Juxtaposition of the same character

I have this problem. I think about most things entirely too much. So here’s one of those things I think about too much:

Is a villain/antagonist better if they are completely opposite of the hero/protagonist, quite the same, or something that can not even be compared?


Opposites Attract

In Nick Thacker’s debut novel “The Golden Crystal” the protagonist Bryce Reynolds is a military man who has outstanding morals and never leaves a man behind. The antagonist, Tanning Vilocek, is a power mad billionaire set on taking over the world. The two of them are complete opposites, and they don’t get along. This builds tension in the story and helps the reader absolutely hate the villain, while making everything believable at the same time.This formula is relatively simple and offers a good exercise in writing two different types of characters.

Sometimes the Same

With this one I like to think outside the box a little bit. Superman and Lex Luthor. Of course Superman is good and Lex Luthor is evil, but they both kind of want the same thing. They want the Earth to be safe. One from Lex Luthor, the other from Superman. They are, in fact, two sides of the same jewel. A safety jewel. To be looked at while doing the safety dance.


But what if the protagonist and antagonist are not quite opposite or similar? What kind of conflict can exist? Of course i will point to this summer’s biggest blockbuster film:

Guardians of the Galaxy!

Ronin’s super evil, but the Guardians are thieves at best. When they meet, it’s a pure struggle for the upper hand in a fist fight. Still a conflict, just not one that’s really been building. Just a thought.


Short post this week because I’ve been short on time. Look for more fun posts in the future. However short they are…