Not all Spider-Man movies are equal and neither are the villains who do battle with Spidey. While Spider-Man enjoys one of the best rogues’ galleries not only in Marvel, but in comic book media in general, not all of webhead’s bad guys were as well received as Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock or Michael Keaton‘s Vulture when adapted to the big screen. Fans took to the Internet to name the worst Spider-Man villain of the films, and the decision is officially made.
Slash Film surveyed 611 respondents about their choice for worst Spider-Man villain. Of all the live-action Spider-Man films to date, the two that are almost always at the bottom of any list are 2007’s Spider-Man 3 and 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2. And yet somehow neither Thomas Haden Church’s Sandman, Topher Grace’s Venom, or James Franco’s New Goblin took home the prize. Nor did any of the three bad guys from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 — Andrew Garfield‘s final solo Spider-Man flick — get picked for worst, even though Paul Giamatti’s version of the Rhino has less screen time than your average MCU post-credits scene. No, according to fans, the worst Spider-Man villain from the films is the Lizard, played by Rhys Ifans in 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man.
It’s easy enough to understand why the Lizard was chosen by 23% of Slash Film’s surveyed fans as the worst Spider-Man movie villain. Big, green, and naked, the rampaging lizard of The Amazing Spider-Man may be a formidable opponent but he doesn’t have much in the way of personality. He’s basically a weaker version of the Hulk with claws and a tail, except that he’s even less talkative. While there may have been worse Spidey movies than The Amazing Spider-Man, at least the villains in those films could come up with an entertaining quip every now and then.
While he doesn’t make it to the top spot, Giamatti’s Rhino gets pretty close. The last minute Rhino-mech suit got 20% of the vote for worst Spider-Man villain. Church’s Sandman — who not only was retconned as Uncle Ben’s killer in Spider-Man 3 but also enjoyed one of the most poorly defined origin stories as far as his powers were concerned — came in third at 17% of the vote. Jamie Foxx’s Electro got 13% of the vote while Franco’s New Goblin is at 10%. Almost tied for last place — and therefore, arguably, first place — are Green Goblin (Dane Dehaan) from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with 9% of the vote and Grace’s version of Venom with 8%.
Slash Film’s Joshua Meyer seems surprised and a little annoyed that Grace’s Venom doesn’t earn a higher spot on the list. Ironically, part of what makes the Venom of Spider-Man 3 such a weak villain may be his saving grace (no pun intended). Eddie Brock and the symbiote don’t merge until toward the end of the film, making his presence feel like an afterthought. So perhaps the fact that he isn’t in the film as much stops him from being as unimpressive for quite as long. Perhaps that’s the only reason Giamatti’s Rhino is saved from the top spot as well.
Regardless, you can expect to see some of the worst Spider-Man movie villains return — hopefully to redeem themselves as well as give Tom Holland’s Spider-Man as much of a hard time as possible — in Spider-Man: No Way Home which hits theaters December 17.