Supervillains are often used as foils and could present a daunting challenge to the superhero. In instances where the supervillain does not have superhuman, mystical, or alien powers, the supervillain may possess a genius intellect or a skill set that allows him or her to draft complex schemes or commit crimes in a way normal humans cannot. Other traits may include a megalomaniac streak and possession of considerable resources to help further their aims. Many supervillains share some typical characteristics of real world dictators, mobsters, and terrorists, with aspirations of world domination or universal leadership.
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 superohero uses their extraordinary powers to help others, while the villain uses their powers for destructive, selfish, or ruthless purposes.