Batman Villains vs Spiderman Villains



Batman Villains vs Spiderman Villains

VOICE OVER: Callum Janes WRITTEN BY: David Foster
It's Web-Head villains vs. Dark Knight villains! In this installment of Versus, we're pitting Spider-Man's sinister adversaries against Batman's aptly named Rogue Gallery. We'll be comparing them by looking at five different attributes that make them so much more than simple antagonists.

Batman Villains vs Spider-Man Villains

Welcome to WatchMojo and in this installment of Versus we’re pitting Spider-Man’s sinister adversaries against Batman’s aptly named Rogue Gallery.

We’ll be comparing them by looking at five different attributes that make them so much more than simple antagonists. Beware of minor spoilers ahead.

Do you prefer Spider-man’s big bads or Batman’s villains? Let us know in the comments below.

Round #1: Richest Backstories

Sometimes, Batman has to spend entire stories just figuring out where villains like Hush came from. But trying to piece together what made these antagonists tick is always fascinating. Joker infamously prefers a more…multiple choice background to keep his enemies guessing. While we might never know what exactly shaped the clown, we know of villains with compelling histories. Harvey Dent is often portrayed as a noble District Attorney and Batman ally who became more malicious after an attack left him scarred. Meanwhile, Dr. Victor Fries fell victim to a scientific experiment gone awry while he was trying to save his wife from a terminal illness. The rogues in Gotham are commonly split between those with mysterious motivations and people whose lives were full of tragedy.

When it comes to Spider-Man's villains, you sometimes have to remind yourself of who the good guy really is. Many of them gain abilities or new forms by accident. They often move outside of the law to attempt to reverse their transformation or because they lost control of their actions. In several mediums, Dr. Curt Conners was a genetic biologist who was attempting to regrow his lost arm. But his experiment backfired and turned him into The Lizard. Eddie Brock’s life was thrown into chaos when a symbiotic parasite bonded with him for survival. And while Max Dillon was just doing his job, an electrical incident changed him. He’s one of the large majority of Spider-man villains who saw their lives ruined by one accident.

It’s safe to say that many Spider-man villains never wanted to be bad. While their stories are sad, Batman’s rogues typically have a little more variety in their backgrounds. The gallery’s blend of mysterious and sympathetic backstories tend to grab our attention more.

WINNER: Batman 1 / Spider-Man 0

Round #2: Presentation

For Batman, practically everything has to be black. But his villains have a wider range for their iconic outfits. Over the years, rogues like Two-Face and Riddler have dressed in memorable duds that reflect their aesthetic. And there are variants of the Penguin that really lean into the bird nickname. While many Batman villains have rocked colorful versions of their signature suits, their threads are occasionally toned down for more grounded Batman stories. There are plenty of DC universes where villains have outfits that are as gritty as Gotham itself. But even if the rogues aren’t bursting with color, you can always point to the Batman antagonists in the crowd. Their designs have become hugely recognizable.

Spidey villains spend almost as much time on their evil schemes as they do on their outfits. Peter doesn’t need his special sense to tell one of his enemies is coming because of their designs. Villains have worn fishbowls on their head, proudly carried a set of tentacles and gone on rampages while wearing full body Rhino suits. Spidey’s antagonists are usually unafraid to rock their ridiculous designs on the big screen. In the last decade alone, we’ve seen everything from Paul Giamatti in an animal exoskeleton to Jake Gyllenhaal in a bright green getup. Seeing their absurd designs updated and realized in various media always makes us feel like comic books have come to life.

We can clearly picture how the various rogues in Batman’s gallery are dressed. However, their outfit designs aren’t as consistent as Spiderman villains. Since foes like Mysterio often look the same in most mediums without shame, the webhead’s enemies web up this round.

WINNER: Batman 1 / Spider-Man 1

Round #3: Greatest Enemy

If you ask either a superfan or casual observer to name Batman's greatest enemy, they'll instantly point at the Joker. The Clown Prince of Crime is notorious for utterly destroying lives for reasons no one can quite understand. The Joker has garnered his vicious reputation while being the antithesis of Batman. While the clown’s always cheery as he shows no regard for human life, The Dark Knight is serious as he tries to protect his friends and foes. This dynamic has made Joker invested in getting Batman to break his no killing rule. The clown’s committed truly heinous acts to try and push the dark knight over the edge. Although all of Batman’s rogues are threats, his most complex and dangerous foe is the Joker.

Spider-Man’s so unpopular with bad guys that it’s hard to nail who his greatest archenemy actually is. His bad relationship with Venom has ensured he has a deadly foe with a similar powerset. And in many universes, the brilliant Doc Oc wraps the webhead in truly vicious schemes. But if we had to settle on one main supervillain, Green Goblin easily glides to the top. This horrific antagonist has dedicated a lot of time to ensuring Spider-man is broken physically and mentally. During one of Goblin’s many attempts to squash the hero, Peter’s girlfriend Gwen lost her life. Since there seem to be no lows that Green Goblin won’t sink to hurt Spider-man, it’s safe to call him the webehead’s worst enemy.

If we were going by quantity, the fact that Spiderman has three contenders for his archenemy with Green Goblin leading the pack would easily take this. But the quality of the twisted relationship between Batman and Joker is strong enough for the dark knight to triumph.

WINNER: Batman 2 / Spider-Man 1

Round #4: Redeemability

No matter how many vicious crimes his enemies commit, Batman tries to save a lot of his rogues. While his go-to move of sending villains to Arkham Asylum doesn’t typically yield great results, he has seen a few enemies embrace heroic instincts. The shapeshifting Clayface went from attacking the dark knight on sight to working alongside the Bat-family to protect Gotham. Speaking of redemption arcs, Harley Quinn stopped following the Joker and became a famous anti-heroine. That turnaround is only second to Selina Kyle. Batman was able to convince the once notorious thief to use her agility and cunning against other supervillains. While the dark knight hasn’t reformed everyone, those he brings into the light become shining beacons in their own right.

Spider-Man’s seen a fair share of big bads do a lot of good. While Sandman was once only a small-time crook, we’ve seen him use his sandy abilities to help others several times. His transformation was almost as stunning as Venom’s. The alien symbiote who once wouldn’t think twice about taking a literal bite of crime has recently swung into a fantastic anti-hero role. As impressive as their arcs were, they can’t hold a tentacle to Doc Ock’s. The twisted genius once took over Spiderman’s body. But instead of committing a bunch of evil crimes, Doc Ock learned how to be a better man under the Superior Spider-Man moniker. His heroic turn is just the latest in the long line of reformed webhead villains.

While we appreciate seeing Batman’s commitment to getting his villains help, he just hasn’t had as much luck as Spider-Man. Seeing one of the wall-crawler’s greatest enemies become more of a hero after spending time with Peter Parker helps put the webhead ahead.

WINNER: Batman 2 / Spider-Man 2

Round #5: Supervillain Team-Ups

During your average night in Gotham, each villain will be executing a scheme in their own part of the city. But when they combine forces, it’s an absolute nightmare for Batman. Comics, animated projects, Arkham games and more have shown us extremely dangerous Gotham alliances. While multiple evil abilities don’t always complement each other, they’re so varied that Batman can scramble to counter multiple opponents at once. After all, how can you focus on Penguin’s umbrella when Killer Croc’s biting at your heels? The only piece of good news for Batman is his enemies have clashing personalities that make it hard for them to play together. If they ever worked out their issues, the dark knight could be doomed.

As far back as 1964, Doctor Octopus has assembled and led a group of six adversaries known infamously as “The Sinister Six.” His team included villains like Vulture, Electro and Sandman working together. They fought Spider-man individually before the hero finally triumphed. Unfortunately, that was just the first version of the Sinister Six. We’ve seen the evil team’s roster swap out members, double their numbers and change up their tactics across multiple media. Sinister six crews and other evil alliances like it have caused trouble in multiple games, several animated series and even “Spider Man: No Way Home”. While Spider-Man usually finds a way to win, the hero lives with the knowledge that another heinous team is likely lurking in the shadows.

There are few things scarier than the thought of a group or Batman villain teaming up. Fortunately for the dark knight, those rogues don’t unite nearly as much as the sinister six does. The evil alliance Spider-Man deals with has a strong rotating roster, an enduring history across several media and a badass team name. All the grief the sinister six caused for nearly 60 years and counting has finally paid off for Spider-Man today by giving him another round win.

WINNER: Batman 2 / Spider-Man 3

With a close victory of 3-2, Spider-Man’s villains reign supreme.