Spider-Man made his first appearance in Marvel Comics in 1962 in the pages of Amazing Fantasy #15. In that issue, his enemy was a thief who killed Peter Parker's Uncle Ben and Spidey realized that he needed to be a hero to protect those he loves in the future. When his own comic book rolled around, he ended up with a gigantic rogue's gallery of villains.
Many of those villains remain iconic to this day, but his two longest-lasting and most hated villains are easily Doctor Otto Octavius (Doctor Octopus) and Norman Osborn (Green Goblin). They were not only two of his earliest villains, but they are men who have done more to destroy Spider-Man's life than anyone else. Here is a look at the two villains and five reasons Green Goblin is his greatest villain and five reasons it is Doc Ock.
10 DOC OCK - BOTH ARE SCIENTISTS
Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus are both known for their inventions, but there is a significant difference. Norman Osborn pays people to create what he envisions, but Doc Ock is a guy who just wants to get down and dirty and build his inventions with his own hands.
He is very similar to Peter Parker, another nerdy scientist who has created some amazing items in his lifetime. However, while Peter is someone who invents things to help him as a superhero in order to help people, Doc Ock builds gizmos for more nefarious reasons. They are the yin to the other's yang.
9 GREEN GOBLIN - KILLED GWEN STACY
When looking at who Spider-Man's greatest villain is, look no further than the man who killed the woman that Peter Parker loved. Green Goblin has done a lot of bad things in his life, many of those to try to destroy Spider-Man, but the most heinous was killing Gwen Stacy.
This death happened in The Amazing Spider-Man #121 when Green Golbin kidnapped Gwen and threw her off the Brooklyn Bridge. Spider-Man tried to save her by snagging her with a web, but it snapped her neck, and she died. It was shocking because Green Goblin killed her, but Spider-Man blamed himself.
8 DOC OCK - KILLED CAPTAIN STACY
Not one to let Green Goblin one-up him, Doctor Octopus killed a member of the Stacy family as well. This incident happened long before Gwen died, and it was a moment that made Spider-Man feel even more guilt. In Amazing Spider-Man #90, Spider-Man was battling Doctor Octopus on a rooftop when Gwen's father, Capt. George Stacy was on the ground below.
Chunks of concrete fell from the building, and a small child was in their path. Capt. Stacy leaped over and saved the boy, but the bricks crushed George. As he died, Stacy told him to be good to Gwen because she loved him so much. Spider-Man then realized his battle with Doc Ock just cost the woman he loved her father.
7 GREEN GOBLIN - CAUSED CLONE SAGA
Green Goblin had one goal in life. He wanted to do more than just beat Spider-Man. He wanted to destroy Spider-Man and set out to do that mentally. See, Spidey thought he killed Goblin after Gwen Stacy's death, but Norman Osborn faked his own death. He did it to start his cloning plans.
This event became the Clone Saga, which honestly made Green Goblin the greatest villain to Marvel Comics fans as well. He brought back Gwen from the dead -- as a clone. For years, Spider-Man wasn't even real; he was a clone. Green Goblin did more in this plan to drive Spider-Man crazy than any other villain in history.
6 DOC OCK - SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN
While Green Goblin succeeded in driving Spider-Man to the brink of sanity with the Clone Saga, Doc Ock did something that Norman could never pull off. Doc Ock killed Spider-Man and then replaced him. A terminally ill Doc Ock was able to use an Octobot to swap mind patterns with Spider-Man.
In Amazing Spider-Man #700, Doc Ock died but with his mind in Spider-Man's body. Doc Ock then decided he could finally be a hero and became the Superior Spider-Man. Luckily, Peter's consciousness was still in the body and eventually regained control.
5 GREEN GOBLIN - TURNED HARRY AGAINST SPIDER-MAN
Green Goblin had no problem destroying anyone if it meant he had a chance to destroy Spider-Man. This included his son Harry Osborn. Harry and Peter were best friends, and it was clear that Harry suffered a lot in his life because of his overbearing father.
Sadly, being the son of the Green Goblin meant bad things for Harry and Peter's relationship. Harry developed issues with Spider-Man, and this caused him to become Peter's enemy more often than not. This event played out in both Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 movies.
4 DOC OCK - NORMAN MOVED ON TO IRON MAN
If there is one thing that Doc Ock has in his favor as Spider-Man's best villain, it is the fact that he remains consumed with Spider-Man's downfall. Yes, Green Goblin did almost more to destroy Spider-Man and Peter Parker than anyone, but he isn't single-minded.
Doc Ock stuck with Spider-Man in his rogue's gallery his entire career. On the other hand, Norman Osborn had other goals in mind, and he became a thorn in the side of Tony Stark when he formed the Dark Avengers and became a major Marvel villain more than just a Spidey villain.
3 GREEN GOBLIN - KILLED PETER'S CHILD
What is worse than killing Gwen Stacy? Green Goblin figured that out when he killed Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson's child. This event happened after Norman Osborn faked his death and then started the Clone Wars and did a lot to destroy Peter Parker's life.
His most heinous moment, and possibly the worst thing that any Spider-Man villain ever did to the Wall-Crawler, came in Amazing Spider-Man #418. Mary Jane delivered their baby, and then a nurse named Alison Mongrain carried off the baby and delivered her to Norman Osborn. The doctors told Peter and Mary Jane that the baby was stillborn.
2 DOC OCK - TRIED TO MARRY AUNT MAY
When it comes to Peter Parker, there is one person he holds above all others. With Uncle Ben's death as the leading factor to him becoming a superhero, protecting Aunt May became his biggest concern. Doc Ock became a tenant of May Parker, and that allowed him to get to know her better.
When Aunt May inherited an island that included an atomic plant, Doc Ock decided he should marry her to get it for himself. Of course, the fact that Doc Ock was manipulating May's heart made the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #131 with the wedding such a diabolical moment for Doc Ock as Spider-Man's greatest villain.
1 GREEN GOBLIN - FAKED AUNT MAY'S DEATH
If Doc Ock trying to manipulate Aunt May's heart to marry her was bad, imagine what Spider-Man has to think of the man who killed her. Aunt May at death's door was enough for Peter Parker and Mary Jane to end their marriage in a deal with Mephisto. However, years before that, May was thought to be dead as well.
In Amazing Spider-Man #400, Aunt May died. It was tragic, as she slipped into a coma and came out long enough to tell Peter that she knew his secret all along and was proud of him before she died. The problem is that she didn't die. It was a trick by Norman Osborn that was unveiled in Amazing Spider-Man #441 when the Green Golbin explained that he hired an actress to pretend to be May and then die to drive Peter to the brink of despair. Green Goblin is just the worst.