Poll Position: Greatest Spider-Man Enemies

We haven't done a "Greatest Villains" List yet, which is both surprising and unsurprising. We've done the top 10 best rogues galleries, but we haven't actually gone in and looked at any of them in detail and ranked the supervillains in terms of how memorable they are and the effect they've had on the readers and the superheroes they plague. And it's somewhat easy to see why. What is the point of doing a Batman count down, you know that the Joker is waiting at the end, it can't be anyone else. Same for Superman, X-Men, Green Lantern, Fantastic Four, Thor, Captain America, they all have that one foe that is just head and shoulders above the rest. However, Spider-Man is different. Sure he has some villains who are more recognisable than others, but he doesn't have a distinct "arch-nemesis", if anything, he has three at the very least. So, that's what we're doing this week. As per usual, I've given you 10 options to start with and you can add your own choices. If you do add answers, please give both supervillain name and civillian identity, because some names are carried over by different people.

JR19759

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12 Responses to Poll Position: Greatest Spider-Man Enemies

  1. The Atomic Punk

    Spidey has classic villains. I just wish they would stop trying to cram the all into one movie. It plays out in the comics not so much in two hours. It would be possible to have a full-length feature with just one bad guy. Someone like… I don’t know… Mysterio *hint*.

    While Spidey’s rogues are all great and fearsome in their own right, my runaway pick is Kraven. If you have not read “Fearful Symmetry” (aka, “Kraven’s Last Hunt”), well, first shame one you! Second it is one of the most amazing stories in comic book history. It’s so raw and primal. It captures Kraven’s very essence. You can almost smell him. And what a finale!!!

  2. William Peterson

    Two-person race here, as far as I’m concerned, and neither has a name beginning with the letter “K”… {Sorry, AP, but… Kraven? One good story does not a classic make, and I haven’t read that one (allegedly) good story!}
    The one I did not choose was everyone’s favorite “Humble Importer of Spices”, Mr. Wilson Fisk. The Kingpin is the one pulling the strings behind so many plots and schemes, that you just can’t ignore him. But since he’s far more in the background, than the one actually carrying those plans out, I gave him a pass, even though he’s had some of the best lines since the beginning of Ever… {“An explosion? I didn’t schedule an explosion for today!”} 😀

    Nope, I went with the estimable Dr. Otto Octavius, who’s occasionally schemed a few schemes of his own, but was always more of a Tentacles-on kind of person than Mr. Fisk…
    He’s also much more of a classic Mad scientist, not the kind who sends out for a diamond-tipped stickpin with a built in laser…

  3. @William Peterson- I’m expecting a 3 horse race TBH. I’m more interested in who places where in the rest of the top 10. And who people add.

  4. PrimeLionstar

    While Kraven and Dr Octopus are both classic villains, neither are per se “the greatest Spider-Man villain.” That category goes to Carnage.

    He’s the complete antithesis of Spider-Man and is the exact opposite of the “with great power comes great responsibility” moniker. In ever story arc that Carnage is in his motives aren’t anything as complex as world-domination; he just loves killing and uses his great power to do just with absolutely no remorse and that distinct lack of conscience and being the reverse of the “with great power etc” motto is what makes him Spider-Man’s greatest foe. Just look at story arcs like Maximum Carnage or Carnage U.S.A. and you’ll see for yourself. *Mic drop*

  5. I was going to discuss my top to that I was trying to choose between, but William Peterson appears to have done so for me…
    Makes me want to change my ultimate answer just because someone beat me to the same reasoning leading to the same choice. Hmph.

  6. (Saw the checkbox for “Notify me of follow-up comments by email” too late, so this second post is in order to check that box. No need to read it.)

  7. @PrimeLionStar- That same arguement could be made for Doctor Octopus and Green Goblin in many ways and, in many ways, both are closer to Spider-Man and both have done far greater damage to him personally. Both gained great power from science, like Spider-Man, but instead used that great power to try to gain more power irresponsably, putting others in danger and often killing without remorse if someone got in their way. Goblin has managed to have a huge impact on both Spider-Man personally (killing Gwen Stacy, turning his best friend against him and being behind the Clone Saga which also saw Aunt May’s fake death) and on the Marvel universe as a whole (by becoming head of the security forces in America and being governement sanctioned to persecute heroes), whilst Doc Ock has been around for the 3rd longest of any Spider-Man villain and has done more than anyone to screw with Peter’s life (killing George Stacy (by accident admittedly but it turned Gwen against Spidey), his numerous schemes involving Aunt May and, of course, the “Superior” uuugh Spider-Man, sorry felt the need to be a little sick in my mouth there). I’m not saying Carnage’s psychotic side doesn’t make him a fearsome villain, but there are others that tipify the “with great power comes great responsability” opposite arguement possibly better than he does.

  8. Rekulhs Nathe

    JR19759:
    @PrimeLionStar- That same arguement could be made for Doctor Octopus and Green Goblin in many ways and, in many ways, both are closer to Spider-Man and both have done far greater damage to him personally. Both gained great power from science, like Spider-Man, but instead used that great power to try to gain more power irresponsably, putting others in danger and often killing without remorse if someone got in their way. Goblin has managed to have a huge impact on both Spider-Man personally (killing Gwen Stacy, turning his best friend against him and being behind the Clone Saga which also saw Aunt May’s fake death) and on the Marvel universe as a whole (by becoming head of the security forces in America and being governement sanctioned to persecute heroes), whilst Doc Ock has been around for the 3rd longest of any Spider-Man villain and has done more than anyone to screw with Peter’s life (killing George Stacy (by accident admittedly but it turned Gwen against Spidey), his numerous schemes involving Aunt May and, of course, the “Superior” uuugh Spider-Man, sorry felt the need to be a little sick in my mouth there). I’m not saying Carnage’s psychotic side doesn’t make him a fearsome villain, but there are others that tipify the “with great power comes great responsability” opposite arguement possibly better than he does.

    Exactly thats why number 1 and 2 has to go to those tow villians. Personally 1 should go to Dr. Octopus since hes done a lot more stuff against the wall crawler in recent years and Spider-Man 2

  9. PrimeLionstar

    Rekulhs Nathe: Exactly thats why number 1 and 2 has to go to those tow villians. Personally 1 should go to Dr. Octopus since hes done a lot more stuff against the wall crawler in recent years and Spider-Man 2

    Yes all of those are good points however there is this one point that really drives my point home: Carnage is friggin cool. He may not be the greatest villain from Spiderman’s personal standpoint but in terms of his sheer villainy and his complete lack of a conscience makes him not only the greatest villain from Spiderman, but in general. Most villains have dire grandiose plots to destroy the world or humiliate and defeat specific heroes for their own personal gain to boost their egos or make up for something that haunts their childhood etc etc etc cliche cliche cliche. Carnage just loves massacring and killing with no regard to anyone, and in some way with little regard to even himself. That in itself makes him a legitimately terrifying villain for anyone because basically nothing scares him while he terrorizes others. And every time Spiderman takes him on he has to team up with someone else because Carnage can back up his blood-lust with his strong powers. I acknowledge that Doc Ock and GG are undoubtedly going to be the popular choices here, but if we’re speaking of villainy here than Carnage trumps both of them hands down.

  10. William Peterson

    Prime, Carnage wouldn’t know an act of villainy if one came up and bit him in the face! He’s not a Villain… He’s a rampaging Monster! That’s about on a par with picking one Zombie out of the cast of The Walking Dead, and calling them the greatest villain of the show, because they have no conscience… WHO CARES? Raw Power? Spidey’s had to spend half a day trying to defeat a Herald of Galactus! Carnage is NOTHING in that league! You’ve fallen for the old mistake of believing the hype…

  11. William Peterson:
    Prime, Carnage wouldn’t know an act of villainy if one came up and bit him in the face! He’s not a Villain… He’s a rampaging Monster! That’s about on a par with picking one Zombie out of the cast of The Walking Dead, and calling them the greatest villain of the show, because they have no conscience… WHO CARES? Raw Power? Spidey’s had to spend half a day trying to defeat a Herald of Galactus! Carnage is NOTHING in that league! You’ve fallen for the old mistake of believing the hype…

    Not exactly the best example there dude. It’s in a zombie’s nature to be an emotionless, relentless killing machine without a concience, but for a human? The symbiotes only extentuate the darkest aspects of the host (see Peter and Eddie), but Cletus Kassidy was already a monster before the symbiote found him, because he chose to be a remorseless, evil serial killer. And it’s not like Serial Killers can’t be classic villains, I mean look at Hannibal Lecter. Or if you want to stick in the same medium, The Joker. Everything Carnage is, The Joker is also (only Joker has more flair).

  12. I like Venom. He looks cool.