Digital Series
Published July 2, 2019

Marvel's Top 10 Animal-Themed Villains

Marvel's stable of Super Villains are a wild, wild bunch!

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Marvel's Super Heroes would be nothing without their Super Villains giving them something to fight for -- and sometimes, those baddies borrow from nature to build their evil personas. Many of these fearsome foes become that way by accident, driven by something deeper. Some of them are nothing but trouble! Here are Marvel's Top 10 animal-themed villains:

10. Mole Man

Mole Man
MIGHTY AVENGERS (2007) #1

Harvey Elder spent his entire life being ridiculed for his strange appearance. As an adult, a series of failures and rejections led to his life in Subterranea, where he vowed revenge on the surface world. One of his very first enemies was Marvel’s First Family – the Fantastic Four! The FF thwarted one of Mole Man’s schemes during their very first mission, and Mole Man never got over it.

9. Toad

Toad
ALL-NEW X-MEN (2015) #6

The enemy of my enemy is my friend – that’s just one reason why Mortimer Toynbee AKA Toad was drawn to Magneto. The orphaned mutant clung to Magneto in search of the attention that he never got. With the mission to destroy the human race, Toad joined the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. He tried to fight alongside the X-Men and form his own mutant group, but Toad always seemed to end up fighting the good guys.

8. Swarm

Swarm
THUNDERBOLTS (2006) #122

You ever hear the one about the Nazi made of bees? That’s Swarm! No, really – the consciousness of Nazi scientist Fritz von Meyer was mutated into a sentient colony of bees that flies around as a single mass. Even creepier, the bees that became his body were the cause of his death. Since taking on his buzzy new form, Swarm has terrorized everyone from Black Widow to Spider-Man to the X-Men and more!

7. Scorpion

Scorpion
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1999) #654

Once a private investigator, Mac Gargan underwent a scientific experiment at the request of J. Jonah Jameson, who offered him $10,000 to go through with it. But the experiment cost Gargan his sanity and turned him into the monstrous Scorpion, who became an (oft-defeated) enemy of Spider-Man, Captain America, Carol Danvers, and more. He became an even more dangerous force when he took on the Venom symbiote and joined the Sinister Twelve!

6. Chameleon

Chameleon
AVENGING SPIDER-MAN (2011) #20

The half-brother of Kraven the Hunter seemed like he’d be a perfect fit as a ruthless villain. Instead, the former Dmitri Smerdyakov was shunned by his family and used his ability to impersonate others to become a spy. When that went south, the Chameleon developed his abilities with chemicals and tech to make himself an even more deceptive doppelganger, fooling Spider-Man, Iron Man, and more throughout the years.

5. Rhino

Rhino
SPIDER-MAN'S TANGLED WEB (2001) #5

Aleksei Sytsevich started out as muscle for the Russian mob, but after he underwent a life-threatening course of mutations, he became the Rhino. His tough skin and brute strength made him a tough villain to defeat, and he went up against the likes of Spider-Man, the Hulk, and the Avengers.

4. Vulture

Vulture
FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN (2005) #15

Another one of Spider-Man’s original foes, Adrian Toomes originally sought revenge against a business partner who swindled him. Instead of using his engineering knowledge for good, he used it to become a thief and a criminal. He fought against Spider-Man again and again, but usually found himself defeated and behind bars.

3. Sabretooth

Sabretooth
SABRETOOTH (2004) #3

Victor Creed never had an easy life once his marauding mutation manifested. Once his new abilities revealed themselves, he killed his brother over a piece of pie. After that, his family thought he was possessed by demons and kept him chained in a basement. But he chewed off his own hand and killed his father. After his mother died, Victor was free to go on a rampage across Canada. With his healing ability, brutal claws, and longevity, he carried on this homicidal hunt for decades. He became one of the most enduring foes of Wolverine and the X-Men.

2. Lizard

Lizard
WEB OF SPIDER-MAN (2009) #6

Dr. Curt Connors' scientific adventures took a turn for the villainous when he experimented on himself in an attempt to regrow his arm. Instead of getting a new human arm, he took on the appearance of a giant lizard with terrifying abilities. Connors made many attempts to rid himself of the Lizard identity and even aided Spider-Man, one of his long-time enemies. But the scaly Super Villain still resurfaces to cause Spidey problems.

1. Doctor Octopus

Doctor Octopus
SPIDEY (2015) #1

Another seminal Spidey villain, Dr. Otto Octavius fused himself with mechanical tentacles and became one of the Marvel Universe’s biggest foes. He has certainly had his share of sympathetic moments, but whether he’s aligning himself with other sinister villains or taking over Peter Parker’s body, it’s fair to say that Doctor Octopus has chosen which side he wants to be on.

Who is your favorite animal-themed villain in the Marvel Universe? Tell us on social media! You can find Marvel on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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