OKAY so I'm writing a thing and I am gonna post it here and then ask a Mod to merge the two threads 'cause why the heck not, right?
This is a TOP TEN BEST ALTERED SPIDEY-VILLAINS LIST! Ultimate villains are SO COOL and because of that I had to do a top 10 for SuperiorSpiderTalk.com!
I've only done the first 6... see if you can guess who the others are!
Top 10 Best Ultimate Remakes (Spider-Villains)
The Ultimate Spider-Man series has had a lot of great incarnations of Spider-Man’s foes, some of Marvel’s greatest characters. Some of these goons, who were as corny and gimmicky as the Kangaroo, have made appearances that trump even their canon counterparts thanks to the penmanship of Brian Michael Bendis. Characters that originally lacked depth were fleshed out and brought to new life and with artwork by Stuart Immonen, Sara Picchelli, and the great Mark Bagley, among others, these characters have received revamped designs and impressive new renderings. These are merely the Top Ten but there are many noteworthy others. Honorable mentions include the likes of Scorpion, a cloned version of Peter Parker, to a version of Rhino decked out in a mecha-suit, (a precursor to the Rhino we see in Amazing Spider-Man 2) and even a nearly unrecognizable Harry Osborn who is forced into the shoes of his father and in turn takes the shape of the terrifying Hobgoblin. So many great takes on so many great characters, but there is only room to mention ten. Here’s the best of the best:10. Roxxon
— For all the bad things that OsCorp has done to the world in Canon, Roxxon’s corporation has them beat in spades. Roxxon is practically sociopathic in his corporate greed. A malice unseen by anyone besides Kingpin at that kind of level. Some argue it’s the epitome of “preaching” from Brian Michael Bendis, I argue the opposite. It is a standard that is being set in the series.
Roxxon’s role in the creation of so many villains has been an easy way out to introduce new characters with fun new backgrounds. We don’t need to fall to the trope of “lab accidents” anymore because these experiments are completely intentional being Roxxon and his glam-troupe of scientists (which include Nathan Essex by the way) are the most unethical bunch of ass holes on the continent. So many of Miles and Peter’s foes (and comrades) are a result of this dirty company and their evil ways are still leaking through in Michel Fiffe’s current ongoing, All-New Ultimates, featuring the teen-troupe of Ultimates who are all (in one way or another) linked to the lacking ethics committee at Roxxon.
But Roxxon is more than just a company, there’s a figurehead at the top. Boy does he scare easily… but he retaliates with a force you would never imagine from some guy in a three-piece-suit (not Kingpin). His first reveal was during the whole Silver Sable storyline where we find out he was just a rich boy who never had to try hard, then had a company he didn’t know how to handle dumped on him. Somewhere between bing an big-nil and pharmaceutical company, be it an editorial change or a legitimate shift in company business that Roxxon’s character actively made, they went into weapons creations. Hence some of Spidey’s core villains such as Shocker and Vulture. While his corporation is an omnipresent force of constance collateral damage, especially in Fiffe’s All-New Ultimates, the series has taken a turn away from the greedy tycoon for now. Obviously, expectations are that he will show face again, soon.09. Shocker
- What about Herman Schultz isn’t hilarious? Be it his name, his gimmick (the vibrating gauntlets and cushioned outfit to protect him from said vibrations), or his codename, “The Shocker” Schultz has had a hard time making himself into a credible threat in nearly every Spider-verse. For awhile that’s how it went in Ultimate with Peter picking him off in a couple pages, dropping a few quippy lines about his name, and then leaving him webbed upside down from a lamppost. Fortunately Schultz has never broke out the full “mattress softener” costume, but his shirts and jackets that Bagley and Immonen designed him with are reminiscent enough that fans will get the idea.
Eventually Schultz had enough and in an incredible moment of sheer brutality and inner-turmoil, he captures Spider-Man and nearly kills him. It is one of the moments I cite as a fan of the series as why Ultimate Spider-Man is so different from the canon series, Amazing. It’s a legitimately shocking moment when Schultz takes all of his anger and frustration out on Spidey. Bendis has a realistic pause in the story that reveals Schultz as not just a a criminal who channels all the seemingly unwarranted humiliation and rage he has towards destroying Spider-Man, but as a human being who has made poor choices and who has been stepped on until he hurts. Once he begins to monologue (as all the great villains do) the reasons become clear and his character goes from pathetic to sympathetic. Suddenly, both the readers and Peter realize that even with petty crooks, there’s still real people behind the ski-masks and they have real problems. Yes, they need to be put down, but maybe show some decorum. It’s a real life-changing moment for Peter and it’s a monumental moment in the development of Peter as he sees the damage his funny jokes and fists actually do for the first time.
Shocker’s presence in the story brings about a lot of calamity for Peter Parker and yet he has only appeared once in Miles’ half of the Ultimate story. Hopefully he is going to appear again though Shocker did seem rather disappointed, to say the least, to discover a new Spider-Man was bopping around town. One can only hope Miles evades an encounter like Peter’s with Schultz, as the latest Spider-Man has been through quite a bit in just a short year already. 08. Carnage
— Cletus Kassady has (arguably) been portrayed the same since day one. In canon, the villain Carnage is a symbiote that bonded with Kassady, turning him into an super-powered, evil, sociopathic, mass-murderer (instead of just a regular old, evil sociopathic, mass-murderer). Be it that the symbiotic relationship has occurred for so long that it now has imprinted Kassady’s crazy, serial-killer behavior or that the Symbiote itself is actually malicious is up for debate in even the most well-read Spider-circles. but it is never until the symbiote reaches him that he can go on the murdering sprees he is known for (see Maximum Carnage). But as gimmicky as it is to have a serial killer character whose symbiotic partner lives in his blood, it’s a whole new level of creep to have the symbiotic creature be completely free of a host and instead be an unintentional side-effect of a nasty experiment with Peter’s blood.
Ultimate Carnage is all about best of intentions leading to the worst of results. This thing that Doctor Connors unintentionally creates when he splices his genetic materials with Spider-Man’s blood, literally wants to be Peter, use his DNA code to complete itself, and as the DNA starts completing his form begins to resemble a hellish shade of what Peter knows is his father. Before Peter or Doc Connors could have ever hoped to contain or study this awful blight, Carnage brutally murders Gwen Stacey. Bendis writes the scene vague sympathy for the creature who may actually think it’s Peter Parker and is trying, desperately, to complete itself and reach out, recognizing Gwen. Carnage accidentally sucks her life force in an attempt to have human touch. Or possibly to feed. Bendis leaves the intentions rather unclear, as the being can’t be all too sentient.. right? All the gore and terror is there though. Until this point, Peter’s power and responsibility were never balanced by any means, but nothing ever felt as dire as that moment. He was powerless and responsible all at the same time. Poor Gwen, who had lived with him, loved him, known his secret and maybe even has known him better than Mary-Jane herself, … was now gone. All the readers were left with was the monstrosity, a burbling, screeching, gooey, red monster trying to be alive but only causing death. It’s a heartbreaking pattern for poor Peter Parker. Peter, assigned the guilt and responsibility of literally cleaning up after himself, tears this sucker a new one in one of Bagley’s most emotional set of panels in the series.
The story reads like an intelligent nod towards Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, in that a son creates a monster. Once it gets lose, the creature systematically ruins almost every aspect of it’s creators life. Though Peter is an unintentional player in Ultimate Carnage’s creation, he is surely the only hand responsible in destroying it. The question is, what the hell happened after? Gwen Stacey shows up again and as far as S.H.I.E.L.D., Fantastic, and Stark tech can tell, she is Gwen… despite having some uncontrollable breakouts at first that gave her a term fans aptly dubbed, Carnage-face. It is most likely not the last we’ve seen of this villain, but it will be heartbreaking all over again to lose her once more if that’s where Bendis goes with it. Especially to the heebie-jeebies fest that is Ultimate Carnage.
This is a great plot-twist because it knocks down multiple birds with a single stone. It skips the far too overused trope of serial killers and the appearance of Carnage brings with it the end of Gwen Stacey, a death that Ultimate fans dreaded since her introduction to the story in the first volume, but a necessary death to Peter’s story all things considered. Atop of all of this, Ultimate Carnage represents a total lack of control, an element Bendis has proudly played with since. 07. Venom —
In what is probably the best incarnation of Eddie Brock ever made, Venom easily makes it to the top 10 for creative licensing alone. The fact that the whole alien-rock, alien-goop plot was sacked for something far more meaningful and far more relatable was just peachy-keen for most fans. Bendis pulled all th stops and in the Venom arc readers really get to find out more about Peter’s father than even the canon series has really ever allowed the reader to. Still writing this one up...06. The Kingpin
— Wilson Fisk is a scary fellow and has been throughout his tenure as the Kingpin of Crime in the Marvel-616 canon. He is the fat-cat with all the money and all the back-up plans and no one can seem to touch him. An omnipotent force of corruption throughout the city in the way Lex Luthor is designed to be, but with less inferiority complexes. However, in Ultimate Universe, Bendis gives Kingpin a sense of realism, a blemish of believability and humanity… in between his murdering sprees and corporate take-overs. His relationship with Captain Jean DeWolff is seemingly menacing as Bendis and Bagley weave the scenes of conversation between the two as malicious and worthy of a Tom DeFalco plot. In actuality, they were letting us see the conversations en media res and there was actually a sincere relationship, apparently a sexual one, between the two. Her death at the hands of Punisher leaves Kingpin alone in bed at night, saddened he lost a trusted ally in his attempt to clean the city of “masks” and “crazies.”
The relationship between Peter and Wilson Fisk is similar to the relationship Bendis hashed out in his Daredevil: The Man With No Fear run. But the best part is, Daredevil and Elektra, Hammerhead and Silvermane, all the figureheads and names that branch off the Kingpin tree all make appearances (pre-Ultimatum of course). But it’s still Spider-Man’s relationship with Kingpin that remains central to the story, the others are merely background noise to Peter, who at any and all times is just trying to calm the crazy fighting down for a few minutes just to figure out who the good guys are and who the bad guys are.
His reign on New York crime is the same as it is in canon, but he makes number 6 because of his menace and charisma in this book. Bendis writes a more daunting Fisk than ever before. Fisk isn’t just a business guy who is the master at waving to one camera and squeezing the face of the guy off camera, his relationship with Spider-Man is pointedly unique in comparison to the one he has with canon-verse Spidey. Ultimate Peter, who Kingpin recognizes and acknowledges as just a boy, is responsible for costing Fisk millions of dollars in the span of what is essentially a month in approximate Bendis time (every 100 issues is one year). But with this noted, Spider-Man can still surprise him as Fisk eats for two (or four) in a fancy restaurant and Spidey will actually sit there, call him fat, question his integrity as a human being, and web his feet to the floor just before he leaves because he can. This relationship, while totally something we could see in canon, is not one I, as a collector and reviewer, have come across. This relationship makes Ultimate Fisk unique.