The key to a successful superhero is the existence of equally challenging supervillains. Let’s dive into some of the best hero-villain rivalries that Marvel has given us.
Imagine being arch enemies with your best friend’s father. Norman Osborn, Harry Osborn’s father, used himself as the test subject for the Goblin formula and thus transformed. His rivalry with Spider-Man became more severe when he killed Peter Parker’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy. There is no villain who knows Spider-Man more intimately than Green Goblin even more so due to his connection to Peter via his son Harry.
There aren’t two characters who dislike each other as much as they do. They have been fighting for over a century now. Sabretooth has never let Wolverine be happy, killing the woman he loved on his birthday. They have the exact same powers and were even created by the same weapon X program. However, one is a cold-blooded sadistic killer with absolutely no morals.
They are undoubtedly the best frenemies to ever exist and have a complicated, intertwined history. These guys share a special bond despite their contrasting personalities. While working towards the same goal their different ideologies and approaches almost always put them on opposing sides. Although their views on human-mutant relationships are widely different, they trust each other and often ask for the other’s help as well.
Their rivalry is one of the oldest ones in the Marvel Universe. With Captain America being the Allies’ last hope and Red Skull fueling the 2nd World War their rivalry is iconic. The American Hero with a staunch moral code has also admitted his hatred for Red Skull although he could never get himself to kill Red Skull with his bare hands. Skull also pretty much caused Cap to be frozen in ice for over seven decades.
The rivalry between Daredevil and Kingpin has an epic history. In Daredevil: Born Again, Kingpin uncovered the identity of Daredevil by offering money in exchange for the information. Fisk went on to systematically destroy Matt Murdock’s life, taking away everything right from his bank accounts to getting him disbarred. Daredevil had to take a job as a diner chef due to this. Kingpin’s life has also been ruined by Daredevil in return. They’re always going toe to toe with each other.
We have already gotten a glimpse of Jameela Jamil’s Titania in She-Hulk: Attorney at law. Titania is one of She-Hulk’s oldest enemies and they have had multiple showdowns where mostly Titania lost. However, she is a determined villain who keeps attacking Walters in order to prove her own worth.
It’s not just the Venom symbiote who hates Spider-Man, Eddie Brock too has a fiery hatred for Peter Parker. Venom was rejected by Spider-Man twice and that made him the hateful aggressive symbiote that he is today. Moreover, Eddie hates Peter Parker as he blames him for all his bad luck and is jealous of him. They both want revenge and are hell-bent on it. In fact, Spider-Man and Venom are forever linked due to their famous rivalry.
Despite the Fantastic Four facing villains from all over the universe, Doctor Victor Von Doom is their greatest villain. Doom’s intense jealousy for Reed Richards and his insatiable hunger for power has always pitted him against the Fantastic Four. Doom has crashed Reed Richard and Sue Storm’s wedding and in return, Johnny Storm crashed his. With the announcement of a new Fantastic Four project in the making, we can’t wait to see MCU’s take on this back-and-forth rivalry.
The Asgardian brothers, Thor and Loki’s rivalry is the best sibling rivalry. In the MCU we have seen them go from hating each other to saving one another’s lives. Loki’s inferiority complex and Thor’s ego created a large rift between them and the gap only widened after Loki found out his true parentage. Adding to that Thor’s story during Ragnarok about Loki disguising himself as a snake and attempting to stab him gives this rivalry a comical tone.
This rivalry isn’t as simple as two people hating each other. These are two organizations with polar opposite morals and ideologies. Except there’s one thing, HYDRA exists and grows through S.H.I.E.L.D. That’s what makes this rivalry even more compelling.