Point Culture : les ennemis de Spider-man
Hello, everybody, and welcome to this installment of “Point Culture”! I may have already told you, Spider-Man is my favorite superhero. And as with all superheroes, his story is extraordinarily “complext” and very [Ideal start, as always]
“complext”, yes “complext”! And, of course, the character has evolved tremendously over more than 50 years of existence. In order to talk about this evolution, we’ll do what we always do: talk about the bad guys, since Spider-
Man, like other superheroes, is fighting the same bad guys today that he fought in the 60s, which goes to show that he is very VERY bad at his job! Firstly, a few tiny details for the illumination of those who are not familiar with Spider-Man, or with the Marvel universe more generally. In this universe, there exist many continuities, many realities, each with a numerical designation. For example, the Marvel cinematic universe takes place on Earth-199,999. This continuity has its own films, TV series, and comics. The continuity where the Marvel characters are made of LEGO is EARTH-13,122. There is a reality where all the superheroes have turned into zombies, one where Gwen Stacy became Spider-Girl, and one certain reality, Earth-12,018, where all the superheroes are merely comic book characters. You guessed it, that’s our reality. Anyhow, there is an enormous number of universes, and as many versions of each Marvel character as there are universes. But for this video, I will restrict myself entirely to the original Marvel continuity: Earth-616. Secondly, the story of Spider-Man unfolds mainly through narrative arcs of varying length that are referred to by title. For example, if I tell you that a particular character comes back to life during the “Clone Conspiracy”, or that a particular story takes place after the events of “One More Day”, it may not mean anything to you right now, but I will explain everything in due course. Number 20 It is only logical to begin this “Point Culture” with the first adversary to ever face Spider-Man: CRUSHER!!! OKAY!!!!! What say that we start instead with the first adversary to face Spider-Man in the comic book series “The Amazing Spider-Man”: The Chameleon Dmitri Smerdyakov started out with no powers, he was merely a master of disguise. Then he attached an electronic device to his belt that let him change his face with a single click by way of holographic projection. And when I say face, I mean face, figure, height, gait, clothes, sex, etc. Hey there, hold on a moment. I can tell that you’ve started thinking about how it works. We’re talking comics here. Stop thinking. Stop. It makes no sense. They’re comics. Later, he injected himself with a serum so that his face could change on its own, though still with the help of his super-belt. Fine, it’s true. Chameleon is a lame villain. This must be said. He’s basically Voldemort with the powers of Arturo Brachetti… …and a magic belt. It’s a shame, because with his powers he might have some exciting narrative arcs, but he is remembered mainly for 4 things: 1) He’s the first bad guy Spider-Man ever faced. 2) He created robots in the image of Peter Parker’s dead parents in order to get at Spider-Man. That would be Grade A if it hadn’t been the plan of the Green Goblin, making Chameleon a mere pawn. 3) For a time, he took on the appearance of Peter Parker in order to kill his aunt May… She caught on to him and fed him pie laced with sleeping pills, allowing the police to catch him. *ahem* He’s a supervillain – an international spy, I might add – who was defeated by Aunt May… with a pie.
Ookie:It was cookies! That earns him… …a certain amount of respect. 4) He told Spider-Man he loved him, Peter laughed, and Dmitri committed suicide. That is SO EMBARRASSING! Number 19: Maxwell Dillon, better known as Electro. One day, Max got hit by lightning and BAM he turned into Pikachu. That’s not what happens in real life, children. If you get hit by lightning, you actually turn into roast meat! Anyway, the different types of baddie in Spider-Man are: the criminal masterminds, the brains, who typically work for the criminal masterminds, and the brawn, who work for the other two types. Electro belongs to the latter category. Despite being one of Spider-Man’s regular adversaries since ’63, Electro has never really had the chance to shine… *LOL* …since he often acts at the direction of guys smarter than he, usually as part of a team. Notably, he is the most permanent member of the Sinister Six, a group of bad guys that has come together several times to defeat Spider-Man. Voilà. Out of the ten times the group has formed, Electro is the only one to have been in it seven times. “WAIT,” you say, since you just can’t stop interrupting me, “How can it be that in the last iteration of the Sinister Six Electro seems to have acquired what might be called significant boobage?” That’s because it’s not Maxwell Dillon! This allows me to introduce an important element of this video, one that can be off-putting if you’re not familiar with the world of comic books: Secret identities and civil identities get tossed around. From 1963 to 2016, Electro was Maxwell Dillon, and from October 2016 on, Electro is Francine Frye. That one example, there are many others. Number 18 Mister Negative Negative, NEGATIVALAVIVE He might be the only supervillain in this top 20 that you have never heard of if you only follow Spider-Man from afar, or if you stopped following it more than a few years ago. Martin Li embodies four of the grand themes of Spider-Man bad guys: On one hand, like Hammerhead or Kingpin he’s a mafioso who wants to control the Chinatown Maggia. On the other hand, he’s a character with a dual identity, like Green Goblin or the Lizard – the kind Martin Li and the evil Mister Negalaltivlaltive – and his two personalities are entirely separate. While his dark side rules the Maggia with an iron fist, his light side orchestrates FEAST (F.E.A.S.T.) a popular soup with strange healing properties. They should really have a slogan: Lost your job? Out on the street? Feel a little more human with FEAST. Anyway, thirdly, he got his powers in a scientific experiment gone wrong, like Sandman or Rhino. As it happens, it was the same one that gave powers to Tyrone Johnson and Tandy Bowen, the two heroes known as Cloak and Dagger. Fourthly, like Morbius or Spot, his powers are partly supernatural, deriving from Darkforce and Lightforce, two elements/materials in total opposition, one which destroys, one which heals. And so, while Martin Li became a politician to help the least fortunate, at the same time, unknowingly, he was the boss of the Chinese Maggia, and he even managed to corrupt Spider-Man’s soul and make Spider-Man work for him. Yes, because his Darkforce as Mister Negvalagalavanagala- lets him bend anyone who touches him to his will, and the more good the person, the more diabolical the person becomes. And as Martin Li, his Lightforce allows him to heal people by touching them. In an aging collection of bad guys, Mister Negative is a new face to look out for. Number 17, the Vulture. Do you know why I loved Spider-Man Homecoming? Really, for a bunch of reasons, one of the reasons being that the treatment of the characters represented a true return to fundamentals. Peter Parker, Liz Allen… Well, Ned Leeds has nothing in common with the Earth-616 version, but seeing what they did with him, I don’t blame them. But the Vulture, my god, the Vulture. Adrian Toomes in the movie is an exact replica of the supervillain in the comics. He is the incarnation of disenchanted old age, set against hopeful youth as embodied by Spider-Man. The Vulture sees the world in grey and has lost all sense of good and evil, adopting instead a more meritocratic approach to the world, whereas Spider-Man, true hero that he is, only knows one thing: With great power comes great responsibility. In the comics, this is demonstrated when the Vulture’s associate, Gregory Bestman, betrays him and sacks him from his own company, whereas in the MCU, they incorporate the morally grey character Iron Man. Anyway, to me this is a brilliant adaptation of a classic character from the Spider-Man universe. Well, the original is a classic. The other three Vultures, though… One of the gave up after the third try, one of them mutated himself into the Vulture but Spider-man gave him a potion to de-mutate him, and the last one got himself killed by the Punisher. Well, you see, comic books have lots of really good stuff and lots of really stupid stuff… and sometimes both at once. Number 16, the Lizard In the Spider-Man comics, everything is a matter of timing. For example, the first time we see the Lizard, we learn that he is Dr Curtis Connors, a war doctor who lost an arm and tried to regrow it by telling himself, “Hey! Lizards can regrow lost limbs! So if I do some lizard science, and inject myself with the lizard science, my arm will regrow! Nblblobviously!” Can’t forget that this is during the Silver Age of comics. DC and Marvel were targeted at… children and young teens. I mean, here we have Dr Connors who injects himself with lizard science, but over at DC, we have Batman and Robin trying to figure out why Ace, their faithful Bat-Hound, turned its fire-breathing power against them. It was…not…a complicated time, the Silver Age. Anyway, it was a matter of timing. In this first appearance, Peter Parker manages to heal the Lizard, turning him back into Curt Connors. Later, he becomes the Lizard again via a chemical accident. Then, later, he can become the Lizard at will, or only when he’s stressed, or retain his human mind in Lizard form, or have the mind of the Lizard in human form… Really, it’s all a matter of timing. But what makes the character interesting is his instability, the precarious equilibrium of his condition. Spider-Man has to stop him without killing him because his friend Dr Connors is underneath. But he still has to protect the doctor’s wife and son, Martha and Billy, but would the Lizard really harm his own family? But by fighting the Lizard and keeping him from harming his family, Spider-Man further riles him, making him more and more animalistic! Anyway, he’s a lot more subtle than a many other bad guys. Number 15 Miles Warren, the first Jackal. I have to specify because we’ll also talk about the second Jackal in this video, because he’s important too. *whoosh* Hello! This is Future Links! While editing the video, I realized that at this point I start talking about the death of Gwen Stacy with the assumption that you all understand what that means. And so, here’s a handy reminder: The Green Goblin kidnapped Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker’s girlfriend, and threw her off the Brooklyn Bridge. Spider-Man tried to save her by catching her with his webbing, but the sudden stop in midair caused her neck to snap. In other words, Green Goblin is responsible for Gwen Stacy’s death, but Spider-Man could have saved her if he had acted differently. The Green Goblin accidentally kills himself in the ensuing battle. These two deaths, and particularly Gwen’s, are considered to be key moments in Spider-Man’s evolution, as important as the death of Uncle Ben. Voilà… Enjoy the rest of the video. Shut up, kitty. *meow* …hmm. You’ll see, there’s still a lot of… *meow* a lot of… *sigh* *woosh* Miles Warren is known first and foremost for being totally crazy for cloning. Basically, when you hear Jackal, think cloning. At least when it comes to Spider-man. Otherwise, think… small wild canid. It all started with the excellent first Clone Saga. Amazing Spidey 144. Spider-Man enters his home and discovers Gwen Stacy, his first and only love, who has been dead two years. He learns that she is a clone, created by Jackal, a supervillain with a particular animus towards him. Next he discovers that Jackal is none other than Miles Warren, one of his professors, who has been around since Amazing Spider-Man 31, who hates him because he holds him responsible for the death of Gwen Stacy. Peter feels the same way; he feels enormously guilty over Gwen’s death. Next he discovers that Jackal also created a clone of Peter Parker, and so the two men, each convinced of being the real Spider-Man, face off. The arc ends with Jackal’s apparent demise, Gwen’s clone goes off to start a new life, Peter Peter makes peace with losing Gwen, and he and Mary Jane become lovers, and the Spider-Man clone disappears. But how do we know it’s the clone that disappeared? Both Spider-Mans were sure they were real… Gnahh… (?) Voilà, Jackal’s origin story. But if he is remembered today, it’s for the ’90s Clone Saga, which we shall say was rather more uneven, but only because it’s not polite to say that something smells of shit. The good from this saga: The Spider-Man clone reappears. He calls himself Ben Reilly and fights crime as the Scarlet Spider. Meanwhile, Jackal has created more clones of Peter Parker, including Kaine, a failed clone who is nonetheless very very cool, and all of a sudden there are two new Spider-Mans running around. Now the negative: Uh, Jackal wants to kill all humans and… Replace. Them. With. Clones. Umm… Why? It’s a really stupid plan. As for the rest… It has do to with goings-on behind the scenes. The story should have been simple. Peter has grown up and married, Mary Jane is pregnant– in brief, Spider-Man has changed. Ben Reilly was supposed to return and become the real Spider-Man, breathing new life into the character, simplifying everything. *sarcastic laugh* First part rodent, second part hot beverage, together it makes the Clone Saga. FAIL!!!
[“rat” + “thé”=”raté”] In short, the authors could never agree on whether it was a good idea for Ben Reilly to become the real Spider-Man. So the saga lasted much too long, piling incoherent nonsense atop incoherent nonsense, filler atop filler, leading to the turd on the cake – or the cherry on the turd, if you like – a botched ending, wherein it was revealed that the brains behind the whole mess that was the Clone Saga was none other than Norman Osburn, a character more than twenty years dead who was considered as unrevivable as Bruce Wayne’s parents or Gwen Stacy herself. Voilà. There are few catastrophes as monumental as the Spider-Man Clone Saga in all of Marvel. Number 14 The Rhino. Alexei Sytsevich. Let me quote him: “I’m Rhino. I knock things down. That’s what I do. That’s who I am.” At first glance, Rhino is really the archetype of what I said earlier: the muscle acting on behalf of the brains. That’s practically the entirety of his character. He’s very strong, very hardy, and he knocks things down. He’s also one of Spider-Man’s more recurring enemies. But as opposed to Electro, who still awaits his/her hour of glory, Rhino has already had two very touching stories. The first, “Flowers for Rhino”, by Peter Milligan, is a pastiche of the science fiction story “Flowers for Algernon”. We see through Rhino’s eyes how unhappy he is that no one takes him seriously because he is… dumb as steak. So he asks some scholars to make him more intelligent. He finds love, he reads, he becomes a renowned mafioso, then he comes to recognize the unbearable futility of life and the illusory nature of happiness and love. He considers suicide, but instead he asks the scholars to make him dumb again, even dumber than before. And if you think that’s depressing, let me tell you about Oksana! Rhino decided to give up crime. He gave himself up to the police, SHIELD took his armor away, he went to prison. On his release from prison he goes to a bar and falls in love with a waitress named Oksana. They get married, and he is happy, truly happy due to the strength of the love Alexei and Oksana share. He is approached by various criminals asking him to return to crime but he systematically refuses them all, including Dr Tramma who, working for Mister Negalavlalvalvlalavlative, offers Alexei an improved version of the Rhino armor. So the costume goes to someone else, name unknown, who feels obligated to kill Alexei Systevich in order to become the “true” Rhino. Alexei refuses to fight, leaving Spider-Man to handle him. And since NOTHING ever goes well in the Spider-Man universe, Oksana dies during the battle between the new Rhino and Spidey. And it is with broken heart that Alexei once again takes up the Rhino costume and crushes, without the least difficulty, the man who killed his wife, making sure to tell Spider-Man that he holds him responsible. Voilà. He’s a character who’s spent more than forty years becoming super cool. In the movies, well, we’ll have to wait a bit longer. Because this story is a huge, huge waste of Paul Giamatti! Number 13 Sandman He is similar to Rhino, in that he starts out as a rotten, heartless heap of muscle who becomes more complex over time. Obsessed with money, William Baker turns to crime. While running from the police, he– blah blah blah, science, accident, sand, and bing bang boom: Sandman! He can get bigger, he can get denser, he can change shape, he is very strong, practically invulnerable to direct attack as well as projectiles. But this one time, Spider-Man defeated him with a vacuum cleaner. You see, sometimes, um… No, Spider-Man defeated him with a vacuum cleaner, I don’t need a punchline for once. He really gets around, and while he got his start against Spider-Man, he also faced off against the Hulk and the Fantastic Four. And in conversation with the Thing, he said he’d probably rather be doing good, and so he went off and joined the Avengers. He’s the only character to be part of the Sinister Six and the Avengers at the same time. Number 12 the second Jackal, Ben Reilly, the clone of Spider-Man. Creator of New U Technologies, the second Jackal is the Webslinger’s adversary during the “Clone Conspiracy” narrative arc from 2016. It should be pointed out that Dan Slott must have some giant balls to write another story involving clones after the fiasco that was the second Clone Saga. But in his defense, I find this story to be excellent. Jackal brings the dead back to life in perfect health, memory intact, as if they had never died. Even better, the baddies he brings back to life he keeps on a leash with two tactics: First, the clones must take a pill every day in order to not disintegrate due to cellular degeneration inherent in the cloning process. Second, Jackal also brings back to life the people they have lost. Oksana: revived. The son and wife of Dr Connors (whom he had eaten): revived. In short, everybody that Spider-Man lost or that was killed because of him or despite him, they all come back to life, just as they were. One one hand, this is monstrous. Death is supposed to be a part of life. On the other hand, this gives Ben Reilly immeasurable power: all the clones are his slaves, no more and no less. On the other other hand, the clones are carriers of the Carrion Virus, which causes cellular decay and is contagious. Anyway, sooner or later there would be a zombie apocalypse if Spider-Man agrees to collaborate with his clone, so everyone who had died once has to die a second time. You think that’s depressing? IT AIN’T OVER YET! Number 11 Carnage You might know this already, but I’ll say it anyway: I think Carnage is overrated as a villain. Cletus Kasady is a sociopathic serial killer who gets infected by an extraterrestrial symbiote in prison, where he was serving eleven consecutive life sentences. The result: Carnage. Okay, Carnage is very cool. His design is very cool, his story is very cool, but… Well, he lacks balance. You could hardly make him any more two-dimensional. He wants to kill, kill as much as possible, because he likes killing, you see! So when they try to increase the threat he represents, it quickly reaches a point where it feels almost like a parody of itself. Last we heard, he has magic powers and has awakened an ancient god called Chthon. Well, I for one think this story could be an inspiration for youth everywhere. He likes killing people, but he’s not satisfied with merely slicing throats or decapitating folk one at a time. No, he decides to awaken a shamelessly plagiarized version of Cthulhu. Follow your dreams, children! Number 10 Kraven the Hunter I will even go ahead and say Kraven the Hunters. Let me explain: The first Kraven is Sergei Kravinov, a hunter who ingested a serum that makes him stronger and faster. There is only one idea in his head: track and defeat the ultimate prey, Spider-Man. And he does it! He anesthetizes him and buries him alive, letting Peter Parker know that if he lives it will be because Kraven let him live. But to truly defeat Spider-Man, he decides to impersonate him, to take his costume and to become Spider-Man for two weeks while Spider-Man lies unconscious in his grave. In one of the best issues of Amazing Spider-Man, brilliantly written by DeMatteis, Kraven comes to feel that he has fulfilled his destiny, and, completely at peace, he ends his life. 21 years later, in 2008, we discover the rest of the Kravinov family, including his wife Sasha and his children, Alyosha and Ana. We learn that Kraven had been connected to the world’s primal energy via black magic, and that that’s what drove him mad. But with this magic, he can be brought back to life by sacrificing a spider. No no no, try to keep up, will you? Not a real spider, that’s rotten black magic. A totemic spider, one of the numerous people chosen to be a Spider-Totem. The most important Spider-Totem is, obviously, Peter Parker himself. Sasha Kravinov sacrifices Kaine – that’s Peter’s clone, remember – to revive Kraven, who has become obsessed with the idea of purifying his line. He takes his family to the wilderness, kills his wife and challenges his two children to survive being prey to prove their worthiness as Kravinovs. And you thought YOUR family reunions were painful! Number 9 J. Jonas Jameson This pick will certainly raise a few eyebrows! You might be saying, “Wait, what? The boss of the Daily Bugle a supervillain? Hey LinksTheSun, what’s gone on in that head of yours?” Well, if you think about it, on one hand, Triple-J is Peter Parker’s abusive boss, making him about as much of a villain as Flash Thompson, who bullied Peter in high school. On the other hand, he ruins Spider-Man’s reputation from the first issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, making a very difficult job even harder, and even if you discount that (and I don’t see why you should), he’s the one who gave Scorpion his armor, who built Spencer Smythe’s Spider Slayer robots, who blackmailed Spider-Man with his “Turn yourself in if you want me to rehire Robbie Robertson,” a guy who did nothing wrong. When Jameson became mayor of New York – yes, that happened – he created an anti-spider squad with public funds. He made another Spider Slayer army, which Green Goblin used against Spider-Man, causing chaos throughout New York… So yes, I think that Jameson has more than earned the title of supervillain, even if he never had any evil intentions. He’s just a sour old man, consumed with hate, with a lot of power, whose two wives and daughter got assassinated, and who needs somebody to blame. It’s true, the best bad guys are the ones with a good reason to be bad. Number 8 You think things are complicated now? Wait until I tell you about the Hobgoblin. [from L to R: editor-in-chief (the big boss),
editor (the decider), author (the writer)] In ’83, Roger Stern writes “Shadows of Evils Past”, introducing us to the Hobgoblin. He intends to reveal that Hobgoblin is Roderick Kingsley, a minor character with a brother who looks a lot like him who stands in for him while he’s out performing evil deeds. Stern plans to reveal the character’s identity after around thirty issues, but he leaves Marvel after twelve, ending the Hobgoblin arc on a cliffhanger. His successors, Tom DeFalco and Danny Fingeroth, think his plan was crap and decide that Hobgoblin is actually Richard Fisk, son of Kingpin, a.k.a. Wilson Fisk. DeFalco goes on to lay a false trail for the audience leading to Ned Leeds, a reporter for the Daily Bugle and Peter Parker’s friend. Whereupon Christopher Priest comes into the picture. Priest and DeFalco hate each other, so much that DeFalco never reveals to Priest that Ned Leeds was supposed to be a red herring, and so much that Priest… fires DeFalco and, in the following months, reveals that Richard Fisk is actually the Rose, another masked criminal, and he kills Ned Leeds. Peter David becomes the writer for Amazing Spider-Man, and it’s a mess. David has no ideas, Priest only has bad ones, and new editor Jim Salicrup just wants it all to end. And so, in Amazing Spider-Man 289, it is revealed that Hobgoblin’s true identity is… Ned Leeds. …but that he’s dead. *fart* Yes, he died like a shit– no fight, no costume… but it was him. No big epic battle, Spider-Man and Betty Brant, Ned’s wife, have to live with the fact… that he was a super-criminal. That was the official version… from ’87 to January ’97, when Roger Stern, who created the character, said, “All right then, enough with the bullshit, let’s give this story a final version.” In the three-part miniseries “Hobgoblin Lives”, we finally learn the definitive version. The original Hobgoblin really was Roderick Kingsley, but he ended up brainwashing Ned Leeds into posing as Hobgoblin with Kingsley still operating behind the scenes. The story of Hobgoblin… is a total mess. Today, Kingsley still lurks in the shadows, selling the equipment of former supervillains to new criminals. Number 7 Morlin, Morlune, Morloon, Morlolin, Morlen, Morlun. Remember when I was talking about totems, the fusion of animals and humans with the powers of both? Good. Morlun is a magic entity that feeds on them and absorbs the powers of the ones he consumes. He is one of a race called the Inheritors, who actually don’t come from Earth-616 like all the other characters I’ve talked about in this video. They come from Earth-001. You might say that he “prepared the terrain”. JOKES!!!
[Earth + one=terrain, as in “prepare the terrain”, which means “lay the groundwork”] In the 2014 story arc “Spider-Verse”, the Inheritors decide to rid themselves of all the Spider-Totems of the multiverse. Remember when I told you there were infinite realities? That’s right. They want to rid all of them of spider-related heroes. This gives rise to the coolest superhero team in history. At the urging of William Braddock, a.k.a. Spider-UK from Earth-833, all the Spider-Totems of the multiverse come together to form… the Spider-Army. They choose as their leader Peter Parker of Earth-616, the only Spider-Man who has managed to kill an Inheritor twice: Morlun. And who is in this army? But don’t you know the rap that all the Inheritors used to sing in the ’90s? *music* Ezekiel, Jessica Drew, Spider Punk, Spida-Manu Araña, Lady Spider, Spider-Prime Cindy Moon, Spider-UK, Morales, Spider-Woman, Anansi, Miguel O’Hara, Spider-Boy, Kaine, Yu Komori! Hello Inheritors! Welcome to the Spider-Rap! Will you be able to devour the life force of all the totems? Let’s find out! Gotta devour ’em all! Hello YouTube! Gotta devour ’em all! Gotta devour all the spiders! Sho Amano, Spider-Ham, SP//DR, Ben Reilly Bruce Banner, Spider-Mobile, Spider-Monkey! Captain Spider, Prince of Arachne, Spider-Jameson, Spider-Ben, Pavitr Prabhakar, Ashley Barton, Spider-Gwen! There’s an infinite number of them for you to eat. Devour them all. You can do it, Inheritor! Okay, there’s an infinite number of continuities, so we won’t be doing the entire rap… You want me to? Okay, listen. What we’ll do is, if you want a long version, upvote first and then we’ll see. No arguing! Well, yes, but… no no… but I mean, I… This is how it is! This i-
I don’t ask for much That’s the deal: you want something, you upvote. Not like it’s complicated. Just accept the fact that sometimes in life you have to do this kind of thing! Not like it’s a big thing, what I’m asking you… Number 6 Wilson Fisk [a.k.a. Kingpin] He was not my favorite when I watched the animated series. I was young, and I was like, “Okay, um, He’s fat, he’s a mafia godfather… He’s very strong, I’ll give you that, but… so are the others. That’s kind of the entry requirement, being strong.” Then you discover the magnitude of the character in the comics. Particularly, it must be said, in Daredevil. Wilson Fisk was born in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man, but he grew up in Daredevil. That’s where he killed Electra, where he sent Daredevil to prison, and if you want to see how he treats an employee who screws up once after twenty years of service, read the excellent issue 4 of “Tangled Web of Spider-Man”. It’s a very hard comic, but it really shows the tone of the character. It only makes Spider-Man’s victory more devastating. Because it true that Fikssssk… hmm. The worst that Fisk ever did was to hire a sniper to kill Aunt May. She wasn’t the main target, but she was one of the two secondary targets. When Peter Parket managed to reach Kingpin he had a moment of Badassitude! Quite awesome, as they say, if you’re… …crap. Spidey goes to the prison where Wilson Fisk is and wreacks him! Yes, because there is one thing about Spider-Man that bears more repeating: he pulls his punches all the time. He has superhuman strength. If he put his whole force into his punches, he would wound everybody mortally. So he is systematically required to hold back. Not in this fight. This takes Fisk completely by surprise, and he asks Spider-Man, who hadn’t spoken, to tell him something. What Peter responds with is, “You don’t understand. I’m not here to kill you.” Then he takes off his mask and finishes with, “I am.” One of my favorite moments in the Spider-Man comics I’ve read. Aunt May ends up surviving, in the most controversial event in all of comics in the last few years, the “One More Day” story arc, in which Spider-Man makes a pact with Mephisto, trading Aunt May’s life for his marriage with Mary Jane. I won’t go into it, because I feel like I’m the only person in the world who liked this arc. Even the author refused to sign it, which should give you an idea to what extent everyone agrees it’s shit! But what can I say? I love swimming in my poo. Number 5 Have I ever told you that I love Mysterio? Quentin Beck is his real name. Lots of people think his costume is ridiculous, but I think it’s incredibly cool. Today, Quentin Beck spends his peaceful days in retirement in Las Vegas. And who could blame him? He’s one of Spider-Man’s most recurring enemies, and the one that gives Spider-Man the most trouble. Specializing in illusion, prestidigitation, and other stunts and subterfuges, Mysterio is fascinating because he doesn’t fit neatly into the usual categories of Spider-Man villain. He’s not one of the very biggest foes like Kraven, Morlun, Kingpin, or the bad guys we haven’t come to yet, but he isn’t a second-stringer like Rhino, Shocker, Electro, or Scarab, either. And just as Kingpin was an adversary of Daredevil who committed his worst atrocity in Spider-Man, Mysterio was an adversary of Spider-Man who committed his worst atrocity in Daredevil. Mysterio ends up getting late-stage cancer because of the products he uses. He decides to drive Spider-Man insane, but on learning that Spider-Man is a clone, he sets his sights on Daredevil. He convinces the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen that a certain baby is the antichrist, so that he almost kills it. He sends Bullseye to kill Karen Page, Daredevil’s true love, hoping that would accomplish it. Mysterio really goes all out in what he thinks will be his final masterwork. Daredevil thwarts him by saying that all Mysterio’s stratagems are reheated. that he’s faced worse, and that his supposed masterwork consists of clichés and retreads of what he’d already done to others and what Daredevil himself had already undergone. And so Mysterio kills himself, pointing out in one final witticism that since he’s only ever copied other villains, he might as well copy Kraven the Hunter’s exit. Number 4 Mac Gargan “It’s the story of a land of mystery and magic…”
[French lyrics to Arabian Nights from Disney’s Aladdin] No. It’s the story of a private detective hired by J. Jonas Jameson to find out how Peter Parker manages to take such clean photos of Spider-Man. Jameson pays for him to participate in an experiment to make him half man half scorpion, because yay! Gargan goes crazy and swears to avenge himself on Jameson, but Spider-Man manages to stop him every time. Much later, Mac Gargan becomes the second Venom, leading to a battle between the symbiote’s new host and the old one, now known as Anti-Venom. Gargan has the upper hand, but the symbiote refuses to kill its former host. He goes on to join the Dark Avengers. In short, the Avengers were refounded by Norman Osborn (in the role of Iron Patriot) after SHIELD and Iron Man fell into disgrace, and he made his own personal team of superheroes by giving them each familiar names. In a nutshell, Mac Gargan becomes Spider-Man in the eyes of the public. After the Dark Avengers are disbanded, Gargan goes back to being Scorpion. He wants to avenge himself on the symbiote by killing it, but the symbiote destroys his Scorpion armor. Anyway, there’s plenty for the Homecoming sequel to cover. This guy! This guy is Mac Gargan. And I REALLY want to see Scorpion! I want him strong! Number 3: Eddie Brock, or Venom. I’ve been talking about him for a bit, but if you don’t know who he is, your lost. It all begins in ’84. Spider-Man goes to another dimension and returns with a black costume that makes him both stronger and wilder, as this costume is an extraterrestrial being, a symbiote. He decides to get rid of the costume, and the costume chooses a new host, Eddie Brock, a reporter with a profound hatred of Spider-Man and Peter Parker. But the symbiote kept Spider-Man’s powers in its genetic memory, so Venom can shoot webs, he has Spider-Sense, he can climb walls, he has superhuman strength, etc. Except that Eddie Brock ends up getting rid of the symbiote, so now we have on the one hand Eddie, and on the other hand the symbiote… who has no name, so we’ll call him Rififi. Rififi attaches himself to Mac Gargan, the former Scorpion, while Brock is dying of the cancer that Rififi had been protecting him from. Using his final days on Earth to help the poor, Brock go to work for FEAST, where he is touched by Martin Li, curing his cancer. Have cancer? Use FEAST! This is the moment Rififi picks to rejoin with Eddie Brock, but Martin Li’s powers change Venom’s powers into healing powers and he becomes… Anti-Venom, a Venom who can heal people. He uses these powers to try to separate Gargan from the symbiote, but it fails. After the fall of the Dark Avengers, the American Army seize the symbiote and use it as a weapon by attaching it to Flash Thompson, a war veteran who lost his legs in Iraq. Back to Eddie Brock. During the events of “Spider-Island”, in which the original Jackal transformed all of New York into spider-men and -women, Anti-Venom’s symbiote was used as an antidote. And so Brock is alone again, but not for long, since he attaches with another symbiote, Toxin. As for the other, Agent Venom is a force for good, notably helping the Guardians of the Galaxy, but when he returns to earth, Rififi separates from Flash Thompson. He still wants to do good, so he joins with Lee Price, another veteran, but he ends up getting recovered by the FBI, who don’t manage to prevent Eddie Brock from reacquiring Rififi, once again becoming the Venom we all know and love. You think that’s complicated? You are so not ready for… Number 2 Green Goblin Norman Osborn is a very powerful industrialist who went insane and acquired superhuman strength from a goblin serum he conconcted and… I’d better say it… I am not much of a fan of Green Goblin. I mean, everything revolves around him. Remember when Chameleon created doubles of Peter’s parents? That was the Green Goblin’s idea. Mary Jane’s baby who was kidnapped and probably killed? That was the Green Goblin. The Clone Saga? Green Goblin. And that doesn’t include the things he’s done on his own without anyone’s help, like faking the death of Aunt May or killing Gwen Stacy. But what I especially don’t like about Green Goblin is basically the same as what I don’t like about Carnage: they try to do too much. There are too many goblins in the Spider-Man universe. Okay, I will try to explain it, but I will make it simple. Basic.
[a song by OrelSan] The Green Goblin was Norman Osborn, Peter’s best friend’s father. Simple. When Norman died, his son Harry took up the costume and glider. Basic. The third Goblin was Bart Hamilton, Harry’s psychiatrist. Simple. But he died super fast, so there’s no reason to dwell on him. Basic. Roderick Kingsley happened on Norman Osborn’s secret hideout and became Hobgoblin. Simple. Well, no, not so simple, since he brainwashed Ned Leeds into posing as him. Basic. When Ned Leeds died, Jason Macendale became the fourth Hobgoblin. Simple. Because before that, Kingsley had done experiments on a guy called Lefty. Basic. Simple. Simple. Simple. Basic. Simple. Simple. Simple Basic. Goblins aren’t simple. Goblins aren’t simple. Basic. Goblins aren’t simple. Goblins aren’t simple. Basic. Harry hangs up the Green Goblin gloves but ends up taking them up again. Simple. While Hobgoblin, Jason Macendale, gets himself possessed. Basic. Next came the birth of Demogoblin, when Harry went to meet his father. Simple. Two years later, Phil Ulrich became the… fourth Green Goblin. Basic. Kingsley, the original Hobgoblin, killed the imposter, Macendale. Simple. Norman came back from death and became the only Goblin in the area. Basic. But in 2004, we witnessed the advent of the first Grey Goblin. Simple. It was Gabriel, a child that Norman Osborn had with Gwen Stacy. Eww. Simple. Simple Simple. Basic. Goblins aren’t simple. Goblins aren’t simple. Basic. In 2008 Lily Holister became Menace, the first female goblin. Simple. Norman Osborn became Iron Patriot, a supposed superhero. Basic. And Harry, also returned, became Americon Son. Simple. And since this parody has already gone on too long, we need to go faster. Okay. Harry betrayed Norman and he lost his powers and his armor went to Gabriel Stacy. Phil Ulrich, who had been the fourth Green Goblin, Became Hobgoblin number five, if I’ve counted correctly. Kingsley, the original, approves. But Green Goblin returned stronger than ever. Norman Osborn became Goblin King and made Ulrich into Goblin Knight, And together they kidnapped Carlie Cooper And gave her the serum, making her a psychopath. She turns herself into a goblin, calling herself Monster. Menace, who was now nice, wanted to be called Queen Cat. Once Norman was defeated, Phil Ulrich, a.k.a. Hobgoblin number five and Green Goblin number four and Goblin Knight, became Goblin King. And now we’re all caught up. Simple. Number 1 There are only two villains in the running for top adversary of Spider-Man, and if it’s not Norman Osborn, it must be Otto Octavius. While working with a prototype of mechanical arms, an accident grafted them to his nervous system and rendered him mad. So he becomes power hungry and promises the destruction of anyone who stands in his way. Which Spider-Man does… Rather often. What you might not know is that Octopus is the only supervillain who has killed Spider-Man. In 2012. Dr Octopus was dying, but before the end he wanted to leave something enormous behind. He spent months on his final plan: to implant his mind into Spider-Man’s body. And he did it. He swapped his body, a couple minutes from death, with Spider-Man’s. What he hadn’t counted on was that he also received Spider-Man’s brain and memories, including the reasons that led him to become a superhero in the first place. Then, as he lay dying, Peter used his remaining energy to make Otto say… that with great power comes great responsibility. As arrogant as ever, Otto promised to become a better Spider-Man than Peter Parker. Peter’s mind died in Dr Octopus’s body, and Otto became Spider-Man in his own series, Superior Spider-Man. Thankfully, Peter’s consciousness ended up resurfacing in his body, and in a critical moment, Octopus relinquished his hold on Spider-Man’s body, recognizing Peter as… the superior Spider-Man. So in the end, Otto Octavius is the one who died. But now he’s apparently come back to life, having uploaded his consciousness to an Octobot that he then transferred into a clone of Peter Parker that the second Jackal had created, and so today Octopus has his own rightful powers as well as Spider-Man’s, and he has the classiest costume IN THE WORLD! Voilà, that was an overview of twenty supervillains from Spider-Man. Apologies for not including Shocker, Black Cat, Hammerhead, or Tombstone. I only had twenty spots; sacrifices needed to be made. I hope you liked it anyway, and I’ll see you next Sunday with another video. Until next time, everybody. Ciao! *music* [note: In case you didn’t know, the first rap was a parody of the Pokérap from the Pokémon TV series.] [The second rap was a parody of “Basique” by the French rapper Orelsan.] [Thanks for watching!]