ATB’s Top 25 Male Characters: (23) Mike Haggar

mikehaggar

“It’s my job to keep Metro City safe!”

We’re now into the meat and potatoes as the top 25 continues. Tomorrow, our list continues the countdown to the #1 male video game character of all-time on Aug. 31.

23) Mike Haggar (Final Fight) – 2 votes/102 points

Chris: Mike Haggar is what we all hope our politicians could be someday, instead of massive disappointments.

Metro City is one messed-up place, but at least they had the brains to elect Haggar as the mayor. The city is a dump — crime runs rampant on the streets thanks to the Mad Gear Gang, and as a result, there’s litter and graffiti and death all over the place. As a former professional wrestler, Haggar does the best he can to take down Mad Gear, but they kidnap his daughter to make him stop.

Does that stop him? Hell no. This is a man who piledrives sharks in his spare time, after all.

So Haggar recruits his friends Cody and Guy and kicks everyone’s ass. Then the Mad Gear returns in Final Fight 2, and Haggar kicks everyone’s ass. More trouble in Final Fight 3? Ass-kicking. Haggar grows out a long ponytail for no reason. He makes green suspenders look good. If his approval rating in Metro City isn’t 100%, somebody’s getting a spinning piledriver. It’s that simple.

Shaun: I honestly feel like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s election as Governor of California is thanks to Mike Haggar’s exploits in the Final Fight series. People didn’t want Arnold to pass bills or make speeches that tritely reference his movies — they wanted him to take the reins of his position and personally deliver results in the form of kicking-ass and chewing bubblegum on the streets of California. And he’s all out of bubblegum.

What makes Mike Haggar so great is that he represents every action hero from the 1980s, perfectly consolidated into one gigantic man with a temper and an ability to incapacitate second-rate thugs by the thousands. I can see it now… *Cue shimmery fade into dream-like fantasy, narrated by a dramatic movie trailer voice:

“They thought they could manipulate ex-professional wrestler Mike Haggar by kidnapping his daughter. But what they weren’t counting on was Haggar once being a Green Beret Pile Driving Samurai Shark. And now that Haggar smells blood, there’s nothing — including a city full of deranged gang members — that can stop him from delivering the PAIN. This SUMMER, get ready – with Mike Haggar, there’s only one fight that matters…the FINAL FIGHT.”

See what happens when you build your ad campaign around Mike Haggar? Half of what I just wrote doesn’t even make sense, but it doesn’t matter, because it’s Mike Haggar so you buy in.

Maybe it’s the fact that I have a special place in my heart for old action stars and the entire cast of The Expendables movies, but I’m glad our list could find a place for Haggar and everything he represents from that era.

Joseph: When you need a man to clean up Gotham, you turn on the bat signal. When you need a man to fight in the mean streets of Metro City, you kidnap the daughter of Mayor Mike Haggar. When he’s not signing bills to create more parks or repair unsavory potholes, Mayor Haggar spends his time beating the tar out of local gangs. Does he enjoy it? Yes. Does he get paid? That’s what taxes are for. Sure, most of the time he’s motivated by the loss of his daughter, but let’s call out the metaphor. His daughter represents justice. Haggar represents a strap-wearing, pile-driving, baby-kissing machine that is infuriated by graffiti and parking violations. Don’t ever jaywalk in his city.

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Honorable Mention

Introduction

One thought on “ATB’s Top 25 Male Characters: (23) Mike Haggar

  1. As Shaun says: “Maybe it’s the fact that I have a special place in my heart for old action stars and the entire cast of The Expendables movies…” I’m with you there. Bring on Expendables 3!

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