With The Amazing Spider-Man 2 arriving in theaters, seven Spider-Man villains have officially graced the big screen. Everyone will have a favorite (and a least favorite) among the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Venom, Sandman, the Lizard, the Rhino and Electro, but one thing remains clear: few comic book characters have a rogue's gallery as diverse and entertaining as Spider-Man.
However, the five movies made so far have barely tapped the well of Spidey's bad guys. Since Sony obviously plans to keep this franchise going indefinitely, we hope it starts to dig a little deeper for the next few films. Why tread on familiar ground when there's so many other unseen characters to utilize? Here are the Spider-Man villains that deserve their due on the big screen.
Some of the best superhero antagonists are those with a sympathetic agenda and you don't get more noble than Cardiac. Like so many Marvel characters, he's motivated by tragedy. After the death of his brother, he vowed to become a doctor. When he became a doctor, he learned that the drugs that could have saved his brother existed, but were being withheld until they would be more financially viable. Enraged, he transforms himself into a cyborg and declares war on the drug companies, becoming a Robin Hood figure who takes from the powerful so he can treat the poor. Like Spider-Man, his only goal in life is to help the helpless, which makes him a truly complicated adversary. You probably couldn't build an entire movie around him, but it's easy to imagine him being woven into a larger plot.
The vast majority of Spider-Man villains represent a physical threat; a superpowered monstrosity who can dish physical damage with the worst of 'em. Chameleon is radically different and represents a wholly unique threat to Spidey. Although no more powerful than an ordinary human, the Russian-born Chameleon was a master of disguise who upped the ante by injecting himself with a formula that removed his facial features, making his identity totally malleable. He'll never engage Spider-Man in a one-on-one fight, but he can pretend to be his friends, loved ones, and fellow superheroes, wreaking havoc when no one is looking. Considering that he's the first member of Spider-Man's large rogue's gallery, it's about time he got his big-screen due.
Man-Wolf is completely ridiculous and totally unlike the scientifically enhanced villains Spider-Man usually faces. That means that he has to make it into a movie, even if it's just for the sake of variety. Initially astronaut John Jameson (yes, the son of J. Jonah), this mystical beast is powered by a strange gem discovered on the moon, transforming its reluctant wearer into a bloodthirsty werewolf with telepathic powers. How can you say no to a werewolf who gets his powers from an alien rock and eventually becomes a galaxy-hopping hero who dates She-Hulk? It's a concept so silly and so wonderfully dumb that it would be a serious bummer to never see it happen in a movie.
The best thing about Shocker is that he really doesn't have any gimmicks. He's just a brilliant and hardened criminal with arm mounted cannons that shoot high frequency air blasts. That may not sound too exciting, but he more than makes up for it with his personality, making him the rare ongoing Spider-Man adversary whose main weapon is his attitude and survival skills. Shocker doesn't want to rule the city or conquer the world, he just wants to make a living as a career criminal because that's what he's good at. Simple? Yeah. Refreshing in a world where motivations are usually so murky and and goofy? Hell yeah.
Like Shocker, there's something refreshing about Vulture's no-frills approach to villainy. He doesn't have magic powers or a scientific mutation -- he's just an old jerk in a wingsuit. To be more specific, he's a cold, calculating, vicious and remorseless old jerk in a wingsuit that offers him superstrength. Adrian Toomes is a terrific character because he's just a flat-out bad guy, a nasty piece of work who makes up for his one-note powers with a ruthlessness that allows him to stand toe-to-toe with even the most powerful of Spidey's baddies. And come on: just imagine the cinematic possibilities of Spidey taking on a villain who can effortlessly match his speed and maneuverability in the skies above New York City.
On the surface, Black Cat is pretty much Spider-Man's Catwoman. But when you go a little deeper, you realize that she's, uh, pretty much Spider-Man's Catwoman. And you know what? That's fine. It works. In fact, it works extremely well because the dorky Peter Parker isn't the kind of guy who regularly gets teased and seduced by an impossibly sexy professional thief. That's just another day in the life of Batman, but it's a Big Freakin' Deal for a nerd who can barely hold a relationship together once he's taken his superhero costume off. Black Cat is at her best when she's mucking up Spidey's romantic life and dragging him into morally questionable situations. That sounds perfect for The Amazing Spider-Man 3.
Once upon a time, Scorpion was a private eye named Mac Gargan. Then he took part in an experiment organized by J. Jonah Jameson to create something capable of defeating Spider-Man. It worked: Gargan become Scorpion, but he also became completely insane, turning on Jameson and forcing Spidey to save the man who created a monster in order to kill him. Other than looking really cool and cinematic, there's not too much going on with Scorpion. However, his mere presence suggests the return of J. Jonah Jameson (hopefully still played by J.K. Simmons) and that's more than enough to earn a spot on a Spider-Man movie wish list.
Kraven the Hunter
The best thing about Kraven the Hunter is that he has one simple goal: he wants to kill Spider-Man. Fancying himself the world's greatest hunter, he believes that Spidey is the most dangerous game and his repeated failures to kill him only fuel him even more. His most famous storyline, "Kraven's Last Hunt,' would make for an incredible film, following the dying Kraven as he attempts to finish him off once and for all. Like so many of the bad guys on this list, he's refreshing because he's not a scientific experiment gone awry -- he's just an egocentric psychopath who makes Spider-Man his pet project, viewing him as the ultimate game instead of a person. Now that's a great villain.
Nicknamed "the living vampire," Morbius is another Spider-Man villain who gained his powers through scientific abuse, but he's easily one of the most underrated villains in the entire Marvel universe. When Michael Morbius' attempt to cure his rare blood disease went wrong, he started craving blood and avoiding sunlight. As the world's first vampire created in a lab, he has just enough self-control to work toward a cure for his condition, but like so many well-intentioned villains, he has a bad habit of letting things spiral out of control, usually leading to bloodsucking and other forms of comic book chaos. However, Morbius remains one of the most tragic characters in Spidey's villainous lineup, a monster who would give anything to give up his power.
Let's be honest: Mysterio deserves to be on the big screen because his costume is awesome and would look incredible in a film. This visual effects expert turned fake master of mysticism may not have enough going for him to be the primary adversary in a future film, but he'd kill as part of a villainous ensemble (or maybe a member of the Sinister Six). Although there is nothing supernatural about him, Mysterio's skills with illusions and technology make him as powerful as any actual magic wielder, making him the best of both worlds. He's still grounded in science, but he looks and feels completely unique.
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