Spider-Man: No Way Home is currently the biggest movie out on the market today. The latest Tom Holland vehicle has amassed over $1 billion in box office totals and the approval rating from critics and fans is at an all-time high. There’s no denying that it’s a great film, with one of the reasons being the return of several big villains of the franchise’s past. However, which villain stands out as the best in the latest Spidey flick? This list will rank the Spider-Man: No Way Home villains from worst to best.
The Lizard/Dr. Curt Connors
Making his live-action debut in The first Amazing Spider-Man, Dr. Curt Connors was a brilliant geneticist who worked for Oscorp, looking to perfect the right serum to provide regeneration for those who lost limbs, but the medicine actually transforms him into a monstrous human-reptile hybrid. The lizard wasn’t exactly the most memorable villain in the Spider-Man filmography, but he was far from the worst as his ideology regarding humans is pretty good. However, in Spider-Man: No Way Home, the lizard was essentially a warm body needed for the chaos and mayhem. He doesn’t have a story and Connors is given little to no attention. Unfortunately, Spider-Man: No Way Home couldn’t focus their attention on all of their villains and Connors ends up being on the short end of the stick. It’s cool that he got back to being human by the end of the film, but his time during the Tom Holland vehicle was easily the most forgettable due to the fact that he has no plot or character development.
Sandman made his live-action debut in the decisive Spider-Man 3 and was more so a sympathetic figure. Sure, he’s a criminal, but only because he was trying to afford the care needed for his cancer-stricken daughter. Tying Sandman to the death of Uncle Ben in the original Sam Raimi trilogy felt a bit forced and while he wasn’t nearly as bad as Venom, Sandman ultimately ended up being a forgettable villain as well. In No Way Home, he’s treated a bit better than Dr. Connors, but his act is more so one-dimensional in the Marvel film. Like Connors, he doesn’t get any sort of plot or development, though we do understand his mindset and motivation more than the lizard. Sandman is just another warm body as well. Take out both Sandman and the lizard and the film barely changes. This isn’t a shot at Thomas Haden Church and Rhys Ifans as they’re both talented actors, but they’re given little to do here.
The former electrical engineer at Oscorp (Take note: Oscorp is evil) made his debut as the main antagonist of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 after falling into a batch of electric eels, turning him into an electric generator. In concept, Electro wasn’t a bad villain and Jamie Foxx was solid in his role, but he’s cast more in the disappointing realm when comes to Spidey villains. Surprisingly, Electro is given some depth within the film and the filmmakers thankfully got rid of the blue version of the villain. I’m happy that they addressed why he looks so different that his Amazing Spider-Man counterpart, and the growth that character goes through makes up for the lackluster villain in the Andrew Garfield series. Electro may have not stolen the show like Doc Ock or Green Goblin, but his character was given a nice arc that allowed Foxx to showcase that he was the right man chosen for the supervillain role.
Dr. Otto Octavius/Doc Ock
Dr. Otto Octavius made his debut in Spider-Man 2, which is considered one of the best (if not the best) Spider-Man films in the entire catalog. More of a sympathetic villain, Octavius was under the control of his mechanical tenacles and became obsessed with completing his experiment, at any cost. Doc Ock was given some incredible depth within the Sam Rami feature that allowed his character to develop into such a strong villain. The return of Doc Ock was a joy to see as the villain came in strong with a battle against Spider-Man. However, once again, more layers were added to his characters that allowed him to naturally grow and it was great to see Doc Ock fighting alongside the three Spider-Men in the end. He may have not had the strongest arc amongst the villains, but he still managed to leave an unforgettable impression.
Norman Osborn/Green Goblin
Green Goblin made his Spider-Man debut in the very first live-action film and just like the popular villain helped get the franchise off to a strong start, Norman Osborn/Green Goblin easily stole the show. Goblin felt like he had true purpose in Spider-Man: No Way Home and his arc was handled with a surprising amount of depth. Jon Watts managed to add layers to the Marvel villain that expanded on the character and made him such a fascinating watch. Of course, Willem Dafoe remains at top form, chewing up every moment that he’s allowed to let his true villain colors show. The biggest crime is that Goblin was forced to share screentime with a crowded field, thus not allowing audiences to get more screen time with the murderous psycho. Still, his plot is the glue that holds Spider-Man: No Way Home together on the villain side, and the sweet ending of him finally being cured was a great send-off for the character. Norman is still a sympathetic figure and both Raimi and Watts had done such a great job of highlighting his dual personality. A strong return for the Marvel villain.
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