"Picture every gold, silver, bronze and rust age comic. Imagine a comic shop full of every DC comic ever. Now imagine that each one is about the Syndicate, and is about some lone hero rising up, and getting killed. Every issue is a forensic report of a new hero, alone and outclassed, standing up and getting murdered, brutally, publicly, colorfully, at the rate of one or two a month. It's not that the Syndicate are killers, but killers in equal measure to the heroes. It's evocative."
Often a subset of Bizarro Universe, it is an Alternate Universe where Good and Evil characterisations are reversed, but is otherwise the same as the "real" universe - except where logically derived from this change in morality. As an example, in Bizarro World, the earth is a cube. In the mirror universe, the earth is a sphere, but the Mirror Self of The Captain has a cool eyepatch.
Occasionally, some other characteristic is reversed. The hero in the Mirror Universe functions as the Evil Twin. The Five-Man Band becomes The Psycho Rangers or Five-Bad Band. Expect the loyal soldier to become a blithering coward, the backstabbing bastard to become a peaceful negotiator, and the bridge bunny who normally gets no lines becomes a trash-talking, lingerie-wearing, gun-toting, bisexually hyperactive ball of unleashed id.
These mirror worlds tend to get popular with the fanbase, who'll eagerly come up with alternate versions of any character not yet shown, and as a result it'll often get returned to and expanded upon to please them. The status quo in the mirror universe is more likely to change than the original one, probably because the writers are allowed to do it.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann performs this in Parallel Works 4, where the Beastmen are being oppressed by Kamina, and Viral is The Hero, it actually makes Kamina look legitimately evil.
- Happened in one episode in Doraemon when Doraemon and Nobita enter and explore a mirror universe and interact with their counterparts. IIRC, this universe is literally mirrored of having mirrored writing and east is west. Other differences include reversed gender roles showing Nobita's mom as the breadwinner, all males dressed as females, and different teachings in school. Nobita and his counterpart decide to swap roles for a day.
- Comics do this all the time. The DCU has its "anti-matter" Earth, wherein Ultraman, Superwoman, Johnny Quick, Power Ring, and Owlman (the Crime Syndicate of Amerika) are the evil duplicates of Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, and Batman (the Justice League of America), and Lex Luthor was the only superhero left in the world. (A later story introduced the Justice Underground, a team of heroes led by Riddler's counterpart, the Quizmaster. And following Riddler's Heel Face Turn, Quizmaster had a temporary Face Heel Turn.)
- The trope originated in the Silver Age with Earth-3, which was destroyed in Crisis on Infinite Earths but was restored later. The antimatter universe was based on this concept.
- Grant Morrison's JLA: Earth-2, the graphic novel that re-introduced the "anti-matter" version of the Crime Syndicate, deconstructed the trope: even the Theory of Narrative Causality was reversed in the mirror universe, so the Justice League's attempt to save it was as doomed as the Syndicate's attempt to conquer The DCU.
- The animated Justice League also had the Justice Lords universe - a variation on the regular DCAU in which the death of The Flash resulted in the League/Lords becoming a totalitarian dictatorship.
- Actually, the Lords were more of a jab at The Authority. For some reason, DC can't stop destroying the ideas its employees come up with...
- There was also one with Nazi versions of the Justice League - Superman becomes Ubermensch (the German term of which 'Superman' is one translation), Batman and Robin become Horned Owl and Fledermaus, Wonder Woman becomes Gudra the Valkyrie, Aquaman becomes Sea Wolf and Green Arrow becomes Usil.
- Actually, this was not an alternate universe, but the "revamped" past of the only remaining Earth after 1985's Crisis on Infinite Earths mini-series. Since the "Earth Two/Golden Age" versions of Superman, Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Green Arrow had the same names and origins in the "Silver Age," they couldn't exist as they had been, unlike characters such as Green Lantern and the Flash, who had different origins and secret identities. The Nazi versions of those characters were the direct result of the Crisis on Infinite Earths folding all worlds into one. The "energy" that created those characters had to go somewhere, and it created those characters to fight the short-lived team the Young All-Stars (whose book replaced the cancelled All-Star Squadron) during World War II.
- Exiles, of the Marvel Universe, had an issue where Galactus restored worlds instead of eating them, and the Silver Surfer was a power-hungry despot who had destroyed his own homeworld. The first issue of Exiles was in a universe where Magneto was the benevolent teacher who wanted mutants and humans to live in harmony, and Professor X believed there could only be peace when humanity was eradicated.
- The Age of Apocalypse has elements of this trope; Magneto leads La Résistance- including a Good Is Not Nice version of Sabretooth and a version of Colossus who is a psychotic Anti-Hero-, and there is a human resistance including a heroic Dr. Doom and Sentinels actually protecting mankind, versus a dystopic mutant tyranny whose ranks include Cyclops and his brother Havok as well as Beast, now known as Dark Beast, as well as a new character called Abyss who was later introduced into the mainstream comics as a heroic character. However, though Dark Beast is a cruel and sadistic Mad Scientist and a despicable piece of work, Cyclops is just an Anti-Villain who does a Heel Face Turn, and as the title suggests this is a world where recurring X-Men villain Apocalypse has achieved world domination and if anything has actually gotten worse; other villains like Mister Sinister merely serve as his minions and are still evil, while most heroes and villains from other parts of the Marvel Universe didn't change sides, they were just killed when Apocalypse nuked the United States and started purging humanity.
- Played with in the Marvel Zombies universe; the heroes are all evil, but only because they succumbed to a Zombie Apocalypse and proceeded devoured most of the human race, though they are sentient zombies who take sadistic pleaure in ripping their meals apart. Magneto and Doctor Doom show up as their enemies and help rescue survivors, but mostly in the context of them being Noble Demon types who object to rampaging malevolent zombies taking over the planet. The cause of mutant supremacy doesn't matter much when most mutants and non-mutants have made peace with each other and decided just to eat everyone else.
- The Thanos Imperative features the Cancerverse, a universe where Death has been wiped out by four powerful demons called the Many-Angled Ones, including Doctor Strange villain Shuma-Gorath (like the other three, a unique multiversal entity—it has no good twin anywhere in the multiverse). Life has become pollution and is spiraling out of control, and every living thing in the universe is Brainwashed and Crazy and are fanatically devoted to worshipping the evil entities, though non-living beings like the Vision (a robot) are immune and still heroic. Thus, in this universe hero teams like The Avengers are the servants of evil gods, though presumably so is every living villain as well.
- Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog comic has a Mirror Universe, called variously "The Reverse Universe", "Anti-Mobius", and "Moebius". In it Dr. Robotnik/Kintobor is a Kindly Vet, while the Freedom Fighters fight against freedom, having overthrown the previous monarch. The
Anti-Freedom FightersSuppression Squad all dress in black leather, and acted like a bunch of juvenile delinquents until Anti-Sonic became "Scourge" and conquered Moebius.
- The interference from the heroes' world has caused the parallels to break down a bit; Scourge has been turned green, and hooked up with Fiona FOX for a while, Anti-Bunnie has pulled a Heel Face Turn and wears Omega Armor instead of being a Cyborg (anti-Rotor is the cyborg) and anti-Antoine briefly posed as his good counterpart. Basically the status quo for the mirror world gets altered more often than the main one. Oh, and Miles Prower even has the goatee.
- Subversion: In Phil Foglio's short story "Work Ethic" found in Grimjack #40, heroes from a world in which there is only pure good and pure evil (and the heroes always win), get transported to Grimjack's world, which has a more realistically varied moral spectrum. Thus, since they see that everything is not purely good, they begin to destroy the entire town of Cynosure until Cynosure's protector sends them back to their own dimension. (Incidentally, these heroes, the Heterodyne Boys, later became the inspiration for Girl Genius.)
- Similarly, in JLA-Avengers, the League, seeing the many imperfections of the Marvel Universe, conclude that it's the Evil Universe. The Avengers, seeing statues and museums to the heroes everywhere in the DC Universe, conclude the exact same thing (they think the DC heroes have set themselves as gods).
- Transformers: Shattered Glass, where the Heroic Decepticons are fighting to protect Earth and Cybertron from the powermongering of the Evil Autobots. "Till All are Gone..."
- And yes, Evil Rodimus has a goatee.
- Quintessons are tree-hugging peace-loving groovy lingo speaking space-hippies. Chew on -that-.
- And the major Quintesson character is an exile who disagrees with the usual Quintesson policy of non-interaction with races until they're deemed sufficiently advanced—as opposed to the normal Quintesson policy of enslaving or arbitrarily executing "inferior" beings.
- Starscream is Megatron's most loyal soldier who fawns over his commander. It's all rather creepy to be honest.
- Oh, and scratch the 'Earth' part above, as Earth is a Crapsack World that views both sides of Transformers as enemies.
- Speaking of Earth, the Mirror Universe extends to humans. We could mention the Witwicky brothers, who are now petty criminal allies of the evil Autobots, but more illustrative of the reversed nature of the universe is the fate of machine-hating Marvel Comics villain Circuit Breaker (or Josie Beller), whose Shattered Glass counterpart is Josephine "Sephie" Beller, an ordinary human Decepticon ally who loves machines and admires the Transformers.
- Shattered Glass was meant to be played straight, but a three-page April Fools Day comic, "Shattered Expectations", was so spot-on that the series quickly became more humorous. (The SE team also works on SG now.)
- The Disney Comics also dabbled in this; in this comic, Paperinik ends up going into an alternate universe where Uncle Scrooge is poor, Gladstone Gander is unlucky, policemen are criminals, criminals are good, and Paperinik himself is evil.
- Judge Dredd has Deathworld, homeworld of Judge Death and Dark Judges, where Judges realized that all crimes are made by living, so life itself was outlawed.
- The RPG.net forum discussion Shattered Disc. "The world burns ... on the back of a turtle."
- A Bleach fanfiction[context?] features Sonoma and Kan'na. Sonoma is the original universe, introduced in the works of Tite Kubo. Kan'na is a universe created by a user, and is the parallel twin universe to Sonoma. Kan'na is war-torn, and the World of the Living is in a post-apocalyptic state, having been overrun by Hollows. Morals and standards do not exist in Kan'na, same for rules.
Films -- Live-Action
- Super Mario Bros. The Movie posits a "sub-dimension" created through the impact of the meteorite into earth that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. The dinosaurs continued to evolve in this sub-dimension in the city of "Dinohattan", a city mirroring New York City chiefly through the city's design and the overall attitude of its citizens.
- In Andre Norton's Star Gate (1958), the human colonists of Gorth, seeking an Alternate Universe version of their beloved adopted planet that has no native intelligent life, accidentally stumble into a version in which their own counterparts have used their advanced technology to enslave the inhabitants.
- The Dark Reflections Trilogy features a literal mirror universe.
- Characters from Mirror Universe settings occasionally turn up in the Nightside novels, such as Dark Artur (an alternate King Arthur whose mentor Merlin had sided with the Devil), or Joan Taylor and Steven Shooter (Gender Flip villainous versions of the series leads).
- Star Trek: Mirror Universe, naturally.
- Spider Robinson's story "Mirror/rorriM Off the Wall" has an invasion by Trebor, the evil mirrortwin of Robert, a patron of Callahan's Crosstime Saloon. One of the tipoffs is that Callahan's bar doesn't have a mirror normally, just quotes written behind the bar, and suddenly, there is a mirror.
- Serpent's Silver by Piers Anthony and Robert Margroff, second book in a series, has some characters from the first book flung into a more-or-less mirror universe—not only personalities, but also to some extent names and appearances may change, and a few people seem not to have counterparts. It's quite jarring to the young heroes to find themselves working with decent and noble mirror images of their home world's vicious villains. Or when a psychic sees her husband's life saved by (the heroic counterpart of) the now-dead brutal Mook who raped her.
- Doctor Who: In "Inferno", the Doctor was transported to a world where Britain was a military dictatorship and the UNIT characters were either evil (like Brigade Leader Lethbridge-Stewart and his Eyepatch of Power and Platoon Underleader Benton) or resignedly following orders (like Section Leader Liz Shaw and Doctor Petra Williams). The location and plot were the same (an attempt to drill into the Earth's mantle), but penetration was reached and the world was destroyed. The Doctor was able to escape in time and stop his Earth's version of the project.
- Subverted in Stargate SG-1. A whole shipload of alternate SG-1 teams from various universes arrives. One team ends up hijacking the Prometheus. Mitchell says to his double, "You don't have beards, so I know you're not from the Evil Twin Universe". It turns out that this particular team comes from a universe in which Earth does not have a working Zero Point Energy module and needs one to power their defenses. So out of desperation they've contrived the conditions that caused the dimensional travel so they can steal someone else's. You'd think they'd just get all the Samanthas to work on the problem.
- That's actually pretty much how they solve the problem of sending everyone back.
- Charmed had a Polar Opposite World, where good and evil were reversed. The characters had to forge an alliance with their "evil" selves to get both worlds back into balance.
- An imbalance that occurred when these universes crossed caused a total Flanderization of their respective moralities; in the 'good' universe, even the most minor of infringements of law or courtesy was enough to have you (cheerfully) shot, whereas so much as the slightest gesture of kindness in the 'evil' universe would incur the same consequence. Also, it was always day in the good world, and always night in the evil one.
- The Star Trek Mirror Universe started out (in the Star Trek: The Original Series that introduced it) as identical to the main universe, except that for the moral inversion between the Federation characters and their evil Empire counterparts. When the Mirror Universe was revisited in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the correspondences were less straightforward—the Empire had been overthrown, humans were downtrodden slaves, and the station was run by Kira's evil counterpart.
- And, despite being the Trope Codifier, slightly subverted it - even though his mirror counterpart had a Beard of Evil, Spock was, as the show put it, "A man of honor in both worlds", and not strictly evil in the mirror universe despite clearly being on the side of the angels in the primary reality. Further, the Aliens Of The Week were Actual Pacifists in both the 'normal' universe and in the Mirror Universe.
- When the prequel series Enterprise revisited it in "In A Mirror Darkly," it also completely changed its opening credits' entire mood from "Vapid Naive Hope" to "War! Conquest! Exploding Frickin' Laser Beams!" Moreover, since almost everyone except maybe the Vulcans is shown to be evil in one way or another, the ending in which The Bad Guy Wins doesn't really come as a surprise. What does come as something of a twist is it's the bad gal who wins, and then promptly proclaims herself Empress.
- Certain other aspects of characters are flipped in the mirror universe as well. Quark and Brunt get along, Jadzia is a psychotic Knife Nut who is mirror Sisko's lover, mirror Sisko has very little in the way of restrained self-control, and mirror Ezri and Leeta are both lesbians.
- One of Shatner's novels gives a quite satisfying explanation for why this is the only parallel universe open to cross-dimensional travel. When the Enterprise chased the Borg back to Cochran's time in First Contact they didn't, as they supposed, change the timeline and change it back again: they gave rise to a separate timeline. (Then returned to their own and assumed, since it looked the same, that they had succeeded.) Their clumsy attempts to cover up their fixing (hiding in the shadow of the Moon, duh!) didn't fool the Vulcans, who deduced the existence of the Borg, concluded that the logical counter to this menace was the savage militarism they discovered on Earth, and set humans on the path to becoming an Evil Galactic Empire that would be big and bad enough to defeat the Borg when they appeared. Because of the artificial way it was created, this timeline remained entangled with its parent one, leading to a leaky boundary, but also to cross-influences producing similar people with the same names in the same places despite completely different backstories.
- Except that in in the Enterprise alternate universe episode, they talk about the empire existing for "centuries" (so at least from the mid-20th century), and how Shakespeare was different.
- The Star Trek novels continue the Mirror Universe after season seven of Deep Space Nine, showing us how the Terran Rebellion is becoming more of a social revolution, as well as giving us perspectives on Mirror Spock's rise to power as Emperor after the initial episode "Mirror, Mirror", Emperor Sato's putting down of the rebellion during the Enterprise era, and how Picard stopped being a slave and became a Terran Rebellion leader during the TNG era.
- Also, the Expanded Universe does show us more than one version of the Mirror Universe, though whether it's intentional or simply the Trek EU not being having nearly as tight continuity as the Star Wars one is unknown. However, one book features the ISS Enterprise-E of the Terran Empire, which doesn't work with the DS 9 incarnation of the MU, so that one is clearly alternate from the beginning.
- In an episode of Power Rangers Ninja Storm, Tori is sent into a parallel universe where the other rangers are the bad guys and the villains are good guys (the shallow, fashioned obsessed villainesses are even hippies in this universe).
- One of the many, many sphere malfunctions in Seven Days, rather than sending Parker into a Mirror Universe, actually inverted the real universe (Since the existence of parallel universes was disallowed by the show's Applied Phlebotinum), changing Never Never Land into the seat of a tyrannical dictatorship, Ramsey into a spaced-out hippie, and reversing all writing. Parker, being morally ambiguous to begin with, was immune.
- Also, everything in this "inverted universe" is mirrored. Get it?
- The Middleman: In "The Palindrome Reversal Palindrome", the alternate-universe Middleman goes from all-American Boy Scout type to less-than-altruistic Anti-Hero, Pip goes from selfish brat to Catholic priest working to help the helpless, Lacey is a stripper, with Noser as her muscle, the entire world is a Dystopia ruled by Fatboy Industries, and Wendy is the Big Bad. Oh, and all the male characters have beards.
- Red Dwarf played the concept straight in the episode "Only the Good...", where Rimmer travelled to another dimension where everything was opposite to procure the antidote for a virus infecting the ship. The alternate Rimmer and Hollister's positions and personalities were switched, with Rimmer becoming the captain and Hollister a technician on probation from a prison sentence; the Cat was the ship's chief scientist, and Kochanski was his ditzy secretary. (Also seen in deleted scenes: Lister was the Officer and a Gentleman first officer with no dreadlocks and a moustache.) Additionally, all writing was reversed and Rimmer became left-handed and well-endowed.
- The concept was also played with earlier in the series, though not quite played straight. The earliest example is the episode "Parallel Universe", which had a universe where everyone's gender was swapped. Except for the Cat, whose counterpart was a male humanoid Dog.
- Also played with in "Dimension Jump", the episode which introduced Ace Rimmer. Ace himself is an obvious mirror version of Rimmer, being a confident heroic and sexy test pilot, as is Lister's counterpart "Spanners", who is a successful engineer who is married to Kochanski with twin boys. Some of the other characters played by the main cast also contrast in this way: the Cat's counterpart, the Padre, is selfless and friendly; Kryten's counterpart, Admiral "Bongo" Tranter, is in a position of authority.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 explicitly parodied the Star Trek mirror universe in their Last of the Wild Horses episode. Tom and Gypsy are swapped with their evil counterparts. In the evil universe, Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank are trapped on the SOL, while bearded Mike and the bots subject them to horrible movies.
- Hercules: The Legendary Journeys had a universe where Herc was an evil ruler called the Sovereign, and Iolaus was his jester. Opposing the Sovereign's rule were such figures as Joxer (the Spock "one good man" type character, but "opposite" to "our" Joxer by being competent) and Ares, god of love.
- The Sovereign also had a Beard of Evil. Unfortunately for him, he doesn't realize that the main universe's Ares is also evil and has no qualms about killing.
- Kamen Rider Dragon Knight uses this concept literally - the parallel world of Ventara is connected to Earth through reflective surfaces like mirrors and windows. The Earth Kamen Riders are mirror twins of the original Ventaran Riders, who are all heroes, which causes some interesting moments. For example, the good guys are a bit weirded out by Ventaran!Strike, since his Earthly counterpart is a Smug Snake Jerkass. He ends up in a relationship with the Hot Scoop at the end of the series.
- Kevin, Gene, Feldman and Fargas in The Bizarro Jerry episode of Seinfeld.
- Not played straight, but homaged in Fringe, where practically the first person encountered in the alternate universe is played by Leonard Nimoy.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Cordelia gets her wish that Buffy never came to Sunnydale, turning the town (and likely the world) into hell. Xander and Willow are vampires and rule the streets at night, Angel is regularly sexually tortured by Willow, Buffy eventually turns up bitchier than Sarah Connor at her worst to stop a vampire plot to rule the world, only to die trying like most of the show's characters.
- In season two of the Game Show Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego??, this was common type of skit. In the Mirror Universe, AMCE was a force of evil and VILE was a force of good. Kevin Lampshaded this when one of the skits came up.
- Pixelface: In one episode, Riley exits the game from the wrong port and finds himself in a different console where Alexia is an Extreme Doormat, Aethelwynee is a Jerk Jock, Rex is an Insufferable Genius, Claireparker is The Pig Pen and Kiki is... a large, hairy man.
- Parodied in Community. When the tossing of a die to choose who picks up some pizza creates seven alternate universes, one horrible one is created where Pierce dies, Jeff looses an arm, Shirley becomes an alcoholic, Annie suffers a mental breakdown and Troy's larynx is destroyed. Genre Savvy Abed deduces that they're in the "evil" universe, makes them all fake beards and makes it their job to break into the true universe and wreak havoc.
Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends
- Some would say the myth of Thor in Outgard (Thor:OutgardLoki, Loki:Logi, Thjalfi:Hugi).
- In the HERO game Champions, a supplement describing various one-off Alternate Universe concepts included a mirror universe, complete with The Psycho Rangers versions of the Champion superhero team.
- As a direct homage to DC's Crime Syndicate, the Freedom City setting for Mutants and Masterminds has a Mirror Universe (Anti-Earth) in which the city is called Empire City and the Freedom League is replaced by the Tyranny Syndicate.
- The fan-made Brighthammer 40k campaign setting for the Warhammer 40,000 roleplaying games, is largely a Mirror Universe, with some Bizarro Universe mixed in—given the state of the normal universe, it's a pretty nice place to live. There are exceptions, however. The Tau are exactly the same—their new status as villains is simply because the rest of the universe now looks better, rather than worse, by comparison, and the Tyranids are also the same—they're mirrored in that they're now the threat another extragalatic faction is fleeing from, rather than being implied to be fleeing from an even worse extragalatic faction. While the Eldar are reversed in alignment as well, the makers took it to a logical conclusion: The Bright (Dark) Eldar were born in dire straits, and are fighting a losing war against their cruel brethren. The Slaan are a borderline exception, as well: They're much the same, but they're now villains as the setting replaces the mysterious-but-benevolent Old Ones of 40k and Warhammer Fantasy with the twisted and horrifying Great Old Ones; being devoted servants to the Old Ones is now an unequivocally bad thing. Oh, and the Deceiver (the worst of the extremely nasty C'Tan in Canon) is still completely evil, it's just that how he goes about it reversed—he's known as the Soothsayer, and rather than causing trouble with deception, he instead specializes in sharing dangerous and unpleasant truths and dispelling even harmless or necessary lies. The other C'Tan play this straight, though—the Daybringer is flat-out benevolent, the Void Dragon is well-meaning but utterly alien and unaware of just how dangerous his knowledge can be in the wrong hands, and the Outsider is in a self-imposed exile due to emotional and mental scars from battling the Great Old Ones... but the Tyranids are heading toward his "prison" and no-one knows how that will turn out.
- Another version of this is the Dornian Heresy which remains Grimdark but switches the places of the loyalists and traitors and in almost every major event the alternate choice was made. The Emperor sided with Magnus during the Council of Nikea, meaning that the Thousand Sons gained the power to banish and in some cases even outright destroy daemons. Angeron had Horus and the Emperor side with him during the slave uprising on his world, resulting in him removing the combat implants in his warriors. After the Heresy the Legions were never broken up to make sure they could stay strong and root out traitors within their ranks. Ultramar was tricked into fighting the Alpha Legion and Word Bearers resulting in them becoming a third power, meaning that they were no longer held by the rules of the Imperium and began to tinker with their technology. Lorgar chose to declare a holy war upon Chaos rather than siding with them. And, most shocking of all, Abbadon became a tactical genius!
- There is a set of Magic: The Gathering involving a plane that transforms back and forth between its mirror opposites. Lorwyn is a bright, cheery world of eternal summer and daylight, filled with the stuff of whimsical fairytales. Then the world is abruptly transformed into Shadowmoor, stuck in perpetual twilight, and filled with the stuff of the Grimm brothers. Most inhabitants change with it, believing that they've always lived in whichever world it is (which could bring with it all kinds of metaphysical uncertainty about just how often the world changes its nature).
- Also, Time Spiral block revealed several, including a consistent one in which Mirri instead of Crovax became the vampire evincar of Rath. Also the only male angel in Magic history.
- Bionicle has two. The "Melding Universe" is a world where the Great Beings managed to fix Spherus Magna before it blew up, Toa look like Matoran (and vice versa), and the regular universe's Big Bads (the Makuta) embraced light rather than darkness. The "Dark Mirror Universe" is a world where the Toa became Knights Templar and conquered the world. The Makuta, the Dark Hunters, and a rag-tag group of renegade Toa form the resistance.
- City of Heroes had the "Praetorians", evil world-conquering versions of the "normal" world's main heroes. Of course, it's up to the player character(s) to defeat them and ensure that they don't extend their conquests to other worlds.
- They have a Greek name, and Tyrant wears Greek-style armor, because of a legendary Real Life incident: when told of the existence of alternate universes, Alexander the Great wept: "So many worlds, and we have not yet conquered one."
- Also as a foil to the heroic Freedom Phalanx.
- The expansion Going Rogue (not to be confused with Sarah Palin's book) gave them a Retcon into more grey-and-gray version -- 'Justice Lords' than 'Crime Syndicate'. Incidentally there is also a Syndicate in Praetorian Earth. There's also good versions of several villain groups; the soul-stealing Carnival of Shadows are the heroic Carnival of Light, and the Resistance seem to be based on the Freakshow.
- Other confirmed "opposites" include:
- Counterpart to Clockwork King is Metronome, who is a disembodied psychic entity.
- Counterpart to Ghost Widow is Belladona, who is still alive and a member of the Resistance.
- Counterpart to Nemesis, the Magnificent Bastard, is an apparent nobody
- Counterpart to Odysseus, leader of the Warriors, is a trainer in the Underground.
- Counterpart to Calvin Scott, husband to Aurora Borealis, is the leader of the Resistance.
- Counterpart to Venessa DeVore, leader of the Carnival of Shadows, is the leader of the Carnival of Light and is responsible for the Resistance's very existence. She saw the Emperor's new order coming and banded together several military leaders to stand against him. Her psychic abilities also keep Mother Mayhem and the Seers from finding the Resistance.
- And the fans love to embrace this, creating Praetorian counterparts of their own characters, and of currently unseen canon characters.
- The same game featured the "Amerika Korps", who were from an Alternate History where, you guessed it, Hitler conquered and occupied the US.
- Clumsily Retconned into the Council Empire later on, though Issue 15 brings back the most memorable character of the Amerika Korps...
- The "Amerika Korps" could be seen as a slight subversion to the idea that they were identical mirror counterparts. While the game's background clearly stated that the Statesman and the Reichsman could spend all day slamming each other into the concrete, the Reichsman did not like competitors approaching his power level and deliberately made sure his "teammates'" training were less than adequate. That came back to bite him in the ass.
- They have a Greek name, and Tyrant wears Greek-style armor, because of a legendary Real Life incident: when told of the existence of alternate universes, Alexander the Great wept: "So many worlds, and we have not yet conquered one."
- Kirby and the Amazing Mirror. However, it's similar to most of its predecessors, aside from the sidekick Kirbies that wander around.
- The "Shadow Mirror" world that features prominently in Super Robot Wars Advance and Super Robot Wars Original Generation. May or may not be the world that SRW 64 took place in.
- Then there is Asakim Dowin from Super Robot Wars Z, who is clearly an Evil Twin, or at last Evil Counterpart of Masaki Andoh from Super Robot Wars Original Generation, being his antithesis in every possible way and having mecha that is darker version of Masaki's Cybuster. Many fans speculate that just like Masaki's Backstory involves mystical world La Gias, Asakim's might involve La Gia's Mirror Universe.
- The Adventure Quest Worlds 2nd Birthday Event has your hero visiting the Mirror Realm, where pretty much everything is switched around. Battleon is called Battleoff, Aria owns a butcher shop instead of a pet shop, Yulgar's Inn is called "Ye Olde Outt," Zorbak is actually good, Cysero is actually sane, Warlic is a Mad Scientist rather than a mage, and the greatest hero of this reality turns out to be Drakath. His "Lords of Order" (basically good mirror counterparts of the Chaos Lords you've fought so far) have been captured by this realm's Big Bad, King Alteon, who commands an undead army led by Artix, who is an undead Doom Paladin in the Mirror Realm, and you have to free them. The adventures include a trip to Lightovia (basically a mirror Darkovia) where Safiria is the Queen of the Werewolves instead of the Vampires (and where the werewolves love silver rather than it being the bane of their existence), a trip to a farm where a farmer is infecting his chickens with Chaos (don't ask) and finally heading to Alteon's secret lair, an evil mirror version of Swordhaven Castle, to do battle with undead Artix.
- The Legend of Zelda series features several in-game Mirror Universe worlds, including the Dark World in A Link To The Past, the future Hyrule in Ocarina of Time, Termina in Majora's Mask, and the Twilight Realm in Twilight Princess. Usually Link can go back and forth between worlds once you find the appropriate Plot Coupon (which in ALttP and TP is indeed a mirror).
- Oracle of Ages/Seasons basically take place within two different universes that are mirror universes of each other. Subverted when you play one game with the code you get from another, where some people from Labrynna are in Holodrum and vice versa, depending on which game you play second.
- Many team vs. team combat games and multiplayer RTS/turn-based strategy games implicitly use this for the sake of fairness; both teams will have access to identical characters who fight in levels that are the same on each team's side. Color-coding or something else that doesn't affect gameplay distinguishes the two "worlds."
- In the League of Intergalactic Cosmic Champions, the LICC Universe is mirrored by the KILL universe.
- Alternate History: The Series has the Mirror Crew, though we never see their home universe. They're stereotypical pure evil much like the Star Trek original, but the dynamic is quite different because the primary AH.com crew are scarcely angels themselves, it's more a case of The Same but More.
- Protectors of the Plot Continuum, has a Mirror Universe that is an obvious Shout Out to Star Trek, including Beards of Evil.
- The RPG Net message boards once featured a wonderful idea for a Discworld mirror universe. The Disc is torn by war between the scarily charismatic Last King, ruler of Ankh-Morpork and the Plains, and the all-powerful Crone, who controls the Ramtops. Between them are the Crone's former apprentice Magrat, Havelock the assassin and Samuel King-killer. And their leader, the last survivor of the Silver Horde, Rincewind Spellholder.
- Later additions included the Wizard-Killer, a bestial creature that haunts the library of the abandoned UU; Susan the Vain, who plays both sides, seeking to replace her grandfather as Champion of the Auditors; the History Monks, who presumably have decided this is all meant to happen for reasons of their own; the Chalkland Hag, who seeks to challenge the Crone and has turned a society of harmless brownies into an unstoppable army; Lady Sybil, who breeds war-dragons for the Last King and seduces others to her own ends; and Reginald Shoe, who has fled Ankh and turned Pseudopolis into an undead police state. Amongst others.
- Gaia Online recently[when?] featured a literal Mirror Universe in the form of the Dark Reflection random item generator. Unlucky Everygirl Kanoko get sucked into a bizzaro Gaia, and Gaians have to venture through the mirror to rescue her. Bizzaro Gaia features strange versions of the most famous Gaian NPCs. Some of these are fairly basic changes. (Agatha and Rina swapping ages, Moria and Sasha swapping clothing styles, Ian and Rufus swapping species), while others are a bit more bizarre. (Scheming con man Nicolae is now a priest, Liam has become a woman, his yaoi-bait roommate Gino has become his boyfriend, and Edmund has become a huge nerd.). Various inversions of items are present as well. (Gaia-Tan has become Gaia-Sama, Grunny has become Prunny, etc...)
- The Allen and Craig Show, in Episode 12, features two gangsta counterparts to Allen and Craig that share many similar characteristics but have a more "urban" edge.
- In this strip of Dinosaur Comics, where every comic is the same six images every time, an early story arc involves a mirror universe that is the same six panels... mirrored. Also, every character has goatees.
- Irregular Webcomic's "Cliffhangers" theme had a visit by an alternate Kolonel Haken from a mirror universe where the Nazis were good and Monty were evil. Eventually he was killed in single combat by the main-universe Haken, so the only good Nazi was a dead Nazi.
- In Wily's Defense takes place in a universe where Dr. Wily would like a less exciting lifestyle, Cut Man's the hero, Dr. Light is an egotistical megalomaniac, and X is Ax Crazy.
- McAwesome is apparently a mirror shop of Shortpacked.
- Sluggy Freelance features an infinity of alternative dimensions. One of them is hinted to be a world of evil counterparts, having spawned a malicious version of Kiki, and possibly a selfish jerk version of Torg. (It's not known whether those characters were actually from the same dimension, but they might have been.)
- The heroes of the Global Guardians PBEM Universe have encountered two of these. The first is the standard version where the various characters are morally aligned opposite to their normal nature. In this one, the heroic Global Guardians have their counterparts in the villainous Global Gladiators , a criminal syndicate that has taken over the world. The second was a world in which the Global Guardians had taken control of the world "for the betterment of mankind" after a much more severe Xorn invasion had left humanity on the brink of extinction.
- Bob and George: In the first AU Bob lands in an intelligence flipped world.
- While Megaman and Bass swapped intelligence with Protoman (They're geniuses and Protoman's the dumbass), Bob and George swapped temperaments: George became a blind psychopathic murderer, Bob became a flaming homosexual. The regular Bob was...a bit freaked out.
- The Dimension of Hackneyed Stereotyped Opposites in Casey and Andy. Since Casey and Andy are Chaotic Neutral at best, conventional moral flips don't apply to them (instead Andi is a girl who dates God instead of Satan), but Quantum Cop's counterpart is Quantum Crook.
- El Goonish Shive, obviously. There's the Main Universe's Tedd (the one the story follows), Beta Tedd, Lord Tedd (also known as Alpha Tedd and the evil one pictured in the mirror in the trope image ), the Tedd from Ellen's "Second life" dreams and those are just the canon ones. There's probably more we haven't been introduced to.
- In Universal Compass there are 10 Alternate/parallel worlds that each reflect a certain emotion.
- One Rugrats has Chuckie and Tommy thinking that they landed in "Mirror World" when they flipped over a mirror. Hilarity Ensues.
- South Park parodied the Star Trek episode with their own Mirror Universe, from which visited an alternate Cartman. Exactly like the alternate Spock in "Mirror, Mirror", the alternate Cartman was bearded—but being the moral opposite of the "real" Cartman, he was of course kind, soft-spoken, polite and gentle.
- Darkwing Duck had the Negaverse where Darkwing Duck's Evil Twin Negaduck may or may not have come from, but where he apparently rules with an iron fist. In that world, Gosalyn and Tank are sweet, Honker and the Muddlefoots are psychotic killers, and that world's version of the "Fearsome Five" are called the "Friendly Four".
- In Batman the Brave And The Bold, Batman travels to one of these when the Red Hood, an alternate version of the Joker, needs his assistance. He seems to enjoy repeatedly punching out the alternate version of Green Arrow a little too much...
- Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, strongly inspired by the Crime Syndicate stories above.
- Aguably, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths depiction of Batman's counterpart Owlman is far more representative of an 'evil version' than the Justice Lords Batman. Owlman sums up the entire topic of alternate versions nicely to Superwoman (evil Wonder Woman):
Owlman: Every decision we make is meaningless because somewhere, on a parallel Earth, we have already made the opposite choice. We're nothing. Less than nothing.
- And summed it up even more succinctly to Batman later on:
Batman: You're Insane!.
- An episode of Arthur plays with this trope when Arthur's third grade class from Lakewood Elementary, taught by Mr. Ratburn, goes to a Renaissance Faire and meets the third grade class from Glenbrook Academy, taught by Mr. Pryce-Jones, Mr. Ratburn's favorite teacher from his school days. Mr. Pryce-Jones is basically is a really snooty, much meaner version of Mr. Ratburn, who is just a goofy, nerdy, but well-meaning guy who has an affinity for giving a lot of homework to challenge his students' minds; Mr. Pryce-Jones seems intent on producing a bunch of snobby learning-machines, and his students behave as such, with an evil Big Eater opposed to Buster, an evil Smart Guy for the Brain (his counterpart is called "I. Q."), an evil Rich Bitch for Muffy, and an evil Unlucky Everydude for Arthur (named "Chester"). Arthur and Buster even Lampshade the trope's use:
Arthur: They look familiar. Did we play soccer against those guys?
- An episode of Recess had the same idea, when Principal Prickley makes them compete against a kickball team from the school where his brother is the principal. There is a nerdy kid like Gretchen, a typical-loser kid like Gus, a super-athletic kid like Vince, etc. This means that they are perfectly matched and it seems like one team will never beat the other. However, instead of one side being clearly "good" and the other "evil" the kids all conclude at the end that both of the principals are nuts and go off to play on the jungle gym, "Big Crusty" (which looks exactly like "Old Rusty" from the other school).
- The 6th-season Simpsons episode Lemon of Troy did the same swap, between two towns (Springfield and Shelbyville) instead of two schools. Bart and his friends all had Shelbyville counterparts, although they weren't so much evil (since Bart is not exactly good) as just antagonistic to our heroes. Milhouse and his counterpart even made friends.
Milhouse2: But Milhouse is my name!
- The Swat Kats episode "The Dark Side of the SWAT Kats" featured the titular team being warped to a dimension where their equivalents are evil (as is that of their ally, Deputy Mayor Callie Briggs). The universe wasn't entirely swapped however - some major characters retained their 'correct' moral alignments. (There were other more subtle changes as well, such as the Enforcers using fixed-wing aircraft rather than helicopters.)
- Megas XLR has a version of this in its two-part "Rear View, Mirror Mirror" storyline. In this timeline, main character Coop abandoned the titular Megas shortly defeating the series' Big Bad - losing his mind as boredom and battlelust sank in, culminating in the conquest of earth and several solar systems. Coop seems more offended at his alternate self being athletic and muscular (as opposed to...large) rather than evil, though.
- The World's Greatest Superfriends had such an episode, "Universe of Evil". Each of the Superfriends received an Evil Makeover (Aquaman with an eyepatch! Robin with a pencil mustache! Wonder Woman letting herself go!) See them here.
- Buzz Lightyear of Star Command had as a minor villain the imaginatively dubbed and yes, goateed, Evil Buzz Lightyear who came from a parallel universe that he had conquered. He's exactly as evil as Buzz is good. Also, there are parallel versions of the other main characters, except none of them are evil.
- Codename: Kids Next Door had one in which even the acronyms were reversed - the counterparts to the Delightful Children From Down The Lane were the Little Traitorous Dudes From Children's Defence, who opposed the iron grip of the Destructively Nefarious Kids, who were led by Numbuh -4, who had attained a goatee to make himself look even eviller. Fortunately, since the regular Numbuh 4 is brave to the point of recklessness and a strong physical fighter, Numbuh -4 was a coward and weakling. Also, Numbuh -86 was a sweet girly-girl.
- G.I. Joe's two-part episode "Worlds Without End" had several of the Joes traveling to a Crapsack World that bordered on this; while most of the alternate versions of G.I. Joe and Cobra were still morally similar to their counterparts in the regular universe, Cobra's having conquered the world made it the legitimate government of that world and G.I. Joe an enemy of the state. Also, in a bit of a twist, the alternate Baronness was romantically involved with Steeler's counterpart before he was killed in action, and this was one of the stronger influences which persuaded Steeler to stay with her in her world at the end when most of his teammates returned to their own world. (A couple of the others also stayed with him to help revive G.I. Joe's resistance movement in that world.)
- Hey Arnold! had an episode where Arnold goes into the country to visit his weird cousin Arnie. All of the people he meets are counterparts of his friends, but they all appear in pairs, with each one displaying the attributes of the other's counterpart: Harold and Rhonda appear as Harry and Rhoda, with Harry being slim and fashion-conscious and Rhoda being a fat slob. Stinky and Phoebe are seen as Stumpy and Fifi, with Stumpy being intelligent and Fifi being simple-minded and Gerald and Sid appear as Gerard and Kid, with Gerard being the whiny one and Kid being cool. In the end, it turns out that it was All Just a Dream.
- Sonic Underground had the hedgehogs enter one where they were the tyrants and Robotnik was a Freedom Fighter. It ended with them redeeming their evil counterparts. Strangely, there was no mirror version of Queen Aleena.