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Zach Heher
Posted: Wednesday, February 24, 2016 6:29 PM
A hero is only as good as its villain. No truer words have ever been spoken quite like this. For every great hero there must also be a great villain. And let's admit it, as much as we like the heroes of stories we love the villains just the same or even more. More often than not the heroes and villains also complete each other. This usually makes that one villain the archenemy of the hero. Society is usually drawn into archenemies more than any other pairings or character tropes. And why is that? And how can we make our own hero and archenemy characters. Well let's discuss that here.


  • Total Opposites: The one aspect that truly defines a hero and his/her villain is that they are polar opposites. Obviously one fights for good and the other evil, and I'm sure you've heard of the old two sides same coin phrase passed around. But what does that even mean? Let's look at possibly the greatest rivalry of all time Batman and Joker. Batman represents law and order, how a simple man can do good things and rise above a great tragedy in his life. The Joker represents chaos and anarchy, showing people how warped a mind could turn after just one bad day. This is why Joker is the perfect archenemy of Batman. Their rivalry has been spread all across comics, TV, video games, and movies. In The Dark Knight, you can really see their rivalry shine through during the interrogation scene where Joker explains to Batman that they are no different and eventually Gotham City will turn against him. If you haven't seen The Dark Knight...WHY? Better yet check out this clip below to get a better understanding on how their rivalry works. The point I'm making with this is that you can see that they have so much in common yet they are completely different. One of Joker's quotes from the film is, "You won't kill me do to some misguided morality, and I won't kill you because you're just too much fun. I think we are destined to do this forever." And that brings me to my next topic.
  • Destinies: Are heroes and their villains just destined to be archenemies? Was Sherlock Holmes destined to thwart James Moriarty? Was Bowser destined to battle against Mario for Princess Peach (in another castle)? Destiny is a crazy subject because no one is completely sure how destiny will play are role in one's life. As we write our own characters even we aren't completely sure of what there destinies will hold until we complete the next chapter. In DC comics, The Flash's archenemy is the Reverse-Flash, who shares the exact same strengths and weaknesses as the hero. Born as Eobard Thawne in the late 2100s, the Reverse-Flash's origin is revealed that he was a huge fan of the Flash. So much so that he recreated the same experiment to give himself super speed. This also allowed him to travel through time where he learned that was never going to be like his hero but instead destined to be his greatest enemy. This revelation drove him mad to a point that he vows to be the reverse of everything the Flash was. Usually these rivalries happen at random, but here he knows he is going to be the villain and just accepts it, which in honesty is kind of tragic. You can check out the full extent of their rivalry from a clip of The Flash tv series below.

  • Damage: To me the villain doesn't earn the title of archenemy until they have done some sort of damage in their life, both physically and emotionally. In comics, Green Goblin is Spider-Man's archenemy because of his attempt to kill his love Gwen Stacy. Gwen Stacy's death marked a huge moment in Spider-Man's life where he ultimately failed to save the one he loves and leaving Green Goblin the victor. Darth Vader is the archenemy of Luke Skywalker because not only did he cut off his hand but also revealed the truth that he was Luke's father all along. Damage is key to establishing an archenemy.
There are honestly numerous of other ways that a villain is established as the archenemy but I want to here from you. What do you believe makes a villain the archenemy of the hero? Who or what are your favorite rivalries/archenemies from movies, TV, comics, etc. Be sure to list them here!

Posted: Sunday, March 13, 2016 6:34 PM
Joined: 10/31/2015
Posts: 13

I know how to create these kind of characters as I've seen it happen when I revealed Kealan Patrick Burke wrote a story called The Clause as he was trying to ignore a history lingering as I asked him, "why don't you ask Bram The Talking Wonder Dog about The Cabbie Homicide!"  The real-life arch rivalry was born out of this as I will say the Demolition Man had a killer rivalry because the hero had traits of a villain; as you wonder what antiheroes and villains bang heads. 

    I sent Burke in a rage when I said that statement as he knew what I wrote and had a hard time replicating the results of this story or The Pattern of Diagnosis.  When you realize he created an arch-rivalry he didn't like what I did because I pointed out he encouraged academic dishonesty;  as A Society Unpublished I created a hero but not quite a superhero but someone who had traits of Batman and Holmes.  Batman was created from dark fiction archetypes. 

Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 3:29 AM
Joined: 6/22/2016
Posts: 1

Good Post

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