Well, we did the Batman Rogues, so why not do the Spider-Man Rogues. They are undeniably the other best batch of bad guys. Animal themed burglars, mob bosses, and aliens attached to serial killers, what’s not to like?
Like many comic book fans, Spider-Man was my first love. He was funny, had cool powers, and has, arguably, the most creative costume ever conceived. As a result, I will always love his villains quite a bit, and I do know quite a bit of them and quite a bit about them.
Anyway, let’s not waste time. Let’s get started!
- Speed Demon
It’s hard to read Nick Spencer’s Superior Foes of Spider-Man as well as Fabian Nicieza’s New Thunderbolts without gaining a healthy respect for this former Squadron Sinister member. Yeah, he’s essentially an inferior version of the Flash/Reverse Flash, but he’s just so smug and so…not good at being a bad guy, that it’s hard not to gain an interest in Jimmy Sanders. He’s just a dick, but he’s so charming at the same time. What can I say? I love him.
- Doctor Octopus
When I was a kid Spider-Man 2 was my absolute favorite movie. Alfred Molina brought Otto Octavius to life in an impressive and endearing way. As a result, Doc-Ock will always have a place in my heart. He’s a genius with forceful and, at times, violent ways to bring his vision to life in the world. He has generally wanted to make the world a better place, but his personal hang-ups have held him back. I kind of adored the idea of him being in love with Aunt May honestly. Also, the Superior Spider-Man story was actually a pretty interesting idea, even if I didn’t read much of the story.
- Kraven the Hunter
Between Deathstroke, Deadshot, and, now Kraven, I guess you could say I have an affection for men with aspirations of leaving a legacy. Sergei Kravinoff wants to be remembered as the world’s greatest hunter, and Spider-Man became the White Whale to his Captain Ahab. He wants to be the man who killed the Spider-Man. He has enhanced strength, speed, reflexes, and this all compounds his already impressive physiology. He has a myriad of weapons, and he will do anything to get his pray. He’s just freaking cool.
- The Rhino
He’s a big, kinda dumb, and angry guy dressed like a rhinoceros. What’s not to like? I won’t lie, my admiration for Aleksei Sytsevich (did anyone know that he was Russian? I always just assumed he was a Bronx leg-breaker) doesn’t really go much deeper than him looking cool. I always liked the really strong rogues too, and Rhino was one of my first experiences with such characters. Rhinoceroses are one of the coolest animals on the Earth. Aleksei chose one of the best creatures off of which to base an identity.
Plus, he killed that axe-wielding sucker who tried to replace him. Good on him.
Cletus Kasady was a serial killer even before he had a blood-thirsty alien parasite attach itself to him. He worships Chthon, the Marvel god of chaos. He’s just a scary bastard. He will do anything to taste blood. Killing is his sole hobby. The more bodies he can drop, the better. To give Todd MacFarlane his credit, the symbiotes have a really great visual design. So, on top of everything else, Carnage just looks really cool. He’s an immensely powerful and dangerous villain for the Web-Head to throw down with. Even being torn in half by the Sentry didn’t stop him. He keeps coming back.
I have a soft spot for rogues who try to go straight (hence, the Thunderbolts), and that is one of the main reasons for my admiration for Flint Marko/William Baker. He only stole to get the funds for his sick daughter. If that’s not a good motivation for crime, I don’t know what is. Apparently, there have been retellings of his origin story, but that’s the one I prefer. After a number of defeats, he did begin feeding a grudge against the Wall-Crawler. He tried to go straight a few times, teaming up with Hawkeye and the Avengers on a number of occasions. He even went straight again during Axis. He keeps going back to his criminal ways, but there may still be some hope for Sandman. We will see.
- The Green Goblin
Norman Osborn is a brilliant, scheming, dangerous douchebag. I love him. I list him as the Green Goblin because that is the identity that he is most famous for, and it is the moniker he often uses while fighting Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. However, the era in which he led the Thunderbolts then H.A.M.M.E.R and the Dark Avengers is what truly gave me a love for Gobby. I dug him as the Iron Patriot. It showed an understanding of the kind of world he lived in as well as ambition that took him to the top of the food chain. He could have stayed there if he wasn’t absolutely freaking insane. Ever since, I held a love for Green Goblin, and he will always be one of my favorite Marvel rogues.
- The Shocker
That’s right. I love the Shocker. Fight me. He’s cooler than Green Goblin, Carnage, Electro, Doc-Ock, Sandman, the Rhino, Hobgoblin, the Lizard, Scorpion, the Vulture, Mysterio, Chameleon, that jackass Morlun, and all of your favorite Spider-Man villains. I love his costume that makes him look like a tire mascot. I love that his primary weapons are a pair of gauntlets that cause vibrations in the air. I love that the general disrespect he gets has translated to a likable character who has extremely low self-esteem thus making him relatable…oh.
Yeah, I don’t like that the Shocker gets dumped on a lot, but it’s what has made him into the lovable character he is today. It’s a bit of a conundrum I kind of want him to succeed more because of that. I love that he finally gets his day at the end of The Superior Foes of Spider-Man. Hell, he gets to lay out the Punisher. He has a Shocker-mobile that looks like his costume. It’s just plain great. Plus, he was a Thunderbolt too, and that’s just cool.
- The Kingpin
I consider him primarily a Daredevil villain now, but I can’t ignore the fact that he first appeared in Spider-Man comics. He’s a man of great vision and ambition. He will do anything to rule the criminal underworld. He does tend to have a loose code of honor, and he’s not willing to do anything especially depraved. However, killing those who would stand in his way is never off the table. He is the epitome of terrifying, silent fury, and he will always be close to my heart as a result.
Flash Thompson will always be my favorite iteration of Venom. I will always prefer Venom as a hero. However, I do still love Eddie Brock, the original Venom. He’s a great bad guy, and he is a good opposition of Spider-Man. Spider-Man has never really had a problem with coming close to killing his enemies, but Venom is a portrait of what that would be like.
Venom wants to use his power for good. He wants to have control of the beast. However, its will is often stronger than his. It gives him the power to bring down the truly reprehensible people, but the price of its power is him not always being in control. To add to it, the beast really hates Spider-Man, so it often brings him back into the Web-Head’s path. That’s interesting, and it makes Brock a really compelling character.
Anti-Venom and the subsequent attachment to Toxin were cool turns for Eddie Brock. In all honesty, I would have preferred if Brock stayed as Anti-Venom. I thought that was an interesting turn for the character, and I loved the inverted colors of that symbiote. It allowed him to be the brutal hero he always wanted to be.
Mac Gargan was a pretty cool Venom too, and I actually liked the visual design of his version of Venom a little more than MacFarlane’s original and still fantastic depiction. Lee Price was an interesting if apparently short-lived bearer for the symbiote. At the end of the day though, Eddie Brock is my favorite version of the villainous Venom (second-favorite overall after Flash Thompson), and Venom is my absolute favorite Spider-Man rogue.
That’s all for now folks! Keep reading comics!