The bad guys. The mad scientists, the evil businessmen, the dark lords, the corrupt government officials, the mortal aspects of pure evil. And more often than not, the people (or otherwise) that instigate the conflict, and the story. Basically, Supervillains are the antagonists in Comic Books, action movies, and science fiction stories. Naturally enough, here at the Butlerverse we concentrate on the Comic Book villains.
Supervillains are often used as Foils to Superheroes. Whereas Superheroes often wield fantastic powers, the supervillain possesses commensurate powers and abilities so that he can present a daunting challenge to the hero. Even without actual magical or superhuman powers, the supervillain often possesses a genius intellect and near limitless resources that allow him to draft complex schemes or create fantastic devices.
Superheroes and supervillains often mirror each other in their powers, abilities, or origins. In some cases, the only difference between the two is that the hero uses his extraordinary powers to help others, while the villain uses his powers for selfish, destructive or ruthless purposes.
Despite how one is supposed to cheer for the hero to succeed, there has always been a long standing interest in the villains. Some are renowned for their intelligence, others are awe-inspiring with simply how evil they can be. And yet others are respected because of their determination. No matter how many times the Hero kicks in the door and stops their plans, they're always back at it soon enough, with another dark scheme to further their evil goals.
Many Supervillains share some typical characteristics of real world dictators, mobsters, and terrorists and often have aspirations of world domination or universal leadership. Others are nothing more than souped-up street criminals who got lucky in the "superpowers lottery" and now present a greater threat to the general public than any mere gangbanger with a gun.