A few weeks ago, Pierre posted an tribute to Ross Andru which caused a bit of back and forth comments between regular commenter RKB and Pierre wherein the called into question that all the villains created during that time were bad. As RKB put it while discussing a particularly good story featuring the Grizzly...
With a good enough story no villain has to be crappy. :)
There is no doubt that the Lee/Ditko run created most of Spider-man's A list villains. However, just like Flash's Rogues, the original Sinister Six get overused again (most recently, in the Gauntlet storyline), while many of the Andru Era villains get completely ignored, There are a few notable exceptions, who'll I'll mention in a the end of this post, but let's look at the list of forgotten villains.
The Gibbon - Seemingly born a mutant with an apelike build and agility, The Gibbon later joined a circus where he excelled as an acrobat. His powers were later enhanced by a potion given to him by Kraven the Hunter to "Unleash the Beast within".
The Grizzly - Maxwell Markham was a professional wrestler whose brutal tactics caused J. Jonah Jameson to write a scathing editorial calling for an investigation by the wrestling commission. As a consequence of the hearings, his license was revoked. Later, he obtained a suit that augmented his strength from the Jackal.
The Kangaroo - As a boy growing up in Australia Frank Oliver used to spend his vacations studying Kangaroos. He would live with the Kangaroos, going where they went and eating what they ate. Then he became a boxer but was banned after seriously injuring another.
Cyclone - He was a N.A.T.O engineer who created the Cyclone a weapon of war, and was told that N.A.T.O didn't need the weaponary because it was purchased solely from America.Not long after N.A.T.O fired him and from his device he created a costume and became a criminal.
Mindworm was a superhuman mutant with limited telephatic powers who was briefly a minor enemy of Spider-Man. He had an oversized cranium and was naturally extremely intelligent. Eventually, Mindworm attempted to reform but his problems were too difficult for him to control and he allowed himself to be killed by common street thugs to end his great suffering.
Mirage was a Holographic technician who always wanted to become a costumed criminal. First appearance involved him and his gang robbing weddings including that of Betty Brant and Ned Leeds where he was defeated by Spider-Man.
The Disruptor was a charismatic politician with ties to the underworld and possibly a criminal past. With the help of the Man-Monster, a creature created by Dr. Thaxton, he tried to get elected as Mayor of New York. He was defeated in that bid by Spider-Man and was killed when the Man-Monster took revenge on him.
The Smasher - I've got nothing on this guy. Anyone care to help me out and clue me in as to who this guy was?
Rocket Racer aka Robert Farrell was originally a criminal. He snatched a courier's bulging briefcase. Spider-Man couldn't stop him because he was moving too fast on his rocket powered skateboard. However, a car pulled out in front of him suddenly and Spider-Man was able to defeat him and leave him with the police.
And here is one of my favorites from this era...
Will O The Wisp - Jackson Arvad was the chief scientist for electromagnetic research at the Brand Corporation. During a laboratory mishap, a gravitic energy surge shattered the "magno-chamber" in whose vicinity Arvad was working. The accident plunged Arvad's body directly into the magno-chamber's self-sustained electromagnetic field, and the residual high frequency field weakened the electromagnetic attractions between the molecules of Arvad's body This caused the molecules of Arvad's body to gradually disperse. Arvad soon discovered, however, that he possesses a certain degree of mental control over the dispersion of his body's molecules. Unfortunately, every time he relaxed control over his molecular cohesion, it was more difficult for him to resume a solid state.
Here are the villains from this era that have managed to move off the D list.
The Jackal - Prof. Miles Warren was once a professor of biochemistry at Empire State University. At some point, he studied genetics under the tutelage of the High Evolutionary, but was expelled from the Evolutionary's headquarters when he proved to be unstable. He received further training and equipment from Maelstrom. Warren fell in love with one of his students, Gwen Stacy, who was the girlfriend of Peter Parker. After Gwen was killed by the original Green Goblin, Warren turned his attention towards methods of cloning, inspired by the creation of a full-grown frog to attempt to clone humans. When he killed his lab partner Anthony Serba (who had discovered the truth) Warren became completely insane, developing the personality of the Jackal as he tried to convince himself that someone else had killed his assistant, rather than he himself.
Man-Wolf - John Jameson, son of newspaper mogul J. Jonah Jameson, was one of the youngest applicants to ever be accepted into NASA's astronaut program. During his first mission, in which he orbited Earth, Jameson's capsule developed a faulty guidance module which caused the craft to spin out of control. The fledgling adventurer, Spider-Man, who had just begun his career weeks earlier, managed to rescue Jameson by getting a replacement guidance module to the plummeting capsule. This incident, which Jameson's father construed as a publicity stunt to upstage his son's accomplishment, provoked the one of elder Jameson's first editorial denouncements of Spider-Man.
And of course, this guy...
Do I really need to remind who this guy is? ;)
Have a great day!