Revisit all Spider-Man’s villains before ‘No Way Home’

Spider-Man No Way Home villain Saudiscoop
Marvel Cinematic Universe's Spider-Man returns with No Way Home to US theaters.

To enjoy the latest Spidey release, you need to know where the story left off with Green Goblin, Electro, Doctor Octopus, Sandman, and the Lizard. On Friday, Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man returns with No Way Home to US theaters.

As Tom Holland’s hero gears up to battle a group of classic villains, we previously saw in the films with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield playing Spidey. 

The villains’ fates in their previous struggles with Peter Parker’s alter-ego may tell their actions in No Way Home, so here’s a look at where all of the previous Spiderman movies’ rogues ended up. Though only a few appear in trailers, we expect more to show up. 

Green Goblin

In 2002’s Spider-Man, with Tobey Maguire in the lead role, stressed-out scientist Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe) tests an experimental performance-enhancing chemical on himself. Unfortunately, this experiment gives him a homicidal secondary personality and superhuman strength. So the Green Goblin hops on a glider to terrorize New York City in a shiny, armored flight suit.

Spider-Man No Way Home villain Saudiscoop Green Goblin

Osborn figures out Spidey’s identity (the worst secret in superhero movies), attacks his Aunt May, and kidnaps Mary Jane Watson, Spidey’s girlfriend, threatening to murder her.

In the ensuing battle, Osborn sneakily prepares to skewer Spidey with his glider, but Peter dodges at the last second, with Goblin ending up impaled through the crotch. Karma can be painful.

Status: Dead and an irredeemable jerk. 

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Doctor Octopus

After a fusion power project accident in 2004’s Spider-Man 2, nuclear scientist Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) has a set of artificially intelligent robotic tentacles fused to his spine, earning him the tabloid moniker “Doctor Octopus.” Unfortunately, the tentacles’ stupidly delicate inhibitor chip gets smashed. Also, Doc Ock’s wife dies in the fusion accident. 

Spider-Man No Way Home villain Saudiscoop Doctor Octopus

Despite his emotional bond with Peter, Doc Ock kidnaps Mary Jane and tells him to find Spider-Man. During his extremely supervillain attempt to re-create the sun Doc Ock learns that Peter and Spidey are the same people. Overcoming his tentacles’ influence, Doc sacrifices himself and saves the city.

Status: Dead, redeemed, but with those mean tentacles still stuck to his spine.


Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church) of 2007’s Spider-Man 3 turned to crime to pay for his daughter’s medical treatment. He Falls into an experimental particle accelerator while escaping prison and gains sand-based shapeshifting powers.

Peter uses his new alien suit-enhanced powers to batter Marko when he learns that Marko killed his beloved Uncle Ben (a controversial change from the comic book origin).

Spider-Man No Way Home villain Saudiscoop Sandman

Marko learns the hero’s true identity (as every villain must) and chills out. Peter forgives him when he explains that Ben’s death was an accident. He then turns into sand and drifts away in the wind.

Status: Alive, redeemed, and still has an ill child to look after.


Another of Spider-Man 3’s villainous trio is the photographer Eddie Brock (Topher Grace), who fakes an incriminating shot of Spidey. Under the control of the alien symbiote that turned his costume a moody black, Peter exposes Brock and gets him fired. 

Peter rejects the symbiote, and it imbibes Brock with Spidey’s powers and awareness of his dual identity. Brock teams up with Sandman and kidnaps Mary Jane.

Spider-Man No Way Home villain Saudiscoop Venom

Peter exploits the symbiote’s weakness to sound and flings a bomb at the alien. Finally, in desperation, Brock leaps into the symbiote’s embrace and attempts to bond with it again, but the two get vaporized.

Status: Dead. However, this won’t be the end of the fanged fiend.

New Goblin

Villain No. 3 of Spider-Man 3 is Peter’s pal Harry Osborn (James Franco), all twisted up inside by his father Norman’s emotional abuse and death. He takes after his father, donning a paintball mask and flying around on a snowboard-style glider upon discovering that his friend is, in fact, Spidey.

Harry is haunted by visions of his father, pushing him into a misguided mission of vengeance against Spidey. But at the end, Harry turns around and helps Peter rescue Mary Jane, whence he is impaled on his glider by Venom — similar to his father’s death but as an act of sacrifice, not a sneaky murder attempt.

Status: Dead and redeemed.


The Amazing Spider-Man, 2012’s reboot, saw Andrew Garfield take over as Peter, who had to battle a rather mean reptile man. Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), the one-armed mentor, uses a lizard DNA regeneration serum to regenerate his lost limb and changes him into a very angry Lizard.

Spider-Man No Way Home villain Saudiscoop Lizardman

Dr. Curt Connors is determined to eliminate humanity’s weaknesses by transforming everyone into lizards — a plan sillier than re-creating the sun on the Manhattan waterfront.

Peter and girlfriend Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) restore Connors to normal and stop his dastardly plot.

Status: Alive and committed at a psychiatric hospital.


The first of the major villains in 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), is a lubriciously nerdy electrical engineer who falls into a tank of genetically engineered electric eels. The incident gave him electrical powers and fixed a gap in his teeth.

Electro takes umbrage with Spidey after causing a blackout in Times Square, and the web-slinger stops him. However, he takes over the electrical grid, and Spidey confronts the baddy and reactivates the grid to overload Electro, and exploding him.

Status: Too bitter for redeeming. Seemingly dead, but could spark back.

Green Goblin 2

Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), the second major villain of Amazing Spider-Man 2, is dying of a hereditary illness and needs Spidey’s blood to cure himself. However, fears of side effects lead our hero to refuse the request.

Spider-Man No Way Home villain Saudiscoop Green Goblin 2

Osborn gets a sample on his own and changes into a yucky green mutant. A fancy flight suit stabilizes his situation, and he takes off on his glider with an often repeated villainous cackle.

Discovering that his buddy Peter is Spidey (what?!) and angry at the refusal for some of his weird blood, he joins Electro and kidnaps Gwen to force the hero into a final confrontation. Here Harry is beaten, but Gwen dies (in a manner mirroring her comic book death).

Status: Alive, locked away and determined at a life of villainy.


2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming is the first MCU Spiderman movie. In it, Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) lost his job as a salvage worker when Tony Stark’s Damage Control stepped in for cleanup after the Avengers movie Battle of New York—resulting in Toomes bitterness and a turn to crime.

He creates a flying exo-suit with alien tech stolen from the battle, becoming the Vulture. He steals fancy, advanced weaponry and sells it on the black market, which leads him to the notice of Spidey (now played by Tom Holland). Peter brings Toomes’ daughter Liz to the homecoming dance, where the villain figures out his identity and threatens the teenager.

Spider-Man No Way Home villain Saudiscoop vulture

The threat doesn’t keep Spidey from stopping Toomes’ plan of stealing FROM Stark tech. And as their final battle takes an explosive turn, the web-slinger saves the villain’s life leaving him for the authorities.

Status: Alive and imprisoned, yet didn’t give away Spidey’s identity in prison.

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Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal), initially presented as a hero from a parallel reality in 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, was, in fact, leading a group of embittered ex-Stark employees who used combat drones and hologram technology to create the illusion of superpowers.

Mysterio learns that Tony had bequeathed access to a fancy security system to Spidey, and as he wants Stark tech to up his game, he stages many attacks to get close to our hero. Learning his identity in the process, OMG.

The villain’s arrogance see’s him fatally shot in the final battle with Spidey. Checkmate, however, manages to record a video revealing the hero’s identity to the world before his death.

Status: Seemingly dead, but he was or is an illusionist.

Venom 2

The 2018’s Venom and this year’s Venom aren’t connected.

With Carnage dead, Venom (Tom Hardy) and Eddie Brock take a vacation. The symbiote offers Brock the symbiote hive mind’s collective knowledge but, in doing so, transports the pair into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They see Peter’s identity revealed on television (thanks, Mysterio) and recognize the wall-crawler.

Status: Alive and intrigued by Spidey. 

Secondary villains

We’ve reviewed the main baddies from Spidey’s 19-year cinematic history, but another few antagonists worth highlighting remain.

The Maguire era had Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons), who portrayed Spiderman as a menace in his newspaper. A new version of the character shows up in the MCU. It uses Mysterio’s recording to reveal the hero’s identity to the world.

Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper) seems super mean before dying of the illness that plagued his son Harry. He is a take on the Rhino (Paul Giamatti) of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Then there is the mysterious Gentleman who seemed to be gathering villains to form the Sinister Six for a canceled sequel. 

Homecoming features the Tinkerer (Michael Chernus) and two versions of the Shocker (Logan Marshall-Green and Bokeem Woodbine) along with Mac Gargan (Michael Mando), who’s scarred and imprisoned after an encounter with Spidey and becomes the Scorpion in the comics.

There’s also the Prowler, Aaron Davis (Donald Glover), an uncle to Miles Morales in the comics.

Far From Home also has brief appearances of Chameleon and Beetle (Numan Acar and Claire Rushbrook). Of course, these are likely just nodding to the comics rather than setup, but you never know.

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