Villains are heroes in their own mirror

David Villalva’s website has this really cool infographic that got me thinking, so, of course, I have to share it.


I love, love, love the idea that the hero and villain are two sides of the same coin. Yes, that was a nerdy Two-Face reference. Good catch!

One of my most dearly held beliefs is that you need balance in writing, so your superhero needs a supervillain. It’s such a yin-and-yang concept that it satisfies my compulsion for symmetry in the best way.

It feels like the hero and the villain are literary mirror images, as though they are twins in the mind of the author. The difference between the two lies in the choices they make and the resulting actions.

Think of the original Star Trek series in which one storyline sets up an alternate universe. The original, or Good, crew is facing the darkest parts of themselves in the Evil crew. The classic Good vs. Evil scenario is freshened with the idea that the sides are essentially the same, although skewed in different directions morally.

Have you had success in your writing using this concept? Let me know what you think about it in the comments.