Top 15 Most Patriotic Characters

iGeekOut

To some people, patriotism is nothing more than blind devotion to their country, and frankly there are many out there who deride those who express patriotic tendencies. When this common belief is compared to the dictionary definition of patriotism (an emotional attachment to a nation, including cultural, political, or historical aspects of that country) you can easily see a difference in these two points of view. For this list of the top 15 most patriotic characters, we are going with the definition of patriotism first espoused by Mark Twain, “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it,” as opposed to the blind belief and devotion aspect that many people seem to think of when this topic comes up. Keep in mind that as you read this particular list the characters are not specific to the United States only.

15: Captain Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds

(Firefly Franchise)

One of the main characters in the woefully short-lived television show Firefly, Mal Reynolds is now the Captain of the Firefly class freighter Serenity. During the Unification War, Mal served as a Sergeant in the Independent’s army, and fighting for the belief that everyone has a right to live their own life without the oversight of an oppressive and overbearing government in the form of the Alliance. Even though Mal’s side lost the Unification War he still continues to try and fight for the little guy. While the Alliance considers him an outlaw, the numerous people and colonies that Mal and his crew have helped over the years would say otherwise. One of his personal philosophies can be best expressed in his own words “The Alliance will swing back to the belief that they can make people…better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave.”

14: G.I. Joe

(Hasbro Toys, Marvel Comics, Devil’s Due Publishing, IDW Publishing)

G.I. Joe was (and is) a covert action unit of the United States military that operates in cooperation with member nations of the United Nations formed to fight against terrorism in general, and the evil organization of COBRA in specific. This group was originally rumored to have been named in honor of the “General Issue Joe” of the World War II era, and over time evolved to embody a force that is striving to protect freedom and democracy around the world. G.I. Joe has, over the years, been brought to life over the years in comics, television, movies, and video games. While the team lineup over the years has changed through addition, loss, and retirement, the mission has remained the same in throughout the generations. This can best be described in the words of the announcer of the classic 1980’s cartoon “G.I. Joe is the codename for America’s highly trained special mission force. Its purpose: to defend human freedom against COBRA. A ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world.”

13: Captain James T. Kirk

(Star Trek Franchise)

James Tiberius Kirk is perhaps the most well-known captain from the Star Trek franchise of television shows and movies. Born in 2233 in United States state of Iowa, Kirk was the son of another Starfleet Officer named George Kirk and joined the Starfleet Academy in the year 2252 (at the age of 19). Over the next five years he learned to become an officer, and actually managed to beat the “unbeatable” scenario of the Kobayashi Maru through some creative thinking (i.e., reprograming the scenario so that it was possible to win) that some called cheating, and for which he got a commendation. One of Kirk’s most notable traits is to ignore the letter of the rules and regulations of Starfleet, oftentimes so that he (and his crew) are able to fulfill the spirit of the rules. These actions did not go unpunished, with one memorable event resulting in him becoming the first ever Starfleet Captain facing court martial, for which he was later exonerated. Perhaps his single most eventful encounter was with Kahn Noonien Singh, which events helped change the lives of not only his crew, but politics for the galaxy over the course of 20 years. It was in the follow up to one of these encounters that ended up seeing Kirk being busted from Admiral back down to Captain and having lasting repercussions in galactic politics (as seen in the episode Space Seed, and the movies Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn through Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country). Kirk’s philosophy on freedom can probably best be summed up in his words “You said you wanted freedom. It’s time you learned that freedom is never a gift. It has to be earned.”

12: Nick Fury

(Marvel Comics)

Director Nick Fury is perhaps one of the best known patriots within the Marvel Universe, and is well known for his dedication to protecting the United States (and the world at large) from all enemies. This dedication for protecting the “American Way” has been shown repeatedly in his willingness to risk his own career and life in pursuit of those ideals that America says it stands for (liberty, justice, and equality). Nick Fury started off his career by joining the United States Army eventually switching over to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), before joining the international organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. It is with this last organization that he rose to the height of his prominence, and helped show just how much of a patriot he really is. One of the most common examples of how Director Fury has done this is by repeatedly faking his death in order to root out those who have acted against the safety and security of the United States and the world (for example, in Captain America: Winter Soldier). One of the main drawbacks to Nick Fury’s personality is that he could easily be classified as a paranoid zealot, and one that is willing to do most anything to protect the United States and the world. Perhaps some of the best examples of this is how (in the movies at least) Nick Fury refused to detonate a nuclear bomb over a populated city, and also when he acted against orders (again) to help prove that Hydra was not defeated and in fact acting under the cover of S.H.I.E.L.D. in an almost successful bid to take over the United States government. Nick Fury’s beliefs in following orders against his conscious could best be summed up in his own words, “I recognize the council has made a decision, but given that it’s a stupid-ass decision, I’ve elected to ignore it.”

11: Rick Castle & Kate Beckett

(Castle)

Richard “Rick” Castle, and Kate Beckett are an interesting crime fighting couple that have been portrayed over recent years on the hit television show, Castle. Rick and Kate first meet in the initial episode of the series “Flowers for Your Grave” where a killer is using scenes from several of Ricks murder mysteries to frame someone for crimes that they didn’t commit. Over the eight years that the series was on television Rick and Kate work together they help save the city from terrorists, solve crimes, and even uncover deep rooted criminal conspiracies in the American government. As they are doing this they repeatedly put their own wants and desires behind the need to protect others, uncover the truth, and stop those that could potentially ruin the way of life and freedoms of society as a whole. Additionally, this fantastic crime fighting duo have also repeatedly put their relationship, career, freedom, and even lives to help protect their family and society around them. Their frequently contentious, though highly entertaining, relationship covers a deep love for one another and for uncovering the truth. Kate and Beckett’s relationship can easily be described in the voice over from the early episodes of the show “There are two kinds of folks who sit around thinking how to kill people: Psychopaths, and mystery writers. I’m the kind that pays better. Who am I? I’m Rick Castle…Every writer needs inspiration, and I found mine.”

10: Captain Britain

(Marvel Comics)

Captain Britain, also known as Brian Braddock, was originally born in Maldon, England, the son of Sir James Braddock. He has two siblings (brother Jaime, and twin sister Betsy) who were all that were left to him when his parents died when he was young. Shortly after an accident where he was left mortally wounded, Brian was chosen by Merlyn to become the new protector of the Realm. As part of his becoming Captain Britain, he had to choose between the “Amulet of Right” and the “Sword of Might” (which is also commonly known as Excalibur, MI:13, and even the Avengers for a time. Over the course of his career, Captain Britain obtained the nickname of “Britain’s first Super Hero,” and eventually came to lead teams such as Excalibur in the defense of the British Realm and the world at large. Throughout his career in the Marvel Universe, many have come to view Captain Britain as synonymous with the United Kingdom as much as Captain America has come to be viewed with the United States. Captain Britain is also considered to be a sort of “reincarnation” of King Arthur Pendragon, who has been foretold to return to Britain in the time of their greatest need, and Brian (while he may not agree with this point of view) does share the sentiment as can be seen in his words and deeds. “I’ll be your champion, now and forever. I’ll be Captain Britain!”

9: Fox Mulder & Dana Scully

(X-Files)

Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are in charge of investigating cases that regular FBI agents are either unable or unwilling to solve. Fox Mulder used to be a member of the elite Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) and was a successful profiler who felt an almost overwhelming desire to uncover the truth of what happened to his sister when he was younger. Dana Scully was assigned to the X-Files unit in an attempt to “reign” in the seemingly out of control Fox Mulder by bringing some scientific rationality and skepticism to his investigations. In actuality, this partnership has helped save countless people, communities, the nation, and the world numerous times with their desire to uncover the truth. Repeatedly desire this has put their lives (both personal and professional) on the line to uncover the truth and bring justice to those who need it. While the relationship between these two agents was primarily professional, overtime they came to deeply care about one another on a personal level, and eventually left the Bureau for a time where they had a child (who later died). Even when they left the Bureau these two still couldn’t help but poke into things and help those around them. For Mulder and Scully, they had one overriding belief that Mulder was able to put into words once “The truth is out there.”

8: Master Chief

(HALO Franchise)

Not much is known about early life of the man who became known as Spartan-117, more commonly known as Master Chief. What is known is that he is originally from the planet Eridanus II, and that he was kidnapped from his family at the age of six by Dr. Leona Halsey to become a founding member of the SPARTAN II project. In the words of Dr. Halsey, he was chosen primarily due to his primarily intangible luck which was statistically more significant compared to others who were considered. The SPARTAN project was initially set up to help combat some rebel separatists who were looking to break away from the domineering control of the United Earth Government, and its military arm the United Nations Space Command (UNSC). However, shortly before the SPARTANS were put into the field against the rebels, humanity came into contact with a highly aggressive collection of alien races called the Covenant. It was during this timeframe that Master Chief came into his own. Over the course of the war, and repeated great sacrifice to himself, Master Chief was able to stop the Covenant advance and actually turn a large portion of them into the allies of humanity. Unfortunately, due to his massive popularity with the general populace and the military as a whole, elements of the UNSC viewed Master Chief as a threat and are treating him as an enemy of the state. Unfortunately for them, Master Chief does not view his mission as completed as of yet. As he says in his own words, “Our duty as soldiers is to protect humanity…whatever the cost.”

7: Indiana Jones

(Indiana Jones Franchise)

Dr. Henry Jones, Jr., also known as Indiana Jones, was born in 1899 to Dr. Henry Jones Sr. and his wife Anna. The younger Dr. Jones became fascinated with archeology in large part to his father (though he won’t ever admit it) and due to the world tour that he went on with his parents while he was younger. Due to his father’s increasing obsession over the Holy Grail, Indiana’s parents separated when he was about 12 years old. Since he absolutely hated being called Junior, Indiana decided to adopt the name of his dog as his own. Throughout his life Indiana not only rode with Pancho Villa, obtained a doctorate in archaeology, and served World War I and II (in the Second World War he served in the OSS and achieved the rank of Colonel) and even helped in the Roswell investigation. Throughout his life and career, he has repeatedly risked his life to help those in need and to stop the forces of fascism and socialism from obtaining world dominance using the mystical forces of items found in legends throughout the world. Some of the more notable items that he has helped find, or return, include the Ark of the Covenant, the Sankara Stones, the Holy Grail, the Cross of Coronado, The Golden Fleece, and more. Despite trying to appear as if he only cares about fame and glory (or in his words “Fortune and glory, kid. Fortune and glory”) he cares deeply about protecting others and defending his country.

6: Wonder Woman

(DC Comics)

Princess Diana of Themyscira (also known as Wonder Woman) has long been a champion for both her people and all of humanity and has become arguably the most famous of all heroines it the world. Diana was raised to be a future queen on the island of Themyscira, and as such was taught to rule wisely and compassionately. As she grew older, Diana became more and more curious about the world outside and eventually won the right to represent her people as an ambassador to the world at large (or as her people call it the “World of Men”). Since she was raised to be the future ruler of a nation of Amazon’s Diana was raised to be very skeptical of the male gender. However, due to her interactions with such men as Batman and Superman Diana came to understand that not all men are evil. Diana is more than willing to break even the most sacred of laws (no men on the island) if it was the right thing to do, and thus help her society progress since it was in their best interests. She did this by bringing Superman and Batman to the island to help battle Ares and thus saving Themyscira and the world. Over the years, Wonder Woman has tried to live according to one of the saying that her people has had over the years, “Don’t kill if you can wound, don’t wound if you can subdue, don’t subdue if you can pacify, and don’t raise your hand at all until you ‘ve first extend it.”

5: Guardian/Vindicator

(Marvel Comics)

James “Mac” Macdonald Hudson, Jr. is a leading petrochemical engineer that was born in London, Ontario, Canada. Over the years he developed a powered exoskeleton suit that his company tried to sell to the United States government, which he later stole back. Upon being caught by the Canadian government and “enlisted” in serving as the leader of a Canadian super-team called Flight, which later became Alpha Flight, of which one of the main members used to be Wolverine. Over the years, Guardian (also known as Vindicator) has lead the fight to help keep Canada, and the rest of the world, safe from all enemies. While the main source of Guardian’s various powers originates from his powered suit, he has repeatedly shown his ingenuity drive, and desire to save his country and world even when he has lost access to the suit. While Guardian has repeatedly put his life on the line, he has always come back to his friends and family. In his own words, “But I have to say, in the end…it was just good to see old friends one more time.”

4: Jack Ryan

(Tom Clancy Character)

Sir John Patrick Ryan started his journey by going to college, and obtaining a commission in the Marines. While on a training exercise in his first year as an officer he ended up in an accident where he broke his back. After extensive physical therapy he was able to walk again and went back and obtained his doctorate in history while also making his fortune as a stock broker. During this time he occasionally did some consultation work for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), who he joined full time as an analyst upon becoming the target of some terrorists who he stopped from killing the Prince of Wales. Over the years he rose through the ranks, becoming first the Deputy Director of Intelligence, Director of Central Intelligence, Vice President, and eventually President of the United States. Jack Ryan is known for his overwhelming honesty, and willingness to do what is necessary to uphold the rule of law and acting in an honorable manner. On at least two separate occasions Sir Ryan acted directly against elected officials due to them acting against the law. Jack Ryan can best be summed up by what came to be known as the “Ryan Doctrine” which stated that the “United States will no longer tolerate attacks on our territory, our possessions, or our citizens.”

3: James Bond

(007 Franchise)

Relatively little is known about the early life of Royal Navy Commander James Bond, CNG, RNVR, but what is known paints a fairly sad childhood. After his parents died when he was at a fairly young age. He was raised by the family of the man who would later become his greatest adversary. Ernst Stavro Blofeld. It is currently unclear as to why exactly he joined the Royal Navy, but it can be extrapolated that this is due to his desire to help protect the British Isles. After serving in the military and gaining experience and skills, he ended up joining the Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Upon joining the Secret Service, he quickly joined the “00” section and became a more effective tool for Queen and Country. Over the years Commander Bond has been at the forefront of the shadow war against terrorists, and rogue elements that acted to the detriment of the British Empire, and the free world in general. Some examples of the groups that he has faced include Specre, KGB, GRU, CIA, multi-billionaires, and more. Throughout the course of his career, Bond has risked his life numerous times, lost his fiancée, and opportunities to have a happy family to protecting others, all in the name of “Keeping the British end up, Sir.”

2: Superman

(DC Comics)

A strange visitor for another planet, Kal-El (better known as Clark Kent, or Superman) has taken to defending his adopted country and world. Sent to Earth by his birth parents Jor-El and Laura, and raised by Martha and Jonathan Kent, Kal-El has gone on to become one of Earth’s mightiest defenders, and becoming one of the founding members of the Justice League, the moral guide for the other members of the League, and has become the one superhero that all others in the DC Universe are judged by. Clark Kent is one of the few major superheroes to have actually laid down their lives in defense of others, as he did in the first confrontation with the being known as Doomsday. Beyond fighting such threats as Doomsday, he has also faced megalomaniac billionaire presidents (such as Lex Luthor), alien dictators (Darkseid), and countless other threats.  Part of what makes Superman so inspiring is that while he has the power to impose his will on everyone and force them to do what is right, he has chosen not to. In effect, he has decided to limit himself so that humanity can choose what they want to do. After all, his guiding principle is to “Fight for truth, justice, and the American way.”

1: Captain America

(Marvel Comics)

At the time that World War II broke out, Steve Rogers was the son of poor Irish imigrants, who had a rather sickly and asthmatic disposition. As a teenager he attempted to enlist, but was declared 4-f, unfit for service. Despite this, he had the overwhelming desire to serve his country, and to help stop the threat of Nazi Germany. Shortly after being rejected yet again for service, he was offered a chance to participate in a secret program that would allow him to potentially become the first of many “Super Soldiers,” which Steve jumped at the chance to take. While the project was successful in making him a super-soldier, it was soon dealt a nasty blow with the assassination of his friend, Dr. Abraham Erskine, when the process was lost. Cap proceeded to live up to his friend, who asked him to remember to be “a good man, rather than a good soldier.” Over the course of his storied career, Captain America has become the epitome of what a superhero should be by always trying to do what is right, not what is easy. A prime example of this can be found when he led a team of superheroes in revolt against the United States in opposition to a set of laws that would require superheroes to either register and work for the government, or go to prison just for living.

This desire for justice and equality is illustrated in perhaps one of the single greatest speeches in comics, where Captain America says: “Doesn’t matter what the press says. Doesn’t matter what the politicians or mobs say. Doesn’t matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world – “No, you move.” (Amazing Spider-Man # 357)

Well there you have it! iGeekout’s list of the top 15 most patriotic characters. How close did we come to your list? Did we miss something that should have been listed? Do you disagree with something that we have on this list? Tell us your point of view in the comments below, and who knows it may just be added into next year’s list.

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