One of the most iconic rivalries at Marvel is Spider-Man and Green Goblin. The two have been battling for years. Green Goblin has done some despicable things to the Wall-Crawler. Green Goblin killed Spider-Man’s first love Gwen Stacy, masterminded the Clone Saga, and kidnapped Peter’s Aunt May more times than can be easily counted.
As great as the rivalry between Spider-Man and Green Goblin is, there are others out there, both at Marvel and DC, that are even fiercer. These iconic match-ups have created rivalries which have lasted the test of time, creating stories that have enthralled readers for decades.
8 Humanity Is The X-Men’s Greatest Enemy
The X-Men are one of Marvel’s big three teams and the most popular among comic readers. The team exists to fight for the survival of mutantkind, first and foremost, while also protecting humanity from mutants out to prove mutant supremacy. That’s rather altruistic compared to what humanity does. More often than not, humanity tries to destroy the X-Men at every single turn.
The X-Men have saved the entire world many times over, and what does the world do for them? Build Sentinels. Mutants have established their own nation and have grown beneficial drugs for humanity. Humanity’s response: create the Orchis Initiative, made up of the top scientists and spies from every secret organization on the planet. Humanity is the X-Men’s most dangerous enemy.
7 Hal Jordan And Sinestro’s Relationship Is Complicated And Contentious
Hal Jordan is widely considered the greatest Green Lantern, having survived amazing adventures over the years. However, before he was the star of the Corps, his trainer Sinestro was the one everyone praised. The two partners hit it off, becoming very good friends until Jordan learned the truth about why Sinestro’s sector was the safest in the universe: he ruled it with an iron fist. The result was a falling out that made the men arch-enemies.
The Hal Jordan and Sinestro would clash many times over the years, but there was always a respect between them. Eventually, Sinestro would mend his ways and the two worked together for a time, but it was not to last. The ups and downs of their relationship, the hatred and respect, have made their rivalry one of the most iconic in the DC Universe.
6 Captain America And Red Skull Have A Long Running Rivalry
Steve Rogers is one of the most accomplished heroes in the Marvel Universe. He’s the quintessential hero, the de facto leader of the superhero community, the greatest inspiration. Steve has been fighting the good fight since World War II, and that’s where his greatest rivalry began. The super soldier project that created Captain America was put into motion to combat the Red Skull; the two have served as perfect diametric opposites ever since.
That’s what makes Captain America and the Red Skull perfect adversaries. Cap represents everything good about freedom and democracy. Red Skull symbolizes the monstrous side of the human condition, becoming the face of racism and fascism. They are stuck in a death spiral, a never ending battle between equality and hatred. They will never stop battling because they can never stop. Their war is a metaphor for the real world as much as it is an iconic comic rivalry.
5 Reverse Flash Has Gone To Amazing Lengths To Torment Barry Allen
Barry Allen made the Flash a big deal again when he took up the mantle. His legend extended into the far future, inspiring a man named Eobard Thawne. Unfortunately, Thawne’s idolization of the Flash became a terrible jealousy. Thawne went to great lengths to gain super speed powers and embarked on a cross time trip to attempt to destroy his former idol, tailoring the timeline to his exact specifications in order to make Barry as miserable as possible.
Eobard Thawne killed Barry’s mom – framing Barry’s father for the murder – then attacked Barry once he’d become the Flash. The two have been battling it out ever since, a bitter hatred building between them like few others. Reverse Flash will do anything to destroy Barry Allen, his hatred echoing throughout time.
4 Doctor Doom Has Hated Reed Richards Since College
Doctor Doom and Reed Richards are two of the most intelligent men on Earth. In a perfect world, they would form a partnership that could solve every problem, but it was not to be. Doom has one of the biggest egos on Earth and blamed Richards for the failure of a machine that would have helped him free his mother’s soul – even though Reed tried to help him. Injured in the destruction of the machine, Doom left school and returned to his homeland of Latveria after a brief stop to get armor made by a group of monks.
Ever since then, Doctor Doom has done everything he can to destroy Reed Richards and prove once and for all that he is superior to Richards. The lengths Doom has gone to in order to destroy Reed Richards are legendary, and their rivalry is one of the most intense in the Marvel Universe.
3 Wolverine And Sabretooth’s Hatred Goes Back Decades
Wolverine has made a name for himself as the most dangerous mutant on Earth, but that’s a title he’s always had competition for. His chief rival, both for said title and in general, is Sabretooth. The two have known each other for decades, sometimes working together but mostly clawing at each other’s throats. They have fought some of the most brutal battles imaginable, their healing factor and feral mutations making every confrontation a bloody affair.
Wolverine and Sabretooth have killed each other more times than they can count, but their healing factor always bringing them back before death can fully set in. Sabretooth has made it his mission to make Wolverine’s life as miserable as possible and Wolverine will do whatever it takes to destroy his enemy.
2 Batman And The Joker Are Two Sides Of The Same Coin
Batman faces down some of the most dangerous foes imaginable and the Joker makes all of them look like high school bullies. The villains of Gotham all have different motivations, but the Joker’s only motivation is chaos and inflicting as much pain and death as possible — including finding ways to hurt Batman. Joker and Batman are two sides of the same coin, and they are destined to fight each other til death.
Batman will do anything to protect the people of Gotham, and he knows the Joker is the city’s greatest threat. Their battle has gotten intensely personal, with Joker killing Jason Todd and gravely injuring Barbara Gordon. Batman has a hatred of the Joker that burns like the sun; Joker loves Batman in a twisted way, but that’s never stopped him from trying to kill Batman.
1 Superman And Lex Luthor Are The Quintessential Rivalry
If Superman is altruism personified then Lex Luthor is greed in human form. Superman understands Lex’s motivations but Lex can never understand Superman. They are perfect opposites. Superman is a physical powerhouse like no other, but Lex is a creature of the mind. Superman’s job as Clark Kent is to expose the truth and Lex Luthor is the master of secrets. Superman does what he does because it’s the right thing, but all that Lex does is to earn the praise and esteem of the world.
Superman and Lex Luthor make perfect rivals. To Lex, the whole thing is intensely personal, a death march that will only end when Superman is destroyed, and he is triumphant. On the other hand, Superman wants Lex to stop and help the world, just like he does. Even there, their perfect rivalry is illustrated, and it’s why they are the best hero-villain pair in comics.
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