Last year, I talked about Six Spectacularly Spooky Spider-Man Villains. This year, I’m talking about six more!
The original Candyman?
Swam has a weird backstory: a Nazi scientist who escaped to South America where he experimented with mutant bees who then consumed his flesh and merged with his consciousness. He is nothing but a skeleton surrounded by a swarm of bees. You have to admit, he looks pretty awesome. He debuted as an adversary for the Champions in the late ’70s, but then later become more associated as a Spider-Man villain.
A version of Swarm appeared in the classic series Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. This take on Swarm featured no human host, a beehive sentient due to the radiation of a fallen meteorite.
Jack O’ Lantern
Multiple people have assumed the moniker of Jack O’ Lantern, but o matter who is behind the pumpkin, I love Jack O’ Lantern. In fact, I love actual jack ‘o lanterns and pumpkins in general. Earlier designs featured Jack O’ Lantern as your typical cheesy super-villain dressed up for Halloween, but I love his most recent look where he’s all lanky, with leather and belts and legit rides a jet-powered broomstick instead of a bootleg Goblin Glider like previous versions had done.
Regardless of the villain’s true identity at any point in time, Jack O’ Lantern is ultimately a B-level villain who usually works with, or for, other villains such as the second Hobgoblin, Red Skull, Blackwing, Crime Master, and Norman Osborn.
Carrion is another Spider-villain whose name has been shared by various people. The original Carrion was a decayed clone of the Jackal. My own memories involved the second person to become Carrion and him tagging along with Carnage, Shriek, Demogoblin, and Hobgoblin as they all terrorized NYC and Spider-Man during the “Maximum Carnage” storyline from 1993. Powers include intangibility, the ability to disintegrate organic matter, telepathy, flight, and telekinesis.
Vermin originally debuted battling Captain America, but eventually went on to clash more often with Spider-Man. But, hey, spiders and rats go hand in hand, so Spidey having a rat-based villain makes perfect sense! Vermin was a scientist working for the second Baron Zemo when an experiment went wrong and turned him into a furry pink-hued man-rat. This change enhanced his agility, strength, speed, and stamina in addition to giving him razor-sharp claws while reducing his intelligence to a child-like state.
Freak is a fairly recent addition to Spider-Man’s rogues gallery and I can’t think of a better word to describe him. This guy’s look is INTENSE like something out of John Carpenter’s The Thing. Freak was a junkie who injected himself with an animal DNA serum from the lab of Curt Connors (the Lizard), thinking it was for recreational use. This caused Freak to become skinless, yet bulletproof. While many of Spider-Man’s villains come across as spooky, Freak is just downright terrifying to look at.
Tombstone is a mainstay in the crime underworld of New York City who has had dealings with Hammerhead, the Chameleon, the Kingpin, and Daredevil. At various times he has been a hitman/enforcer and a crime boss himself. He has history with Daily Bugle editor Robbie Robertson, which obviously was going to draw him into conflict with Spider-Man. While he would eventually gain superpowers in the form of strength, speed, stamina, and durability, he was born an albino and filed his teeth and fingernails to give himself a vampiric appearance to give himself an advantage in his criminal dealings.