The Spider-Man Villains We Want To See In Phase 4 Of The MCU
Spider-Man: Far From Home is just around the corner, and bringing with it a mysterious (haha, get it?) take on the villain Mysterio. Is Jake Gyllenhaal's Quentin Beck a multiverse-traveling hero? A sham? Something else entirely? We have no idea yet--but the speculation has inspired us to start taking a deeper look into the weird, wild, and wonderful world of the Spider-Man villains who have yet to make their MCU debuts.
Peter Parker's enemies range from mentally disturbed scientists to tragic anti-heroes whose good intentions lead them down dark, irredeemable paths. Some are ridiculous, others are terrifying--but all of them provide unique, complicated challenges for our favorite web slinger. So, with that in mind, we've compiled a list of the 10 Spidey foes we'd most like to see get the live-action treatment at some point down the line. After all, Far From Home may be Mysterio's time to shine (or, you know, time to ruin everything--who can say?) but virtually anything could happen in Phase 4.
Aaron Davis, the Prowler of the Ultimate Universe, already exists in the MCU--he was played by Donald Glover back in Homecoming for a very brief cameo--so, really, there aren't many reasons not to bring him back in costume at some point down the line. Not only would he be a cool, already established villain to fold into the mix, but he'd also provide an easy in for Miles Morales to make his MCU debut--two big wins for the price of one!
9. Doc Ock
Arguably one of Peter's most famous villains, it's been a while since we've had a Doc Ock in live action--15 years, to be exact. Though the spirit of the good doctor has lived on since Spider-Man 2, most recently with a complete reimagining in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, and a featured role in the PS4 Spider-Man game. All of which is to say: People are very, very aware of Doc Ock when it comes to Spider-Man stories, for very good reason.
Not only does Otto Octavius represent a deeply personal and scientific challenge for Peter, his stories can also be twisted around and ramped up to be all about betrayal and the consequences for trusting people--a harsh lesson that a young Peter Parker like Tom Holland could probably stand to learn. It would be painful, to be sure, and emotionally traumatic, but hey, that's part of making it a good movie, right? Doc Ock would be right at home in the MCU, for sure.
8. Mr. Negative
A relatively new addition to the Marvel Universe, Mr. Negative's major break into the mainstream public eye came with the PS4 Spider-Man video game, where he serves as one of the major villains. This doesn't mean he was forgettable in the comics, by any means, but the interpretation of the character in the game quickly became the go-to for many fans, which is a great thing in terms of the MCU and adapting him for live action. Now that fans have some idea of just who and what Martin Li is, what his powers are, and why he does the things he does, Marvel Studios has a quick, handy point of reference to use to quickly establish him in a movie--the bullet points have all been covered in a way that works, so no need to fix what isn't broken.
Also, Li's connection to Aunt May and the Parker family's humanitarian efforts would provide an emotionally fraught storyline for Peter in the MCU, and a great way to really dive into some pretty important themes. Mr. Negative's focus on the duality of good and evil, of trying to find a balance between two completely contradictory things, often forces Peter to reflect upon himself and his dual identities--all while wrapping up his friends and family into the conflict to give it real stakes.
This one is less likely, given the very recent attempt to make Electro work in a movie back in the much-maligned Amazing Spider-Man 2 back in 2014 (sorry, Jamie Foxx). But that doesn't necessarily mean a version of Electro couldn't make the jump to the MCU proper somewhere down the line. As a member of the original Sinister Six, Electro is not only a classic Spider-Man foe, but one that could easily be adapted to fit the mold left by Michael Keaton's Vulture back in Homecoming. The idea of Peter continually having to grapple with enemies who are more or less the products of a superheroic world--in this case, former blue-collar workers who were transformed in some way by the efforts of teams like The Avengers--works really well for the character as he stands now.
Also, c'mon, don't we deserve a do-over after that whole 2014 debacle? Give Max a chance.
Sony may have proven that Venom can exist in a world without Spider-Man (thanks in part, no doubt, to Tom Hardy's total commitment to being as weird and wonderful as possible in the role), but a crossover would be welcome in the future. With Venom's popularity and fan recognition at an all-time high, it's difficult to see the downside of putting Hardy and Holland in at least one scene together--even if it's just a very brief cameo. The idea that Symbiotes do exist in the MCU provides all sorts of narrative avenues for future Spider-Man films to travel, even if Venom himself doesn't play a major, featured part.
(But we'd be totally cool if he did. Just saying.)
Sure, getting a man in a giant, anthropomorphic rhinoceros costume to actually read well and not look completely absurd in live action might be a challenge--but it's one we're confident the MCU's team of designers can overcome. In keeping with the "blue collar criminal" motif of both Vulture and Electro, Rhino would be a fantastic way to flesh out the proto-Sinister Six of the MCU, and a fun continuation of the animal theme Keaton kicked off.
Plus, who doesn't want to see Peter fight a giant rhinoceros man?
4. Green Goblin
The MCU has been playing fast and loose with a lot of Peter Parker's core supporting cast--and virtually all of it has paid off handsomely so far, but the omission of an Osborne family is still a pretty noticeable miss. By introducing either Harry or Norman, future Spider-Man movies could really play into the dynamic between Peter's friend groups and tell a poignant story about betrayal, insanity, and revenge.
Sure, Willem Dafoe's Norman may be near impossible to beat, but with some creative footwork and reworking of the Green Goblin origin story, a new face could step in and do something really interesting with the character.
The Ned Leeds we know in the MCU may be a completely different character next to his comic book counterpart, but we could see a cool (and totally devastating) villain turn for him at some point down the line. In the comics, Ned has a tragic story involving mind control and psychosis that leads him to transform into the maniacal Hobgoblin--which, sure, maybe that wouldn't work exactly given the MCU's context and the fact that both Peter and Ned are high school aged kids (who would try to mind control a high schooler anyway?) But there are still options. Even if it's just a brief, temporary shift, seeing Ned become a villain would be pretty fun.
2. Black Cat
Felicia Hardy may not be a villain in the traditional sense--she's much more an anti-hero than a bad guy, most of the time--but we're going to count her for this one anyway. A multifaceted femme fatal and source of all sorts of drama for Peter both in and out of costume, Felicia would be a supremely interesting addition to the MCU specifically because of her complicated, morally ambiguous nature. And, hey, by the looks of things in the Far From Home trailer, things between Peter and MJ are starting to actually go somewhere--she may even know who he is in his other life--so now would be an opportune time to introduce a new character into the mix who could potentially throw a wrench into that whole situation.
Kraven The Hunter sits in an interesting place in terms of Marvel's larger mythology--he's not quite an A-list villain, but he's definitely no slouch. He's not iconically famous, but he's well known. And, as the largest threat in one of the greatest Spider-Man stories of all time, Kraven's Last Hunt, he provides a unique challenge for Peter Parker, historically speaking.
Kraven The Hunter is--surprise--a hunter! In the supervillain sense, of course, meaning his focus is usually on The Most Dangerous Game-style prey--humans, superheroes, etc. Kraven's psychosis drives him to constantly test his own strength by stalking and killing more and more challenging targets--something that proves unfortunate when he's pitted against superheroes like Spider-Man, who, as a rule, don't tend to go down easily.
Kraven would make a truly unique addition to the MCU, not only for his strangely narrow and deeply personal (albeit totally crazy) motivations, but also for the way he tends to relate back to Peter as both a target and an equal. Kraven's obsession with Spider-Man is less born of hate or resentment and more desperation--he must defeat him, not for money or fame, but to establish his personal value and overcome his own demons.