By Strider92 44 Comments
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.
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!?
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.
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.