Sherlock Holmes' "Arch-Rival" Professor Moriarty Is Just Some Dude
Right after Tumblr slash fiction, the mad genius Professor James Moriarty stands as the definitive thorn in Sherlock Holmes' side. Their rivalry is a lifelong battle of wits immortalized in Sherlock, Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows, and of course, the Academy-Award-winning Sherlock Gnomes. It's a feud that's been shown in Holmes stories in pretty much every medium ... except, you know, the actual stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
By virtue of being regarded by pop culture as the Joker to Holmes' Batman, it's assumed that Moriarty appears in numerous Holmes stories, but he's only in two. The first was The Final Problem, also known as The One Where He Fucking Dies, and the other was The Valley Of Fear, a prequel to TFP wherein he's trying to assassinate someone. (Spoilers for a novel published in 1915: He succeeds despite Holmes' best efforts to stop him.)
Sidney PagetThe remotest chance exists that he's only famous because he was drawn like an undertaker who takes his work home.
Isn't he notable because he appears twice? Well, not really. He's not the only Holmes villain to make a repeat appearance. And even then, he never has a relationship with Holmes per se. Sure, he wants Holmes dead, but that's because Holmes is all up in his shit, not because he's playing a vendetta-driven cat-and-mouse game. He's just a normal crime lord with a normal crime lord aversion to detectives sniffing around his operation. His motivation isn't shenanigans; it's cold hard cash.
That's also why when the time comes to have Holmes killed, he doesn't use bombs, an electric chair, or poisoned shoes. He simply tells his men to beat Holmes to death in the street or to run his brainiac ass over with a horse-drawn carriage. As for face-to-face encounters, they only meet once ... and that meeting ends with them plunging over a waterfall, not exchanging witty banter.
Sidney Paget"I'll never forget their immortal final words, 'Sssshhiiiii-'"