The horror or supernatural genre is noted for its deadly monsters and evil creatures of the night. But genre also has its fair share of heroes, who willingly put themselves in harm’s way to protect us from the forces of darkness. Whether imbued with supernatural powers themselves or just plain ordinary folks, these are the greatest heroes of the supernatural.
13. Ghost Rider (Ghost Rider): Noted for his flaming skull, a kickass fiery motorcycle, and a passion for vengeance, Ghost Rider is no doubt the flashiest antihero on this list. After selling his soul to Satan, motorcycle stuntman Johnny Blaze became the terrifying Spirit of Vengeance as he meted out justice against evil with his hellfire and penance stare.
12. The Crow (The Crow): James O’Barr created this haunting anti-hero for a series of moody comic books. In them, Eric Draven came back from the grave to avenge the killing of his girlfriend by vicious thugs. Adapted into a cult hit film starring the late Brandon Lee, the Crow has grown in popularity among fans.
11. Abraham Van Helsing (Dracula): The original vampire slayer and archenemy of Dracula has been a staple of many adaptations of Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel. Played by a host of reputable thespians like Peter Cushing, Anthony Hopkins, Sir Laurence Olivier and even Hugh Jackman (as Gabriel Van Helsing), Van Helsing is the one human match against the King of the Vampires.
10. Blade (Blade): Feared among vampires, the “daywalker” is actually a half human, half vampire hybrid with all of a vampire’s strengths, and without any vampiric weaknesses. Originally an obscure Marvel Comics character, Blade became super popular after Wesley Snipes played him in a trio of high-octane films.
9. Hellboy (Hellboy): A demon who was summoned as an infant by Nazis during World War II, Hellboy (Ron Perlman) was recovered by Allied Forces instead. Once grown into a red, hulking super agent with sawed-off horns, Hellboy has fought on the side of humanity ever since against supernatural forces with a sense of humor, a big gun and the heart of a hero.
8. Ash Williams (The Evil Dead): After mistakenly unleashing demonic forces into the world, Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) valiantly fought against the malicious spirits with desperate and manic gusto in Sam Raimi’s acclaimed trilogy. While The Evil Dead films are noted for their off-the-wall scares and gore, Ash is the slightly goofy heart of the films and gives us someone to root for.
7. Castiel (Supernatural): First introduced in Supernatural’s fourth season, the angel Castiel quickly became a fan favorite. Brilliantly played by Misha Collins, Castiel is a genuine deus ex machina for the Winchester Brothers, while being the source of many amusing scenes thanks to his literal, stoic attitude and naive demeanor when dealing with humanity.
6. Doctor Strange (Doctor Strange, Strange Tales): Marvel Comics’ premier sorcerer is truly the Master of the Mystic Arts. Once a cocky and selfish neurosurgeon Stephen Strange suffered a debilitating accident and in trying to find treatment wound up on a mystical and redemptive path. After becoming the Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange is our dimension’s greatest defender against dark forces thanks to his powerful, magical powers.
5. Carl Kolchak (Kolchak: The Night Stalker): Adorned with a cheap suit, a bulky recorder and a fragile camera, Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin) worked a lonely beat as a hustling, streetwise reporter who investigated supernatural incidents. Kolchak was forced in each episode (and two TV films) to put aside his fears and confront deadly supernatural dangers, usually without any help since he couldn’t convince anyone about the true nature of the threats.
4. Buffy Summers and Angel (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel): While Buffy first made her debut in the film Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon made the character soar in the TV version, which starred Sarah Michelle Gellar as the titular character. Quirky and full of spunk, Buffy bravely took on vampires and other supernatural forces that threatened humanity. The TV show also introduced viewers to the tortured vampire Angel (David Boreanaz), who fought alongside Buffy, as he tried to reclaim his humanity.
3. John Constantine (Hellblazer, Constantine): This working-class, British sorcerer and occult detective is one formidable foe against the supernatural. First appearing in the pages of Swamp Thing comic books in the ’80s, Constantine won over many fans with his world-weary attitude, questionable morality and snarky cynicism. Even though his soul is damned to hell. he continues the good fight against evil while going through many cigarettes.
2. Rick Grimes, Daryl Dixon, and Michonne (The Walking Dead): Among the many heroic figures featured in the comic book and TV versions of The Walking Dead, these three are the deadliest walker killers, as well as the most intriguing. Michonne (Danai Gurira) with her katana and Daryl (Norman Reedus) with his crossbow fall into the silent, deadly types, who change for the better as the stories progress. Meanwhile, with each experience, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) fights an inner struggle to maintain his humanity, while grappling with a post-apocalyptic world overrun with zombies and deadly people.
1. Sam and Dean Winchester (Supernatural): There are many supernatural-based heroes out there, many of whom don’t have any powers and must rely on their wits to persevere against supernatural threats. But these two brothers (played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) are the most down to earth and unassuming of the bunch. Raised to be hunters (of the supernatural) by their father, these two roam the country’s back roads with a cache of conventional and mystical weapons and tackle all sorts of opponents, whether they be ghosts, demons, vampires or malevolent angels. What makes them stand out is not just their modest nature (and Dean’s hedonistic ways), but their bravery, witty banter and brotherly love; which are all their best weapons.
Lewis T. Grove