Spider-Man Villains to Look Out For

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A couple years ago, I wrote an article with a hint of wishful thinking masked by quiet skepticism. I was weak.

In it, I gave a quick rundown of a few villains that didn’t seem like likely candidates for the antagonists of The Amazing Spider-Man movies, seeing as how the writers normally gravitated toward the human and the scientific. I didn’t say realistic, I said scientific, okay?

But since the Avengers films, all bets are off and the ridiculous and ‘out-there’ is becoming the standard. With next month’s Amazing Spider-Man 2 hitting theaters, we’ll be seeing another Goblin, Electro, and the Rhino. And from there, the sky’s the limit it seems.

Here’s a quick list for those looking to familiarize themselves, even if they don’t make it into a Sinister Six movie.

Alistair Smythe

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First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #19 (1985)

Abilities/Weapons: Genius intellect specifically in the field of robotics, commands Spider-Slayers. Eventually became a cyborg with various talons and blades, as well as super strength.

While BJ Novak will be playing Smythe in ASM 2, comic book movies of the past have shown us multiple times that introducing a character is different than actually enacting them as villains. Heck, Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver’s names were shown in a mutant database in 2003’s X2: X-Men United though we’ll have to wait until 2016 to finally see them in cinematic form. That 2009 Wolverine movie doesn’t count.

In the comics, Smythe is a paraplegic that hates Spider-Man (of course) and blames him for the death of Smythe’s father, who died from radiation poisoning. Bound to a wheelchair but armed with a brilliant mind, he battens down and creates an army of Spider-Slayers: lethal machines with the sole objective of killing Spider-man, the same thing his father had been doing before he died.

"*Grumble grumble...hate you Spider-Man...grumble grumble*..."

“*Grumble grumble…hate you Spider-Man…grumble grumble*…”

Throughout the years, Smythe has created multiple versions of these slayers, each model more deadly than the last. He bested himself though when he decided to put himself in a suit and name himself (Get ready) the Ultimate Spider-Slayer. Look out world! The kid’s got training wheels!

It all proved too little too late though, as Spider-Man had since become the Superior Spider-man (Doc Ock in Peter Parker’s body) and while the normal Spider-man would have allowed Smythe to sit in prison until he escaped, Superior Spider-man was sent by J. Jonah Jameson to execute(!) Smythe.

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Which he did in Superior Spider-Man #13. The guy finally gets his legs again and then Doctor Octopus just does him in like that. The jerk!

The Shocker

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First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man # 46 (1967)

Abilities/Weapons: Great intellect, enhancements given to him by his suit include ability to shoot powerful blasts of vibrating energy with no negative affects to his person. 

Herman Schultz may have been a high-school dropout but his choices didn’t reflect his genius. Using his mind for all things burglary, the self-proclaimed “world’s best safe-cracker” would eventually be caught and imprisoned.

Not one to let the little things get him down, Schultz created specialized gauntlets that shoot concentrated vibrational blasts, thus escaping prison and continuing his life of crime. Maybe the guards should be more watchful when they let geniuses play around in shop, huh?

Shocker’s gauntlets allow him to do as much as destroy concrete walls so what they can do to the human body will be left to the imagination. He’s normally left undamaged by this thanks to his specially padded quilt suit. It’s cooler than it sounds, okay? During the “Spider-Island” storyline, Mr. Schultz underwent a certain “transformation” he wasn’t too happy about.

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While ASM 2’s Electro may sound similar in nature (A blue collar villain with an extraordinary power), the Shocker’s abilities have always allowed for awesome battles and it would be cool to see the Shocker used as a villain-for-hire in one of the films. Often times, the less known a character is, the more can be done with them. Though I don’t recommend Halle Berry/Catwoman-degree leniency, Marvel.

The Shocker has most recently joined the newest incarnation of the Sinister Six.

Vermin

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First appearance: Captain America #272 (1982)

Abilities/Weapons: Agility, animal mind control, feral fighting skills, claws and teeth, super senses and heightened strength.

One of Spider-Man’s nastiest enemies, Vermin seems more fitting for the world of Batman. Or maybe it’s his likeness to that of Man-Bat. Keeping in line with Man-Bat as well as plenty of other comic book villains (and occasionally heroes), geneticist Edward Whelan was working for Nazi overlords (Always a no-no) when they turned Whelan into a horrid combination of man and rat when Whelan objected to previous human experiments.

Having been subjected to molestation as a child by his father, Whelan’s life had never been easy but with the transformation into Vermin he did find some power, as his newfound abilities allowed him to control the army of rats that dwelled in the sewers of New York.

Depending on the source, the number of rats in New York can range anywhere from a quarter of a million to 95 million. We need a Will Smith “Damn!” inserted here.

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…Or a “YESSSS!!!”

Maybe Willard was onto something.

Vermin’s character has always been one of torture and humiliation though, as his biggest story arc consisted not of his own master plan, but being beaten into submission by Kraven the Hunter dressed as Spider-Man right before he was given to the real Spider-Man from which he escaped. Since then his storylines have consisted more of his psychosis rather than the physicality of the character. You read that sentence about his childhood, you can’t really blame the guy.

Did I mention he's a cannibal?

Did I mention he’s a cannibal?

Any movie featuring Vermin would indubitably lead to a darker, scarier Spider-Man film than we’ve seen before.

The Mafia

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From Mob bosses Silvermane and the Kingpin, to enforcers like Hammerhead and Tombstone, there’s really quite the variety of mafioso figures that Spider-Man comes into contact with, especially toward the beginning of his career. And though the Kingpin is now Marvel Studios property, effectively ruling him out, there’s certainly no shortage of of others to choose from.

The mob and all characters that fall under this would certainly be a break from all of those idiot scientists using themselves as experiments when (Oops!) an accident happens and they go insane. With the mob as the villains, even for just a subplot, there’s a lot of more down and dirty stories to tell, being that they would need more creative to avoid or defeat Spider-man in order to continue their criminal activities.

But why stop at Spider-Man? Let's kill some X-Men too!

But why stop at Spider-Man? Let’s kill some X-Men too!

There would be no need for theatrics or a desire for revenge against the web-slinger, it would just be…wait for it…business.

Although let’s not forget Tombstone’s razor sharp teeth, near invulnerable skin and super strength. Oh, and Hammerhead gets his name from the unbreakable metal plate in his head he uses to ram into people. Sure it’s the mob, but they’re in Spider-man’s world; they’ve got to get creative.

Spider-Wasp (Shathra)

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First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 2 #46, (2002)

Abilities/Weapons: Chameleon-like ability to disguise self as human, ability to shoot poisonous darts from wrist, super strength/speed/senses, flight, supernaturally in tune with Spider-Man’s whereabouts.

During his run on Amazing Spider-Man from 2001 to 2007, writer J. Michael Straczynski had a knack for creating Spider-Man villains that just weren’t meant to last. While many Spider-Man villains are hardly a threat to him while others are out to ruin him, Straczynski’s antagonists wanted Spider-Man to die a quick death at their hands. They didn’t want to “win” or to humiliate him; they didn’t want to become him or be a hero- they just wanted to kill him for their own survival.

Though they KINDA seemed to enjoy it...

Though they KINDA seemed to enjoy it…

One of these villains and possibly the most memorable, was the ultimate femme fatale Shathra. Hailing from another dimension after catching Spider-man’s scent (Dr. Strange warned him but did Parker listen? NoOoo…) through a rift, Shathra the spider-wasp did only what was natural to her and began the hunt for the Spider-man as Spider-Wasps do to Spiders. This included beating him, paralyzing him and eventually going on national TV claiming to be his lover so as to draw him out. Her kids needed to eat and any good mom feeds her hungry kids.

But in a kill or be killed situation, Spider-Man can still find out a way to win even if he doesn’t kill you himself. During a one on one battle, Shathra is overtaken by a horde of spiders, presumably eaten. Ew, right?

We got some pretty sweet fights out of it though.

We got some pretty sweet fights out of it though.

She would later appear in the Scarlett Spider series and mate with Peter Parker’s now-perfected clone (It’s a long story alright?) before she revealed that he would be her children’s meal. How she was resurrected is yet to be seen.

Freaking comics, am I right? They don’t even bother with how a character comes back to life anymore because it’s just so common. Don’t bog them down with the details!

What villains would you want to see in a movie? Will it ever be done or are your favorites more obscure than the ones above?

 

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2 Responses to “Spider-Man Villains to Look Out For”

  1. fatalfuryguy Says:

    Where’s puma? Or black tarantula? They get no love.

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