Spider-Man has one of the greatest rogues galleries in comic book history. For fifty years, the web-slinger has fought a wide variety of powerful and compelling villains, making his stories some of the best out of any superhero. (Spoilers Ahead!)
Spider-Man villains carry the theme of science-gone-wrong, and the Lizard is the perfect embodiment of that. After injecting himself with a serum to regenerate his lost arm, Dr. Curt Connors suffered a terrible side effect and transformed into the Lizard. Constantly shifting between these two halves, Spider-Man has fought time and time again to cure Connors of his mutation, but the Lizard keeps on battling the wall-crawler in an attempt to achieve dominance.
9. Black Cat
While this femme fatale may seem like a copy of Catwoman, Felicia Hardy, aka Black Cat, is a character in her own right. Black Cat has gone from being a cat burglar to Spider-Man’s partner/love-interest. However, she soon relapses into her criminal tendencies, establishing her as more of an anti-hero. But for a short time, she played the role of a villain when she became New York’s Queenpin of Crime, becoming a bigger thorn in Peter’s side.
Adrian Toomes began a life of crime as the Vulture after losing his job as an electronics engineer. His special flight harness gives him superhuman strength on par with the wall-crawler, whom he has battled numerous times throughout the years, establishing him as one of Spider-Man’s greatest villains. While his design as an old man in a green bird suit does seem ridiculous, Michael Keaton’s menacing portrayal as Vulture took this villain and soared into the stratosphere.
Beginning as a gifted special effects artist in Hollywood, his failure as an actor drove him to become a criminal, eventually clashing with Spider-Man and becoming one of his greatest enemies. As a master of illusion, Mysterio specializes in hypnotics, hallucinations, and holographic misdirections. While a guy with a fishbowl for a head may seem too much of a joke villain, Jake Gyllenhaal‘s recent portrayal of him shows just how threatening he can be.
As New York City’s Kingpin of Crime, Wilson Fisk is one of the most powerful and feared crime lords in the Marvel Universe. While his seemingly unlimited resources as the Kingpin make him a serious threat, his sharp intellect and hulking physique also make him a force to be reckoned with. His most shocking feat against Spider-Man is executing his Aunt May’s death after he reveals his identity to the world.
5. Kraven the Hunter
Seeing Spider-Man as the ultimate prey, Kraven travels to New York to defeat him and prove himself as the world’s greatest hunter. Famous for his role in the classic story, “Kraven’s Last Hunt,” Kraven seemingly killed Spider-Man, buried him alive, and took up the Spider-Man persona. His strength, skill, and cunning as a hunter make him one of Spider-Man’s deadliest foes, and his tragic character makes him one of the most captivating. Hopefully, if the rumors are true, we’ll finally get to see Kraven on the big-screen in Spidey’s next film.
Essentially what you get you mix the Joker with Venom, deranged serial killer Cletus Kasady merged with Venom’s alien offspring to become Carnage. Extremely violent and completely unhinged, Carnage has spent years on an endless rampage, killing just about anyone he encounters. He’s so powerful, Spider-Man has had to team up with Venom multiple times to defeat him. Carnage has only gotten more powerful over the years, as he recently became a prophet for the symbiote god, Knull, creating more chaos and destruction across the Marvel Universe.
This iconic villain is the combination of disgraced journalist Eddie Brock, and an alien symbiote Peter once wore as a costume. Both seeking revenge from Spider-Man for their misfortune, the two become Venom. Due to the symbiote’s time fused with Peter, Venom carries all of Spider-Man’s abilities while remaining undetectable by his Spider-sense. Though he spends his early years tormenting Peter and his loved ones, he later becomes an anti-hero, saving those he deems “innocent” as a Lethal Protector.
2. Doctor Octopus
Once a brilliant scientist, the aptly-named Otto Octavius suffered a severe lab accident while using his signature four-limbed harness. Driven insane after the device fused with his body, Otto turned into the criminal mastermind, Doctor Octopus. Doc Ock is seen as the kind of man Peter would’ve become if he hadn’t developed a sense of responsibility. He even took up the mantle of the Superior Spider-Man after taking over Peter’s body, becoming an anti-hero in recent years.
1. Green Goblin
The Green Goblin has been the bane of Spidey’s existence for years. Throughout their never-ending conflict, the Goblin framed Peter for murder, faked his Aunt May’s death, and killed his unborn child. Most notably, he was instrumental in the death of Peter’s girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, which ultimately lead to his death by his undoing. But even that didn’t keep him down, as he returned years later to torment his archenemy. The Green Goblin is thus the ultimate Spider-Man villain.