In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of Spider-Man, we’re doing four straight months of polls having to do with Spider-Man, culminating with the release of the Amazing Spider-Man film in July. Future installments will deal with Spider-Man creators and Spider-Man stories, but this month will be about Spider-Man’s supporting cast and his villains.
You all voted, now here are the results! We finish with Spider-Man’s villains #1-3…
Here is a master list of all the characters revealed so far.
3. Venom (Eddie Brock)
Venom combined two popular Spider-Man plots from the mid-80s, the tale of the alien costume that Spider-Man got during Secret Wars (that turned out to be a symbiote that wanted to bond with Spidey) and the Death of Jean DeWolff (where the mysterious Sin-Eater killed Spider-Man’s cop friend, Jean DeWolff). During the Jean DeWolff storyline, a man confessed to being the Sin-Eater but it was all a hoax. Well, the reporter who reported it was Eddie Brock and he was ruined when Spider-Man discovered the REAL Sin-Eater. Now out of work, Brock discovered the alien costume and the pair bonded together to form a being who really hated Spider-Man. They called themselves Venom.
Now, to be frank, a GREAT deal of Venom’s appeal came in the way that Todd McFarlane drew him. Here is a scene from one of Spider-Man and Venom’s fights…
McFarlane sure knew how to make Venom appear distinctive!
Venom believed that he/it/they was a good guy and Spider-Man was a jerk. So Venom had this whole thing about protecting “innocents.” This ultimately led to Spider-Man and Venom having a short-lived truce while Venom went across the country and was an anti-hero for awhile.
Eventually Venom returned to New York but Brock had developed cancer. The two split and the Venom symbiote has gone to on to bond with two other guys. Brock, meanwhile, became a Venom-like creature known as…Anti-Venom!
2. Doctor Octopus
Doctor Octopus was the first supervillain to really kick Spider-Man’s ass. For years, he was the top of the Spider-Man villain food chain. I mean, not only was he the most powerful villain Spider-Man had, but he was also brilliant enough that he could be…the Master Planner!! That’s quite a combo.
As the years went by, though, other villains surpassed him in might and he slowly fell down the food chain. Heck, for awhile there, he was actually AFRAID of Spider-Man! Even worse, for awhile there, he was DEAD!
But recent years have been more kind to him, even as his own body has begun to fail him. While his body is failing, his mind is sharper than ever and he is currently in the midst of his most ambitious plan ever – an attempt to actually RULE THE WORLD!
However, for whatever else he has done over the years, Doctor Octopus will always hold a special place in Spider-Man’s heart. After all, how many super-villains out there have TRIED TO MARRY SPIDER-MAN’S ELDERLY AUNT?!?!
It is hard to top that.
1. Green Goblin (Norman Osborn)
Now, killing Spider-Man’s GIRLFRIEND would top that.
That’s exactly what Norman Osborn did. The father of Peter Parker’s friend, Harry Osborn, Norman Osborn went nuts and became a supervillain. He was a recurring foe, although his long periods of sanity (where he would forget he was the evil Goblin) made him a bit of a lower level Spider-Man foe.
This changed when Osborn (once again nuts and knowing his Goblin identity) kidnapped Spider-Man’s girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, and killed her.
This led to a dramatic showdown (for the top characters on each list, I’ll give a three-page sequence)…
However, Osborn secretly survived. He messed with Spider-Man’s life from behind the scenes for awhile (including the whole Clone Saga, making Peter think he was a clone and having an actress pretend to be a dying Aunt May) before revealing himself to Spider-Man once again.
Over time, Norman Osborn has become more than just a Spider-Man villain. He took over SHIELD and sort of secretly ran the United States for awhile (his “Dark Reign”). Even after he was brought to justice, he eventually escaped and has become sort of Marvel’s answer to Lex Luthor.
No one will ever forget his connections to Spider-Man, though (including impregnating Spider-Man’s girlfriend before he killed her). How could we forget seeing Osborn’s “O” face? It is seared into my soul.