I have seen the word 'arch' used as a verb in the context of a villain causing trouble for a hero, or a hero thwarting a villain. It is also used when a villain is actively trying to become a hero's primary nemesis. I've only seen it in comedic or informal settings, or when talking about a hero/villain relationship. It probably sprang from 'arch-enemy', but I'm trying to find where and when this phrasing was first used. Can this be sourced to a particular work? How long has this usage been around?
I think the verb to arch (to be an arch-enemy or do arch-enemy things against a hero) is from The Venture Bros. cartoon and mostly restricted to the programme and its fans.
The top entry on Urban Dictionary is:
arch, to arch /ahrCH/
to desire to cause harm, foil plans, and generally create aggression against targeted individuals or groups, used esp. with supervillains
We go around "arching" people at work.
[arch] [venture bro] [monarch] [adult swim] [rusty]
by Dr Girlfriend October 26, 2011
23 up, 14 down
You'll notice the tags include "venture bro", so it appears to be only used in reference to the The Venture Bros. cartoon. The person who added it used a username, Dr. Girlfriend, which is an alias of the character Dr. Mrs. The Monarch in the same cartoon.
The Monarch used the verb in episode 36, "The Lepidopterists" of The Venture Bros. (original airdate: Aug 3, 2008):
I'm trying to arch here, this is how it's done!
It was also used in episode 30 (June 22, 2008):
Sgt. Hatred - The one thing I've learned is there's no good reason on God's green earth that arching has to be a completely unpleasant experience for either of us.
In Episode 34 (July 20, 2008):
He went arching? Without us?
Ow! Oh! We don't get to do anything! I'm like this close to arching the paperboy!
And Episode 10 (October 9, 2004):
Dr. Girlfriend: I'm flattered boys, but I'm with the Monarch now. And you know he's been arching Dr. Venture
The verb is used a lot by fans in The Archer Bros. wiki.
I don't think that arching in this context means "to thwart"; I think that "to arch" is a verb whose usage is mostly constrained to the Venture Bros., where it refers to the organized practice of comicbook-style rivalry characterized in the relationship between a hero and her arch -nemesis.
The Monarch arches, or plays archnemesis to, Dr. Venture.