Top 10 Comic Book Character Rivalries

Comic book characters don't get along, especially when dealing with their mortal enemies fighting for the opposite side or for evil. Not to be confused with squabbles between those of one faction, we're singling out the comic struggles between good and evil. From Wolverine and his brother Sabretooth, to Captain America versus the Red Skull and even Spider-man versus the Green Goblin. Join as we count down our picks for the top 10 hero-archenemy combos.

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Written by Max Lett:

Top 10 Comic Book Character Rivalries

Unsheathe those claws and watch out for death rays. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 hero-archenemy combos.

#10: Wolverine vs. Sabretooth

It’s brute strength versus brute strength in this super-powered showdown. While neither Wolverine nor his arch nemesis are known for their ability to think through situations, they share a primal, overpowering urge to rip things to shreds. Because they also both boast enhanced healing ability, their battles often make for hours of fine spectacle. Though many agree that Sabretooth is faster and stronger, Wolverine has a skeleton of adamantium to back him up.

#9: Green Lantern vs. Sinestro

Who wins in a battle between fear and courage? It comes down to who’s fighting. On one side Sinestro, wielding the awesome power of terror, and on the other Hal Jordan with the combined might of the Green Lantern corps at his fingers. Though courage will always overcome fear, Sinestro was once a Green Lantern himself and therefore knows all the tricks.

#8: Iron Man vs. Mandarin

Technology battles mysticism in this epic face-off. Although both Tony Stark and his fiendish foe are genius-level thinkers adept in both science and technology, the latter has a distinct advantage with knowledge of alien technology and the mystical arts. In original appearances, the Mandarin was capable of destroying Iron Man’s suit with his bare hands; but this has been ret-conned to give both opponents an equal footing.

#7: Captain America vs. Red Skull

Good ol’ American values clash with Fascist totalitarianism when these two meet on the battlefield. Initially a Nazi no-goodnik, the Red Skull became head of an analogous comic-book group called HYDRA and attempted (over and over) to take over the world. Luckily, Cap is always there to save the day with his superhuman abilities, indestructible shield and a winning can-do attitude.

#6: Thor vs. Loki

It’s the trickster God vs. The God of Thunder in this battle for Earth and Asgard. Brains don’t always overcome brawn when the stakes are so high. Thor may look like a roided-out muscle-freak with a big hammer, but he has the well-being and protection of all innocent peoples at heart. And, while his adopted bro is clearly more of a thinker than a fighter, Loki’s evil schemes tend to be overcomplicated and easily foiled.

#5: Fantastic Four vs. Doctor Doom

When this fantastic family foursome does battle with their avidly evil arch nemesis, worlds collide. Reed Richards and his brood have been enhanced by cosmic rays, but their world-saving activities often put them at odds with the aptly named Victor Von Doom, a technological genius and practitioner of mystical arts. Reed and Victor are constantly vying to prove which one is smartest.

#4: Spider-Man vs. Green Goblin

Where Peter Parker is actively trying to make a difference and save lives, Normand Osborn, aka the Green Goblin, is just out to cause havoc and do evil. There aren’t any humanizing motivations here: Gobby is just a nutty bad guy and Spider-Man is just trying to stop him. Things kind of get out of hand though when, on one of his daily rampages, Goblin effectively murders Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker’s girlfriend at the time.

#3: Professor X vs. Magneto

The most mortal enemies are often friends at first. They share similar values and even fight for the same thing. What makes Magneto and Professor X interesting is that they are two sides of the same coin and want the same thing for their species. Their difference lies in how they attempt to bring about this betterment.

#2: Superman vs. Lex Luthor

This is another brain versus brawn match with an interesting twist: Luthor is only human whereas Superman has all of the powers. Luckily for cue ball, Supes doesn’t usually go out of his way to kill his villains and Luthor is too rich to stay behind bars. Their conflicts often boil down to the big blue Boy Scout asking Luthor politely to stop doing whatever he’s doing.

Before we unmask our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Spider-Man vs. Venom
- Wonder Woman vs. Ares
- Daredevil vs. Kingpin
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles vs. Shredder
- Betty vs. Veronica [Archie Comics]

#1: Batman vs. Joker

Representing a duality that has existed since the birth of man, Batman and his nemesis forever re-enact the battle between Good and Evil. While one refuses to kill the other, both are fighting for opposite ideologies. They are perhaps the most famous example of chaos versus order in pop culture today and will continue to be so for a long time.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite Archenemy Combo? For more epic Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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