All year long on Marvel.com, we’re celebrating Marvel’s 75th anniversary, and to fully appreciate the scope of that history, you need to go back to where it all began.
As anybody knows, a good hero only becomes great when they go up against insurmountable obstacles, meaning their antagonists better be every bit as formidable and intriguing as the champions they menace.
While the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Avengers and more burst on the scene in the 1960’s, they may have been forgotten had they simply faced the nameless saboteurs and spies of the Golden Age; instead, villains with not just awe-inspiring powers but multi-faceted motives, in many cases as sympathetic as any character’s, rose to challenge this pantheon.
This week, we count down our top 10 Marvel villains to debut during the 1960’s. Have your own thoughts? Let us know on Twitter using the hash tag #Marvel75!
First Appearance: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #3
Why He’s #6: “When Otto Octavius first brandished his menacing titanium arms—four prehensile tentacles originally designed for handling radioactive material—few could predict his potential as both a villain and eventual hero. Upon his debut in 1963, the warped genius and his eight appendages presented the perfect foil for Spider-Man. Though the Green Goblin went on to become Spidey’s most dire and personal threat, Doc Ock and not Gobby issued Peter’s first major defeat, a milestone notch in a loss column that would only grow as the decades progressed. Octavius also rallied the Sinister Six, leading a charge of bitter rogues in an effort to squash their mutual nemesis once and for all. When that didn’t work, he did it again, and again, until the octopus and the spider became so entwined that they eventually started to look alike. If not the superior Spider-Man, Otto Octavius forever stands as a superior rival.” – Paul Montgomery
Digital Comics Spotlight: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #31
First Appearance: UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #1
Why He’s #5: “Magneto stood out as an impressive villain from his earliest appearances—powerful, ambitious, and uniquely motivated. His goal of mutant supremacy set him apart from other would-be world conquerors, and his mastery of magnetism made him a high level threat. In the years since, he's gained additional layers of complexity. His history as a survivor of the Holocaust revealed the righteous roots of his fear of extinction, and his actions have veered between villainy and heroism. At his worst, Magneto looms as a monster with the world at his mercy. At his best, he's the one who hunts monsters, because sometimes it takes one to catch another.” – Andrew Wheeler
Digital Comics Spotlight: UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #62
Come back tomorrow to see two more entries on the list, share your thoughts on Twitter with the hash tag #Marvel75 and keep up on Marvel’s 75th anniversary celebration at marvel.com/75