Spiderman, Spiderman, does whatever a Spiderman can....
Few of us can say we are not familiar at the least with the image of Marvel Comic's posterboy, Spiderman. His nerdy real life all the way to his saving the world, Spiderman is one of the most famous heroes to ever grace the pages of a comic book. His face is plastered on t-shirts, posters, animated TV series and a major motion picture franchise. What is not to love about your friendly neighborhood Spiderman? I will tell you what, his arch enemies. They fill the reader with terror, intrigue and sometimes even strange looks followed by consistent head scratching.
Spiderman is a hero with decades of achievement and accord but what about the bad guys? Where is their respect? This top 10 list is meant to showcase the 10 most hated and most dangerous of Spiderman's foes. While some may make you ask why, I assure you they will fit the bill in time. So before we guild this lilly any longer let's look at the bad guys who made Spiderman a hero. Our first baddie might shock you a little.
10. J. Jonah Jameson
I am sure you are scratching your head right now thinking why in the world would this guy be on this list. Simple. No man or woman has ever been more of a thorn in the side of Spidermanthan Daily Bugle mogul J. Jonah Jameson. he remained the biggest anti-Spiderman fan there was throughout the comic series. Jameson used his best selling paper to degrade and slander Spidey at all turns. Sure he didn't attempt to kill him in a physical manor but none the less he served as a very tough obsticle in Spiderman's career.
What made Jameson so epic to the story was he hired free lance photographer Peter Parker to take pictures of the Spiderman. Parker as you know is in fact the web slinger himself and thus when Parker defends Spiderman to Jameson he is in essence defending himself. The philosophical aspect of the confrontations between the two are so vital to what makes the Spiderman series go above and beyond the regular comic book.
Jameson created that friend of the foe storyline that would fuel most of Spidey's greatest nemesis. In life Jameson really liked Peter Parker and respected him for his work, but he also despised and hated Spiderman. There really isn't a reason behind the hate, at least not a valid one. It may be to boost the sales of the paper, it may be that Spiderman is unusual, or it could be J. just doesn't like the blue and red color scheme. Noone really knows the truth behind it all.
9. The Rhino
Big, mean, and dangerous are all titles that fit The Rhino very well. Aleksei Mikhailovich Sytsevich agreed to be a part of a very risky experiment that would bind apolymer to his skin. This addition gave him super strength and speed. This created the force of terror known as the Rhino. Rhino would become an intricate part of not only the Spiderman series of comics but appear in many other titles as a villain for hire. He made numerous appearances in the Hulk comics.
Rhino would actually find himself facing death. Of course Marvel Comics never lets good bad guys go for to long and the Leader would bring him back using gamma radiation. That's right kiddies, the same stuff used to create The Hulk. Rhino would go on to pursue the Hulk while working for the Leader. That is of course until he learns he is being used. Rhino than goes after the Leader. Thus we see a slight change in his outlook on things.
Rhino would continue to terrorise Spiderman through several very dramatic battles, most of which saw him getting the best of our web slinging buddy, Spiderman. Rhino would actually be one of the most loved foes in the Spiderman animated series. His brute strength coupled with his witty one liners would lead Marvel to question how fans would start to kind of cheer for the lumbering hulk of a baddie. This would prompt a major turn for the thick skinned bad guy that had been the bane of Spiderman's existence for so long. Rhino would become a good guy.
That's right this story ends with a heel turn in some manor. Rhino now helps Spidey face the terrors that threaten the good people.
Roderick Kingsley was a fashion designer with ties to crime. He had become quite obsessed with putting his rivals out of the playing field and in the process cost Narda Ravanna her career. Not to be underhanded she became the villain Belladonna and went after Kingsley. Of course Spiderman was there to save the day. (twice to be exact). Kingsley became paranoid and fearful that his life was in to much danger so he decided he needed added protection and power. This opportunity would come after one of his petty thugs stumbled upon the lair of Norman Osborn, the original Green Goblin. Kingsley killed the thug so the secret would never be revealed and soon he began to alter the equipment left behind by the Green Goblin. Within a short period of time the Hobgoblin was created.
Hobgoblin would not only pose a threat to Spiderman but anyone who came in contact with him. He would even go on to create 2 more Hobgoblins in an attempt to stop Spiderman but of course being the ego maniac he is he would kill both alternate goblins and claim the mantle for himself. Hobgoblin appeared in numerous issues of Spiderman comics but his presence was never a major one in the animated series and no word exist as to if he will ever make an appearance in the film franchise.
7. Kraven the Hunter
Sergei Kravinoff, or Kraven the Hunter as many of us know him by was a big game hunter who strived to prove he was better than any animal he ever hunted. The catch was simple, Kraven used his bare hands to subdue his hunt. Kraven would prove to be one of Spidey's most challenging battles. He was actually the founding member of the Sinister Six, a team hell bent on destroying Spiderman. To make matters worse Kraven was one of the few who actually "killed" the spider.
Of course we know he never actually killed him. He simply drugged him and buried him in his estate yard. Kraven would than go on to pose as Spiderman creating a hatred for the webhead among the citizens who once loved him. Kraven would evolve from cool hunter to rabid psycho in a matter of issues. His character has been a part of Spidey's animated career and a major role in the comics.
Cletus Kassidy was without any shadow of a doubt a sadistic human being. He killed his own grandmother and tortured animals for fun. Kassidy would grow up to become a rage induced serial killer claiming to have killed well over 20 people. His arrest would land him in Ryker's island sharing a cell with the now symbiote free Eddie Brock. (Venom) While in prison the alien symbiote returns and once again Eddie Brock and the alien are reunited forming Venom. This time around however the black suit has left an offspring in the cell. Kassidy is then inhabited by the offspring of Venom, a symbiote that bonds with his blood creating the villain Carnage.
Escaping prison Kassidy as Carnage begins to kill again. Each gruesome scene is marked by the word carnage. What progressed from there is a masterpiece of comicdom. Carnage would be the one foe that would always seem to slip away from Spiderman. His powers where not unlike that of Venom but he was smarter, more in tuned with how Spiderman thought. Carnage would become a comic franchise. Not only would he become a face in his own storylines but his image also graced a Super NES game. That's right Carnage was video game famous.
Since his birth Carnage has become one of the most cherished Spiderman bad guys.
5. The Lizard
Curt Conners was a profound scientist. He worked as a medic in the army and during a bomb blast lost his arm. This troubled the scientist and he began to obsess over reptilian limp recovery. He figured if he could figure out how the reptiles could recover a limb than perhaps he too could do the same. Over the course of his research he would develop a serum that proved to regenerate the limb of a rabbit. This was an exciting discovery but was it ready to be tested on humans?
Conners would take the new drug and his arm returned but with it came the transformation into a reptilian creature known as The Lizard. Conners would undergo several transformations into this creature over time and develop as a Spiderman favorite among the comic readers. So much was the popularity of this villain that the Spiderman film franchise has chosen him to be the bad guy for the 4th installment.
Just like J Jonah Jameson we see a very awkward trend among the Lizard. Dr, Conners is a friend of Peter Parker, yet as the Lizard he despises Spiderman and hope to create a world of super human lizard people. The trend of Spiderman foes becoming villains is one that makes the comic the stereotype for true arch enemies.
4. Dr. Octopus
Dr. Otto Octavius was a scientist of epic proportions. He was noted for using four robotic arms to conduct his dangerous work. After a huge explosion the arms were grafted to his body. Suddenly he could control the arms with his own thoughts. The aftershock would come that he would also suffer a degree of brain damage from the accident. In a rage of confusion the good Doctor turned to a life of crime.
During this crime induced life he would come to face Spiderman several times and he would also become one of the most recognised faces in the Spiderman universe. This character was so popular that the second of the highly successful Spiderman films utilized it as the main villain. Doc Oct as Spiderman would grow to know him as is one of the characters that pushed the very boundaries of the mad scientist genre and in doing so created a horde of smart super villains who had larger goals in mind than just gaining power.
Another aspect that made the Doc appealing for fans was his size. Most comic book creation have the perfect body and build but Dr. Octopus was the exception. He was chunky and not in very good shape at all. This was an eye opener for people as now perfection physically was not the only thing viewed in a comic book. Now normal people were being represented to some extent.
William Baker would be the criminal mastermind who becomes the Sandman. During a stay in prison he adopts the name Flint Marko, one that would allow his mother to remain oblivious of his true nature as a criminal. After his escape from prison he would find himself in a nuclear testing facility. It is here he bonds with radiated sand. As the two separate entries bond and join together the Sandman is formed.
Sandman was a character that made numerous appearances in book, TV and film form for the Spiderman universe. The thing that made Sandman so impressive as a character was that he reformed and became a team mate to Spidey as well as other super heroes. This would be short lived as he would be brainwashed by the Wizard into returning to a life of crime but eventually would make the jump back to good. Sandman is a character that is so deep that you start to feel like you know the guy. Most villains don't grant the reader that luxury but this one is an exception.
Eddie Brock was a reporter for the Daily Bugle, but due to a slight mishap involving Spiderman would lose his job. This made him rather bitter toward the webhead. After Spiderman was able to escape the black suit that was actually an alien symbiont it bonded with the now disgruntled reporter and became the most lethal foe Spiderman would ever face, Venom.
Venom's presence in the Spiderman comics introduced us to a deranged force of reason that would grow to amazing heights of popularity. Vemon would get spin off comics and even become the star of the third Spiderman movie. While most fans were disappointed with how the Venom character was displayed it was still a breath of fresh air to see the character on screen.
Venom is the one character who has the most insite into the Spiderman character, at least as a villain. he knows the origin and the real person behind the face of the Spiderman. What makes Venom so impactful is he is a living nightmare.
1. Green Goblin
Norman Osborn would be the setting for the foe known as the Green Goblin. A character who is so infamous that he even breached the comic world and made a brief but scary appearance in a horror film. (Maximum Overdrive)
While experimenting with a serum of dangerous ability Norman would be imbued with physical strenth and a profound abundance of crazy. He foresees a future where he is the crime boss and to do so he knows he must defeat the Spiderman. Thus the war between the Spiderman and the Green Goblin begins. That war has spanned numerous comic stories, countless anime appearances and of course the major motion picture in which William Defoe portrayed the Goblin to perfection.
The Green Goblin is a character that once again goes back to the age old Spiderman villain in that he knows Peter Parker. His son is Peter's best friend. This creates a know your foe without knowing your foe scenario and really pushes the envelope of what comics are doing storyline wise. The Green Goblin is that one piece of the puzzle that really drives Spiderman. Underneath the mask is a smart defined human being but inside the mask is madness that may not even be able to be measured.
Jesse Keehn from Indiana on November 15, 2018:
Thank you sir for your incites into the villainous culture of the spider world. It would be really cool to see some of these characters brought to the big screen. Some of these redone in film, and others left the way they are in this regard I.E. (Dr. octopus, Venom).
Sam Little (author) from Wheelwright KY on November 14, 2018:
Nathan I might update. It has been a very long time since I was into comics, just started to fade away for me after awhile but I am starting to get back into it.
Nathan Kiehn on November 13, 2018:
Spidey's villains are so classic, and I'm happy that you included several long-running antagonists in here.
I'm curious, though: would you ever consider updating your list with more current stories? There are several tales in recent years--"The Gauntlet," the resurrection of Kraven, "Superior Spider-Man," "The Clone Conspiracy," etc.--that would add some more interesting perspectives. Just a thought.
Sam Little (author) from Wheelwright KY on November 08, 2012:
Great point, I put him right up there with Magneto and Kingpin in all honesty.
Geekdom on November 08, 2012:
Great list. Green Goblin has grown to become one of the largest Foes in the Marvel Universe and his actions have had repercussion on almost all of the Marvel Heroes and Villains.
Sam Little (author) from Wheelwright KY on September 03, 2012:
Never was a fan of the Widow myself. I may go ahead and try to do the X-Men one though
mts1098 on September 03, 2012:
Great idea..X-Men is a fantastic series...How about a Black Widow?
Sam Little (author) from Wheelwright KY on September 01, 2012:
Thanks for stopping by, thinking of doing an X-Men related hub.
mts1098 on September 01, 2012:
Spiderman (the original trio) is among my favorites...cheers
Sam Little (author) from Wheelwright KY on August 31, 2012:
Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed it.
Demetre A Winfield from chicago on August 31, 2012:
this was a very entertaining hub. i personally love carnage. venom is pretty cool too. well done.
Sam Little (author) from Wheelwright KY on August 31, 2012:
Thanks I appreciate it. I was a Spidey head when I was little.
Domenick Dicce on August 31, 2012:
Great Article. Spider-Man has always been my favorite superhero and he has so many wonderful villains it is great to see who likes what villain and in what order. I loved seeing J. Jonah Jameson, I always put him number one in my list.
For me I could never get into Kraven (although I loved the last hunt storyline) or Sandman. I would switch them with the Jackal and Black Cat.
Sam Little (author) from Wheelwright KY on August 31, 2012:
Great points. I had some reservations about using Rhino as he did kind of go out of the Spiderman series into a ton of other comics.
montuckyblogs from Helena, MT on August 31, 2012:
Great hub! Good call on JJJ. Green Goblin also deserves to be on top. The only change I would make would be to slide out Rhino, and put in Dr. Miles Warren (The Jackel). With all the chaos he's caused Parker with the Gwen and Spider-man clones, I feel he should be somewhere near the top. But that's all semantics. Well thought out and well written.