Spider-Man has been around since the early '60s and right off the bat, he started racking up a rather impressive rogues gallery. Over the years, his big bads have included some of the greatest characters in Marvel's library, but being a great villain doesn't mean these folks aren't just dangerous.
His villains started out rather benign with a guy who could fly and a crew of miscreants, but within short order, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created some worthy opponents for our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. Of the many he has faced, these 10 are truly the worst of them all.
10 KRAVEN THE HUNTER
When he was first introduced, Kraven the Hunter was sillier than anything else. Here was a guy who had hunted the most dangerous game on the planet and was looking for a challenge. Why not hunt a teenage superhero in New York City? It's one thing to hunt animals, but this guy opted to hunt a person.
Thanks to his enhanced senses, which gave him superhuman speed and an ability to track, Kraven went from silly to seriously deadly pretty fast. He put Peter through hell and back again numerous times even going so far as to kill a clone of Peter named Kaine Parker.
When Max Dillon was introduced to readers, he was immediately one of the more powerful foes Spider-Man had faced. Electro's ability to control electricity and project it at his enemies caused major problems for Spidey whose web-shooters and other gadgets didn't appreciate getting zapped all the time.
Over the years, Electro's abilities have increased in intensity. Instead of simply shooting off lightning bolts, he learned to control all forms of electricity including the bioelectric processes in the human body. He can shut down a person's mind at will and has even gained the ability to control electromagnetism in a manner similar to Magneto's ability.
8 THE LIZARD
The Lizard has always been something of a tragic figure. Dr. Curt Connors sought to regrow his missing arm using reptilian DNA, but managed to tap into a sort of parallel psyche based on the latent reptilian DNA inherent in all humans. He regrew his arm but turned into a giant bipedal lizard intent on the violent overthrow of humanity.
The sadness of the Lizard is his constant struggle within himself and Spidey's attempts to save his friend and mentor. Ultimately, the Lizard eats Connor's son, which pushes him over the edge in what many consider to be an incredibly controversial Spider-Man story.
Flint Marko's Sandman is another tragic figure in Spider-Man's gallery who isn't always as bad as he appears. He turned to a life of crime shortly before an accident turned him into a being of immense power, but his crimes were done more out of necessity than anything else.
Over the years, he has helped Spider-Man, but for the most part, he's still a supervillain. He's also one of the strongest characters on this list and is even capable of fighting the Hulk if necessary. His only weakness is water, which has been used to defeat him on multiple occasions, but overall, he's insanely powerful.
There have been several bad guys to pick up the name Hobgoblin over the years, but the very first, Roderick Kingsley, is easily the worst of them all. Kingsley started life as a billionaire fashion designer, but acquired some superpowers and decided to take on a life of crime.
Kingsley had no qualms about using lethal measures to accomplish his goals, which made him a particularly fierce threat to Spidey and the city of New York. His ruthless and brutal methods often put innocent people in danger, which is one of those things Spider-Man cannot abide making Hobgoblin one of his greatest foes.
On the surface, Mysterio isn't the most threatening of Spider-Man's foes. He's a special effects master who uses his skills and talents to confuse and trick his enemies but doesn't possess any superpowers of his own. That being said, he's caused Parker a lot of problems over the years.
In one issue, he tricked Peter into believing he was responsible for Aunt May's death. In another, he tricked him into thinking he was shrunken down to mere inches in height. Whatever his scheme, Mysterio is always one step ahead of Spider-Man making him of the wall-crawler's most formidable enemies.
Venom was the original symbiote that joined with Spider-Man and went on to become one of his greatest enemies after joining with Eddie Brock. While there are other deadlier offspring such as Carnage, the original holds the distinction of being the most devastating of all to Peter Parker's life due to how intimately he hates him.
Venom did many horrific things to Peter to terrorize him pretty much right away. He scared the hell out of Mary Jane and killed a ton of people during his earlier days. He's gone on to become something of an anti-hero and even joined the Guardians of the Galaxy, but classic Venom was vicious, deadly and horrific.
3 DOCTOR OCTOPUS
Doctor Otto Octavius, better known as Doctor Octopus, is one of Spider-Man's oldest foes. Initially, he wasn't the toughest bad guy in the world, but he did manage to unmask Spider-Man all the way back in The Amazing Spider-Man #12! That was certainly a problem to overcome, but since then, Doc Oc has become an absolute menace to Peter Parker.
In one story, Doc Oc transferred his mind into Parker's and vice-versa. The only problem, his body then died and he took over Parker's life to become the Superior Spider-Man. Seeing as he actually killed Peter Parker once, Doc Oc stands as a ruthless player in the gallery.
2 GREEN GOBLIN
Looking back through all of Spider-Man's foes, Norman Osborn, aka The Green Goblin, is likely his worst. The man is evil and disturbed, but more than that, he is responsible for the death of Gwen Stacey. That event from The Amazing Spider-Man #121-122 forever changed Peter Parker and he's never fully recovered from the loss.
Osborn is also the father of Parker's childhood chum and knows his secret identity. He also went on to run S.H.I.E.L.D. and ruined more than a few people's lived post-Civil War. Overall, he's just plain evil, but he falls just shy of taking the top spot on this list.
Of all Spider-Man's foes, Morlun is easily the deadliest. He's killed multiple versions of Spider-Man across the Multiverse and is the biggest threat to Peter Parker's desire to continue breathing. Morlun feeds off the energy of Spider-Totums, aka Spider-Man and his many alternate reality versions.
Essentially, the guy travels to different Universes, slays Spider-Man, and moves on. Spider-Man joined forces with his alternates to wage war against Morlun in the story that created the Spider-Verse. In a way, we should thank Morlun for leading Marvel to create Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, but it's hard to look past the pile of Spider-Corpses in his wake.