Spider-Man has arguably one of the best rogues’ galleries in superhero comics. From Green Goblin to Doctor Octopus, the webhead’s adversaries are a prime example of how to create human, relatable villains in a fantasy universe. It’s telling that many of the baddies from the original Stan Lee-Steve Ditko run have remained as popular as they were back then.
When it came to the movies, producers had a wealth of characters to choose from. And when those movies hit our screens, it’s fair to say they’ve done an overall good job of adapting them for their contemporary audience. But while it’s been a blast to see Green Goblin, Doc Ock, Vulture, and Mysterio make their movie debuts, there are many essential Spider-Man villains we have yet to see on-screen. And with the announcement of a new trilogy in the works, hopefully, we see more newly-adapted villains in the next Spider-Man movie.
Without further ado, here are the top ten villains we want to see fight Peter Parker in MCU’s Spider-Man 4!
Silvermane is an elderly crime lord who desperately wishes to reclaim his lost youth. In the comics, Silvermane goes after the Tablet of Time – an ancient artifact that restores one’s youth. However, the comic story is vastly inferior to the ’90s cartoon, which has Silvie lock horns with Kingpin over the MacGuffin, causing chaos throughout NY.
The introduction of Silvermane could help induct Tom Holland’s Spider-Man into the murky world of mobster politics. A gang war between Silvermane and Kingpin would be a fresh premise from costumed criminals. And given this is also Daredevil’s shebang, what better excuse to have a Parker-Murdock team-up movie?
Okay, okay, hear me out. Screwball could by no means be the main villain in the next Spider-Man movie. However, she’s entertaining and quirky enough to warrant a small side-role, surely? The character is an exploration of the dangerous obsession with social media celebrities. And in an internet-driven culture like ours, is there anything more timely and appropriate?
A good scenario would be for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man to catch her and force her to use her social media mastery to track down the main antagonist. Meanwhile, she can provide the mood-whiplash japes that Marvel relish in their movies – tied to her internet obsession, of course. If Marvel wants plucky comic relief in their next Spider-Man movies, they’d be silly not to include Screwball as a villain at some point.
8) Black Cat
Like Batman’s Catwoman, Felicia Hardy AKA Black Cat repeatedly dances around the line between antihero and villainess. Indeed, whether she is Spider-Man’s friend or foe depends on the story. For a time in the 80’s stories, she even dated Spider-Man, eventually discovering his identity.
That said, Felicia never loved Peter, the man – she loved Spider-Man, the fiction. The two team up for a time (with Felicia attempting to convince Peter to give up his civilian life), creating one of the most awkward Spider-Man romances of all time. Yet, the material is compelling enough to warrant an MCU makeover – and now that Tom Holland’s Peter is newly single, perhaps it’s time to have him meet Felicia? Perhaps she could start as one of the villains in the next Spider-Man movie, who betrays her comrades to help Spidey?
7) The Jackal
If Professor Miles Warren AKA The Jackal graces the MCU, there’s only one way they can justify his appearance. That justification? The Clone Saga. And while the comic version is widely derided as one of the worst Spidey stories ever, Feige can surely ‘fix’ the arc for his movies? After all, look how he adapted the controversial source material that inspired No Way Home.
The Jackal is considered one of Peter’s greatest enemies in the comics because of the way he wrecks his life with his Spider-Clones. Peter Parker himself believes that he is a clone for some time and gives up the webs to the supposed real Spidey for a time. However, it’s eventually revealed that Peter was the real Spider-Man all along – and that the Clone Saga was Norman Osborn’s ploy to mess with him. Hardly a fitting conclusion for several months’ worth of story, but the potential was there at the beginning. The MCU can learn from these mistakes to improve the villainous Jackal’s story with their next Spider-Man movie.
We know Kingpin is returning to the MCU a la Hawkeye Episode 5’s shock ending. This confirms we may see Hawkeye go head-to-head with the bald crime-lord. And when Charlie Cox inevitably returns to the MCU fold, we will see the two rivals butt heads. However, while the latter hero helped boost the character’s popularity in the comics, many forget Kingpin began as a Spider-Man villain.
Seeing Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin battle Tom Holland’s Spider-Man would be a nerd’s dream come true. And hey, since the Kingpin rules the NYC crime roost, it only figures Spidey would face him eventually. In the comics and cartoons, Kingpin is hooked up with the mobs and several supervillains – this makes unlimited potential for Spidey stories.
If you don’t know this orange-hooded criminal from the ’80’s comics, you’ll recognize him from the ’90’s Spider-Man cartoon which made him even more popular. But regardless of your first taste of ‘the other Goblin’, he remains one of Spidey’s greatest foes. Now, his powers are cool and all, but the brilliance of the Hobgoblin lies in his mystery.
You see, for a good portion of the comics, nobody knew who Hobgoblin’s real identity was. Marvel’s Powers-That-Be extended the mystery for a long time, to entice readers to follow the story. In a sense, this isn’t too dissimilar from how Green Goblin was handled in his initial ’60’s appearances before the Norman Osborn reveal. That said, there’s a lot of Hobgoblin material primed for adaptation and could give the MCU Spider-Man movies its first real mystery arc to set it apart from prior installments. And wouldn’t that be a fresh twist on the formula?
“But he appeared in Amazing Spider-Man 2!” you cry. Well, to some extent, that’s true. However, his appearance in said film is more a cameo than a real appearance, per se. Marvel and Sony may well have regretted this silly iteration since they didn’t bother recruiting Paul Giamatti for No Way Home, his villain relegated to an off-the-cuff reference.
That said, if Marvel were to reintroduce Rhino to the MCU with more care and attention than the afterthought of TASM2, there’s potential there. In the comics, Rhino is a Russian hitman who is fitted into a rhinoceros battle-suit to take down his marks. While that’s intriguing enough, his powers offer unlimited potential in terms of visual spectacle in fight scenes – as long as they don’t go overboard with his design like Paul Giamatti’s version…
3) Kraven the Hunter
Yes, I realize Sony is already producing a feature film centered on the character. However, I genuinely hope Aaron Taylor-Thomson’s performance impresses enough to warrant a crossover with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. Raised in the jungle, Kraven the Hunter is a deadly foe and proves to be more than a match for the wall-crawler throughout the comics and cartoons.
However, let’s be real. Those of us who love Spider-Man want to see a live-action Kraven’s Last Hunt adaptation. Considered one of the darkest Spider-Man stories to grace the pages, Kraven finally beats his longtime foe and buries him alive. Meanwhile, the villain takes up the Spider-Man mantle in Peter’s place. Wouldn’t that story translate well to the silver screen?
In the original Stan Lee-Steve Ditko run, Chameleon is one of the first villains Spider-Man ever fights. Yet, despite being Spidey’s first foe, he is something of an anomaly in his rogue’s gallery. For one thing, Chameleon doesn’t possess actual superpowers. Instead, he is merely a master of disguise.
That said, the ’90s animated version gives Chameleon a high-tech belt that enables him to replicate the appearance of whomever he sees. Given the MCU tries to mix different iterations of its beloved characters into one stew, I think a mix between the comic and cartoon incarnations would be a good fit – and force Peter to further fine-tune his Spider-Sense to detect his a foe who can be anyone at any time. Also, Chameleon is related to Kraven in the comics, which could have them work together to take down Spidey. And what a good two-villain story that would be for MCU’s Spider-Man 4!
It’s a shame Scorpion hasn’t fought Spider-Man in the MCU yet, because he’s already been teased. In the mid-credits sequence of Homecoming, an imprisoned Mac Gargon asks Adrian Toomes who Spider-Man is. Toomes, for whatever reason, pretends he doesn’t know Spidey’s identity, claiming if he did, the wall-crawler would be dead already.
Michale Mando (mostly famous nowadays for Better Call Saul) really sells himself as a vengeful thug looking to get his own back on Spidey. And it looked as though the Powers-That-Be were setting him up for the sequels. Yet, as of No Way Home, Gargan is nowhere to be seen. Here’s hoping Kevin Feige and his cohorts get Mando back in the next trilogy. It would be great to see how they handle the tail-swinging villain in live-action MCU-style for Spider-Man 4.
That said, what villains would you like to see when the MCU work on their Spider-Man 4?