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Superheroes are only as good as their rogues galleries. Maybe that's one of the reasons for the enduring popularity of Spider-Man. Spidey boasts one of the deepest, and most colorful, rogue's galleries of them all.
Now, not all of Spidey's bad guys are winners. Spider-Man takes on plenty of D-level villains, everyone from the Spot to the Beetle. But the worst of Spidey's villains? They're bad guys you'd never want to meet in a dark alley.
Here, then, are the 11 most dangerous of Spider-Man's comic-book enemies.
The Scorpion was created specifically to defeat Spider-Man. It's little wonder, then, that this baddie is never a pushover for our hero. It's true that the Scorpion—Mac Gargan to his friends—is far from a genius. In fact, Scorpion's rather limited intellect is what keeps him from ranking higher on this list.
But when it comes to pure brute strength, few in Spidey's rogues gallery can compare to the Scorpion. His tail alone can topple a building. To beat the Scorpion, Spider-Man has to rely on his wits and his speed.
How tough is the Rhino? He's often fought the Hulk and lived to tell the tale. That's why this tank-like villain is on this list. He's tough enough to run through walls without flinching. And if he runs into Spider-Man? It's bad news for our hero.
Like the Scorpion, though, the Rhino isn't overly smart. He, too, relies on pure power and not his intelligence. If the Rhino was a bit more cunning, he, too, would rank higher on this list.
Kraven the Hunter
The name says it all. Kraven the Hunter likes to hunt. In fact, he might be the best hunter in all the land (even better than Donald Trump, Jr.). He's also a bit of an obsessive, and desires nothing more than adding Spider-Man to his conquests.
How tough is Kraven? He doesn't mind wrestling lions, alligators and, I assume, bears. Kraven was also the star of one of the best-ever Spider-Man comic stories, Kraven's Last Hunt. Yep, he's just a human. But he's no normal human.
Electro is a force of nature, a being who can generate and control actual lighting. That can make fighting him a rather painful experience. Electro is also one of Spider-Man's oldest foes.
Electro's not much of a planner, though. Most days, he'd prefer robbing a bank and then relaxing with all that money. Taking over the world? That's not Electro's game. He's a street-level baddie.
And how about that costume? It ranks as one of the more colorful in the Marvel universe.
As his name suggests, Sandman's made of pure sand, and he can form his body into just about anything he imagines. This includes a devastating sand storm that can incapacitate just about an hero, including Spider-Man.
Sandman's had an interesting career. He started as a villain for Spider-Man, but also has had frequent run-ins with the Fantastic Four. He's also spent time as a hero, rejecting the life of a villain, only to return to the dark side more than once.
The Lizard is one of Spider-Man's most tragic villains. That's because his alter ego, Dr. Curt Connors, isn't a bad guy. He's a scientist who was trying to create a serum that would allow people to grow back missing limbs. As so often happens in comics, things didn't go according to plan, and the serum turned Connors into the villainous Lizard.
The Lizard is stronger than Spider-Man and nearly as quick. And Spidey can't go full-bore on the Lizard, either. He knows that under all those scales is Dr. Connors. This makes fighting the Lizard a tough task for poor Spidey.
Spider-Man has the unfortunate luck to have plenty of goblin-themed baddies after his hide. One of the worst is the Hobgoblin. He possesses all the strength of the original Green Goblin, but isn't insane. That makes him a tough enemy.
In fact, we'd say he's the second-toughest of all the Goblin foes Spider-Man faces.
What would happen if Peter Parker was a jerk? You'd end up with Venom. Venom has all the powers of Spider-Man. But he also enjoys killing people. That makes him a true menace.
It doesn't help that Spider-Man helped create Venom. Venom is actually the combination of a space creature called a symbiote and a corrupt reporter named Eddie Brock. Spider-Man himself brought the symbiote back to Earth with him after an adventure, and even used the Symbiote to create a powerful black suit for himself. That, of course, was before Spider-Man realized just how evil that symbiote was.
What makes Mysterio so dangerous? He's the master of illusion. He can drive you mad with his special effects. During his many tussles with Spider-Man he's created armies of fake super villains, convinced Spider-Man that he'd shrunk the hero down to miniature size and once even convinced Spider-Man that he was losing his mind.
And let's be honest, that fishbowl helmet is super cool.
Yeah, he has a terrible haircut. And those glasses ain't great, either. But Doctor Octopus also has four metal arms. And he's a genius. This makes him one of the deadliest foes Spider-Man ever has to face.
How dangerous is the not-so-good doctor? He once swapped bodies with Spider-Man, and not just for one issue. This change lasted for more than a full year.
So, yes, Doctor Octopus is one villain who causes plenty of grief for our Spidey.
The Green Goblin cemented his place on this list when he killed Gwen Stacy, the first great love of Spider-Man's life. Since then, he's made life miserable for Spider-Man on a regular basis.
It doesn't help that Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, is the father of Spider-Man's best friend, Harry. And the fact that the Goblin knows Spider-Man is Peter Parker adds just one more layer to the complicated relationship between this baddie and Spidey.