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Every Live-Action Spider-Man Villain Ranked From Worst to Best


Where does your favorite Spider-Man villain rank? Who's the best? Spider-Man: Far From Home is now a billion-dollar movie. It means we're going to get more movies and more villains. There have been a bunch of villains in the films from good to bad.

Here now is our definitive ranking of the Spider-Man movie villains.

Warning: Spoilers for every Spider-Man movie ever made

25. Felicia Jones as Felicia Hardy / Black Cat

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) - Felicia Hardy (Felicia Jones)

First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Felicia Jones plays Norman's assistant Felicia Hardy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Jones' portrayal of Felicia is one of strength and grace. When Norman says everyone works for her now she's taken aback but quickly adjusts to the role. 

In the comics, Felicia Hardy first appears in The Amazing Spider-Man #194 (1979). Her history is complicated. She's a world-renowned cat burglar and becomes an enemy and ally of Spider-Man over the years. Felicia even becomes one of his principal love interests before lapsing back into crime.

None of that comes through in the movie, but if there had been sequels it would have been interesting. Plus, she's the only female villain in any of the films.

24. B.J Novak as Alistair Smythe 

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) - Alistair Smythe (B.J. Novak)
First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

B.J. Novak plays a very brief scene in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as an engineer working at Oscorp. He tells Max Dillon to go check something back at the lab to deal with an electrical problem. That led Max to fall into the tank with the genetically enhanced bioelectrical eels that gave Dillon his powers. While he's clearly a mean guy there's no indication he's actually evil.

In the comics, Smythe's first appearance is in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #19 (1985). He's the inventor of the robot "Spider-Slayers" who are designed to destroy Spider-Man. He eventually makes a suit of biological armor that gives him super-powers. Sadly none of that comes through in the movie although it's possible he intentionally tricked Max into falling in the eel tank. Evil but not "supervillain" evil. Pretty lame.

23. Donald Glover as Aaron Davis / Prowler

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) - Aaron Davis (Donald Glover)
First Appearance: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Donald Glover has a small role as Aaron Davis in Spider-Man: Homecoming. He's shown as a small-time criminal who enjoys "climbing" (hint, hint). He's on the hunt for weapons from Vulture's gang.

In the comics, Aaron Davis first appears in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1 (2011) and is the uncle of Miles Morales. He's a career criminal who steals from an Oscorp lab and accidentally releases the spider that bites Miles and turns him into Spider-Man. Prowler has a series of high-tech weapons that he uses to steal and is a master thief and Olympic level athlete.

While the MCU's Aaron Davis is obviously a bad guy there's no indication that he's actually going to become the Prowler. So he's not really special or interesting. We don't even know if he's committed any crimes. He's a pretty weak villain but he might be back.

22. Michael Massee as Gustav Fiers / The Gentleman

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) - Gustav Fiers / Gentleman (Michael Massee)
First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

A mysterious man shows up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. He's so mysterious he's only known as "The Man in the Shadows". He appears in Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) cell when he's incarcerated in "Beloit Psychiatric Asylum" and asks if Peter knows the "truth" about his father's death.

Played by Michael Massee he appears again in the sequel talking with Harry Osborn (Dane DeHann) about a small "team" of supervillains. He's shown walking past some equipment inspired by villains like Dr. Octopus and Vulture. Other than that he doesn't do anything. He doesn't kill anyone. So it's a setup with no payoff.

Gentleman first appeared in the comic Spider-Man: The Gathering Of The Sinister Six (1999) as an incredibly wealthy and devious villain. But the movie doesn't show any of that.

The guy obviously knows about a lot of evil things but doesn't do much. He does look incredibly cool which ranks him a little higher.

21. Colm Feore as Donald Menken

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) - Donald Menken (Colm Feore)
First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Colm Feore (Thor) plays Norman Osborn's personal assistant who becomes upset when Harry takes over the company. Menken's snide and rude. Not evil in the traditional sense unless you count passive-aggressiveness. Then he’s Lex Luthor.

In the comics, Menken is Norman Osborn’s right-hand man and first appears in Amazing Spider-Man #239 (1983). He’s mainly a supporting character and not a supervillain in the traditional sense.

Amazing Spider-Man 2 makes him a central villain. He helps orchestrate kicking Harry off the board and is forced to inject Harry with the Spider-Venom turning him into Green Goblin.

Menken doesn’t kill anyone but Feore is an amazing actor and really captures the evil inside Menken.


20. Leif Gantvoort as Cash Register Thief 

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) - Cash Register Thief (Leif Gantvoort)
First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Lief Gantvoorf (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2) plays an unnamed criminal known only as "Cash Register Thief". He robs a convenience store while Peter is buying chocolate milk. Peter lets him get away and he shoots Uncle Ben.

In the comics, the thief who kills Uncle Ben is just known as "The Burglar". But the movies have consistently tried to give the guy a larger role. In this case, it's slightly more expanded. The guy looks rough and tough. Plus, he's a murderer which is more than Aaron Davis can say.

19. Michael Papajohn as Dennis Carradine in Spider-Man (2002)


First Appearance: Spider-Man (2002)

Michael Papajohn (Jurassic World) plays a thief who Peter lets get away. But this time his role is even bigger. When Peter is denied his take from a wrestling match he lets a guy stick up the promoter. He stands by while the guy escapes. It's only later he finds out the guy shot Uncle Ben before stealing his car. Or so it would seem.

More on that later but the fact that he appears in both Spider-Man and Spider-Man 3 takes him up a notch. Plus he has the sweet hairstyle.

18. Michael Chernus as Phineas Mason / Tinkerer

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) - Phineas Mason / Tinkerer (Michael Chernus)
First Appearance: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Phineas Mason works for Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) in his salvage company. But when Toomes starts stealing Chitauri, Dark Elf and Ultron technology he turns them into powerful weapons and gadgets. The character is based on the Spider-Man villain The Tinkerer

The Tinkerer has been a Spider-Man villain since The Amazing Spider-Man #2 (1963). His incredible knowledge of science and engineering makes him a master at inventions. He mainly works helping other villains commit crimes but has fought Spider-Man in a self-made battlesuit.

Mason doesn't kill anyone but does indirectly assist in the murder of many people including Jackson Brice / Shocker. Maybe he'll have an expanded role in the future, but for now, he's down on the list.


17. Dylan Baker as Curt Connors / Lizard

Spider-Man 3 (2007) - Dr. Curt Connors (Dylan Baker)

First Appearance: Spider-Man (2002)

Dylan Baker (Happiness) plays Peter’s physics professor at Columbia University. He’s missing his right arm for some unknown reason. He’s a kind but firm teacher to Peter and helps him when he gets exposed to the symbiote. Connors also helps get him an assistant job with Otto Octavius. But there’s another side to Curt Connors.

In the comics, Curt Connors' first appears in Amazing Spider-Man #6 (1963) as a scientist who’s missing an arm. He uses an experimental serum derived from lizards to grow a new one. He inadvertently turns himself into the reptilian villain known as "The Lizard". Baker was supposed to play The Lizard in Spider-Man 4, but that never happened.

As a villain, he’s pretty weak in the movies since he doesn’t do anything remotely evil. That said, the guy has the face for a terrifying villain so the possibilities are endless.

16. Michael Mando as Maximus Gargan / Scorpion in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) - Maximus Gargan / Scorpion (Michael Mando)

First Appearance: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Michael Mando (Breaking Bad) plays the hardened criminal Maximus Gargan in Spider-man: Homecoming.

"The Scorpion" is a long-running villain in the Spider-Man comics first appearing in as the villain in Amazing Spider-Man #20 (1965). He has superhuman powers through chemical and radiological treatments, but also has an armored suit that gives him a vicious tail.

Maximus is the Ultimate universe interpretation that first appears in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #6 (2012) as a Mexican mob boss. Mando appears to be playing an interpretation of since he’s a criminal with a facial scar and a tattoo of a scorpion on his neck. Plus Mando is of Mexican descent.

The guy is pretty scary without any superpowers and he’s guilty of multiple murders. Not a guy you want to mess with.

15. Paul Giamatti as Aleksei Sytsevich / Rhino

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) - Aleksei Sytsevich / Rhino (Paul Giamatti)
First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Rhino's first comic appearance is in Amazing Spider-Man #41 (1966) as a Russian mobster who undergoes gamma radiation treatment to give him super strength. and a suit of armor that gives him a horn. The Ultimate version of Rhino first appears in Ultimate Spider-Man #123. He's named Alex O'Hirn and uses a stolen suit of armor known as R.H.I.N.O. The movie version appears to be based heavily on this version.

Giamatti had lobbied for years to play Rhino in the movies and they finally gave him his chance. The results are underwhelming since he only appears for a few minutes and we never see him fight. But the suit is wicked cool (until he sticks his little head up) and he was planning to kill a kid so that’s evil enough to bump him up in the rankings.

14. Bokeem Woodbine as Herman Schultz / "New Shocker" in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) - Herman Schultz / Shocker #2 (Bokeem Woodbine)
First Appearance: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Bokeem Woodbine rose to fame for his role in the tv show Fargo. He's even been nominated for a Primetime Emmy. So when he showed up in Spider-Man: Homecoming it was a bit of a surprise. He plays one of Toomes' salvage company's employees. At first, it seems like he's a minor role serving mainly as an accomplice to Brice. But keen-eyed fans noticed his name pointed to greater things.

In the comics, Herman Schultz is the name of the long-time supervillain Shocker. Shocker first appears way back 1946 in Amazing Spider-Man #46. He's a small-time criminal who creates gauntlets that emit powerful shock-waves.

Woodbine's performance is what makes him so awesome. Even though he doesn't kill anyone he takes gleeful delight in trying to kill a high-school student named Peter Parker.

13. Logan Marshall-Green as Jackson Brice / Shocker in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)


First Appearance: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Toomes Salvage Company has an unstable guy working for them named Jackson Brice. He's even more unstable when he modifies Crossbones gauntlets with vibration tech. Brice is a reckless maniac and genuinely terrifying. Toomes mocks him for taking on the pro-wrestler name Shocker. Marshall-Green (Prometheus) brings a seething quality to Brice that brings him to life.

In the comics, Montana (Jackson W. Brice) first appears The Amazing Spider-Man #10 (1964). He leads a team of mercenaries known as "The Enforcers". In the animated series The Spectacular Spider-Man, he also has the Vibro-gauntlets and calls himself Shocker.

In the movie, he's the first Shocker, but in other media, he's the second. but he's such a psycho he gets moved up the list.

12. Dane DeHann as Harry Osborn / Green Goblin


First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Green Goblin is one of Spider-Man’s greatest villains and the main villain of Spider-Man. The studio knew they couldn’t outdo that performance so they tried to reinvent it. Instead of being a grown man who puts on a mask they reimagine him as a young man afflicted with a disease that makes him look like a goblin.

The results are mixed. On the one hand, it’s more realistic than the mask but the entire thing hinges on Dehann being able to deliver the performance. He does an OK job and it feels like his role in Chronicle which isn’t a bad thing.

Overall he just couldn't deliver the kind of monstrous performance Green Goblin demands. But he does kill a few people.

11. James Franco as Harry Osborn / New Goblin


First Appearance: Spider-Man (2002)

Harry Osborn (James Franco) starts out as a close friend in the movies. That is until he thinks Spider-Man killed his father. Then he finds out Peter is Spider-Man. So he takes his father's formula and equipment and becomes what some people have referred to as "Green Goblin II" or "Hobgoblin" but they're wrong. Sam Raimi calls him "The New Goblin". Raimi almost called him Hobgoblin after the Ultimate version of Harry Osborn but Sony talked him out of it.

Franco looks pretty cool with bulging muscles and awesome gadgets. Harry tries to kidnap M.J. and drives Peter up the wall by kissing his girl. But he's not a great villain. His only goal is to kill Peter and doesn't have a plan for world domination.

But he's good at what he does and James Franco does an amazing job making you hate the guy you just kind of thought was a spoiled brat before. Then he makes you like him again.

10. Randy "Macho Man" Savage as "Bone Saw" McGraw


First Appearance: Spider-Man (2002)

When comes to style it's hard to do better than Macho Man's "Bone Saw" McGraw. The late professional wrestler plays the over-confident wrestler who faces Peter Parker in the ring.

The character doesn't exist in the comics but is loosely based on the boxer Spider-Man faces in the 1960s named Joseph "Crusher" Hogan. Like Bone Saw, Crusher fights Peter when he's trying to find a way to monetize his newfound powers. Both encounters inadvertently lead to the death of his Uncle Ben.

While Bone Saw isn't a master super-villain and has no superpowers he's one of the most stylish and hilarious villains he's ever faced.

9. Topher Grace as Eddie Brock / Venom

Spider-Man 3 (2007) - Venom / Eddie Brock (Topher Grace)
First Appearance: Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Before the reboot, we got our first live-action movie Venom thanks to Topher Grace. He plays Eddie Brock as a rival photographer. Even before getting the symbiote he's a bit of a nut job saying Gwen Stacy is his girlfriend when they went on one date. After the symbiote, he gets even more unhinged and teams up with Sandman to kill Peter Parker.

The character of Eddie Brock first shows up in the comic Web of Spider-Man #18 (1986) before merging with the black alien symbiote in Amazing Spider-Man #299 (1988). He's one of Spider-Man's most lethal and cunning foes.

Grace is an interesting casting choice because he's not very threatening. Even with the painful fangs, he wears he still can't quite reach the menace of other villains. But he is funny ("My Spider-Sense is tingling! If you know what I'm talking about"). He does kill a few dudes and looks pretty awesome despite the questionable CGI of the time.

8. Thomas Hayden Church as Flint Marko / Sandman

Spider-Man 3 (2007) - Sandman / Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church)
First Appearance: Spider-Man 3 (2007)

A guy turning into sand doesn't sound like much but Sandman is one of Spider-Man's longest-running villains. Marko first appears in The Amazing Spider-Man #4 (September 1963) and has the ability to break his body down into particles and reconstruct them. Thomas Hayden Church plays the classic Spiderman villain Sandman in the third Marvel Spider-Man movie.

Director Sam Raimi actually wanted him to be the main villain but the studio talked him into adding Venom. Narratively it’s one of the most powerful storylines since it revisits Spider-Man's first heroic act. The solving of his Uncle Ben's murder motivated him to become a hero. Making Sandman the real killer really called his whole effort into question.

His transformation into Sandman is chilling (although scientifically dubious) and his re-emergence as Sandman is still a gut punch. If you can watch him desperately trying to pick up his daughter's locket without feeling the pain you have no soul. He kills a bunch of cops during his crime spree so there’s no doubt he’s a villain. Plus, he looks amazing.

7. Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes / Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) - Adrian Toomes / Vulture (Michael Keaton)

First Appearance: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Michael Keaton is best known for playing a superhero Batman but he’s just as good playing a villain. Anyone who watched his performance in Pacific Heights knows he can be a psycho with a turn of his head. He plays Adrian Toomes, the head of a salvage company. When a job he bids on gets taken away by the government he decides to steal alien tech and sell it to the highest bidder. Part of his job involves swooping in with a flying suit and plucking it out of the hands of Tony Stark and the government.

The vulture is literally one of Spider-Man’s oldest villains. He first appears in Amazing Spider-Man #2 (1963) as a brilliant inventor villain using magnets to fly. Only Peter’s brilliant mind can take him down. Plus since he started his career at an old age, he’s also one of the few geriatric supervillains.

Vulture has always been considered a third-tier villain despite the character’s long history. But the movie makes him a terrifying villain with huge metal wings and glowing eyes. Not only that, the man under the mask is equally terrifying and charming. Keaton gives Toomes a glint in his one eye and a knife in the other. He even threatens to kill a child for interfering in his business.

He's one of the founding members of "The Sinister Six" along with Doctor Octopus, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, and Sandman. So we'll see if he makes a supervillain team in the future. What keeps Vulture out of the top five is he only kills one person. And that was by accident.

6. Rhys Ifans as Curt Connors / Lizard in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) - The Lizard / Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans)
First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Curt Connors shows up in three Spider-Man movies but never shows his scaly skin. The reboot set out to correct that making the Lizard front and center.

Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill) plays a biologist working on a way to combine human and lizard genes. He injects himself with the experimental serum and grows a new arm overnight. But the plan goes pear-shaped when he turns into a full-on humanoid lizard. Connors thinks it’s great and is a way for humans to evolve. He has grand plans to use his chemical to turn everyone in New York into a lizard creature.

The idea of turning everyone into a lizard creature is bad enough but this version of the lizard is monstrous. Not only is he cold, calculating and cruel he has plans for world domination. He kills almost a dozen people which makes the lizard an amazing and dangerous villain. Rhys Ifan manages to give Connors a likeability that gets stripped away like a second skin when he becomes the Lizard.


5. Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon / Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) - Electro / Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx)

First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx (Ray) plays the electrifying supervillain Electro who gets caught in a lab accident and turns into pure energy. Electro's first comic book appearance is in The Amazing Spider-Man #9 (1964). He's been a staple of Spider-Man's Rogue's Gallery ever since. His ability to control electricity seemed like a good fit for the screen.

Foxx gives the performance all he could but the results are mixed. The character's true potential is overshadowed by the other villains in the movie and his screen time and origin suffer because of it. The tone shifts from goofy to scary without a moment's notice.

Some could argue Electro is a goofier villain than Lizard. What makes Foxx' Electro a better villain than Lizard is he kills a lot more people in terrifying ways. Sometimes he just blows a hole in people's chest. It may not have been a great movie, but Foxx's Electro sparkles.


4. Riz Ahmed as Carlton Drake / Riot

Venom (2018) - Carlton Drake / Riot (Riz Ahmed)
First Appearance: Venom (2018)

The only thing scarier than a supervillain is a corrupt businessman. Venom's Riot managed to combine the two. Riz Ahmed (Star Wars: Rogue One) plays the billionaire psychopath Carlton Drake who is willing to do anything and kill anyone in his plans to bond humans with alien symbiotes. He gleefully watched as the symbiotes kill multiple people and then bonds with one himself. He becomes Riot and a true monster.

In the comics Riot is a mercenary named Trevor Cole who bonds with a symbiote. Riot first appears in Venom Lethal Protector #4 (1993). Technically Riot is the name of the alien but the two bond and becomes one person. the first thing he does is kill over a dozen people that work for him. That's crazy evil.

Technically the Venom movie stars Spider-Man’s greatest foe Eddie Brock. But in this film, he's on the side of good. He still eats heads but only on bad guys.  Riot looks amazing and is horribly evil. One of the greatest foes of Spider-Man who doesn’t actually fight Spider-Man in a movie.

3. Alfred Molina as Otto Octavius / Doctor Octopus

Spider-Man 2 (2004) - Doc Ock / Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina)
First Appearance: Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Mild-mannered scientist turned supervillain is a tired trope but none do it better than Spider-Man 2's Alfred Molina. Molina plays Dr. Otto Octavius who's working to bring the world clean fusion energy. When the experiment goes wrong the resulting explosion destroys his lab, kills his wife and fuses him to the mechanical arms on his spine. He sets out to rebuild the lab and bring purpose back to his life.

While Green Goblin is a popular Spider-Man villain the second most popular is Doctor Octopus. Dock Ock. Since he first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #3 (1963) he's gone from Peter's true nemesis to Spider-Man himself.

Molina makes Octavius eminently likable and then, in the very next scene, the evilest man in the world. Not even Peter questions why Doc Ock is on a rampage. It's clear he's beyond redemption. Or so it seems. While other villains have killed more people in the films he's the one who made a Spider-Man villain likable and detestable at the same time. Plus those arms are wicked cool even by today's visual effects standards.

2. Jake Gyllenhaal as Quentin Beck / Mysterio

Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) - Quentin Beck / Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal)

First Appearance: Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Mysterio has been a relatively unknown villain since The Amazing Spider-Man #13 (1964). That’s why Marvel was able to pull off the biggest con in the MCU. Quentin Beck says that he’s a hero. Marvel advertising said he’s a hero. Spider-Man thinks he’s a hero. Until he’s not.

Gyllenhall plays Beck perfectly as a warm and caring guy and then a soulless monster. We have to assume dozens of people were killed in his performances. He wears a costume that’s so good you can forgive him for wearing a fishbowl on his head.

Mysterio is one of the greatest villains because of implied body count and his willingness to kill anyone who gets in his way. Even innocent high school kids. Beck is the second greatest live-action Spider-Man villain. But he’s not the best.


1. Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn / Green Goblin


First Appearance: Spider-Man (2002)

The very first Spider-Man villain is still the best. Willem Dafoe is absolutely terrifying as the menacing Green Goblin. The split personality of Osborn and Goblin is set up perfectly all the way to the end.

He's a mass murderer in a very personal way using his lethal set of pumpkin bombs to kill his enemies in horrific and sadistic ways. When he threatens to kill M.J. "nice and slow" you believe every word and it's blood-curdling.

Norman Osborn wears a hard shell mask because director Sam Raimi didn't want him to have to take makeup off in the film. But even without the mask, Dafoe's able to project menace and cruelty. His elaborate armor and glider set a new standard for super-villains. Green Goblin is Spider-Man's greatest villain and we can only hope the MCU version of Green Goblin is as epic as Willem Dafoe's.


Who's your favorite Spider-Man villain? Do you agree with their rankings? Who should be in the next Spider-Man movie? Let us know in the comments below!

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