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The Rival / Comic Books

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  • DCU:
    • One of the hallmarks of Superman/Batman comic book series is that the titular characters are ideological rivals and the reader is treated to their differing opinions of the same event. For example, where Superman sees the discovery of Kara as a love story (finding a long lost family member) Batman believes finding another Kryptonian is a detective story (is she really the noble person she is claiming to be, or is she hiding something?). While both have very different opinions, they generally respect each others beliefs due to their superficially different, but surprisingly similar origins.
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    • Captain Marvel is generally portrayed as this when fighting Superman.
    • Supergirl has got several rivals during her career. Pre-Crisis Supergirl worked for a while as a junior photographer for San Francisco station KSF-TV. Back then Nasthalthia 'Nasty' Luthor was her rival. In Demon Spawn Linda is willing to admit out loud that 'Nasty' is a better photographer, but the other woman belittles her anyway as selling herself so their boss fires Linda.
    • Batman:
      • Jason Todd sees entire Batman Family as his Rivals. Most his plots are primarily based off of his desire to prove he's better. He constantly says that his aim to be a better Batman than Bruce Wayne ever was.
      • As Robin, he was rather competitive with his predecessor, Dick Grayson. Though it was more of a one-sided rivarly, since Dick feels/felt friendlier towards Jason.
      • Damian Wayne outright declares Tim Drake is his rival for Batman's approval. Tim (while less hammy about it) feels the same way towards Damian.
      • Back to Jason, he outright declares to Dick (who is now Batman) that he is the competition.
      • The New 52 seems to make it an Informed Attribute seeing as Jason acts less hostile and competitive to the Family. Though in a flashback (with him as Robin) he does say to Nightwing that life is a competition.
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    • Artemis started out as Wonder Woman's rival and even acted as her Anti-Hero Substitute for a time following the events of The Contest, but their relationship gradually changed to become a one of friendship and loyalty.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • The Thing is generally portrayed as this when fighting Hulk.
    • Wolverine is also seen as Hulk's rival. That's probably because Wolverine debuted in Hulk's book.
    • Namor the Sub-Mariner and the Hulk were both mainly used as obstacles for heroes in early comics, which may be why writers decided to pit them against each other. Hulk hates Namor's rudeness and arrogance and Namor hates Hulk's childish behavior and stupidity. The rivalry remained even when they were on the same team. Admittedly thanks to their time on the Defenders they act more like squabbling siblings as opposed to actually trying to kill each other.
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    • The relationship between She-Hulk and Red She-Hulk has progressed into this.
    • Spider-Man and the Human Torch have had a friendly rivalry for a long time, pretty much their entire careers, in fact.
    • Speaking of Spider-Man, a more dangerous example would be Spidey and Venom. Even after Venom has "reformed" they're still fierce rivals.
    • At work, Peter in the past had Ned Leeds that was also a rival for Betty's love.
    • Chili is this to Millie the Model.
  • Chassis: Chassis' two main rivals on the Aero-Run circuit are Covergirl and Sabotage. Both are extremely ruthless and willing to whatever it takes to win, regardless of the risk to themselves or others. In Sabotage's case, this extends to outright cheating.
  • Cubitus: Cubitus and Sénéchal.
  • De Kiekeboes: Marcel Kiekeboe and Leon Van Der Neffe often try to get even or the better of each other.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe:
    • Donald Duck and Gladstone Gander often try to catch the interest of Daisy Duck. Donald himself also has rivalry going on with Neighbour Jones.
    • Scrooge McDuck's main financial rival is Flintheart Glimgold, second-richest duck in the world.
  • The titular band and The Misfits become rivals in Jem and the Holograms after the former outstages the latter. They're in two different genres of music (pop vs metal) but they often butt heads. Two members of the band are dating but it doesn't stop them from getting angry at the others bandmates.
  • The eponymous Katy Keene had Gloria and Lucki.
  • Léonard le Génie: Léonard and the Great Albert are rival professors/inventors.
  • Book 3 of Les Légendaires introduce a group of hero named the Fabulous (consisting in asian-like swordman Michi-Gan, Comanshawas warrior Shaki and Michi-Gan's foster daughter Toopie) who started out as this to the Legendaries. Notably, while the Fabulous displayed the typical jerkass rival attitude toward the Legendaries at the beginning, it was arguably justified: not only were the Legendaries at this point still blamed by everyone for the Jovenia Incident, but the Fabulous also reproached the Legendaries to have disbanded for two years in reaction to the blame, thus not being there when Alysia needed them (Danael later admits they were right on this point). On the other hand, the Fabulous placing themselves as replacement to the Legendaries while calling them outdated and constantly criticizing them didn't really made them easy to sympathise with at first. After the two teams were forced to collaborate, they eventually developped mutual respect, and are in good relationship in the following books.
  • Ashley Swift is The Rival to Jennifer Mays in The Maze Agency. Jen's success is all the more galling for Ashley as Jen used to work for her.
  • Nero: Madam Nero and Madam Pheip.
  • Hamfistedly lampshaded by Rival-san Lendo of the Rival Ninja Corporation in the manga-inspired American comic book Ninja High School.
  • Piet Pienter en Bert Bibber: Both Bert Bibber and Theo Flitser try to seduce Susan. Bert feels jealous about Theo all the time.
  • Suske en Wiske: Lambik and Jerom sometimes have a rivalry going on.
  • Herminus from Swordquest is a thief who wants the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery that the protagonists are after.
  • Tom Poes: Bommel and the Marquis de Canteclaer have a rivalry going on. They are both rich noblemen, but the Marquis is so snobbish that he always belittles Bommel whenever he can.
  • Urbanus and Jean-Yves de Cartouche.
  • Usagi Yojimbo: Usagi's Sensei Katsuichi has accumulated a few rivals in his life-time, having more than Usagi himself.
    • In his youth Katsuichi clashed with Toshi, the top swordsman of his opposing school. It was fairly one-sided, Toshi was jealous of Katsuichi's success, and both pursued the same woman. Katsuichi himself tried his best to be respectful and accommodating to Toshi up until he killed Katsuichi's lover whereupon they dueled and Katsuichi slew him before leaving to become a hermit.
    • Isao is a Subverted example. Katsuichi and Isao were the top students of the same school and while they were competitive they had a lot of respect for each other and a healthy friendship. Each of them felt that the other had surpassed them in swordsmanship, and Isao was sad to see Katsuichi drop out of the running to see who would take over their dojo. In the present day both are old masters and Katsuichi still keeps a correspondence with his old friend.
    • Nakamura Koji was Katsuichi's most serious rival. Koji started as an arrogant instructor for the series Big Bad, and he faced Katsuichi in a duel. Katsuichi beat him three times and humiliated him, but Koji learned from his mistakes grew humble and trained for a rematch. He started as an Unknown Rival to Katsuichi who'd faced many people like him; up until Koji defeated Usagi himself and used him as a messenger to demand a rematch from Katsuichi. The 17th volume is dedicated to their duel.


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