job he shoves the bad guy into the ship's engine without a second thought. These are exactly the right things to do, the most sensible things to do, but not what a clasic, do-gooder hero would do.

Mal was much more of a hero before the battle of Serenity. That broke him. After that we see lots of examples of him being a hero, but only reluctantly. I wouldn't call him an antihero, but it's not unreasonable.

I think there are others on that list that are farther from being anti-heroes than Mal. Oliver Queen is pretty much the classic hero. I haven't watched The Walking Dead, but unless the show is completely different from the comic, Rick Grimes isn't an antihero at all, either.
Well. in the pilot episode he kicks a guy through an engine, and in the movie he shoots three unarmed men, which is all kinda anithero. Of course Han Solo lost his bad ass reputation when (and a spot in this list) because of George Lucas altering his film to give Greedo a faster trigger finger. *sigh*
He's very far from guys like Tony Soprano or Dexter Morgan, though. Tony is a villain-protagonist rather than an antihero. (Haven't watched enough of Dexter to see how he's being portrayed.) On the other hand, I'm not sure what makes Daryl Dixon an "antihero" rather than a hero. (I can see it with Rick - he was a straight-up hero in season 1 and 2 but he became very flawed and antiheroic in season 3, though he seemed to be back on track in the season 3 finale.)

[ edited by TimeTravellingBunny on 2013-09-08 14:28 ]
Yeah, I wouldn't call him an antihero either. It's closer to what he wants to be seen as than what he actually is. Just because he's not Superman doesn't make him Dexter or Walter White. Yes, he kills the occasional bad guy, but if you think about it, he only kills out of necessity, to save innocent lives (including his own).

As for other comments here, the showrunners of Arrow were clearly attempting to cast Oliver Queen as an antihero, focused on crossing names off his list with no regard to human life. Diggle and Felicity pull him back. It's not done particularly well, but, at least in several episodes, there is clearly intent to cast him as an antihero.

And I haven't seen much of Walking Dead on tv either, but Rick Grimes is even more clearly an antihero in the comic than is Oliver Queen on Arrow. Initially he plays the cop out to protect and serve, but power goes to his head and he is well on the way to becoming a dictator before certain events unfold to make him start doubting himself (see how I avoided the spoiler?!).
And when Mal does try to be a hero, he gets other people killed.
Simon Isn't that the definition of a hero?
Interesting that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has more votes than all the other shows put together!
Simon Isn't that the definition of a hero?


That it is. It only just occurred to me the other day that Zoe was foreshadowing the later events of the movie with that comment of hers.

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