The Greatest Foes In Marvel’s Spider-Man


  • Sandman is one of Spider-Man’s greatest enemies, with the ability to transform into sand and create weapons and sandstorms.
  • Kraven the Hunter is a formidable villain with enhanced hunting abilities, and has been a part of some of the best Spider-Man stories.
  • Green Goblin is the ultimate Spider-Man villain, known for his unpredictable and maniacal nature, and his role in the death of Gwen Stacy.



Spider-Man has been slinging webs since 1962, so it makes sense that after over 60 years of crime-fighting, he’s collected quite the rogues gallery. Spider-Man 2 has continued the work of showing and developing some of these villains, packed with fan favourites.


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Not all villains are created equal though, with plenty of villains posing no real threat to the webhead. Foes like Stilt-Man are usually used as one or two-panel gag villains for Spidey to web up as he swings by. Other villains are, and have always been, a serious threat to Peter Parker. Read below to find a list of the best of the worst, ranked.

10 Sandman

Sandman has often walked the line between villain and hero but is best known for clashing with Spider-Man as a criminal. Being able to transform into and control sand he’s never an easy villain for Spidey to tackle since he can create weapons from sand, generate sandstorms, and even transform himself into a colossal figure.

As impressive as he is, he’s one of the greats because he struggles for redemption. He provides opportunities for Peter Parker to be his best self, someone who believes in people and understands that being a hero can mean saving them from a darker path.

9 Kraven The Hunter

Kraven The Hunter is seeing newfound popularity thanks to Spider-Man 2, but he’s always been a great villain, driven to pursue the most dangerous game in whatever form it takes, and with a clear-cut motivation for tangling with Spider-Man quite often. His abilities as a hunter make him formidable, especially when enhanced with chemical concoctions and magical means.

Kraven has been a part of some of the best Spider-Man stories of all time, with Kraven’s Last Hunt being a particular standout. It’s great to see new fans discovering Sergei Kravinoff and giving him his due, especially since not every comic writer has treated him like the A-list villain he is.

8 Vulture

Comics have no shortage of geriatric villains, but very few of them are often directly involved in the action. Vulture breaks that trend, still scrapping with heroes well into his 70s, a fact that makes him visually distinct, along with his signature flight suit, but it isn’t what makes him special.


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Vulture was the first costumed villain Spider-Man ever faced, and up until that point. the closest he had come before this was Chameleon, who was presented more as a super-spy than a super-villain. So this is an accolade no one can take from Adrian Toomes, as he’s the first among the worst.

7 Mysterio

Quentin Beck is a master illusionist, able to make anything seem real and confound even the sharpest of heroes. One of the interesting things about him is that he provides a chance for both writers and readers to explore how much Spider-Man uses one of his powers as a crutch, so it’s narratively fascinating and provides opportunities for fights of incredible spectacle.

When you have the spider-sense, you can reliably predict danger, so Mysterio is the perfect character to show how Peter can rely on this too heavily since his illusions play havoc on how reliable it actually is. He’s also been used in a similar way for Daredevil, tailoring his illusions to confuse Matt Murdock’s heightened senses.

6 Scorpion

Mac Gargan is one of Spider-Man’s most notable villains for filling not one costumed persona but two, and was best known as Scorpion he’s long been a poisonous thorn in Peter’s side, enhanced by the advanced Scorpion suit. What you may not know is that Mac Gargan also spent time as another Spider-Man villain, Venom.

Mac as a symbiote host resulted in one of the darker versions of Venom we’ve seen. Mac had no desire to be bonded to Venom but wasn’t strong enough to break free. Meanwhile, the symbiote, fueled by Gargan’s darker impulses, would regularly murder and eat anyone it was able to, so it was a tough break for Mac, but pulling double villain duty earns him a top spot in Spider-Man’s rogue gallery.

5 Kingpin

Wilson Fisk presents a different kind of problem for Spider-Man than his other villains since he doesn’t wear a colourful costume or engage in flashy battles, but he’s not so easily defeated as the others. As the Kingpin of Crime, he mostly operates from behind the scenes, with very little evidence to tie him to his criminal endeavours.

Fisk is also known for being a Daredevil villain, and it’s debatable which hero he’s the greatest foe for. While he often brings a darker side out of Matt Murdock, he’s a prime target for Peter’s quips, which prompts Peter to be smarter about how he fights crime, gathering evidence and working more closely with law enforcement.

4 Carnage

If the discussion was deadliest villains then Carnage would be the number one answer, and not just as a Spider-Man villain, as Carnage is one of the most dangerous entities walking the Earth in the Marvel comics. The symbiote offspring of Venom, Carnage is bonded to the serial killer Cletus Kasady.


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Marvel cover artist Ryan Stegman has said that the body count of Carnage numbers anywhere from the tens to the hundreds of thousands. Dedicated to chaos and, you guessed it, carnage, this villain is the last one Spider-Man ever wants to see turn up, and while others might be trying to steal something, get revenge, or simply make a point, but when Carnage is on the scene, lives are always at stake.

3 Venom

Venom has spent more time in its history being an anti-hero or straight-up hero than it ever did as a villain, but that goes to show just how impactful a villain he’s been. In the short stints where Venom has been a pure bad guy, he’s left his black-and-white mark all over the comic book industry.

Venom has a design that is both classic and adaptable, with motivations shifting depending on who the symbiote is bonded to. Venom is often who most people first think of when they think of a Spidey villain and with good reason; regardless of the shape he takes, this alien has turned Peter’s life upside down on several occasions.

2 Doctor Octopus

Otto Octavius is perhaps the perfect example of a comic villain; he’s a mad scientist, he thinks himself superior to everyone else, and he has a clear theme. What more could you ask? Doctor Octopus has always been a hit among fans, a mastermind often undone by his own arrogance.

Recently, his versatility as a character has been shown off, since Alfred Molina brought a sympathetic version of the character to the big screen, while Insomniac has presented one with stronger emotional ties to Peter in their games. Even the comics have been doing this, with the Superior Spider-Man storyline showing there’s a path to redemption for Otto, so whatever form he takes, he’s one of the best.

1 Green Goblin

Green Goblin is the greatest Spider-Man villain of all time, the Moriarty to Peter’s Sherlock, the Joker to his Batman. Cackling through the streets of New York, decked in green and purple, riding atop the Goblin Glider while he throws pumpkin bombs – it’s a sight every Spider-Man fan knows well. As a modern Jekyll and Hyde, Norman Osborn functions as a calculating mastermind, something of a scientist, and a maniacal, unpredictable villain.

Any number of deeds he’s committed could have secured him his place as the ultimate foe for Peter Parker, but the one that really cinches it has to be the death of Gwen Stacey. It’s one of the most iconic moments in comic book history, perhaps modern storytelling as a whole, since Peter continues to be haunted by what happened on the night Gwen Stacey died, making his neverending battle with the Green Goblin deeply personal.


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