10. Dr Jonathan Ohnn / The Spot – Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023)
“Cause of you, I lost my job, my life, my face! My family won’t even look at me! I made you into a hero. You made me into this!”
Do you remember the background scientist Peter B Parker and Miles Morales hit with a bagel in Doc Ock’s Alchemax lab in the first Spider-Verse? Probably not, but that was Dr Jonathan Ohnn and when he was trapped in the supercollider room when it was blown up by Miles he gained matter transportation powers via the black spots now covering his body. Convinced that Spider-Man just became his arch-nemesis, Ohnn begins tearing the multiverse apart.
Yes, he’s another mad scientist given uncanny powers in a freak accident. The Spot starts off as a joke “villain of the week” botching a bodega robbery and doing as much harm to himself as to Spider-Man with his portals. He may look silly, but he soon gets the hang of his powers and then some, hopping between dimensions at will and setting off a collider in each new reality to increase his power level. What he ultimately plans to do with all that power remains to be seen and this placement might well change after Beyond the Spider-Verse.
9. Aaron Davis / Prowler – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
“I wanted you to look up to me. I let you down, man, I let you down.”
Miles Morales’ supportive but morally iffy uncle who dons a powered super suit as a mercenary working for Kingpin, The Prowler.
The Prowler doesn’t get a whole lot of screentime in Spider-Verse, but when he is on he makes a real impact. Everything from his look – part Black Panther, part Batman – to the electronic whirring of his armour that accompanies his lightning-fast movements and his silent, threatening presence makes him memorable.
While making a tidy sum on the side working as an enforcer for Kingpin, Miles’ uncle Aaron proves to be a formidable opponent fighting an inexperienced teen Spider-Man. He sees the light when he realises he’s locked in moral combat with his nephew and stays his hand, paying for it with his life, but one of Miles’ first foes being his favourite relative, going from throwing up graffiti tags with him to trying to kill him, has still got to sting.
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8. Adrian Toomes / Vulture – Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
“I want you to understand. And… I needed a little time to get her airborne.”
A self-made man and salvager turned arms dealer who uses alien technology to improve his lot in life by stealing from the Avengers. Last seen crossing over into Morbius’ post-credit scene…
Spider-Man fights surprisingly few working-class villains, but Adrian Toomes, also the father of Peter’s crush and prom date Liz, fits the bill. Equally menacing just taking to Peter sitting in his car as he is blasting at him from the air in his aerial harness, the old adage that heroes and villains “aren’t so different” is actually true here – both had a similar start in life but use technology to achieve very different ends. It’s an ideological and moral clash as much as one of superpowers vs technology: Peter would never misuse his gifts to make his life any easier, but Adrian uses any tool at his disposal to make his life more comfortable.
7. Dr Olivia Octavius / Doctor Octopus – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
“My friends actually call me Liv. My enemies call me Doc Ock.”
A mad scientist with four advanced tentacles who acts as Kingpin’s scientific adviser in his efforts to tear open a portal to another universe.
The surprise reveal that the mousy scientist gently interrogating Peter B Parker is actually this universe’s Dock Ock still makes your pulse beat that bit faster even when you know it’s coming. A scientific prodigy with a benign public facing persona to hide her evil genius experiments, Liv can create anything her employer Kingpin requires, moving and fighting with a quartet of plastic tentacles that inflate, stretch and retract, and look like they could double up for use in surgery. Easily one of Spider-Man’s smartest and deadliest adversaries voiced with clear relish by Kathryn Hahn.
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