The release of Spider-Man: No Way Home is set to be a celebration of the last 20 years of cinematic web-slinging. With returning villains such as the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus, the film is set to feature more Spidey enemies than ever before. Old and young, we love to geek out over these comic-book characters: buying their comics, wearing their image on boys’ long sleeve tops, and watching their movies.
However, with a growing cinematic universe (and a lot of characters to keep up with), even the most knowledgeable Marvel fans may need to do a little catch-up research before heading to the cinema. Before seeing the film, we can hop on the internet and search for our favourite characters, using Wikipedia as our source
Fans have been reading up on origin stories, aliases, powers and abilities, and more. Will you be researching Spider-Man’s enemies before seeing them in action on the big screen?
Spider-Man’s own Wikipedia entry lists 19 notable antagonists (including the Sinister Six as a collective body). Now, new data analyses the number of views each Spider-Man villain’s Wikipedia page has amassed in 2021 and by comparing view scores from 2020, we can see which of Spider-Man’s nemeses have become more popular in the last year.
Here, we list the top five Spider-Man enemies with the biggest rise in views this year — showing where fans are interested in their vicious villainy. WARNING — there may be spoilers ahead.
5. Doctor Octopus — +65%
“Hello, Peter…” says Doctor Octopus (aka Otto Octavius) as he launches into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in the trailer for No Way Home. The mad scientist with mechanical tentacle arms is one of Spider-Man’s oldest enemies, having first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #3 (July 1963).
Fans are likely to be searching for the character to find out more about his history and abilities, especially now that Alfred Molina is reprising his role as the menacing supervillain this Christmas. Perhaps that’s why Doctor Octopus’ page views increased by 65 per cent in 2021, with 657,266 people reading his entry this year.
4. Sinister Six — +66%
This isn’t just one villain – but a collection of them. The team of supervillains was originally set up after Doctor Octopus suffered two defeats from Spider-Man. The original line-up includes Doc-Ock, Vulture, Electro, Mysterio, Sandman, and Kraven the Hunter.
While Spider-Man: No Way Home will feature a range of villains, there’s not yet any indication that this is a form of the Sinister Six. However, that hasn’t stopped fans from studying the group to get clues on how the film will play out. In 2021, the Sinister Six’s Wikipedia page was viewed 902,977 times — that’s up by 66 per cent from the previous year.
3. Hobgoblin — +87%
Roderick Kingsley is the Hobgoblin, a businessman obsessed with power and inspired by the Green Goblin. The identity of the Hobgoblin was initially kept a secret from readers, creating one of the Spider-Man series’ longest-running mysteries. As with any great mystery, there comes a great deal of research. People have flocked to Wikipedia this year to find out what they can about the demonic goblin, potentially aiming to see if the character will appear in any upcoming live-action movies. Hobgoblin had 455,647 page views in 2021, 87 per cent above the previous year.
2. Kraven the Hunter — +109%
Another original member of the Sinister Six, Kraven the Hunter has had the second biggest rise in research in 2021. With 609,891 page views, his popularity has soared by 109 per cent against the previous year. But why are people hunting for information about this villain? In May 2021, Sony announced that Aaron Taylor-Johnson will portray Kraven in a dedicated film. Taylor-Johnson is already a name associated with superheroes, having already starred as Quicksilver in the MCU’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.
1. Carnage — +124%
We’ve reached the number one spot. The offspring of the Venom symbiote and attached to Cletus Kassidy, Carnage is a menacing villain with a sadistic personality. The most recent portrayal of this comic character was in 2021’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage, where the red parasite was played by Woody Harrelson. People have latched onto Wikipedia to find out more about this villain, with page views 124 per cent higher than last year. Carnage is also the most researched Spider-Man enemy of this year, with a total of 1,328,131 page views. With Venom entering the MCU, is there a chance we may see a version of Carnage face-off against Spider-Man? Only time will tell.
Who do you want to see go up against Spider-Man? With No Way Home’s release, there’s no shortage of villains to enjoy. You may just want to do some research before you get to the cinema, so you can find out who’s who.