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Evil Counterpart

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"Our methods have not differed as much as you pretend. I am but a shadowy reflection of you. It would take only a nudge to make you like me. To push you out of the light."
Rene Belloq, Raiders of the Lost Ark

A character who has similarities to a good or not as evil character, but is evil(er). They may look like that character and have/had abilities and obstacles similar to them. Sometimes, but not always, a Big Bad. Classically, an Embodiment of Vice pitched against a correlating Embodiment of Virtue.

Frequently, the Evil Counterpart is the character equivalent of For Want of a Nail: they represent what our hero could have become as a result of a very small change in their backstory. They also save creators the trouble of thinking up new abilities to give their villains, especially for comic book heroes and video games (where new abilities have to be implemented). Because The Hero and the Evil Counterpart are such great foils for each other, the counterpart has an excellent chance of being the hero's Arch-Enemy or a Classic Villain, although this is not always the case.


Often leads to a Not So Different moment.

In the Magical Girl genre, they’re often a Dark Magical Girl. Contrast with the Worthy Opponent. Applied to an entire team, they are The Psycho Rangers. Applied to an entire race, they are an Evil Counterpart Race. This trope is not to be confused with the Shadow Archetype, but the two can overlap.

Sister Trope to Evil Twin (evil biological twin), Evil Knockoff (intentionally created evil duplicate), and Criminal Doppelgänger (evil Identical Stranger). In continuing works, has a chance of becoming Reformed, but Not Tamed.

If the first character to be introduced is the evil one, the good one would be his Good Counterpart.



Alternative Title(s): Good Counterpart


Example of: