Naughty Boys Need Love Too
It has been brought to my attention that some of my Villains do not fulfill the general requirements for Super Villainry as outlined in my Encyclopedia section (if you haven't been there yet, now's a good time to go!), and that those poor souls are actually more suited to the title of Nemesis. So allow me to take a few moments to delve into the actual construct of a Super Villain, and to define where the line between Super Villain and Nemesis is drawn.
The Joker, Batman
First things first: let's sum up a Super Villain, using my personal favorite example, Batman's foe the Joker. The Joker fits the full Super Villain description: he has Attitude, Optimism, Devices (the giant casino roulette wheel springs to mind), the Laugh (duh), Stylin' Personal Appearance (green and purple, so nice for his complexion!), the Massive Oversights (look, Batman NEVER loses, okay?), and the Archenemy. He's a little short in the "Stare" department but no one's perfect.
Q, Star Trek The Next Generation
let's define a Nemesis using another fine example from the Live Action
Gallery: Q from Star Trek The Next Generation. Q had Attitude, Optimism,
Devices (I consider his powers to be a reasonable replacement for the
need for devices), and Personal Appearance (can we say HATS?). Beyond
this he fails to truly meet the other categories. Other Nemeses (Magneto,
for example) might fill all categories so I don't think it can be said
that the difference lies in their completion of the Villain Requirements.
I think where the difference lies is in the relationship between the Villain and the Hero. To a Super Villain, the Hero is an obstacle, something to crush on the way to the top. Almost an inanimate object, the Hero simply represents a frustrating challenge on the way to a goal. A nemesis relationship, however, is based on something deeper. Like Magneto of X-Men, Evil Nemeses have an emotional attachment to their heroic counterparts. I believe this is why you'll often find these opposing pairs talking at length through their differences, each trying to convince the other to join his/her side. To go back to Q as the example, I don't believe he would have ever killed Captain Picard, because his attachment to the man was too deep for that.
; Nemeses enjoy their equal-but-opposite stances and the struggle between the two are often less about the ultimate goal and more about the tension between polar opposites and the challenge of defeating ones peer. Nemeses have some respect for each other, usually possess some kind of honor in regards to each other, and occasionally will step down rather than take an easy win when the odds are out of balance. A Super Villain would never hesitate. To go back to the Joker example, the Joker would never offer a hand to Batman if he were plunging off of the ledge of a tall building. Catwoman, being more of the Nemesis type, would certainly offer him the hand, pull him back to the rooftop, then proceed with the butt-kicking.
So do we see the difference? Good. Until next time, ta ta!!