Evil Counterpart

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

A character who looks like the protagonists and has/had abilities and obstacles similar to the them, but is evil. Sometimes, but not always, a Big Bad.

Frequently, the Evil Counterpart is the character equivalent of For Want of a Nail: he represents what our hero could have become as a result of a very small change in his Backstory. They also save creators the trouble of thinking up new abilities to give their villains, especially for comic book heroes and video games (where new abilities have to be implemented).

Often leads to a Not So Different moment.

Often a Dark Magical Girl; contrast with the Worthy Opponent. Applied to an entire team, they are The Psycho Rangers. Because The Hero and the Evil Counterpart are such great foils for each other, the counterpart has an excellent chance of being the hero's Arch Enemy, although this is not always the case.

Sister Trope to Evil Twin (evil biological twin), Evil Knockoff (intentionally created evil duplicate), Criminal Doppelganger (evil Identical Stranger) and Jekyll and Hyde (when the hero and their counterpart are the same person).

If the first character to be introduced is the evil one, the good one would be his Good Counterpart.

No real life examples, please; calling somebody "evil" is rarely a good idea.

Examples of Evil Counterparts are listed on these subpages: