Kevin Feige Explains Why Marvel’s Villains Are So Similar To The Heroes

Kevin Feige discusses similarity between Marvel's heroes and villains

In an interview with Screen Rant, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige spoke about what most fans of the MCU have noticed throughout the thirteen films to date: The villains are direct mirrors of their heroes.

If you look back all the way to the first Iron Man film, the titular hero faced off against his first nemesis Iron Monger, which was basically just a bigger version of Iron Man. In The Incredible Hulk, the green giant fought Abomination, who was just another monster equal to Hulk’s size and strength. Fast forward to most recently and we’ve seen Ant-Man confront Yellow Jacket, who shared the same kind of insect-themed shrinking suit as Scott Lang. Then you have someone like Steve Rogers, the kid from Brooklyn, who became Captain America when he was injected with a super serum. His Nazi antagonist Red Skull took the same serum, which produced vastly different results.

This trend of creating polar opposite versions of characters has been prevalent in comics for a long time. It’s a way to show similarities between the hero and villain, and how they are two sides of the same coin. Walking similar paths, there was potential for either one of them to lead alternative lives if they made different choices. It’s like what the Joker tries to emphasize to Batman in The Dark Knight: you can have one bad day and break your moral code if you make that life-defining decision.

In the interview with Screen Rant, Feige touched upon this trope that has become so repetitive in the MCU:

“Clearly we will get to that [non-doppelganger match ups]… You want to have characters that inhabit the same world when introducing a new world, a new mythology for lack of a better term. You want to explore that as much as you can.”

Feige went on to bring up Doctor Strange and explain how Madds Mikkelsen’s character Kaecilius will be another example of a villain being a reflection of the hero, but for good reason, considering Doctor Strange is introducing audiences to a world the MCU has not completely tackled yet: magic.

“Kaecilius doesn’t know Strange from a hole in the wall. He predates him. But when you’re teaching an audience about sorcerers and that reality and you’re going to talk about the past anyway and you’re going to get into their history anyway, much better to tie-in your bad guy with that instead of laying all this groundwork of parallel dimensions and sorcery and say, by the way, a meteor hit on the other side of the world, it went under the water, and this evil thing developed. What does that have to do with magic? Nothing… That’s not the way we’ve developed them up to this point.”

Feige made it clear though that this hero/villian mirroring would not last forever:

“Needless to say as more characters encounter each other in other films they’re certainly going to be up against things that they don’t know anything about and have no comparable to.”

Doctor Strange will be released in North American theaters on November 4th, 2016.

Source: Screen Rant

Robert Coleman

Robert Coleman

Writer at Heroic Hollywood and complete geek when it comes to all things superheroes in movies and TV.

  • Napi

    It’s an easy one… it’s because both suck

  • Darthmanwe

    Without doing the blind fanboy thing, the reason why Marvel villains tend to be direct mirrors of their hero counterparts is due to Stan Lee school of writing. See, Stan Lee is renowned for coming up with wack ideas and cool hero concepts ( also for stealing the works of a better, superior writer), but his villains tended to be one track villains for showcasing the hero’s “betterness” for a lack of word, and that caused most of them to be mirrors.

    That trend continued on to some degree to other writers who worked on Marvel over the years. That’s the reason. DC suffers from the same problem, but that is overlooked because DC mythos has some very strong and distinct villains. But look at the likes of Reverse Flash or Zod or Deathstroke, you’ll begin to see the same problem.

  • Carl

    Yeah and Darth Vader is evil Luke Skywalker, Voldemort is evil Harry Potter, Zod is evil Superman. The reason is that these are storytelling tropes that work and are effective at building the hero’s character.