As of the end of 2020, there have been seven live-action Spider-Man movies to date. The first movie released back in 2002 and was a huge box office hit, with only The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets making more money. And the latest entry was Spider-Man: Far From Home, which released in 2019 and was the fourth best-selling blockbuster of that same year.
Over the course of the seven movies there have been many villains for Peter Parker to go up against – and while some have been lifted straight from the pages of the comics, others are barely recognizable.
11 Rhino (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Rhino was sparingly used during his appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Aleksei Mikhailovich Sytsevich is easily defeated by Peter Parker when the webhead is on his way to his graduation and, at the end of the blockbuster, he returns suited up. However, while the costume must have required plenty of effort to make, it didn’t live up to expectations.
He comes bottom of the list because of this. In the comics, Aleksei had an experimental combat suit grafted to his skin. However, this appearance looked nothing of the sort, instead merely a giant, albeit powerful suit.
10 The Green Goblin (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Dane Dehaan’s version of Harry Osborn debuted in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and, in that movie, undergoes quite the transformation. After Spider-Man refuses to give his friend his own blood to cure a life-threatening illness, Harry instead experiments with some of the things on offer within Oscorp. This ends up addling his mind – and his appearance, too.
Harry literally becomes a goblin. And while it’s pretty horrifying, it’s definitely not comic book accurate. The Green Goblin in the Spidey comics has a purple hat, purple boots, and purple armor patches – a suit, in short. But this version had none, even if the imagination behind it is to be admired.
9 The New Goblin (Spider-Man 3)
Harry Osborn in the Sam Raimi trilogy changes in Spider-Man 3. He becomes the New Goblin after learning in Spider-Man 2 that his father, Norman, had been the one terrorizing New York City under the green mask prior to his mysterious death.
In the source material, Harry merely takes on his father’s old costume – meaning he’s got the purple hat, boots, armor patches etc. This Goblin had a weird design, with weak-looking goggles. And instead of a glider, he had a flying snowboard. It wasn’t a popular look for the character because of its inaccuracy and that’s why it ranks so low.
8 Electro (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
We’re absolutely thrilled to hear Jamie Foxx will be returning as Electro for the MCU’s Spider-Man 3. The villain was entertaining enough during The Amazing Spider-Man 2, posing all sorts of problems for both Peter and Gwen Stacy – while also threatening to take over New York City with help from Harry Osborn.
Foxx did his best but the character’s look didn’t please everybody. In the comics, he wears a green suit and shoots yellow bolts of electricity but this wasn’t shown on the big screen. Instead, everything was… blue. Whether this is changed for the character’s return in Spider-Man 3 remains to be seen…
7 Green Goblin (Spider-Man)
We’re getting to the really, really good costumes now. Not going to lie, it’s going to involve us being slightly nitpicky in order to pick a clear gold medallist. And that’s what we’re going to do with Willem Dafoe’s Norman Osborn.
There’s no denying that Dafoe played one of the best Spider-Man villains ever, period. But not every fan was satisfied with the character’s look. The suit was metallic, which it isn’t in the comics, and it lacks the purple elements we’ve mentioned above. The green eyes, too, weren’t for everybody.
6 Vulture (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
When Sony decided to give Marvel a crack at Spider-Man, they also opted to go with a brand new villain. And that meant that for 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, Adrian Toomes AKA The Vulture would enter the fray.
In the source material, Toomes has feathered wings – rather than metallic. But the sight of a giant bird flying around New York in the MCU would be pretty bizarre, so we don’t blame Sony, Marvel and Disney for mixing things up. Because this list is about comic book accuracy, however, he can’t come any higher – no matter how brilliant Michael Keaton’s performance was.
5 Mysterio (Spider-Man: Far From Home)
For the sequel to Homecoming, Far From Home, the decision was made to bring in another new villain. Mysterio had been lined up for Spider-Man 4 with Bruce Campbell set to take on the character, having made various cameo appearances during the Sam Raimi trilogy. And, in 2019, the bad guy finally graced the big screen.
We said we’d be nitpicking, so that’s why Mysterio doesn’t score higher. He’s basically straight out of the comics but his suit is gold, rather than all green. Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance was great and we’re hoping to see him donning the cape and fishbowl helmet again one day – even if, for now, Mysterio appears to be dead.
4 Doctor Octopus (Spider-Man 2)
Even all these years on, Spider-Man 2 remains one of the best comic book movies of all time. It’s a classic and part of the reason for its immense success and popularity is because of the way Alfred Molina portrayed Doctor Octopus, who had immense depth and scope at a time where villains weren’t really the star of the show.
Doc Ock is pretty much accurate from the source material, except doesn’t wear his iconic green costume. That aside, he’s faultless. And if the character was to ever appear in the MCU, or in Sony’s universe, then we’d love to see Molina take on the role again.
3 The Lizard (The Amazing Spider-Man)
The character of the Lizard was meh in The Amazing Spider-Man. His plan to turn everybody in New York into giant reptiles was ridiculous, something The Amazing Spider-Man 2 even seems to mock when Harry is in a meeting with Oscorp directors. But while the use of CGI was pretty obvious, there’s no denying it was accurate.
We see Dr Curt Connors transformed into a reptile and run around in a big white labcoat, just like in the comics. He could have looked more scaly and horned on the top of his head but he’s deserving of the bronze medal in our eyes.
2 Venom (Spider-Man 3)
Sam Raimi never wanted Venom to be in Spider-Man 3. However, after having pressure put on him by Sony, he ended up relenting in order to accommodate the character. Eddie Brock isn’t that prominent or memorable during that blockbuster but, regarding Venom’s appearance, there’s no denying they nailed it.
He was monstrous, an intimidating fighter, and scary to look at. He wasn’t in the movie for very long and dies at the end – but not after killing off Harry Osborn first. The face was absolutely bang on and still looks pretty scary now. It can even be argued that the costume design was better than on the actual Venom solo film.
1 Sandman (Spider-Man 3)
The decision to make Sandman Uncle Ben’s killer in Spider-Man 3 definitely rankled with a lot of people. After all, that arc had been concluded in the first Spider-Man movie when Dennis Caradine was accused of the crime. However, while Flint Marko wasn’t the best villain of the lot, we think he deserves the gold medal for this list.
Every detail is accurate to the source material, from Sandman’s flexible arms to his green and black striped top. Thomas Hayden Church’s character seemed destined to return at a later date but, in the end, the franchise was rebooted before that had the chance to happen.
NEXT: Spider-Man: 5 Moments That Prove He Should Lead The Avengers (& 5 Moments That Show He Shouldn’t)
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