Superhero films continue to become the new normal and it almost seems like it's the easiest way to bring in a billion dollars at the box office. The success of comic book movies has a lot to do with how the quality around these productions has skyrocketed and become much more serious. However, it's not just enough to have an engaging hero or villain. A lot of the time what people are most interested in is the rivalry between these incredible heroes and impossible villains.
A hero or villain is only as strong as their archenemy and this is still an area where stories miss the mark. For every Batman and Joker or Superman and Lex Luthor, there are forgettable adversaries or cases where there isn't even a worthy rival to face. Accordingly, Here Are 10 Superheroes With Really Weak Arch Enemies (And 10 Who Don’t Even Have One).
20 Weak Arch Enemies: Hawkeye (Crossfire)
One of the most reliable tropes od superhero comics, whether it's Marvel or DC, is go give a hero a villain that's a darker reflection of themselves and features the same skillset. Such is the case with Hawkeye's Crossfire, another precise sharp shooter. Just like how the grounded Hawkeye fails to impress some audiences, the same can be said for Crossfire. The two of them don't make for the most exciting showdown.
19 No Arch Enemy: Gambit
Gambit has always been one of the X-Men with the most appeal and there's a reason that FOX was trying to get a Gambit movie off the ground for the better part of a decade. The mutant is mysterious, cool, and different, but he suffers when it comes to his rogue’s gallery. Gambit has no real Big Bad and this realization is probably one of the roadblocks the film encountered. Who would Gambit even fight?
18 Weak Arch Enemies: Luke Cage (Chemistro)
Chemistro can be a powerful villain in the right context due to his Alchemy Gun that can transform matter. In spite of its power, Luke Cage holds no personal grudge or investment in this fight. He's appropriately, a hero for hire here, who's just paid to handle Chemistro. Even though three different versions of this villain arise and continue to target Luke Cage, all of them come across as redundant goons.
17 No Arch Enemy: Cyborg
Cyborg is another character that had a modest enough following through DC's comics, but saw a major popularity boost due to the Justice League film and the Doom Patrol series. The Cyborg character is a fascinating mix of technology, intelligence, and humanity, but he doesn't really have memorable foes. It's hard enough to find someone to match his abilities, let alone make him compelling enough for return appearances.
16 Weak Arch Enemies: Deadpool (T-Ray)
Ryan Reynolds has helped make Deadpool a household name, but even dedicated comic book fans struggle to remember who T-Ray is. T-Ray is an over the top, messy villain who capitalizes on the absurdity of Deadpool, but he failed to make his mark. Even Cable, who's become more of a reluctant ally to Deadpool, registers as more of a notable Deadpool villain to the general public.
15 No Arch Enemy: Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel is one of the newer heroes to grace the pages of Marvel comics, but she's quickly become one of the new rising stars of superheroics. Ms. Marvel takes her cues from Captain Marvel, but tells a humbler story about inclusivity. Ms. Marvel boasts incredible elastic abilities, but she's struggled to find her own arch nemesis. She's fought off other established threats from the Marvel universe, but perhaps in time her own super foe will rises from her actions.
14 Weak Arch Enemies: Hawkman (Hath-Set)
Look, no offense to Hawkman, but he's not exactly the deepest superhero that's out there. He's a reflection of a simpler time for comics when resembling a bird was more than enough of a personality. Hath-Set is like the inverse of Hawkman and he uses his Pharoah-like skills for mayhem. One deranged bird-man versus a relic from the past may make for a fun spectacle, but don't expect to see it in the cinemas anytime soon.
13 No Arch Enemy: Nova
Richard Rider's Nova is basically "Peter Parker, but in space." He's a precocious teen who gets bestowed with incredible powers and even works alongside the Avengers before establishing his own mighty Nova Corps. Nova is one of the more powerful cosmic defenders of the Marvel universe, but he's failed to find a compelling villain. Dr. Sun, Blastaar, and Diamondhead are all flash in the pan foes.
12 Weak Arch Enemies: Plastic Man (Doctor Dome)
Granted, Plastic Man isn't the most intimidating or serious of superheroes, but he's still powerful and has saved lives when it's important. Doctor Dome is the flawed attempt to give Plastic Man some kind of recurring antagonist, but this enemy is more of a punch line. Doctor Dome is an eccentric mad scientist from Plastic Man's early adventures, but he never made a big impact on the hero.
11 No Arch Enemy: Spider-Woman
Spider-Man is a character with so many recognizable enemies that it's kind of crazy that Jessica Drew's Spider-Woman is quite the opposite (the same can also be said for Miles Morales and Spider-Gwen). Spider-Woman's comics have spent so much time building her character that other areas, like a memorable villain, have taken a back seat. Spider-Woman always has someone to fling webbing at, but no one at the level of being her own personal Green Goblin.
10 Weak Arch Enemies: Martian Manhunter (Ma’alefa’ak)
In the original comic, Ma'alefa'ak is easily Martian Manhunter's most notorious foe. Not only is he the Martian brother of J'onn J'onzz, but he's turned into an outcast of his race and devises a plague that sets Martians on fire whenver they use telepathy. This take on Ma'alefa'ak is relentless to Martian Manhunter, but The New 52's version of the character is much more toothless. Here, Ma'alefa'ak is just a sad Martian who wants to resurrect Mars, regain his alien form, and return home. It's an exceptionally less spiteful take on him, but less interesting, too.
9 No Arch Enemy: John Constantine
When it comes to ornery, grim magic users, it's hard to top John Constantine, Hellblazer. Constantine is capable of unfathomable supernatural powers and dedicated to ridding the world of demons. Naturally, Constantine has faced evil demonic forces, but none that have become the bane of his existence. Constantine is resourceful enough to outsmart his enemies, but a regular baddie would do his character a lot of good.
8 Weak Arch Enemies: She-Hulk (Man-Elephant)
She-Hulk may be super powerful, but she prefers to settle her disputes in the courtroom whenever she can. The character is wildly intelligent, but due to her stature a number of behemoths try to take her on. Man-Elephant is an extremely silly low-tier villain, but he's one that repeatedly tries to foil She-Hulk. He's more of a running joke than a constant concern.
7 No Arch Enemy: Superboy
Superboy packs a powerful punch, but he's a superhero who's struggled to establish his own identity, and this malaise has carried over to a lack of exciting enemies. Superboy has been able to do Superman justice, but he's seriously in need of a Lex Luthor Jr., or some other foe who has dedicated his life to destroying Superboy.
6 Weak Arch Enemies: Blue Beetle (Masked Marauder)
The Masked Marauder is basically just a super petty guy in a costume who holds a grudge against Ted Kord. He ostensibly has no real powers and he's unsuccessful in his mission. When Kord passes, he pivots his aggression to the new Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes, but Reyes handles him with little consequence and he relents
5 No Arch Enemy: Zatanna
Zatanna is a powerful spellcaster who's a member of the Justice League Dark, but her colorful character makes her seem more like a member of the X-Men. She performs magic on stage as a performer and her talking backwards routine never gets old. A strong lineage of magic users has continued to grow through Zatanna Zatara's bloodline. Zatanna's fought against Allura, Ember, and Nicolas Nolan, but none of these have made for deeply satisfying battles.
4 Weak Arch Enemies: Iron Man (The Mandarin)
Iron Man is a major star as far as the Marvel Cinematic Universe is concerned, but in the comics he doesn't exactly experience the strongest cross-section of villains. If Tony Stark has any sort of archenemy (besides his own inner demons), it would be the Mandarin. However, in spite of the villain's persistence, there's a major disconnect between these two and they don't share the emotional resonance that great rivals should.
3 No Arch Enemy: Black Widow
Black Widow has always been a crucial cog in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s machine, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe has helped push her fame to new heights. Black Widow is a deadly assassin, but she doesn't really have a persistent rival. Taskmaster gives her a hard time, and will be in her upcoming film, but he's a villain that's not just specific to Black Widow.
2 Weak Arch Enemies: The Hulk (Zzzax)
The Hulk is one of the strongest heroes in Marvel's ranks and because of that it can be difficult to find a foe worthy of his efforts. Zzzax was a particularly misguided attempt to give the Hulk a genetically engineered foe, but the electric-based Zzzax never really stuck. Likewise, General Thunderbolt Ross and the Leader are persistent thorns in the Hulk's side, but these rivalries always feel half-baked.
1 No Arch Enemy: Tim Drake
Honestly, it's been difficult for all of the various Robins and wards of Batman to find their own archenemies. Usually they're stuck with Batman's runoff and even though Nightwing squares off against Deathstroke, he's more of an antagonist for the Teen Titans as a whole. Tim Drake is a formidable fighter and even though his comics have tried to turn villains like King Snake and Anarchy into his personal Joker, none of these efforts have stuck.
Sources: CBR.com, ComicVine.Gamespot.com, Marvel.com