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Comic Countdown #53: Yin And Yang

Posted on January 13, 2013 AT 04:56pm

Welcome to the fifty-third Comic Countdown, which marks the first week after hitting a full year’s worth of this weekly column. It’s been quite some time since there has been anything other than the year-end stuff going on with the Countdown, but not that the 2012 has ended and 2013 is well underway, it’s time to get back to the silliness that the Countdown has been known for. This week is going to focus on one of the biggest aspect of comic book culture: the dichotomy between the superhero and supervillain. With so many major superhero comics out there, this is something that has been well-debated for a long time. With only ten to list today, some may be left out, but these ten are some of the biggest and best of the back and forth that a hero and their nemesis have to offer.

#10: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Master Shredder (IDW Publishing)

This is a very old tale that has gone through many different publishers, but the story of the Turtles and their arch-nemesis Master Shredder is one of the great comic book rivalries of all. The four brothers have gone against (and thought to have defeated) Shredder several times, though like most villains, he doesn’t stay down long. Shredder and his Foot clan have been a thorn in the turtles sides for as long as the series has been running, making him one of the best villains of all time, especially when pitted against his rival, the turtles.

#9: Captain America/Red Skull (Marvel Comics)

Very few rivals have the kind of history that Cap and the Skull have. Their rivalry started all the way back during the heyday of the Nazi movement. When Cap finally defeated the Red Skull, the man who stood with Hitler was suspended in animation just like the Captain himself, and when the both of them were removed from their animated state, their battle continued, and it has gone down as one of the biggest battles in history, and one that has spanned the ages, with no signs of hitting a permanent stoppage any time soon.

#8: Spawn/Violator (Image Comics)

Spawn is a strange series full of demons, hellfire and an arch-villain that is actually a killer demon clown. You heard that right. A killer demon clown. The Violator is the demon form of the wicked villain known as the Clown, and he has been trying to get rid of Spawn for as long as the series has been going.  While the two aren’t always at odds, Violator always knows what Spawn is up to, and how to take advantage of him in some way.

#7: Watchmen/Ozymandias (DC Comics)

The Watchmen are a pivotal part of comic book culture for as long as the series has been around This groundbreaking graphic novel has reached far beyond its initial title, hitting comics, movies and many lines of collectibles. Adrian Veidt was a former member of the group, who after some greed-fueled decisions and a rivalry with a member of the Watchmen, became the villain of the series as he became more disconnected with humanity and used his brilliance to destroy the world as a way to save it. This rivalry is a major force in the series, with Ozymandias playing the antagonist, though his motivations aren’t completely villainous.

#6: Thor/Loki (Marvel Comics)

This sibling rivalry has gone far beyond some of the basic fighting that most brothers go through. Being the Asgardian God Of Thunder and the God Of Mischief will eventually bring forth some conflict, and that has had some major repercussions throughout the Nine Realms, especially the Realm of Earth, where Thor Odinson and his allies, The Avengers, have had to take on Loki on several occasions. While Loki never learns, and Thor never gives up on his brother, this sibling rivalry is one for the ages, if not just for its long reach throughout the Marvel comic book universe.

#5: The Fantastic Four/Doctor Doom (Marvel Comics)

Fuel by jealousy and evil, Victor Von Doom has been trying to take out the Fantastic Four, and take over the world, right about the time his face was disfigured. This rivalry has spanned decades, with Doom’s massive intellect clashing with Reed Richards, creating the foundation for the First Family of comic books going against the one man trying to stop them from not only doing what they’ve vowed to do, but to stop them from existing. Doom is another man who won’t go quietly into the night, and while the FF may get rid of him for awhile, he’s never gone for good.

#4: Superman/ Lex Luthor (DC Comics)

One of the greatest superheroes of all time, the almighty Superman, has to have a man who can challenge him in the most complicated and trying of ways. Lex Luthor, while not having any real superpowers, is definitely that man. With a nearly unrivaled brilliance, Luthor has nearly destroyed Superman on numerous occasions, usually using the one weakness the Man Of Steel has: Kryptonite. Luthor has become a powerful force in the land of Metropolis, and the only one who could potentially take Superman out of the picture.

#3: X-Men/Magneto (Marvel Comics)

The Merry Mutants and their arch rival, the Master of Magnetism, have had an ongoing rivalry since the beginning of publication of the title back in the early days of comics. While the biggest rival of the Children of the Atom has been a force of world-threatening destruction for most of their lives, the man known as Magneto has actually shifted gears quite a bit. He’s now on the side of Cyclops, who is actually more of a villain than anything in the current continuity. Though that has happened, Magneto will always be known as the man who nearly destroyed the world on numerous occasions, and for that, along with his quest for mutant dominance, will leave him as one of the greatest threats to the world the comic book universe has ever known.

#2: Spider-Man/ The Green Goblin (Marvel Comics)

Not often does a villain really get into the head of a hero like Norman Osborn has Peter Parker. Not only has Osborn been a colleague, a friend and a father figure to young Peter, but as the psychotic Green Goblin, Osborn has been one of the biggest rivals to Spider-Man that has ever been created. The Goblin Serum turned Osborn into an insane, homicidal maniac, who has killed several people, as well as been responsible for many of the losses that Peter Parker has accumulated in his short life. While under the mask, Parker and Osborn have been polite, and perhaps even friendly at time for the sake of keeping their alter-egos concealed, the two of them have been at odds for a long time, and its been seen as one of the most important rivalries in comic book history.

#1: Batman/The Joker (DC Comics)

No two people have leaned on one another more than Batman and The Joker. While Batman won’t kill his greatest rival due to his own morals, The Joker will never kill Batman because without him, he’d be too bored to carry on being a supervillain. The Joker and Batman have the greatest rivalry of all time due to their reluctance to finish the job against one another, and because of the insane lengths each will go to make sure the other is stopped. As the Joker continues his plots to not only annoy the Dark Knight but to remove him from the equation completely through manipulation and chaos, Batman will go to any length to stop him time and time again.

That’s it for the Countdown this week, come on back next week as there will be another comic book topic counted down for your enjoyment! Be sure to go to Facebook and like our page at Comic Book Daily News, and as always, comments are welcome for anything.


Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for DigitalNoob.com. He's also awesome. If someone looked up "awesome" in the dictionary, his picture wouldn't be there, but that's because he's too busy being awesome to pose for a photo.

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