Where are your favorites?
Spider-Man: No Way Home is officially in theaters!!!! If you haven't seen the insane multiverse event that No Way Home is, exit this post, go to the theater, see No Way Home, and then come back. Anyways, No Way Home brought back all of the famed Spider-Man villains. And there are a lot of great ones. This was actually a pretty tough ranking to write. So you may not agree with my list. But that's fine. I want to have different rankings than you. With that said, here's my ranking of the Spider-Man movie villains.
If you have seen No Way Home, be sure to come back tomorrow for my SPOILER review of the film.
SPOILERS AHEAD FOR SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME!!!!!
18. Riot (Venom)
I don't like Venom, and part of that is Riot. This character essentially serves as a big final battle (which looks terrible, by the way), and I don't really like that. Now, Carlton Drake is really the main villain here, but there's an argument to make that he isn't the villain. He's your typical mustache-twirling rich scientist, but he actually cured cancer. How does that make him a bad guy? I understand he's doing some bad things, but Eddie Brock is a much worse person than Drake is. I hate Riot/Drake. Boring, bad, and illogical.
17. Tinkerer (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Some of the characters on this list are simply going to be henchmen. Tinkerer is one of those characters. He doesn't really do anything besides make Chitauri tech for the Vulture throughout the movie. I enjoy his presence and I enjoy the nod to the Tinkerer from the comics, but he doesn't really do anything in Homecoming.
16. Venom (Spider-Man 3)
If you read my "How to Make Something Sweet" on Spider-Man 3 or my ranking of the Spider-Man movies, you know that I hate Venom. In the comics and even in the 2018 film, Venom is a great character. He's not a full-fledged villain, and there's a clear distinction between him and Eddie Brock. That's not the case in Spider-Man 3. In this movie, the symbiote simply acts as a device to give the character power. Venom isn't his own character, and Eddie Brock is a cheeseball. I don't like Topher Grace, and I don't like this character.
15. Green Goblin (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Once again, the villains in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 are not the strong suit. Green Goblin is tacked on at the end of the movie. Harry Osborn is in it throughout, and he's losing his mind because his dad died of the Osborn blood curse, which turns members of the Osborn family into literal goblins before they die. This is a stupid plot line right off the bat, but it's even stupider that Harry is freaking out because he has, like, forty years before he's going to die. And then he turns into the literal goblin, which looks dumb, and fights Spider-Man before killing Gwen Stacy. Green Goblin is my personal favorite Spider-Man villain, and I love Willem Dafoe's take, but this was not the way to follow it up.
14. The Lizard (The Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man: No Way Home)
The Lizard is an alright villain. I think he's a solid version of a generic Spider-Man villain. He's the usual: a good guy scientist that experiments on himself and becomes evil. He isn't very memorable, but I think he works well enough as a first foe for Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man. I don't think the CGI one hundred percent holds up, but it's fine. It's not super distracting. I like Rhys Ifans' performance. I like the fight in the school hallway. I think his plan is dumb and I think it's weird that a giant, intimidating mutant lizard has this proper British accent, so that is really why he isn't higher. He's mediocre. I think that's fair to say.
13. Shocker (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Another henchmen from Homecoming, Shocker was cool enough. He fought Spidey in that bus scene after the homecoming dance, which was pretty cool, but he doesn't really do anything besides that. His fist is nice and he's somewhat intimidating, but he isn't prominent at all, so I can't really put him that high.
12. New Goblin (Spider-Man 3)
Another thing I really don't love about Spider-Man 3 is Harry Osborn as the New Goblin. I think that his revenge plot line makes for a good character arc, but I simply don't buy into it, because there are so many times that Peter could've told Harry he didn't kill Norman or go against Norman's wishes and tell Harry that Norman was the Green friction' Goblin. I like Harry's arc a lot. His redemption at the end of this movie is great. But I've never really liked the motivation behind it.
11. Carnage (Venom: Let There Be Carnage)
I really should have two separate entries for Carnage and Cletus Kasady, but I'm not going to. Instead, I'm just combining them. I thought Carnage himself was underdeveloped and a disappointment, but I thought Woody Harrelson was great as Cletus Kasady. He was terrifying and gross, but also weirdly endearing at the same time. He had a good backstory and a very intimidating presence. I liked half of this character and didn't like the other half, so he belongs plain in the middle.
10. Electro (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man: No Way Home)
Unlike most people, I don't really mind The Amazing Spider-Man 2. However, I don't like Electro at all. In a movie that's supposed to be a darker take on Spider-Man, Electro is this over-the-top goofball that you are supposed to feel bad for that gets wronged by Spidey and turns evil. I enjoy Jamie Foxx, but his performance in this is just too cartoony for me. But he was a great addition to No Way Home. It didn't stay completely true to the character, because he was a little bit cooler, but he was so cartoonish in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and they fixed that by making him cooler and more intimidating, but still having all the selfishness and flaws that made him a villain in the first place.
9. Sandman (Spider-Man 3, Spider-Man: No Way Home)
I think Sandman had the potential to be a great villain. He was sympathetic, and he had the black suit Spider-Man relentlessly chasing him. I always liked the character of Sandman, and I really made him more developed in my Spider-Man 3. As with most of Spider-Man 3, Sandman is an underdeveloped disappointment. I do think the idea of him being sympathetic is good and some of the action with him is cool, but the execution just isn't there. Also, I hate that they tied him in with Uncle Ben's death. We didn't need that.
8. Doctor Octopus (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse does an assortment of things differently, and I think Doc Ock was a cool change. I like that they made her female and gave her a little bit of a different character. For one, she's a henchmen (again) to Kingpin, but she acts wildly different than Otto Octavius. I like Kathryn Hahn a lot, and her vocal performance shines through. The animation style with this character is awesome. She's not a super big presence in this movie, but she's cool whenever she's on screen.
7. Prowler (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)
I've always thought that Prowler is a super cool villain. He has this incredibly complex relationship with Miles Morales that begs the question: What if you found out that your father figure was also your worst enemy? It's a dynamic that is reminiscent of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, and I really like that. Aaron Davis is a great character in Spider-Verse. It's so frustrating, because you want him to be good so badly. And when he does finally turn good, Kingpin kills him. It's a great, tragic arc that I really like.
6. Venom (Sony's Marvel Universe)
Yes, I know. This Venom is a good guy. But, since he is based off of a character that is traditionally an enemy of Spider-Man, I put him on here. The actual character of Venom is probably the only thing I enjoy about the first Venom. He is funny but can also be menacing. I love Eddie and Venom's relationship. I am a little skeptical of him being inside the MCU, because I don't know how he'll fit, but I still think that he's a very good character.
5. Kingpin (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)
Kingpin is an interesting and different adaptation of the character from the comics. He's such a nutjob that he basically inadvertently caused his own family's death. Even more crazy is that he refuses to take the blame for it, instead blaming Spider-Man and trying to steal different versions of them from the multiverse. That is insane. But I think it makes for a great villain. I hate the look of the character. I think he looks ridiculous. But otherwise, this is an incredible villain.
4. Vulture (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
The MCU has absolutely nailed both Spider-Man villains. And Vulture is truly a great villain. He isn't a big-time criminal...being a criminal is just like his day job. He doesn't have a master plan. He's just trying to provide for his family, and that is so interesting. The Vulture twist is one of the best moments in the MCU, and I attach that to his character. Michael Keaton nails both the fatherly, caring aspect of Vulture as well as the menacing, criminal side. This is a fantastic villain, only edged out by three of the best superhero villains of all time.
3. Doctor Octopus (Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man: No Way Home)
Doc Ock is a perfect example of how to do a Spider-Man villain right. He is a scientist that experiments on himself and ends up going crazy. But what makes this version of the character cool is the way that his tentacles are used almost as characters themselves. They are really what corrupts him. I love his redemption at the end. And it was great that they followed through with that arc in No Way Home. I love the way that Raimi shoots the action with this character. I think the writing for him isn't top-notch, and that's the only reason he's not higher. But this is a fabulous character.
2. Mysterio (Spider-Man: Far From Home)
Far From Home is my favorite Spider-Man movie, and Mysterio is part of that. Jake Gyllenhaal gives a perfect performance. You really do believe that Mysterio is a hero at first, and you feel the betrayal that Peter feels when Beck does eventually manipulate and turn on him. The illusion sequence is pretty much the coolest thing of al time. It's terrifying, visually stunning, and a great display of Mysterio's powers. I love this character, and I really wish he didn't die, so we can get more of him.
1. Green Goblin (Spider-Man, Spider-Man: No Way Home)
The character that I was most excited to see return in No Way Home was Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin. From his introduction, Dafoe's version of Norman Osborn stole the spotlight every time he was on screen. He goes in all of these wild directions with the performance that I love. The character himself is just pure insanity. The scenes where he is talking to himself are just amazing. He's so crazy, so menacing, and such a faithful adaptation of Norman Osborn that I just love. He truly is one of the great comic book villains of all time. Maybe even one of the greatest villains of all time.