spider-man villains ranked

When I first pitched my idea to rank all the villains in the Spider-Man movies thus far, I was thinking small – I’d pound out a feature about the biggest bads in Peter Parker’s life and have a little fun. “Sure thing!” said /Film managing editor Jacob Hall. But then he added: “In addition to the major villains, make this stupidly comprehensive.”

Oh no. Please deceive me, eyes. “Every street criminal, every minor bad guy, and every single character who even hinders Peter Parker should be on this list.” So now I had to watch five two-hour-plus Spider-Man movies. And note every villain. And somehow make sense of a ranking that ranges from natural forces to Bruce Campbell. And find time to sleep.

I accomplished three of those objectives. My poor, neglected bed.

Enjoy the ramblings of a broken man who renewed his love of Sam Raimi’s Tobey-Man series and reaffirmed his disinterest in Marc Webb’s super-effing-dark trilogy that never was.

Note: This list does not include the villains from Spider-Man: Homecoming, mainly because this list requires the ability to press pause. Perhaps we’ll revisit it someday…

56) Chad Kroeger ft. Josey Scott (Spider-Man)

Remember when the first Spider-Man movie came out and that song “Hero” became audibly inescapable? If a “Hero” truly could save us, why didn’t ANYONE stop disc jockeys from cranking this single until their tapes melted. WHY.

55) Dr. Pepper Can/Lamp (Spider-Man)

“But Matt, those aren’t villains. Those are household objects.” Yeah – trying to give Peter a concussion! The lamp smashes against his bedroom wall, crumbling in defeat, while the Dr. Pepper can scores some sweet product placement. Yeah. It’s gonna be THAT kind of list.

54) College Students (Spider-Man 2)

This is during Peter’s “the world is against me” haze. Walking students knock him down, trample his books, bump his head – things you might do to an invisible person? Or, in this case, a down-on-his luck protagonist.

53) Crane Swinging Wildly (Spider-Man 3)

This crane is a real dick. First it malfunctions, threatening the operator. Then it slams into a building where Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard) is modelling. She falls, but luckily Spider-Man is there to save her. Pretty dumb shit, crane.

52) Alistair Smythe (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)

B.J. Novak plays a mean boss who makes Max Dillon work late on his birthday. Thanks for being a heartless corporate monkey and creating Electro! An uninteresting one at that (despite Smythe’s comic trajectory).

51) Man In Black Suit (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)

Donald Menken’s right-hand-man loses Gwen Stacy in an Oscorp cubicle maze, gets his shoelaces tied together and then is effortlessly killed by Electro. Where’d this guy learn his bodyguard skills? Bond Villain Henchman School?

50) Under-The-Weather Bodega Criminal (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)

You can’t even defeat a sick Spider-Man who’s buying cold and flu medicine? Please forfeit your “street thug” credentials and sit in the shame corner.

49) Flash Thompson (The Amazing Spider-Man)

Chris Zylka’s Flash is your garden variety jock who beats on nerdy dweebs (AKA Peter Parker). All it takes to best him is a 1-on-1 basketball duel and schoolwide embarrassment. Cue a Spidey-dunk and broken backboard, then the two become best friends.

48) Cops (The Amazing Spider-Man)

In Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man almost-trilogy, law enforcers are more aggressive in their pursuit of Peter – but not more efficient. In one chase, thirty-eight officers fail to bring Spider-Man in (much to Captain Stacy’s frustration). Looks like Cap needs to update his rookie training program to include “Superhero Takedowns.”

47) Uncle Ben’s Killer Lookalikes (The Amazing Spider-Man)

When Peter is hunting Uncle Ben’s killer, there’s a montage of criminals who look vaguely familiar – but never end up having the signifying star tattoo. Peter leaves them webbed, with little struggle. Meh. 2/10. No competition.

46) Building Fires (Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2)

Maybe this is just a Raimi thing, but Tobey-man faces blazing infernos not once, but TWICE. One rager ends with Peter fighting off the Green Goblin, another showcases the bravest little girl (who pulls Peter up). Either way, it’s not just supervillains who threaten Spider-Man’s life.

45) A Brick Wall (Spider-Man)

When trying something for the first time, there are expected hiccups. In Raimi’s Spider-Man, Peter’s first web-swinging starts with promise – and ends with a faceful of brick. Not exactly training wheels, but he’s a superhero. Sympathy is minimal.

44) Mr. Ditkovich (Spider-Man 2, 3)

Landlords are inherently evil just because of their job. But is Mr. Ditkovich any worse? “Sorry doesn’t pay rent,” Ditkovich insists. He lands on this list for hogging the communal bathroom until rent is received. “If sorries were crackers my daughter would be fat!” Such a charming fellow.

43) Mr. Aziz (Spider-Man 2)

Asif Manvid does the right thing by firing Peter. 42 blocks in seven in a half minutes to prove his dependability. Easy, right? Not even for Spider-Man. Although, this does allow for one of the more memorable Spider-Man moments. “Whoa. He stole that guy’s pizzas!”

42) Dr. Curt Conners (Spider-Man 2, 3)

Dylan Baker’s Curt Conners isn’t the villain Rhys Ifans’ iteration becomes. Yet, for this list, he earns a spot by demanding Peter’s attention. Hard to balance schoolwork and extracurriculars when your teacher threatens failure.

41) First Time Hero Montage Criminals (Spider-Man)

Raimi’s first dose of heroism. Bodega robbers, jewelry robbers, a purse snatcher – all mere pests caught in Spider-Man’s metaphorical web. Shout out to the diamond thieves who are literally caught in a Spider-Man’s web.

40) Gravity (Spider-Man 2)

“Gravity, stay the hell away from me” John Mayer once crooned. Spider-Man probably shares those same sentiments after numerous mid-air plunges in Spider-Man 2. Bonus points for making Spider-Man share an elevator with Hal Sparks, whom we’re reminded has a career outside of VH1’s “I Love The [insert random era]” shows.

39) Harry Osborn (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)

Dane DeHaan with a Gerard Way haircut and some serious baggage. Boarding school at 11. A bottle of scotch on his 16th birthday signed “with compliments.” If that’s not enough, he’s also begun to show signs of Retroviral Hypodysplasia, his father just died, and all of Oscorp wants him ousted as CEO. Oh, and Spider-Man won’t hand over his blood/DNA. Life is hard for a billionaire’s son!

Maybe DeHaan would have had more to do in a third film, but as is, he’s Richie Rich with millennial angst. Most scenes involve Harry throwing a tantrum, pouting and whining about how unfair the world is. Then he injects venom into his system and requires the Green Goblin suit to continually heal (otherwise he’ll wither away, it’s assumed?). Fast-forward to his getting even with Spider-Man, who he knows is Peter. Gwen is dropped, Harry feels no remorse and the rest is history. Puffy-haired, dental-disaster history.

38) Mr. Jacks (Spider-Man 2)

Remember when Joel McHale was in Spider-Man 2? As the slimey banker hot-shot? He won’t even give Aunt May the promotional toaster. It’s the bit-part McHale was born to play.

37) Servers At John Jameson’s Gala (Spider-Man 2)

SOMEONE LET PETER EAT. As if watching the love of your life slip away wasn’t bad enough, Peter has to do it on an empty stomach. Evil, tray-pulling waiters.

36) Nerd Kid Bullies (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)

A little boy named Jorge has his homemade wind turbine bashed by bullies. Spider-Man shows up, praises Jorge’s work and helps him rebuild. Hope is instilled, and the science fair is saved. D’aw.

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