Yet I didn't get to finish all of my obligations yesterday, meaning that I might not get to work on it today, as much as I really, really want to keep driving forward with this push.
That being said, I DO have the time to explain an idea I came up with--certainly nothing too terribly original, I'm sure, but interesting to me all the same. The new idea I have revolves around a C-list supervillain, whose an enemy to a Batman expy.
The basics behind his character is that he's a criminal mainly out of pure, sheer, boredom...and because he hates the hero's guts, as he describes it. Why? He more or less says, "No witty banter, no interest in the well-being of your opponents; you're just an antihero who brute forces everything."
That being said, he does respect the hero's intellect, calling it their real power, but says that it'd take more for him to be willing to give up crime than just a smart, strong guy with connections who can beat him. That for him to give up the life, he has to have an incentive to have given it up, which he lacks.
And he IS a good criminal: he's basically just as smart and strong as the hero (with just as many connections), whose weakness is mainly his boredom, plus one additional flaw: he holds a code of honor. If he gives his word, he will uphold his promise, something that is often disadvantageous to him. (Though...he's a master of exact wording. He will honor the intention of his words, but he makes sure the intention OF said words is carefully defined.)
All of this together means that he frequently comes in and out of jail, sometimes legally through loophole abuse, sometimes illegally by just breaking himself out because of sheer boredom, again mainly because he likes the challenge of facing off against the hero and also loves antagonizing the hero thanks to the hero's lack of traditional heroic qualities or overall interestingness. (He even says that if the hero's civilian identity was interesting enough, he'd give up the villain life, but he already knows that's not true because he can tell that whoever the hero's civilian identity is, that is his mask and his true form is the hero.)
It all cumulates when he's just laying around in jail, and a list of the hero's actual A- and B-list supervillains bust him out, requesting he take part in an attempt to kill the hero. He declines, because he has no interest in becoming a murderer: he's a criminal, but not THAT kind of criminal. He gives an oath that he will not consciously work against them in their efforts to kill the hero, but also swears that he will not intentionally take part in an effort to kill the hero.
So he walks out on them, and hangs out on the beach, casually waiting for events to blow over. Of course, the whole conversation was caught on camera, but the words were not, so the hero comes searching for him, wanting to know what they were talking about. He snarks, "One of the world's greatest detectives, and you can't figure out what we were talking about?" The hero threatens to break a limb or two, and he smiles. "What else would we villains be doing in our rogues gallery? Plotting your downfall, of course. Now scurry off and go do your thing. You've got bigger issues than me. I already promised not to help them."
As it turns out, that conversation ends up simultaneously breaking both. Because while the hero manages to seemingly-thwart the plot, another A-list villain reveals themselves as the mastermind, hijacks the hero's plan, turns it against him, and in a surprising twist...the hero actually dies.
This, understandably, shocks and horrifies the villain, who realizes it's his fault, however inadvertently. Again, however much he hated the guts of the hero, he didn't actually want the hero dead, just defeated...and now that could never happen, at least not by his own hand. So he goes on a bit of a vengeful rampage, modifying his supervillain costume (which he only very, very rarely actually wore, after his initial capture--it was kinda pointless since the costume was to obscure his identity and once caught the first time, there was no need anymore so whenever he donned it it was like formal attire) to more closely resemble the now-dead hero's costume and single-handedly taking down every single one of the supervillains involved in the plot, including the mastermind who orchestrated the demise of the hero. All without killing them, yet often brutally beating them to a bloody pulp...
...Traits he had in common with the hero (who never killed yet beat them to a bloody pulp). The only difference now being that he does make the snarky banter mid-battle, and uses some things the hero never did--among them, guns. (Remember, the hero's a serious, serious Batman expy. So too are the A- and B-list rogues, which the C-list villain names as being such.) Example, "You know, I have a rule: though shalt not kill. *shoots target in the knees* Doesn't mean 'though shalt not kneecap'."
After accomplishing the task that even the hero failed at, the villain is about ready to turn himself in to the authorities, when he gets contacted by the hero's family who occasionally went on superhero antics with him but mostly did their own thing. (They managed to retrieve the body of the hero before his identity could be revealed.) And much to his shock...there was an entire family filled with traditional heroes actually concerned about the villains they fight, along with plenty of wisecrackers making snarky jokes and witty banter with one another.
...And they contacted him because they want him to succeed the hero, thanks to him having the greatest overall similarities: he might not have been so much as an archrival and was a third-rate supervillain, but his overall background, connection to the criminal network, the way his mind works, strength, and code of conduct are closer to the hero than any other. And lacking the hero to fight against, it's not like he'd have an incentive to be a criminal anymore, either.
So he agrees, and eventually, manages to get his civilian identity pardoned in a non-suspicious manner as to allow him to freely live the dual life of hero and civilian, a reformed criminal working to bring down former associates.
Like I said. This idea's nothing new. Wouldn't surprise me if something almost exactly like this has been done. (Only, of course, if it has been, then the hero killed woulda ultimately come back, not staying dead, and the reformed villain would therefore by necessity be demoted to extra, just as an extra hero rather than extra villain.) But I enjoyed it all the same.