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Archrivals: Spider-Man vs The Chameleon

Scan the shadowy history of strife between Spider-Man and the conniving Chameleon

By Jim Beard

Lesson from Spider-Man: The unseen enemy can often be the deadliest enemy of all. While many of the wall-crawler's opponents attack in blustery fashion, the crafty Chameleon's contents himself with tactics of distraction, duplicity and disguise.

Crawling out from under a rock once again this August 12 in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #602, the Chameleon seems intent on reminding Spidey of their long and lethal history together. Claiming the title of the wall-crawler's very first super villain and possessing the ability to appear as virtually anyone, this cunning crook's taxed our hero to the limits on more than a few occasions.

Stay close as we walk through the following sordid stories and we'll clue you in on exactly how to spot...the Chameleon!


Distracted by his need for money and smarting from his rejection by the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man unknowingly slipped into a clever trap set by the wily Chameleon. The criminal hoped to pose as the web-slinger to steal some missile defense plans but didn't count on being foiled by Spidey's spectacularly acute spider-sense.

MARVEL TEAM-UP #27 (1974)

Disguised as the Hulk's friends Rick Jones, the Chameleon commanded the green behemoth on a mission to bust his own friend Joe Cord out of prison. Spider-Man managed to involve himself in the chaos that ensued and unmasked his enemy in front of the Hulk. A gun battle with the police followed the break-out and hapless Joe lost his life in the crossfire.


The Chameleon, now able to physically mold his skin into any set of features, attempted to refocus his criminality and get on with the complete destruction of the United States. Unfortunately, he chose a victim with ties to Peter Parker, which led to defeat at the hands of Spider-Man. The Chameleon then ran off with his tail between his legs, scheming new schemes.


Having recently repelled attacks by other foes, Spider-Man suffered complete power-loss from a devilish device of the Chameleon's. The wall-crawler and the Black Cat tracked down the band of baddies and Spidey reactivated his powers with the machine. His plots once again exposed, the Chameleon offered up his partners for a beat-down and escaped to plot another day.


After being revealed as the half-brother of the late Kraven the Hunter, the Chameleon's newest gambit involved incapacitating Spider-Man and heading out disguised as Peter Parker to seduce Mary Jane. Mrs. Parker tumbled to the truth and held off Spidey's oldest foe with a baseball bat while the wall-crawler himself risked severe electrical shock to escape from his cage. Running away again, the Chameleon seemingly fell dead under the bullets of an apparently alive Kraven...

Alas, the Chameleon can never truly die-he just becomes someone else! Check out AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #602 on August 12 to see who he poses as next!

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