Before the modern age of action-packed, CGI-heavy films and television shows like the entirety of the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the growing DC Extended Universe, the majority of comic book fans got their comic book fix from the handful of films that released or the growing roster of fan-favorite animated series.
One such series that was a huge hit for Marvel was Spider-Man: The Animated Series. Premiering in 1994 and running for five seasons, the show was a major success for the web-slinger. In honor of that, here are the ten best villains from the show.
10 Kraven the Hunter
One of the first villains that deserves a spot on the list has to be Kraven the Hunter. Otherwise known as Sergei Kravenoff, Kraven was in Africa with his fiancee Dr. Mariah Crawford when he was attacked by a pack of lions. Afraid of losing him, she used a dangerous chemical to cure him.
He recovered physically, but mentally, he lost himself. Renaming himself Kraven the Hunter, he followed her to America when she sought a cure for his madness and set his sights on Spider-Man as his next prey. Months after being cured, he helped cure Man-Spider.
One of the most recurring foes Spider-Man faces in the series has to be Wilson Fisk, aka The Kingpin. To the rest of New York, he is an entrepreneur, but, to Spider-Man, he is the Kingpin of Crime, often hiring Spidey’s enemies for various crimes and getting into mob wars with other rivals.
He was instrumental in many plots, including the formation of both the first and second wave of the robotic Spider-Slayers, and he helped bring together the formation of the Insidious Six, a collective of Spidey’s foes. He also fought Daredevil and more in the series.
8 Miles Warren
One of the biggest plot devices in the series belonged to the villain Miles Warren. Known in the comics as the genetic mad scientist The Jackal and taught by the villain the High Evolutionary, the series saw the scientist engaged not in the classic cloning of Spider-Man, but of one of Spider-Man’s greatest loves, Mary Jane.
In the series, Mary Jane had disappeared in a fight with the Goblin and was thought lost. When she returned, she and Peter married and were happy. However, it was revealed Warren cloned her for his other clone of villain Hydro-Man.
One of the classic foes of Spider-Man who recently saw success thanks to Marvel’s Spider-Man: Far From Home was none other than Mysterio. In the animated series, Quentin Beck was a special effects artist who was stopped by Spider-Man from sabotaging a studio and swore revenge on the wall-crawler.
He went on to become Mysterio, impersonating Spider-Man while committing crimes and even joining the Insidious Six created by the Kingpin in order to get his long sought after revenge. He was later replaced on the group by the Vulture after his untimely ending later on.
6 Alistair Smythe
One of the most unique characters in the series was not a comic based adaption at all, but original to the story, and that was Alistair Smythe. The son of a robotics expert, he became one himself and later was caught in an explosion at his father’s lab, paralyzing him.
After his father seemingly perished at the hands of Spider-Man (according to Kingpin), he helped build the Spider-Slayers and helped Kingpin until he discovered his father was alive and cryogenically frozen by Kingpin. He later allied himself with Norman Osborne, Red Skull, and became the Ultimate Spider-Slayer.
One classic villain got a serious overhaul in the animated series, and that was none other than Electro. The powerful villain in the series was actually the son of classic Marvel foe The Red Skull. Born Rhienholdt Schmidt, his step-brother was also the villain The Chameleon.
After the two found the keys and everything they needed for the doomsday weapon their father built, they released the Red Skull from the vortex, and, in turn, the Red Skull turned Schmidt into Electro, the living god of Electricity. It took Spidey, Captain America, and other heroes to stop the powerful villain.
4 Doctor Octopus
A classic foe that had a strong presence on the show had to be Doctor Octopus. His real name being Otto Octavius, Doc Ock was a brilliant scientist who was working on a project for the Hardy Foundation. With pressure building to show results or lose his grant, he created a harness with four mechanical arms to help him in his research.
An accident bonded the arms to his body, and, controlling them with his mind, he sought revenge against the Hardy Foundation. Spidey stopped him, and the two fought countless times afterwards, including in The Beyonder’s Secret Wars in the show.
One of the more unique villains of the series has to be Eddie Brock, aka Venom. After the storyline of the series saw the classic symbiote bond with Peter Parker and then subsequently had been forcibly removed from Parker himself, Peter’s longtime rival Eddie Brock was ensnared by the alien symbiote and their shared hatred created the villainous Venom.
After many battles physically and psychologically, Eddie was separated from the suit and sent to an asylum where he fell in love with Dr. Kafka. After becoming Venom again later on, he became a hero to fight Dormammu and save Kafka.
2 Norman Osborn
The second most influential and powerful villain in the series has to be Norman Osborn, aka The Green Goblin. The CEO of Oscorp Technologies, he was under the control of The Kingpin who ordered him to destroy Spider-Man. While Alistair helped with the first wave of Spider-Slayers, it was his father Spencer along with Norman’s funding that created them.
Eventually, he was exposed to chemicals that created a dual personality, that of the Goblin. He would battle Spidey and would create one of the more profound moments of the show, throwing Mary Jane into a mysterious portal.
Probably the most powerful villain due to just how unhinged he is and how much joy he gets out of his villainy, Carnage is the “son” of Venom, the second symbiote bonded to the disturbed Cletus Kassidy, who’s crimes were so bad that the show couldn’t even name them.
Overjoyed at becoming Carnage, the villain became a servant of Dormammu and collected the life-force of others to help bring the dimensional being into their reality. He nearly best Spidey multiple times, and it took the combined might of Spidey and Venom to stop him in the end.