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The First 15 Super-Villains Spider-Man Ever Fought In Comics

Spider-Man has arguably the most recognizable villains’ rogues gallery in Marvel Comics. What might come as a surprise is that most of these villains debuted in the first year of Spider-Man comics and were so great that they all survived the tests of time and became icons themselves.

RELATED: Spider-Man: No Way Home’s Main Characters, Ranked By Intelligence

As a teenage crimefighter, Spider-Man mostly fought street-level villains, and that might be what helped them with their longevity in Marvel Comics, some of the villains even going on to star in other hero’s comic books. While a couple of his greatest villains, such as Green Goblin, appeared in his second year, the first 15 Spider-Man villains remain memorable.

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Updated on December 21st, 2021, by Shawn S. Lealos: Spider-Man: No Way Home has come the closest that any movie has come to bringing the Sinister Six together on the big screen. Not only did the movie bring in all the villains from past Spider-Man franchises, but these were also some of the first villains Spider-Man ever faced in comics.

Even after the first 10 Spider-Man villains showed up, there were more villains waiting to arrive to ruin his day. These included the villain who almost killed Spider-Man in one of the hero’s best storylines and two villains that J. Jonah Jameson had a hand in creating.


The Chameleon

Chameleon sitting in front of his masks.

Spider-Man’s first appearance was in Amazing Fantasy #15. However, the villain in that comic was a thief and killer and not a true supervillain. It wasn’t until Amazing Spider-Man #1 (by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko) that Spider-Man battled a true villain.

The first supervillain was The Chameleon, who disguised himself as Spider-Man and made the hero look like a villain. This was hugely important as Chameleon was part of why no one trusted Spider-Man for years into his career.

Vulture

Vulture flying as he prepares to fight Spider-Man.

In Amazing Spider-Man #2, Spider-Man went up against his first villain with superpowers as he battled The Vulture. This was Adrian Toomes, who had wings he created as a brilliant scientist.


This didn’t show his origin story and what caused him to become a villain. Instead, Vulture was introduced as a common thief, who used his wings and powers to commit his crimes. Spider-Man also battled a secondary villain in this issue known as The Tinkerer.

Doctor Octopus

Doctor Octopus watching over Spider-Man.

One of Spider-Man’s greatest enemies showed up in Amazing Spider-Man #3, as Doctor Octopus was introduced. This put the very smart teenage Peter Parker up against the brilliant Otto Octavius for the first time.

It also showed Doc Ock’s origin story as he was caught in an explosion, which saw his mechanical arms fused to his body and his descent into madness. He eventually tries to take over a nuclear power plant before Spider-Man stops him.


Sandman

Sandman splits himself up to battle Spider-Man.

Sandman shows up for the first time in Amazing Spider-Man #4. Sandman attacks Spider-Man first in this issue before his origin is revealed as a thief, who was caught in a radioactive testing area and turned into a sand-like creature.

RELATED: 10 Most Evil X-Men Villains, Ranked

When Sandman shows up at Spider-Man’s high school, a battle breaks out, and the two end up in a massive fight. Spider-Man then has to use his brains to figure out how to stop the slippery villain.

Doctor Doom

Doctor Doom ruling over his country of Latveria.

Amazing Spider-Man #5 is the only time in the first 10 issues that Spider-Man fights a villain from another superhero comic book. This battle put Spider-Man up against the Fantastic Four’s arch-nemesis, Doctor Doom.


In this issue, Doom thinks Spider-Man is really a villain (based on the newspaper reports) and asks to team with him. However, they ended up battling instead. This was the first time Spider-Man didn’t capture the villain, as Doctor Doom escaped.

Lizard

The Lizard roams the sewers.

In Amazing Spider-Man #6, Spider-Man battled his first sympathetic villain. A monstrous creature known as The Lizard is rampaging in Florida, and J. Jonah Jameson challenges Spider-Man to stop him.

RELATED: The Amazing Spider-Man Main Characters, Ranked By Intelligence

Spider-Man goes to Florida to stop The Lizard. However, when he arrives, he finds himself in a bit of a moral dilemma once he discovers why Curt Connors had transformed into the creature in the first place. Instead, Spider-Man decides to save Curt Connors rather than send him to prison. Connors eventually became a quasi-ally for Spider-Man.


The Living Brain

The Living Brain preparing to attack.

The least notable of Spider-Man’s first 10 villains he ever fought in comics was the being known as The Living Brain. He showed up in Amazing Spider-Man #8 (Spidey fought Vulture again in the previous issue), and this was a science project turned bad.

The Living Brain was a computer that could answer any question if given the correct input. When two men try to steal it, it short-circuits and comes to life, going on a rampage. The scientist who created it would bring it back years later.

Electro

Electro and Spider-Man locked in battle.

In Amazing Spider-Man #9, the Wall-Crawler battled Electro for the first time. In this first introduction to the villain, Electro was a common thief who used his electricity powers to rob an armored truck and other heists.


When J. Jonah Jameson prints a story that claims Electro is Spider-Man, it forces the Wall-Crawler to leave his ill Aunt May to try to stop and bring the new villain down.

The Enforcers

Spider-Man prepares to fight The Enforcers.

The next villains Spider-Man fought was a group, and while they never reached the level of the upcoming Sinister Six, the Enforcers were still memorable.

This gang included the leader, Big Man, and his minions, Montana, Fancy Dan, and Ox. It was a fun story and one that played out in later animated series, and proved that the Sinister Six would be a perfect antagonist in the future.

Mysterio

Mysterio preparing to cast an illusion.

The 10th supervillain that Spider-Man ever fought came in Amazing Spider-Man #13. Spider-Man had just spent the last two issues involved in his first multi-issue story arc against Doctor Octopus, and now he had to fight someone who could warp reality.


This was Mysterio, who actually made his first appearance behind the scenes in Amazing Spider-Man #2. Here, Mysterio pulled the same stunt that Chameleon did, pretending to be Spider-Man and robbing several businesses. Spider-Man had to prove his innocence by beating the new villain.

Kraven The Hunter

Kraven the Hunter's first appearance in Spider-Man.

Just out of the first 10 supervillains Spider-Man faced in comics came one of his most iconic enemies. This was in Amazing Spider-Man #15 and presented Kraven as a master hunter who had successfully hunted every prey there is and realized that Spider-Man could be his greatest triumph.

Karven was manipulated here by Chameleon, but over time, it was the Hunter who became the more important Spider-Man villain. The Kraven’s Last Hunt storyline remains one of the best in Spider-Man history.


Circus Of Crime

Ringmaster leading his Circus of Crime.

The Circus of Crime had been agitating superheroes for a time before appearing in Amazing Spider-Man #16. The group had appeared in the golden age Captain America comics and went on to attack everyone from Hulk to the Avengers.

RELATED: 10 Biggest Ways Spider-Man Has Changed Since His Introduction In Comics

However, their appearance in Spider-Man’s early comics came with an even bigger debut. This was the issue where Spider-Man and Daredevil met up for the first time, as the two battled each other before taking on the Circus of Crime together.

Scorpion

Scorpion lifting Spider-Man.

After a few issues where Spider-Man had to deal with the Sinister Six, a group of his former villains who chose to team together, the Wall-Crawler met up with a brand-new villain in Amazing Spider-Man #20. This was Mac Gargan, the Scorpion.


The villain appeared here after J. Jonah Jameson paid to have Mac given superhuman powers to try to bring down Spidey. Over the years, Mac became an even more powerful villain, first upgrading his Scorpion costume before becoming Venom for a time.

The Beetle

Human Torch and Spider-Man fighting The Beetle.

In Amazing Spider-Man #21, it was time for another team-up. In this issue, it was Spider-Man and his buddy The Human Torch who had to take on a costumed villain known as Beetle. The villain debuted in Fantastic Four comics, so it was no surprise that the Torch would show up here.

This issue showed Beetle released from prison and trying to get revenge against Human Torch, and as with all Spider-Man team ups, this one started with a misunderstanding. After this, Beetle became more of a Spider-Man villain than one for the Human Torch.


The Spider-Slayer

J Jonah Jameson using a Spider-Slayer to attack Spider-Man.

J. Jonah Jameson became one of Spider-Man’s most persistent antagonists for many years. However, while Jameson never really became a true villain, he was responsible for many supervillains who came after Spider-Man. This included the introduction of the Spider-Slayer in Amazing Spider-Man #25.

In this book, Jameson helped finance the creation of the Spider-Slayer by Spencer Smythe. Jameson actually controls the Spider-Slayer here, but Spider-Man beats it pretty easily. However, this was also just the start as more advanced Spider-Slayers came later and became a thorn in Spidey’s side for years.


NEXT: 10 Biggest Differences Between Spider-Man In The Movies And Comics

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