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  1. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Spider-Man's rogues gallery is definitely not the best. There's not much thematic depth and variety. Like there aren't any good female villains whereas Batman has Poison Ivy, Catwoman, Talia al Ghul, Lady Shiva. Black Cat isn't half as good a character as Selina Kyle of which she is a ripoff.

    Scarecrow in terms of the whole trickster/illusionist thing is a far superior villain to Mysterio whose full potential is rarely utilized and when it is, it's often to make him like Scarecrow anyway, such as that trick in Old Man Logan where he gaslights Logan into killing the X-Men. Sandman isn't as good as Clayface is. Clayface being a washed up actor and a merge of different other Clayfaces has the personality to go with being a shape-shifting freak whereas Flint Marko is a two-bit thug and moron, and with an ugly civilian design (that stupid green striped T-Shirt).

    If you compare head-to-head and counterpart to counterpart it's debatable to call any Spider-Man villain the best version of that character archetype. Green Goblin isn't as good as Joker, Dr. Octopus isn't as good as Dr. Doom, Luthor, or Dr. Sivana to list some of the most iconic and important mad scientists. And comics historians will argue that The Octopus from Eisner's The Spirit (who inspired Miller's Kingpin) is the best villain called Octopus in comics history.

    I guess you could say Kingpin is the best mobster supervillain but then it's debatable if Kingpin is a great Spider-Man villain. Because the version of Kingpin that is great is the one Frank Miller wrote into Daredevil. The Pre-Miller Daredevil Kingpin in Spider-Man comics, i.e. Sydney Greenstreet in the L-R era isn't all that special, and Post-Daredevil, Kingpin's most prominent stories in 616 Spider-Man such as "Read 'Em in Weep" and Back in Black involve Spider-Man humiliating him thoroughly. Ultimate Spider-Man had a great Kingpin story in "Learning Curve" but that was still Miller's Kingpin in a Spider-Man story. I mean we can say Juggernaut is a great Spider-Man villain, or Firelord if we go by that.



    Well Captain Cold is a minor villain in the scheme of things.



    Mole Man, Namor, Puppetmaster, Annihilus, Molecule Man, The Mad Thinker. Dr. Doom, Galactus, Mole Man, Annihilus are the best versions of their character archetype. Dr. Doom is the greatest mad scientist and ruler-of-state as supervillain in comics, directly inspiring Potus Luthor and Norman's time as head of hammer or Mayor Fisk. Mole Man is the ultimate subterranean villain, so iconic that The Incredibles parodied him with the Underminer. And Annihilus and the Negative Zone are the most iconic interdimensional threats.
    I think a lot of this is about subjective opinion.

    One big factor for whether villains are good is the quality of stories. This is largely subjective as well, although we can also look at whether stories are acclaimed as a counterpoint (IE- lists of great stories from elsewhere).

    With the Fantastic Four villains, there are multiple great stories with Galactus, and Doctor Doom. And a handful with the Skrulls.

    Mole Man may be the most iconic subterranean villain, but what are his truly great stories? What are the great stories where Molecule Man is the main villain? Annihilus' highlight is probably when the Annihilation event where someone else is the bad guy.

    There are similar issues with some of the bar-villains listed as all time greats. What are the great Clayface and Lady Shiva stories?

    As for archtypes, Mysterio's focus on illusions gives greater variety than Scarecrow's focus on fear (that focus works great for Scarecrow but they're different.) The Lizard is probably the most iconic of his type of villain, the supporting cast member who becomes a monster on occasion. Harry Osborn is probably the greatest of the legacy bad guys. J. Jonah Jameson is the greatest media figure in comics.

  2. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    I think a lot of this is about subjective opinion.
    Of course it is. But Batman having the greatest rogues gallery in comics is pretty near consensus. Marvel's greatest villains being Doom, Magneto, Thanos, Loki is also consensus.

    Mole Man may be the most iconic subterranean villain, but what are his truly great stories?
    His first story for one. He's the first villain the FF fought against. Before Doom and everyone. Fantastic Four #1, that monster on Jack Kirby's cover. That belongs to him. Mole Man's so iconic that he was a big part of Ultimate Fantastic Four. Then I like his appearance in Wolverine #156-157, where Wolverine and Spider-Man go sewer spelunking and run into him and team-up with him.

    Annihilus' highlight is probably when the Annihilation event where someone else is the bad guy.
    Also his first appearance, in that Annual when Susan gives birth to Franklin. Full of Kirby's great visuals.

    What are the great Clayface and Lady Shiva stories?
    Clayface you have Mortal Clay (by Alan Moore, which he prefers to Killing Joke), you have the Mud Pack story where all the Clayfaces combine into a new version, you have excellent episodes in batman the animated series, and of course you have the Batman Arkham City game where he steals the show.

    As for Lady Shiva, I'll give you that but again that's one more iconic female supervillain Batman has. Whereas Spider-Man has none.

    The Lizard is probably the most iconic of his type of villain, the supporting cast member who becomes a monster on occasion.
    Harvey Dent calls dibs on that. But I'll give you that the Lizard is better than Man-Bat, a character definitely inspired by the Lizard. Lizard is also better than Killer Croc (co-created by Gerry Conway) another Sewer dwelling reptillian villain.

    Harry Osborn is probably the greatest of the legacy bad guys.
    That's a strange kind of category. And also debatable because Harry Osborn has spent most of his publication history as a supporting character and not a villain. He was a villain briefly in Conway's run and then Bart Hamilton took over before JMD revived Green Goblin again, and then he came back from the dead. And for the most part Harry didn't fulfill the mantle of the Green Goblin well because later writers kept putting other candidates and eventually another kind of goblin before Norman came back.

    J. Jonah Jameson is the greatest media figure in comics.
    Jameson is not a villain. He's a supporting character. As for greatest media figure, surely that would be Lois Lane, the Daily Planet's greatest reporter. But yeah Jameson is one of the best characters in comics, and not just supporting characters or in superhero comics but comics in general.

    My argument is about villains. In terms of supporting characters, Spider-Man is better than Superman and Batman.

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Spider-Man's rogues gallery is definitely not the best. There's not much thematic depth and variety. Like there aren't any good female villains whereas Batman has Poison Ivy, Catwoman, Talia al Ghul, Lady Shiva. Black Cat isn't half as good a character as Selina Kyle of which she is a ripoff.

    Scarecrow in terms of the whole trickster/illusionist thing is a far superior villain to Mysterio whose full potential is rarely utilized and when it is, it's often to make him like Scarecrow anyway, such as that trick in Old Man Logan where he gaslights Logan into killing the X-Men. Sandman isn't as good as Clayface is. Clayface being a washed up actor and a merge of different other Clayfaces has the personality to go with being a shape-shifting freak whereas Flint Marko is a two-bit thug and moron, and with an ugly civilian design (that stupid green striped T-Shirt).

    If you compare head-to-head and counterpart to counterpart it's debatable to call any Spider-Man villain the best version of that character archetype. Green Goblin isn't as good as Joker, Dr. Octopus isn't as good as Dr. Doom, Luthor, or Dr. Sivana to list some of the most iconic and important mad scientists. And comics historians will argue that The Octopus from Eisner's The Spirit (who inspired Miller's Kingpin) is the best villain called Octopus in comics history.

    I guess you could say Kingpin is the best mobster supervillain but then it's debatable if Kingpin is a great Spider-Man villain. Because the version of Kingpin that is great is the one Frank Miller wrote into Daredevil. The Pre-Miller Daredevil Kingpin in Spider-Man comics, i.e. Sydney Greenstreet in the L-R era isn't all that special, and Post-Daredevil, Kingpin's most prominent stories in 616 Spider-Man such as "Read 'Em in Weep" and Back in Black involve Spider-Man humiliating him thoroughly. Ultimate Spider-Man had a great Kingpin story in "Learning Curve" but that was still Miller's Kingpin in a Spider-Man story. I mean we can say Juggernaut is a great Spider-Man villain, or Firelord if we go by that.
    There is no thematic variety or depth in Batman villains. Most of them are just varying levels of comic book "insane". Spider-Man villains have a variety of motivations from greed to misanthropy to revenge to despair. Also if we're going to discount Kingpin as a Spider-Man villain then I think it is only fair to discount Lady Shiva as a Batman villain given she wasn't created to be a Batman villain and her best stories are with Cass Cain, the Birds of Prey, Richard Dragon and the Question. Catwoman barely qualifies as a villain and Talia is just discount Catwoman. Poison Ivy might come close but she's far too inconsistent with how she's written.

    Even if Spider-Man villains aren't considered the best of the archtype they belong in, they are still adored and beloved by many. You seem to be under the impression that they aren't as liked as Batman villains (there's no proof that they aren't) and therefore this makes them weak rogues.

  4. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Overlord View Post
    Except how often is Electro, Sandman, Rhino, etc motivated by revenge rather than greed? It seems like 80% of the time they are committing profit driven crimes and just get annoyed that Spidey foils them. So really Shocker being driven by greed rather revenge seems very par for the course for Spidey .
    I said most other villains not Spidey villains.

    No offense, but if that's all there is to Shocker, he seems more like a plot device then a character, yeah they give him character moments, but the writers do not give him a valid motive for being a criminal in the first place or tie everything together to give him a cohesive personality and if Shocker is supposed to be intelligent, why can't he come with a better way to make money then robbing banks?
    Why are Dr Doom and Lex Luthor villains then? Theyíre far smarter and richer than Shocker and have committed crimes far worse than him.


    If Shocker is just a plot device, fine, whatever, but you can't be a plot device and a great villain.
    Youíre using the term plot device wrong here.

  5. #80
    Incredible Member Russ840's Avatar
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    Revolutionary-Jack, you are talking about consensus, well isn’t it te general consensus that Spidey has the next best Rogues gallery after Batman ?

    That’s what I see said by most.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    There is no thematic variety or depth in Batman villains. Most of them are just varying levels of comic book "insane". Spider-Man villains have a variety of motivations from greed to misanthropy to revenge to despair. Also if we're going to discount Kingpin as a Spider-Man villain then I think it is only fair to discount Lady Shiva as a Batman villain given she wasn't created to be a Batman villain and her best stories are with Cass Cain, the Birds of Prey, Richard Dragon and the Question. Catwoman barely qualifies as a villain and Talia is just discount Catwoman. Poison Ivy might come close but she's far too inconsistent with how she's written.

    Even if Spider-Man villains aren't considered the best of the archtype they belong in, they are still adored and beloved by many. You seem to be under the impression that they aren't as liked as Batman villains (there's no proof that they aren't) and therefore this makes them weak rogues.
    Modernly speaking there is a lack of depth to spiderman and batman villains. I can make the argument that spiderman villains were just insane crazy scientists. This is why I prefer x-men villains in the marvel's rogues gallery, I think the civil rights angle of xmen and their villains gave xmen villains more depth or when of their heroes becomes a villain like Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix.

    Both spiderman and batman villains are goofy bad villains of the week bad guys but remember this was at the beginning of comic books. it was suppose to be kids entertainment, very one dimensional but Batman villains have evolved more. Batman almost married one of his villains.
    Last edited by Jeramas; 02-23-2019 at 06:17 AM.

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeramas View Post
    Modernly speaking there is a lack of depth to spiderman and batman villains. I can make the argument that spiderman villains were just insane crazy scientists.
    You'd be wrong since most of them aren't scientists and few, if any, are written as mentally ill or believed to be.
    Last edited by Agent Z; 02-23-2019 at 07:28 AM.

  8. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by Russ840 View Post
    Revolutionary-Jack, you are talking about consensus, well isnít it te general consensus that Spidey has the next best Rogues gallery after Batman ?

    Thatís what I see said by most.
    Looking at rankings he does pretty well.

    #1 on Newsarama's list...
    https://www.newsarama.com/15497-the-...-time.html#s11

    #1 on CBR's
    https://www.cbr.com/15-superhero-rog...leries-ranked/

    #2 on Nerdclique
    https://nerdclique.com/10-best-super...ues-galleries/

    He was #1 on a Wizard list, too.

  9. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Of course it is. But Batman having the greatest rogues gallery in comics is pretty near consensus. Marvel's greatest villains being Doom, Magneto, Thanos, Loki is also consensus.



    His first story for one. He's the first villain the FF fought against. Before Doom and everyone. Fantastic Four #1, that monster on Jack Kirby's cover. That belongs to him. Mole Man's so iconic that he was a big part of Ultimate Fantastic Four. Then I like his appearance in Wolverine #156-157, where Wolverine and Spider-Man go sewer spelunking and run into him and team-up with him.



    Also his first appearance, in that Annual when Susan gives birth to Franklin. Full of Kirby's great visuals.



    Clayface you have Mortal Clay (by Alan Moore, which he prefers to Killing Joke), you have the Mud Pack story where all the Clayfaces combine into a new version, you have excellent episodes in batman the animated series, and of course you have the Batman Arkham City game where he steals the show.

    As for Lady Shiva, I'll give you that but again that's one more iconic female supervillain Batman has. Whereas Spider-Man has none.



    Harvey Dent calls dibs on that. But I'll give you that the Lizard is better than Man-Bat, a character definitely inspired by the Lizard. Lizard is also better than Killer Croc (co-created by Gerry Conway) another Sewer dwelling reptillian villain.



    That's a strange kind of category. And also debatable because Harry Osborn has spent most of his publication history as a supporting character and not a villain. He was a villain briefly in Conway's run and then Bart Hamilton took over before JMD revived Green Goblin again, and then he came back from the dead. And for the most part Harry didn't fulfill the mantle of the Green Goblin well because later writers kept putting other candidates and eventually another kind of goblin before Norman came back.



    Jameson is not a villain. He's a supporting character. As for greatest media figure, surely that would be Lois Lane, the Daily Planet's greatest reporter. But yeah Jameson is one of the best characters in comics, and not just supporting characters or in superhero comics but comics in general.

    My argument is about villains. In terms of supporting characters, Spider-Man is better than Superman and Batman.
    Is Mole Man's first story iconic because of him? Annihilus' first story is great (although it probably rates below several Doctor Doom stories) but what has he had on that level since?

    Looking at lists of the best Batman episodes, there isn't much Clayface.
    https://ew.com/tv/batman-animated-se...n-2-episode-23
    https://www.ign.com/articles/2017/09...pisodes?page=2

    It was a great show, so the 27th best episode is pretty good.

    Clayface doesn't rate very well in lists of the comics stories.
    https://www.cbr.com/75-greatest-batm...s-master-list/

    Harvey Dent is a great villain, but he's more of a lost cause than the Lizard.

    I'd still rate Jonah about Lois as far as characters go, although Jonah does toe the line between villain and supporting cast, and has made Spider-Man's life worse in big ways.

  10. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by Russ840 View Post
    Revolutionary-Jack, you are talking about consensus, well isnít it te general consensus that Spidey has the next best Rogues gallery after Batman ?
    When I said consensus I was more talking about sussing out people's opinions, and going by what was said and not said at various times. Ta-Nehisi Coates once pointed out on twitter that he saw Spider-Man's villains as weak compared to Batman and other Marvel villains. And generally whenver I see writers praising Marvel's greatest villains, I don't see Spider-Man show up, it's always Doom or Magneto, or these days Thanos. I didn't necessarily look at lists.

    Having said that, I was more influenced and interested in individual lists than group lists. The first one, is a tvtropes page of IGN's Top 100 list (https://www.ign.com/lists/top-100-comic-book-villains) but the IGN list is not as reader friendly and load-fast as the tvtropes one.

    https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.p...icBookVillains
    https://screenrant.com/comic-book-su...nked-all-time/
    https://comicvine.gamespot.com/profi...ins-ign/46166/

    If you see that you will find that in the case of IGN and ComicVine, the top 10 villains don't include Spider-Man bad guys. It generally has more villains from Batman and X-Men than Spider-Man. The highest rank villain is The Kingpin who is also listed as a Daredevil villain, and again the version of Kingpin that sticks in people's mind is the one in Daredevil and not the one in Spider-Man comics that existed before Miller. The Screenrant list lists Norman Osborn higher, but it says that "Green Goblin isn't Spider-Man's greatest villain, Norman Osborn is" or whatever and they are going by Dark Avengers and others, when he became a Marvel-wide villain.

    This list of Top 100 Marvel Villains (https://comicvine.gamespot.com/profi...illains/49380/). If you do a count or Ctrl+F, you will find 19 X-Men Villains, 15 Fantastic Four villains, 11 Spider-Man Villains. And while Green Goblin is ranked high, he's the only Spider-Man villain in the top 10.

    The topic of this post is "Do Spider-Man villains suck" and if so are they appreciably weak or regarded as weak in relation to other rogues and villains. I believe that there is some truth in that observation or at least it's worth exploring. Which is not to say that I don't think Spider-Man villains are a little weak, and to the extent that it's an issue, I see it as a feature and not a bug, because again Spider-Man and his stories at heart will rarely allow villains to be that deep and interesting.

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    When I said consensus I was more talking about sussing out people's opinions, and going by what was said and not said at various times. Ta-Nehisi Coates once pointed out on twitter that he saw Spider-Man's villains as weak compared to Batman and other Marvel villains. And generally whenver I see writers praising Marvel's greatest villains, I don't see Spider-Man show up, it's always Doom or Magneto, or these days Thanos. I didn't necessarily look at lists.

    Having said that, I was more influenced and interested in individual lists than group lists. The first one, is a tvtropes page of IGN's Top 100 list (https://www.ign.com/lists/top-100-comic-book-villains) but the IGN list is not as reader friendly and load-fast as the tvtropes one.

    https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.p...icBookVillains
    https://screenrant.com/comic-book-su...nked-all-time/
    https://comicvine.gamespot.com/profi...ins-ign/46166/

    If you see that you will find that in the case of IGN and ComicVine, the top 10 villains don't include Spider-Man bad guys. It generally has more villains from Batman and X-Men than Spider-Man. The highest rank villain is The Kingpin who is also listed as a Daredevil villain, and again the version of Kingpin that sticks in people's mind is the one in Daredevil and not the one in Spider-Man comics that existed before Miller. The Screenrant list lists Norman Osborn higher, but it says that "Green Goblin isn't Spider-Man's greatest villain, Norman Osborn is" or whatever and they are going by Dark Avengers and others, when he became a Marvel-wide villain.

    This list of Top 100 Marvel Villains (https://comicvine.gamespot.com/profi...illains/49380/). If you do a count or Ctrl+F, you will find 19 X-Men Villains, 15 Fantastic Four villains, 11 Spider-Man Villains. And while Green Goblin is ranked high, he's the only Spider-Man villain in the top 10.

    The topic of this post is "Do Spider-Man villains suck" and if so are they appreciably weak or regarded as weak in relation to other rogues and villains. I believe that there is some truth in that observation or at least it's worth exploring. Which is not to say that I don't think Spider-Man villains are a little weak, and to the extent that it's an issue, I see it as a feature and not a bug, because again Spider-Man and his stories at heart will rarely allow villains to be that deep and interesting.
    Why do you keep repeating the same thing over and over when people are trying to explain this thing to you? It's honestly a little bizarre.
    The Amazing, Spectacular, Sensational Web-Slinger!

  12. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    I'd still rate Jonah about Lois as far as characters go, although Jonah does toe the line between villain and supporting cast, and has made Spider-Man's life worse in big ways.
    The whole point of Jameson is that he's not a villain. He's an embodiment of Peter's guilty conscience.

    He hasn't made Spider-Man's life any worse than Peter did himself. Peter ruined Spider-Man's life the day he let that burglar go, and Jameson running roughshod over him only externalizes his own guilt, that there was a time when he really was every bit the glory-seeking fame-obsessed hack that Jameson keeps accusing him to be. Peter also let his supporting cast live with a time bomb with Norman Osborn being let go and unrevealed by him. He did that even after the relapse in the drug issue. And thanks to that, Gwen Stacy died.

    And in practical terms, all Jameson did was unintentionally help in Scorpion becoming a villain, and also Spider-Slayer, both are fairly minor villains in the scheme of things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeramas View Post
    Modernly speaking there is a lack of depth to spiderman and batman villains. I can make the argument that spiderman villains were just insane crazy scientists.
    Spider-Man villains are mostly old dudes or older dudes. There is not one major villain who is the same age or generation as Peter Parker's. Whereas in the case of Batman/Joker, Superman/Lex, Reed/Doom, all of them are the same age or generation. Spider-Man's villains are designed or created to give the sense of the hero being the underdog, so they are shown as more experienced, and adults, and in the early stories the fun was that this teenager was punking these guys and feeding them lunch. Remember Green Goblin's first reaction on learning Peter's identity, more or less, "A kid, I've been fighting a kid". He convinced them he was older than he was. So Spider-Man's rogues are fairly streamlined.

    Spidey villains are generally thugs-with-tech or thugs-with-powers (Electro, Sandman, Rhino, Shocker, Scorpion, Vulture). Or Chameleon who's a mercenary (i.e. international expensive thug), one tragic scientist (Lizard), scientist who become gangsters and thugs (Dr. Octopus), or Green Goblin who's a businessman and scientist. And you have Mysterio, a genius artist who also becomes a thug.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    There is no thematic variety or depth in Batman villains. Most of them are just varying levels of comic book "insane".
    That leads to the major problem with Spider-Man's villains. In Batman's case, all the villains feel connected to Gotham city, to Arkham Asylum, and a sense of institutional failure and urban decay. You have this sense of the city of Gotham as the main villain which many writers have put across. I am thinking of Neil Gaiman's Riddler story, "When is a man a city?"

    In the case of Spider-Man villains, almost none of them feel like New Yorkers or specifically New York villains. Most of Spider-Man's bad guys are thugs with tech, but the heart of technology in America isn't New York, it's Silicon Valley, or in the East Coast, MIT (Ultimate Shocker who Bendis made into a MIT tragic graduate up to his nose in student loans is one of the few times this was dealt with). New York is the heart of finance, the art world, politics, advertising. And of the lot Norman Osborn makes the most sense as a New York villain. Many have taken to treating him as a Trump analogue (except Osborn has chops as a scientist). Then you have Roderick Kingsley who is this failure of design. He's a fashion designer and merchandise savvy bad guy, and they made him another goblin. Since Spider-Man is a specifically New York hero, unlike FF, X-Men, Dr. Strange, Avengers who may live in the city but they battle threats of global, inter-dimensional, cosmic and mystic threats...that's a problem because his stories follow Peter and his supporting cast who live in a sort-of real sense and then Spider-Man fits there with Jameson, but then he fights Vulture or Sandman and it's suddenly some other genre.

    This comes strongly in Spider-Man PS4 which tries to create a New York sensibility and feeling with Peter, Miles and MJ being "on point". And for the first half, Martin Li/Mr. Negative, FEAST all fit. But then the Sinister Six arrive, and you have Vulture, Rhino, Scorpion, Electro and it feels like a incursion of characters from another setting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The whole point of Jameson is that he's not a villain. He's an embodiment of Peter's guilty conscience.

    He hasn't made Spider-Man's life any worse than Peter did himself. Peter ruined Spider-Man's life the day he let that burglar go, and Jameson running roughshod over him only externalizes his own guilt, that there was a time when he really was every bit the glory-seeking fame-obsessed hack that Jameson keeps accusing him to be. Peter also let his supporting cast live with a time bomb with Norman Osborn being let go and unrevealed by him. He did that even after the relapse in the drug issue. And thanks to that, Gwen Stacy died.

    And in practical terms, all Jameson did was unintentionally help in Scorpion becoming a villain, and also Spider-Slayer, both are fairly minor villains in the scheme of things.



    Spider-Man villains are mostly old dudes or older dudes. There is not one major villain who is the same age or generation as Peter Parker's. Whereas in the case of Batman/Joker, Superman/Lex, Reed/Doom, all of them are the same age or generation. Spider-Man's villains are designed or created to give the sense of the hero being the underdog, so they are shown as more experienced, and adults, and in the early stories the fun was that this teenager was punking these guys and feeding them lunch. Remember Green Goblin's first reaction on learning Peter's identity, more or less, "A kid, I've been fighting a kid". He convinced them he was older than he was. So Spider-Man's rogues are fairly streamlined.

    Spidey villains are generally thugs-with-tech or thugs-with-powers (Electro, Sandman, Rhino, Shocker, Scorpion, Vulture). Or Chameleon who's a mercenary (i.e. international expensive thug), one tragic scientist (Lizard), scientist who become gangsters and thugs (Dr. Octopus), or Green Goblin who's a businessman and scientist. And you have Mysterio, a genius artist who also becomes a thug.



    That leads to the major problem with Spider-Man's villains. In Batman's case, all the villains feel connected to Gotham city, to Arkham Asylum, and a sense of institutional failure and urban decay. You have this sense of the city of Gotham as the main villain which many writers have put across. I am thinking of Neil Gaiman's Riddler story, "When is a man a city?"

    In the case of Spider-Man villains, almost none of them feel like New Yorkers or specifically New York villains. Most of Spider-Man's bad guys are thugs with tech, but the heart of technology in America isn't New York, it's Silicon Valley, or in the East Coast, MIT (Ultimate Shocker who Bendis made into a MIT tragic graduate up to his nose in student loans is one of the few times this was dealt with). New York is the heart of finance, the art world, politics, advertising. And of the lot Norman Osborn makes the most sense as a New York villain. Many have taken to treating him as a Trump analogue (except Osborn has chops as a scientist). Then you have Roderick Kingsley who is this failure of design. He's a fashion designer and merchandise savvy bad guy, and they made him another goblin. Since Spider-Man is a specifically New York hero, unlike FF, X-Men, Dr. Strange, Avengers who may live in the city but they battle threats of global, inter-dimensional, cosmic and mystic threats...that's a problem because his stories follow Peter and his supporting cast who live in a sort-of real sense and then Spider-Man fits there with Jameson, but then he fights Vulture or Sandman and it's suddenly some other genre.

    This comes strongly in Spider-Man PS4 which tries to create a New York sensibility and feeling with Peter, Miles and MJ being "on point". And for the first half, Martin Li/Mr. Negative, FEAST all fit. But then the Sinister Six arrive, and you have Vulture, Rhino, Scorpion, Electro and it feels like a incursion of characters from another setting.
    Some of the guys you mentioned don't have technology based abilties. New York is a place where you meet all kinds of people and Spider-Man's enemies reflect that. The only thing Batman's villains reflect is that comic book writers' understanding of mental illness has never grown past the 60s. Also, you moved the goal posts since in the original post you sited the "variety" of Batman's villains as a strength which Spider-Man villains lacked. Now it's suddenly a problem for them?

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    If all of Spider-Man's villains are just "thugs with tech and powers," then they wouldn't have lasted as long as they have.

    (And, if someone does respond, I don't want an essay.)
    The Amazing, Spectacular, Sensational Web-Slinger!

  15. #90
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    I'm a fan of Venom even if admittedly he was sold as a villain more on visuals than character but he really came on his own. Ock and Norman are definitely big villains as is Kingpin. The rest may be bland in terms of character and relationship to Spider-Man but they are colorful and flashy with a variety of powers and easy to remember. I mean compare them to the b or c-list villains of any other rogues and you'll see so it gives them a leg up, ergo by no means the worst.

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