There are loads of male characters in all manner of fictional text and media. Some, though, have such innate manliness that you could practically distill and bottle it. Here’s a list of the manliest fictional characters ever to grace the page and screen.
Photo credit: Alan Light, Wikimedia Commons
8 Conan the Barbarian
Forget the movies. In the old novels that defined Conan’s character, he is a giant of a man with a commanding presence. He inspires scores of men who would follow him into battle at any given moment. Conan the Barbarian is a brilliant tactician, has a strict code of honor and women are drawn to him with immutable attraction. He faces monsters, magic and mayhem by day and goes drinking and wenching by night. Wenching! And to top it all off, he has all the rage and fury of his ancestors. Plus, his last name is “the Barbarian” and if that’s not manly, I don’t know what is.
7 Master Chief (of the ‘Halo’ series)
The Master Chief has no life of his own. He is the last of his kind and duty rules his actions. He relies on his Mjolnir armor, just as humanity relies on him: as a shield and protector. He carries the weight of the world on his shoulders and strives only to live another day to fight for the sake of humanity.
Nothing says warm and fuzzy like razor-sharp adamantium claws. This is a man who shows tough love or no love at all. He’s a rough, rogue of a mutant man who loves fighting, drinking and smoking big-ass cigars. Man or mutant, he easily makes the cut.
5 Indiana Jones
Indiana Jones is known for his resourcefulness, selflessness and utter luck. He’s intelligent, but fallibly human. Indy is an everyman that gets stuck in crazy situations he deals with not by brute strength or special powers, but by his sheer tenacity and clever manipulation of dangerous circumstances. And like every good man, a good woman and good friends are never far behind to help when the going gets rough.
4 Doom Guy (of the ‘Doom’ series)
The Doom Guy is manliness incarnate. His only form of communication is grunting in pain. When he cries, he cries blood. And, goddamn can that dude blast through hell spawn with a sinister level of enthusiasm and intensity. Want to make Doom Guy happy? Give him some chain gun ammo.
3 James Bond
James Bond has it all: intelligence, charm, cool confidence and a whole lot of guns and gadgets at his disposal. He is a killing machine, but he’s also a lover, falling for (and bedding) just about every beautiful woman he meets. He embodies a man’s quest for love and violence with style and aplomb.
2 Jack Bauer (of ’24’)
This is one of the most conflicted, deeply passionate characters on this list. And when I say passionate, I mean unstable. His knowledge of hand-to-hand combat is formidable, his use of guns and knives inspire awe and dread and his interrogation techniques are brutal, all in the name of protecting America. Plus, he’ll yell at you right in your face. And no one likes to be yelled at.
Tights aside, Batman’s altruistic form of revenge on evil-doers for the murder of his parents makes him a man’s man. He strikes fear into the hearts of his enemies, rides a thin line between psycho-vigilante and straight lawman and goes above and beyond, dedicating his life to crime fighting in the name of peace and justice.
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