Comics might be about the heel turn these days, but there’s still a bunch of blokes in their various worlds that insist on proper etiquette and their honour, no matter the situation. They might not have the smartassery of Deadpool or Iron Man’s irreverent banter, but here’s a list of gentleman that remain stoic and chivalrous to the very end.
This article has been brought to you by Jack Daniels, so you can sip your bev while turning the pages.
1. Alfred Pennyworth, DC Comics
There was never going to be anyone else topping this list – and for good reason. Alfred Pennyworth is the quintessential butler type; always there to serve a meal (or a cheeky bev, when the need arises), give health advice and keep Bruce Wayne in check, but it’s more than that.
The man literally became a foster parent for Bruce after his employers passed away, trusted with the biggest secret that Bruce will ever have, and he is the archetype of an English gentleman. Besides, he keeps the bat from going batty and always looks smart – now that’s a true gent.
2. Captain America, Marvel Comics
Raised in the 40s and frozen for decades, Captain America has maintained a gentlemanly attitude for as long as he’s been in popular culture. He’s a natural leader of the Avengers, embodies all the best characteristics of the time, doesn’t cuss (much) and is the ultimate paragon of virtue. Above all, he’s charming and kind. So really, what more can you ask for?
And hey, even in the more recent iterations (thank you, Marvel Cinematic Universe), his brand of gentleman stays strong. Spoiler alert, but there’s really nothing sweeter and more gentlemanly than twisting time itself to go back for a dance with Peggy.
3. Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin, Marvel Comics
Despite being brought up with a less-than-gentlemanly attitude, Eggsy earns himself a spot on this list simply because his character arc in the Kingsman comics displays just how innate his courage, chivalry and honour really is. It shows that you don’t have to be brought up a certain way, or live within a certain means, in order to be a gentleman – because nobody has time for classism, thanks.
You’re probably more familiar with the film series (and sure, in that iteration you’d probably lean more towards Colin Firth’s Galahad as the top tier of gentlemanly goodness), but the comics are well worth a look too. And remember: the cornerstone of any gentleman’s look are oxfords, not brogues.
4. Charles Xavier, Marvel Comics
Not only is Charles Xavier an incredibly powerful mutant in the X-Men universe, he’s also a total gentleman and proper English professor. He exudes gentlemanly characteristics like honour, chivalry and loyalty, and the mere fact that he runs not just a school, but a refuge for marginalised children… well, it says it all really.
Besides, this fellow can literally read anyone’s mind but you don’t see him going around abusing that power or being a dick about it, so there’s definite points there. Still don’t agree? The man rocks a suit.
James Bond, Dynamite Entertainment
If you ask someone to summon up an image for a gentleman, chances are they’ll describe the inimitable James Bond – and while you’re probably thinking, “surely he wouldn’t count given that he’s more known for the films and books,” there’s an entire series of comics that aren’t based on the film’s source material – SO IT COUNTS.
From the Aston Martins to the suits, James Bond is the flag bearer of gentlemanly tropes in mass media and despite his predilection for the occasional ungentlemanly dalliance with Bond girls, he’s still the first fellow to swim to mind, so we’ll give him a pass – just this once.
I’m sure there’s plenty of other super gentlemanly characters out there in the comic world (some taking super in the literal sense there, too), but these are just some that come to mind. Picture them, dressed up in a suit, drink in hand, hair kept neat – the picture of gentlemanly goodness.
Maybe they’re opening a door for you, or just protecting you from evil (as you do), but either way, these fellows are undeniably gentlemen in their own right.