Marvel's Spider-Man lore is rich with some of the coolest and most memorable comic book supervillains ever, including: the Green Goblin, Venom and Dr. Octopus. However, with those A-list villains also comes some of the lamest and perhaps most unintentionally comical villains as well (seriously, just Google "Hypno-Hustler").
What is left from these two extremes are villains like the Vulture, the central antagonist of the latest theatrical addition to the MCU, #SpiderManHomecoming. Perhaps it is thanks to the mystery surrounding the Vulture that makes him the perfect first baddie for Tom Holland's Spider-Man. In that same vein, here are six underrated villains who we think deserve higher spots in Spider-Man's rogues gallery.
Since his debut in The Amazing Spider-Man #113 (1972), Hammerhead has become one of #Marvel Comics' most recognizable henchmen, usually depicted as an enforcer for many of Spider-Man's greatest adversaries who (until recently) sports a distinctive Tommy gun along with an outdated 1920s gangster drawl to match.
Expired references aside, Hammerhead is no pushover and occasionally even gets the better of some of the more A-list #superheroes. This is largely thanks to his most unique weapon, an adamantium (or possibly vibranium) reinforced skull. Creators Gerry Conway and John Romita likely figured out that having a villain who head-butted explosions and bullets as his main line of defense/offense was actually way cooler than it sounded out loud (Vinnie Jones would be proud).
Currently, #Hammerhead is the enforce of the crime boss and former Spider-Man love interest, The Black Cat.
On the surface, a hydro-kinetic puddle man might not come across as the most intimidating of foes, but dive a little deeper under the surface and you'll find that having an enemy made of water to be a truly terrifying concept. This is the (fictional) reality of the Spider-Man supervillain Morris Bench a.k.a. Hydro-Man. Debuting in The Amazing Spider-Man #212 (1981), Hydro-Man gained his powers after being knocked overboard a cargo ship and was exposed to a mysterious substance in the water.
Over the next few decades Hydro-Man would make several attempts to redeem himself from his life of crime, only to continuously fail. His most recent fall from grace saw Hydro-Man easily overpower and almost kill the Avenger's marksman Hawkeye. Some of you '90s kids out there might also remember Hydro-Man as Mary Jane's creepy ex-boyfriend from the Spider-Man animated series, who more than gave Spider-Man a run for his money. Not bad for a villain who could literally drown Spider-Man with his own toilet.
Debuting in The Amazing Spider-Man #46 (1962), Herman Schultz a.k.a. the Shocker has the privilege of being one of Spider-Man's oldest foes. Created by Stan Lee himself, what #Shocker would lack in terms of cool factor he would more than make up for with a striking yellow and bronze quilted costume, which insulated him from his own shock-emitting gauntlets.
Shocker rarely ever amounted to more than a nuisance or (at worst) comic relief, but it’s the character's persistence after a career that barely suits him that propels him this far up the list. After all, few villains could ever get under the web head's skin with cheap tactics and cowardice better than the Shocker.
Shocker (Bokeem Woodbine), is set to be one of the supporting cast of villains in Spider-Man Homecoming, so let's hope that we'll see him finally get the big win he so deserves.
What happens when you combine an awesome set of powers with one of the worst costume designs? You get Dr. Jonathan Ohnn a.k.a. the Spot — the teleportation, space-warping supervillain with a portal for a face. Spot made his first appearance in Spectacular Spider-Man #98 (1984), punching Spider-Man through the many detachable wormholes dotted across his person.
Despite looking like an unholy union between man and Dalmatian, Spot's creative power-set has made each of his sporadic comicbook appearances some of the most entertaining Spider-Man battles, so it is a shame to see that the Spot has been so underused.
It's clear that despite appearances, this sentient, mystic fish bowl is not to be taken lightly. First appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man #13 (1964), Mysterio was revealed to be an average-Joe who used his acting talents and knowledge of special effects to support a life of crime, creating illusions so dastardly that they could fool even the most spider-like of spider senses.
If you're still hard-pressed to believe that Mysterio is any kind of viable threat, just remember that the character paid a pivotal role in Old Man Logan — he tricked Wolverine into murdering the entire X-Men team, a feat too ambitious for many superpowered villains to achieve.
An elderly gentleman in a green spandex and wings hardly seems shocking at this point. Still, the #Vulture is another of Peter Parker's earliest adversaries, and there is a reason that this character has stuck around long enough to become the central antagonist of Spider-Man: Homecoming (played by Michael Keaton).
Debuting in The Amazing Spider-Man #2 (1963), Adrian Toomes used his extensive engineering skills to create a flight harness and suit that augmented his strength, that he believed would help him take revenge on a world that he believes to have wronged him.
Acting as a stark contrast to Spider-Man (in virtually every way), Vulture's character has been re-tooled over the years, with one of the most memorable being the version of Vulture who was able to drain the youth of others in order to keep himself young. While it seems unlikely that we will be seeing that iteration of the Vulture in Homecoming, it will be good to finally see how sometimes even the most basic of adversaries can make great, fun supervillains.
Which of these Spider-Man villains do you think is his most underrated?