As much as I dislike the idea that every hero HAS to have a single archenemy, it’s expected of a modern superhero tale.  Batman has The Joker, Superman has Lex Luthor, Professor X has Magneto, but some heroes’ rogues galleries have a deeper bench.  The Flash, for instance, has three different reverse-selves, but is defined by his cadre of dudes with element guns, while Wonder Woman’s rogues gallery is… weird.  (Giganta?  Shaved ape.  I am not kidding.)  Still, when it comes to the Spectacular Sensational Superior Amazing Spider-Man, his ninety-seven different animal-themed bad-dudes leads to differing interpretations of who is his greatest nemesis, and there’s really no wrong answer…

…except Carnage.  Carnage would be wrong.  Still, it’s an interesting exercise, and one that leads us to our friendly neighborhood query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) knows the actual answer to this question, and is glad that Dan Slott does as well, asking: Who is Spider-Man’s actual greatest nemesis?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. Matt
    February 6, 2015 at 11:38 am — Reply

    I’ve always seen articles that the Green Goblin was supposed to be Spider-Man’s Joker, his greatest nemesis. But I’ve never seen him as that. I would consider Doc Oct to be his greatest nemesis. Especially after the events that led to Superior Spider-Man.

    • February 6, 2015 at 6:16 pm — Reply

      The Green Goblin was dead for decades. People only call him the greatest nemesis because of the death of Gwen Stacy.

      • TheWolverine
        February 6, 2015 at 9:10 pm — Reply

        And thats where Spider-Man’s self doubt comes into play. He would think to himself that if he didn’t have his powers, and wasn’t a target for villains that his friends & family would be safe from harm. And that he wouldn’t have been responsible for Gwen’s death. His actual greatest nemesis is himself, IMHO. Plus I still hold to the idea of the Green Goblin being gone for so long was directly because of his involvement with Gwen Stacy’s death, the woman that Peter loved and was going to marry. So, because of that, he’s still the greatest enemy outside of self doubt to Spider-Man in my eye’s.

  2. Alisha
    February 6, 2015 at 12:13 pm — Reply

    Actually, while Carnage may not be his greatest enemy, he certainly was one of my favorites at one point. I mean, he was certifiable crazy and slaughtered for fun rather than thinking he was doing something for some misguided idea of greater good or to avenge some perceived slight. Shame he had to go and be overused and watered down.

    I think his greatest nemesis is actually part of Peter Parker himself. I think it is his doubt and fear that are his greatest foes. He holds himself back because he’s afraid that around the next corner is going to be another Uncle Ben or Gwen Stacey, someone he fails to save because he did or did not do something. It is a bit of a double edged sword because it makes him the hero that a lot of us can relate to, but at the same time it keeps him from truly reaching his full potential.

  3. February 6, 2015 at 1:48 pm — Reply

    I’ve always thought that it would be whoever is called “goblin” at the time. But like Alisha said, actually its Peters insecuritiy and sense of not being good enough thats the most important thing to beat.

  4. TheWolverine
    February 6, 2015 at 3:40 pm — Reply

    Green Goblin( Osborne) & self-doubt.

  5. Arbor Day
    February 6, 2015 at 4:27 pm — Reply

    Joe Quesada, fuck One More Day.

  6. Ian
    February 6, 2015 at 10:37 pm — Reply


  7. Luis Dantas
    February 7, 2015 at 8:03 am — Reply

    Jonah Jameson, for a good while. Venom (sigh) for a regrettably long time. Doctor Octopus, Kingpin, Green Goblin (Norman) and Scorpion get honorable mentions.

  8. February 8, 2015 at 3:58 am — Reply

    What generation are you talking about? I loved the Sal Buscema illustrated run on Spectacular (i think it was Spectacular) from the 80’s and into the 90’s. I certainly would have said Harry Osborn at that time almost more because of the personal relationship between them out of the masks.

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