There are a lot of superhero movies out there, but the hero is only half the story — the boring half, in fact. However much you love a hero, it takes a great villain to really bring a movie over the top. There needs to be a foil to the hero's strengths: a Joker for the Batman, a Red Skull for Captain America, a Michael Bay for the American public.
Without a villain, all you’ve got is someone prancing around in tights for a couple hours ... a terrible idea unless Sony unexpectedly takes our suggestion and casts Jessica Alba in the title role. Since sadly that seems unlikely to happen, we have a few suggestions for who the still unannounced villain of Spider-Man 4 should be. While popular favorites (the Green Goblin, Dr. Octopus, and emo haircuts) have already been used up, Spider-Man has been around for nearly 50 years. The series offers a wide variety of possibilities, each sillier than the last. We count them down below.
10. Carnage, aka Cletus Kassady
Powers: Like Spider-Man, Carnage can do anything a spider can. He can also do anything Venom can. While we’re at it, he can also shoot weapons out of his body and regenerate, not to mention his mind control abilities and impossible level of strength. Maybe it would be quicker to list what he can’t do. Fly ... we think. Yeah, that’s about it.
Why he’d make a great movie villain: Carnage’s ruthless brand of homicidal fury is exactly what the Spider-Man franchise could use. His tendency to murder first, ask questions to a corpse later, contrasts with the comparatively more benign villains Spider-Man has been faced with in the past. If Sony’s looking for the most powerful evil villain it can find, Carnage is their one-stop shop. He’s the villain equivalent of a Wal-Mart, but with fewer whining children.
Why he couldn’t possibly be taken seriously: A year ago, Carnage would have been the ultimate supervillain, a man who could use his vicious attacks to take superhero movies into bold, new, possibly R-rated places. But then we had The Dark Knight. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that Carnage is basically Marvel’s version of The Joker, just with a few extra red tentacles added for good measure. Spider-Man 4 could still be amazing with Carnage, but it would be taunted on the schoolyard by claims of "copycat," "wannabe," and "Joker with red tentacles."
9. The Rhino, aka Aleksei Sytsevich
Powers: The Rhino is super fast, super strong ... and super ridiculous looking. His grey rhino suit reportedly acts as a form of armor, even though it’s clearly just grey tights. His suit also features a horn, since we all know that any halfway decent villain needs an implausible gimmick.
Why he’d make a great movie villain: He may not be as flat-out evil as someone like Carnage, but The Rhino has been a standard Spidey villain since the '60s. He’s one of the good ol’ boys of comics. Tossing him into the mix would deepen the lore of the movies’ universe, not to mention be a great throwback for fans of the comics.
Why he couldn’t possibly be taken seriously: That being said, The Rhino is ultimately a large, burly man in festive, animal-themed tights. Suffice it to say, he’d be more at home in a gay pride parade than on a killing spree. If he makes the cut, Spider-Man 4 might have to battle the 1966 Batman for "Campiest Superhero Movie Ever."