I’m tired and struggling to put thoughts together about what I want to talk about. I asked the discord server & they… Tried their best, bless their hearts.
My favorite comic book villains was suggested. I haven’t really considered that since ranking things in that way isn’t something I generally concern myself with. I was struck by this thought though: Bataman is a more popular hero because he has better enemies than Superman or whoever. The Joker is such a perfect counter to Batman that it makes his stories more compelling while Superman struggles to resonate. That’s true, on some level for all the other heroes in the DC universe even thought they do have good foils in some cases, but they rarely play off of each other in the same way Batman & the Joker do. Lex Luthor is always at a disadvantage when it comes to Superman, which I feel imbalances their relationship whereas Batman & Joker are at least both, essentially, regular humans. All of that said, when written well the feud between Superman and Luthor is exquisite. The best version off all of this has always been in the DCAU in my mind. Lex Luthor wants power and he could have it without worrying about Superman if he chose too. The Joker wants to break Batman in some kind of primal obsession. To show him that the struggle is ultimately pointless & everything is a joke. He’s practically a supernatural force sent to plague Batman. A literal nemesis. Some agent sent to punish Batman for his hubris.
I would say that the nearest Marvel equivalent might be Professor X & Magneto even though they aren’t always enemies. The complexity of their relationship is similar in some ways even though it’s not as black and white as Joker & Batman. It’s harder to pick out the nemesis of some heroes in both universes. Like Wolverine was often pitted against Sabertooth, but my mind doesn’t jump instantly to him as his nemesis. With Spiderman it’s harder to pin down because he always seems to get ganged up on by people who hate him. Doc Oc, Vulture, Electro, Rhino, Green Goblin, Venom… If I had to choose I would say that Norman Osborne is Spiderman’s true nemesis although I think the case could be made that it’s actually Doc Oc. Of course these are all based on the version of these characters from the 80s and 90s, which is basically where my knowledge ends. DC comics tend to skew towards heroes having a clear nemesis more than Marvel.