Spider-Man might be a wise-cracking and friendly neighbourhood hero, but he also has a reputation for starring in some of the darkest comics Marvel has ever published.
The character has always dealt with mature themes, going all the way back to his tragic origin, but it's also true that Peter Parker's adversaries have gotten progressively more sinister over the decades - both in terms of classic characters adopting scary, new behaviours, and of rivals suddenly emerging to inject the rogues gallery with a not-so-healthy dose of edge.
Although it's true all of Spidey's villains have gotten darker as the years have gone by, there are a still a select few that stand out compared to the rest for being the absolute worst of the worst - the kind of villains that wouldn't look out of place in a Ghost Rider or Blade comic, let alone a Spider-Man one.
Some of the most evil Spidey rogues have accrued that reputation steadily, having been around since the Silver Age and having been reworked in the darker Bronze and Modern Ages of comics, while others dropped out of the blue with a bang, raising the stakes immediately, and making readers feel just a bit more anxious for Spidey and his allies' wellbeing...
Spider-Man villains have some of the best and weirdest names in the superhero genre, and "Mindworm" is no exception.
This cranially abnormal supervillain made his debut in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man #138 courtesy of Gerry Conway and Ross Andru, and though it's technically true he never sought to become a villain to begin with - and even ended his stint in the comics trying to reform - that doesn't make him any less terrifying.
Mindworm (real name William Turner), was born with a gigantic head and psionic powers, surviving by leaching the mental energy from those in his vicinity like a more grotesque, lethal version of Colin Robinson from FX's What We Do in the Shadows.
Turner eventually encountered Spider-Man, but only by chance; he had propped himself up in an apartment building where he could leach the energy of his neighbours without them knowing, and one of those neighbours just so happened to be Peter's bully-turned-friend, Flash Thompson.
Mindworm tried to leach Peter's brain energy shortly after he moved in with Flash. Parker's Spidey-Sense tipped him off though, and he was able to defeat Mindworm by giving him a good bonk on the noggin, putting an end to his reign of terror on Flash and his fellow tenants.
Folks will probably point out that Mindworm deliberately stopped short of draining a lethal amount of his victims' energy, but equally, no one wants their brain juice nabbed after a hard day working.