Superheroes vs. SuperVillains

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Difference between Superhero and Super Villain

Superheroes and super villains embody the classic struggle between good and evil in a way that few cultural icons can. They clearly stand at opposite sides of the moral spectrum, and while there have been overlaps with regard to morally ambiguous characters, you can pretty much peg superheroes as the good guys, and super villains as the bad guys. Let's take a look at their main characteristics and their relationships.    

Super Villain


Superheroes are characters that usually possess extraordinary and/or superhuman powers, although this is not always the case. Most superheroes generally devote their powers, skills and efforts to protecting the public from various threats.

Super villains are the opposite of superheroes, in that they are dedicated to causing harm to person or property, either in the pursuit of personal goals such as revenge, or to gain power, wealth or control. Supervillains are common features in comic books, action movies and science fiction.

The Superhero Profile 

As hinted at previously, superheroes do not necessarily have to possess superhuman powers. Notable examples are Batman and Green Arrow, both of whom do not have extraordinary powers per se, although they do have considerable physical strength and skills. During the Golden Age of Comic Books, which lasted from the late 1930s to the 1940s, these “superheroes” were commonly referred to as "mystery men", in order to distinguish them from characters that possessed super-powers.

Many superheroes routinely use their powers in order to deter crime, or to deal with threats against mankind. Many superheroes have one or two super villains that serve as their archenemies, although many have more than one archenemy to deal with. Superheroes may also be called upon to deal with threats from aliens and supernatural or mythological creatures

The Super Villain Profile

In comic books and movies, super villains routinely serve as the foil to superheroes and other heroes. Most super villains therefore have powers and/or skills that are equal to the abilities of superheroes, and in fact may even surpass them.  In addition, many super villains may also possess considerable intellectual abilities coupled with vast financial resources, which ensures the superheroes of formidable foes.

It is also interesting to note that many super villains seem to mirror the characteristics of actual dictators, criminals, and terrorists. For many such characters, the goal is more often than not world domination or control of the world.

The Main Difference

In most cases, superheroes and super villains are virtually equal with regard to powers, drive and ambition, with the only goal being how they use their powers and the goals that drive them. While superheroes use their powers to help others, super villains use their powers for destructive goals or for their own purposes.



  • Characters that usually possess extraordinary and/or superhuman powers, although this is not always the case
  • Generally devote their powers, skills and efforts to protecting the public from various threats
  • Follow their inner guidance and believe in the value of human life, even the lives of their antagonists.

Super villains

  • Dedicated to causing harm to person or property
  • May be driven by personal goals, or the desire to gain power, wealth or control


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