We’re all excited about a Spider-Man movie again thanks to his MCU debut in Captain America: Civil War. Now as pre-production continues for next year’s film Spider-Man: Homecoming, all we can do is speculate and hope about who will fight our favorite web-swinger.
By this point, the Green Goblin has been used too many times and it’s time to bring in someone new. Fortunately, Spider-Man has an incredibly impressive and deep roster of villains that are just begging to make their live-action debut.
Here are 13 Unused Enemies That Tom Holland’s Spider-Man Should Battle.
13. The Vulture
Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures had evidently been hounding former-Batman Michael Keaton for weeks before convincing him to sign on to play the big bad, and right now, the latest rumors have it that he’ll be playing Adrian Toomes, aka Vulture, in Homecoming.
Whether or not the rumors pan out, the Vulture is a solid choice since he is one of Spider-Man’s earliest opponents. He may not as flashy or versatile as baddies like Venom or Doctor Octopus, but the Vulture is quite tough and a favorite for many old-time fans, including former Spider director Sam Raimi, who was going to feature the villain in his aborted Spider-Man 4.
As one of the most powerful enemies Spider-Man has ever faced, Morlun is also one of the strangest. Looking like a 19th century vampire on steroids, Morlun is a mysterious extradimensional being who feeds on the life energies of “totems,” people who have animal and human characteristics. Unfortunately for ol’ Underoos, his powers are based on a spider, so he naturally attracted Morlun’s attention.
When he first preyed on Spider-Man, Morlun demonstrated incredible strength and fortitude, which made him nearly unbeatable. Morlun would be a fine, overpowered adversary for a meek-looking Tom Holland Spider-Man except for one drawback. When he first showed up, a new mystical aspect of Spider-Man that is tied with Morlun was introduced that may be too confusing for audiences. Most people have been able to accept the science-based nature of Spider-Man’s powers, adding in stuff about “totems” and such may not be as readily accepted in the sci-fi-light nature of the MCU. But Morlun can be given another reason to hunt Spider-Man with a simple rewrite.
11. Agent Venom
After losing his legs during military service, Flash Thompson was given the chance to walk again and still serve his country by being bonded to the Venom alien symbiote. The process worked, but Agent Venom is now a bit of a loose cannon, as the aggressive symbiote sometimes takes control of Thompson’s actions.
Okay, he’s more of an anti-hero than an outright villain, but Agent Venom is too cool to ignore for a film. Think about it, the character mashes up two headaches that Spider-Man has contended with in both his civilian and superhero life. First there is Agent Venom’s alter ego, a stereotypical jock that loved to bully Peter Parker back in high school. Since Tom Holland is playing Spider-Man while he attends school, it will be the perfect setting to introduce Thompson’s bullying antics. Then the other component is Venom, an alien symbiote that was briefly bonded to Spider-Man and is determined to get back at him for rejecting it. This backstory makes Agent Venom more sympathetic and will play well in a film, especially if the two team up in the end to take down a mutual nemesis.
An Agent Venom storyline would require a good deal of established backstory though (and it could interfere with Sony’s plans for the alien symbiote), so we’ll chalk this one up to a longshot that we probably wouldn’t see until Holland has had an outing or two as Spidey — if at all.
10. The Rose
The mysterious crime lord — with his leather mask and penchant for roses — was a throwback to the mob bosses that Spider-Man faced early in his crime fighting career. Any dealings with him and his thugs would bring a cinematic Spider-Man more in line with the street-level crime fighting he’s known for in the comics.
What made The Rose fascinating was that he was a complete mystery with his fetish mask and impeccable clothing. He was something of a tribute to the villains of the old 1930s crime serials and newspaper strips. Eventually, he was revealed to be the Kingpin’s son, who’d adopted the identity to destroy his father’s hated criminal empire. This twist can work in a Tom Holland Spider-Man film because it would be a great way to actually tie in the proper MCU with the Netflix/MCU universe, since the Kingpin appears in Daredevil.
9. The Shocker
Alright, he may be a tad on the silly side, and there isn’t anything deep or profound about The Shocker. In a nutshell, he’s just an engineer who built a oft-ridiculed yellow suit with gauntlets that shoot compressed air blasts so he can rob banks. That’s it.
But the Shocker has a distinctive look, much like Electro. While he won’t be able to carry an entire film as the main bad guy – something that the people behind The Amazing Spider-Man 2 learned the hard way with Electro – he does have some use in a film. In this case, he would be an appropriate villain to appear in the opening segment of a movie to get the action started. Again, filmmakers doing this should tread carefully and avoid the missteps taken by The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which tried doing this with the Rhino. In that instance, the Rhino started (and ended) the film on the wrong track thanks to Paul Giamatti’s scene chewing.
8. The Jackal
Before anyone starts groaning about clones and convoluted stories about them, just think about the potential of the Jackal. He’s Miles Warren, one of Peter Parker’s college professors, who fell for Parker’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy and cloned her after she died. Not stopping there, he also cloned Parker and realized he was Spider-Man, which intensified his jealousy towards his student and his drive to destroy him. Now having been driven insane, he created the Jackal identity and took to experimenting with other Spider-Man clones.
If done correctly, a Jackal storyline featuring clones can work for a Spider-Man movie. It would require top notch writing to keep the plot from descending into confusion, and the script should focus on the Jackal’s broken psyche. The film wouldn’t even have to bother outfitting Warren with a Jackal outfit, at least until the final act. Instead, the meat of the villain’s arc would be on how Warren’s mental breakdown as another tragic consequence of Gwen’s untimely death.
This could have been an interesting starting point for Amazing Spider-man 3, whose continuity had already killed off Gwen Stacy. In order to pull this one off, the MCU would have to introduce and kill off another one of Spidey’s love interests.
The Hobgoblin is a bit of a cheat for this list because he is simply a variation of the Green Goblin. And some will rightfully point out that Harry Osborn was a poor man’s version of the Hobgoblin in Spider-Man 3. But, if the filmmakers stay true to the Hobgoblin’s comic book roots, we will be rewarded with a memorable villain for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man to confront.
What really set him apart from the Green Goblin was that readers had no idea of his identity. The mystery helped raise his profile among Spidey villains, but it went on too long with several false revelations. It got to the point that when he was finally revealed as Roderick Kingsley, a fashion designer (!), it was a bit anti-climatic. But before that unmasking and Venom came along, the Hobgoblin was one of the most popular villains that Spider-Man was squaring off against. Featuring him in a film is a smart way of continuing the Green Goblin legacy without resorting to the tired Osborn family dynamics that have been filmed to death. And while fans aren’t too crazy about the altering of source material, we’re sure they wouldn’t mind a slightly more interesting rewrite of the character’s secret identity.
As any self-respecting Spider-Man fan knows, newspaper mogul J. Jonah Jameson has it in for our favorite wall-crawler. Jameson has used the power of the press against him and has on occasion resorted to less-than-ethical means of bringing Spidey down for good. This includes the many times he authorized the construction of robots called Spider-Slayers to hunt down the web-head and unmask him.
The Spider-Slayers evolved after their inventor Spencer Smythe died. His son, Alistair, picked up the task of creating improved versions, and he eventually merged with one of the robots as part of his goal of killing Spider-Man and Jameson. Using robots to fight Spider-Man would be an excellent way of illustrating Jameson’s villainous nature and how far he will go to stop his nemesis. Plus, the fight scenes of Spidey letting loose with his super strength and smashing up robots would make for some great eye candy.
5. The Scorpion
Mac Gargan was a private investigator hired by Jameson to figure out how Peter Parker got his photos of Spider-Man. Failing that task, Gargan was then subjected to an experimental treatment to become the Scorpion, a fierce enemy who gave Spidey a run for his money thanks to superior strength and a wicked tail. But the procedure drove Gargan insane and he became a real menace to society, unlike Spider-Man.
This turn of events would be an interesting subplot for a Spidey film because it would implicate Jameson in the creation of a deadly supervillain. While Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is busy tackling the Scorpion, Jameson would have to bear the consequences of his actions and lead him to question his behavior and attitude towards Spider-Man. On top of that, the Scorpion is a fitting counterpart to the web-slinger, since his powers are also based on an arachnid.
4. Black Cat
Felicia Hardy followed in her father’s cat burglar steps and became the Black Cat, Marvel’s answer to Catwoman and Spider-Man’s most well-known female foe. She would stand out as a villain in a Spider-Man film not only because she’s a femme fatale, but because she’s also been a love interest for Spider-Man in the past.
Black Cat has been teased to appear in films for quite some time. Back when Sam Raimi was prepping Spider-Man 4, Anne Hathaway was supposedly cast to play the Black Cat, however, later reports had it that she was to portray a female version of the Vulture. Felicia Hardy finally appeared on film in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and was played by Felicity Jones (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story). Her character was changed for the film in that she was Harry Osborn’s assistant, but she was largely forgotten in that already overcrowded film. At one point, it was rumored that Sony Pictures intended to have the character star in a solo film, but as of now it would appear those plans have been scrapped. But as a test to see how the Black Cat is received, she should be featured in a film as an outright villain.
No doubt, Mysterio is one of the silliest looking villains Spider-Man ever fought with that eyesore of a costume. But he is one of the most memorable ones thanks to his inventive bag of tricks. Quentin Beck was a Hollywood stuntman and special effects wizard who became envious of Spider-Man’s fame in light of his failed acting career. He then created the loony Mysterio identity and fought the masked hero on many occasions using his powers of illusion and f/x.
According to Jeffrey Henderson, an artist that worked on the cancelled Spider-Man 4, Mysterio was supposed to appear in that film alongside the aforementioned Vulture. He added that Bruce Campbell was to play the supervillain. That’s an inspired casting choice, since Campbell could easily sell the idea of a bombastic wannabe. Perhaps it’s not too late for Sony and Marvel Studios to consider this if they ever get around to casting the role in the future.
During the height of his popularity, Marvel decided to have Venom become an anti-hero and star in his own comic books. But Marvel still needed an evil symbiote to fight Spider-Man, and so Carnage was born. Cletus Kasady was a serial killer who bonded with the symbiote offspring of Venom and turned into Carnage, an even more psychotic and sadistic version of Venom. Carnage is easily one of the deadliest and most ferocious villains that Spider-Man has ever fought, and he continues to be a fan favorite.
Naturally, if Carnage were to appear on a film, Venom would have to as well (unless heavy backstory rewrites were involved). But Venom’s story must be explored properly with ample screen time. So, to avoid the missteps of Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, both of which crammed in too many villains, Carnage would be best served to appear in a sequel. That could pay off in an epic film that could loosely adapt the beloved “Maximum Carnage” story arc and feature a ton of popular heroes and villains.
1. Kraven the Hunter
It is flat-out shocking that this villain still has not been used or even alluded to in a Spider-Man film. Everything about him is tailor made for a classic Spidey movie, and the easiest thing for filmmakers to do is adapt the story “Kraven’s Last Hunt.”
Big game hunter Sergei Kravinoff got bored hunting four-legged prey and turned his attention to the most dangerous game on Earth in his eyes: Spider-Man. From the very first hunt, Kraven demonstrated that he was a brilliant and cunning tactician with his debilitating traps. Luckily, Spider-Man overcame them and defeated Kraven, but each loss fueled the hunter’s obsession with Spider-Man. Finally, in “Kraven’s Last Hunt,” he was able to conquer the web-crawler, burying him alive and assuming his costumed identity in a disturbed way to prove he was Spider-Man’s superior.
For now, that story will be more appropriate when Holland and his character mature. Kraven can be introduced (or even just briefly alluded to) in an early film and then graduate into a major contender in a film that would conclude his arc.
Finally, just for kicks, we were compelled to this list. Never mind that Sony is planning a solo film about him and that he already appeared in Spider-Man 3. In his dismal big screen debut, Venom appeared during the last twenty minutes and was just one villain too many in that movie — not to mention the fact that the character was severely mishandled altogether.
He deserves way more love than he’s gotten in the past, and we’d love to see Tom Holland’s take on the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man take him on.
There are many more supervillains that could appear in a future Spider-Man film. Should these mentioned foes make the cut, or are there other more formidable candidates? Leave your thoughts in the comments!