Breaking Bad... Guys1 of 12Sony is reportedly looking to start-up that Venom solo movie, "apart from and unrelated to" July 2017’s Spider-Man reboot starting Tom Holland. That likely puts the big symbiote lug out of contention for the main villain role of the Marvel-Sony MCU co-production.
We kind of thought they’d go in that direction anyway, likely wanting to go fresh and not re-use villains already associated with the first two film series - which probably eliminates the Green Goblin(s) (Harry and Norman Osborn), Doctor Octopus, the Sandman, The Lizard, Electro, The Rhino (as if) and Venom.
So with that in mind, here's a look at the top 10 Spider-Man villains Marvel could call upon...
Hobgoblin2 of 12To the uninitiated, Hobgoblin might appear to be simply a Green Goblin ripoff. Those people are very wrong. (In fact, in the continuity of the '90s Spider-Man cartoon, Hobgoblin actually came first, but that's a whole other thing.)
There have been three major (and several minor) Hobgoblins in Spidey history - Roderick Kingsley, Jason Macendale and Phil Urich - and each one has been a formidable threat. Kingsley was the original, and his mysterious early appearances in the '80s are some of the most celebrated Spidey stories of that era. Kingsley is once again under the hood as Hobgoblin, having recently been “inverted” during Axis, and spending a brief time on the side of the angels.
Jason Macendale took the whole supernatural "goblin" motif to a new level, and was actually possessed for a time by a demon entity which eventually came to calling itself "Demogoblin."
Phil Urich was once the heroic Green Goblin but is now essentially a twisted version of Peter Parker moonlighting as an assassin while helping out his uncle Ben at the Daily Bugle, and manipulating his way into the heart of the unknowing Norah Winters. After his secret was exposed, he joined forces with Norman Osborn, the original Green Goblin, and became the Goblin Knight.
All three Hobgoblins have been major threats to Spider-Man, and a relatively rare example of updating an existing concept and having lasting success.
Mysterio3 of 12There are three men that have worn the fishbowl helmet and used special effects to terrorize Spider-Man and his friends and allies, but the others are nothing without Quentin Beck, the original. Mysterio is a mainstay on most incarnations of the Sinister Six, the frequent assemblage of Spidey's villains.
Armed only with advanced special effects knowledge, limited creativity, loads of insanity and a flair for the dramatic, it may not sound like Mysterio is much for Spidey to handle. Regardless, he's given the webslinger plenty of problems, and has even seemingly come back from the dead. Mysterio is still waiting for his defining moment, his big win, but despite some shortcomings, this SFX maven should never be counted out or underestimated.
Mysterio was a big player in several recent Spider-Man stories, both individually and as a member of the Sinister Six. He’s also uniquely equipped to appear on film, since he’s literally a special effects guy.
Vulture4 of 12There are several villains who have used the moniker of the Vulture, the first and longest-running being Adrian Toomes, one of the first supervillains ever faced by Spider-Man. Toomes is the inventor and wearer of a special flight harness that grants him functioning wings as well as increased strength.
Toomes also has a penchant for attempting to regain his youth, often by trying to steal it from others, including one successful attempt at stealing it from Spider-Man, though the effect quickly wore off. Toomes is also notable for being the first villain of whom Peter Parker sold pictures to The Daily Bugle. Toomes would be an ideal character for a young Spider-Man to take on. In fact, he was rumored to appear in Spider-Man 4 before that movie was scrapped in favor of rebooting.
The second Vulture was Blackie Drago, a former cellmate of Toomes’s who stole the flight harness for his own ends, before being defeated in a three-way battle with Spider-Man and Kraven. After Drago came professor Clifton Shallot, who invented his own flying harness. Later, a group of criminals with flying suits called the Vulturions took inspiration from Toomes. Finally, there was Jimmy Natale, a former mobster who was mutated into a winged, acid-spitting creature that attempted to take out his former mob colleagues.
Jackal5 of 12Miles Warren was responsible for the Clone Saga.
We could probably end the entry for Warren (better known as The Jackal) right there, and most people would be okay with that. Yet Warren took things a step further than cloning Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy a few (dozen) times. Recently, his machinations expanded, and he used his scientific acumen to gift millions with Spider-powers in the "Spider-Island" storyline.
Warren is the best kind of Spider-Man villain, and a type you'll see several more times on this list; as much as he can match Spidey punch for punch, the real match-up comes brain to brain. His brilliance, and his willingness to use it for evil means, is his real weapon. And hey, he did give us both Scarlet Spiders, so he's not all bad, right?
Black Cat6 of 12Felicia Hardy is the daughter of a world-renowned cat-burglar who trained herself in martial arts and the art of thievery. She has often been counted among Spider-Man’s allies, though she got her start as a villain.
Black Cat has the unique power of “luck manipulation,” an ability that allows her to affect the probability of any outcome in her favor, and to the detriment of her enemies. Interestingly, she was originally designed as an adversary for Spider-Woman before being brought into conflict with Spider-Man.
While Black Cat has never appeared on film, her alter ego Felicia Hardy did appear as Harry Osborn’s administrative assistant in Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Morbius7 of 12Morbius, the Living Vampire has the distinction of being the first Spider-Man villain not created and written by Stan Lee. Morbius first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #101, the first issue written by Roy Thomas after Lee left the book. Morbius came about because of relaxed rules about depicting vampires in comic books laid out by the Comics Code Authority.
In continuity, Morbius is actually Dr. Michael Morbius, a brilliant scientist who attempted to cure himself of a blood disorder with an experimental treatment that lead to him developing a disease not unlike vampirism which forced him to consume human blood.
Over the years, Morbius has often sought a cure for his condition, though his vampiric disease usually brings him into conflict with Spider-Man and other heroes. Morbius has also anchored several solo series as well.
Chameleon8 of 12Dmitri Smerdyakov is actually the first supervillain ever faced by Spider-Man, first appearing in Amazing Spider-Man #1. That alone would give him a permanent place in comic book history, but it's his various misdeeds over the past 50 years that earned him his spot on this list.
In the '90s, Chameleon helped mastermind a plot that nearly broke Spider-Man's psyche, faking the return of Peter Parker's parents, long presumed dead. In reality, the "parents" were actually robots, the kind of thing that happens in comic books more than you might guess. That revelation led to one of the darkest periods in Spider-Man's history, and the guy hasn't let up he recently impersonated Peter Parker, and is currently a member of the Sinister Six.
Chameleon is also a go-to character when writers want to truly explore the psychological aspects of Spider-Man's world, as seen in the work of J.M. DeMatteis and Paul Jenkins, the latter of whom actually had Chameleon proclaim his love for Spider-Man. (It was awkward for all involved.)
And more than any of that, there's still lots of dramatic mileage in the fake-out opportunities provided by a character who can impersonate nearly anyone, which, when employed correctly, still manages to be surprising after all of these years as seen in his impersonation of former vice president Al Gore during "Ends of the Earth."
Kingpin9 of 12Modern fans may be saying "Kingpin? But he's a Daredevil villain!" And you wouldn't be wrong. Wilson Fisk, the crime Kingpin of New York has certainly been a thorn in Daredevil's side more often than not. But before he tangled with the horn head, he was one of the web head's biggest (heh) foes.
He started out in Amazing Spider-Man #50, having taken control of the crime networks in New York when Spider-Man was "no more." Ironically, his stepping into power (and kidnapping J. Jonah Jameson) was the impetus for Peter to web-up once again. While much of his focus has been on other characters like the aforementioned blind lawyer from Hell's Kitchen since then, Kingpin has played an increasingly large (ahem) role in Amazing Spider-Man again in recent years, tangling with the Superior Spider-Man.
As for the cinematic universe, Kingpin has been established as a Daredevil villain in that hero’s Netflix series. But Vincent D’Onofrio’s powerful Fisk could go the other direction this time, moving up to menace Spider-Man in a new film.
Scorpion10 of 12Scorpion is one of a long line of villains engineered to fight Spider-Man at the behest of J. Jonah Jameson. Mac Gargan was a private investigator hired by Jameson to find out how Peter Parker got such good pictures of Spider-Man. When Peter was able to easily elude the detective, Jameson recruited him to be the test subject of an experimental procedure that would grant him great power.
Unfortunately, Gargan was driven insane by the process that gave him his scorpion-like abilities, turning on Jameson, who was saved by Spider-Man. After his defeat, the Scorpion began a raging rivalry against both Jameson and Spider-Man.
Years later, Gargan became the host of the Venom symbiote for a time, serving on the Thunderbolts before losing the symbiote and returning to his Scorpion identity as part of the Sinister Six. Gargan’s Scorpion persona would make for a terrifying and powerful cinematic enemy for Spider-Man, especially if they go the direction of Gargan being something of a monster.
Kraven the Hunter11 of 12Kraven the Hunter might not be on this list - and definitely wouldn't be this high - without one story: 1987's "Kraven's Last Hunt."
The six-part storyline, written by J.M. DeMatteis and illustrated by Mike Zeck, is one of the all-time Spider-Man classics, a psychological thriller that showed something that virtually never happens in superhero comics: the bad guy winning. Kraven, a long-time enemy and member of the original Sinister Six, shoots Spider-Man with a dart that leaves him comatose for two weeks, buries him, and then puts on a copy of Spidey's costume and goes around New York City fighting crime - in his mind, proving not only that can he defeat Spider-Man, but that he can beat him at his own game.
The real surprise came with what happened next. Feeling like he accomplished his goal, Kraven committed suicide. Several people subsequently tried to fill his role - mainly Kraven's sons Vladimir and Alyosha - but it's a death that lasted up until very recently, when Kraven was resurrected in 2010 storyline "Grim Hunt." Now that Kraven is back in the Spider-Man rotation, a new generation of fans are able to see what makes him cool, and "Kraven's Last Hunt" still stands as one of the greats, and a great possibility for a film.
1 of 12
2 of 12
3 of 12
4 of 12
5 of 12
6 of 12
7 of 12
8 of 12
9 of 12
10 of 12
11 of 12
12 of 12