Ranking the Movie Villains of Spider-Man

Alfred Molina, Spider-Man 2Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection

Whether it’s Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield swinging from building to building, Spider-Man has faced some formidable opponents. Some of these villains have stayed true to their comic book form while others have fallen flat. Here are our rankings from the Spider-Man trilogy and The Amazing Spider-Man.

5. Sandman

In theory this could have been great. But the execution felt forced. Thomas Haden Church takes on the role of Flint Marko, a criminal who steps into a particle accelerator and can now control sand. Kind of a lame power, right? The tension feels forced because after two sequels we find out it was Marko who killed Uncle Ben, who was Peter Parker’s father figure. Sandman teams up with Venom, but their efforts fall short. Spider-Man wouldn’t get killed, come on now.

4. Green Goblin

Played expertly by Willem Dafoe, Green Goblin is a deranged bad guy who poses a major threat to Spider-Man. His powers stay true to the comics, tossing pumpkin bombs and flying through the air with his Glider. The Goblin is really millionaire Norman Osborn, who eventually finds out that the webslinger is really Peter Parker. As a major villain, Green Goblin is a threat, but not a threat to the rest of the world.

3. Venom

Another victim of the lackluster Spider-Man 3, Venom had potential to be the top villain. Unfortunately, this Venom was not faithful to the comic book at all. Venom is really Eddie Brock, a beefy journalist who possess incredible strength and that’s before an alien symbiote invades his body. Topher Grace is not buff at all. Where was Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for this casting? Venom is still a credible bad guy with his alien superpowers. Like the Goblin, he doesn’t pose a huge threat to society.

2. Lizard

His strength and speed are extremely dangerous and he has a nefarious plan to change humans into lizards. Rhys Ifans plays Dr. Curtis Connors, who transforms into a giant lizard thanks to a science experiment gone bad. Lizard climbs near the top of this list because his grand scheme is a big threat to all of humanity, not just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

1. Dr. Octopus

Watch out! As long as Doc Ock is around, the world could be doomed. Dr. Octopus (Alfred Molina) is the toughest enemy in the Spider-Man films universe. Dangerous mechanical arms make sure Doc can match strength with anybody and his experiments with nuclear fusion reach out-of-control levels that threaten the existence of every human. Otto Octavius had to be stopped — this proved to be Spidey’s most difficult task.