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7 Superhero Archetypes Explained

Updated on October 15, 2019
Midoriya Izuku & Naruto Uzumaki
Midoriya Izuku & Naruto Uzumaki

The Believer

The believer archetype believes he can do anything if he keeps pushing himself. Upon first meeting this character most people view him as loud and obnoxious especially those of the genius and hot head archetypes. However, once they get to know him they start to view him as amusing, interesting, and someone they can put their trust in. He's often not very smart with his intellect being slightly below average, but he has incredible tenacity. Because of this he works harder than anyone and that's what also draws people to him. It's by his willpower and his connection to people that allows this character to overcome adversity. Despite all the odds that may appear against him he eventually comes out on top. Whatever he does he gives his all without worry or doubt. He is the underdog who's character revolves entirely around starting from the bottom to, eventually by the end of the story, standing near the top. This is the one that I'm sure most people are familiar with

Kazuma Yogami
Kazuma Yogami | Source

The Loner

The loner archetype is almost always by themselves. Because of this they are almost always misundertsood, Their loner state is usually not by choice. They once did have friends, a family, somewhere to belong however an event cause them to be or at least feel isolated from most people around them. The loner often keeps to himself. They only speak when they feel they need to. Some may feel they are better than most people around though it tends to be the opposite. Those people see the loner as stuck up. The ones who are not like this tend to be the most gifted compared most people around them and are often admired. The loner's story starts out with them meeting at least one person who changes their view or gets them to open up about themselves. By the end of the story they tend to have a bunch of friends and are more open and talkative about who they are to people.

Lelouch | Source

The Genius

The genius is well....a genius. He knows this, the people around him know it, everyone knows it regardless of whether he explains it or not. He can do what most people only wish they could do and can pick up on things faster than average people. He is admired and sought after everywhere he goes. The genius often works alone whenever he can because he feel most people around him will slow him down. He tends to be in constant conflict with those of the believer archetype. The genius is usually an arrogant prick who feels he is better than everyone else, (at least those in his immediate group) However, after a few run ins with the believer he changes his view of ordinary people especially those considered to be at the bottom. This causes him to realize that talent can only get you so far and that we all have things we can improve upon. As a result, he is more open to working with those around him, acknowledging others, and working on his own flaws.

Kagome Higurashi
Kagome Higurashi | Source

The Magical Girl

The magical girl is a female who just happens to somehow (often magically) show up in the main protagonist's life. There can be more than one magical girl who shows up over the course of time. The protagonist, almost always a guy, is usually pushing her away however she keeps pursuing and doing whatever she can to work her way into his life. Eventually, he accepts her into his life and she acts as his support factor or headache every now and then throughout his journey. The magical girl can range from just about any girl you can think of. She can be a calm level headed person like the protagonist, a woman who acts like a child, a shy girl, a sexual tease, and pretty much everything in between. If there are multiple magical girls then they are usually arguing and fighting among each other about who will get to be with or spend time with the guy.

Saitama | Source

The Unassuming Hero

The unassuming hero is an ordinary guy. When you look at him you don't see much. An average haircut, clothes, shoes, maybe slightly below average grades. Nothing really sticks out about him whenever he crosses your path, however he has amazing power. His hero alias is well known if not at the top of the list of heroes. The unassuming hero lives a double life. In their everyday life they are just like any other civilian or background character, but in their superhero life they are the talk of the town often making headlines in the front page newspaper. They are the ones sneaking out of a room or important meeting when they hear first sign of a crisis.

Vegeta | Source

The Hot Head

The hot head almost always seems to be angry about something. They are very short tempered especially when things don't go their way. This causes them to constantly want to fight and argue with those around them. Despite their demeanor they are usually very smart and are willing to work very hard to achieve their goals just like the believer does. As a matter fact it's the believer who often pushes them to work harder then they previously had before. Their skills tend to shine most when they are in a physical fight and can also figure things out mentally if they really put their mind to it. However, unlike the believer they lack the ability to bring people together and on their side. What stops the hot head from progressing as far as they can is usually their quickness to anger, and their overconfidence in abilities.

Nagato Uzumaki
Nagato Uzumaki | Source

The Idealist

The idealist is an archetype bordering a hero, an antihero, and a villain so he can be thrown or assumed to be any of those roles. The idealist wants a world filled with peace and that works for the greater good, however his means are unconventional. He believes that he who has the power controls the way civilization operates and by amassing power for himself he can force the world into a constant state of peace. He may have at one time believed achieving peace was possible the way most people do, but after experiencing pain and looking at the world and the course of history. Time and time again he sees the world in a perpetual cycle of hatred, discrimination, and decay. No matter how many times peace has been achieved it is only short lived. Civilization is only built up to be destroyed by endless struggles and war. The idealist unlike most heroes are willing to sacrifice many lives even when it's unnecessary all for the sake of peace. The idealist knows publicly that his actions are wrong so he often operates in the shadows and behind the scenes. Just like a villain he may use deceit and trickery to get people on his side. Many people will not like him, but he is still allowed to continue as he is because others understand he to desires peace just as the heroes do. And sometimes it takes a more forceful approach to finally achieve that peace. Whether that peace is eternal or long lasting remains to be told.


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