French Villainous Name: L ‘imposter
Real Name: Théo Barbot
Root Cause of Transformation: Chat Noir
Item of Transformation: Picture of Ladybug
Primary Goal: To Have Ladybug’s Affections
Through Théo Barbot, we at last get a slight glean to the powers behind the Miraculous users Chat Noir and Ladybug in that he is quite clearly in love with our titular heroine. A titular heroine who is likely half his age though, to be fair to the man of many talents, as his later background roles would attest, he is likely seeing the same illusion that others do of Ladybug and Chat Noir. However, that is an example for a later, more prudent, akumatized victim.
During the events of an unveiling of a statue dedicated to Paris’ heroes, Chat Noir is the only one in attendance and takes quick notice of the sculptor’s obvious affections towards his feminine partner. Feeling foolishly jealous, Chat Noir makes it a point to hint that he and Ladybug are in a romantic relationship, something that Ladybug herself would no doubt have stated otherwise were she there. Unfortunately, she wasn’t and Chat Noir’s words hit straight through Théo’s heart, leading him a ripe and easy target for Papillon’s akuma, turning him into an exact replica of Chat Noir, a… sigh… a literal Copycat.
Copycat is equal parts undeniably weak and incredibly powerful insomuch that, as his name and appearance might imply, he is a picture-perfect duplicate of Chat Noir with all of his powers on the side. This of course leads me to once again question Papillon’s motives considering he literally recreated the flipping Black Cat Miraculous of Destruction.
I mean it was one thing to recreate Chat Noir’s staff and his Miraculous enhanced prowess, which is in turn catlike abilities conformed into a human form (agility, balance, strength, etc.) but Copycat goes a step further in proving that he, like Chat Noir, can access the power of destruction through the aptly named attack, Cataclysm.
However, much like Chat Noir, the use of Cataclysm is not without its own cost. For the real Chat Noir, he would eventually revert back to ordinary Adrien and the same would likely occur to Théo. I say likely because it is never proven outright and it is also highly likely that the use of Cataclysm, and by extension the Power of Destruction, would have ultimately destroyed the akuma possessing Théo.
Yet, despite his clear potential for absolute villainy, Théo’s root cause of transformation is his affection for Ladybug and his ire with Chat Noir. He makes it a point to try and tarnish Chat Noir’s name by stealing the Mona Lisa, which seems to me to be the only painting worth stealing in France given the sheer number of times people keep trying to make off with it. … Back on point though, Théo tries to tarnish Chat Noir’s name in an elaborate scheme to trick Ladybug into thinking he’s the real Chat Noir whilst also capturing Chat and making off with his Miraculous.
Given how easily Ladybug sees through the ploy, and the fact that said ploy was rather tame comparatively, it is because of this that I put Copycat down amongst the bottom tier though he’d be up at the top had he hated Chat Noir a lot more. Being labeled a thief can tarnish one’s name but one that can be easily wiped away but the blackened stain of murder or other horrific crimes… No matter whether one’s innocence is proven without a shadow of a doubt, that is a stigma that will never vanish with time.