If a hero is defined by his or her villains, then Spider-Man’s definition would be a few pages long. You don’t get to swing around a city, slinging insults, wrapping up crooks in webs, and making headlines without getting a big fat target on your back—no matter how friendly and neighborhood-y you are.
Though we could rattle on for days about the who’s who of Spidey villains, we thought it best to just focus on the 5 of the worst. Presented in no particular order…
1. THE SYMBIOTE:
Since it debuted in Secret Wars #8, the symbiote has been a proverbial splinter in the palm of the Marvel Universe. Originally bonding with Peter Parker (to create that super slick black suit), the symbiote has a lengthy career of bonding with psychos, sociopaths, and everything in between.
The symbiote has spawned villains and anti-heroes alike, with a list not limited to Venom, Carnage, Agent Venom, and Toxin. It’s fairly safe to say that we have not seen the end of the symbiote’s reign of terror.
2. GREEN GOBLIN
Pick an Osborne, any Osborne—well, almost. The Green Goblin is quite possibly the definitive Spider-Man villain. With both father and son having numerous personal connections to Peter Parker, the mutual aggression is far more than just suit deep. With a grotesque mask, pumpkin bombs, and a rocket-sled to help fuel the Goblin’s terror, it is no wonder that either incarnation (Norman or Harry) of the Green Goblin is considered one of the worst.
3. DOCTOR OCTOPUS
Brilliant scientist and confirmed madman, Doc Ock is one of the only villains to have actually lived AS Spider-Man for a while—that’s a long story, but check out Superior Spider-Man if you have not. The original founder and leader of the Sinister Six, he’s gotten close to punching Spidey’s ticket on more than one occasion.
With metallic arms to grab, throw, crush, and help his criminal agenda, Doctor Octopus has multiple reasons why he deserves to one of the most feared villains in the city.
The classic “guy gets struck by lightning while touching power lines still connected to a spool” story come to life. Electro isn’t as cuckoo as some of the folks on this list, his villainy really comes down to the fact that he really, really, really loves money.
Like, a lot. With greed in his heart, and a hilariously gaudy suit on his back, Electro has caused nothing but trouble since his shocking debut as a villain—pun firmly intended.
Originally part of the Avengers (it’s true! We had to double check this ourselves), Kraven is regarded as one of the fiercest hunters in the world. An enemy of life in all capacities, he became an arch villain to the wall crawler when he decided that Spider-Man was the ultimate game.
Along with Doc Ock, Electro, Mysterio, Vulture, and Sandman, Kraven was an original member of the Sinister Six—a group organized to dispose of Spider-Man for keeps