50 Greatest Friends and Foes of Spider-Man: Villains #6-4
In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of Spider-Man, we’re doing four straight months of polls having to do with Spider-Man, culminating with the release of the Amazing Spider-Man film in July. Future installments will deal with Spider-Man creators and Spider-Man stories, but this month will be about Spider-Man’s supporting cast and his villains.
You all voted, now here are the results! We continue with Spider-Man’s villains #6-4…
Here is a master list of all the characters revealed so far.
While Kingpin today is mostly known for being the arch-nemesis of Daredevil, it was not until Frank Miller began drawing Daredevil in the late 1970s that that became the case. The Kingpin debuted in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man and was exclusively a Spider-Man villain for quite a few years.
Even after the Kingpin became a Daredevil villain, he continued to cause problems for Spider-Man, especially since everything the Kingpin does affects the New York gang world which, in turn, affects crime which, in turn, affects Spider-Man.
Most notably, though, was Kingpin’s revenge upon Spider-Man during the brief period where Spider-Man’s secret identity was public knowledge (said information has since been magically wiped away by Doctor Strange). Kingpin sent assassins after Spider-Man and his family, and after Spidey instinctively avoided a sniper shot, the bullet instead hit Aunt May! Spidey, as you imagine, did not take this well and confronted the Kingpin (who was at the time incarcerated)…
They’ve tangled with each other a number of times since then. The Kingpin currently employs the new Hobgoblin as his enforcer.
5. Hobgoblin (Roderick Kingsley)
One of the few great additions to Spider-Man’s Rogues Gallery in the 1980s, the mysterious Hobgoblin became a sensation after Roger Stern and John Romita Jr. introduced him a mysterious stranger who took control of Norman Osborn’s Goblin legacy for awhile.
Even after Stern left the book (and with him, so too was the information about who the Hobgoblin was), the Hobgoblin was an important part of Tom DeFalco’s run…
As the mystery of his identity began to get 50 issues or so long, the novelty began to wear off. He was revealed to be Ned Leeds who had already been killed off! A new guy took over and the Hobgoblin fell into the area of “decent villain” instead of “great villain.”
Stern was allowed to return to the character in the 1990s to reveal who HE was going to have be the Hobgoblin, Roderick Kingsley, a supporting character in Amazing Spider-Man (and Stern’s earlier Spectacular Spider-Man run). Kingsley returned as the Hobgoblin and killed the guy who took over from him.
However, when Norman Osborn returned, Kingsley was sort of put out to pasture. He tried to make a comeback recently but was killed by the NEW Hobgoblin, Phil Urich. Time will tell if he is really dead or just mostly dead (decapitation would suggest really dead, but clones do exist!)
4. Kraven the Hunter
Like many classic Spider-Man villains, Kraven the Hunter (the world’s greatest big game hunter) began to fall a bit into the realm of repetitiveness over the years.
Then writer J.M. DeMatteis did one of the most successful “new takes” on a super-villain ever, paving the way for a number of similar style stories for Spider-Man’s other villains (none as good as the story that soon became known as Kraven’s Last Hunt).
Kraven is beginning to go insane from his continued lack of success against Spider-Man, until he finally decides he will hunt Spider-Man one last time, only his approach will be quite different…
It just gets darker from there and it ends with Kraven’s death.
He eventually was resurrected (see, Roderick, there is still hope!) and continues to hunt Spider-Man to this day, only know with his own Marvel family-esque Kraven family.