Three actors have played Spider-Man in three separate franchises in the last twenty years, so an unenlightened fan would be forgiven for thinking they were running out of villains to use in these movies. But thanks to decades’ worth of comic books, the character’s rogues gallery goes far and wide, with many great villains still yet to be used.
The Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer revealed Spidey actually survived the events of Avengers: Infinity War – or at least that he’ll be resurrected or reborn in Endgame. With a bright future ahead for Marvel’s webslinger, there are 10 Villains Tom Holland’s Spider-Man Should Face.
10 KRAVEN THE HUNTER
Kraven once hunted Spider-Man down, shot him, and buried him, only to reveal that he didn’t actually kill him. He simply shot him with a tranquilizer dart to prove that he could kill him. He didn’t want him gone forever – he just wanted him to know that he was the stronger, superior male.
Kraven is a psychotic big-game hunter who is simply infatuated with Spider-Man, which makes him a very dangerous adversary. There’s no comic book villain quite like him, and it’s time he finally made it to the silver screen.
We got a taste of the Rhino in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, in which he was briefly played by Paul Giamatti in a setup for the threequel. Due to that movie sucking almost as bad as Spider-Man 3, there never was a threequel, and so we never got to see Spidey fight the Rhino. Spider-Man’s advantage is his agility. He’s not big or formidable, but he is quick and nimble.
The Rhino, meanwhile, is a giant behemoth fused permanently to a rhino costume. The suit gives him enough strength to fight the Hulk – but it’s his contention with Spidey that made him a comics icon, because of the interesting power dynamic. It would be great to see Tom Holland’s wall-crawler go up against him.
Spider-Man: Homecoming already established Mac Gargan – the fourth and most famous incarnation of the Scorpion – as part of its universe. He’s the guy played by Michael Mando (Nacho from Better Call Saul) who approached Adrian Toomes in prison in the mid-credits scene about getting Spidey killed on the outside if he knows his secret identity. So, now, all we need is to get him out of prison and into the Scorpion suit. That suit looks a tad silly in the comics, but imagine it rendered in rich, slick CGI!
Plus, he got the Scorpion gig in the first place when he was hired by J. Jonah Jameson to investigate Peter Parker’s relationship with Spider-Man. There must be some way to link Gargan trying to figure out Spidey’s identity to his taking up the mantle of the Scorpion. Maybe they’re planning it already and they’re two steps ahead of us!
Dr. Michael Morbius turned himself into a living vampire when trying to cure his own blood disease and he became an obscure yet memorable Spider-Man villain. He’s sort of like a comic book supervillain version of Count Dracula.
The best Spidey villains are scientists, because it means they’re not just a physical match for Peter Parker – they’re also an intellectual match. Sony has already announced a Morbius solo movie starring Jared Leto to be released next year, so all Marvel has to do is negotiate the rights to use him. That should be simple enough, right?
6 GREEN GOBLIN
Since Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy depicted the dynamic of Peter Parker being Harry Osborn’s best friend while his alter ego Spider-Man battled Harry’s father Norman Osborn’s alter ego, the Green Goblin, so perfectly that it would be almost pointless to try it again.
But the Green Goblin is the ultimate Spider-Man villain in terms of being involved in Peter’s private life when they’re out of their costumes with neither wanting their secret identity to be figured out. The Marvel team would have to find a drastically different way to portray him, and maybe even deviate from the comics, but anything has to be better than the muddled Dane DeHaan subplot in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
The Kingpin is already in the MCU, thanks to Netflix’s Daredevil series. He was played by Full Metal Jacket’s Vincent D’Onofrio, who humanized him by playing his scenes honestly and compassionately. Usually, the subplots featuring the villain in superhero TV shows are the ones you tune out of, but D’Onofrio made his Wilson Fisk engaging and interesting to watch, so it would be great to see more of him.
Fisk is a little like Carmine Falcone in the Batman Universe, and Christopher Nolan made him work as a side villain in Batman Begins, so there must be a way for Marvel to get Fisk into a Spidey movie.
It’s easy to get Chameleon confused with the Lizard. But while the Lizard is a big, monstrous, talking reptile, Chameleon is much more complex. A little like the animal he’s named after, he can disguise himself as anyone around him, no matter their race, gender, age – he could disguise himself as Aunt May, Nick Fury, anyone! And Peter would be fooled.
Chameleon uses deception to his advantage, which makes him a more story-driven villain than an action-driven one. Done poorly in a superhero blockbuster, this would be boring. But done right, it could be something truly spectacular. It would be great if Marvel could squeeze Chameleon in somewhere, because he was the first ever Spidey villain in the comics – he was even introduced in Amazing Spider-Man #1.
3 BLACK CAT
If there’s one thing the MCU has a lack of, it’s representation. The franchise is filled with white men and very few women and ethnic minorities. Captain Marvel will steer the ship in the right direction by being the MCU’s first ever solo movie starring a female superhero. The next step is more female villains.
Spidey has few female villains, but Felicia Hardy’s femme fatale alter ego Black Cat is a great one. The character may seem like she’s basically Catwoman; she’s a cat burglar and whether she’s an ally or an enemy of our hero depends on how she’s feeling. But with the right casting, Black Cat could really set herself apart from Catwoman the same way she has in the comics.
2 DOCTOR OCTOPUS
Alfred Molina played Dr. Otto Octavius perfectly in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2, but there are also plenty of avenues for the character that movie didn’t explore. He is the founding member of the Sinister Six, the supervillain team dedicated solely to destroying Spider-Man, which makes him the perfect addition to a long-running cinematic universe (whether it’s Sony’s or Marvel’s).
The fact that Doc Ock can also climb walls makes him the perfect adversary for Spidey – it eradicates his advantage in combat situations. Molina’s Doc Ock was like the Jack Nicholson version of the Joker: Great, but there’s still room for another actor to interpret the character.
Tom Hardy’s Venom movie became an unexpectedly huge box office success last year, so it won’t be long before Sony and Marvel decide to put their rights issues aside and get their two cash cows to mate. Frankly, it can’t happen soon enough. Whether it’s in a Venom sequel or a Spider-Man sequel (or something called Spider-Man v Venom: Dawn of Justice), this battle needs to happen.
Venom is Spider-Man’s Joker. He’s his greatest foe. Their similarities and differences create a perfect hero-villain dynamic. Thanks to the phenomenal disappointment of Spider-Man 3, we haven’t seen a proper Spidey/Venom face-off on the big screen – and it’s about time we did.