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Rogues Gallery Transplant

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Green Arrow: I can't believe your advice worked. We actually managed to turn Ra's Al-Ghul into an Arrow villain.
Daredevil: Hey, it's like I said. We turned Kingpin from a Spider-Man villain into a Daredevil villain in the seventies and I never looked back.

Also known as The Supervillain Shuffle. The occurrence wherein a villain, originally introduced as an enemy for a specific hero, subtly through time or Continuity Creep, deliberately or unintentionally, becomes more identified with another hero.

While any Shared Universe may depict a hero fighting another's antagonist, usually they remain identified with the original. For instance, Superman may occasionally fight The Joker, but no one would claim the latter is anything but a Batman villain. This trope refers specifically to characters that have reached the narrative point where the villain is now more identified in the popular consciousness as being an adversary to a character he did not originally fight.

There are various reasons why this occurs. Reasons include:

  1. Sometimes, a hero's series gets cancelled, but one of their villains is such a cool character that they get transferred to a different hero, or turned into a general utility villain for the whole universe.
  2. Or, years after the cancellation of a title has left them an obscure character, they get discovered by a new writer for a popular work or adaptation.
  3. Alternatively, a new hero gets created, or an existing hero gets a significant revamp, and something about their personality, powers or theme makes a particular existing villain an obvious foil to them. It's easier to use a pre-existing villain to antagonize them than make one from scratch, and if the bigger-name isn't doing anything with them, might as well put the villain to use somewhere.
  4. This can also be the result of a writer creating or forming a strong attachment to a villain while writing for one character, then moving on to another project and taking all of their toys with them.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The third volume of Maboroshi Panty, a manga illustrated by Go Nagai of Kekko Kamen fame, had Kekko Kamen's nemesis Satan's Toenail serve as the main villain in the third volume.

    Comic Books - DC 
  • Solomon Grundy was originally specifically an enemy of the (Golden Age) Green Lantern. However, due to his appearances in various animated series (particularly Superfriends and Justice League), and the fact that several comic book creators still identify him as a Golden Age villain, Grundy is now more of a standard DC Universe villain, also extending to appearances in Batman: Arkham City and Gotham, the latter being a Canon Character All Along under original identity Butch Gilzean, where he was associated among Batman's rogues gallery.
  • Another Golden Age Green Lantern villain, Vandal Savage, is also now used as a general DC Universe villain, going up against numerous heroes, especially his time as Wally West's Arch-Enemy, and his prominent roles in Justice League, Justice League: Doom, and Young Justice, the latter two for his roles as the Big Bad (both where he lead a Legion of Doom, though in the former he was targeting the Justice League's stolen weak points, while the latter made him a Well-Intentioned Extremist using complex gambits against all the heroes to make Earth the strongest power in the universe).
  • Aquaman has a habit of appropriating water based villains that originally debuted in other titles, such as The Shark and King Shark, shark themed villains who started out menacing Green Lantern and Superboy, respectively.
  • The Shade was originally created as a villain for The Flash, but in the modern age, he's perhaps best known for being a Trickster Mentor for the Jack Knight incarnation of Starman.
  • An in-universe version is how the Mist originally fought the Wesley Dodds incarnation of the Sandman before moving to Opal City and fighting Starman. This fact is used as a plot-point in the 1990s series.
  • Doctor Destiny was originally created as a villain for the Justice League of America, and specifically Green Lantern. However, he is now almost certainly best known today for being the sap who got his hand on the magical ruby created by the King of Dreams, Morpheus, in The Sandman.
  • Jason Woodrue the Floronic Man, created as an adversary of The Atom, is obscure outside of his appearances in Alan Moore's run on Swamp Thing and Neil Gaiman making him integral to the creation of Poison Ivy in a Secret Origins story.
  • A short-term example, but the Trinity maxi-series culminated in the titular trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman having to defeat Krona, who is traditionally a Green Lantern foe.
  • Hank Henshaw, the Cyborg Superman was, unsurprisingly, originally created as a recurring villain in the Superman titles. Later on, he gradually became more of a Green Lantern villain, largely due to his actions in Reign of the Supermen acting as the original provocation for Hal Jordan's temporary Face–Heel Turn, and he eventually joined the Sinestro Corps. He never gave up his hatred of Superman, however, and returned to the Superman book for his final Post-Crisis story in "Reign of Doomsday". The New 52 Cyborg Superman, though, has almost always been used as a Supergirl villain, being Zor-El, until the return of the Henshaw incarnation saw him join Zod's Superman Revenge Squad ... and then make another attack on the GLC.
  • The same thing happened with Mongul II. His father was a Superman villain, and also the one who helped the Cyborg-Superman destroy Coast City. After he was killed for refusing a pact with, and then trying to punch, Neron, his son appeared a few years later as a foe of Superman. Nowadays, he fights Green Lantern and the Green Lantern Corps.
  • Clock King was originally introduced as an adversary of Green Arrow, but is now considered to be a minor member of Batman's Rogues Gallery, due in large part to his appearances in the DC Animated Universe. (And the sixties TV series.) In the New 52 and Arrow, he's a GA villain again.
  • While not a full-on transplant since he's still a regular part of the Flash's Rogues Gallery, Gorilla Grodd has fought Batman a number of times in different media, namely in Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Batman Ninja, sometimes getting lumped in with the rest of his Rogues Gallery. That said, he's become more of a general villain for the entire DC Universe.
  • Lady Shiva was originally the archnemesis of Richard Dragon, but she was later brought over into the Batman mythos, particularly Robin, Batgirl, and Birds of Prey, and has become much more well-known than Richard.
  • Darkseid is a circular example of the trope. He was introduced in Superman's Jimmy Olsen title, en route to becoming the specific villain of the New Gods series. With said title's cancellation, he has become associated with Superman's rogues gallery. This is likely due to how well he serves as a counterpoint to the Man of Steel: a super-powerful alien who comes to Earth to rule mankind, not serve it, and being one of the few foes of a similar weight class. He's also fairly strongly associated with the Legion of Super-Heroes, thanks to the classic storyline "The Great Darkness Saga". He's also a popular villain for Crisis Crossover stories that encompass all of The DCU, such as Legends in 1986, Genesis in 1997, and Final Crisis in 2008.
  • Professor Arnold Hugo (a man who gave himself super-intelligence at the cost of an oversized cranium) debuted as a Batman opponent, but languished in obscurity until he was reused as a Martian Manhunter foe, reappearing several times.
  • Superman's first supervillain was the Ultra-Humanite, but he was retconned to be a Justice Society of America villain after Golden Age Superman was removed from continuity. He also served as the main villain of Power Girl's solo series.
  • Deathstroke the Terminator started out as a Teen Titans rogue, turned towards antiheroism, and then became (after Identity Crisis) a sort of generic DC Universe villain, being as much of a dick to as many superheroes as he could manage. He seems to have a hobby of harassing young heroes. He's never let go of his grudge against the Titans since he never completed his contract against them (a bit of a blow to his merc cred). More specifically, his main archenemy among the team was Nightwing, then the team leader during the time of his introduction during his days as Robin. He even went so far as to harass Damian Wayne, Nightwing's (who was, for a while, Batman) protege. Additionally, he's also become a Batman villain, often tangling with him many times, and is considered an adversary to Batman almost as much as he is to the Titans.
  • Superboy-Prime first appeared as a hero in the Superman team-up series DC Comics Presents. His Face–Heel Turn occurred in the Crisis Crossover Infinite Crisis, which put him up against many heroes of The DCU. He later faced Green Lantern as an ally of the Sinestro Corps. After that, he fought the Legion of Super-Heroes during Final Crisis, becoming a personal adversary to the Teen Titans Impulse and Superboy, whom were resurrected from death by the Legion to stop him. He got to be the Villain Protagonist of his own Evil vs. Evil story during Blackest Night.
  • The Electrocutioner began as a one-shot Batman villain before appearing in The Vigilante where he became the closest thing Vig had to an archenemy. Since the Vigilante's death, he has returned as a sporadic Batman foe, though the third Electrocutioner became a Nightwing rogue and ended his life as more of a Green Arrow foe after taking part in a plot that destroyed part of Star City and killed Roy Harper's daughter Lian.
  • The Queen of Fables started out attacking the entire JLA, but now she is an enemy to both Wonder Woman and Superman.
  • Blaze and Satanus began as demonic Superman villains, but were later revealed to be the half-human offspring of the wizard Shazam. They've since become joint enemies of both the Superman and Marvel Families.
  • Speaking of Shazam foes, Dr. Sivana used to be the Big Red Cheese's Arch-Enemy, but eventually disappeared from Marvel stories to become the DC Universe's standard Mad Scientist, especially considering Lex Luthor is better known nowadays as a megacorp owner with his own research staff. He returns as a Shazam foe in the New 52's Shazam series.
  • Silver Banshee has historically been a Superman foe but in recent years she's been more associated with Supergirl. In the New 52 she even became a (currently non-villainous) supporting cast member in Supergirl's comic.
  • Hector Hammond, a longtime enemy of Green Lantern Hal Jordan, is recast as a Superman villain in the New 52. It wouldn't be until the Rebirth era, which reincorporated more of the pre-Flashpoint continuity, that he would come across Hal Jordan again, where he went from full on villainous to helping Jordan as a morally grey figure.
  • The Prankster, who exclusively fought Superman in the past, has become something like Nightwing's archenemy in the New 52. He bears little resemblance to any previous incarnation of the character, however.
  • When Nightwing moved to Bludhaven at the start of his solo title, the second Blockbuster was imported. A genius turned Dumb Muscle in Batman, Blockbuster had just recently made a deal with Neron to regain his genius while keeping his super strength and was now a Bludhaven crimelord.
  • Major Force was originally Captain Atom's arch-nemesis, but ever since the infamous fridge incident, he's decidedly become a Green Lantern villain for various Green Lanterns.
  • Black Mask zig-zagged this in an almost Genre Savvy way in the early 2000s. Previously a C-list Batman villain, he Took a Level in Badass (and extreme sadism) to become Catwoman's Arch-Enemy. However, he then used that boost to effectively become top villain in Gotham for a time and an A-list member of Batman's Rogues Gallery. (This didn't stop Catwoman from being the one who eventually got to take him out, but that's because Batman has inhibitions about shooting people in the head.)
  • Deadshot started off as a D-list Batman villain, but became much better known as a member of the Suicide Squad. While Deadshot and Batman have often gone against each other since his elevation in status, he's not really considered to be a Batman villain in the same way characters like The Joker, Two-Face, Penguin, and the Riddler are, and more a general Anti-Hero/Anti-Villain. He's also gone toe-to-toe with Green Arrow as well.
  • Doctor Polaris (Neal Emerson) was a villain who went against Green Lantern and Superman. However, his successor Doctor Polaris II (John Nichol) instead became an antagonist to Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) after debuting in a Superman comic.
  • Downplayed by Tobias Whale. Originally created as the Arch-Enemy of Black Lightning, Whale moved to Gotham City and menaced Batman in the years when Black Lightning did not have his own book. Each time that Black Lightning gets his own title, however, Whale returns home to Metropolis to resume their grudge match.
  • Killer Moth was introduced in the Silver Age as an Evil Counterpart to Batman. As the first villain faced by Batgirl, he was sometimes considered specifically one of her rogues. He was introduced to the New 52 as a member of an anti-Green Arrow team, the Longbow Hunters, before drifting back to the Batfamily.
  • The Calculator was introduced as a Justice League of America villain, but later became Oracle's Evil Counterpart in Birds of Prey.
  • Cyborgirl started out as a Wonder Woman villain, but given her name and status as an Evil Counterpart to Cyborg writers love to pit her against him instead.

    Comic Books - Marvel 
  • Wilson Fisk, The Kingpin, was introduced as a Spider-Man villain, and although very much still a part of Spidey's Rogues Gallery , you'd be hard-pressed to say that the character is not best known for being a nemesis of Daredevil, taking the place of the Owl (who is a lot harder to take seriously) among his enemies. Since he is more of a Big Bad for street-level superheroes in general, Kingpin unlike most examples on this list never completely lost his connection with Spider-Man, and across all media still opposes him on a semi-regular basis, but it's just that his beef with Daredevil is far more personal. This transition is so well accepted that Stan Lee himself confessed that in retrospect, the Kingpin is much better suited as a Daredevil villain and that was the case legally when the film license rights to Daredevil were out of Marvel's hands with Kingpin officially part of that property.
    • The majority of Kingpin's appearances in Marvel Comics have been in Daredevil titles. He made a grand total of 19 appearances in Spider-Man titles before the start of Frank Miller's run, and it was only with Daredevil that Fisk became a Breakout Villain. Fisk's later appearances in Spider-Man are often patterned on the characterization that Miller gave him in that story.
    • Referenced (but not used directly) in Spider-Man: The Animated Series; Fisk is the Big Bad for much of the show, but in the episode where Daredevil does appear, it's made very clear that for him, It's Personal, while for Spidey, it's more of your standard hero/villain thing. Greg Weisman says they wanted Kingpin to be part of The Spectacular Spider-Man's Big Bad Ensemble, but couldn't because Sony only had the rights to Spider-Man characters and Marvel officially classifies him as a Daredevil villain now. (They wound up making Tombstone into an Expy of him, and left a few hints that he might be working for somebody else.)
    • On account of the fact that Spider-Man is more of an all-ages character than Daredevil and far more ubiquitous and popular, i.e. it's easier to greenlight a Spider-Man cartoon than a Daredevil one, Kingpin in multiple media still shows up as a regular part of Spider-Man's Rogues Gallery in diverse animated adaptations and video games. His two major live-action appearances have been in Daredevil properties and both of them target a PG-13 to R crowd. He is Spidey's archenemy in the continuity of the PlayStation 4 Spider-Man game and Big Bad of it's prequel novel (although he is just the Warmup Boss in the game proper, his defeat leading to an Evil Power Vacuum that starts the main conflict of the game), he's appeared as a Spider-Man Big Bad in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (where he murders a stunned Peter), and he's part of a Big Bad Ensemble in the Ultimate Spider-Man comics and Spider-Man: The Animated Series, which still acknowledge him as being a more personal foe of Daredevil , though he's mostly seen giving Spider-Man grief. In 616 comics, Kingpin still appears as a regular foe of Spider-Man but hasn't been the Big Bad of a storyline since Back in Black, which involved Spider-Man cutting loose and mocking Kingpin for having no powers and demonstrating how powerful Peter really is, making it hard for later writers to use him in the traditional way before. As such, Kingpin shows up more as The Man Behind the Man and crime broker for other bad guys than a physical threat in his own right. However, perhaps due to his association with the more adult-oriented Daredevil, the Kingpin does not appear in the Ultimate Spider-Man or Marvel's Spider-Man cartoons, being left out in favor of different crime lord rogues that were solely Spider-Man villains, most notably Hammerhead.
    • He ends up as the final Big Bad in The Punisher MAX (along with Bullseye and Elektra), a 'verse which has no superpowers.
  • Other Spidey villains have been known to torment Daredevil from time to time, and vice-versa; the guys practically live next door to each other, so there's a ton of overlap (the Beetle being certainly the most recurring after Kingpin). Inverted with Mysterio who seems to have not so much transferred to Daredevil's gallery as branched out, via a story that saw Mysterio killed off for a time after trying to break Daredevil (copying what happened in [1], only this time it got Daredevil's love interest Karen Page killed), becoming an enemy of both of them. Then he ended up switching Spider-Men. Electro was prominently considered part of both Spider-Man and Daredevil's galleries at the same time during their early years.note  Case in point: The first Amazing Spider-Man annual had various supervillains Spidey had defeated before gang up, as the Sinister Six, in order to have their revenge on him. When Daredevil got an annual, too, we saw Electro forming the Emissaries of Evil consisting of villains who wanted revenge on DD. He later went on to fight a larger variety of heroes before ultimately becoming associated with Spider-Man again, though he is well known for being hired to cause a breakout at the Raft that formed the New Avengers.
  • The various Green Goblins were notable for being solely Spider-Man villains, never antagonizing other New York-based heroes as Doctor Octopus or Electro would. Since Secret Invasion, however, Norman Osborn has been transformed into an over-riding Big Bad of the Marvel Universe, specifically clashing with the New Avengers. After trying to take the Avengers again with another team of Dark Avengers and a H.A.M.M.E.R. made up of HYDRA and A.I.M. personnel, he has gone back to being a Spidey villain. Firmly reestablished at the Grand Finale of Superior Spider-Man.
  • Since his resurrection Kraven the Hunter and his daughter Ana have been seen fighting other superheroes on a daily basis, mostly related to Spider-Man like Venom, Spider-Girl or Scarlet Spider, but Black Panther and Incredible Hulk are also fair game. It helps Kraven seems to now live in the Savage Land, a place commonly visited by various superheroes.
  • In Anya Corazón's time as Spider-Girl, most of her antagonists were minor Spider-Man villains, like the above mentioned Ana Kravinoff, Screwball or Hobgoblin.
  • During Kaine's tenure as the Scarlet Spider, he seems to have inherited the Jackal, the Lobo siblings, Shathra, Kraven and Ana Kravinoff from his 'brother', Spidey (though the Jackal is his creator and therefore a long standing part of his story), the Hand from Daredevil, Belladonna Boudreaux and the Assassins Guild from Gambit, Carnage from Spider-Man/Venom and evil Mega-Corp Roxxon from Iron Man - though currently it seems to be a case of shared custody with Thor. Now, he's (reluctantly) one of the New Warriors and as a result seems to have acquired the High Evolutionary and the Evolutionaries from the X-Men.
  • The Phoenix Force, while going back and forth through the Heel–Face Revolving Door at a rate of knots and often subject to Blue-and-Orange Morality, is usually near inextricably related to the X-Men and their associated books, such as Excalibur - and in the latter case, only because Rachel Summers was on the roster. Recently, however, the entity first became a global threat in Avengers vs. X-Men, then shuffled over to the Thor books under Jason Aaron's pen, making an important appearance in Thor (2014) and the King Thor sections of his Thor run, being revealed to have a complicated relationship with Asgard (having hooked up with both Odin and Thor in the past). While she simultaneously appeared in the Jean Grey book in the run up to Phoenix Resurrection, the culmination of that book had Jean firmly tell the entity to sod off and leave her alone, suggesting that she's out of the X-Men's orbit for the time being.
  • Spidey inherited minor Captain America villain Vermin, J.M. DeMatteis basically pulling a Chris Claremont - though it was a relatively smooth transition, as Spidey first encountered Vermin in a team-up with Cap.
  • Shriek was introduced as an opponent for Cloak & Dagger, but after Maximum Carnage she is more known as a Spider-Man villain and girlfriend of one of his most famous antagonists, Carnage. Speaking of Carnage, Marvel lately seems to be trying to invoke this and move him to fight other characters, like Kaine, Sam Alexander or Deadpool.
  • Fin Fang Foom was originally a general Marvel Universe monster. He became an Iron Man villain to the point that he has appeared in both Iron Man and Iron Man: Armored Adventures cartoon series, was featured in the animated movie, and was considered as a foe for the live-action Iron Man movie... presumably without the purple shorts. He still shows up in a Freeze-Frame Bonus, on a billboard.
  • A minor Iron Man villain named Scarecrow, a former acrobat, never battled him after his first appearance; he bounced around quite a bit, battling the X-Men, Captain America and The Falcon, before becoming an enemy of Ghost Rider for quite a while; nowadays he's just puttering around.
  • Black Knight (Nathan Garrett) was originally an enemy of Ant-Man and The Wasp, but was a founding member of the Masters of Evil, the first supervillain team foes for The Avengers, and then ended up better known as an enemy of Iron Man before being replaced by his heroic nephew. It got to the point where in Iron Man: Armored Adventures, he's depicted exclusively as an Iron Man villain.
  • Mephisto works well as a deliberate example: He was originally introduced in the Silver Surfer series, but has spent stints as an adversary of both The Mighty Thor and Ghost Rider. To the modern reader, though, he's best known for his role in One More Day, a Spider-Man story. Mephisto is best understood as a member of the Rogues Gallery for the wider Marvel Universe, rather than any one hero, which is fitting as he is basically a stand-in for Satan. He has tangled with nearly every single major hero and several villains, and is a lot more personal for many.
  • Rhino was introduced as a Spider-Man foe but has spent a large chunk of his career battling the Hulk due to him being one of the physically strongest Spider-Man villains. At the very least, it's shared custody.
  • Thanos first appeared as an enemy of Iron Man. This is because Thanos's creator, Jim Starlin, was offered to write an issue of Iron Man's comic and created Thanos to be the villain for that issue. When Starlin began writing Captain Marvel he reintroduced Thanos and the rest is history. Thanos is now linked with the Silver Surfer mythos, (Marvel Comics') Captain Marvel, and Adam Warlock. Like Mephisto, he's now pretty much a general enemy of the entire lineup of "Cosmic Marvel" characters, if not the whole Marvelverse. Interestingly enough, the Marvel Cinematic Universe reverses this with Thanos being shown in some later films to have started off already a major threat in space (at least personally to his adoptive daughters Gamora and Nebula), but his onscreen debut is The Avengers (2012), where he masterminds the plot and eventually becomes the main threat of the Avengers, and the Arch-Enemy and Evil Counterpart of Iron Man, ironically the very character he originally faced.
  • Wolverine started out as a foe of the Hulk before becoming primarily associated with the X-Men.
  • Sabretooth was a foe of Iron Fist. Incidentally, Sabretooth was originally intended to be Wolverine's father by creator John Byrne (he was based on Byrne's rejected design for Wolverine sans mask), but ended up getting dumped onto the Iron Fist title when Claremont and Cockrum weren't interested. Years later, Claremont decided to bring Sabretooth into the Wolverine fold, though he has yet to be confirmed as his father, he still is his Arch-Enemy.
  • Lady Deathstrike first appeared as a supporting character in a Daredevil storyline before becoming integral to Wolverine's story.
  • The first Silver Samurai, another character closely associated with Wolverine and the X-Men, also first appeared fighting Daredevil.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man:
    • Omega Red started off as an X-Men foe before focusing squarely on Wolverine. In the Ultimate Marvel universe, Omega Red is primarily a foe of Peter Parker and his successor, Miles Morales. Likewise, Deadpool made his Ultimate debut fighting Spider-Man (though the arc was also a sequel to an Ultimate X-Men arc and featured the team).
    • Killer Shrike likewise underwent this, going from a foe to the Hulk and Iron Man in the classic Marvel Universe, to a foe of Spider-Man in the ultimate Universe.
    • Bolivar Trask is most associated with the X-Men in mainstream Marvel continuity, but in the Ultimate Universe he became integrated into Ultimate Spider-Man's mythos, eventually becoming the Big Bad of the video game adaptation.
    • Likewise, the original Ringer was an enemy of The Defenders, but made his Ultimate debut as a Spidey villain.
  • A temporary case - today, the Sandman is best-known as a Spider-Man villain, and he indeed made his first few appearances in The Amazing Spider-Man, but during the '60s and '70s he mostly pestered the Fantastic Four, either solo or as part of the Frightful Four. In fact, the very first issue of Marvel Team-Up (a 1972 Christmas special) has Spidey claiming he only fought Sandman once, and the FF are the real "Sandman experts".
  • The contract killer Boomerang, who uses deadly gimmick boomerangs as his weapons, originally started out fighting the Hulk, before he moved on to become a semi-regular Spider-Man villain after writers realized that trick boomerangs versus the most powerful creature on Earth was a bit of a mismatch.
    • Boomerang even appears in the Uncanny X-Men Nintendo game by LJN even though he's neither a X-Men enemy nor a mutant.
  • Mister Hyde, a villain based on The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, started out as a Thor villain but would later move on to become a Daredevil regular, although he also took the time to mess with Spider-Man, Captain America, Ghost Rider, and the Hulk, finally settling in to become a regular foe of Cap, DD and the Big Green Machine. These days he seems to have moved to fighting teen heroes, considering his appearances in both Young Avengers and All-New Ghost Rider. He was later revealed as the father of Daisy Johnson, and has been a foe of her as well.
  • Cobra, Mister Hyde's sometime partner, also started out as a Thor villain. He quickly figured out that his 'powers' of being double-jointed and crawling on his belly didn't make him capable of challenging the god of thunder and became a foe of Daredevil and Captain America.
  • In the very early days of the Silver Age Marvel Universe, the Fantastic Four's Human Torch had his own rogues gallery as a solo hero. Two of his mainstays, the Wizard and the Trapster, would later become enemies of the Fantastic Four, with the Wizard becoming an Evil Counterpart to Reed Richards and even forming his own Evil Counterpart team in the Frightful Four, of which the Trapster was a charter member. The Trapster and the Beetle, another long-standing enemy of the Torch, would also become recurring enemies of Spider-Man. It's so pronounced that in both the Ultimate Spider-Man comic and TV show, the Beetle is more or less treated as a straight-up Spidey villain (being a founding member of the Sinister Six there). Though during the days he wore his first costume, he fought Daredevil more often, only to completely abandon him with his upgrade, choosing Iron Man as a secondary nemesis. The Eel also originally debuted as a foe of the Human Torch before becoming a semi-regular Daredevil villain.
  • Current Beetle debuted as a one-time enemy of Captain America, but is now better known for her role in The Superior Foes of Spider-Man. Of course, Spider-Man was The Unseen in that series, and writer Nick Spencer wrote her into a Dating Catwoman scenario with Scott Lang during his later run on Ant-Man, so she probably rates more highly in Scott's Rogues Gallery at this point.
  • Many of the enemies the various members of The Avengers had faced as solo heroes would later become enemies of the team as a whole, with characters like Egghead, an enemy of Ant-Man, a.k.a. Henry Pym; Baron Zemo, (an enemy of Captain America and the founder of the original Masters of Evil); Loki, an enemy of The Mighty Thor (unique in that he also was their Starter Villain); and the Mandarin, the Arch-Enemy of Iron Man, all becoming some of the Avengers' worst enemies. This would also get inverted. The first incarnation of the Masters of Evil featured the Black Knight as a foil for Wasp and Giant Man and Radioactive Man as the foil for Thor. Soon after, both became regular enemies of Iron Man.
  • The Enchantress is normally an enemy of Thor and/or The Avengers (she's been known to tangle with the Scarlet Witch on occasion), but she has branched out - at one point she became the arch-enemy of Dazzler, of all people; recent events have had her teaming up with the new Lady Deathstrike and Typhoid Mary to counter the X-Men (Mary herself is normally an enemy of Daredevil)
  • Mystique first appeared in Ms. Marvel and was originally slated to be her Arch-Enemy. She's pretty much entirely an X-Villain nowadays, and her history with Ms. Marvel (such as killing her boyfriend) has been all but forgotten. She did return to torment Ms. Marvel in Carol's later series.
  • Apocalypse first appeared in X-Factor as the leader of the Alliance of Evil (a role, again, originally intended for the Owl) eventually becoming their Big Bad, getting killed, and, upon resurrection, graduating to become one of the X-Men's most powerful foes and being retconned as Cable's archenemy. The former might not be quite enough to qualify as this trope since the incarnation of X-Factor that had Apocalypse as the Big Bad consisted of the original five X-Men, making the whole thing X-Men in all but name to begin with. Cable, on the other hand, while very much an X-Men related character, especially due to him being the future son of Cyclops, has his own distinct rogues gallery that usually only overlaps with the X-Men during crossover events.
    • Since Jason Aaron took over the Thor title and the beginning of Uncanny Avengers (where he and Thor were manipulated into a confrontation by Kang), he also became a part time enemy of Thor - albeit usually in flashbacks when fighting a pre-Mjolnir Thor, who holds something of a grudge against him for a beating that Apocalypse handed out to him. Since Apocalypse has been worshipped as a god, and is a Physical God in terms of raw power anyway, it's fitting.
  • Deathbird started as a Ms. Marvel villain before becoming a recurring foe of the X-Men in general and Professor X's girlfriend Lilandra (her sister, as it turns out) in particular. Like Mystique above, this is a result of Chris Claremont creating a villain for one book, then moving her to another when the first was canceled.
  • Moonstone started off as a Hulk foe, but became more of a general Avengers villain after joining the Masters of Evil. Then during Dark Reign, she was positioned as Ms. Marvel's Evil Counterpart in Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers.
  • June Covington, aka "Toxic Doxie", started off as one of Norman Osborn's allies from his limited series. She went on to menace the New Avengers as the Dark Avengers' impostor Scarlet Witch, but has since settled on terrorizing Captain Marvel. This is because June was originally created by Kelly Sue Deconnick, who then brought the character over to the Captain Marvel book once she started writing it.
  • Arcade debuted in the pages of Marvel Team-Up, a title that had Spider-Man teaming up with other Marvel heroes, but these days is better known as an X-Men villain. Arcade then moved on to be the villain for young Marvel superheroes, trapping the Avengers Academy kids and the Modern Age Young Allies in Murderworld, and doing the same in Avengers Arena with more teen superheroes. He has since resurfaced in Nick Spencer's Spider-Man as part of the Hunted arc, so it's definitely a case of shared custody.
    Young!Cyclops: Uh, what're you guys doing here?
    Deadpool: Hi-ya, Mini-Cyclops! We got a present for you!
    Spider-Man: We know he's not a mutant, but even though I fought him first he's somehow become part of the whole X-Men deal. Which makes him your deal.
  • The demon Blackheart debuted in Daredevil, though now spends most of his time messing with Ghost Rider, even appearing as the villain in the movie adaptation. He also shows up in X-Men from time to time (amongst others), even at one point serving as the Black King of the Hellfire Club.
  • The Purple Man originated as a Daredevil villain, but has since become the Arch-Enemy of Jessica Jones.
  • Minor-league Iron Man villains Blizzard and Firebrand started out fighting Shellhead, but eventually transitioned to fighting street-level heroes like Spider-Man after Tony Stark's equipment began to completely outclass theirs. And Shellhead's greatest foe, The Mandarin, took time out - primarily in the 60s and 70s - to deal with other characters. The very first Avengers annual had Enchantress and Executioner, Living Laser, the original Power Man and the Swordsman working for him to distract the Avengers from his plan of broadcasting worldwide hate-rays. The late 60s had him clash with the Hulk a few times (one time getting Nick Fury involved, another involving the Sandman, normally a Spider-Man foe), another time he kidnapped a peacemaker who was rescued by Captain America, and still another time saw him encounter the Inhumans in an attempt to gain a Makluan artifact. Since then though, he's been sticking with Iron Man.
  • Moses Magnum started out fighting Spider-Man and The Punisher, but seems to have eventually settled on antagonizing Black Panther. Thematically, Magnum and T'Challa are a perfect fit, and Iron Man: Armored Adventures chose to make Magnum murder T'Chaka instead of Klaw.
  • Klaw is a Black Panther villain, but he's also a fairly prominent enemy of the Fantastic Four (debuting in their comic, where Black Panther also debuted), and has menaced Daredevil a number of times as well. Generally, Klaw can be counted on to anatoginze anyone associated with his original foes, the FF and Black Panther through Revenge by Proxy. He's menaced the Avengers a few times, even if Black Panther isn't in the line up and will go after the next available hero if his original target isn't around. After his first defeat and transformation into living energy, his first act is to travel to New York and get revenge on the FF for helping Black Panther.
  • The Absorbing Man, who was able to mimic and absorb the physical properties of anything he touched, started out as a recurring enemy of The Mighty Thor and remains a charter member of Thor's Rogues Gallery. However, he's also tangled with the Incredible Hulk enough times that it's arguably shared custody.
  • Doctor Doom was created to be the main nemesis of the Fantastic Four. While he still maintains that role to the present day, he has since become one of the overall Big Bads of the Marvel Universe and has fought pretty much every single Marvel hero. Most prevalent are his tussles with Black Panther, which makes sense because Panther was originally introduced as a Fantastic Four ally and a Good Counterpart to Doom in the first place. Doom is also known for his roles in classic Iron Man stories and the graphic novel Triumph & Torment where he meets Doctor Strange. Even other villains are not safe from Doom. He will gladly co-op with the heroes if he feels it serves his interests (of course, once the interests are served...) This is so pronounced that it's even reflected in marketing. For instance, Hasbro's "Titan Hero" action figure line usually references the installment each hero or villain comes from (Iron Man 3, Avengers, Assemble!, Thor: The Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy, etc.), but the packaging for the Doctor Doom figure contains no indication that he belongs to the Fantastic Four franchise. One of the most famous storylines with him as the Big Bad was The Children's Crusade. It involved many named characters such as the Young Avengers, the Avengers, X-Men, and even X-Factor — yet the first family themselves were no shows.
  • M.O.D.O.K. was originally created as a foe for Captain America. However, in his role as leader of AIM, he's increasingly become an antagonist of Iron Man. And then the Incredible Hulk, as he created Red Hulk.
  • Annihilation has the Fantastic Four's long-time foe Annihilus launching a devastating attack on the universe, uniting cosmic heroes like Nova and the Silver Surfer against him. Even through Annihilus returned a few years later to fight the first family again, he is now generally considered a threat to the entire universe.
  • Annihilation Conquest does a similar thing - Avengers villain (created by Ant-Man) Ultron takes control over the Phalanx, a race mostly known for their fights with the X-Men, as well as a few lesser-known villains like the Avengers' enemy Ultra-Adaptoid or the Fantastic Four's foe Blastaar, and then goes against cosmic heroes. Ultron later returned to fighting the Avengers, though.
  • In a similar vein, War of Kings is driven by conflict between the Kree Empire, ruled by The Inhumans, and the Shi'Ar Empire, ruled by X-Men foe Vulcan. Time will show which group Vulcan will stick to antagonizing.
  • The Super-Skrull originated as a Fantastic Four foe (even having the combined abilities of all four members of the team), but quickly became a general cosmic villain (and sometimes Anti-Villain), fighting Kree-based heroes like Mar-Vell and Carol Danvers and showing up in Silver Surfer's book during the 90s. He's also faced off against other Earth heroes like Thor, the Hulk, the Avengers, Doctor Strange, Namor and even Tigra on occasion.
  • This applies to the Skrulls as a whole. They began as enemies of the Fantastic Four, but gradually became a threat to the entire Marvel Universe, which was cemented by Secret Invasion. Ditto for the Kree, the archenemies of the Skrulls.
  • Shuma-Gorath was actually first mentioned in a Robert E. Howard short story, but has been better known for his classic fights against Doctor Strange. He more or less lost his association with the good doctor when he unexpectedly appeared in Marvel Super Heroes, where Strange was absent. Due to the Howard connection, Shuma also menaced Conan the Barbarian in his Marvel series. The Thanos Imperative and a few other appearances helped him get upgraded to universal threat, like Mephisto or Thanos. Similarly, Nightmare started as a Doctor Strange foe, but has since then fought with pretty much everybody.
  • Juggernaut was and still is one of the X-Men's most iconic and recurring adversaries, but quite possibly the most famous comic book story he had even been in was Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut!, where he tangled with Spider-Man. The story was meant to establish Spidey as the ultimate underdog, where the Juggernaut, a character Spidey normally never has to do deal with and far outside his weight class, is causing trouble and Spider-Man is the only one there who can stop him. This battle got a modern sequel in the Grim Hunt arc.
  • Demogorge the God Eater and Amatsu Mikaboshi both debuted as antagonists of The Mighty Thor. To modern readers they are probably known as enemies and occasional allies of The Incredible Hercules.
  • The Punisher has few reoccurring villains due to his deadly nature but one of his few villains, Jigsaw, started off as a Spider-Man villain, although his introductory story did involve Punisher as well. Punisher himself was a Spider-Man villain; however he was more of an antagonistic Anti-Hero and now has his own titles where he scuffles with every street level hero when he's not massacring normal criminals.
  • Jimmy Natale's Vulture started off as a Spider-Man villain before moving over to the Punisher's corner of the Marvel U during Greg Rucka's run. He didn't survive the trip.
  • The crossover event "Acts of Vengeance" best describes this trope. It involves the very idea of a wide array of super-villains facing heroes they had never met (or at least were villains that weren't part of the heroes' regular gallery). Such examples were Alpha Flight fighting Scorpion, Spider-Man (who was granted cosmic powers at the time) fought Goliath, The Brothers Grimm, Titania, Magneto, Graviton, Trapster, Dragon-Man, and the Tri-Sentinel. Daredevil fought Ultron, Thor fought Juggernaut, Mandarin appears in the X-Men issues, and Rusty and Skids of the New Mutants battle the Vulture. Even Magneto went against the Red Skull for very obvious reasons (Magneto (a Holocaust survivor) barely tolerated the Red Skull as a co-conspirator under the impression that he was a modern villain using the Skull's mask and image to frighten people. When he realized the Skull was the actual protege of Hitler and WWII war criminal . . . he buried the Skull in a light-less fallout shelter with a dozen jugs of water and sealed it shut.)
    • Similarly the event Infinity Warps does the same thing, being an homage to Acts of Vengeance. Across the merged universe it takes place in, superheroes find themselves under attack by other people's enemies.
  • Grey Gargoyle was always a Thor foe. However, he's faced Captain America and Falcon a few times and got on Nick Fury's attention when he hired himself out to AIM. He's basically faced most of the major Marvel heroes following Acts of Vengeance: Hulk, She-Hulk, Spider-Man, Iron Man, and the Fantastic Four. It probably helped that he appeared on the cover of an Iron Man comic in the 90s that led to him being cast in Iron Man as one of Mandarin's henchmen.
  • Marv Wolfman originally created Black Cat as an enemy for Spider-Woman; however, Wolfman was transferred to Spider-Man before he could introduce her, and he brought her with him.
  • Thanks to sharing continuity, Marvel's G.I. Joe series had an entire story arc with Megatron as the antagonist.
  • An inversion happened to The Pride - they were always antagonists of the Runaways and it would be pretty hard to introduce them fighting any other superheroes while their entire point was they kept their operations under their radar. That was the case until the creation of Avengers Illuminati who were also working in secret from the entire Marvel superheroic community. So of course there exist comics that revealed the two groups clashed back in the days when the Runaways were still only kids.
  • After Doctor Sun was defeated in The Tomb of Dracula by the joined forces of Dracula and the vampire hunters, he went to antagonize Nova and the Fantastic Four.
  • Dracula himself also qualifies, though he didn't start out as anyone's rogue and happened to fight any superhero who crossed his way like Thor, Silver Surfer or Dr. Strange. With that said, he went on to became a recurring antagonist to Blade (who, ironically, starred in Dracula's own series and became hugely popular afterwards) and regularly clashed with the X-Men-related characters more than with any other hero, such as Storm (leading to one alternate reality where Storm was a vampire), Old Man Logan and Deadpool. It was revealed that even X-Men's Big Bad Apocalypse was Dracula's Arch-Enemy at one point.
  • Mad Scientist Dr. Bong began life as the foe of Howard the Duck, but recently he seems to have largely migrated over to being part of Deadpool's supporting cast. Deadpool has also tangled with Bullseye enough as a Friendly Enemy that it's practically shared custody.
  • The Crime Master and Jack O' Lantern were traditionally Spider-Man villains, but after Agent Venom/Flash Thompson got his own book they made the jump with him and settled down as his archenemies.
  • Black Tarantula debuted as a Spider-Man villain, but most of the modern readers are probably more familiar with him undergoing a Heel–Face Turn and becoming a supporting character for Daredevil, or with his son taking the name and antagonising Spider-Girl in her universe.
  • This is actually part of the Marvel creative process - villains are catalogued by the hero they fight with and if you have to use any, you need to ask the editor overseeing that character at the moment. But if you write a very good story with the villain or use him a lot, he might be moved. For example, when Uncanny Avengers was heavily using the Red Skull, writers had to ask that book's editor for permission to use him, instead of the Captain America editor.
  • Samuel Saxon started out as a Daredevil villain, both under his nickname "Starr" Saxon as well as the second Mister Fear. However, after being killed off in a Daredevil issue and receiving an Emergency Transformation, he's pretty much exclusively been a Captain America villain as the android Machinesmith.
  • While Magneto is primarily known for his complicated relationship with the X-Men, he has tangled with all of Marvel's major heroes as well, particularly the Avengers, Fantastic Four, Thor, and Spider-Man.
  • With Peter Parker becoming head of Parker Industries during the All-New, All-Different Marvel event and Spider-Man dealing with bigger foes, his previous street-level Rogues Gallery is now being handled by Miles Morales, Spider-Woman, and Silk. Both Silk and Miles have dealt with Black Cat, and Spider-Woman has gone up against Hobgoblin.
  • Speaking of Spider-Woman, Morgan Le Fay used to be her arch-nemesis, but now she's a general Marvel Universe villain, mainly tangling with the Avengers. This included an encounter with the Dark Avengers, due to her targeting Doctor Doom for revenge. In the 2014 volume, Spider-Woman mainly fought C-list/D-List villains such as Tiger Shark (a traditional Sub-Mariner villain), the Sandman (a Spider-Man villain), and the Blizzard (traditionally an Iron Man villain).
  • Roxxon Energy, the evil Mega-Corp, are mostly known for pestering Iron Man, but became a recurring problem for Kaine as the Scarlet Spider, and under new CEO Dario Agger (who's also a Minotaur), they've mainly been an enemy to both Thor and Lady Thor. Agger, in turn, has since branched out to the Immortal Hulk.
  • The general public now knows Ronan the Accuser as the villain of the 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy film, but he actually debuted as a Fantastic Four antagonist, and is now in fact not much of a villain at all in the comics (to the point of teaming up with the Guardians in one of his most recent appearances)
  • Following the disbanding of the Fantastic Four after Secret Wars (2015) many of their enemies went on to face other heroes. Terrax went up against the X-Men.
  • Madame Masque for most of her existence was an Iron Man villain, but since the 2010s, she has become the Arch-Enemy of Kate Bishop (purely out of spite because Kate once knocked her out and stole her costume). First Masque antagonized Kate in her solo arc in Matt Fraction's Hawkeye run, then again in Hawkeye: Kate Bishop and again in West Coast Avengers (2018).
  • Alex Wilder, the original leader of the Runaways, was revealed to have been a mole all along during The Good Die Young arc, fanatically loyal to his parents and the Pride's cause, only to be killed shortly after by the Gibborim. When he was resurrected over ten real world years later, he would eventually become a villain in Power Man and Iron Fist.
  • Invoked in Ms. Marvel (2014). One 2018 story has the Shocker, normally a C-list Spider-Man villain, get so tired of getting smacked around by everyone in New York City that he upped and moved to New Jersey and made himself Kamala's new arch-nemesis because dealing with a teenager is much easier than the rest of New York. Kamala, who is already dealing with usual teenager problems and wonky powers, is not amused.
  • During the 70s, there was a giant robot known as Red Ronin, who was designed to battle Godzilla. It did so and later turned into an ally for the giant green lizard. When Marvel lost the rights to Godzilla, Red Ronin ended up being turned into a basic foe for the Marvel Universe as a whole, usually taken over by some random villain to wreck havoc and let the heroes trash.
  • Taskmaster debuted as an Avengers foe, and while still commonly associated as a villain to them, he's also antagonized individual members, particularly Captain America. He's also been a villain to Scott Lang, the latter even thinking of him as his Arch-Enemy (he isn't), and has tangled with Spider-Man a number of times. He's also known for his longtime rivalry with Deadpool. Really, all that matters is if he's getting paid, which naturally leads to him fighting a number of different people.
  • Cloak & Dagger's 2018 run had them menaced by Mr. Negative, traditionally a Spider-Man foe. Thematically, he makes a lot of sense, as the duo represents darkness and light much like Mr. Negative himself. It also helped that they had previous history with him through guest spots in Amazing Spider-Man, including a period of being mind-controlled into working for him, meaning they now have a stronger connection to him than Spidey does. It was also revealed in the Dark Reign: Mr Negative miniseries that Mr Negative got his powers in the same experiment as Ty and Tandy.
  • Many of Marvel's 2019 annuals were themed under the banner Acts of Evil, with no actual story throughline, but a theme of heroes fighting villains they would normally have nothing to do with, such as Ms. Marvel versus the Super-Skrull, the Punisher versus the Brood and She-Hulk versus Bullseye.
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates' run on Captain America has Steve uncover a conspiracy of villains and morally grey characters who fought against Hydra takeover of United States and then used that to get a clean record and install themselves in power structures in America. This makes him fight or try to navigate around Thunderbolt Ross, Kingpin and Selene, who are more commonly associated with Hulk, Daredevil and the X-Men respectively.
  • Rawhide Kid once fought a villain wielding a paralysis gun called the Scorpion. The Scorpion later broke jail, changed his alias to Sting-Ray, and battled another western hero, the Phantom Rider.

    Comic Books - Other 
  • In Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog series, the Dark Legion - a group of villainous Echidnas - was originally created to serve as enemies of Knuckles, acting as the central antagonists of his spin-off. However, after the "Enerjak Reborn" arc in the main series (several years after the Knuckles spin-off was cancelled), the Legion allied with Sonic's Arch-Enemy Dr. Eggman and began serving as his personal army. Therefore, they can be seen as much Sonic and the Freedom Fighters' enemies as Knuckles'.
  • Done intentionally in The Great Fables Crossover in which Snow White and Bigby Wolf deal with Literals, antagonists of Fables spin-off series Jack of Fables, while Jack, who clashed with them all the time until this point, doesn't move a finger to help.
  • Happens in the Disney Mouse and Duck Comics:
    • Emil Eagle originally was made up to give Gyro Gearloose a criminal rival, but he later became a recurring character in Mickey Mouse comics by Paul Murry et al., mostly to explain how people like Idget the Midget and Dangerous Dan McBoo or Pete could have sophisticated plans or super-science equipment; recent Italian stories put him as Super Goof's opponent in a relationship akin to Superman and Lex Luthor.
    • The Beagle Boys and John Rockerduck are usually Scrooge's villains, but they also have to deal with Paperinik (Donald's superhero identity), and the Beagle Boys are also enemies of the Red Bat (Fethry's superhero identity).
    • The Phantom Blot is mainly Mickey's foe, but has scuffled with others from time to time.
    • Ultraheroes has this in spades, with the heroes mostly 'borrowing' their rivals from Paperinik. The main exception is Paperinika (Daisy's super hero alter ego), as she already had it personal with Sapphire.
    • Darkwing Duck features several Duck comics and DuckTales villains such as Phantom Blot, John D. Rockerduck and Magica de Spell.
  • In the past, it was common for Hanna-Barbera TV shows to get Comic Book Adaptations. Many just retold stories straight from the episodes. But one story chose to feature Reducto, an antagonist of one episode of Birdman (and later a recurring character on Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law), fight The Herculoids.
  • Petey the Cat made his debut in Super Diaper Baby 2: The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers, but he is far better known for being in the Dog Man series.
  • Transformers comics had, across several separate continuities, stories in which G.I. Joe villain Serpentor is somehow involved, usually with him transferring his mind to a robot body and becoming a threat to Cybertronians, sometimes even becoming a recurring character.
  • This occurs, in a sense, in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Being a crossover of all (or "all") fiction, its protagonists and antagonists are similarly drawn from all over media and pitted against characters they never encountered in their original source material: the first volume has Fu Manchu and Professor Moriarty set against a team comprised of Mina Murray, Allan Quatermain, Captain Nemo, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, and The Invisible Man, and in the second volume the League is up against the Martian invaders from The War of the Worlds.
  • General Tara was an enemy of The Phantom, but his Legenderry counterpart is the military dictator of Zorro's homeland. Since he only appears as part of a Legion of Doom which both Phantom and Zorro oppose, this doesn't make a huge difference. Dr Moreau is also a member of the Legion, but the heroes do not included a version of Prendick.


    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Kaiju Baragon was originally the enemy of a giant version of Frankenstein's Monster in Frankenstein Conquers the World. However, Baragon eventually became part of Godzilla's Rogues Gallery thanks to video-games, action figures, and the films Destroy All Monsters and Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack!.
  • Both Alien and Predator started as antagonists in their own movies. Today, the two races are more known for fighting each other.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Thanos is usually associated with Captain Marvel and the Silver Surfer, but first appears in the MCU as the mastermind behind the events of The Avengers. He's also considered the archenemy of both Thor and Iron Man, the former case by pursuing the ship carrying the Asgardians (who already had lost their world) to claim the Tesseract (which contained an Infinity Stone), and slaughtering half of them, including Heimdall and Loki, while the latter case revealed him to be Iron Man's Evil Counterpart while Iron Man felt some anger to him over the results of the Battle of New York giving him PTSD, in the comics he normally doesn't fight them, but Iron Man was the first hero he ever faced.
    • Ego the Living Planet, normally a foe of Thor and the Fantastic Four (as well as occasional run-ins with the Silver Surfer and even a skirmish with ROM: Space Knight), is the main villain of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and is Peter/Star-Lord's father.
    • Played with by Spider-Man: Homecoming. While Vulture is a Spider-Man nemesis in the comics, his main beef in the movie is with Tony Stark, with Spidey just being the guy who keeps getting in his way. This is continued in Spider-Man: Far From Home, where Mysterio turns out to be a bitter former Stark Industries employee who got fired for his unstable personality. He still primarily fights Spider-Man, though, as Iron Man previously died in Avengers: Endgame.
    • Ant-Man and the Wasp features both the Ghost and Sonny Burch as villains. Both of them were Iron Man villains in the comics, though the former got an Adaptation Origin Connection to the MCU version of Egghead to justify her inclusion.
    • Taskmaster is the main villain of Black Widow (2020). Though it's true that Taskmaster is treated as a general Marvel villain who antagonizes anyone for a paycheck (including the Avengers, Captain America, Iron Man, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, Deadpool, X-Men...), he's never been a personal antagonist to Black Widow, although SHIELD, who she has worked for at times, does occasionally have run ins with him.
    • The real Mandarin, along with the Ten Rings, are set to appear in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, despite Shang-Chi never having dealt with the Mandarin in the comics and the latter traditionally being Iron Man's Archenemy. The reason for this is twofold: Firstly, Marvel no longer has the rights to Shang-Chi's traditional nemesis, his father Fu Manchu (on whom the Mandarin was arguably based in the first place), meaning a new antagonist was needed for the film. Secondly, Marvel Studios understood that the Mandarin's traditional depiction as an Asian villain antagonizing an American White Male Lead such as Iron Man, while acceptable when they were created back in the 1960s, would not sit well with 21st century audiences. However, having the Mandarin fight Shang-Chi - the MCU's first Asian lead - avoids these Unfortunate Implications. A fake Mandarin was set up as a decoy main villain to Aldrich Killian in Iron Man 3, though his dragon tattoos make him a Composite Character to acknowledge the original connection, but the fact that Iron Man died in Avengers: Endgame probably helps allow the real one to eventually fight Shang-Chi.
  • Viper started off as a Captain America foe and is usually an enemy of Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. as well (to the point that she's now known as Madame Hydra). Despite this, she is one of the antagonists in The Wolverine. Understandable since despite her connections to Captain America and S.H.I.E.L.D., she has appeared in several notable Wolverine storylinesnote .
  • Star Trek Into Darkness: Khan, in a change up from the original chain of events, ends up with Spock as his primary adversary in this film. He lacks the grudge that defined him from being marooned by Kirk in the prime-timeline, and ends up spending more time in an Enemy Mine with Kirk than he does fighting him, since without that glaring flaw of It's Personal with Kirk, he can make wiser decisions around him. Kirk still seems to gain his respect as a Worthy Opponent with a similar care for his crew, but this movie might be called Wrath of Spock once Kirk's Almost Dead.
  • Thulsa Doom originated in a Kull story, and most of the heroic characters in Conan the Barbarian (1982) would probably have been much happier people if he'd stayed there.
  • Akivasha in Kull the Conqueror was originally a minor Conan antagonist that gets promoted to Big Bad here, ironically enough bringing this trope full circle.
  • Birds of Prey (2020) pits Harley Quinn as lead hero against Black Mask and Mr. Zsasz, who are both Gotham villains in the comics, but have rarely had much to do with her. (Both of them usually fight Batman, apart from the periods when Black Mask has been used as Catwoman's Arch-Enemy in her solo title.)

  • Randall Flagg was introduced as the enemy of Mother Abigail in Stephen King's The Stand, amassing an army on Earth to attack and destroy her more peaceful followers. However, Flagg is far more well-known as the nemesis of Roland Deschain, the dimension-hopping hero of King's epic fantasy saga, The Dark Tower, and acts as the main villain of that series, even though there's an even greater evil behind him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Batman had the Green Arrow foe Clock King acting as a member of Batman's rogues gallery. Similarly, minor Superman villain Puzzler was once used instead of The Riddler for a two part episode, due to a contract dispute with Frank Gorshin. The Archer also originated as a minor Superman villain in the comics before appearing on this show as a Batman villain.
  • Darla was introduced in Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a Dark Action Girl; she's killed off in the seventh episode, which also reveals that she's Angel's sire and ex-lover. When he got a spin-off series, Darla was brought Back from the Dead for a longer-lasting and more emotionally potent role.y
  • On Doctor Who, the Slitheen family started out as briefly recurring antagonists of the Ninth Doctor, then disappeared from the main series and started showing up frequently on The Sarah Jane Adventures.
  • The Cardassians began as villains of the week on Star Trek: The Next Generation but ended up with much greater plot significance on Deep Space Nine.
    • To a somewhat lesser extent, the same thing could also be said of the Romulans being more associated with The Next Generation than with TOS.
    • The Borg are a subversion of sorts. After twenty (of which four were two-parters) appearances on Voyager, plus a Borg character joining Voyager's main cast for the last four seasons, one might have expected them to be more associated with that series than with TNG, which only featured them in four episodes (of which two were two-parters) plus First Contact. Despite this, in popular consciousness, the Borg are still considered Picard's nemesis.
  • The Green Arrow adaptation Arrow has Deadshot and Deathstroke as recurring foes. Deadshot is a Batman villain usually associated with the Suicide Squad and Secret Six, while Deathstroke is traditionally an enemy of the Teen Titans. Justified Trope in these cases, as Deathstroke and Green Arrow had a long-standing rivalry in the comics after the events of Identity Crisis, and Deadshot has encountered Green Arrow many times in the comics (the two even becoming sorta-friends in Deadshot's second miniseries that introduced his daughter Zoe). Both have largely became standard DCU villains as it is, so they are, technically, up for grabs (For the former, Deathstroke is upgraded via an Adaptation Origin Connection that allows him to become the Big Bad of season 2 and one of Green Arrow's archenemies, with a Heel–Face Turn later on, while Deadshot becomes more personal with GA's partner John Diggle / Spartan due to him being hired to snipe his brother actually fake his death).
    • Along those same lines, Smallville had Deathstroke show up as a recurring foe despite having little if any connection to the Superman mythos, while Deadshot appeared as part of the Suicide Squad in the last season of the show. Although Smallville is pretty infamous about it. In an inverse of the Batman example from above, Arrow also uses Firefly and Dollmaker (both of whom are Batman villains).
    • Arrow's second season continues the trend, using (among others) Solomon Grundy, Nyssa al Ghul (connected via the League of Assassins), and Brother Blood (via Deathstroke).
    • Season three has introduced Ra's Al-Ghul, justified through his canonical connection to Merlyn (but with plenty of references to Batman).
    • Season four has the main antagonist being the head of HIVE, an organization which was historically enemies of the Teen Titans, and introduces Batman villain Anarky.
    • Season five features the traditional Batman/JLA villain Prometheus, having received a wardrobe change meant to evoke Oliver's original suit from Season One. While Word of God says that he is NOT the same character, the show's Prometheus obviously has the same modus operandi as the original comic book character. The original Prometheus did face Green Arrow in the notorious Justice League: Cry for Justice and was killed by him, but is treated as a major Arch-Enemy and Evil Counterpart here.
    • Milo Armitage, who was initially introduced in Season 2 before being revealed as a member of HIVE, was a foe of Connor Hawke's (in part because he was Sandra Hawke's abusive husband). Here, he's a foe of Oliver.
  • The Flash (2014) has some villain-swapping amongst the various Flashes.
    • The Big Bad of Season 2 is Hunter Zolomon/Zoom, the Arch-Enemy of Wally West in the comics. Since Wally has yet to gain his speed, Zoom spends the series fighting Barry Allen (a twofer, as he had previously kidnapped Jay Garrick and used a time remnant to pose as him, making it look like he was Jay's enemy). He also is shown to be an Evil Counterpart of Barry in the process with the reveal that they too watched their mothers die (the difference being Zoom's father was guilty, unlike Barry's).
    • The Rival, traditionally an enemy of Jay Garrick, fights Barry and Wally as a Starter Villain in Season 3.
    • Savitar singles out Barry as his archfoe, while his comic counterpart was introduced in the Wally West Era. It gets more complicated when its revealed that "Savitar" is really the show's version of The Future Flash, who actually did focus exclusively on Barry in the New 52 comics.
  • Within the Arrowverse, Damien Darhk was initially used as the Big Bad for Season 4 of Arrow. However, he subsequently appeared on Legends of Tomorrow as one of the main antagonists for Seasons 2 and 3, racking up as many episode credits on that show as he did on Arrow, and developing a personal rivalry with Sara Lance that he never quite had with the Green Arrow.
  • Once Upon a Time puts either Rumplestiltskin or the queen from Snow White in everything. Rumple has been Cinderella's fairy godmother, Beauty's Beast, and Captain Hook's crocodile, while Regina has been the Little Mermaid's Sea Witch and the wicked stepmother who abandoned Hansel and Gretel (though not actually their stepmother, she was still responsible for the events.) Then there's the spin-off, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, in which Alice's main antagonist is Jafar.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. makes liberal use of this trope since most of the main characters are Canon Foreigners, and thus have no existing rogues from the comics. You have enemies of Iron Man (Blizzard, (a) Whiplash), Thor (the Absorbing Man, Lorelei), Captain America (the Watchdogs), the Hulk (General Talbot), the Avengers (Graviton) (these two eventually become a Composite Character), and even Nova (Blackout). Special mention goes to Mister Hyde, who as noted above has bounced around between multiple superheroes in the comics but is here made specifically a S.H.I.E.L.D. villain by capitalizing on the development in the comics that his daughter is a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Lash and Eli Morrow could also qualify, respectively being an Inhumans and an All-New Ghost Rider villain transplanted to S.H.I.E.L.D., but then again Inhumans and Ghost Rider himself were used in the show so they fit (special mention to Lash becoming the Superpowered Evil Side to Melinda May's ex Dr. Garner).
    • Agent Carter likewise stars someone who in the comics was merely a supporting character and had no specific enemies of her own. The show's villains were Dr. Faustus and the Secret Empire (renamed the Council of Nine in this show) from Captain America, Madame Masque from Iron Man, and an evil Black Widow, who is technically a Canon Foreigner but draws on the heroic Black Widow's backstory that she wasn't the first such Soviet agent.
    • Daredevil (2015) season 3 features Rosalie Carbone as one of the supporting antagonists. In the comics, she was a Punisher villain who hooked up with Frank Castle (who was using an assumed name). Here, she's not remotely affiliated with the Punisher at all, instead making her debut in the last two episodes of Luke Cage season 2, before taking a prominent role in Daredevil.
    • Jessica Jones (2015) features Kilgrave as its main antagonist. Kilgrave started as a Daredevil villain. It becomes ironic when Jessica meets Claire Temple and she offers to solicit Matt to help out in Jessica's crusade against Kilgrave. She turns down the offer because she doesn't want him enslaved as well, but in the comics, he's able to resist Kilgrave's commands due to his Disability Superpower. Will Simpson, in the comics a Daredevil villain known as Nuke, also appears as an enemy of Jessica's, albeit with a very different background and origin.
    • Iron Fist (2017) features the Hand as main antagonists, who are usually Daredevil foes just like Kilgrave, but the difference is that Matt did actually fight them in season 2 of Daredevil (2015) beforehand. Not only does Danny square off against the Hand in the show, but it turns out the Hand are the sworn enemies of K'un L'un denizens and it's the Iron Fist's duty to oppose them. Similarly, Typhoid Mary appears as an antagonist in the second season of Iron Fist, despite her being more associated as one of Daredevil's rogues. Justified in Typhoid Mary's case: since Matt is presumed dead after the events of The Defenders, Danny's fighting her since she's one of those foes that would normally be one for Matt to fight.
  • In Supergirl (2015), most of the bad guys she fights are actually Superman villains in the comics: Toyman, Livewire, Master Jailer, even Lex Luthor, etc (Silver Banshee, though originally a Superman foe, had already transitioned into mostly a Supergirl rogue - or friend - in the comics a few years before the start of the show.) However, this trope is only directly invoked when she fights Reactron, whom Clark recognizes as one of his more powerful enemies. Ironically, Reactron in the comics is primarily a Supergirl villain. Season two features a crossover with The Flash (2014) where the heroes fight The Music Meister, who was a Batman villain in his debut. The show also makes Manchester Black a personal foe to Martian Manhunter rather than Superman.
    • Crisis on Infinite Earths (2019) features an instance of Weather Witch, a Flash villain from Earth-1, rampaging in National City, an Earth-38 location. However, this is more of a plot point than an actual fight; Barry arrives to deal with her, and her presence purely exists to cause Barry and Kara to realize that there no longer is an Earth-38... or an Earth-1, as the universes have merged as a result of the Crisis.
  • Stargirl (2020):
    • The series sees the teenage Legacy Characters who make up the new Justice Society of America battling the Injustice Society of America, the villains who killed the original JSA. In the comics, most of the original Injustice Society members had either retired or died by the time most of the JSA legacies debuted in Infinity, Inc., and it was their own children who instead did battle with the young heroes. The most notable example is probably Icicle, the series' Big Bad, who, in the comics, died back in Crisis on Infinite Earths, well before Stargirl was even created.
    • In a more specific example, the Gambler is said to have been the arch-nemesis of the original Doctor Mid-Nite. In the comics, the Gambler was actually created as an enemy of Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern.
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and its spin off Xena: Warrior Princess:
    • Ares, the God of War, was occasionally fought by Hercules in its first season, but he became a regular antagonist to Xena. Hercules still fought Ares from time to time, specially after Season 3 where was cast by Kevin Smith, but he is much more important to Xena, not just as an enemy, but also as supporting character.
    • In regards to the original myths, the Minotaur was slain by the hero Theseus, while he is fought by Hercules in the TV-movie The Maze of the Minotaur, where its revealed he is also his half-brother and Theseus is Adapted Out completely.
    • Bacchus first appeared on Xena and was killed off by the end of his episode, but he would appear in subsequent appearances in Young Hercules, a prequel to Legendary Journeys where he fought against Hercules in his early career more than once.
  • Titans (2018)
  • In the Ultra Series, it's not uncommon for popular Monsters of the Week to appear in later series to be pitted against new Ultra heroes. The original Ultraman's most famous foes Zetton, Gomora, Red King, Antlar, Baltan, and Mephilas have all battled at least five (and as many as ten; sometimes more) subsequent Ultramen since their debuts in the original 1966-1967 series.
  • Zone Fighter had two of Godzilla's Rogues Gallery, Gigan and King Ghidorah, appear as Monsters of the Week battling Zone, although Gigan's appearance also saw Godzilla help out a bit.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The main purpose of Black Tiger is to oppose Tiger Mask. From the very beginning of the defictionalization of the feud though, Black Tiger also opposed, and ultimately defeated El Gran Hamada before "first" Tiger Mask avenged him. Even though Tiger Mask would ultimately defeat Black Tiger, Tiger Mask was the one to "lose" his mask when it was bought from New Japan by All Japan. AJPW were uninterested in pitting Tiger Mask II against his traditional nemesis but Black Tiger simply changed targets again, going after The Cobra.
  • Besides the inevitable clash with his contemporary Tiger Mask, Black Tiger II was also known for harassing Jushin Liger and Pegasus Kid.
  • Black Tiger III's demise came not at the hands of a Tiger Mask, but at L.A. Par-K's at a CMLL event.
  • While Black Tiger IV was eventually unmasked by Tiger Mask IV, he did spend time going after NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion Jason Rumble, if only to better position himself in later offenses on Tiger Mask.
  • Two years after Tiger Mask IV unmasked Black Tiger V, Black Tiger V reappeared in Toryumon Mexico to oppose Último Dragón.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition book Elder Evils picks up Kyuss, the Worm That Walks, a well-known villain from Greyhawk, Zargon, a fan-favorite monster from Mystara and Pandorym, villain from Forgotten Realms novel Darkvision, and reinvents them so they can now fit to any D&D setting.

    Video Games 
  • While the Super Robot Wars series does, of necessity, involve various Humongous Mecha fighting enemies from different shows, it can sometimes veer into this territory with especially strong enmities developing between characters of different series, especially in regards to Original Generation characters. The best example would probably be from Super Robot Wars Original Generation 2, where Axel Almer of Super Robot Wars Advance fame becomes the arch nemesis of the Impact series' Kyosuke Nanbu.
  • Seifer of Final Fantasy VIII, known for being Squall's Rival Turned Evil plays The Rival to Roxas, a member of Massive Multiplayer Crossover series Kingdom Hearts' Original Generation, and has nothing to do with Squall.
  • In Super Smash Bros., Wario, Bowser and Ganondorf become a general Big Bad Ensemble of the Nintendo universe, with only the former interacting at all with a character he was initially associated with. Master Hand of the game's Original Generation became a Kirby mini-boss and then teamed up with Crazy Hand to be a boss proper in Kirby & the Amazing Mirror. In this case, it's because both games were made by Hal Laboratory.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • While they still are sometimes enemies of Mario, Shy Guys, who originated in Super Mario Bros. 2, are now a standard enemy of the Yoshi's Island series, while Yoshi didn't even exist yet when Super Mario Bros. 2 came out.
    • In reverse, Kamek, Baby Bowser's caretaker from the Yoshi games, has made frequent appearances in the mainline games and RPG spin-offs to the point of being (adult) Bowser's right-hand man in several games.
    • And there's the fact that Super Mario Bros. 2 was a Dolled-Up Installment of Doki Doki Panic, hence all the enemies in the game, including Shy Guys, Bob-ombs, Birdo, etc were not originally Mario's.
    • King Boo was formally introduced as Luigi's archnemesis in the Luigi's Mansion games, but he still makes appearances in the Mario platformers and sports spin-offs every now and then (although he looks different in those), so he doesn't end up being much different from the other several King Mooks that Mario himself faces in the series.
  • Chaos from Final Fantasy I is actually the Big Bad of the entire Final Fantasy Multiverse as of Dissidia Final Fantasy.
  • In X-Men: The Official Game (the prequel to X-Men: The Last Stand), the HYDRA organization is depicted as being the true creators of Master Mold and the Sentinels, the mutant-hunting Killer Robots from the X-Men books. In the actual comics, HYDRA is traditionally depicted as a threat to Captain America and The Avengers.
  • Merlock, the Big Bad of the DuckTales movie DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, was featured in two video games, both of which starred protagonists other than Scrooge McDuck and his three grandnephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie. His first video game appearance was as a boss in Legends of Illusion, which starred Mickey Mouse. His second appearance in a video game was as the main antagonist and final boss in Donald Duck: Goin' Qu@ckers, where he menaced Donald Duck by kidnapping Daisy.
  • This is one of the plot points in LEGO Dimensions- thanks to Lord Vortech's meddling around with rifts in his own attempt to conquer the multiverse, enemies from various franchises have been taken to different settings. Sauron has landed his tower in the middle of Metropolis, Lord Business is overseeing the invasion of Springfield, and Vortech himself shows up to challenge the heroes in 1885 Hill Valley, and many more.
  • In the Kingdom Hearts series, most of the Disney villains stick to their own worlds and antagonizing their own heroes, even in the first game, the only one to feature a team of villains sharing a single headquarters. Maleficent, however, is promoted to a general antagonist, the only villain from a Disney movie to appear in multiple worlds and have an interest in the series' overarching plot. Not until Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep did we see her in the actual Sleeping Beauty world, clashing with Prince Phillip and the three good fairies, and even then she made it clear that she had bigger ambitions. Hades counts as well, as he's gone up against multiple heroes from the Final Fantasy series, if only because such heroes keep finding themselves in the Hercules world for some reason.
  • The Punisher game from Capcom features the Reavers as enemies. While the Reavers did once clash with the Punisher in the comics, they're otherwise almost exclusively treated as X-Men villains.
  • Soul Series:
    • Nightmare was originally the main antagonist to Kilik, Xianghua and Maxi. In fact, Xianghua used Soul Calibur to defeat him in the end. Afterwards, Nightmare has had little to do with those three and instead became an enemy to Siegfried, Nightmare's former host, after their split for the rest of the series.
    • Cervantes was introduced as the first Big Bad and was defeated by Sophitia and Taki teaming up together. Afterwards, he instead became a villain to his illegitimate daughter Ivy following her introduction.
  • Spider-Man (PS4) features Taskmaster as an enemy and boss fight. Though he has fought Spidey before (most notably Ultimate Spider-Man), Taskmaster debuted in The Avengers and more commonly menaces heroes more heavily associated with that team. Here, while the Avengers do exist, they don't appear in this game, leaving Spider-Man to deal with him.
  • In his first appearance in the Silent Hill franchise, Pyramid Head served as James Sunderland's tormentor. For his stint as a Guest Fighter in Dead by Daylight, he's now going after Heather Mason's head.

    Web Animation 
  • DC Super Hero Girls has a lot of this, largely due to many villains being alignment-swapped in this universe and pulling out more obscure DC villains to act as enemies. For instance, the Double Dare Twins are little-known Nightwing villains, but are often used in a Villain of the Week role, either against Katana or the Wonder Woman/Batgirl/Supergirl team, while he hasn't shown up at all. Dark Opal kind of counts, as while he menaces the DCSHG team, mainly Supergirl, here, his backstory flashback shows that he got there by running away from Amethyst.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Most of the villains on Batman: The Brave and the Bold qualify, Gentleman Ghost in particular. He was a minor enemy of Hawkman, but has had three episodes in a Batman-centric show devoted to him before Hawkman was even mentioned. One episode actually had Batman replacing Hawkman in the Ghost's origin story, which more or less explains the difference. The series tried to do this on purpose. Outside of his own (rarely used) rogues' gallery, it's actually fairly rare for Batman to fight an enemy that regularly opposed the team up partner for that episode. (Featured team-up during Gentleman Ghost's origin story? Etrigan!)
  • DC Animated Universe:
    • Justice League:
      • As mentioned in the comics section, Solomon Grundy does not fight against Green Lantern or Batman, but instead against Superman and Hawkgirl.
      • Unlimited portrayed Devil Ray (the Captain Ersatz of Black Manta) as a foe of Wonder Woman instead of Aquaman. This was due to rights issues with the failed Mercy Reef pilot that kept Aquaman himself from appearing in the last season of JLU.
      • Gentleman Ghost and Shadow Thief spend most of their time fighting Green Lantern instead of Hawkman, although it is due to their Love Triangle involving Hawkgirl.
      • Instead of being a foe of the Justice Society, Roulette appears as a foe of the League, her debut does however involve Wildcat and Black Cansry, members of the JSA in the comics.
    • Batman: The Animated Series used Clock King and Count Vertigo (the latter a former friend of Ra's al Ghul to justify his inclusion), who were originally Green Arrow villains in the comics. Vertigo returned in The Batman but this was in the last season when the show started focusing on assembling the Justice League and the episode he was in Batman shared with Green Arrow as a supporting role.
    • Inverted in an episode of Superman: The Animated Series where Superman briefly takes over vigilante duty in Gotham, posing as Batman. He falls into a trap set by Bane, Mad Hatter and the Riddler, but escapes the trap with brute force, beating Bane into submission with ease, before using his super speed to apprehend the others, to their absolute shock.
    • While Sinestro in the comics fought several Green Lanterns, he was the archenemy of Hal Jordan. In the DCAU, his debut in Superman: The Animated Series saw him fight Kyle Rayner (and be the one to murder Abin Sur, therefore causing Kyle to get the ring) and Static Shock gave John Stewart Hal's role in Sinestro's expulsion from the GLC.
    • In-universe and out with the Royal Flush Gang as they made their DCAU debut in the future-set Batman Beyond and the Gang is explicitly stated to have a history with Batman. However, the very first version of the Gang made their in-universe chronological debut in Justice League, the Gang's traditional enemies.
    • While he's crossed paths with Batman before and was involved in the origins of Poison Ivy, the Floronic Man made his DCAU debut in Batman and Harley Quinn whereas the comic character started out as an enemy of The Atom and is a regular opponent of Swamp Thing (who cameoes in the film).
  • Green Lantern: The Animated Series uses Byth Rok, who is traditionally a foe of Hawkman.
  • Beware the Batman uses Tobias Whale, who is traditionally an enemy of Black Lightning, and Simon Stagg, who is the archenemy of Metamorpho (who, unlike Black Lightning, did appear). Deathstroke also appears, and while he is pretty much a general DC Universe menace these days and has fought Batman quite a bit, having some moments as an Evil Counterpart of Batman (this time around, Alfred mentored him too), the character originated as a Teen Titans villain.
  • Big Bad Pete originally appeared in Walt Disney's Alice Comedies before becoming an enemy of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and eventually Mickey Mouse. In the later years of Disney shorts, Pete mainly menaced Donald, though more as a bullying jerkass than a straight up villain. To modern audiences he's probably best known for his role as Goofy's False Friend on Goof Troop, or his role in the Kingdom Hearts series.
  • They aren't really villains, but Chip 'n Dale originally started out as recurring antagonists for Pluto. Though they still pester Pluto at times, they're far better known nowadays for always bothering Donald Duck, or else being key components of the Rescue Rangers team.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! essentially made the Black Panther villain Klaw into an Ant-Man foe, as Ant-Man is the one who mangles his hand and later comes up with the strategy to defeat him. This left Black Panther without an Arch-Enemy or someone to yell You Killed My Father at, so the writers made Man-Ape into his father's murderer instead. Klaw does still participate from the shadows, but its only because T'Chaka's fight with Man-Ape was really a Trial by Combat fight to the death for the throne, where Klaw's sabotage gave Man-Ape the advantage and victory.
  • The 90's Iron Man animated series had an episode with the Beetle, who as mentioned above is primarily a Spider-Man villain. The fact that he uses a suit of Powered Armor like Iron Man and War Machine allowed him to be depicted as one of Tony's Evil Counterparts.
  • The Mad Thinker and Awesome Android pop up in Iron Man: Armored Adventures as enemies (and classmates) of Tony and his buddies (both with an Age Lift to teenage age, the former also coming with a Gender Flip). In the comics, they're traditionally enemies of the Fantastic Four. And then there's Doctor Doom and Magneto, who both show up in Season 2 (Magneto's appearance, in fairness, also features Professor X and Jean Grey, both of whom were from the X-Men).
  • Taken to the extreme in Ultimate Spider-Man, as part of the show's apparent attempt to be as different as possible to the traditional Spider-Man formula. So far, the show has largely avoided classic Spider-Man antagonists, the only ones showing up after more than twenty episodes being Venom (with Harry Osborn as the host instead of Eddie Brock, though the symbiote later goes to Flash Thompson and turn him into Agent Venom as it does in the comics), Doctor Octopus, Norman Osborn (who doesn't become the Green Goblin until the season finale) and Sandman. The other episodes involve either crossover episodes with other heroes involving villains from the guest-star's rogue gallery (Living Laser for Iron Man, Loki for Thor, Zzzax for Hulk, Mesmero and Sabretooth for Wolverine) or villains from other Rogues Galleries who are treated like they were Spider-Man's regular villains (Doctor Doom, the Frightful Four, Batroc the Leaper, Taskmaster, Whirlwind, the Juggernaut...) As an added twist, some of Spider-Man's foes are now tied to other heroes, such as Kraven being the one who killed White Tiger's father, and the Scorpion being from the same mythical city as Iron Fist. Even though the show did eventually bring in more Spider-Man rogues and storylines, the aforementioned Taskmaster becomes The Heavy in the first half of season 3, where he recruits potential new SHIELD heroes to spring Green Goblin from prison, leading to Goblin's travels across the Spider-Verse, and in season 4, HYDRA and its leader Arnim Zola, both foes of Captain America and SHIELD (the latter being the mentors to Spider-Man and other heroes) begin to back the Sinister Six, and Crossbones, another foe of Cap and SHIELD, is selected by HYDRA to replace Dr. Curt Connors as the Lizard when Spider-Man successfully cures Connors for good.
  • Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. has put the Hulks up against Annihilus, Blastaar, and Ego, the Living Planet, all longtime Fantastic Four headaches, and Doctor Doom above especially. Bonus points for X-Men foe Sauron. However, The Man Behind the Man villain of the series is the Leader, who is a Hulk villain.
  • Avengers, Assemble! uses Impossible Man, another Fantastic Four enemy, as well as Doctor Doom. The Cabal, originally created as the Evil Counterpart of The Illuminati, act as the first main antagonists, founded by Captain America's Arch-Enemy Red Skull and his other enemy MODOK (whom is more acknowledged here by his later encounters with Iron Man), with Dracula, Sub-Mariner rogue Attuma, and Hyperion (a member of the Squadron Supreme, though his overall depiction is closer to the villainous Squadron Sinister version) also added. Later arcs find ways to add Thanos and the Black Order (though Crisis Crossover events do see Thanos face the team in the comics despite being better known for his encounters with cosmic heroes), a new Cabal featuring the Leader, Zola, Enchantress, and Loki, all enemies of Hulk, Captain America, and Thor, though Loki was the Avengers' original Starter Villain, and Madame Masque, whom normally faced Iron Man and Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), was used in a season that was heavily centric to Black Panther, just to name a few.
  • Dick Dastardly and Muttley started out as the enemies of the other racers in Wacky Races but then they gained a new enemy in Yankee Doodle Pidgeon in their own show, Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines. But then the two started antagonizing Yogi Bear and the others starting with Yogi's Treasure Hunt, then it continues in Fender Bender 500, Yo Yogi! and The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera. However due to rights issues they were replaced with Dread Baron and Mumbly and they antagonized Yogi and the others in Laff-A-Lympics and Yogi Bear and the Magical Flight of the Spruce Goose, but the latter made them sound and act more like Dick Dastardly and Muttley so it's obvious on who they're replacing. SCOOB! features Dick Dastardly as the Big Bad, this time to Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Machine gang, Blue Falcon and Dynomutt, and Captain Caveman and Dee Dee Sykes.
  • The Red Guy from Cow and Chicken would also frequently antagonize I Am Weasel as well.
  • While he isn't referred to by his real name, the same voice actor, the mirror mask, blue uniform hidden under trenchcoat and yelling "COBRA!" at the end of the episode made rather obvious the man called Old Snake, one-episode antagonist from The Transformers, is Cobra Commander.
  • DuckTales (1987) had an episode called "All Ducks on Deck", where the villain was the Phantom Blot, who first appeared as an enemy of Mickey Mouse in old Mickey Mouse comics.
  • DuckTales (2017):
    • Don Karnage, one of the primary antagonists from TaleSpin, is a recurring villain that ends up declaring Dewey his Arch-Enemy.
    • F.O.W.L. are mentioned and eventually decide to destroy Scrooge McDuck and his associates, rather than Darkwing Duck (who is one of Scrooge's allies, but one nobody has heard of). They technically first appeared in an episode of the original Duck Tales, but the reboot largely bases them on the more fleshed-out version shown in Darkwing Duck (including their shadowy board of director and Steelbeak). The Phantom Blot, Mickey Mouse's enemy from the Disney comics, is also a member of F.O.W.L.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • On a few occasions when he wasn’t trying and failing to catch the Roadrunner, a suddenly-voiced Wile E. Coyote showed up to antagonize Bugs Bunny in five shorts. That said, the final one, "Hare-Breadth Hurry" plays with this, as Bugs is essentially acting out the Roadrunner's usual role.
    • Similarly Elmer Fudd, originally set up as Bugs' Arch-Enemy, would frequently be placed against Daffy Duck or Sylvester in some shorts. Since the both of them were often as bungling and hubris driven as Elmer, it tended to be less lop sided who would come out on top, or even if Elmer was the actual villain of the two.
  • According to the The Powerpuff Girls episode "Bought and Scold", Quackor the Fowl from Dexter's Laboratory is one of their enemies. On a similar note, Huntor from "Dial M for Monkey" appeared as a bounty hunter in an episode of Samurai Jack called "Episode VIII: Jack vs Mad Jack".
  • Woody Woodpecker's traditional archnemesis Wally Walrus was placed against Chilly Willy in two 1961 cartoons, "Clash and Carry" and "Tricky Trout", 8 years since Wally's last appearance. Wally Walrus also antagonized Andy Panda in the 1946 cartoon "Dog Tax Dodgers".
  • Young Justice:
    • The majority of villains are not associated to any specific hero. Almost all the heroes work for or with the Justice League while most of the villains are part of The Light. Speaking of The Light, the main council is lead by Vandal Savage, whom originally faced Alan Scott but became an overarching villain to the DC universe as a whole, in this case here as a Well-Intentioned Extremist, and has maintained Superman villain Lex Luthor, Justice League International villain Queen Bee, and Etrigan villain Klarion the Witch Boy, whom is also remembered for his role in the Young Justice storyline Sins of Youth. Other members of The Light, most of which were rotated out and replaced by other villains, include Batman villain Ra's Al-Ghul, Aquaman villains Ocean Master and Black Manta, Doom Patrol villain the Brain, Teen Titans and Nightwing villain Deathstroke, original Superman archenemy and later Justice Society villain Ultra-Humanite, New Gods and Mister Miracle villain Granny Goodness, and Batman and the Outsiders villain Bad Samaritan, here an ambassador of Markovia in the United Nations. By the show's present time period, the whole concept of a Rogues Gallery has pretty much vanished.
    • Speaking of Luthor, he never interacts with Superman (though he retains his connection to Superboy in being his source of human DNA, a father of sorts). In fact, overall he comes comes off more as an Arrow Family villain—his first appearance sees him engaged in a Xanatos Gambit against clone!Roy, and he's eventually revealed to be behind the capture of the original Roy Harper and creation of clone!Roy as a Manchurian Agent. After that, he uses his Secretary-General position to attempt to promote the Justice League and the Outsiders as Heroes With Bad Publicity.
    • Queen Bee was originally the main enemy to Justice League International, even acting as an Evil Counterpart to Maxwell Lord before his Face–Heel Turn, but is positioned against Miss Martian and Beast Boy because she murdered Miss Martian's idol and inspiration for her human identity in revenge for impersonating and humiliating her and worming her way out of being blackmailed by her, said idol being Beast Boy's mother and therefore making Queen Bee the reason he is orphaned this time.
    • Klarion here is depicted as a Lord of Chaos on par with Nabu and a Doctor Fate foe, killing the Kent Nelson Doctor Fate in an attempt to get his helmet.
  • In The Incredible Hulk (1982), some episodes pit the Hulk against other heroes' enemies.
    • Spider-Man foe Doctor Octopus is the villain in "Tomb of the Unknown Hulk".
    • "Prisoner of the Monster" features Iron Man adversary Spy Master as the antagonist.
    • "Bruce Banner Unmasked" has the Hulk fight the Puppet Master, whose usual adversaries the Fantastic Four get no acknowledgement aside from his step-daughter Alicia Masters having a bust of the Thing among her statues of Marvel characters.
    • The forces of Hydra are fought in "Enter: She-Hulk", when the organization is ordinarily an enemy of S.H.I.E.L.D. or Captain America.
  • DC Super Hero Girls does the same thing as its Web Animation counterpart, such as making Giganta into an enemy of Bumblebee (as both girls are Sizeshifters, a reference to Super Friends connecting her size shifting powers to Apache Chief) rather than Wonder Woman.
  • Batman Ninja has Gorilla Grodd as being one of Batman's foes, despite having originated as a villain to The Flash. Similarly, Deathstroke also appears and while he tangles with Batman fairly often, he was originally the Arch-Enemy of the Teen Titans (he normally still has plenty of connections to Batman, but only because he is an Evil Counterpart to Batman himself, and Batman's first protege Nightwing, at times the Teen Titans' leader and whom also appears in the film, is the more specific Arch-Enemy he singles out among the team).
  • Marvel's Spider-Man has two examples:
    • The Blizzard used for this series, Randall Macklin, is a one shot enemy of Iron Man, who does not appear in this episode, and his origin involves Harry and Peter's invention, likely in reference to Blizzard sometimes facing Spider-Man.
    • Absorbing Man is normally a foe of the Hulk and Thor, the former having appeared in only the Halloween episode, and the latter hasn't appeared at all.
  • The Spider-Woman episode "Realm of Darkness" had Spider-Woman fight Dormammu, who was traditionally an enemy of Dr. Strange.
  • Doctor Doom was featured as a villain in Spider-Man (1981) and its related series Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, neither of which acknowledged his usual enemies the Fantastic Four. Spider-Man considered him his Arch-Enemy instead of Doctor Octopus or Green Goblin in those series.
  • The Marvel Super Heroes had an episode of the Sub-Mariner segment feature Doctor Doom as its villain. Doom's usual enemies the Fantastic Four couldn't appear because of rights issues (having already been used by Hanna-Barbera for The Fantastic Four (1967)), so they were replaced by the original roster of the X-Men, albeit referred to as the Allies for Peace.
  • Mighty Mouse foe Oil Can Harry originates from the older and black-and-white Fanny Zilch cartoons, where he was a human rather than a cat and an enemy of J. Leffingwell Strongheart.
  • Kim Possible occasionally reveals that one villain or another that the titular character fights used to be traditionally opposed by another group of heroes, Team Go, of which Kim's Arch-Enemy Shego used to be a part of. One of these villains, the Mathter, even completely shifted his vendetta from that team's leader to Kim's sidekick Ron. Naturally for the show this was lampshaded.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: