There are two different kinds of bad people: there’s the kind that will commit crimes for their own personal gain and then the kind that will run over those criminals with a motorcycle while smoking a cigar, toting a shotgun and spouting one-liners, (“You sure look… tired”.) No matter of what side of the law they are on, their socially dubious behavior is always enjoyable, be it for the sheer brutality of you typical megalomaniac super villain, or the slow-motion explosive style of your favorite leather-wearing action hero. The following list contains both kinds of bad – the bad and the bad-ass.
10. King “Bowser” Koopa (Super Mario Bros.)
King Koopa is one bad dude. Over the past few years he has committed many crimes which children wouldn’t see as such heinous crimes, but if taking a more serious look you will see that Koopa is quite the sick dragon. Taking a look at his rap sheet would expose the following felonies: arson, breaking and entering, kidnapping, attempted murder, assault and grand larceny. The minimum sentence for all those offences would add up to approximately 45-60 years. I’m also not taking into account that his crimes were often against royalty so he would have no doubt been executed by now for treason against the kingdom — Lancelot would have his work cut out for him. Koopa also has some serious stick-to-it-tiveness; after roughly 20 years of evil deeds being thwarted he still tries to gain rule of the kingdom by any means necessary.
9. Solidus Snake (Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty)
Solidus Snake is easily the noblest of all the evil characters on the list but that doesn’t lessen his malicious ways. Once known as the President of the United States, Solidus was forced into hiding after he failed to follow the orders of a secret society in charge of America, who called themselves “The Patriots”; the order was to kill himself off – an order he wasn’t too fond of. Out of spite, Solidus (AKA George Sears) teamed up with an anti-terrorist squad known as “Dead Cell” and called the whole group “The Sons of Liberty”. His plans for this group were to destroy The Patriots and “liberate” the American citizens from their control. What makes him so evil is the way he goes about this — killing hostages, launching nuclear weapons, torture – all this is justifiable for his cause. It is also important to note that he was in-charge of a group of child soldiers during the 80s where-in the children were brain-washed, fed food with gunpowder intentionally mixed into it and forced to kill.
8. Albert Wesker (Resident Evil Series)
Albert Wesker has been part of the Resident Evil series since the very first game came out way back in 1996 but has gone through plenty of changes since then. Though it is still a mystery as to why he is such an important character to the overall story, it is no mystery that he is bad-to-the-bone. After his “death” in Resident Evil, he was not heard from again until the release of Resident Evil: Code Veronica X (say that three times fast…) where he was seen to have gained new powers, making him a bigger threat than he ever was. Despite these powers, you manage to defeat him once again, thereby stalling his evil plans … for the moment. Once again, Wesker has returned in the latest RE release from Capcom, Resident Evil 4, but only in name. He is only mentioned as one of the main baddies in RE4 but doesn’t make an actual appearance, obviously he had some hand in the nefarious evil that was taking place in Europe. We’ll have to wait and see what ideas Wesker has milling around in his genetically altered brain.
7. Sam Fisher (Splinter Cell Series)
Ahhh, the first “bad-ass” on the list. Sam Fisher, star of the Splinter Cell games, is getting up there in the age category but this only helps intensify his awesomeness. Unlike most young action heroes with their huge muscles and big loud guns, Sam uses his reflexes, agility and skill to get his work done. The best thing about Sam is his acid tongue; he is always extremely intimidating to his enemies and it usually only takes him speaking one sentence to have them quivering in their boots. If you are a fan of the series (which you should be), Sam’s comments never fail to give you that rush that I like to call, “F**k yeah!” It makes you giddy because of the sheer coolness factor of his calm demeanor while saying such horribly threatening things. I believe that Splinter Cell would just be another stealth game if it weren’t for the dialogue which was written for him. Good job, Ubisoft Montreal. Finally something my fellow Canadians and I can be proud of.
6. Big Boss/Solid Snake (Metal Gear Series)
Though not the same character, Big Boss and Solid Snake are almost exact duplicates, which makes sense seeing how Snake is a clone of Big Boss; note that I said “almost”. Big Boss is bigger than Snake, more smug and smokes a cigar while Snake smokes cigarettes. That’s about the only difference. Both are equally bad-ass because both are confident, skillful, knowledgeable of combat and weapons and, most importantly, good with the ladies. What makes them both two of the coolest characters is no matter the odds stacked against them, they would always get their mission accomplished. This is where Big Boss has a leg-up on Snake however. While both were tortured during their respective missions, Big Boss suffered broken bones, cuts, burns, bruises and the loss of his right eye; despite all this, Big Boss got his stuff together and still managed to complete his mission. Both characters are an inspiration to me: I had to get a shot some time ago and was afraid of the needle. I told myself, “would Big Boss be afraid? No. He popped his own damn elbow back into place. I’m getting that needle!” … True story.
5. Officer Frank Tenpenny (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas)
Voiced by Samuel L. Jackson, Officer Frank Tenpenny is one cop that is as crooked as they come in Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. You get the idea of how wicked Tenpenny is within the first five minutes of the game: he takes you into custody, steals your money, slams your head into the car door of his police cruiser, frames you for killing a fellow police officer (most likely murdered by Tenpenny himself) and then dumps you onto rival gang territory, where you would most likely be beaten to death. Throughout the rest of the game he’ll use you for his own personal gain by making you burn down houses, frame DAs and various other underhanded deeds. And to top it all off, he chooses to make light of all the tragedies that have befallen you, like the murder of both your mother and brother, your other brother being arrested and how your friends have betrayed you. Take a minute to reflect on the evil you have just witnessed.
4. Duke Nukem (Duke Nukem Series)
Duke Nukem is a bad-ass through-and-through. He is the typical action hero: cigar-smoking, babe-chasing, alien-killing, motorcycle-riding, leather-wearing, shotgun-totting action hero. Does all that make him bad-ass though? No. It isn’t the cigars or the guns or even the motorcycle. The reason why he is so bad-ass is because of the fact that he stole The Terminator’s look and Ash’s catch-phrases and used them for himself — it takes stones the size of two rocks of Gibraltar to steal from an almost indestructible robot from the future and a man who kills demonic zombies with a shotgun and chainsaw. Despite his attribute stealing ways, Duke Nukem is a hero who has saved earth from alien invaders many times, not because he had to but because he wasn’t about to let any alien scumbags enslave the human race while he had something to say about it. Best Duke Lines: “I’m gonna rip off your head and s**t down your neck” (which he eventually does) and “Damn! Those alien bastards are gonna pay for shooting-up my ride.”
3. Batman (Batman Series)
“I am vengeance… I am the night… I am Batman!” Famous words of one of the first and most famous superheroes ever created, Batman. Bruce Wayne witnessed his Mother and Father’s death at the hands of a street thug and vowed to one day avenge his parents. He trained both mentally and physically until the time was right to make good on his promise. Batman is bad-ass because he uses fear and stealth to break his enemies’ minds … then he breaks their bodies. In Batman lore, no one is really sure if he exists – he is just a rumor among petty thieves and no one truly believes those who claim they saw him — his enigmatic nature makes him seem as if he was only an urban legend. I also think that Batman is a good role model for kids, which isn’t really bad-ass but it does increase his standings on the likeability meter. On a side-note, I recommend for anyone who hasn’t seen it to either rent or buy Batman: The Animated Series on DVD. That cartoon is easily by-far the most accurate Batman portrayal to ever be shown on TV. And for one more piece of geek trivia, Mark Hamill does the voice of The Joker on the show.
2. Darth Vader (Star Wars Battlefront II)
Darth Vader, soon to be appearing in the upcoming sequel to Star Wars Battlefront, is the most famous bad guy in history. There’s no question about it; you can ask anyone if they know who Darth Vader is and chances are they’ll say, “D’uh!” Not only is he the very first Sith Lord to appear in the Star Wars universe, but he is quite possibly the creator of the one-liner – you could possibly say that he is its father. “Why is Vader only number two?” you might be wondering. Vader has always been portrayed in the movies as an evil man who wants complete domination of the galaxy … that is, until the prequels were created. Who would’ve thought that the baddest man of all movie time was once such an impatient, whinny little punk? I’ve always thought there would be some sort of greater cause to why he fell to the dark side but it turns out that he just likes to whine and moan (“…But I want it noooowwww!”) His place on the list is due to his past portrayal as a cold, heartless machine rather than his latest depiction as a complainer.
1. The Punisher (The Punisher)
The Punisher’s origin is just like every other Marvel superhero’s origin: a terrible tragedy happens; the character then gets either mad or sad and then brings the bad guys to justice. Where The Punisher is different, however, is instead of leaving the bad guy for the police to take care of, he leaves the bad guy for the coroner to take care of – he kills his enemies in the most vicious ways. I love The Punisher because he is an amalgam of all the good bad guys on this list: he’s got the attitude and wit of Sam Fisher; the determination of Big Boss and Solid Snake; the tough, cigar-smoking, motorcycle-riding manliness of Duke Nukem and the honorable traits of Batman. On top of all that, he has a symbol that is not only immediately recognizable as being The Punisher, but it also looks wickedly cool on him. He is the only superhero who doesn’t wear spandex, latex or any other skin-tight material (anymore). He dares to be different.