When it comes to Marvel Comics, the one comic book character that has gone through the most iterations on the big screen might be the Amazing Spider-Man. It all started with Sam Raimi and his groundbreaking Spider-Man movies from the early 2000s. Then Marc Webb tried unsuccessfully to create his trilogy, one that was cut short after just two films.
Finally, Marvel got to make their version of the Web-Slinger with Sony, and the Tom Holland version appeared in his movies, as well as serving as part of the Avengers franchise. With seven solo films in the last 20 years, here is a look at Spider-Man’s 10 greatest movie villains, ranked.
10 GREEN GOBLIN (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2)
It seems almost hard to believe that there have been three Green Goblins in the Spider-Man movies, including two of Harry Osborn’s version alone. However, out of the three, the worst came in Amazing Spider-Man 2. Dane DeHaan played the Goblin in this movie, although it changed the reason he exists. The film even gave this Goblin the iconic moment of killing Gwen Stacy, something the character here never deserved.
9 LIZARD (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN)
The first Amazing Spider-Man movie brought in a fan-favorite character from the comics but seemed to struggle to show the real Lizard in this movie. The best thing about The Lizard from the comics and the animated series is that he is a tragic character, like the Wolf-Man.
Curt Conners, in the comics, was a good man and a loving husband and father, cursed by his affliction. This movie made Lizard a monster, and while it was well designed and worked in that effect, it wasn’t what many fans wanted to see from the Spider-Man villain.
8 VENOM (SPIDER-MAN 3)
Venom in Spider-Man 3 is the reason Sam Raimi walked away from the franchise. After two very successful and critically acclaimed movies, the third in the franchise was hurt from the start. Raimi wanted to tell the story of The Sandman, and that was the best part of the movie.
However, it was clear that Raimi cared little for Venom, and the character was just a shell of its comic book counterpart and nothing close to Tom Hardy’s Venom years later.
7 ELECTRO (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2)
While Green Goblin in Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a disappointment to many fans and critics, Electro was surprisingly decent. Jamie Foxx played the Spider-Man villain, and while it was an interesting casting choice, he brought the pathos and sadness to the character.
Much like the animated Spectacular Spider-Man series, Electro never wanted to be a villain but was pushed into it by the police and Spider-Man, who feared him. Much like Sandman, Electro brought a deeper level of thought to the idea of a supervillain.
6 KINGPIN (SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE)
When Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse arrived, it proved that a big-screen Marvel animated movie could work on a level higher than many other superhero flicks. Following in the footsteps of Big Hero 6, another great animated Marvel film, this feature introduced fans to lesser-known heroes, specifically Miles Morales as Spider-Man.
It also brought Kingpin to the world of Spider-Man, and while he didn’t match up to the level of his Daredevil counterpart, he was still a great villain and better than some live-action big-screen baddies.
5 SANDMAN (SPIDER-MAN 3)
While Sam Raimi has openly stated he didn’t want Venom in Spider-Man 3, he seemed very happy to bring The Sandman to the big screen. Thomas Haden Church, an actor mostly for his comedic roles, delivered the goods in this movie as a criminal who wants to go right but can’t seem to catch a break.
The moments with his daughter and the end with Spider-Man show that a comic book villain doesn’t need to be over-the-top bad, and Raimi brought out the humanity of Sandman better than any superhero movie villain up to that time.
4 VULTURE (SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING)
Vulture followed in the footsteps of Sandman as a villain that had a lot more under the hood than just wanting to be a bad guy. What is crazy about this Spider-Man villain is that Sam Raimi wanted to use him in Spider-Man 4, but Sony said no.
Michael Keaton went from Batman to Vulture with great enthusiasm as he was a man wronged by Tony Stark and saw his own company put out of business, leading him to a life of crime. Fans understood why Vulture was a bad guy, and his small bit of redemption at the end was well-deserved.
3 MYSTERIO (SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME)
Mysterio followed Vulture as a new Spider-Man villain thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It seems that Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home takes the Web-Slinger one step closer to fighting the Sinister Six.
The best thing about Mysterio is that he plays a hero for the first half of the movie, and the villains that he and Spider-Man fought ended up as illusions. Jake Gyllenhaal was great in the role, and this was a highlight of the Spider-Man movies.
2 GREEN GOBLIN (SPIDER-MAN)
The first Spider-Man movie proved that fans were ready for the superhero craze to hit the big screen. It followed the successful launch of the X-Men on the big screen, and Spider-Man did not disappoint. It helped that fan-favorite Sam Raimi directed the film.
Willem Defoe was inspired casting as Norman Osborn and was fantastic, both as the brilliant scientist as well as the villainous Green Goblin. The armor was questionable at first, but his performance goes above and beyond all expectations.
1 DOCTOR OCTOPUS (SPIDER-MAN 2)
While fans love the Marvel-Sony Tom Holland Spider-Man movies, most fans and critics agree that Spider-Man 2 was a high mark for the franchise and the best film of them all. The villain here is the character that most consider Spider-Man’s archnemesis, Doctor Octopus.
What makes Alfred Molina’s character so great is that he started as a kindhearted and generous man, but the grief of his dead wife and his inhibitor chip becoming broken drove him insane. He was the perfect tragic villain and sits on top as the best Spider-Man movie villain of all-time.
The Spider-Man movies have had tons of villains from multiple Green Goblins to the fantastic MCU Mysterio, so we’ve ranked the 10 best.Lists