The Archenemy


(permanent link) added: 2008-04-06 12:49:57 sponsor: Nits (last reply: 2008-04-18 06:16:06)

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I searched with the most obvious words and was very surprised we don't seem to have this one.

An archenemy, archfoe or nemesis is one of the hero's enemies that has a special relationship with him. The Archenemy isn't necessarily the Big Bad, or The Rival, he can even be a Harmless Villain, but he can still be described as the hero's most important enemy. Among a Super Hero's Rogues Gallery, there's always one villain that is special, the fights against whom are more significant than the others, one that shares something with the hero. The feeling can be one-sided, too.

The Archenemy is often a Foil of some sort, probably most commonly an Evil Counterpart, to the hero. Tropes like Antagonist in Mourning, Enemy Mine, The Only One Allowed to Defeat You and Evil Versus Evil are common with The Archenemy.

Examples include:
  • Obviously, any Super Hero has one, such as
    • Lex Luthor is Superman's archenemy,
    • Doctor Doom is the Fantastic Four's archenemy,
    • Magneto is the X-Men's archenemy,
    • and Green Goblin is Spider-Man's archenemy.
  • Mojo Jojo is the archenemy of The Powerpuff Girls. He used to be the girls' father's, Professor Utonium's, pet monkey and was mutated in the same experiment in which the PPG were created. He came to loathe the girls for stealing away the attention of his "father" and is devoted to destroying them and then ruling the world.
  • The obligatory Soreike! Anpanman example (it's me writing, after all): Baikinman is Anpanman's archenemy, bent on defeating him because... he was born to fight Anpanman. They were even born exactly at the same time. Also one of the one-sided affairs, since Anpanman is equally nice to Baikinman as to everybody else, when he isn't trying to hurt someone.
  • In many long-running game franchises:
  • In Don Rosa's Duck comics, the Beagle Boys and more specifically their founder Blackheart Beagle seem to be Scrooge McDuck's archenemies.

...and so on, and so on. It'd be nice is the examples listed some characteristics of the relationship between the characters, at least in my opinion.

The Archenemy is a very clear name, but not inherently a Wiki Word, unless we write it Arch-Enemy. Any other suggestions for the name?
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