Tag Archives: Electro

Top 5 Rogues Galleries in Comics – #2

Coming in 2nd in the villain-collection countdown is my favorite superhero, Spider-Man. His cast of bad guys is most definitely one of the best, and is surely one of the most colorful. His villains tend to not be massive level threats, but rather smaller-scale ones that often focus their evil deeds directly at Spider-Man himself. Also one distinction Spidey has over other heroes is that it could be argued that he has two nemeses.

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The most vicious, personal, and psychologically damaging among his rogues gallery is the Green Goblin. Norman Osborn was the first villain to learn Spider-Man’s secret identity, and has continually used that knowledge to torture Peter Parker ever since. Brilliant both in science and tactics, and given enhanced strength and durability (but driven insane) by an experiment gone wrong, the Green Goblin attacks Spider-Man and his family on all fronts, and is responsible for arguably the defining moment of Spidey’s life: the death of his first love, Gwen Stacy.

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Almost on par with the Green Goblin is Dr. Octopus. He has been Spider-Man’s most consistent enemy having made his first appearance in just the third issue of Spider-Man’s solo comic, and has been wreaking havok on him continually since. Equipped with mechanical arms that he can control telepathically, Otto Octavius is almost singularly obsessed with killing Spider-Man, even once saving him from another villain that was about to kill him, just so he could kill Spidey himself. The history between Doc Ock and Spidey became even more entwined when their consciousnesses were swapped and Ock was dying. Inside Peter’s body he swore to be an even better Spider-Man, but ultimately failed as he didn’t hesitate to kill criminals instead of bringing them to justice.

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As part of his obsession with defeating Spider-Man once and for all, Dr. Octopus formed the Sinister Six, a super group of some of the Wall-Crawler’s greatest foes. Though the line-up has changed throughout its history, the team usually consists of: Electro (ability to shoot and control lightning), Mysterio (expert illusionist and effects specialist), Sandman (body composed of shape-shifting sand), Vulture (brilliant criminal with a bodysuit equipped with wings), Kraven (the world’s greatest hunter who sees Spider-Man as the “ultimate prey”), and lead by Doc Ock. Spider-Man typically requires help from other heroes to defeat the Sinister Six.

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After Spidey manages to remove the Symbiote that had become his black costume, the Symbiote falls onto Eddie Brock, a humiliated reporter that Spider-Man had proved a fraud. Their combined hatred for Spider-Man and Brock’s cancer-ridden body producing extra adrenaline (which the Symbiote feeds on) come together to form a new and totally vicious entity known as Venom. With full knowledge of literally everything about Peter Parker, the ability to block Spidey’s Spider Sense, and a twisted sense of morality, Venom immediately becomes a major threat to everyone in Spider-Man’s life.

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When the offspring of the Symbiote is left in Eddie Brock’s prison cell after his escape, it bonds with his cellmate, the psychopathic serial killer Cletus Kasady. Fueled by hatred for its “parent” and Kasady’s psychosis, Carnage is born. Breaking free and going on brutal killing spree, it took a truce between Spider-Man and Venom to defeat him. Even after his initial defeat, Carnage has continued to be a sadistic thorn in the side of the Web-Slinger.

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When biologist Curt Connors experiments on himself with reptile DNA in an attempt to regenerate the right arm he lost in the military, he is instead transformed into the mindless reptilian monster simply known as The Lizard. He eventually changes back, but will occasionally revert back to his monstrous form without warning. His story is one of the more interesting of Spider-Man villains, as Spidey is stuck trying to stop The Lizard’s deadly rampages but also trying to do so in a way that doesn’t permanently harm Connors.

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Biochemist Michael Morbius attempted to cure himself of a rare blood disease by experimenting on vampire bats, he inadvertently gave himself a form of “psuedo-vampirism” where he must subsist on human blood in order to survive and gains superhuman strength, reflexes, durability, and the ability to fly. His appearence also changes to resemble that of a bat, becoming known as Morbius the Living Vampire. His need to feed has set him at odds with Spider-Man on multiple occasions.

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While J. Jonah Jameson may not be the type of character you think of when you’re discussing a hero’s rogues gallery, but he has been every bit as big of a thorn in Spider-Man’s side as anyone else. Being Peter Parker’s boss at the Daily Bugle means that Peter has to listen to Jameson’s constant hate-filled defaming of Spider-Man on a daily basis. Jameson hasn’t settled to just attempt to destroy Spider-Man’s reputation through the media, but has also been behind several supervillains’ attempts at killing Spidey, including being responsible for the creation of major Spider-Man villain, The Scorpion.

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review (Spoilers)

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As I’ve said before, Spider-Man is my favorite superhero. Always has been. So anytime a Spider-Man movie comes out, I get excited. Sometimes that excitement is rewarded (Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, The Amazing Spider-Man). Sometimes not so much (Spider-Man 3). I had tried to go into The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with a little less excitement. Not because I feared it would be bad, but just wanted to be a bit more objective. I emphasize that I tried to be less excited, but as I started reading all of the feedback from fellow comic fans, I couldn’t help but be optimistic about it.

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My wife and I went to the theater Sunday afternoon to watch it. I’m sad to say that my excitement was definitely not rewarded. The movie just feels like it’s a set up for more movies instead of being a good stand alone film. The poster is horribly misleading, as Electro, Green Goblin, and Rhino are never on screen together. Aside from Peter’s wise cracks and the relationship between Gwen and Peter, there was nothing really exceptional in the movie. The web-slinging looked really cool, but it was bogged down by constant slow-motion. I get it, Spider-Man can do some really cool stuff, but I felt it took away from the effect by slowing it down. Let me see him doing it in real time. It’s way more impressive. I couldn’t help but feel that I was watching a movie that was made specifically for 3-D without the 3-D (because I refuse to pay more for it unless it’s the only option I have). The acting outside of Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone was decent at best. Sally Field wasn’t bad, but she just wasn’t in it enough. Jamie Foxx was terribly disappointing as Electro. Dane DeHaan was way too snarky for Harry Osborn. But the worst was Paul Giamatti as Rhino. I understand that Rhino isn’t exactly known for his brain, but his portrayal was too over-the-top and campy, and didn’t really fit the tone they were going for. I love Chris Cooper, and thought his casting as Norman Osborn was brilliant. He’s a top-notch actor who could bring some real credibility to the role…but then he died after his first scene!

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As I mentioned in my last post, the Green Goblin (specifically Norman Osborn) is my favorite villain ever. I was worried about what his role in this series would be when it was announced that Harry would indeed be the Green Goblin and not his father. I was still hopeful that they would lay the groundwork for Norman to assume the role or mention that he was actually the Goblin at some point prior to Harry.Imagine my frustration when what I actually got was Norman dying 20 minutes into the movie. His legacy in the Spider-Man mythos was wiped out completely.

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But the most grievous of offenses was the death of Gwen Stacy. That moment in comics is one of the most iconic and gut-wrenching in comic history. It destroyed any doubt who Spider-Man’s true nemesis was, as before then it could be argued that Dr. Octopus was his greatest enemy. But Norman Osborn, as the Green Goblin, uses Gwen Stacy as bait to kill Spider-Man. In the ensuing battle between the two, Gwen is thrown from the top of the George Washington Bridge. Peter shoots a web down to catch her, but the sudden stop breaks her neck, killing her instantly. Peter blames himself for her death and the guilt weighs on him for the rest of his life. To take that away from Norman Osborn and give it to Harry infuriated me beyond belief. Yet again, they’ve erased his legacy from the story. The event is a turning point not only in the life of Peter Parker and the Spider-Man comic legend, but in the history of comics as a whole. It was quite literally the loss of innocence in comics. And to have that monumental of a moment handled so poorly was a travesty and was a blatant thumb in the eye of comic fans. Gwen’s death comes out of nowhere with no real build. On top of the terrible handling of the moment itself, 15 minutes later, Peter is fine and out making jokes as Spider-Man again. There’s no feeling at all that her death still weighs on him.

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Overall I was thoroughly unimpressed with this installment in the Amazing Spider-Man series. I hope that this isn’t a taste of what’s to come, but in the words of the great philosopher George Lucas, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”