Spider-Man is one of the most beloved characters in Marvel’s history, both in the comics and the big screen. Peter Parker is incredibly likable and has awesome skills and abilities, but the villains he faces are almost as iconic as Spidey himself. There are tons of awesome adversaries that Spider-Man fights and defeats against all odds.
Spider-Man: No Way Home gets near its premiere day, and the trailer revealed Parker will have to face numerous villains he had already faced in the movies. And, there will probably be more, especially when you consider the comics. Here’s a ranked list of the 30 greatest Spider-Man villains of all time to see who we might see go against Peter this time around.
30. The Jackal
The Jackal is one of the classic Spider-Man villains. Although he had some great moments against Spidey, and several villains took the mantle, the Jackal was never as impressive as some other formidable Spider-Man villains.
He first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #31 in 1965 as Miles Warren. He was a biology professor at Peter Parker’s school who obsessed over a girl for a while before she died. It spiraled him out of control with grief. As the reports claimed Spidey was behind her death, Warren sets out to avenge her, usually working through others.
The Jackal manages to get to Spider-Man’s true identity, but in the end, it wasn’t Spidey who outsmarts and beats the Jackal – it’s the Green Goblin, the one who is actually responsible for Gwen’s demise.
Many of you probably haven’t heard of Tombstone before, probably because he’s one of the “newer” Spidey villains. That is if you consider 1988 as new because that’s when he first appeared (Web of Spider-Man #36).
Tombstone is a crime lord and an albino with great fighting and marksmanship skills. He’s also quite physically imposing and has superhuman strength, to a degree. I love the depth the character has. He’s not just some crazy gun-slinger that enjoys killing – Tombstone has a goal, regardless of how sinister that goal is.
He’s a worthy opponent, although I wouldn’t put him in the spectrum of Spidey’s most powerful opponents. Still, he’s a great villain, definitely worthy of a spot on this list.
Mephisto isn’t your regular nor typical Spider-Man villain. He would be way higher on his list if he were, as he’s the most powerful entity here. Still, he and Spidey rarely met each other, so he doesn’t deserve to be ranked higher.
One time they did meet, though, we got one of the most heartbreaking storylines not just for Spidey but in the entire Marvel Comics universe. Long story short, Mephisto makes Spider-Man choose who to save from death – his Auntie May or his wife, Mary Jane.
It’s was crushing to see Peter having to say goodbye to MJ so tragically, and that single storyline hit me so hard that Mephisto simply had to be here on this list.
Although the Shocker looks quite cool in the comics and has awesome skills and abilities, his lack of true motive makes the character bleak and dull at times. Still, he and Spidey had some awesome battles.
Shocker first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #46 back in 1967, and his only true motivation to live a life of crime is money. He doesn’t lust for power or vengeance, nor does he grief a loss or even have a personal grudge with Peter Parker – he just wants to get cash, by all means necessary.
Even though his skills are cool, the lack of background is probably why we hardly ever saw him in the movies. Spider-Man: Homecoming featured a version of the Shocker, but he was so easily killed off by the Vulture that I don’t know why Shocker was in the movie at all.
Now, Sandman isn’t your typical Spider-Man villain, but he returns to fight Parker numerous times. And, he can be quite tricky to defeat because his body is entirely made of sand, making him virtually invulnerable to any kind of physical damage. His first appearance came in The Amazing Spider-Man #4 in 1963.
Flint Marko was a criminal way before he became the Sandman. Still, he had shown signs of good inside of him numerous times, but it seems that the bad side prevailed more often than not.
He’s quite a powerful and tough-to-beat opponent until you learn that his one major weakness – is water. If it weren’t for that, Sandman would be higher on the list, but I can’t rank high a guy you can defeat with a garden hose.
Not every villain has to be superhuman to be extremely dangerous. A great example of that is Hammerhead, first appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man #113 in 1972.
Hammerhead got his nickname after a brutal attack where his skull was severely smashed. The doctors needed to remove the broken bones and put a steel plate in their place, giving him the moniker he so gladly carries.
Unfortunately for him, he hardly remembers anything from his life before the attack. Instead, he got into a fantasy where he wanted to become the alpha of New York’s crime-riddled underworld. If he doesn’t get you with weapons, or his fists, then he’ll smack you with his steel-plated head, make no mistake.
24. Alistair Smythe
Alistair Smythe rarely ever comes face-to-face with Spider-Man, but he’s a constant threat and a thorn in Spidey’s eye he can’t get rid of. Smythe first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #19 in 1985, and although many of you probably don’t remember, he also appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
In the movie, B.J. Novak (Ryan from The Office) portrayed Smythe, while Maxwell Caulfield gave him his voice for the Spider-Man Animated Series.
In short, Smythe is a brilliant engineer who continues his father’s legacy and builds awesome killer robots specifically designed to take out Spidey. He never succeeds, so he might want to sell the robots as something else other than Spider-Man killing robots.
23. Mister Negative
Mister Negative wasn’t always the grade-A criminal he is today. You can’t even say he’s purely evil. There’s good in him, although the bad usually takes over. The character first appeared in Free Comic Book Day: The Amazing Spider-Man #1 in 2007 as Martin Li, a guy who got experimented on by the criminal gang, Maggia.
The experiments gave Li a dual identity with some superpowers. He appears normal when he’s Martin Li and has a healing touch, but when he turns to Mister Negative, his touch corrupts others and makes them evil. He can also augment his strength and other powers, but his biggest power is the front he puts on.
He acts as a kind, humble sir, but actually, he’s doing everything he can to get his revenge on Maggia. Mister Negative’s goal is to take over the Chinatown criminal underworld, and if it weren’t for Spidey, he’d probably succeed. Oh, and he got his name because he looks like a photo negative, with a black/silver face and white hair.
22. Black Cat
Black Cat isn’t the most powerful villain on this list, but her relationship with Spider-Man is what makes her so dangerous for Parker. The character first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #194 in 1979 as Felicia Hardy.
She’s a prolific burglar who amassed a fortune stealing, after which she took on the masked identity as Black Cat. She’s not purely a villain, as Felicia and Peter have an on-and-off relationship. However, just as you grow fond of her and truly believe she’s changed for good, she breaks Spidey’s heart and betrays him once again.
The trust Spider-Man puts into her is what made her so dangerous. However, due to her being only a human with great agility and burglary skills, I couldn’t put her higher on the list.
Rhino is one of the many Spider-Man villains based on various animals. This particular character appeared for the first time in The Amazing Spider-Man #41 in 1966. In an ocean of highly intellectual villains that Spidey faces, the muscle-with-no-brains character Rhino certainly serves as a breath of fresh air.
In his beginnings, Rhino was a crook who agreed to be a part of an experiment that permanently bonds him to the Rhino suit – a brutal suit powerful enough to fight even the Hulk. What makes him so interesting is that his fights with Spidey always lead to a ton of destruction.
He works the best when he is the second fiddle. That is when another, smarter villain uses him as a forceful tool to fight Spider-Man.
If Hydro-Man were a superhero, he’d be one of my favorite characters in Marvel comics. However, he’s a pure Spider-Man supervillain, first appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man #212 in 1981.
Morris Bench’s abilities are awesome, and they put him in several criminal groups such as the Sinister Six, Frightful Four, the Maggia, Masters of Evil, and more. As his name suggests, Hydro-Man’s physiology is made from water, allowing him to control, manipulate, and merge with any body of water.
He’s quite powerful and always puts up a good fight against Spidey, but it doesn’t seem that fighting Peter Parker has any deeper or emotional meaning for him – Spider-Man is just a guy who often stands in Bench’s way.
19. Mister Fear
Mister Fear is usually connected to Daredevil, as he first appeared in Daredevil #6 in 1965, but three other people take on the persona after that first guy, Lawrence Cranston. In this article, I’m referring to Alan Fagan as Mister Fear, Lawrence’s nephew who first appeared in Marvel Team-Up #92. He’s the only Mister Fear who has Spider-Man as his primary foe.
As for the character, he’s similar to what Scarecrow is in DC Comics. He uses a compound called the fear gas to induce nightmarish hallucinations and visions. Mister Fear finds what scares you the most and uses it against you, sometimes in a manipulative manner.
On the other hand, his horrifying appearance is probably why he uses pheromones to appear more handsome to women. I bet a lot of guys would love that trick up their sleeve.
Shriek is as terrifying as any other Spider-Man villain we’ve ever seen. First appearing in Spider-Man Unlimited #1 in 1993, Shriek had many powers that caused a lot of trouble for Spidey. Her shriek is deadly, but she can also manipulate sound waves with hand gestures alone.
Different versions of the character gave her powers in different ways. In one version, Shriek was a symbiote. In another, Shriek was a low-life drug dealer who encountered Cloak and Dagger and was driven mad by Cloak’s “dark dimension,” ultimately giving her the powers she has.
Apart from sound manipulation and a deadly shriek, the character can also inverse your deepest fears to use them against you. She’s usually portrayed as the lover of the psychopathic serial killer Cletus Kasady, as depicted in the 2021 movie Venom: Let There Be Carnage. The beautiful Naomie Harris plays Shriek.
17. The Hobgoblin
There aren’t many Spider-Man villains that you can even compare to the infamous Green Goblin, but the Hobgoblin is certainly one of those characters. Several people took the Hobgoblin identity later, but the character first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #238 in 1983.
The first Hobgoblin, Roderick Kingsley, found and improved Norman Osborn’s Goblin serum, giving him incredible powers without the side effects that caused Norman to go mad.
The Hobgoblin looks very similar to the Green Goblin and uses similar gadgets, but he’s quite a bit more menacing-looking. He might not be so iconic as the Green Goblin, but he’s still a very formidable opponent. We’ll see a movie version of the character in Spider-Man: No Way Home, where Jacob Batalon will portray one of the Hobgoblin personas, Ned Leeds.
In the comics, the Hobgoblin causes a lot of trouble to Spidey, especially when he merges himself with a demon to become the horrifying Demogoblin.
As the character’s name says, Electro has the power to control, create, and manipulate electric energy any way he wants. He first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #9 in 1964 and has been a thorn in Spider-Man’s heel ever since.
Sometimes, his actions and antics are way over the top, but he’s been a part of some of the most amazing Spidey storylines ever. Still, some fans hold a grudge towards Marvel for the Electro portrayal in the Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie. If you asked me, he was bleak and undeveloped, but I found Jamie Foxx great in the role.
Luckily for us, he’ll get a chance to redeem himself in the Spider-Man: No Way Home movie. I hope it’ll show everybody why Marvel chose him to be in a Spidey movie instead of countless other formidable opponents Peter Parker had faced in the comics.
Another supervillain whose powers are based on an animal, Scorpion, first appeared in 1965 in The Amazing Spider-Man #19. Well, #20, to be precise, because MacDonald Gargan does appear in #19, but he only becomes the Scorpion after a medical procedure goes wrong in the next issue.
The Scorpion usually wears a green, impenetrable metal armor resembling a real scorpion, with a tail and a sharp pointy end. He appeared countless times to attack Spidey, and due to his incredibly strong armor, it’s almost impossible to damage him physically.
He’s an iconic, classic Spider-Man villain that had some amazing runs. He was even the Venom symbiote for a duration of one storyline and even fought the mighty Avengers. Although I love Scorpion, there are just too many epic Spider-Man villains for him to be any higher on this list.
14. Dr. Curtis Connors, aka Lizard
If you ask me subjectively, the Lizard would be my top 3 favorite Spider-Man villains ever. Objectively, he just breaks the Top 15. Dr. Curtis Connors, aka Lizard, first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #6 in 1963.
He was once Parker’s mentor, but he had a dark alter-ego, the Lizard – kind of a Jekyll & Hyde affair. Connors tried to stop the evil part of himself countless times, but he just couldn’t. The thing about him is that Parker has an affection towards him and doesn’t want to hurt him, so he refrains from going full-power when they fight, putting himself in trouble more than once.
The Lizard plans to mutate the entire planet, but his good side prevails in later storylines and dr. Connors even teams up with Spidey on several occasions after learning how to control his transformation in the Lizard.
The thing about the character I love the most is the artwork – he just looks so damn amazingly horrible!
Kraven The Hunter first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #15 in 1964 as the half-brother of another one of Spidey’s villains, the Chameleon. Kraven looks like a hunter from the Stone Age, and although we haven’t seen a lot of him as the main antagonist of any storyline, he did get a six-issue storyline called Kraven: The Last Hunt.
In the storyline, he almost killed Spidey for good in a way that woke up all my worst fears. Kraven sedates Peter and buries him alive, after which he tries to impersonate Spider-Man to prove he is superior to Parker.
Kraven is a fantastic character, and after his apparent death, his half-brother steps in, blaming Spidey for his death and seeking revenge.
Every Spider-Man villain based on an animal shares some traits with the said animal: Rhino has brute force, Scorpion has the sharp tail, Lizard looks like, well, a Lizard. The same goes for Chameleon – he can disguise himself into anybody, and anything, much like the chameleon changes pigment to blend into any environment.
Chameleon first appeared in the very first Spidey issue ever, The Amazing Spider-Man #1, in 1963. He is cruel, gruesome, purely evil, and he has a deep hatred towards Spider-Man. He blames the web-slinger for his half-brother, Kraven’s death.
The Chameleon is high on this list not because of his disguise skills but his horribly evil and dubious actions. For instance, after Harry Osborn revealed Spidey’s true identity to Chameleon, the guy created android bots of Peter’s deceased parents just to mess with his head and hit him where it hurts.
Also, instead of going directly after him, Chameleon attacked those that Spider-Man loved the most, like his Auntie May and Mary Jane Watson. His diabolical actions certainly grant him a spot on this list, especially when you know that he was one of the first villains ever appearing in Spider-Man comics.
The Juggernaut is usually an X-Men supervillain/anti-hero, sometimes teaming up with them but fighting them on other occasions. He first appeared in The X-Men #12 in 1965 and rarely went out of their story arc to fight non-mutant superheroes like Spider-Man or the Hulk.
However, he is by far one of the most powerful opponents that Peter Parker ever faced, and the few times they fought, Spidey showed the best possible version of himself. Their most famous battle came in The Amazing Spider-Man #229 and #230, in a storyline called “Nothing Can Stop The Juggernaut!”
The story follows Juggernaut empowered with the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak, making him nearly indestructible. However, that doesn’t stop Spider-Man from trying to stop him repeatedly, despite being clearly overpowered. He had shown what kind of a hero he is – despite impossible odds; he still kept on pushing.
Morlun might be one of the less known Spider-Man villains, but he is absolutely one of the most powerful. And, to make matters worse for Parker, he keeps coming back. The character first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 2 #30 in 2001, and he has split the audience since his introduction.
Morlun is an ancient being that’s nearly immortal. However, he needs to drain the life force of totemic heroes such as Spidey to survive. His powers are superior to Spider-Man’s, and he’s the only supervillain that ever managed to kill Peter Parker.
In one storyline, Morlun rips out one of Spider-Man’s eyeballs, and just as he’s about to feast on his life force, the police arrive, so Morlun opts to do it another time. He’s a bit of a weird character, but his incredible powers are near the top when it comes to Spidey supervillains.
Toxin is the spawn of the Symbiote Carnage as the 1000th Symbiote of their lineage – making him spectacularly powerful. He first appeared in Venom Vs. Carnage #2 in 2004 and both of them feared he might be the most powerful Symbiote ever, behind Knull, the God of Symbiotes himself.
Venom and Carnage both wanted him dead almost instantly after seeing that he might have a chance to be a true hero, unlike them, who lean more on the supervillain/anti-hero side. Toxin’s first human host was police officer Patrick Mulligan, and they immediately started doing good. Toxin also met Spider-Man only an issue later, in Venom Vs. Carnage #3.
As I said, Toxin is probably the strongest Symbiote ever, and his abilities are heightened. Apart from having all the powers Symbiotes usually have, Toxin is immune to Parker’s spider-sense and many other powers. Also, even his weaknesses characteristic for Symbiotes are not as highlighted as Venom’s or Carnage’s.
He tried being good, but he’s usually depicted as either a supervillain or an anti-hero in the end. He might not be as iconic as the previous two I mentioned, but he had fought Spidey several times and gave him much trouble. And, being the most powerful Symbiote ever grants a spot on the list, right?
To be honest, some comic book versions of the Vulture are quite funny. Sometimes, he looks like a skinny grandpa in a bird suit, but when you see what he’s capable of, you realize there’s so much more to the supervillain than what meets the eye. His first appearance came way back in The Amazing Spider-Man #2 in 1963.
Vulture was one of the founding members of the infamous Sinister Six. Although he doesn’t have any superpowers, and despite his mature age, his high-tech suit, intelligence, and willingness to kill, if that means reaching his goal, he’ll do it without a second thought.
The character was the second Spider-Man villain ever portrayed in the comics. Still, he was the first villain that Tom Holland’s Peter Parker ever faced in his first solo Spider-Man movie, Homecoming.
There are layers to the character, and although he hates Spidey most of the time, he respects him enough to keep his identity hidden despite knowing it. It seems that Michael Keaton’s Vulture will return in the upcoming film Morbius, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
The Kingpin is so high on this list to show just how brilliant the criminal mastermind is. He first appeared in The amazing spider-Man #50 in 1967, and as his name suggests, he’s the King of the New York criminal underworld. His real name is Wilson Fisk, and he’s a colossal 6’7’’ (201 cm), 450 lbs (204 kg) guy with nothing but power on his mind.
When it comes to hand-to-hand fighting, he does okay skill-wise, but he relies on his huge physique to simply overpower his enemies. If that doesn’t work, he has the political influence to destroy anyone’s life and an army of mafia members willing to do whatever he asks them to do. His influence plagues the entire city, which is also why he’s so high on this list.
The Kingpin was nothing more than your common mafia boss when he first appeared, but he became one of Spider-Man’s toughest adversaries as his storyline developed. His undoings influence Spider-Man and Daredevil, Punisher, and many other NYC-based superheroes in the Marvel Universe.
I couldn’t be happier that Morbius, the Living Vampire, is getting a feature film so soon, as his comic storyline is epic. Morbius first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #101 in 1971. His name is dr. Michael Morbius, a Nobel prize-winning biochemist with a rare blood disease that is slowly crippling and killing him.
He tries to find the cure, experimenting with vampire bats. Instead of healing his disease, he turns into a pseudo-vampire, a creature with all the traits of a true vampire, apart from actually still being alive (hence, the Living Vampire nickname).
At first, he was an all-out supervillain, completely incapable of controlling his bloodthirst and urge to kill. He even tried killing Spidey several times – almost succeeding once before a lighting strike hit him like destiny in the exact moment he was going in for the kill.
Later, however, he somewhat redeems himself and learns to control his inner demons, becoming more of an anti-hero – even working for SHIELD.
Mysterio first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #13 in 1964, and right from the start, we’ve seen what kind of spectacular powers he’s capable of. Quentin Beck isn’t superhuman, but his incredibly rich knowledge and technology allow him to create vivid illusions that can sometimes even trick Peter Parker’s Spider-senses.
He and Spidey had some incredible battles over the years, and after all this time, we’ve finally seen Mysterio in a live-action film. Jake Gyllenhaal killed the role in Spider-Man: Far From Home, and I hope he’ll return in No Way Home, at least through the Multiverse.
Symbiotes are quite a special part of Spider-Man’s rogue gallery, but Venom is by far the most popular of them all – probably because of the recent Venom movies starring Tom Hardy. The character first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #252 in 1984 and has battled Spider-Man countless times since then.
We can see Venom display abilities similar to Spidey’s quite often, and there’s a reason why that’s the case – Peter Parker was the first human host Venom ever had on Earth. As the two bond, Venom can “memorize” the host’s abilities and powers, which is why we can see Venom slinging webs or avoiding Peter’s Spider-senses.
Later, he teams up with Eddie Brock, a journalist who is not fond of Spider-Man, and Eddie becomes his longest-tenured and most popular host. Together, they battle Spider-Man countless times and win many of those encounters.
It takes some time for Venom and Eddie to become anti-heroes, but it eventually happens. Unlike some other Symbiotes, Venom learns how to do good – at least until he goes hungry and wants to eat some brains.
Carnage is a spawn of Venom that is so much worse than his “papa.” He first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #359 in 1992 and immediately turned some heads due to, well, the absolute carnage that comes with him.
Venom is powerful, but he has some cognitive abilities, so he can be reasoned with to a point. He can distinguish right from wrong if he wants to – but not Carnage. You see, he’s a lot more physically dominant and more powerful than Venom, but he lacks the wits – all he wants is to kill and feast on the dead.
The worst part? He finds a host in Cletus Kasady, a psychopathic serial killer whose sadistic nature is only furthermore enhanced when teamed up with Carnage. Together, they are almost unstoppable. Not even Spider-Man, Venom, and a couple of other fellows together can’t touch them.
Carnage and Cletus also appeared in Venom 2: Let there be Carnage, but I found the movie a bit disappointing. Perhaps I just expected more because of the epic supervillain that Carnage is in the comics.
2. Green Goblin
Finally, we reach the best of the best – the most iconic Spider-Man villains of all time. The first in line on this list is the Green Goblin, whose first appearance came in The Amazing Spider-Man #14 in 1964, and he has plagued Spidey ever since.
The original Green Goblin is Norman Osborn, a powerful, wealthy Oscorp CEO who happens to be Peter Parker’s best friend’s father. Norman experimented with the Goblin formula that turned him somewhat superhuman and turned him insane as a side-effect.
He used his power to develop gadgets and trick weapons such as his Goblin Glider and cherry bombs, and he’s done horrible things to Spidey over the years. Their fights were iconic, especially the one where Green Goblin kills Spider-Man’s love interest, Gwen Stacy.
After Spider-Man defeats him, Norman’s son Harry Osborn becomes convinced that Spider-Man blatantly murdered his father, so he takes on the Green Goblin mantle and continues his dad’s legacy.
I can’t wait to see Green Goblin return to the big screen in Spider-Man: No Way Home because there’s only one Spider-Man villain in history I dare to say is more iconic than the Green Goblin. You guessed it: it’s my number one on the list.
1. Doctor Octopus
The man, the myth, the legend – Doc Ock is the greatest, most iconic Spider-Man villain of all time. Dr. Otto Octavius first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #3 in 1963, working at the US Atomic Research Centre facility.
A freak accident involving a radioactive blast fused four mechanical tentacles to his body, which he can control with his mind, giving him the name Doctor Octopus. He went crazy and started developing plots to destroy New York and the entire world after that, but the weirdest part about him is that he and Spidey had a great friendship at some points, only to have him betray Peter.
Their fights are always epic, as Doc Ock can follow Spidey anywhere with his mechanical tentacles – wall-climbing, hanging on top of a building, or fighting on the outside of a moving train.
His intelligence is through the roof, and although he’s quite physically powerful, he usually uses his wits to outsmart Spidey and corner him without too much effort. Doctor Octopus appears in Spider-Man 2, portrayed by Alfred Molina, who’ll repeat the role in Spider-Man: No Way Home very soon.