The Doppelganger wiki last edited by Darkside_of_the_Sun on 01/24/14 09:36PM View full history

Synopsis

The Doppelganger is a character who resembles the Hero in many ways ---- these ways may include personality, background, motivations, visual design and powers (if any) ------ but while the Hero follows the path of justice, the Doppelganger prefers to place his chips on the forces of injustice. It is worth noting that the Doppelganger may not necessarily be the Hero's arch-nemesis, although this is indeed the case in several instances.

Often the Doppelganger has a compelling direct or indirect link to the Hero. Their paths may have crossed before whether they knew it or not, or some part of their origin stories may be shared or similar, and so on. A vital component of their rivalry is that it is of a personal nature more often than not. The Doppelganger is someone the Hero regards as a more serious threat than rank-and-file criminals.

In many cases, the Doppelganger shows us what the Hero could have become if his origin had deviated by just a few degrees from what we're familiar with. In others, the fact that the Doppelganger is evil is used to highlight the Hero's own virtue, since they are otherwise nearly identical.

Origin

Originally, it was thought of as an Elseworld's idea for a Justice League / Justice Society crossover in Justice League of America #29, where the Justice League of America fought mirrored versions of themselves that organized into the Crime Syndicate of America. Which, unlike the Justice League, organized Crimes against humanity for their personal gain, Rather than selflessly helping mankind. They Grew bored of Terrorizing their planet so they decided to pick a fight with their Heroic Counterparts... And Were easily thwarted off of their home field. After escaping imprisonment, the Brains of their Team; Owlman, formed a plot to bring the JLA to their world, where Evil always prevails. It Succeeded, as he planned, and The Crime Syndicate beat the JLA in their rematch... The JLA then decided to take the fight to Earth-2, Home of the Justice Society -- Where each team had an equal chance at prevailing. But thanks to the JSA's Help, the Crime Syndicate was thwarted once again, and they were permanently imprisoned in a Cell made by Hal Jordan on their home world of Earth-3.

Thanks to the Major success of the concept of an evil-universe, DC writers began spawning new evil dopplegangers to face off againt The Justice League Heroes, like The Reverse Flash, Bizarro #1, and The Wrath- Which fed the concept's success even more, and the concept continued to grow.

Marvel Comics has attempted to give their Heroes a try of "The Evil Version", which The Iron Monger, Spider-Doppelganger, and Sabretooth spawned from.

Prominent examples of Evil Counterparts are below:

DC Comics

BATMAN

Batman and the original Wrath

More than any other character, Batman has had many villains who have molded themselves in the image of the Anti-Batman. A few of these follow:

The original (and unnamed) Wrath's origin story was the inverse of Batman's; whereas Bruce's parents were upstanding members of society gunned down by a criminal, the Wrath's parents were criminals gunned down by a young Jim Gordon as they fled the scene of one of their crimes. Seeking vengeance for this, the Wrath created a costume resembling Batman's, and launched a reign of terror against the Gotham police. He was ultimately killed by his own incendiary device during a climactic showdown with Batman.

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Wrath II: Elliot Caldwell

A second Wrath appeared many years later. This version's name was revealed to be Elliot Caldwell, a young boy who had served as an apprentice to the original Wrath. This experience had twisted his mind, morality and sense of justice, and after his master's death, he took up the cowl of the Wrath to seek vengeance. In this way, he had many parallels with Batman's own apprentice, Dick Grayson, and could be said to be Dick's Evil Counterpart as well.

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Prometheus and Batman

Similarly, the JLA villain Prometheus has an origin story that is the inverse of Batman's and very similar to the Wrath's. As a boy, Prometheus watched in horror as his criminal parents were gunned down by police in a brutal Bonnie-and-Clyde style shootout. Fueled by anger and a thirst for revenge, he dedicated his life to physical and mental perfection, and built a hi-tech suit armed to the teeth with lethal weaponry, in much the same way as Batman and his ever-handy utility belt.

Prometheus' greatest strength was his ability to come up with a plan to take down any hero who opposed him, no matter how powerful; this in turn was inspired by Batman's knack for tactical brilliance and improvisation against impossible odds.

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Owlman

One of the universes in the DC Multiverse is home to the Crime Syndicate of America ---- evil counterparts to the Justice League of America. Each member of the CSA is an Evil Counterpart to a member of the JLA's core group. Batman's evil counterpart on the CSA is Owlman: Thomas Wayne, Jr., the older brother of Bruce Wayne. In this antimatter reality, Bruce and his mother Martha were killed by a policeman because Thomas Wayne Sr. refused to accompany the officer for questioning. Thomas Sr. was arrested while Thomas Jr. escaped the scene.

Thomas Jr. befriends Joe Chill who mentors the boy in the art of crime and the thrill of success. Thomas Jr. becomes Owlman and he equips himself with everything similar to Batman except for his deductive intelligence. To compensate, Owlman constantly takes a drug which gives him an enhanced intellect just like Johnny Quick takes a drug to give himself super-speed. Owlman enjoys committing crime rather than serving the law like Batman does. While Batman has a friendly relationship with Superman, Owlman's relationship with Superman's CSA counterpart Ultraman is often antagonistic; both men have an innate dislike for each other to begin with, which is only exacerbated by the fact that Ultraman's wife Superwoman likes to cheat on him with Thomas.

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Hush

The villain Hush was originally Thomas Elliot; a childhood friend of Batman's, and like Bruce, he came from a wealthy, old-money Gotham family. While Bruce's parents loved and cared for him, and were loved by him in return, Thomas' father was an abusive alcoholic and his mother was manipulative and overbearing. Elliot orchestrated a car accident in an attempt to get rid of them and take control of the family fortune. His father was killed in the accident, but his mother survived thanks to Thomas Wayne's surgical skills. She was crippled, however; and took out her frustration on her son, making his life a living hell. Elliot grew to resent Bruce's father for this, as well as Bruce himself for the "freedom" he had acquired after his own parents' death. One day, he snapped and smothered his mother to death with a pillow, and then took control of the Elliot family fortune to make a life for himself. He used his vast new resources to orchestrate a plan designed to destroy Batman.

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Emperor Penguin

Perhaps the most recent addition to Batman's list of Evil Counterparts, Ignatius Ogilvy watched his parents get gunned down at the Monarch Theater after a screening of Goodfellas, in much the same way as Bruce's parents had been gunned down at the same theater after a screening of The Mask of Zorro. Born with a gift for resourcefulness, Ogilvy joined the Penguin's criminal organization, and insidiously rose up the ranks until he had enough power and influence to dethrone Penguin and take over the enterprise, adopting the moniker "Emperor Penguin" as a way of mocking the infuriated Cobblepot.

Ogilvy's creator, John Layman, has remarked on the parallels between the two characters: while they both have an identical event in their past in common, where they differ is that Bruce was lucky enough to have the resources and background to build himself up into the man he would become, while Ogilvy was a poor street kid who had to rely on his own cunning and intellect to rise up in the world.

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SUPERMAN

Bizarro

Many of Clark Kent's villains are also mirror images of the Man of Steel. Some in obvious ways, others not so much.

Bizarro is a flawed clone of Superman created by Lex Luthor and a team of scientists. While he possesses all of Superman's powers and a visually-similar design as well, Bizarro's mind is severely underdeveloped, giving him a child-like personality and very little sense of right and wrong. Many of his most famous traits are the inverse of Superman's most famous qualities: Bizarro's frequent sprees of destruction stand at odds with Superman's carefully cultivated habit of restraining his strength to avoid similar situations, his strange "reverse-talk" is the diametric opposite of Clark's frank truthfulness, and even the S symbol on his chest is usually either distorted or inverted to distinguish him from Superman.

It should be noted that Bizarro is a bit different from the rest of the characters who fulfill the Evil Counterpart trope in that he is not always a full-blown villain or antagonist ---- often, he is just a confused soul in need of direction.

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Zod

Like Superman, Zod is one of the sole survivors of Krypton's destruction. He has all of Superman's powers, shares the same heritage, and holds a standing grudge against Kal-El thanks to being jailed for decades in the Phantom Zone by Superman's father, Jor-El.

They are both among the mightiest members of a race of godlike beings, but the key difference between them is that Superman uses his powers for the good of mankind as well as anyone he encounters who needs his help, while Zod is a power-hungry megalomaniac who uses his powers to oppress and dominate.

There have been several incarnations of Post-Crisis Zod, but all of them have had the last trait mentioned above in common.

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Hank Henshaw

The Cyborg Superman was originally Hank Henshaw, a scientist who led a mission into space along with his wife, her brother and a friend. In an origin that mirrored the Fantastic Four's, a sudden solar flare caused their spaceship to be bombarded by cosmic radiation. They acquired superpowers in the process, but with horrific side-effects: Hank's body started falling apart piece by piece, his wife Terri began to fade out of existence, her brother grew unbearably hot, and their friend turned into a misshapen abomination.

These side-effects eventually led to the death of all four, but Hank's consciousness survived despite his body's physical death and began bonding with machinery nearby. Henshaw quickly discovered he could manipulate technology on a nigh-unlimited scale, and with the aid of stolen Kryptonian technology and assistance beaten out of Mongul, Hank built a organic-synthetic hybrid body for himself that had all of Superman's powers but none of his weaknesses. He then sought revenge on Superman, believing him to be the cause of the solar flare that had killed his wife (although it was later revealed that Superman was not the cause, and that the flare was a freak accident).

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Ultraman

Ultraman is Superman's Evil Counterpart on the Crime Syndicate of America, a team composed entirely of Evil Counterparts to the Justice League of America.

He was originally a human astronaut named Lt. Clark Kent. After his shuttle exploded while on an exploration mission, an alien race (implied to be the Antimatter Universe's Kryptonians) reconstructed his body, and in the process gave him powers similar to Superman, though he needs to be near a substance called "Anti-Kryptonite" in order to sustain them, in contrast to Superman's powers fading away when he is exposed to Kryptonite. The reconstruction is also believed to have warped his mind.

Ultraman's repulsive personality is about as far removed from Superman's as possible. He enjoys slaughtering innocent people wholesale, and has nothing but contempt for justice and liberty. He forced Superwoman to marry him and frequently threatens to kill Owlman, but never carries out this threat because of undisclosed blackmail material that the latter has over him. The rest of the CSA live in open terror of his wrath, in contrast to the respect that the JLA has for Superman. His civilian disguise is a simple mustache, similar in its simplicity to Superman's glasses.

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List of Reversed Heroes / Villains In DC Comics:

List of Reversed Heroes / Villains in Marvel Comics:

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