A Strider92 Rant: Spider-man needs better female villains!

This dawned on me as I was sitting here and I was surprised by how badly it rubbed me the wrong way. Spider-man doesn't really have many prominent female villains.

The only one that ever posed a serious threat to him was the Queen. Even the Sinister Six was an all male team (apart from the recent one which had a female Beetle). He has had a few in the past like Stunner, Calypso and Menace but they are only minor threats and only stick around for a very short length of time. They also seem to be either killed off or just fade into obscurity. The rest if the women in his life are either friends, teammates or love interests.

Scorpion
Scorpia!? C'mon really? get your own name and costume!

I think its kind of strange that I can think of a LOT of major male Spider-man villains such as Electro, Doctor Octopus (well he's not exactly a villain now), Kraven, Venom, Carnage, Morlun and many more and yet the only female villain I can think of that posed enough of a threat is Shathra and to a lesser extent the Queen and they have both been killed off! Even if we look at his minor villains like Shocker level I still can't think of many. There was a female Scorpion once called Scorpia, Caroline Trainer who was briefly the Doc Ock , Ana Kravinoff (who seems to be Kaine's problem now rather than Spider-man's) and now a female Beetle. These are B listers at very best. The kind Spider-man when not playing around would most likely one-shot.

I'm not saying he needs to have a loads more but its getting tiresome just having members of the opposite sex as friends/love interests. Why can't we have a female villain who could be just as big a threat as Venom, Doc Ock or Kraven? I mean someone who is a top tier threat to the old web-head. Someone who makes you think the same thing as when Brock used to turn up as Venom. Whenever Brock-Venom turned up you knew Pete was gonna have a tough time and most likely get his ass kicked. I have never had that with any of Spider-man's female villains (aside from Shathra who i'll get to in a minute) even the Queen who is probably one the strongest female villains didn't inspire that kind of threat although she had a lot of potential......but I guess not now being dead and all. What it all comes down to is that most of his female villains are simply female copies of other ones and are thus living in the shadows of their male counter-parts. We've had a female Scorpion, Doc Ock, Kraven, Green Goblin, Venom and even a female Carnage. If we get a female Shocker I swear i'll punch someone. Is it too much to ask for an original creation!?

Wait? What!?
Oh Snap!

In my opinion they missed out on an opportunity with Shathra. For those of you who didn't read that arc it was discovered that Spider-man was a totem powered individual and Shathra was his opposite being the Spider-Wasp totem. A creature that feeds off spiders. Shathra was everything you need from a villain. She was cunning, brutal and single minded. In her first fight with Spider-man it was clear she was going to demolish him. Pete was then forced to retreat and rethink his options. Then Shathra did something I haven't seen many villains do. She went to the press and said that she was Spider-man's ex-lover and began saying awful things over all the TV stations about it. This of course prompted people like MJ and others who knew Peter was Spider-man to be hurt emotionally and question him.

Well this isn't going to be pretty!

This action threw Peter into a complete rage and he attacked her mid-interview. The resulting fight nearly demolished the city block. Spider-man was clearly angry enough not to hold back and Shathra took everything he had and kept going. She didn't just take Spider-man on physically but also hounded him personally as she knew his identity, turning his own family and friends on him. Not many villains have caused Spider-man this kind of problem. Not many people have made Spider-man angry enough for Pete to lose his Morals but she managed to do it! On his way to that fight Spider-man was seething with anger and perfectly prepared to rip her limb from limb and he proved that in his following fight. He was so angry he tore into her with everything he had even ignoring bystanders. This is the first time in ASM (that I remember) that a villain has pushed Spider-man to lash out with so much anger that he didn't even care about bystanders. Now that's a serious drop in morals. Shathra was a brilliant villain as she pushed Spider-man to the brink both physically and emotionally. In those 2 appearances she did more damage than most of Spider-man's enemies over a period of years.

Another thing I loved about Shathra was the fact that there was no sort of sexual tension simply because she was female. With villains such as Poison Ivy this is blatantly obvious. Shathra attacked with the kind of brutality and emotional devastation that rivaled Brock-Venom. There was no underlying agenda she just wanted Spider-man dead so she could feed him to her children and she was prepared to do anything to get it. She made an impact on him worthy of people like Doc Ock, Green Goblin etc... and what did Marvel do!? They killed her! 2 appearances and BAM dead. She followed the trend of all Spider-man's female villains brief appearance and faded into nothingness.

Out of complete interest when you comment on this page could you please say if you had or hadn't heard of Shathra or knew about her and what she did before this post? It does not matter if you have or have not i'm just curious.

Spider-man seems to be lacking a top tier female villain and hopefully someone will give one to him and not another friend, teammate or god forbid another love interest.

44 Comments
44 Comments
Posted by RogueJuggernaut

@Strider92:Dude you about forgot Shriek .

Posted by Strafe Prower

I've thought about this before as well. Good observation.

Edited by CrowJ

I skimmed through the post and saw no mention of Felicia. I mean, whilst she is not a Spider-Man villain anymore, I do want to mention her because she was originally a villain. I'm not sure I'd want to see her return to being a villain, but I kind of still like her on the opposite team to Spider-Man, whether she be in a light grey area of the moral spectrum as opposed to a dark one.

Posted by Strider92

@CrowJ said:

I skimmed through the post and saw no mention of Felicia. I mean, whilst she is not a Spider-Man villain anymore, I do want to mention her because she was originally a villain. I'm not sure I'd want to see her return to being a villain, but I kind of still like her on the opposite team to Spider-Man, whether she be in a light grey area of the moral spectrum as opposed to a dark one.

I don't consider Felicia a villain in the slightest. Heck she was on the defenders with Dr. Strange and other heroes last time I saw her. Before that she was on heroes for hire. Felicia is a love interest more than anything else.

Posted by Vance Astro

I don't know if he NEEDS better female villains. I think Daredevil & Wolverine took them all.

Moderator
Edited by Strider92

@Vance Astro said:

I don't know if he NEEDS better female villains. I think Daredevil & Wolverine took them all.

Name 3! :p

Posted by TheAcidSkull

@Strider92: GREAT BLOG!

jeez what happened to spider-man? he went nuts!

Posted by Vance Astro
@Strider92 said:

@Vance Astro said:

I don't know if he NEEDS better female villains. I think Daredevil & Wolverine took them all.

Name 3! :p

For each or in all?
Moderator
Posted by Strider92

@Vance Astro: I'll be nice and say overall. I'll give you bonus points if you can do 3 each lol!

@TheAcidSkull said:

jeez what happened to spider-man? he went nuts!

Yeah its kinda odd to see Spider-man saying things like "I want to tear her limbs off and beat her to death with them!" I think thats the only time Spider-man has been properly bloodlusted.

Posted by TheAcidSkull

@Strider92: yeah but what drove him nuts?

Edited by Strider92

@TheAcidSkull said:

@Strider92: yeah but what drove him nuts?

Shathra saying things on TV. Its in the 1st set of scans called "You know this means war right?". He saw how it was hurting MJ and his family and it pushed him over the edge.

Posted by pulseangel666

@Strider92: I agree with you Strider92, spidey could use more female villians. One of the more recent is screwball, and from what I have heard she is going to return in SSM

Posted by Vance Astro
@Strider92 said:

@Vance Astro: I'll be nice and say overall. I'll give you bonus points if you can do 3 each lol!

Daredevil 
1.Lady Bullseye 
2.Typhoid Mary 
3.Insomnia 
 
Wolverine 
1.Lady Deathstrike 
2.Emmy Doolin
3.Lady Gorgon
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Posted by PunyParker

Dude.....every topic you open ,is top notch!....seriously

Posted by Strider92

@Vance Astro said:

@Strider92 said:

@Vance Astro: I'll be nice and say overall. I'll give you bonus points if you can do 3 each lol!

Daredevil 1.Lady Bullseye 2.Typhoid Mary 3.Insomnia Wolverine 1.Lady Deathstrike 2.Emmy Doolin3.Lady Gorgon

Oh snap I misunderstood what you were sayingI thought you ment Daredevil and Wolverine had taken Spider-man's female villains as a joke on how Black Cat has hooked up with them both. I was thinking "What female Spider-man villains are now DD and Wolverine ones?". Kudos on the list though I wouldn't have thought of them. Never heard of Emmy Doolin, Lady Gorgon or Insomnia.

Posted by Strider92

@PunyParker said:

Dude.....every topic you open ,is top notch!....seriously

Why thank you :)

Edited by Vance Astro
@Strider92 said:

Oh snap I misunderstood what you were sayingI thought you ment Daredevil and Wolverine had taken Spider-man's female villains as a joke on how Black Cat has hooked up with them both. I was thinking "What female Spider-man villains are now DD and Wolverine ones?".

Nah, DD fights alot of Spider-Man's villains but almost never the ones that are female. Spider-Man doesn't have alot of them but I realize that most of the time when a character gets a female villain it's usually a jealous of cray girlfriend. Echo & Elektra started out as DD villains but they were also his love interests for a while. It's the same kind of dynamic with Spider-Man & Black Cat, she was his love interest and then she became a criminal he had to stop and now she's kind of an anti-hero. I don't think Marvel can sacrifice any more relationships for villainy.  
 
I agree with you that Spider-Man should have new female villains but I think Marvel thinks like Capcom in the sense that they don't want female characters getting beat down by male characters unless the hero is female and the villain is male because some people nitpick and look for things in comics to whine about, so the idea is "sure a male character is hitting a woman, but she wins in the end" The reason I use Capcom as reference is because they have a character in their Final Fight games called "Poison Kiss" and they thought that people would take issue with a beat'em up game where you can hit a female character so they made her a transsexual so that you are technically still hitting a man and in some versions of the game they removed her and her alternate "Roxy" altogether. That's why I think they make some of those female villains, "good" in some capacity.  Female villains are mostly always easily swayed to the other side. 
 
@Strider92 said:

 Kudos on the list though I wouldn't have thought of them. Never heard of Emmy Doolin, Lady Gorgon or Insomnia.

Well I'm sure you would have never heard of Insominia, she appeared for maybe one issue of Daredevil Vol.1. Emmy Doolin anr e Lady Gorgon are fairly new villains for Wolverine. Doolin had been around for quite some time I believe but she wasn't technically an enemy of Wolverine until recently.
Moderator
Posted by Strider92

@Vance Astro: I guess sometimes people may nitpick about a man hitting a woman but thats what character developmental is for. If a man is hitting a woman with no back-story then yeah I can see why people may get picky however if this woman has a back-story as a raging psychopathic murdering piece of crap I don't see why the character should be treated any different than a male one.

Posted by Vance Astro
@Strider92 said:

@Vance Astro: I guess sometimes people may nitpick about a man hitting a woman but thats what character developmental is for. If a man is hitting a woman with no back-story then yeah I can see why people may get picky however if this woman has a back-story as a raging psychopathic murdering piece of crap I don't see why the character should be treated any different than a male one.

Very true, but you know how it is with forms of entertainment. It's the same thing with character of other races. Spider-Man has black villains, he has asian villains, he has some hispanic villains but Marvel would rather all the villains be white. They would rather hear.."you don't have enough minority villains" then "you think all minorities" are criminals. It would be totally realistic if most of Spider-Man's villains were black or hispanic whether male or female because he patrols the roughest parts of NYC and those places are predominantly inhabited by minorities, but I think Marvel just doesn't want to deal with that reality.
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Posted by JimTheSurfer

You forgot Delilah. She wasn't real match for Spidey, but at least could make some interesting fights. Btw, where is Spidey's fight with Shatra from?

Edited by Strider92

@Vance Astro: Yeah I guess the double standard thing is quite hard to bypass. With regards to the minorities argument I don't think most the crimes he stops should perpetrated by them even though to a certain extent you are right about that being realistic however forgoing that entirely is entirely stupid. There are good people and bad people in all of society and staying away from one simply because you think you'll be accused that you think they are all criminals is stupid too. From my point of view if they did print a story involving someone of anything other than caucasian descent and someone accused them of favorizing them as criminals its not the company who has the problem its the person accusing them as they're are the ones suggesting it thus they must be thinking it.

@JimTheSurfer: Nah Delilah wasn't a match. Pete's first fight with Shathra was in ASM 487 Shathra his second which was posted up there was in 488.

Posted by RogueJuggernaut

@Strider92: You forgot about Shriek.

Posted by Strider92

@RogueJuggernaut said:

@Strider92: You forgot about Shriek.

Still not a top tier villain. She's never posed a threat on her own. Spider-man beat her down easily when Aunt May was in hospital.

Posted by InfinityAce

.... She wanted to feed spiderman to her children... Did that apply to all spidermen or Pete specially? Shame she was killed off so easy.

Posted by Crom-Cruach

@Strider92: I agree but better female villains is just one of the many things spidey needs.

Posted by consolemaster001

@Strider92: I agree! Also bloodlusted spiderman is a badass.

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Posted by Vance Astro

I thought Ana & Sasha Kraven were decent female villains for Spider-Man. 

Moderator
Posted by Strider92

@InfinityAce said:

.... She wanted to feed spiderman to her children... Did that apply to all spidermen or Pete specially? Shame she was killed off so easy.

Ermm I believe it would have been anyone bearing the Spider-Totem but there aren't many people aside from Pete that have it.

@Vance Astro said:

I thought Ana & Sasha Kraven were decent female villains for Spider-Man.

They were good however neither of them stand much of a chance against Pete in a 1v1 scenario not to mention Sasha is dead (surprise, surprise) and Ana seems to be Kaine's problem now.

Posted by TheAcidSkull

@Strider92: yeah but anna hasn't appeared ever since , i think yost forgot about her XD

Posted by Strider92

@TheAcidSkull: Well something about the "Other" popping up the next issue. Maybe the Kravens have something to do with that?

Posted by TheAcidSkull

@Strider92 said:

@TheAcidSkull: Well something about the "Other" popping up the next issue. Maybe the Kravens have something to do with that?

as long as Kraven gets is butt handed to him by kaine, i am set.

Posted by GundamHeavyarms

I do remember shathra, and all those scans just remind me how much I miss Pete. I know he'll be back, and they'res back stuff to read, but its kind of ugh.

Pete could use better female villians. I know that there was a female venom, but they killed her off.

Posted by Vance Astro
@Strider92 said:

@Vance Astro said:

I thought Ana & Sasha Kraven were decent female villains for Spider-Man.

They were good however neither of them stand much of a chance against Pete in a 1v1 scenario not to mention Sasha is dead (surprise, surprise) and Ana seems to be Kaine's problem now.

Ana was a better villains for Arana\Spider-Girl but I knew the second it came out Marvel wasn't going to be able to keep it running.
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Posted by Phaedrusgr

@Strider92: He's right you know. I always enjoy your writing, even if I disagree sometimes. You da man.

Posted by Decoy Elite

Actually for a long while Spider-Man didn't have many female villains because Marvel editorial felt that woman couldn't come off as a real physical threat for Spider-Man. Ever since he's been in a rut where any female villain introduced isn't likely to stay.

Posted by Moonchilde

@Vance Astro said:

@Strider92 said:

@Vance Astro: I'll be nice and say overall. I'll give you bonus points if you can do 3 each lol!

Daredevil 1.Lady Bullseye 2.Typhoid Mary 3.Insomnia Wolverine 1.Lady Deathstrike 2.Emmy Doolin3.Lady Gorgon

I think the fact that two of the ones you named are just female versions of popular male villains only further illustrates the problem. Just making a female version of a male character is kindof lazy imo. Plus, even if said character ends up becoming popular, they will always live in the shadow of their male counterpart.

That said. I probably would've counted Viper and Mystique for Wolverine.

Posted by Vance Astro
@Moonchilde said:

I think the fact that two of the ones you named are just female versions of popular male villains only further illustrates the problem. Just making a female version of a male character is kindof lazy imo. Plus, even if said character ends up becoming popular, they will always live in the shadow of their male counterpart.

I don't think that's the problem at all. I think the problem is that most female villains are pushovers and pose no real threat to the hero. Lady Bullseye & Lady Gorgon aren't much like their male counterparts, but they will never be popular because neither has a chance of actually taking the hero down. Creating characters like Lady Bullseye & Lady Gorgon as far as i'm concerned is no lazier than taking an idea from a pre-existing character and then making it your own which in the case of characters like Daredevil & Spider-Man is how most of their villains came to be. Their rogue gallery basically mimics that of Batman's. As far as a credible and popular villain goes, it's all what you do with the idea that makes it interesting and worth reading about not the idea of the villain itself. 
 
@Moonchilde said:

That said. I probably would've counted Viper and Mystique for Wolverine.

I didn't use them because Viper is barely a villain and she is enemy to tons of heroes and I didn't use Mystique because she is ALSO barely a villain and she is an enemy of several different characters including Ms.Marvel.
Moderator
Posted by Strider92

@Vance Astro said:

I think the problem is that most female villains are pushovers and pose no real threat to the hero.

Exactly and it isn't that it can't be fixed. Shathra proved that it can but for some reason no-one seems interesting in fixing the problem.

Posted by Chaos Prime

Bout time Marvel came up with a female villian team to face Spidey? The triple A`s :) Aftershock, Agony & Akasha.

Posted by VeganDiet

I know she was a total product of the 90's, but I rather liked Delilah.

Posted by saiyan_earthling

Gotta agree on this one.

Edited by ngroove

White Rabbit - not much a physical threat - but c'mon, she's upped herself in high volume of appearances over the past several years, maniacal intent, and being a non-sexual tension (non Catwoman, Poison Ivy, or Black Cat) female - despite still lookin' SMOKIN'!

Posted by Lvenger

Damn you're right. Aside from the Queen, Spider-Man doesn't have any top tier female villains. A lot of wasted potential for female threats. From the way you describe her, Shathra sounded like she'd make a formidable female nemesis for Spider-Man.

Posted by Strider92

@Lvenger: Yeah Shathra was beast. Just read the last set of scans Spider-man goes apeshit and tries to kill her and she doesn't even bat and eyelid.