Of all the superheroes out there, Spider-Man has the greatest cast of villains around (second to maybe Batman). There are icons like Goblin, Ock, and Venom; then you have Kingpin, Vulture, Mysterio.
...the Spot? Big Wheel? The Gibbon?
Okay, maybe not every Spider-Man villain is the coolest. There are always a few who are a little on the lamer side. However, even these characters are quite fascinating in their own right. While not every Spider-Man villain is an icon, several are quite effective at being evil. A few are even quite interesting in their own right.
When examining the hierarchy of Spidey bad-guys, once you dig below the surface, you find gems. While these villains may seem lame, they are, in actuality, quite awesome.
As one of the first new supervillains to emerge in the Brand New Day arc, Overdrive is not as fondly remembered as, say, Mr. Negative. Because of the negativity following One More Day, many fans overlooked Overdrive, who had the incredible ability to upgrade cars and vehicles into cool new super vehicles.
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More accurately, he used nanotechnology for the express goal of making things even cooler than before. In fact, Overdrive, in general, seemed to make stories featuring him more fun, most notably the Superior Foes of Spider-Man comic line.
9 The Doppelganger
How many evil Spider-Man characters are there?
This character may be more fondly remembered for his role in Maximum Carnage, but the Doppelganger was a mainstay of Spidey stories throughout the early '90s, following the Infinity War arc (little similarity to Avengers: Infinity War). Doppelganger is an animalistic, chaotic copy of Spider-Man with extra arms, claws, and fangs. He's an outer-dimensional duplicate of Spidey.
What makes him lame is he always seemed to function less as a character and more as a pet. But just look at that design! He's just so cool to look at! Considering the flux of lame Spider-Clones fans would meet during the Clone Saga—as well as how, essentially, Venom is functionally an evil version of Spider-Man—Doppleganger may feel like a redundant footnote. Still, he is pretty cool.
Stegron is a knock-off of the Lizard, essentially. Only, rather than turning into a lizard, he turns into a dinosaur who can control dinosaurs
Many dismiss Stegron as just a Lizard clone, without taking into account the very interesting factor that is one of Spider-Man's villains is a DINOSAUR! Dinosaurs are incredibly cool. Plus, the power to control dinosaurs isn't so lame when you consider the Savage Lands, a region in Marvel's Antarctica where dinosaurs still reign supreme. Bring a few dinos over, and Stegron could unleash havoc upon the world.
7 The Swarm
The Swarm is what happens when someone who is deathly afraid of bees goes into the comic industry.
The Swarm may seem silly, but he's quite possibly one of the most insidious of Spider-Man's foes. For one, The Swarm is a literal Nazi, making him on par with Red Skull's levels of evil. For two, he's a giant swarm of bees, which are among the most painful of all insects. And three...
There is no three. One and two should be enough. Nazi bees, man. That's enough to make this man the most frightening villain ever conceived.
6 The Thousand
The Thousand only appeared in one storyline. However, few Spider-Man villains are at once as grotesque and absolutely pathetic as The Thousand.
The Thousand started as a bully named Carl King, who thought he deserved the powers of a spider that Peter Parker earned. So, after realizing early on that Peter was Spider-Man, he...ate the spider that bit Peter, thus turning into a thousand spiders that infest people's bodies, eat them from the inside out, and wear their skin.
The Thousand is bone-chilling, despite his lame origins, in part because his powers really do reflect the man who wields them. He is a pathetic, cruel man. His karmic fate at the end of his arc is in particularly incredibly awesome.
Jason Macendale is not the most fondly remembered Hobgoblin, but his decision to make a deal with a demon brought to life the often dismissed Spider-Man villain Demogoblin.
Most goblins outside the first couple Green Goblins and Hobgoblins are dismissed as knock-off copies. After all, what makes them stand apart?
Demogoblin may look like a Hobgoblin rip-off, but his lawful evil nature adds this moral complexity to his character. He believes himself to be the hero of his own story, purging the world of sinners. This leads him to work alongside Carnage of all people, and to take on the Doppelganger as his personal partner in "salvation." While he is a demon and very clearly a murderer, his actions reveal him to have a moral code — albeit a twisted one. His ultimate fate really shows how, in many respects, Macendale was a true demon between the two of them.
The Clone Saga is often dismissed outright as a pathetic, awful story without any merit. This isn't fair, however, as the arc brought fans Ben Reilly...and Kaine.
Kaine has in recent years redeemed himself for his role as the Scarlet Spider, but even in the Clone Saga, Kaine was a terrific villain. At first, he stood as a mysterious murderer (who managed to kill Doc Ock), always striking terror into both Reilly and Parker's hearts. But in actuality, Kaine was just a failed clone of Peter — horribly twisted on the outside.
In many ways, he exists as a sort of Frankenstein's monster. He was born looking monstrous, so people treated him like a monster...and that treatment turned him into a monster.
3 The Spot
The Spot looks lame. He looks like he draped a monochromatic Twister board on his body. However, he has one of the most unique and dizzying powers around: he opens up portals.
There is something just so simple and so fascinating about this ability. And many villains have deemed him useful enough to serve under them. Tombstone used him to help break out of prison, the Hand and Hydra used him to further their goals, The Prowler made him join his Sinister Six... Even in his initial appearance, he functioned as a henchman for the Kingpin himself.
Despite being treated as a lame villain, the most important villains always seem to regard the Spot as a valuable asset.
2 Big Wheel
Big Wheel is the go-to villain when it comes to fans pointing out the worst of Spider-Man's villains. He's a tank with a huge wheel as its main body. He drowns himself in his first real fight with Spider-Man. How can anyone take this guy seriously?
Well, what makes him awesome is what follows that. Big Wheel is shown to be a sort of repentant character who tries to go legit with his technology. Big Wheel, after all, was always just a corrupt businessman getting revenge on the world using his tech. So it makes sense he'd try to use his tech for a practical purpose. Which he does.
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How many other villains just shrug and say "Eh, I'm not cut out for a life of crime," so try to use their wild technology for a real, practical purpose? That's kind of impressive in its own right.
Also, Overdrive took control of the Big Wheel machine at one point and used it as his own personal weapon...which is actually really cool.
So this is a bit of a cheat since he isn't exactly forgotten, but everyone seems to forget about him and how incredible he is, so...sorta counts.
Shocker is kind of a running gag. Everyone writes him off as this lame villain who no one really cares about. In so countless Spider-Man video games, he's a starter boss — the guy you beat up to get the hang of the gameplay. He's a guy wearing a mattress as a costume, after all.
And yet Shocker has managed to win just as often as he's lost. His pragmatic approach to crime means, unlike a lot of other maniacs Spider-Man faces, Shocker is content with just a simple bank robbery. He successfully manages a criminal career. Plus, he's a guy in a mattress suit that manages to go toe-to-toe with Spider-Man — and sometimes defeats. He once evaporated Hydro-Man (by mistake). He took one million dollars from a stockbroker and actually got away with it.
Say it with me: Shocker is the man.