Continuing my, For The Love of Spider-Man series, I want to talk about one of the greatest Rogue Galleries of all superheroes! In my opinion, Spider-Man’s gallery of bad guys is unrivaled in the Marvel Universe. The only one that I believe compares would be that of Batman, over at DC.
Spider-Man has great villains and I want to discuss some of them with you all today. From The Amazing Spiderman #1 in March 1963 and his first villain, The Chameleon, to the modern rogues Spiderman has one of the most iconic and well-balanced Rogue Galleries in comics. Spidey has to contend with villains that reflect the animal kingdom like Rhino, Scorpion, and Lizard. He has battled bad guys who bring with them elements of nature in Electro, Hydro-Man, and Sandman. He has foes that seem more horror based such as Venom, Carnage, Green Goblin, and Morbius. With wit and a great scientific mind Peter Parker has of course his share of mad genius rogues to deal with; The Jackal, and Doc Ock. And living in New York, Spider-Man sometimes takes on crime itself… enter the likes of the Kingpin. With such a diverse gallery of bad guys and girls to choose from how can this Geeky Girl write one article about Spider-Man’s Rogue Gallery? Well, I am going to pick my top 5!
Shriek was created by Tom DeFalco, Mike W. Barr, Terry Kavanagh, Ron Lim, Jerry Bingham, and Mark Bagley and first appeared in Spider-Man Unlimited (volume 1) #1 in May 1993 during the Maximum Carnage event.
Why I like her and why she is #5… Like Batman’s Harley Quinn, Shriek is a mental disturbed woman who becomes obsessed with the “man” that she believes loves her. In Shriek’s case that is Carnage! She then adopts the idea that Carrion and Demogoblin are their children, whom she wants to teach to be evil. And she treats Doppelganger as their pet.
But what puts her on my list is she has superpowers that are quite impressive in her own right. She can manipulate sound in wonderfully evil ways. She can turn the citizens of whole cities to embrace their dark side causing them to become violent and angry using sonic sound waves. She can harness hyper sonic energy to shoot energy blasts from her hands to disorient people. She can also shield herself from any sonic field. And that’s not all. She has the capability to let out a sonic scream that can cause temporary deafness and disorientation any of her foes.
#4: Jackal AKA Miles Warren
Miles Warren first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man issue 31 (1965) and first appeared as Jackal in The Amazing Spider-Man issue 129 (1974).
Miles Warren was a professor of Gwen Stacy’s atEmpire State University. He is a genius scientist who wanted to be more than a professor to Gwen. After Gwen was killed by the Green Goblin, Miles blamed Spider-Man for not saving her (sound familiar, I mean like Peter Parker didn’t do that enough for everyone.). Miles had an unusual fascination with Gwen Stacy, so his case of unrequited love. Milesbecame the Jackal after putting Jackal DNA into his body to take his revenge on Spider-Man.
So why I like him and why he is on my list?
Jackal is the main villain or at least the mastermind of The Clone Saga. He isn’t just a brilliant adversary for Spider-Man but he is responsible for the creation of many foes of our Web slinging hero! He created Carrion, as well as several Spider-Man clones; including Kaine, Jack, Guardian and Spidercide. He also created one of my favorite Spider-Man characters ever, Ben Reilly AKA The Scarlet Spider, who was a clone of Peter Parker. Because he was intricate in the creation of so many characters I had to include him in my list!
#3: Doctor Octopus AKA Otto Octavius
Doctor Octopus (Doc Ock) was created by Stan Leeand Steve Ditko. He first appeared in “Spider-Man Versus Doctor Octopus” in The Amazing Spider-Man #3 in July 1963.
Otto Octavius was a nuclear physicist and atomic researcher. With his genius in research he developed a remarkable invention- a chest harness that connected the wearer to four mechanical arms. This invention earned him a new nickname: Doctor Octopus. Doctor Octopus was actually a man in love and a man who had everything going for him. Until his overbearing mother broke up his relationship and then proceeded to die. Otto lost all ties with other humans and became more obsessed with his work. One day one of his experiments went terribly wrong. When a radiation leak in his lab caused an explosion it fused his harness and limbs onto his body. It also caused mutations in his brain, allowing him to have control over the arms through telepathy. From that day forward, he has set out to prove his superior intellect and found his way into the criminal path.
Why I like him and why he is #3?
Doc Ock is often listed as the best villain in the Spider-Man Rogue Gallery and while I agree with the reasons why, this isn’t my personal opinion. He, however, is one of the greatest enemies of Spider-Man and potentially can be said he is the smartest adversary for Peter Parker. He is the only villain who figured out a way to successfully transfer his consciousness into Spider-man’s body. This leaves Peter’s body in Doc Ock’s dying body. This created a whole new character deemed The Superior Spider-Man. Otto Octavius was Spider-Man, was Peter Parker. What villain can say they walked in not only the shoes but body of their arch enemy?
#2: Carnage AKA Cletus Kasady
Carnage was created by David Michelinie and Mark Bagley and first appeared fully in Amazing Spider-Man issue 361 (1992). He had however appeared before in a minor cameo one issue before, in Amazing Spider-Man issue 360 (1992).
Unlike the Venom (who I love and would have made #6!) and Eddie Brock’s symbiotic relationship, in which they still fight for control and refer to themselves as we. Carnage, an offspring of Venom, and his “host” Cletus have a more pure bond stemming from their love of killing. Carnage and Cletus are like minded which makes them stronger. Cletus Kasady has completely become one with Carnage, literally to the point that the symbiote now lives in his blood. Carnage’s strength and abilities grow with his blood lust and violent nature. His abilities exceed those of Venom and Spider-Man.
So why I like him?
Yes, it can be argued that Carnage is a one note character, a mass murderer who thrives on violence and killing. So why would I place him on this list. The reason is simple, Carnage is pure strength and his single mindedness creates a villain whose only objective is chaos and death. Because of his strong bond with his “host” he became a foe that Spider-Man and Venom had to team up to defeat. This is also why he is on the list, if you can create a big enough threat that Venom and Spidey must work together to take you out, you deserve a place on my list. Carnage and Cletus may neither have a great story arc or a reason for the readers to sympathize with them but they are a formable foe for both our web slinging hero and our anti-hero!
#1 Green Goblin AKA Norman Osborn
The Green Goblin debuted in The Amazing Spider-Man #14 July 1964 and was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Stan Lee had originally intended to have the Green Goblin an ancient mythological monster found in an Egypt-like sarcophagus. However, Steve Ditko re-imagined the Green Goblin and turned him into a human instead. The Green Goblin’s whole conception was all Ditko’s idea. The Green Goblin’s secret identity wasn’t known when he debuted but he quickly grew in popularity. . Lee and Ditko disagreed on the character’s alter-ego; Lee wanted it to be someone Spider-Man knew but Ditko preferred it be a new character to introduce a sense of realism to the stories. However, Stan Lee’s idea for the Green Goblin’s secret identity was used and in issue #31, the Green Goblin was finally revealed as Norman Osborn. Norman was the father of Peter Parker’s friend Harry Osborn.
When the Green Goblin first appeared his goal was to rule the underworld and he needed to prove himself by defeating our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. The Green Goblin became first villain to uncover Spider-Man’s secret identity as Peter Parker.
SO why I like him as a villain and why he is #1 on my list?
Gwen Stacy’s death! That is the reason that I have chosen the Green Goblin as the number one in my Spider-Man villains list. This was the first time in comic history that our superhero couldn’t save someone, and that someone happened to be the woman he loved. The Green Goblin was instrumental in how Spider-Man and his story developed. Without him Peter Parker’s and Spidey’s story would have been different. Mary Jane and Spider-Man may not have ended up together. A superhero in comics may never have been portrayed as fallible.
So what do you think of my list? Who would you put on your list?
Thanks for reading this GeekyGirlNess and be sure to come see me at OzCon in West Plains this weekend April 26-28!