I still haven’t figured out if it’s “super villain” or “supervillain.”
In my quest to let everyone know how lame I am, my quest to get a list of my top ten favorite super villains continues with this the second (and final) part of the honorable mentions from my list.
Growing up, there was one villain that I always thought was Spider-Man’s true arch nemesis. More than anyone else in Spidey’s rogues gallery, this guy just seemed the natural foil to all of Spider-Man’s antics. I’m referring to the multi-armed menace known as Doctor Octopus.
Doctor Octopus, or Doc Ock as Stan Lee so affectionately called him, was one of several villains that Spider-Man faced over the years that took his name from a member of the Animal Kingdom. A brilliant scientist who was ridiculed because of his use of his mechanical arms before an accident fused them permanently to his body became a foe who, due to his multiple limbs was able to keep Spider-Man at bay time and time again. Years after it was established that Doctor Octopus was a menace to be reckoned with, he began a rather awkward relationship with May Parker. This, of course, freaked Peter out to no end, and I still don’t quite understand how whole thing happened.
As I said previously, I always saw Doc Ock as Spider-Man’s arch-enemy. I guess it’s because I believed more his ability to take Spider-Man in a fight. He didn’t have super strength, or any other amazing powers or abilities, but how many times did we see Spider-Man tangled up in those arms.
In the nineties came my favorite incarnation of the good Doctor. The suit-wearing, cigar smoking orchestrator of the reunion of The Sinister Six was an outstanding and more menacing than ever take on Doc Ock. In fact, one of my favorite Doc Ock moments came in the second reunion of the Sinister Six in the pages of Spider-Man (Not Amazing, Spectacular, or Web of…just Spider-Man). In it he threatened the family that Sandman lived with to gain Sandman’s help in his dastardly plot. When Sandman finally stood up to Doc Ock, he pulled out a ray gun and used it to turn Sandman to glass, as he did so he referenced an encounter the Sandman had with The Hulk YEARS before. I had the obscure comic so it was neat to see it used in what was then a modern day context.
I also always liked the visuals of Doc Ock’s arms and the different things he could do with them, from standing above everyone, to fighting, to lighting a cigar, he’s just a visually fun, exciting villain to challenge Spidey with.
Next in my honorable mentions list is another villain from Spider-Man’s rogues gallery. (Actually, I like a LOT of Spider-Man’s rogues.) My favorite types of villains are the ones that are almost the exact opposites of our heroes. The darker versions of the good guys. It’s a little more interesting when someone comes along that is a twisted version of a villain. The only time I’ve seen this done is with a guy that calls himself THE HOBGOBLIN.
The Hobgoblin came about as a huge mystery in the Amazing Spider-Man title. Roger Stern laid out clue after clue and red herring after red herring. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think that Stern ever actually got to give the answer to the mystery he set up. The Hobgoblin was really nothing more than a cheap knock off of the original Green Goblin, or so it would seem. Then, during the Inferno storyline Hobgoblin was changed into a demonic looking being and was driven crazy by the experience. He only got scarier in each appearance following his change.
I can’t really put a finger on why I like the Hobgoblin. I really like the concept. I enjoy the twist of him actually becoming a goblin. I like the fact that though Spider-Man knows how to face a goblin now, Hobgoblin is still a threat. (or is he dead?)(Should have done my research.)(Give me a minute here…..reading…studying…fact-checking)(Oh…come to find out…Roger Stern DID finish up the mystery….13 YEARS LATER…I missed that.)(WOW!!! That’s really messed up.)
You know what, I liked the whole transformation into an actual goblin, and the fact that it was someone stealing the idea of the original Green Goblin and running with it.
Before Ned Leeds, or Roderick Kingsley, or whoever else tried to mount the glider, there was Norman Osborn. Norman was/is a crazy cuss. Osborn attempted to create a serum based on the formula of a former associate at Oscorp unsuccessfully. The serum blew up in his face, giving him greater strength, intelligence, and making him insane. He adopted the persona of the next villain on our list…THE GREEN GOBLIN.
Many would argue that The Green Goblin is Spider-Man’s ultimate arch-enemy. I totally see that. He killed Peter Parker’s girlfriend. Everytime he’s come back to life, he’s made it his goal to make Spider-Man’s life a living hell, apparently just for the fun of it.
I think that’s what makes me like him. The Green Goblin’s not out to rule the world, or take over New York’s mob. He’s just crazy. He hates Spider-Man. He’s just nuts. That can be scary. It can be fun. It can make for some great stories, and while he doesn’t make my top ten proper, he only JUST missed it.
Ok…confession time. I like the goblins, green and hob, because they are colorgul villains.
Finally, we come down to the last of the honorable mentions. There is a villain that is so narcissistic, so egotistical, so….bound and determined to make sure that everyone knows he has committed a crime that he never really gets away with it. He wears bright green in a world of dark colors. His symbol is a punctuation mark. He’s the villain that so many people on the internet are clamoring to see in the sequel to The Dark Knight. He is, of course, The Riddler.
I love The Riddler. I like the fact that he is so stuck on himself and so hellbent on outsmarting the Caped Crusader that he gives himself away everytime. He’s a bit crazy, but so calculating at the same time.
If well-written, the Riddler is a fantastic counter to Batman’s detective skills. In fact, at the time of this posting, The Riddler has apparently gone straight and is making a living as a private detective in Gotham City. Of course, none of bat-family trust him, and as a reader, I have to agree with them. I am waiting for that return to the dark side. (Granted that’s happening a bit in Trinity right now.)(For my thoughts on that title and using parentheses too much in a blog post, listen to future episodes of Geek Out Loud.)
From the comics, to cartoons, to Frank Gorshin to Jim Carrey, and even to John Glover, I have always enjoyed the Riddler, and seen him as a force to be reckoned with by Batman and his Bat-family.
He may not be strong, or a ninja-trained fighter, or even a former acrobat, but his brain and calculated schemes always give the Dynamic Duo and friends a run for their money and makes for a fun story.
So, The Riddler brings us to the end of the honorable mentions. I wanted to mention people like Rhino, Sandman,Venom,(that would have been too many Spidey villains though) Mxyzptlk (For a correct pronunciation watch this.) Hush, Metallo, Annihilus, Apocalypse, Mister Sinister, and others, but there’s only so much space on the web. The official top ten starts soon. Get ready to tell me how wrong I am.