13. Max Dillon / Electro – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014), Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
“A world without power. A world without mercy. A world without Spider-Man. And everyone will be able to see me for who I truly am.”
A mild-mannered Oscorp engineer who falls into a vat of genetically modified electric eels, transforming him into a being of pure energy. Electro later returns in less blue, more confident form when Peter Parker inadvertently brings villains and alternate versions of Spider-Man from other dimensions to his universe.
Electro has good reason to be pissed. After a life of being invisible to everyone he meets and being forced to work late on his birthday to undertake a dangerous repair job entirely on his own, he becomes a powerful villain who is impossible to ignore because he’s bright glowing cyan. Like a lot of things in ASM2, Electro’s actual end goal is a little vague, both his appearances seeing him wanting to absorb more power from New York’s electrical grid…for reasons, but his beef with Spider-Man does seem very personal and based in equal parts envy and insecurity.
12. Dr Curt Connors / Lizard – The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
“We were going to change the lives of millions, including my own. Then it was over.”
A brilliant Oscorp scientist developing a regeneration serum that he recklessly tests on himself. The formula alters his DNA and he turns into reptilian monster the Lizard who plans to force the citizens of New York through the same transformation using a gas version of his formula. Connors returns in his lizard form along with Electro to cause mayhem when they are brought across to the MCU Spider-Man’s universe.
Spider-Man has the misfortune to see most of his mentor/father figures fall to the dark side, usually following a bad day at work and/or a freak accident in a lab. Dr Curt Connors is an expert on reptiles and is researching their regenerative abilities for gene-splicing medical application, testing his serum on himself to regrow his own missing arm with the view to improve the lives of millions of others, only becoming a genuine mad scientist when his animalistic side is brought out by his transformation. His evil master plan to turn all of New York into lizards to eliminate humanity’s evolutionary weaknesses is absolute hokum and his appearance deviating wildly from the comics never looked all that convincing, but he’s a formidable physical threat and one of the more tragic Spider-villains.
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11. Harry Osborn / New Goblin – Spider-Man 3 (2007)
“You knew this was coming, Pete!”
Peter Parker’s best friend driven to avenge his father Norman’s demise seemingly at the hands of Spider-Man. After discovering Peter’s secret identity and encouraged by an apparition of his late father, Harry takes the same strength-enhancing strum as the first Green Goblin and uses his advanced weaponry and gadgets to hunt Spider-Man down.
All this could have been avoided if Harry’s butler Bernard told him what he saw on the night of Norman’s death. But because he kept his mouth shut Harry becomes obsessed with killing Spider-Man, takes his father’s goblin formula and customises and further improves his deadly armoury to better do the job.
Unlike the Amazing Spider-Man 2 Harry, James Franco’s portrayal has a trilogy’s worth of history with Peter, chiefly their rivalry over Mary-Jane’s affections but perhaps more importantly Norman’s respect of Peter and his achievements over that of his own son. Having a ghostly apparition of his cold and distant dad driving his actions is particularly tragic when Harry realises all too late – as he gives his life fighting Venom and Sandman – how important his surrogate brother always was to him.