Top 10 Tuesday: Spider-Man’s Rogue’s Gallery
By Jon Durmin
A terrific Tuesday to you, body politic! It’s time again for another titanic tirade; this time a tally of the ten tremendous traducers who try to terrorize our tip top tarantula (author’s note: incidentally the Tarantula will not be featured on this list). Rankings are judged on how sinister and dangerous the character is, longevity, and the degree to which they are associated with the Peter Parker Spider-Man specifically. Read on for our sensational selection in series of Spider-Menaces!
J. Jonah Jameson
While Dr. Curt “the Lizard” Conners and J.J. Jameson are important to the Spidey-Saga they are as much allies of Peter Parker as they are thorns in the side of Spidey disqualifying them from this list. Flint “Sandman” Marko, has a strong association with the Fantastic Four (particularly his beer & poker pal, Ben “The Thing” Grimm) that detracts from his connection to Spidey, and has made enough face turns, even proving his mettle as an Avenger for a spell, that he’s out of the running. The Kingpin is a big deal, but he long ago strayed from being a Spidey-foe only to be picked up by Daredevil with whom he is now more keenly associated.
This guy’s entire schtick is hopping from dimension-to-dimension killing off those who honor the Spider as their totem. In other words he’s out to kill every version of Spider-Man in the whole wide Spider-Verse. He’s really good at it too. Truth be told, the only thing that keeps Morlun so low on the list is the fact that his appearances to date are dwarfed by those on the rest of the list.
The Venom symbiote was once Peter Parker’s partner and ally. Rejected by Parker it sought vengeance against him. With the help of others possessed of a bone to pick with Parker or Spidey (namely Eddie Brock and Mac Gargan) Venom has caused great distress in Peter’s masked and unmasked life. A sometime anti-hero under its first two hosts, as the partner of Flash Thompson the symbiote is taking a decidedly more heroic path, both of them striving to honor Spider-Man and make amends for past mistakes as the hero-soldier “Agent Venom”. Once one of Spider-Man’s most dangerous foes and a contender for the #1 spot, working with Thompson Venom has become a true Avenger, the most grounded and ethical member of the most recent incarnation of the Thunderbolts, and was recruited as a member of the Guardian of the Galaxy. Enough history to keep the symbiote on this list sure, but so much heroism and distance from Spidey moves him well down the list.
8. Green Goblin
Norman Osborn has done his darnedest to make Peter’s life miserable, the first Spider-Foe to know Peter’s identity and exploit it to defeat him as Peter Parker first and Spider-Man second. So why only number 8? Norman has transcended his status as a Spider-Foe to become a rival of Tony Stark and the Avengers which actually bumps him down on this list as he’s become less a Spider-Foe than an Avengers nemesis in recent years.
Another founder of the Sinister Six, with his mastery of illusions Mysterio has often been one of the most dangerous and unstoppable of Spidey’s enemies. It’s never totally certain who he is and if he’s truly been bested or if it’s all an illusion.
Max Dillon has been one of Spider-Man’s most dangerous and consistent villains. Another founding member of the Sinister Six, he’s come very close on more than one occasion to finishing Spidey off for good.
Debuting in Amazing Spider-Man #2, Adrian Toomes was the first member of the Sinister-Six to see print, and the most consistent member of the team ever since. This guy pulls no punches. In even his earliest conflicts with the altruistic arachnid he was going for the kill. Furthermore, Toomes has concocted schemes so sour that he actually drove the Superior Spider-Man incarnation of our hero into a murderous rage.
Carnage is a savage and calculating mass murderer with powers derived from Spidey’s one-time partner, the original Venom Symbiote. Carnage has been and remains one of Spider-Man’s most terrifying foes.
The Hobgoblin is an identity that has hounded Spider-Man across multiple users and may continue to do so. A hired gun or a terror out for himself; regardless of his role and who is under the mask, when the Hobgoblin strikes Spider-Man will be there to challenge him
2. Kraven the Hunter
Another founder of the Sinister Six (detecting a theme here anybody?), Sergei Kravinoff also successfully defeated Spider-Man in battle and replaced him, though it didn’t stick quite so well, nor as long, as the effort by our first place awardee.
1. Doctor Octopus
Organizer of the original Sinister Six, Dr. Octopus is an 8-legged nemesis for an 8-legged hero. Otto Octavius has made life more difficult for Peter Parker than any of his rogues. A constant thorn in Peter’s side as Dock Ock and a possible father figure during his courtship of May Parker. Finally he gained a total victory over Peter, the ultimate theft, stealing his life and striving to take his place as a hero, a Spider-Man Superior to Peter in every way.