Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Every Villain In Spider-Man: No Way Home Ranked

Warning: this article contains spoilers for "Spider-Man: No Way Home."

You can't have a superhero legacy of over 19 years without making a few super enemies. Incredibly, for Peter Parker's new adventure in "Spider-Man: No Way Home," most of them make a bombastic return thanks to inter-dimensional portal hopping, which leads to chaos, confrontation, and memes being perfectly brought to life. Willem Defoe, Alfred Molina, Thomas Haden Church, Rhys Ifans, and Jamie Foxx are all back in their respective roles as the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, The Sandman, The Lizard, and Electro. Thrown into another dimension from a Doctor Strange spell gone bad, their new place to terrorize isn't the issue — it's the potential plans being thwarted by Spider-Man, regardless if he's not the wall-crawler they're looking for.

Having to take on one of his greatest battles alone in the latest film, this band of bad guys poses different threats in various dangerous ways. With that said, it's time to line up this quintet of antagonists and rank the maddest, baddest villains in "Spider-Man: No Way Home." From tamest to most terrifying and manageable to maniacal, just which one among these five is the one to watch your back with the most? Be warned — again — though, this will contain spoilers and we're not responsible for anyone's villain origin story.

5. Lizard

Scale-obsessed scientist Dr. Kurt Connors was the first foe of Andrew Garfield's Spidey back in 2012 with "The Amazing Spider-Man." With The Lizard's return in "Spider-Man: No Way Home," he is as about as threatening here as he was back then. Having the least screen time out of all of the menaces to Spider-Men of past and present, his presence just isn't felt as strongly as some of the rest of the threats Parker faces here.

Not even warranting a worthy entrance, his arrival comes off-screen after being captured by Doctor Strange while Peter is dealing with Electro and Sandman. From there, he's given the King Shark "Suicide Squad" treatment of staying in the van for a lengthy portion of the film before being a forgetful CGI beastie chasing after the web-slinger. Even the method of putting him out of action is the same as was used in the original film. In retrospect, The Lizard feels like a plus one that is there just to build out the numbers and not much else. Sorry, Dr. Connors. 

4. The Sandman

The triple threat that rounds off the original group of cinematic Spider-Man villains comes in the form of Flint Marko aka The Sandman. Last seen making amends for past deeds in Tobey Maguire's "Spider-Man 3," the big bad least corrupted by evil gets benched for most of the side-shifting and evil deeds being enacted by some of the other villains pulled into Spidey's world for "Spider-Man: No Way Home." 

Regardless of his good intentions to get back to his family, Marko is still a danger to this particular wall-crawler, although not nearly enough as the rest in this lineup. While prominent for most of the film, his presence does raise a few questions in the final act that sees him fighting against our heroes for reasons that aren't too clear. Instead, he's only put to the forefront when it's time for him to bust into action. While still a feast for the eyes, The Sandman makes for an ill-fitting piece to the much grander puzzle of "No Way Home." 

3. Electro

Of all the foes that face off against Spider-Man in "No Way Home," Electro is without a doubt the one that's had the most drastic change since the last time we saw him in Andrew Garfield's "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." Jamie Foxx's original iteration was a bumbling scientist with a combover, similar in a way to Jim Carrey's take on Edward Nigma/The Riddler in "Batman Forever." Instead, the Maxwell Dillon we're reunited with here is, quite simply, more Jamie Foxx than anything — and it's one of the smartest choices in the whole film.

Somehow, Dillon's time in the grid after his failed effort to become pure energy has turned him into one of the few criminals in this group you want to hang out with. He feels more like the hired goon type that Vulture would do well to buddy up with and goes as far as even stealing some scenes from his co-stars, including the one in the red and blue onesie. That being said, his obsession for a new form of energy does make him a force to be reckoned with, making him an excellent fit for a spot at third place.

2. Doctor Octopus

The enigmatic enemy to the Spidey of director Sam Raimi's original trilogy, Dr. Otto Octavius is just as charming and equally chilling in his return in "Spider-Man: No Way Home." Much like his successor on this list, Alfred Molina's portrayal of the scientist we've not seen him play for 17 years is seamless. From his scattered memories of a fistfight with Spider-Man to battling with the voices in his head, Molina makes it crystal clear why his portrayal of the character in "Spider-Man 2" made him one of the best comic book movie villains in history. It also makes his slightly repeated character arc just as rewarding.

We know that Octavius was a good man who resorted to violent and criminal means to achieve his goal, but we still managed to see the flicker of a good man in his final moments. In "No Way Home," more time is spent ensuring that the seemingly lost cause is found and sticks around a little longer. It might be just because of the festive season, but Doc Ock feels almost Scrooge-like here before learning the errors of his ways, making his turn back to the light an absolute joy to see.

1. Green Goblin

Above all of the cast making comebacks in their respective roles, no one gives their character more attention, or advancement than Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn aka the Green Goblin. The former first foe of big-screen Spider-Men could've easily phoned it in with the occasional cackle and that iconic delirious Defoe grin. Instead, he gets back into both mindsets as the man and the monster controlling him, making him without a doubt the most formidable enemy Holland's Spidey has faced.

Making the genius move in "Spider-Man: No Way Home" to get that iconic, but performance-limiting mask out the equation allows Defoe to go well and truly nuts. The split between Osborn and Gobby is so much more potent and petrifying when one takes over the other. It also causes Holland's hero to handle the most challenging choices he's ever had to make in his trilogy, all the while being pushed by a monster on a glider that effortlessly gets inside his head.

There's no denying that the MCU has hosted many great villains over the years, but Green Goblin reminds us in no time at all that he helped set the bar long before the universe even existed.