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Being the flagship character of Marvel since he was first introduced in 1962, Spider-Man is one of the many Marvel characters who boasts of having a multitude of villains who are after him and want to skin him alive.
Time and again, he has gone up against villains who were either way below his power level or so way above his power level that the villain was practically god-like. The sheer number of villains gunning for him, however, has never dampened the neurotic superhero's spirit.
The truth of the matter is, one of the most outstanding qualities of this arachnid-theme hero is his indomitable spirit. The mere fact that he has never backed down from fighting villains with Earth-shattering powers has actually served to help some of them turn away from a life of crime and actually try doing superheroics themselves.
The latest Spider-Man movie appears to depict the character of Mysterio, traditionally a villain in the Spider Man comic series, acting as a hero, although that remains to be seen if true. Here are a few others who turned over a new leaf after encountering Spider-Man:
William Baker never had an easy life. Growing up impoverished and without a father, it was almost expected that he would eventually become a criminal. After escaping from prison, he was accidentally bombarded with a massive dose of radiation, which allowed him to take on all the properties of sand.
Becoming immensely powerful, he took on heroes like the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, and of course, Spider-man. After a rather traumatic battle with Spider-Man, he lost interest in being a career criminal, and with the help of Ben Grimm, also known as the Thing, he tried his hand at superheroics, helping out a few heroes in their missions.
Due to the nature of his powers, the Sandman is practically invulnerable. His only vulnerability was high temperatures which would fuse his form into immobile glass, although breaking the glass would allow him to move his particles once more. He has, on occasion, even helped out the Fantastic Four against their mortal enemy Doctor Doom. The Sandman's powers also make him nearly impossible to contain, as not only could his particulate form go through even the smallest spaces, he could also project his sand with enough force to punch through steel.
Doctor Otto Octavius was one of the foremost authorities in field of atomic and radiation research, exceeded only by Bruce Banner, also known as the Incredible Hulk, and Doctor Chen Lu, also known as the Radioactive Man. Creating artificial limbs mounted on a harness to help him handle the dangerous materials he used in his research, Doctor Octavius was involved in a freak accident that bonded the harness to his body, making the artificial arms part of his body and driving him criminally insane.
Calling himself Doctor Octopus, he became the mortal enemy of Spider-Man, although the irony of it all was that Doctor Octavius has tried, on a number of occasions, to get romantically involved with none other than Peter Parker's own aunt, May Parker.
Doctor Octopus learned later on that he was dying from the long-term effects of injuries he sustained as a criminal and from fighting Spider Man for years. He came up with a convoluted plan to exchange his consciousness with Spider Man so that he would get Spider Man's healthy body. At the same time he would finally score a permanent win by having Peter Parker occupy his dying body until it finally succumbed.
He succeeded, and once in Peter Parker's body, he set out to prove that he was the "superior" person by creating the Superior Spider Man persona, where he complimented the natural powers of Spider Man with technological innovations of his own. As a technical hero, he was for more efficient and effective because of his genius, although he still behaved in the same callous and arrogant manner he always had, so much so that other heroes refused to have anything to do with him as the Superior Spider Man.
Eddie Brock was a struggling reporter and photographer just before being bonded to the symbiote which would make him Venom. He came to resent Peter Parker because Parker often sold more pictures of Spider-Man in action to the Daily Bugle, which left left Brock with less opportunities. After a fateful night where the symbiote bonded with Eddie Brock after being rejected by Peter Parker, Venom was born.
Venom became one of the deadliest villains to ever plague Spider Man, as he had all of Spider-Man's abilities to a superlative level, plus Venom somehow does not register on Spider-Man's Spider Sense, allowing him to ambush Spider-Man whenever he wanted to.
After teaming up with Spider Man to defeat Carnage, Venom decided to become a hero himself, turning him into the Lethal Protector. Venom proved to be a significantly effective crimefighter, as he has the added bonus of instilling fear in evildoers, as he always mentions a preference for eating their brains.
Felicia Hardy was the daughter of a notorious cat burglar, which was practically a guarantee of her becoming one herself eventually. Running across Spider-Man during one of her burglaries, she fell in love with the superhero, and has since then tried her best to make him fall for her as well, even going so far as to commit crimes just so he would seek her out.
Eventually reforming after a brief and failed romance with Spider Man, Black Cat now runs her own private investigations firm, using her considerable abilities to ply her trade. She has also helped Spider Man on several occasions, even taking on and defeating the powerful villain Scorpion who sought to kill Spider-Man during the time that he had no powers.
Unlike most of Spider Man's usual foes, Thomas Fireheart, otherwise known as Puma, is not some down-on-his-luck petty criminal. He is actually the CEO of Fireheart Enterprises, a multi-national corporation second only to Stark Industries in scale and operations. Growing up significantly more privileged than most of his peers, Fireheart sought out more difficult challenges to test his skills and powers against.
To this end, he hunted and stalked Spider-Man, mainly due to the hero's reputation of defeating even powerful villains. After two encounters with Spider Man, Fireheart, as the Puma, nearly defeated Spider Man, but only because Spider Man sought to protect innocent bystanders.
Losing his interest to defeat Spider Man, the Puma instead hired himself out to interested parties seeking a super-powered champion, although he did so not for the money, but more for the challenge. Before Spider-man's subsequent evolution, the Puma was far stronger than the hero, and also considerably faster. The Puma combined martial arts training with the sheer savagery that came with his animal-like powers, making him more than a match for even Spider-Man in battle.
Abner Jenkins was a brilliant aircraft mechanic who developed a flying armored suit he intended to use for adventure and arrogantly thought he could defeat the Thing and the Human Torch using it. Soundly defeated, he sought revenge but instead encountered Spider Man, who also soundly defeated him. After repeated defeats, the Beetle gave up his quest for vengeance and was instead inspired to try out superheroics, constructing a more powerful flying suit and taking the name Mach 1.
Unlike Tony Stark who built his armor to fight crime and defend humanity, the Mach armor built by Jenkins wasn't really built to fight powerful villains, so he continued to upgrade his technology following encounters with super-powered criminals. He now has his latest iteration, the Mach X armor, which is somewhere below the capabilities of the latest Iron Man suit, but is still quite powerful in itself, allowing Jenkins to face off against powerful menaces such as Graviton.
Those who saw the Spiderverse movie will definitely be familiar with the character of the Prowler. Originally, the Prowler was Hobie Brown a gifted engineering student who got through school by working as a window washer. On his first outing as a super criminal, he targeted the payroll of the Daily Bugle, but ran afoul of Spider Man and was soundly defeated. Giving up on plans of crime rather early, the Prowler once again put on his costume when someone he was looking after got murdered, and he sought to bring the killer to justice.
Eventually, the Prowler became friends with Spider-Man and even masqueraded as Spider-Man himself to throw off suspicions that Peter Parker was really Spider Man. Sadly, his attempts at being a hero a being a friend to Spider-Man brought nothing but injury and disaster to his life.