The 10 Best Villains From ‘Spider-Man: The Animated Series’ Ranked

For many fans of Spider-Man, the 1994 Spider-Man: The Animated Series was their first introduction to the character. Although it lacks the meme potential of the 1967 series, it worked closely with Stan Lee to tell a more faithful adaptation of the comic stories. It also crossed over with other 90s Marvel cartoons and had an unforgettable theme song that featured guitar solos from Joe Perry from Aerosmith.

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Unlike the 60s series, which mainly created its own villains, the 1994 series used many of Spider-Man’s most iconic antagonists from his golden age and more modern creations. Some of them were depicted so well that this series inspired future adaptations in terms of design and characterization.

10 Carnage

The newly created Carnage turns to attack some guards outside of his cell

Originally a notorious serial killer, Cletus Kasady (Scott Cleverdon) was brought down by the combined efforts of Spider-Man (Christopher Daniel Barnes) and Detective Terri Lee (Dawnn Lewis). His cellmate is Eddie Brock (Hank Azaria), and through him, he learns about the alien symbiote that turned Brock into Venom. When Brock’s symbiote replicates, the child is offered to Kasady by the sorcerer Baron Mordo (Tony Jay), turning him into Carnage.

Related: The 10 Best Arcs From The 90s ‘Spider-Man’ Animated SeriesThis is Carnage’s first appearance in any Spider-Man medium outside the comics, and it remains one of his best adaptations. While the Fox Kids censors wouldn’t let him go on a killing spree, Cleverdon could go all out making him sound insane and monstrous. The show’s art style also lends itself well to Carnage’s weapon-shape-shifting powers.

9 Spider-Carnage

Spider Carnage from Spider-Man: The Animated Series

In an alternate reality based on the Clone Saga, Doctor Miles Warren (Jonathan Harris) creates a clone of Peter Parker, but a mix-up at the lab means that nobody knows which is the original. Paranoia built inside one Peter, and he fell victim to a Carnage symbiote that came from another dimension. The new Spider-Carnage then began working on a device that would allow him to destroy all realities.

Spider-Carnage is an effective final antagonist for the show. Beneath his rage he is a confused and hurt individual trying to make sense of a world turned upside down. This makes him a dark mirror to the main Peter Parker and offers a look at the dark path he could have gone down if he didn’t channel his pain towards doing good.

8 Hobgoblin

The Hobgoblin flying on his glider and aiming a laser gun

When Wilson Fisk (Roscoe Lee Browne) began to push Norman Osborn (Neil Ross) too far, he hires an assassin to kill him. He arms the assassin with a glider and various Halloween-themed weapons, so he calls himself the Hobgoblin (Mark Hamill). As he goes through with the hit, Hobgoblin soon discovers that Fisk is the Kingpin of Crime, and plays both sides in order to claim Fisk’s criminal empire.

Related: 10 Most Overlooked Spider-Man VillainsHobgoblin’s motivations aren’t the best compared to other villains, but he is always a delight to see. He has a playful approach to villainy and loves to toy with his victims before finishing them off. Like in the comics, his identity remains a secret for the majority of the show, which helps to build the mystery around his character.

7 Hydro-Man

Hydro Man demonstrates his power over water

Morris Bench (Rob Paulsen) dated Mary Jane Watson (Saratoga Ballantine) in high school, but she ended things over his jealousy. He then joined the Navy and got exposed to underwater gas which granted him control over water. Morris then tracked Mary Jane down and commits a series of robberies to impress her.

Paulsen’s performance combined with the writing makes every moment of Hydro-Man memorable. His motivation is terrifying because of its realism: he’s an obsessed stalker who lashes out at others at the slightest criticism. Paulsen nails it with his delivery, which begins as a desperate plea for Mary Jane to take him back, and only gets more deranged.

6 Doctor Octopus

Doctor Octopus as he appeared in Spider-Man: The Animated Series

Otto Octavius (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) began as a respected scientist who nurtured a love of science in others, including Peter Parker. Unfortunately, he ran into a bout of bad luck when his investor, Anastasia Harding (Rue McClanahan) cut funding for his cold-fusion experiments. Forced to work in his basement, he suffered an accident that merged four robot arms into his spine, turning him into Doctor Octopus.

This version of Doctor Octopus works for other villains rather than be independent, but he’s still a threat. His genius intellect means that he can create all sorts of new inventions to challenge Spider-Man, and mastermind a few plans to get the jump on the hero. Zimbalist Jr.’s voice work is also praiseworthy, as he delivers every line with a German accent and still manages to make the doctor sound appropriately egotistical and dangerous.

5 Venom

Venom holds an unmasked Peter Parker in his web

Originally a photographer at the Daily Bugel, Eddie Brock’s job and reputation were ruined due to his own bad choices and some unlucky run-ins with Spider-Man. One such instance involved him getting webbed up in a church while Spider-Man fought to remove an alien symbiote. The alien bonded to Brock shortly after, turning him into Venom and granting him power similar to Spider-Man.

Related: ‘Venom 3’: Cast, Director, Production Status, and Everything We Know So Far About the Symbiote ThreequelIt’s not enough for Venom to just kill Spider-Man: he has to be humiliated like how Brock was. Venom accomplishes this by stalking and tormenting Spidey thanks to his ability to be invisible to spider-sense. This results in a deadly set of mind games and Peter’s identity almost getting exposed to the public.

4 Michael Morbius

Michael Morbius in his vampire form from Spider-Man: The Animated Series

A foreign exchange student from a small European country, Michael Morbius (Nick Jameson) hoped to cure his homeland of a disease. He performed unauthorized experiments at the school on vampire bats, and one bit him after drinking a sample of Peter’s blood Morbius stole for analysis. The bite caused him to transform into a living vampire who must feed on humans to survive.

Morbius is one of the most tragic characters in the series. There is a poetic irony in his research to cure a plague resulting in him becoming one. Then there is his relationship with Felicia Hardy (Jennifer Hale), which keeps him tied to his humanity and eventually influences Felicia’s change into Black Cat.

3 Alistair Smythe

Alistair Smith, having been turned into the ultimate spider-slayer

After a lab accident cost him his legs, Alistair Smythe’s (Maxwell Caulfield) father, Spenser (Edward Mulhare) agreed to build a robot to kill Spider-Man for funding to give his son a hoverchair. After he was seemingly killed, Alistair went to work for Kingpin, who told him that Spider-Man was responsible. After one too many failures, Alistair was replaced by Dr. Herbert Landon (David Warner), and mutated into a Spider-Slayer himself.

Related: Spider-Man Is Better as a Cartoon, Deal With It!While many characters have revenge as their driving motivation, Alistair is one of the best. It’s established early that he is a bright mind who fell in with the wrong crowd when he was emotionally vulnerable. Sider-Man eventually helps him break free from Kingpin’s control and find his father, now in suspended animation, which switches his motivation to restoring him.

2 Green Goblin

The Green Goblin holding the Time Dilation Accelerator

While working on a chemical gas for Kingpin, Norman Osborn is caught in a lab explosion and exposed to it. The gas grants him enhanced strength, but also drives him insane. Modifying some of Hobgoblin’s technology, Osborn creates the identity of the Green Goblin to get back at those who wronged him, especially Spider-Man.

The show’s choice to introduce Hobgoblin before the Green Goblin gives the audience more time with Osborn as a businessman and struggling father before turning him into a supervillain. They play up his insanity as a way to differentiate the two goblins, with Osborn violently switching between his two personalities to have conversations with himself. He also proves to be way more vicious than Hobgoblin when he learns of Spider-Man’s identity and targets his loved ones.

1 Kingpin

Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin, in a garden

Born to a criminal father, Wilson Moriarty was forced to take the fall for his father and sent to prison. By the time he got out, he acquired all the skills and knowledge he’d need to make an empire all his own. He changed his name to Fisk and erased all traces of his previous life (including his father), allowing him to pose as a benevolent philanthropist in New York City.

Kingpin is a terrific overarching villain for the show thanks to his vast network and his calm, businessman approach to crime. There is little that goes on in New York City without his knowledge, and unlike Spidey’s other villains, he can never get enough evidence to do more than slow down Kingpin’s operations. Roscoe Lee Browne’s performance is perfect: his deep, powerful voice fits with a character who is always in control.

Next: ‘The Spectacular Spider-Man’ Animated Series Deserves to Live On

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