Friday, May 25, 2012

Spider-Man's Rogue's Gallery

Karen: Like Batman, Spider-Man has a wonderful assortment of foes. Who is your favorite? Green Goblin? The Lizard? Electro? Dr. Octopus? Be sure to vote in the poll on the left-hand sidebar!


Rip Jagger said...

Spidey has the best rogues gallery next to Batman, and I'd have to say I actually prefer Spidey's gang.

Here are some of my faves:

Kingpin - Boss of Bosses, this guy is a perfect Spidey baddie, the mastermind of crime who can actually hold his own (barely) in a battle with the Wall-Crawler. It's a shame he's become a DD regular since he's been pulled more or less from the Spideyverse.He has been portrayed by two actors though on TV and in film. Only the Red Skull comes to mind as having that treatment to date.

The Lizard - We are about to get a heaping helping of Lizard action this summer and I look forward to it. The sheer animal ferocity of the Lizard always made him a number one creep for me. His lab coat look is stellar, though I doubt it makes the film.

The Shocker - I like the Shocker. I know he's a bit of a loser, but I love that costume and I got into Spidey about the time the Shocker was being featured.

Molten Man - More can be done with this guy. I love the look, especially when rendered by Ditko.

Sandman - The best of the best! Sandman is Ditko's finest villain creation, an absolute powerhouse of a baddie who has a great personality to catch your attention and a classic look that never quits. Pure design elegance.

Rip Off

Doug said...

Early voting returns are in, and you know what I find interesting -- and the same thing held true when you posted the Avengers poll a couple of weeks ago: there are no unanimous choices.


dbutler16 said...

The Rhino is my favorite Spider villain, well, because I love rhinos. They've always been my favorite animal.
Aside from him, I think Kraven and the Green Goblin are the most interesting Spider rogues, mostly because of the psychologies involved.

david_b said...

I know someone here said a few weeks back that if it wasn't for the Goblin knowing Spidey's identity, he'd just be a too-bit villain..

He's still the most memorable, and my favorite. Granted, he didn't have a lot else going for him.. He didn't need to.

He was able to cut through where others couldn't, and in the angst beautifully drawn in the best Silver and Bronze stories, it was a heavier burden than any other villain in the Marvel Universe, especially under Romita's tenure.

I'd say my runner ups are definitely the Lizard, Vulture (especially issues 127-128..) and Mysterio.

Edo Bosnar said...

My favorites are the good Doctor, Vulture (you have to be impressed with that wirey old guy) and Electro - he can be a real bad-a** when he sets his mind to it.
I also voted for the Jackal and "Other," the other being Carrion - loved both of those villains in their initial story arcs. However, I should add my view that they never should have appeared again.

Matthew Bradley said...

I've gotta second many of Rip's motions. I'm just re-reading the first Kingpin appearances from AMAZING #50-52, and I think those who know him only from DAREDEVIL would be surprised to see how hands-on he was back in the day. I also think it's a shame that, if I recall correctly, the Rhino became more of a Hulk villain, although they were admittedly well-matched.

The Shocker has always been one of my underdog favorites ("Rocked by the Shocker" in #72 is among my oldest comics, which probably has a lot to do with that), and I agree that Ditko made Molty look very cool. Not sure he ever got to live up to his potential, especially once the connection with Liz was established.

Next to the obvious giants (the Goblin and Doc Ock), I'd say the Lizard and the Sandman are the major Spidey villains. I hated what they did with Sandy in the third movie, and expect no better from the reboot's treatment of the Lizard. But Doc Ock was superbly done in the second film.

My big problem with the Goblin was just that they went back to the well too many times: two Osborns, Bart Hamilton (or whatever his name was), and then the Hobgoblin. But the character himself is a rock-solid classic.

I have a special fondness for the Tarantula and the Jackal, if only because to me they epitomize that Bronze-Age goodness. And I was quite surprised to learn that the Scorpion was absent for so long after his initial flurry of AMAZING appearances...and then resurfaced in CAPTAIN AMERICA, of all places. What a waste of a good villain.

Many of the other vintage villains (e.g., Kraven, Chameleon, Electro, Vulture, Mysterio) were always fun to see in a nostalgic sort of way, and got points for seniority. But as much as they did indeed help to make Spidey's rogues' gallery the best, I never felt like he had to break too much of a sweat to defeat them.

I consider Morbius and Man-Wolf as borderline villains, since they were sufficiently on the, shall we say, anti-hero side of the ledger to have their own series. And of course Spidey knew that inside each one was a decent guy, a la the Lizard, which always made it more interesting.

Great topic.

William said...

Now you're talking my language. Anyone who knows me knows that I loves me some Spider-Man. Hands down, Spidey has the best rogues gallery of anyone. They're all great (even Hypno Hustler), but I especially have always liked Sandman and Electro.

Batman has a cool rogues gallery, no doubt, but almost all of them are very similar. They are mostly just normal powered human criminals with some sort of psychological disorder, Joker, Riddler, Scarecrow, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, Calendar Man, etc. Or just basic eccentric mob boss types like the Penguin and Black Mask. But Spidey's foes are an eclectic bunch of miscreants with a wide ranging variety of personalities and super powers. So, I think that makes the Web-Slinger's bad guys superior to the Dark Knight's.

Unknown said...

This is like shooting psychotic fish in a radioactive barrel. I'm amazed at how many great villains Spidey has. And for every one that I remember, someone else here reminds me of two more. I still give Batman the edge for best rogues gallery, maybe due to seniority. But Spiderman had to take 2nd place.

The Flash had a great rogues gallery in the 60's. I'm thinking he's worthy of 3rd place. Some of the other DC heroes had some pretty pathetic bad guys to deal with. I have a feeling that every time Julie Schwartz saw a good villain in a Hawkman or Atom script, he transferred it over to The Flash. Maybe he owed Barry Allen a few bucks.

I'm giving a vote here for The Punisher. He actually started out as a Spidey antagonist. Who knew how far he'd go? I have a soft spot for Hammerhead, too. He was dumb, but he was also in my first Spidey comic.

However, I submit for your approval; the best, most tenacious, longest-lasting Spidey villain of all time......J.Jonah Jameson!

James Chatterton

Inkstained Wretch said...

I would say the Kingpin is the best. He is a neat collection of old school villiany (I've always assumed he was visually based on 40s movie villian Sydney Greenstreet), gangsterism (he is basically a mob boss, after all) and modern Marvel super villiany (Anybody remember his flunky The Answer?).

One of the most interesting things about the Kingpin was that he was not trying to conqueror the world like, say, the Red Skull. Why bother? He already had his underworld empire and he was content with that. Most stories involving him had some other angle or more complex scheme at work. That made him a great catalyst for interesting storytelling.

Among the more conventional costumed villians, my favorite is the Scorpion. He's similar to Spider-Man without being derivative and had a classic Steve Ditko design. And he was just rotten bad, which it fun to watch him tussle with Spidey or other heroes.

Redartz said...

William, I'm right there with you. Spiderman's foes are visually striking, colorful and range from the tragic ( the whole Goblin family) to the comic ( how else to describe the Big Wheel). They are a big part of what makes Spidey a great book.

My personal favorite, though, is Mysterio. He was featured in one of the first stories I read ( ASM 66 - 67). Loved his garish hollywood costume , especially the bowl head! Was frustrated when he supposedly died in prison, and was quite pleased at his repeated defiances of the grave.

david_b said...

From what little time I remained with Spidey after Harry's appearance as the 2nd Goblin, I missed the classic villains way too much, now having to put up with the likes of Gibbon, the Grizzly, and yes, the Big Wheel..).

But being closest Spidey ever got to a 'Batman-Joker' or 'Supes-Luthor' relationship, it also gave us the iconic covers like Spectacular Spider-Man #2 and ish 122..

Anonymous said...

write in vote for hypnohustlet,, rocket racer,, & the tinkerer

Dougie said...

I'm afraid the really quirky, unpopular villains always get my vote.I have a weakness for the Kangaroo, the Gibbon and the Mindworm. That said, Dr.Octopus is a brilliantly plausible creation.

In the 70s, the first Morbius story helped to create a monster who's both pitiable and sinister.

spiderkev said...

Spider-Mans greatest foe is Joe Quesada

J.A. Morris said...

What spiderkev said!

I'd say my favorites are the biggies, Doc Ock, Goblin, Lizard & Kingpin. I began reading Spider-Man comics with Spidey Super Stories, all of those villains made appearances in that title. I later read the classic stories drawn by Ditko & Romita and

Even before Osbourn unmasked Spider-Man, he was a good villain. His first appearance,his return in #17 his duel with the Crime-Master, all good stories.

Plus, the Goblin & Lizard were 2 of my favorite Mego dolls too!

Hobgoblin is by far my favorite "modern" Spidey villain. He's a sentimental favorite because I was there at the beginning.
Hobgoblin's identity was unknown for the first 4 years of his existence. And he kept getting away with all is crimes. Then he was destroyed by writers getting re-assigned and editorial edicts.

Here's a great multi-part piece about Hobgoblin from one of the best Spidey sites:

And in MY Marvel Universe, Norman Osbourn is STILL dead! Bringing him back is just another indication that Marvel was running out of ideas.

DougK66 said...

Scorpian gets my vote. He's just as physically tough and similarly powered as Spider-Man without being a crazed cannibal symbiot. Always a good fight between those two. And his tail is a great weapon. I like Doc Ock also, but I could never really understand why he gave Spidey such a challenge. One punch from Spidey could knock Doc Ock's head off his shoulders.

Anonymous said...

LOL at Joe Quesada comment. Spidey is probably my all-time favorite if I could only choose one series to keep. I gave 'em all away years ago and regret it now, but at least I made a little boy very happy with my donation. I have those B&W phone book editions now and love them to pieces. I don't have a favorite Spider-Foe, for me it really depends on the story rather than the particular opponent. I thought Doc Ock marrying Aunt May and nuking part of Canada was ridiculously bad, but compared to what they do's a masterpiece.

Just for kicks, I vote for Mindworm. He was ugly, had a cheesy outfit, and very poorly explained powers and motivations.


Karen said...

The polls are closed, and it looks like Doc Ock took the top spot, followed by the Green Goblin and the Kingpin. Thanks again for your votes and comments.


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