Spider-Man has one of the most famous roster of rogues in the Marvel Universe. But times are changing and some of the villains that were once prominent threats are either allies of the web-slinger or just don't work quite like they used to. Years of continuity have depowered a couple of antagonists while redeeming others. New foes have risen to take their place and freshen up Spidey's stories, and perhaps one day those notable villains will return to their old ways.
It's certainly not a criticism to suggest that an antagonist is no longer in their glory days. Somehow comic books are about both sticking to the status quo and going through periods of major upheaval. It's the nature of the industry that well-known characters fade from the spotlight or are placed in new roles. It's ultimately the idea of constant evolution that ensures longevity for figures who have seemingly been around for most of Spider-Man's career despite their shift in reputation.
10 Doc Ock
Doctor Octopus still goes through stints of being a significant villain, whose intelligence is matched by his lethal robotic arms. He's a classic Spider-Man foe, who had spent many years attempting to rid New York of the vigilante for good. And yet, Doctor Octopus has also saved Spider-Man, disregarding himself as a major threat.
Doctor Octopus went through a massively important redemption story. It culminated in his transformation into Spider-Man, before making a genuinely selfless decision to allow Peter Parker to take the reins once more. In the years since he has reluctantly allied himself with Spider-Man, and his relationship with Aunt May has humanized him beyond the capacity to be a heartless monster.
Stilt-Man has never been successful as a villain, but back in the day, he was still considered a threat. A notable Daredevil antagonist, he also caused issues for street-level vigilantes like Spider-Man. He lived out his glory days in an era of the comic book industry where ridiculous gimmicks were all the rage.
Stilt-Man's legs were seen as a genuine advantage, and he had enough wits about him to make improvements to his villainous schemes. Nonetheless, his consistent defeats have left him as a laughingstock. Once upon a time Spider-Man might have felt slightly threatened to be facing the career criminal, but now anyone using tech like this is considered to be out of their depth.
8 Green Goblin
The Green Goblin is Spider-Man's arch-nemesis for a reason. Norman Osborn has interfered in Peter's lifetime and again, resulting in the Clone Saga, the loss of some of Spider-Man's most personal relationships, and most notably the death of Gwen Stacy. The Dark Reign era showcased Osborn at his height, but his sins have been taken away.
Norman Osborn has supposedly turned a new leaf, leaving the Green Goblin behind him. He has been depicted as the heroic Gold Goblin and while Peter still finds it hard to trust Osborn, he has also worked alongside him. The status quo had shifted in Marvel Comics, removing Green Goblin as a threat.
The Rhino has been depicted as one of Spider-Mans most brutal villains and a classic member of the rogue gallery. The juggernaut has always presented an interesting dynamic, as the agile and quick web-head has had to counter the brunt and brawn of the animal-inspired character. That clash of styles has made Rhino a go-to foe, but in recent years his demeanor has changed.
Rhino simply isn't the threat that he used to be due to his predictable movements. His combat style has remained the same, and the veteran Spider-Man is too experienced to be daunted by Rhino's strength like he once would have been. What's more, Rhino has demonstrated some heroic traits, even becoming a Thunderbolt and aiding Marvel's underage heroes in the Devil's Reign narrative.
Venom was an arch-nemesis for Spider-Man. The symbiote was once bonded to Peter Parker and so there's a very personal connection there. Once Venom had bonded to Eddie Brock and Flash Thompson, it was clear that Parker himself was just as much of a target as his web-slinging alter ego. The vicious and beastly alien could match Spider-Man move for move.
But Venom has taken an interesting path, becoming an anti-hero and eventually an uneasy partner to Spider-Man. Flash Thompson is now Agent Venom, while Eddie Brock poses as the King in Black. Although Venom was briefly manipulated into hunting Peter like the old days, during the Dark Web event, he isn't really even considered a villain anymore. Thus, he's not high on Spider-Man's list of worries.
The Vulture has been a thorn in Spider-Man's side since the early days. The crooked and corrupt criminal has quite the personal vendetta against Spider-Man and wasn't afraid to push himself to his limits to get his desired revenge. Vulture's aerial tactics were unpredictable and hard to counter, but he has become a shell of the villain he once was.
Vulture has continued to age and therefore weaken. His instincts are still as good as they ever were, but he isn't as quick or powerful as he needs to be. His relationship with his granddaughter, Tiana has softened him too. The dynamic between Peter and Toomes had to change, now that Tiana has begun to masquerade as the hero Starling. Disappointed in her grandfather's past life, Vulture wants to put it all behind him for her sake, therefore stepping down from the villain he once was.
4 Black Cat
Black Cat has never been an outright villain, with the cat burglar operating with a flawed moral compass. She's often put herself first, but she isn't monstrous like the other antagonists in Spider-Man's life. However, she used to still be a threat, stealing right from underneath Peter's nose and often breaking his heart in the process.
But over time, Black Cat has walked a more heroic path. She's barely even an anti-hero anymore, and recent romances with Spider-Man have proven themselves to be more than a fling. She doesn't pose any kind of threat to the friendly neighborhood vigilante nowadays, often using her skills as a thief to steal objects that will genuinely contribute to doing some good.
Morbius has always been a powerful and underrated villain from Spider-Man's rogues gallery. He might have taken a step back from the spotlight in recent years, but the Living Vampire was tough, resilient, and had the fangs to match the name. Morbius also has a brilliant mind, an aspect of the character that is undervalued too much.
But Morbius has become a bit of an anti-hero in the comics and on the screen, with the Morbius movie turning him into a joke. It's hard for him to feel like a threat anymore, considering his failing reputation and portrayal as a tragic figure. He's teamed with heroes like the Daughters of the Dragon and can be reasoned with when the inner monster hasn't taken over. Ultimately, Morbius is now a character of juxtapositions, making him compelling but not as lethal to Spidey.
Multiple characters have taken on the Jester name and each has brought their own unique spin on the gimmick. The character's zany schemes and wacky gadgets help to define the aura of the jokey figure, but he had also been a significant threat. It was a version of Jester after all that teamed with Jack O'Lantern to almost kill Spider-Man during Civil War.
But Jester has gone from telling jokes to being one. He just isn't taken seriously like he was. In fact, the version of Jester that attacked Spidey in Civil War was easily gunned down by Punisher, while another version of the character was assassinated during Civil War II. He has gone from being a villain of the week mainstay to a character whose only purpose appears to be getting killed.
1 J. Jonah Jameson
J. Jonah Jameson is famously Spider-Man's biggest critic. He used to use every platform available to discredit New York's number 1 menace, even leading to the creation of villains like Scorpion in a bid to take down Parker. Most interpretations of Jameson, in video games and on screen, take this same approach to the character.
However, J. Jonah Jameson has mellowed with age. He doesn't present the threat he once did, and has actually defended and supported Spider-Man and his allies. As Mayor of New York, he was even forced to present Spider-Man with an award! The tension has dissolved, and an uneasy alliance has been formed. Jameson's life has been put into a new perspective, and thus his attention has been drawn elsewhere.