Jesse Custer (Preacher)
Creator Garth Ennis put hard drinking reverend Jesse through a hell of a lot, but then the Preacher series wouldn’t be half as interesting if Jesse’s mission was a cake walk. Starting off with a tough upbringing followed by a seriously bad day at the office, Jesse takes it upon himself to find God and make him pay for abandoning America. While he isn’t exactly the Vicar of Dibley, he has enough redeeming qualities to have us hooked on his every action from the outset. Guns, weirdo sidekicks and the ultimate showdown all add to the mix.
Is there as loveable a demon as Hellboy? Plucked from the grasp of the Nazi’s on a small Scottish island, this super-powerful spawn of Satan ends up being brought up by the allies. A sort of supernatural trouble-shooter, Hellboy works with an elite team of misfits to keep the forces of evil out of planet earth. Despite his tough exterior, he’s the ultimate hero with a heart and reading his stories is like watching a gigantic demonic teenager mess up and make up for it time and time again.
Harvey Pekar (American Splendor)
Harvey Pekar was a real life guy who wrote an autobiographical comic book about his mundane and often miserable life. Sound funny? It really is. Pekar was the master of observation. Human quirks, follies and frailties were often brutally laid bare in his comics. Despite his relative fame, he shunned celebrity and continued to eke out a living through his writing and filing clerk role. If self deprecation is your thing give him a go.
In a lot of ways Rorschach is a Batman clone. He had a bad time when he was younger, he feels isolated and alienated and he’s sick with the crime that plagues his hometown. The difference between them is that while Batman avoids excessive violence, Rorschach seems to revel in it. While he has no super powers, his cunning, toughness and determination make him one of the most deranged and dangerous comic book heroes. While Alan Moore’s Watchmen is full of amazing characters, it’s Rorschach, the least likely hero who became the fan favourite.
Cerebus the Aardvark (Cerebus)
If you like strange then check out Cerebus the self absorbed, amoral, alcoholic Aardvark. A seriously strange character he might be, but this odd and utterly unpredictable creature starred in a stretch of comic books numbering 300 editions. Part dark comedy, part satire, part fantasy Cerebus’ tale is a long and eventful one. From becoming Pope to fighting wars, he’s rarely dull.
Check out Part One of our top ten here.