Spider-Man: No Way Home is upon us, and this time, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) will accidentally open up the 'multiverse', which will see him facing off against Spider-Man movie villains from other 'timelines' such as the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and The Amazing Spider-Man reboots!
So now that the Spidey will be battling villains from other not-so-friendly neighborhoods, there's really no better time to revisit all the Spider-Man movie villains and rank them in order from worst to best (but only as they each appear in their original movies and not No Way Home)!
Table of Contents
- 10. Venom – Spider-Man 3 (2007)
- 9. The Lizard – The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
- 8. The Sandman – Spider-Man 3 (2007)
- 7. Green Goblin – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
- 6. New Goblin – Spider-Man 3 (2007)
- 5. Electro – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
- 4. Mysterio – Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
- 3. Doctor Octopus – Spider-Man 2 (2004)
- 2. Green Goblin – Spider-Man (2002)
- 1. Vulture – Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
10. Venom – Spider-Man 3 (2007)
When Eddie Brock (Grace) is exposed to the alien black symbiote that had attached itself to Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), he becomes the third-act threat that Spider-Man 3 (2007) really could have done without, as it was already bursting at the seams with other villains.
It's not all bad, though, as when he's in full Venom mode (meaning when the actor's face isn't weirdly on display), he does look pretty cool. The real problem is that he's on the screen for minutes, before an absurdly premature death. Or maybe we should be grateful he was only in the third act...
9. The Lizard – The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) is underwhelming for a number of reasons, and the fact it came out only five years after Sam Raimi's trilogy came crashing down doesn't help matters. But one of the worst things about it is its villain, Dr. Curtis Connors (Rhys Ifans), otherwise known as The Lizard.
Not only is he given some cringe-worthy dialogue, even when he finally becomes The Lizard, his design just really isn't all that impressive (and the CG is a bit of a downgrade from the last movie, too). When coupled with a lot of cheesy one-liners, the whole thing just comes off as a bit cheap.
8. The Sandman – Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Thomas Hayden Church isn't the problem with The Sandman, as he's a pretty decent actor. Even the special effects are impressive, and remain one of the only positive things about the trilogy-topping tragedy that was Spider-Man 3. What isn't thought of so fondly is the backstory we're given.
Uncle Ben's death is retconned entirely in exchange for a villain who already doesn't have that much room to breathe in a movie stuffed with plenty. While he does get a bit of a character arc, an explanation as to why he became The Sandman in the first place would have been nice.
7. Green Goblin – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
Dane DeHaan tends to be pretty one-note, but in the case of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. His weird, rich brat demeanor makes him the perfect candidate for Harry Osborn. But when he decides to try and cure a fatal condition passed down to him by his father, he only accelerates it and becomes the Green Goblin.
And this version is hideous - which can't really be considered a flaw (he is supposed to be a goblin). But what doesn't work is the awful acting, and the fact the Goblin is only shoehorned in at the last minute to kill Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone).
6. New Goblin – Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Sam Raimi did something few directors do these days - he spent the best part of his Spider-Man trilogy giving Harry Osborn a character arc, which saw him become the New Goblin in Spider-Man 3.
And James Franco is great as the entitled, snotty-nosed son of Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe) - best friend to Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), but sidelined by his own father who treats the orphaned Peter like more of a son. Spider-Man 3 might be a stinker, but Franco works with what he has and is definitely the most interesting of the three villains (but then that isn't saying much).
5. Electro – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
With more villains than it can handle, it's fair to say that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 suffers from a case of the Spider-Man 3's. On the other hand, the Green Goblin doesn't really show up until the backend of the third act, and as for Rhino (Paul Giamatti), he doesn't show up until the third act of the third act - which is why we didn't include him on this list!
So the movie's main threat is Electro, played by Jamie Foxx. Does he shine? Yes, quite literally - in fact, his 'unveiling' in Times Square is definitely one of the entire franchise's most stand-out scenes!
4. Mysterio – Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Spidey fans had been dying to see a live-action version of Mysterio, one of the web-slinger's criminally-underused foes. And their prayers were answered when Jake Gyllenhaal was cast as Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
To no surprise, Gyllenhaal gives it his all as the innovative illusionist, except this time there are a few twists thrown in - he appears to be one of the good guys, and he previously worked for Tony Stark! Between Gyllenhaal's performance and Mysterio's incredible illusions, he's easily one of the best Spidey villains ever.
3. Doctor Octopus – Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Alfred Molina is best known for his work in the theater, and it's plain to see that he brings these qualities to the table as Dr. Otto Octavius (oh, come on, which superhero villain doesn't have a readily convenient name?!).
But is Dock Ock as cheesy and as wacky as Dafoe's Green Goblin from the previous movie? Sure - but that's what a Spidey villain is made of! That, and in this case, a whole bunch of tentacles, of course. Molina creates a truly sympathetic villain with Doc Ock, and it's thrilling to see him back in Spider-Man: No Way Home!
2. Green Goblin – Spider-Man (2002)
We'll cut straight to the chase with this one - Willem Dafoe is absolutely brilliant as Norman Osborn, a performance that really shot the already-successful star to even more stardom. He's everything you want in a movie villain - cheesy, creepy, maniacal, terrifying, dangerous, theatrical, and just straight-up crazy!
But Dafoe manages to navigate all these nuances beautifully, never once dialing all of them up to 11 at the same time. Dafoe eats the screen whenever he's on it, and if not for some nit-picky cringeworthy dialogue, he'd be in our top spot!
1. Vulture – Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Michael Keaton's Adrian Toomes, known also as The Vulture, was a no-brainer. But why has he flown straight onto our top spot? Toomes' black-market business in selling alien tech acquired from the rubble of the 2012 Avengers New York incident is a pretty neat MCU-made modernization of the character, and his flight suit is awesome, to say the least.
But it's his motive that got him here - the fact that he's just a family man who's trying to make ends meet is an admirable - and of course, relatable - part of his character. And a part of us didn't want him to lose to Spidey, either!
You're probably already aware that a number of these villains return to the big screen in Spider-Man: No Way Home, so be sure to check it out in theaters and then come back here for a full review and a ranking of all nine Spider-Man movies!