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  1. #1
    Condescending Member manymade1's Avatar
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    Default Arch-Enemies That No Longer Fit the Role

    Over recent years, I've noticed a lot of villains that used to fit the arch-enemy role have kind of segued out. Different factors include them turning more good than bad, other villains taking over the role, etc.

    Who are some examples of villains that can no longer be seen as an arch-enemy?

    Magneto is the first person to come to mind for me, and I would argue he's the definitive example. Even back in the day, he tended to flip flop but at this point, for every story where he's been the villain, he has 5x as many stories where he's a good guy. I guess the problem is that given his character, it really wouldn't make any sense for him to stay bad. His cause has always been noble, and he's a very human character, so it's almost unrealistic for him to continue to be bad.

    Sabertooth is another example. His rivalry with Wolverine seems to mostly have been left in the past.

  2. #2
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure Sabertooth still hates Wolverines guts with a passion. I think they did a mini about him leading a kill squad to take him out when they got a whiff he might be alive again.

    Loki hasn't really been Thor's Archenemy in a long time but nobody's really taken his spot either.

  3. #3
    Incredible Member Riv86672's Avatar
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    Red Skull and Captain America?

    I’m not 100% sure on that one so asking as well as suggesting. I can’t remember the last time the two really clashed in any kind of major plot line/issues long/huge payoff/w. consequences event.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    -- In the case of Thor, Loki doesn't fulfill that role anymore. He's become too cuddly and acceptable as an anti-hero to go back to pure evil again. That's why Jason Aaron upgraded Gorr the God Butcher and Malekith to take that role. This is especially the case in King Thor where Gorr seems to have supplanted Loki.

    -- The Leader used to be the Arch Nemesis of the Hulk, these days Hulk's archnemesis seems to be Ross, Ross wannabes, Humanity, Planet Earth, the Kabbalah Tree of Life, the One Below, Bruce Banner, one of Hulk's alternate personalities and so on.

    -- Sabretooth was never Wolverine's archnemesis for realsies because editors felt the character was too small potatoes to be a match to a character of a size like Wolverine's.

    -- Mandarin yeah...he doesn't work as Tony Stark's archnemesis anymore.

  5. #5
    Fantastic Member Doombot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    -- The Leader used to be the Arch Nemesis of the Hulk, these days Hulk's archnemesis seems to be Ross, Ross wannabes, Humanity, Planet Earth, the Kabbalah Tree of Life, the One Below, Bruce Banner, one of Hulk's alternate personalities and so on.
    Hahaha


    I also mourn Loki as a great arch nemesis for Thor, I'm sure he'll come back around at some point, but he's somehow become this loveable anti-hero in recent years. It seems to be popular with people, I don't love it, but it's fine. Thor has a ton of great villains that need love.

  6. #6
    Mighty Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    The Owl was intended to be Daredevil's archenemy by Stan Lee, but that role has since been usurped by Kingpin, Bullseye and the Hand. To be fair, the Owl himself has gotten more badass since his early portrayal, but he still can't compare to the others.

  7. #7
    Latverian ambassador Iron Maiden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doombot View Post
    Hahaha


    I also mourn Loki as a great arch nemesis for Thor, I'm sure he'll come back around at some point, but he's somehow become this loveable anti-hero in recent years. It seems to be popular with people, I don't love it, but it's fine. Thor has a ton of great villains that need love.
    I don't see why they couldn't do both. They've done this with Doom, who is usually less villainous in this solo book. But Slott still kept him as an FF villain just recently.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
    The Owl was intended to be Daredevil's archenemy by Stan Lee, but that role has since been usurped by Kingpin, Bullseye and the Hand. To be fair, the Owl himself has gotten more badass since his early portrayal, but he still can't compare to the others.
    I loved how Nick Spencer used the Owl in Superior Foes of Iron Man. That was the first time I read a story where he came across as almost frightening.

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Maiden View Post
    I loved how Nick Spencer used the Owl in Superior Foes of Iron Man. That was the first time I read a story where he came across as almost frightening.
    The Owl also showed up as a Spider-Man villain in the classic Mantlo story "The Owl/Octopus War" albeit he's a very minor figure in that story (and the so-called gang war with Doctor Octopus ends halfway into a seven issue story). The Owl as a villain has a problem in that he looks a fair bit like Wolverine (that hairstyle) and he has claws. He's an older character than Wolverine but Logan has now claimed the roost for good.

  9. #9
    Ultimate Member Digifiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Maiden View Post
    I loved how Nick Spencer used the Owl in Superior Foes of Iron Man. That was the first time I read a story where he came across as almost frightening.
    Spider-Man.

    I'd say Green Goblin is no longer the arch-enemy of Spider-Man. Not only did Norman get big enough to become an Avengers villain in Dark Reign, Doctor Octopus managed to pull off something Norman never could, stealing Peter's life!
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  10. #10
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digifiend View Post
    I'd say Green Goblin is no longer the arch-enemy of Spider-Man.
    Shut the Front Door.

    Not only did Norman get big enough to become an Avengers villain in Dark Reign
    He went back to being Arch-Nemesis in Go Down Swinging and that status was confirmed and doubled-down in Spencer's Absolute Carnage tie-ins.

    Doctor Octopus managed to pull off something Norman never could, stealing Peter's life!
    Kraven stole Peter's life.
    Chameleon also stole Peter's life once.
    Goblin once kidnapped and tortured Peter for days and made him dress up as a Goblin suit and terrorize Peter's close friends.

    It's nothing special or exceptional. Sure it seemed that way when it happened for a time but after the padded down worthless mess that's Superior Spider-Man, things have gone back to status-quo. Ock has forgotten Spider-Man's secret, Peter has life back, and it's as if that story never happened to start with.

  11. #11
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riv86672 View Post
    Red Skull and Captain America?

    I’m not 100% sure on that one so asking as well as suggesting. I can’t remember the last time the two really clashed in any kind of major plot line/issues long/huge payoff/w. consequences event.
    Skull and Cap are still Archenemies. HydraCap had the potential to usurp but there's the possibility he might end up another body for Skull.
    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    -- In the case of Thor, Loki doesn't fulfill that role anymore. He's become too cuddly and acceptable as an anti-hero to go back to pure evil again. That's why Jason Aaron upgraded Gorr the God Butcher and Malekith to take that role. This is especially the case in King Thor where Gorr seems to have supplanted Loki.
    I don't think that's going to stick if only because I feel those characters will be sequestered to Aaron's run rather then continue to be ongoing threats for Thor.

    I definitely think Aaron was trying to make Malekith the new Loki when you see how he characterized him, but there just wasn't that personal enmity that makes Thor and Loki's rivalry so compelling and just made Malekith come off like discount Loki.
    -- The Leader used to be the Arch Nemesis of the Hulk, these days Hulk's archnemesis seems to be Ross, Ross wannabes, Humanity, Planet Earth, the Kabbalah Tree of Life, the One Below, Bruce Banner, one of Hulk's alternate personalities and so on.
    I think Ross wannabe's is more accurate since he hasn't fought Ross since their last tussle at the end of Duggan's run.

    Leader he at least fought in that Weapon H mini.
    -- Sabretooth was never Wolverine's archnemesis for realsies because editors felt the character was too small potatoes to be a match to a character of a size like Wolverine's.
    I don't think that means they're not Archenemies. I mean, anyone who thinks of Wolverine or Sabertooth knows their Archenemy is each other.
    -- Mandarin yeah...he doesn't work as Tony Stark's archnemesis anymore.
    It's not like Tony really has anyone else to fill the spot at the moment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Digifiend View Post
    Spider-Man.

    I'd say Green Goblin is no longer the arch-enemy of Spider-Man. Not only did Norman get big enough to become an Avengers villain in Dark Reign, Doctor Octopus managed to pull off something Norman never could, stealing Peter's life!
    You have a better argument with venom no longer being a Spider-Man nemesis then Osborn.

  12. #12
    The Professional Marvell2100's Avatar
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    Annihilus - Fantastic Four.

  13. #13
    Incredible Member Riv86672's Avatar
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    Skull and Cap are still Archenemies. HydraCap had the potential to usurp but there's the possibility he might end up another body for Skull.
    Oh, okay, thank you!

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member Raye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I'm pretty sure Sabertooth still hates Wolverines guts with a passion. I think they did a mini about him leading a kill squad to take him out when they got a whiff he might be alive again.

    Loki hasn't really been Thor's Archenemy in a long time but nobody's really taken his spot either.
    As mentioned above, I think Malekith and to an extent Gorr (he can't really be used recurringly tho) were set up as his replacements, I know Malekith got killed, but like Loki hasn't been killed and/or imprisoned tons of times, he'll escape, that's part of the deal. And if not, there is still time to address who takes his spot, with the whole roles deal that was set up, it seems like something that will have to be sort of officially filled at some point, even it hasn't been revealed yet. Cates did set up Sif as Heimdall's replacement in terms of role, so he seems to be continuing that aspect. (tho yeah, that's one that kinda needed to be filled for like, practical reasons) but i mean it's been 10 years, and it's worked out alright without him as the big bad. I'm not sure it's something that really NEEDS to be filled, in terms of just comics recently. I think the idea of a personal recurring nemesis that they fight more often than not has just kind of fallen out of fashion somewhat. There are some recurring villains still, sure, but it's somethig you see less of, and with Thor, he corner of the universe he occupies has the potential to be so large, because of all the relams, and he can go cosmic or whatever, that he's very easy to come up with new baddies for.

    I think everyone i could think of has been covered pretty much, there are some that haven't really changed in such a way that they can't be a bad guy for a hero, but they just aren't used a lot, like Mordo for Strange just isn't used a lot these days, but he does still come up on occasion.

    Red Skull, i mean he died, which means he's not being used, sure. But he died while fighting Cap (well, Stevil technically, but still) while in the middle of an elaborate plot to take control of Cap, so i dunno if that counts for him not being his nemesis, since i think it's clear that if he got resurrected, which seems like it may be happening, they'd be right back to fighting.
    Last edited by Raye; 12-07-2019 at 01:20 PM.

  15. #15
    Kinky Lil' Canine Snoop Dogg's Avatar
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    Ross was always Bruce and the Hulks' archenemy. Leader or Abomination or whatnot aren't personal enough. Not like it matters, since modern Hulk writers are generally not interested in firing those guns anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by Franklin Richards
    Fragile creatures, we are taught to fear the Reaper!
    Ever running, we are dead before we meet Her!
    Quote Originally Posted by Valeria Richards
    Fearless creatures, we all learn to fight the Reaper!
    Can't defeat Her, so instead I'll have to be Her!

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