Spider-Man is, for all intents and purposes, the everyman hero. People love him because they can relate to him. His victories aren’t always clean-cut, he doesn’t always win, and after a career spanning over fifty years, there are still some villains he’s never even managed to beat.
However, that’s all part of why fans love him so much. He’s a character that anyone can read or watch and immediately feel like they have a personal connection to.
When Spider-Man swings into battle, it’s very rarely the only thing he has going on at the time. His aunt is sick, he’s having troubles with his love life, he might even have a cold. These things are all make that dramatic narrative stronger, they make his victories that much greater— but at the same time, they could easily be contributing factors to his defeats as well.
For this list, we’ll be looking at villains that Spider-Man has never taken down on his own. Whether they retreated, he had help, or they simply beat the wall-crawler to a pulp, they got off scot-free.
Here are the 15 Villains Spider-Man Has NEVER Defeated.
Thanos, the Mad Titan, has been proving himself more and more as one of Marvel’s most unstoppable villains. When wielding the Infinity Gauntlet, he has the power to destroy the universe itself.
Spider-Man has proven himself against enemies well outside of his power level, but Thanos is a bridge too far. When Thanos is at the height of his power it takes the full scope of the Marvel heroes to bring him down.
Given that Spidey will have to take on new armor to go into that battle, it’s hard to imagining him besting Thanos on his own. There’s always a chance, of course, but this one seems unlikely unless Spider-Man somehow figures out a way to wear the gauntlet himself.
14 The Blob
Spider-Man has a history of faring really well against larger opponents. They’re the immovable object, but he’s usually the unstoppable force. He’s defeated the Hulk, and in one of the most infamous Spider-Man stories, he even bested the unstoppable Juggernaut. Yet, of all the largely physical villains, it’s The Blob who still has Spider-Man beat.
A former member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and longtime enemy of the X-Men, Fred Dukes (aka Blob) is exactly what he appears to be: he’s massive.
However, unlike Juggernaut, who’s virtually indestructible while he’s moving, Blob can’t be taken down while he’s not moving. He’s a bit too slow for Spider-Man’s impatient tastes, and it’s gotten the best of the web-slinger.
When Spidey does nearly take Blob down, he has Black Cat’s help, and even then the mutant gets away.
13 The Beyonder
A cosmic being of very vague origin, Beyonder is best known for organizing the classic Marvel crossover event Secret Wars. In this event, he sends the best heroes and worst villains that Earth has to offer and transports them to an interdimensional place called Battleworld.
Here, they are expected to determine the ultimate answer to the debate of whether or not good is more powerful than evil. Eventually, the combined forces of Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and the Avengers ensure that the heroes do return home safely.
Being a powerful cosmic entity, Beyonder has always been too powerful for Spider-Man to face off against on his own. In the animated series, Spider-Man is able to stand up to the Beyonder, but it proves to be a test of his spirit. Even now, the web-slinger has yet to come even close to taking down the Beyonder on his own.
Sometimes villain and all-around master of magnetism, Magneto is widely known as the chief antagonist of the X-Men. However, he has had a few run-ins with your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man in the past.
During Avengers vs. X-Men and House of M in particular, Spidey was in the middle of large-scale face-offs against the powerful mutant. Magneto has proven himself to be one of the most powerful enemies and one of the most powerful allies in the Marvel Universe, depending on his mood that day.
Spider-Man’s agility and overall lack of metal could be proven to be a strength against Magneto, but Magneto’s abilities extend well beyond the control of metal substances.
However, they’ve never really been in enough of a full fight, regardless. In the original ‘60s animated series, Spider-Man does face off against a Doctor Magneto, but it is a very different character.
11 Baron Mordo
Baron Mordo is chiefly one of the major antagonists of Doctor Strange. However, Strange and Spider-Man have crossed over many times over the years. Both of them were co-created by artist Steve Ditko and Spidey has gone to Strange for help many, many times over the years.
In some of these crossovers, Spider-Man has faced off against Mordo, though he had Strange’s help in these battles. Baron Mordo is also a recurring villain in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, where he is a servant of Dormammu, attempting to open a gateway between the Dark Dimension and Earth.
Spider-Man teams up with Doctor Strange to stop Mordo from luring Mary Jane into a cult. In this series, Mordo also has a hand in the creation of Carnage. Spider-Man faces off against Mordo, Dormammu, and Carnage with the assistance of Venom and Iron Man.
Dormammu, Carnage, and Venom are dragged into the Dark Dimension while Mordo escapes.
Galactus is one of the most infamous entities in the Marvel Universe. He is the eater of worlds. When he first comes to Earth, he plans to do just that. Earth’s end is heralded by the Silver Surfer and it takes the combined efforts of the Fantastic Four to beat him back that first time.
He loses interest in Earth over time, though, and occasionally tries to instigate widespread violence as in Silver Surfer: Parable. It takes the combined efforts of many heroes to even attempt to bring him down.
Spider-Man, for all his skill, doesn’t have what it takes to stop Galactus on his own. This villain is just too powerful, too large and too immune to Spider-Man’s wit and way with words. Although, it’s not as though Galactus has never fallen against an underdog of an enemy, as he was once taken down by Squirrel Girl, who had no outside help in that fight.
9 Red Skull
Red Skull is one of Marvel’s rare prominent villains who is actually pure evil. Most of Spider-Man’s antagonists in particular are generally sympathetic. They’re mostly people who start out as scientists and largely well respected figures who suffer an accident that they cannot recover from.
They try to better themselves and everything falls apart and twists them from the inside out. Red Skull is the opposite of everything Spider-Man spends most of his time fighting.
This man hates the world and wants to better it on his own. He is and has always been a Nazi, advocating for all of the primary Nazi ideals. Spider-Man is not always prepared for that level of evil and that factors into his major encounter with the Red Skull, which leads into the Red Skull’s escape.
That battle still offers a silver lining for Spider-Man, though, who finds the proof that he needs to clear his parents’ names of a crime they were framed for before their— then apparent— death.
Like many of the villains on this list, Ultron is not a character that Spider-Man has ever really faced off against without the Avengers at his back. His first encounters with Ultron are what eventually lead to his first tried-and-true Avengers membership.
Spidey’s early efforts with the Avengers don’t go so smoothly, as the younger hero has a bit of a chip on his shoulder and is eventually fired before joining the completely restructured New Avengers years later.
Ultron is an incredibly powerful enemy. He’s an artificial intelligence, his body is nearly indestructible and he has many bodies to spare even when one does get taken out.
There’s a reason why it generally takes the combined efforts of the Avengers to bring him down, even a reason why readers are treated to an alternate future in which Ultron actually takes over the entire Earth, as seen in the Age of Ultron comic event.
Nebula has gained an immense spike in popularity thanks to the Guardians of the Galaxy films after spending years as a largely obscure character. She’s the sister of Gamora, a sometime cosmic enemy of the Guardians, Silver Surfer, even the Avengers.
It can be easy to forget that Spider-Man actually went up against her. However, during the Infinity Gauntlet crisis, Nebula manages to take the gauntlet from Thanos and winds up causing even more chaos and destruction in some ways.
Spider-Man is right there alongside the Avengers, Fantastic Four, X-Men and many other heroes to attempt to put a stop to the misuse of the gauntlet. Though she is eventually brought down, Spidey is not the one to do it and, even though he lends a hand, his impact is relatively small.
Nebula and Spider-Man also interact before the Infinity Gauntlet saga, when she attacks a small group of Avengers while Spider-Man is a member, though it’s Sersi who defeats her, not Spidey.
Loki is another incredibly powerful villain that, in some ways, seems like a good match for Spider-Man. Both of them are sarcastic, both of them like to think their way out of situations, and both of them always feel young, even when they get older.
Loki and Spider-Man have had many interactions, but Spider-Man never managed to bring the God of Mischief down on his own. He’s had the help of Thor and many others. He’s faced off against Loki alongside the Avengers, but their one-on-one interactions are few and far between.
Loki has made appearances in both Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends and Ultimate Spider-Man— the latter in which he swaps places with the web-slinger.
However, in both cases, Spider-Man had allies by his side during his fights with the demigod, largely due to the fact that both were shows centered on Spider-Man fighting alongside a team of likeminded superheroes.
Although Spider-Man’s rogues gallery is widely large and diverse, he has surprisingly few female villains. That changes around the time of the infamous Maximum Carnage storyline, in which Shriek teams up with Carnage to form a bizarre family dynamic in which sees herself and Carnage as parents and Carrion, Doppleganger, and Demogoblin as their children.
When Spider-Man is drawn into a fight with her, it’s a fight with the whole “family.” To stop them, he recruits the help of several heroes including Black Cat, Captain America, Iron Fist and more— and even teams up with former enemies like Venom and Morbius.
He has a lot of help when he faces off against Shriek in these stories. Because Shriek is almost always tied to Carnage, the two have never actually fought each other completely on their own. Even in these encounters, though, her instability and unique ability to manipulate sound on multiple levels make her a difficult villain to beat.
4 The Owl
Leland Owlsley, better known as the Owl, is a sometime enemy of Spider-Man and more longstanding enemy of Daredevil. Because so many Marvel stories and events are set in New York, there’s a lot of crossover.
Characters run into each other all the time. That’s especially true of low level crime bosses like the Owl, who aren’t always great at covering their tracks and run into the same local street-level heroes over and over.
Despite Owl’s middling ranking in the general scope of New York crime, Spider-Man’s rarely fought him on his own. The first time Spider-Man tackles Owl, he has Daredevil at his side.
After that, he has Black Widow and, after that, Black Cat. Owl is at one point mercilessly beaten by the Superior Spider-Man, but this is because it's Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man’s body and not actually Peter Parker himself.
3 The Kingpin
Wilson Fisk is unique among many of the New York-based Marvel villains in that he is almost equally a chief antagonist of Spider-Man and Daredevil both.
Over time, he develops his place as the Man Without Fear’s arch-enemy, but he first appears in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man and never loses his place among Spidey’s wide and eccentric rogues gallery. All things considered, he’s the most normal of Spider-Man’s villains.
With the Kingpin, there are no accidents and no science experiments that went horribly wrong. This man is simply representative of the black heart of New York’s criminal empire and always brings Spider-Man back to his roots as a street-level hero.
The problem is that Spider-Man can never truly defeat him because Fisk isn’t the kind of villain who can be beaten. His money is always there and he can buy himself out of any situation. He can pay off enough juries, lawyers, and judges to sweep his actions under the rug and when facing off against Spider-Man, he usually either escapes or walks free.
The Jackal is responsible for some of the weirdest, most traumatizing events of Peter Parker’s life. He’s a college professor who falls obsessively in love with one of his students, which is uncomfortable enough... but that student also happens to be Gwen Stacy.
Jackal blames Spider-Man for her death and winds up cloning her just so he can be with her again. He creates a clone of Spider-Man as well. This leads to a bizarre early run-in with Spider-Man in which the web-slinger mostly fights his own clone. It also plants the seed for the infamous Clone Saga, one of the most interesting but convoluted Marvel events of the ‘90s.
Jackal’s defeat does not come at the hands of Peter, but ultimately his clone, Ben Reilly. In Spider-Man’s early encounters with Jackal, he has help from unlikely allies such as the Punisher and even J. Jonah Jameson.
In the current comics, Ben Reilly has returned from longstanding apparent death to take on the mantle of Jackal for himself.
Carnage is easily one of Spider-Man’s most famous villains. He is still the number one enemy that fans are most excited to see on the big screen. Most of Spider-Man’s enemies are decent people who suffer an accident or a breakdown and turn to a criminal life, but Carnage is as far from that as a character can get.
Cletus Kasady is a serial killer before he ever becomes bonded with the symbiote. His introduction to the comics is a concise but nonetheless smart bit of storytelling: Venom is a big, tough enemy who gives Peter a run for his money whenever they come into contact. So, what would happen if someone was even worse?
Carnage’s whole persona in the comics is based around being an even scarier version of Venom. He also helps Venom to become his own independent character, technically serving as Eddie Brock’s arch-nemesis more than Spider-Man’s.
When Spider-Man faces off against Carnage, he does so with assistance. In the early days, Venom is always a part of this fight. In Maximum Carnage, Spider-Man takes down Carnage with a whole slew of other Marvel heroes at his back.
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