The Righteous Hero is someone who has a rather strong sense of justice; to the point where you question how they can be so… Well… Righteous! They’re often overbearing, self-promoters who talk a big game. Worse still, typically these do-gooders know how to back themselves up.
But hey, you’re here to see who our favourite Righteous Heroes are – So buckle up, this is our latest Top 10!
10) Mumen Rider – One Punch Man
The cyclist for justice!
The mightiest hero ranked amongst Class C, not because he’s powerful (he’s not) and not because he has many victories under his belt (he really doesn’t) but because dammit if he’s not always the first hero to respond to a crisis, any crisis, even if it’s a situation in which he will be less than effective and may actually prove to be more of a hinderance than a help.
Riding his bike around the many districts of the city, answering any call to action that comes along. He wears armour suitable for riding a bike, and isn’t afraid to sacrifice life, limb, and sensible means of transportation if it helps save innocent lives. And he’s not all that good at it, but he truly believes in justice, truly believes that his sacrifice could mean something, and the people truly believe in him. He does have a way with inspiring speeches, so if nothing else he’s destined to have some epic last words.
Originally a normal police officer, Alex Murphy was a man who obeyed the law as any cop would. He chased down some criminals and took them head on. Although he and his cop-buddy would take out some of the gang they were chasing, he was shot and ultimately killed. Upon his death in service, his body is selected to become part of the experimental RoboCop programme. As such, RoboCop is the literal embodiment of the law. He is given three directives to follow:
Serve the public trust,
Protect the innocent,
Uphold the law
He follows these directives to a tee, always delivering justice to the unlawful But, just because he’s a robot doesn’t make him infallible. In fact, sometimes, the fact he’s so in-tune with the law means he’ll make a decision that you might question; but at he’s got his orders and he will obey them.
8) Gideon Jura – Magic: the Gathering
The embodiment of heroism. As a wielder of white mana exclusively, Gideons powers are based in authority, hierarchy, and justice. A trained soldier of Akros (the plane of Theros), he has a strictly military view lacking in guile or subtlety, but dammit if he won’t be the first through the breach, straight to the front lines, shoulder to shoulder with the infantrymen of whatever noble cause he’s taken up. Of course none of them can turn into an indestructible statue of gold in an instant.
Gideon may lack the methodical and logical approach of Jace, may never possess the tempered might of Nissa, he may not bear the unbridled power of Chandra, or be willing to sacrifice for the cause like Lilliana, but he’s an inspiration to the men and women at his side, a mighty commander and combat strategist, and a planeswalker to be dreaded if you seek to threaten life, freedom, and justice.
7) Barnaby Brooks Jr. – Tiger & Bunny
If you’ve never watched Tiger & Bunny, I highly recommend that you do so immediately. Some anime fans aren’t hugely into Tiger & Bunny, as it used a lot of CGI, but personally I thought it seriously added to the amazing production quality. Nevertheless, the subject of this Top 10 is one of the titular characters: Bunny. Barnaby Brooks Jr., which might be one of the most pompous names ever to grace a Top 10, to be more precise.
Barnaby has a tough, almost cold exterior – Which is all seemingly a front for him to not show how much he cares. He doesn’t conceal his identity like the other heroes of the anime; instead, he flaunts his heroics. He wants the world to know that he is the face of a hero and that it’s okay, because he’ll save them. You begin to understand him more as a character as the series progresses, but he has a keen sense of planning and justice.
6) The Doctor – Doctor Who
We’re getting a little bit timey-wimey in here, as this week we’re featuring the Doctor in our list. See, it doesn’t matter which incarnation of the Doctor we have a look at either – because in all cases, the Doctor is a very just hero. He always just wants to make people better, which is befitting his title.
It’s a little bit of an easy example here, but sometimes the easier the example the better. The Doctor always just wants to make people better and that has been the case since the inception of the character. So whoever your favourite Doctor is, know this: no matter the character, no matter the role, no matter the gender – They’re always effectively the exact same character. They roam around the place to help; even if that means they have to get their hands dirty.
5) Captain America
A war hero still fighting for the freedoms of the people! Symbolically Cap carries no weapon, only a shield to protect the innocent and defy physics and logic, he’s skilled with firearms, hand to hand combat, and a wide variety of military and special forces tactics, and his immense strength and durability make him the perfect soldier! But he’s no loyal dog of the military, he’s a champion of the people, a plucky underdog turned champion of liberty tempered by war against Super-Nazis.
You may question his righteousness when he’s currently in open rebellion against the government by refusing to be registered, but it’s important to remember that it had less to do with Bucky showing up and more to do with growing up in a time when another force sought to register special individuals. Nazi Germany in the Marvel universe not only registered minorities for rounding up, but HYDRA’s division did the same with mutants and empowered individuals for use as weapons. He’s a man of honour, a hero to the core, and truly believes in what is right and just.
4) Knuckles the Echidna – Sonic
Strange pick once more, but Knuckles the Echidna is a really rather basic character when you think about it. He’s the bright red Echidna who has massive fists with spikes on them. He’s happy to rough people up, he’s happy to beat foes down and at first he comes in seemingly as a rival or an enemy to Sonic and Tails. However, as the story of Sonic 3 progresses, Knuckles sees the error of his ways and joins in with the critters against Doctor Eggman.
Interestingly, the fact that Knuckles fights against Sonic and Tails originally is because he’s certain they’re after the Chaos Emeralds for evil. Whilst they were indeed trying to achieve these emeralds, they weren’t up to no good. Knuckles is the protector of the emeralds and as such, it’s his duty to make sure they’re protected. Once he realises that Eggman is the real villain, he joins the side of the heroes, becoming one of their most loyal friends in the process.
3) Thrall vs Uther Lightbringer – Warcraft
FOR THE ALLIANCE!
Uther Lightbringer is a well known paladin as a part of the alliance; once friend and mentor of the disgraced hero Arthas Menethil. Uther was the leader of the Knights of the Silver Hand, a group of do-gooder paladins. When Arthas pointed out that the city of Stratholme was entirely plagued and as such, must be purged – Uther turned to his former friend, absolutely distraught by the idea and abandoned Arthas. He could not turn his back on the people, whilst they were indeed still human.
FOR THE HORDE!
On the other end of the spectrum, we have Thrall, a shamanistic Orc who became the leader of the Horde and later becoming The Earth-Watcher, Thrall is a kind individual who cares about everyone deeply. If there’s one thing he has going for him, it’s that he actually wants to make sure that people are treated equally; until they prove they cannot be treated in such a way. This is both a blessing and a curse, as it’s led to him letting people get to the throne of the Horde, when really, they were far too immature for that kind of power.
The boy scout, upholder of truth, justice, and the American way. He also ended up on our list of Heroes we Hate for similar reasons, because Kal-El is so nice and just that he’s boring as hell. He’s all powerful, indomitable, and has the emotional complexity of a puppy. Ok, there are times he’s gone dark, killing the Joker which most people think Batsy should have done decades ago, he tried ruling the world a few times, which made things awfully peaceful for a while, also he’s been an awful boyfriend and father at times.
In between moments of being kind of interesting and borderline villainous, Supes has been a model of citizenry and god-like saviour. He’s even sacrificed himself to save our lives a few times, a hero for all mankind, but not of mankind, raised by a good wholesome family in the American midwest. Gods don’t you just hate him!
1) Optimus Prime – Transformers
Now here’s a leader who can really inspire people, the Prime, chosen by the Matrix of Authority which is a conduit for the rather literal Deus Ex Machina, Primus. He’s an adept combatant and master of weapons, a masterful tactician, and is likely the main reason the Autobots have survived in a hostile universe for as long as they have, perhaps for his penchant for sacrificing itself to save others.
Fun facts, Optimus has died fourteen more times than Superman at last count; the Matrix of Authority also connects him to all Primes that came before him, so he’s also Avatar (and Buddha maybe); and he’s most famously voiced by Peter Cullen, meaning that he is also Eeyore…
Optimus Prime has grown from humble beginnings to be a leader that no Transformer has equalled before or since. He’d rather not fight, he’d rather not have to fight, his mission has always been to save lives, all lives, even at the cost of his own.
I hope you’re as mad as us at just how righteous and justifiable all of these heroes are! But before we leave you wanting to get out of these pompous heroes ways, it’s time for us to look at two more righteous entries who, simply put, need to actually take a step back and take a deep breath.
Guards – Oblivion
“Stop right there, criminal scum!”
Ah, bless the imperial soldiers of Cyrodil, they truly believe that what they’re doing is justice, but I think you’ll find I need these people’s money for world saving and buying stuff that I don’t need because to be honest I can make most of it. I’d also like to add that I didn’t intend to stab that citizen, but now that you’ve stopped me from doing whatever I please I am going to intentionally stab you and every other guard to utter the words “Stop right there!”
Knights of honour and upholder of the Emperor’s law, never mind the fact that I’m acting on behalf of the belated Emperor Septim, or that I’m here to save you all from the dread fiends of Oblivion that are spilling into Nirn. You and the Skyrim guards are almost as bad as each other, but at least they recognise authority when they see it.
Misguided Saviours – Jigsaw: Saw & Gaston: Beauty & the Beast
You’re probably going to ask how on earth Jigsaw could even get near this list, but it’s a bit of a warped logic here. Basically, Jigsaw isn’t a hero, we know that, but to some people he absolutely was. He represented that drive to do away with people who wronged them. He became a hero to a group of fanatics, no one else. He was a man who was all about dealing with people who weren’t honourable. This doesn’t excuse his actions, but at least we can understand them.
In a similar vein, perhaps more fitting the look of a hero with his strong chin and noble demeanour, but Gaston has no noble cause, only his own selfish attitudes and a need to be loved and wanted by the people. Kill the monster, free the captured maiden, maiden is very grateful and falls docile into the arms of her new hero, masculinity is intact and everybody loves Gaston. Of course I real hero would do it for the sake of saving someone’s life, but there’s always one who’s in it for the look of the thing, and won’t run into a burning building for fear of singeing their hair.
Urgh! Okay! We get it! You all have your justified reasons for wanting to do things you way. Yes, okay, so a god has smite you. Okay, fine, you are the only one of your kind on Earth. Whatever, we get it – Just shut up and let us get on with our daily lives. Before we get any more mad, help us pick our Top 10 for next week?
That’s it for another Top 10! Thankfully we don’t have to listen to these guys prattle on any longer. So what did you think of this week’s list? Did we forget any truly righteous heroes, or did we cover some of the best ones? What do you think of our ordering? As always, share your thoughts and opinions with us in the comments below, or over on our social media pages – Facebook and Twitter.