Amazing Spider-Man: Gauntlet Redux

Haven no longer lives up to its name. New U has been revealed to be a deadly sham of a company pushing a product with horrifying consequences. Ben Reilly’s plans stand in ruins.

However, the villains he brought back still live. While Spider-Man attempts to set right what his clone did wrong, these evildoers stand between him and his goals. Even as his actions may benefit them, a combination of the virus ravaging them or their loved ones and their own petty grudges and long-standing hates leave them unlikely or unwilling to see it.

We look at those baddies still stuck in Haven and consider the hows and whys of their desire to end the one who might well be their Friendly Neighborhood Savior.

1
Lizard
The Threat:
Dr. Curt Connors may not present as much of an intellectual challenge when he resides in his reptile form, but he more than makes up for it in the physical realm. To survive a fight with the Lizard, Spidey will have to stay a step ahead of the ripping, tearing, and stabbing dangers of Connors’ claws and teeth as well the bludgeoning potential of his tail.

Why Will Lizard stand in Spider-Man’s Way: Fighting for your life may be one thing, but nothing motivates more than family. This especially stands for Lizard who not only misses his wife and son after their demise but caused it while in a savage, operating entirely on instincts form of his scaly alter ego. A chance to return to life as a father and a husband and to escape the crushing guilt of what he did provides more than enough motivation.

2Massacre
The Threat:
Emotionless and strategic, Massacre stands apart from his villainous counterparts even as the virus takes hold. As a result, where others might be in frenzy, he remains as distant and calculating as ever. Plus, put a gun in Lyman’s hand and he cannot help but live up to his super villain alias.

Why Will Massacre Stand in Spider-Man’s Way: Even when you get resurrected soon after, it remains difficult not to hold a grudge against the man that killed you. Sure, the Doctor Octopus—“driven” Superior Spider-Man actually pulled the trigger, but it seems unlikely Lyman can tell the Webheads apart. Additionally, the last time Massacre felt a thing—and for the first time since his wife died—happened when he faced off with ol’ Superior and he might well be motivated to chase that might once more.

3
Jack O’Lantern
The Threat:
Steve Levins has a flying device, a variety of bombs, and a burning pumpkin for a mask. None of that registers as particularly nonthreatening.

Why Will Jack O’Lantern Stand in Spider-Man’s Way: He wants to live, of course, but, like so many villains over the years, his desire for revenge outweighs even that. Levins ended up in his plot in the ground while out chasing down the Wallcrawler during Civil War. Sure, Punisher punched his ticket, but we’d bet, dollars to donuts, Mr. O’Lantern remains sore at Spider-Man for it anyway.

4
The Rose
The Threat:
Sergeant Blume has handgun and self-defense training and a keen mind for turning any situation to fulfill his corrupt desires.

Why Will the Rose Stand in Spider-Man’s Way: Blume wasted his first bite at the apple following in another baddie’s shadow and proving a lousy cover act in the bargaining. If he can take down Spider-Man, he can prove to himself he has merit and give himself a reason to be breathing again.

5
The Goblins
The Threat:
Think Jack O’Lantern but better with their equipment, smarter, less on fire, and with a lot of sharp objects to throw too.

Why Will Green Goblin and Hobgoblin Stand in Spider-Man’s Way: As sure as night follows day, Goblins hate Spiders and Spiders hate Goblins. The science of it seems pretty unimpeachable these days.

6
Spencer Smythe
The Threat:
He’s a genius surrounded by the most high tech equipment in existence. Imagining him utilizing said equipment to return to his favorite hobby of arachnid murder does not seem to far a stretch.

Why Will Spencer Stand in Spider-Man’s Way: Unfinished business. Back when Spencer died of radiation poisoning he stood ready to end both Spider-Man and J. Jonah Jameson—who just happens to be hanging out in Haven too—and send them to the Great Beyond just before him. Alas, he missed his window. But this may be his second chance.

7
Alistair Smythe
The Threat:
While dear old Dad always presented as a scientist just a little too dedicated to seeing his work through to the end, son Alistair always seemed more like the type who followed in the family business out of true belief, not scientific curiosity.

Why Will Alistair Stand in Spider-Man’s Way: Another victim of the Superior Spider-Man, Alistair has double the motivation over Massacre because his whole purpose, his whole existence, came from his name: he existed to slay Spiders. To have the Spider slay him instead? The humiliation of it makes the dying all the more untenable.

8
Rhino
The Threat:
Pure power. Standing massive, coated in a near invulnerable shell, and boasting an enormous horn/battering ram on his head, he basically exists as a walking talking bludgeoning device.

Why Will Rhino Stand in Spider-Man’s Way: Ben Reilly gave back Sytsevich his wife. Nothing in his life meant as much before he met her, nothing meant anything at all after he met her. If Spider-Man represents any threat to her at all, Rhino cannot allow the Webhead to live.

Witness Spidey’s battle against this army of villains in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #24, due out from Dan Slott, Christos Gage, and Giuseppe Camuncoli on February 22!