By spidermonkey2099 0 Comments
So, I was trying to decide who Spider-Man's arch-villain is, and I think most people would say it's Green Goblin, but I've also heard people say that it's Venom, Kingpin, or Doctor Octopus, and, honestly, I think there are good arguments for each of those villains. I think the reason for that is that Spider-Man's arch-villain has changed a few times over the years.
It seems to me that Doctor Octopus started out as his arch-villain for a couple of years until 1964 when the Green Goblin was introduced. Then the Norman Osborn incarnation dies in a fight with Spidey after the death of Gwen Stacy in 1973. After that, the title of arch-villain would have had to switch to someone else, and, from what I know of that era, I would say that title went to the Kingpin. Though Harry Osborn's turn as the Green Goblin started sometime soon after Norman's death (Wikipedia says 1974), I think he was only the Green Goblin off and on, so I'm not sure that he stayed the Goblin consistently enough to be considered an arch-villain. I know his last stint (at least I think it was his last stint) as the Green Goblin was in 1992, but I am relatively sure that he didn't stay the Goblin throughout all of 1974-1992 (in fact, I know he didn't, because he stopped long enough to start a family with Liz...). So yeah, I think I'd say Kingpin was Spidey's arch-nemesis through most of the 1970s and 80s. I don't really know any specific storylines to cite from that time period, but it seems like I've heard that both Spidey and Daredevil spent a lot of their time going after the Kingpin (or vice versa) during that period.
After that, it seems like the title stayed with the Kingpin until the Venom symbiote bonded with Eddie Brock in 1988, and then Eddie would have stayed the arch-villain throughout most of the 90s. Then Norman Osborn is resurrected sometime in the late 90s or early 2000s, and I think it pretty much shifts back to him being Spidey's arch villain for a while. After that point, I'd say it gets a little muddled, because Norman Osborn then seems to have become more of an Avengers villain than a Spider-Man villain (though it's still clear that the two hate each other and are awesome adversaries). And most recently, during Dan Slott's run anyway, I'd say it's pretty clear that Doctor Octopus is Peter Parker/Spidey's arch-villain again (though I don't know who the Doc Ock/Superior Spider-Man's arch-villain would be as I haven't had a chance to read that yet).
So just as a recap, I'd say Doc Ock started out as the arch-villain for the first year or two, then Norman Osborn until his death, then the Kingpin in the 70s and 80s, Venom throughout most of the 90s, then Norman Osborn again, and finally, Doc Ock again.
I would also like to point out that it seems like the Spider-Man animated series from the 90s seems to portray Kingpin as being Spidey's arch-villain throughout most of it's run, with Green Goblin (both the Norman and Harry incarnations) only showing up briefly (though with very significant episodes) throughout the show's five year run. Because of that, before I started reading the comics, I had always thought of Kingpin as Spidey's arch-villain (with Venom perhaps being a close second for that title)... but then of course I read the comics. Anyway, just thought I'd share my thoughts on that subject. Let me know if you agree or disagree with anything or all of what I said!