Comic books are a fictional world with many, many fictional characters that one may escape into. It is a world full of wonder and impossibility, so it only makes sense that one of the most wondrous feelings of friendship plays such a huge role in it. Though they do not always work out, some things cause a rift between friends and make them enemies. Today, we will be looking at some comic characters who went from friends to enemies.

Tony Stark and Steve Rogers

Tony Stark and Steve Rogers have known each other for a significant time since they were both part of the Avengers as Iron Man and Captain America, respectively. They have always harboured friendship. However, all of this goes amiss when the Superhero Registration Act is introduced in the crossover storyline in the limited series of comics, Civil War.

comic characters who went from friends to enemies - Tony Stark and Steve Rogers
comic characters who went from friends to enemies – Tony Stark and Steve Rogers

The Superhero Registration Act was introduced by the US Government in order to keep a track of the powered people and superheroes and their activities. In the beginning, both Tony Stark and Steve Rogers protest the act vehemently, both in their own ways. Stark orchestrates a situation with the help of Spider-Man that convinces the government to retract the act, while Steve starts building the Secret Avengers. Although, later, Stark decides that the SRA is necessary and becomes its biggest supporter. This is what leads to the ensuing battle between the superheroes divided into two factions – those who support the SRA and those who are against it- led by Iron Man and Captain America. Heroes like Daredevil, the Falcon and Luke Cage put their support behind Captain America, while Reed Richards, She-Hulk and Hank Pym were on Tony Stark’s side.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe takes a slightly different approach towards this Civil War between heroes. While the premise remains the same, some of the details undergo major changes in the film ‘Captain America: Civil War’ (2016). When the government announces the ‘Sokovia Accords’ to regulate and monitor people with superpowers after a horrifying attack in Lagos causes multiple fatalities, it breaks apart the Avengers into two. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), with the guilt of creating Ultron still fresh in his mind, believes that the Accords are necessary. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), however, does not share this view and believes that giving the government control over their activities could result in unimaginable consequences. Thus, begins the battle between ‘Team Cap’ and ‘Team Stark’ with their fellow Avengers being forced into choosing a side.

Dick Grayson and Raymond McCreary

When they were young, Raymond McCreary and Dick Grayson were both performers at Haly’s Circus. This is where they first met and became friends. While their friendship was strong, Raymond did find himself to be jealous of Dick at times.

Dick Grayson and Raymond McCreary
comic characters who went from friends to enemies – Dick Grayson and Raymond McCreary

Dick Grayson was a chosen candidate for Talon of the Court of Owls, though his adoption by Bruce Wayne after his parents’ death proved to be a hurdle impossible to overcome. This is when the Court of Owls faked Raymond’s death and tortured him in the name of preparing him to become Talon. Though when he could not meet their expectations, they tossed him out into the wild. Raymond blamed all of this on Dick and took on the identity of Saiko to attack Dick in the name of vengeance.

Peter Parker and Harry Osborne

Harry Osborne was the son of the wealthy, Norman Osborne, who most people would recall as the Green Goblin. Harry became friends with Peter Parker when they met at school. They bonded over their mutual disdain for the school bully, Flash Thompson, amongst other things. Their closeness only grew as Peter regularly consoled Harry over his father’s distant behaviour toward him.

comic characters who went from friends to enemies - Peter Parker and Harry Osborne
comic characters who went from friends to enemies – Peter Parker and Harry Osborne

When Peter finds out that the true identity of the super-villain Green Goblin is none other than his best friend’s father, Peter ensures to do everything in his power to keep this from Harry and protect him from the truth. Nevertheless, this story has no happy end, because when Spider-Man ultimately defeats Norman Osborne, his son Harry, decides to exact revenge upon his father’s killer, oblivious to the fact that it is his own best friend.

The original Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy stays true to the story of Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) and Harry Osborne (James Franco), as does the 2012 reboot, ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ which stars, Andrew Garfield as Parker and Dane DeHaan as Osborne. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, however, does not include the original villain Green Goblin at all, though he can be seen in the most recent film, ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ (2021), having made the jump from an alternate universe.

Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr

Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr probably have the most complicated relationship. They meet, they discover the other is a mutant, and they become friends. While this may sound simple, it gets much more tangled when their beliefs about the humans’ treatment of the mutant come into the discussion.

Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr
comic characters who went from friends to enemies – Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr

Charles Xavier tries his best to find new mutants and help them understand their powers and their nature. He also puts his efforts into building a haven for all the mutant children out there and calls it the Charles Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters and takes on the role of Professor X. Erik, however, takes a much different and violent approach and decides to wage a war on all of humanity as Magneto.

They may not agree with each other’s approach, though ultimately, they are working towards the same goal. A better future for all of mutant-kind, that is free of fear and prejudice. Despite abounding arguments, neither Charles nor Erik ever stop caring for each other.

Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes

In the comics, Bucky Barnes was raised as a child of the state as both his parents died when he was just a little kid. During World War II, Bucky got assigned to the military, which is where he met and befriended Steve Rogers, who at that point was Captain America. Along with his best friend, Steve Rogers faced many threats and also defeated the Red Skull, freeing people taken prisoner by him.

As the war was coming to an end, Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers were hot on the heels of the scientist Zemo who was closely related to Hitler at the time. However, the mission went wrong and Bucky got captured. When Steve finally rescued him from Zemo’s stronghold, while making their escape, things went terribly wrong and Bucky was believed to have died in a plane explosion.

comic characters who went from friends to enemies - Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes
comic characters who went from friends to enemies – Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes

Although it was believed that Bucky was dead, he had survived the explosion which claimed his left hand and caused multiple other injuries. He was found by the Russian forces, who brainwashed him, conducted various experiments on him and cryogenically preserved his body for many years. This is how the Winter Soldier was born, who would not only go on to become a deadly assassin throughout history but also become a threat to Captain America later.

As for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of events, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) was Steve Rogers’s (Chris Evans) best and closest friend from even before his Captain America days. The kid from Brooklyn would never be seen without his best friend whenever he got into trouble.

While Bucky went off to the frontlines, leaving behind his best friend with a warning to not get into any trouble, he could not have imagined coming back to a post-super soldier serum Steve Rogers, who had taken on the mantle of Captain America. Bucky would accompany Steve Rogers on every single mission until his eventual death and resurrection as The Winter Soldier. The character is explored extensively in the Russo brother’s critically-acclaimed film, ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ (2014).

Also Read: Five Marvel Series You Should Check Out If You Liked Moon Knight