This weekend is a special weekend, not because of Easter but because of the Amazing Spider-Man 2 release here in the UK on Friday. Since I’m not religious and don’t have much of a sweet tooth these days Easter doesn’t hold any significance for me, it just means all the shops are shut so I better make sure I’ve got all the cigarettes I’m going to need. No, ASM 2 was far more significant, so rather than doing an Easter themed Top 5 list I thought I’d look at my personal favourite five Spider-Man villains. There are so many awesome villains to choose from, almost as varied and colourful a rogues gallery as the big bad Bat himself. My personal Top 5 represents that variation in Spidey’s rogues gallery, covering the crazy cosmic stuff to the grounded street level villains. Well, let’s take a look shall we?
Wilson Fisk a.k.a. The Kingpin is often more closely associated with Daredevil, but he’s had a fair number of scraps with Spider-Man so I think it’s fair to put him on the list. It’s not particularly surprising that he’s going to run into both of these heroes since he’s based out of New York, but I think the thing that I love about the Kingpin is when you look at the bloke, or at least when I do anyway, my initial thought is “there’s absolutely no way this guy could take Spidey”. Physically, the man is the complete opposite to Spidey, he doesn’t have anything like the speed or movement that Pete’s got, but he doesn’t need it. Spider-Man normally has a tough time getting close to Fisk thanks to the incredibly large criminal empire Fisk has managed to build around him in New York.
And how could he not? The man knows how to play the game, he knows how to play and manipulate people, both those who end up working for him and those in legitimate positions of power, usually within the government. Whether it’s at a city level, state level or country wide level Fisk has people in his pocket all the time. He is one of the ultimate gangsters in comics, very little is out of his reach and when Spidey get’s within his reach, he’s normally strong enough to throw him off and get out of there. A more than formidable foe for Spider-Man and often underestimated, even after all these years.
Sharp dresser too
4. Kraven the Hunter
Kraven is a vallian much unlike other villains from many characters, not just Spidey himself. When Kraven, the legendary hunter, learns of the existence of Spider-Man he makes it his personal mission to hunt him down and kill him. It’s nothing personal mind you, and this is why I like Kraven so much. He isn’t in it for the money, he’s not a down right evil villain, he doesn’t go out and murder scores of people, he is simply a hunter going after the ultimate game. He has no personal vendetta against Spider-Man either, since he’s never actually met him when he goes after him. It makes him a tricky foe for Spidey, since he’s not completely insane or affected by any crazy serums or anything like that. He is the peak of human conditioning and the ultimate hunter. Definitely a favourite of mine overall, not just from the Spidey-verse.
3. Otto Octavius
Also known as the legendarry Dr. Octopus, or Doc Ock, Otto has been a constant thorn in Spider-Man’s side for decades now, always coming up with crazy plots to try to either take down Spidey or the whole world. Either will do for him. The leader of the Sinister Six, he has such a high level of intellect it’s unreal, so many of his fights and plans involve some pretty cool tech. He was at his peak of brilliance during Dan Slott’s ASM while in his own body, almost frying half the planet and managing to keep himself alive longer than he really should have. Even in his almost vegative state he managed to run a team of super villains, play an incredibly long game against the Spider and almost won, culminating in his most brilliant plan of all, swapping minds with Spider-Man and taking his body for his own. It was during this time we learned what a totured human Otto was, being raised in an abusive home as a child, being constantly bullied through school and snapping at what he perceived as bullying from Pete himself. His path to redemption was a really fun one to follow through Superior Spider-Man, with him making countless mistakes along the way until he realised he must sacrifice himself to allow the real Spider-Man back in, and that makes him a hero in his own right.
Specifically, the Roderick Kingsley incarnation of Hobgoblin, the original and best. While I liked the most recent one, Phil Urich, I think Roderick is just so much more tactically minded it makes for a more entertaining villain. Everyone can sit and enjoy a psychotic villain every now and then, but I think Spidey already has a fair few of those knocking around (not as many as Batman though!) and Kingsley makes things much more interesting by being so damned clever. He’s a genius in a different manner to Ock and Peter, he knows how to get under peoples skin and has a real skill for self preservation. Even in the more recent comics as he’s gotten a little older, he’s extremely effective and dangerous in the suit and I think one of Spider-Man’s absolute deadliest foes. I’m looking forawrd to seeing what the Spidey team has planned for him next, although I think having just seen the end of Goblin Nation it could be a while before he shows back up again.
1. Mac Gargan
Now my number one is a very slight cheat, it’s almost a two in one selection since he has been two major villains for Spider-Man and both are pretty awesome. My favourite would definitely be Scorpion, mostly because he was quite a prominent villain in the comics I started reading as a kid, and he’s one of the earliest comics villains I have a memory of. The Scorpion suit was always so badass, and Gargan himself well and truly slots into the “absolute psychopath” category. He has advanced abilities beyond regular humans with superhuman strength, speed and endurance and his suit comes with a nice cybernetic scorpion tail too.
Of course, he was also the third host to the symbiote known as Venom, after Eddie Brock discarded it and left his life as an anti-hero behind. When Mac donned the symbiote, it was back to straight up evil, no mucking around and treading the line between good and bad, just a solid vendetta against Spider-Man and a bloodthirst that was almost impossible to quench. While acting as host to Venom, he gained all of Spider-Man’s abilities plus a few additions, as we know from previous symbiote bearers, but he used it’s shaping shifting and morphing ability to produce a symbiote created scorpion tail to go with it, never fully shedding his previous title.
And so another Top 5 is done, and another post is a day late. I’m desperately trying to get myself back on track with everything at the moment, but there never seems to be enough time in the day. Anyway, enough moaning and excuse making, it’s time for dinner so I will most likey see you tomorrow if you pop by for my Amazing Spider-Man 2 review. Yes, that’s tomorrow now and not today anymore. More lateness!