10 Comics Villains Who Secretly Mirrored The Hero

These goodies and baddies have a lot more in common than you might think...

DC Comics

One of the oldest tropes in any superhero medium, or any storytelling medium in general, is making the hero face and defeat a dark reflection of themselves. Every Superman needs a Bizarro, every Flash needs a Reverse Flash, and every Scott Pilgrim needs a Nega Scott.

As fun as this twist can be, the whole 'evil twin' angle can become trite and clichéd fast. At this point, it's become over-saturated and all too obvious. A villain who looks like the hero but acts in the opposite way has been done an inordinate amount of times. Frankly, there are more interesting ways to do a good bad guy.

However, this cliché is so ingrained in storytelling that sometimes it happens completely organically, without anyone noticing. An arch-nemesis doesn't have to look like our main character in order to reflect their personality, after all.

The following is a look at ten heroes and villains who mirror each other in ways that are more subtle than you might expect. Whether they are a thematic antithesis of a superhero's morals, or a meta examination of a character based on backlash from readers, each of them has something to say about the hero they go up against.

Contributor
Contributor

Jimmy Kavanagh is an Irish comics enthusiast and co-founder of Club Valentine Comedy, a Dublin-based comedy collective. You can hear him talk to his favourite comedians about their favourite comics on his podcast, Comics Swapping Comics (available on all good podcast platforms).