Rival Turned Evil

Rival Turned Evil is a villainous scenario which is one of the possible routes of an evildoer's Origin Story where in this case, the villain was originally the rival of the protagonist.


As the name implies, the villain who become evil in this way started off as rival for the hero/protagonist. The degree of their rivalry ranged from being one-sided, playful, to mutual determination to become better than another. Nevertheless, the hero and the rival had little to no serious enmity to one another.

Unfortunately, some cases of rivalry can be the beginning of an enmity where the rival went to the dark side. Reasons are vary, be it a grim/bitter revelation that negatively affected whatever friendship the hero and the rival had, fighting over a love, or certain trivial issues which escalated to catastrophic levels. By the point of the fallout between the two, the rival would release all of his/her envy and frustration towards the hero in each of their confrontations as enemies.

Since the rivalry between the hero and the rival usually the root of their fallout and the latter's fall from grace, the hero and his/her allies would try to sway his/her embittered rival back to the good side, but his/her success depends on the severity of the problem which caused it all and the embittered rival's own conscience. If the issue between the two can be seen in a sympathetic light and the embittered rival still maintain his/her redeeming qualities, said rival may realized their errors, but not necessarily join forces with their former rival. Unfortunately, if the embittered rival decided to give in to the dark side instead, the hero is left with no choice but to do whatever it takes to stop him/her.


Comic Books

  • Iron Man had his fair share of evil rivals:
    • Obidiah Stane: The original Iron Monger and President and CEO of his own company Stane International proved himself a deadly rival to Tony Stark. As if he came close in ruining Tony's business through psychological means was bad enough, Stane proved himself equally dangerous in the direct conflict against Iron Man as Iron Monger. Stane's evil nature on the other hand, is stemmed from the trauma in seeing his father's suicide which severely affected his outlook in life, becoming the villain he is now.
      • Stane's Marvel Cinematic Universe doesn't fare better. Here, he starts off as a business partner to Howard Stark and the mentor to young Tony until it comes to light that he (Stane) ks revealed to be the one behind illegal sales of Stark Industries weapons to the terrorist group Ten Rings, whom he hired to kill Stark. Stane also sought to take over Stark Industries which culminated the two confronted each other in their respective armors only to be killed in their fateful confrontation.
    • Justin Hammer: The multi-billionaire businessman Hammer and the head of Hammer Industries are revealed to supply many of Iron Man's supervillain enemies their hi-tech weaponry in a bid to rid of Stark Industries.
      • Marvel Cinematic Universe's incarnation of Hammer also as dangerous as in comics, albeit lacking the former and Tony's competence. He seeks to outperform his rival nevertheless, only for his schemes backfired when he hired Whiplash, who double-crossed him before Tony could confront his treachery.
  • Eddie Brock: Eddie developed intense rivalry against Spider-Man ever since Spidey indirectly responsible to ruin his career as a reporter in Sin-Eater case. When he contemplates about committing suicide, Eddie changed his mind upon bonding with Spider-Man's former symbiote, finally naming both himself and the alien blob its current name Venom.
    • Eddie's infamous incarnation in Spider-Man 3 also originally the rival to Peter Parker, fighting for Peter's position at Jameson's office. This happens after he tries to cheat his way ahead and Peter exposes him; Peter, wearing the Venom suit, goes to a local chapel seeking repentance, while Eddie goes to the same seeking retribution. The church bells ring, disturbing the Symbiote Venom sufficiently that Peter is able to fight him off and Venom drops down a few stories to take over Eddie, who is a much more willing host.



  • Maxim Horvath: Horvath developed some rivalries against Balthazar where it initially started off prior or during competing over the heart of their fellow colleague Veronica. However, Veronica chose Balthazar over him and in his lowest point, ended up sided with Morgana.


  • Harry Potter:
    • Severus Snape: Severus Snape is this to his father James where the two were bitter enemies whose feud can be traced during their younger days; whereas James was a proud bully before his eventual change into very man Lily and Harry loved, Snape is an anti-social student who don't get along with the former who in turn, bullied him on daily basis. Snape bitterly abandoned Lily and sided with Voldemort, something he would regretted when such decision was what eventually led to her death, leading him taking his duty to be Harry's secret protector to redeem himself.

Live-Action TV

  • Power Rangers:
    • Jarrod: Jarrod is a senior member of Pai Zhua and rival to the newbie Casey whom he bullied. During the test to assume the position of one of the guardians of Dai Shi's prison, he proved not to be an ideal role model and therefore, ill-suited for the duty where it wind up passed to Casey instead, enraging it that he later released the entity and corrupted in process, becoming one of Dai Shi's generals and host. He later learned his errors and redeemed thanks to his feelings for Camille and Casey's assistance in fighting Dai Shi's dark influence.


  • Riku (Kingdom Hearts): Originally a friendly rival to Sora, Riku gives in to False Ansem/Xehanort's influence and even possessed just to outperform his rival. This turns out to be a horrible mistake he eventually regretted throughout Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II.


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