As one of Marvel’s oldest characters, Spider-Man has amassed an impressive rogues gallery, but one villain stands out as the most ridiculous.
Spider-Man is not one to shy away from battling criminals of all shapes and sizes. Whether it's Kingpin or the full feathered bodysuit of Vulture, Spidey's coterie of Supervillains sport all kinds of costumes that are out of the ordinary. But when it comes to the scope of Peter Parker's gallery of enemies, few come close to matching the rare appearance of a Gatling gun-toting cybernetic dinosaur. This unusual villain once took the combined might of Spider-Man and Iron Man to take down, and only appeared in one panel in 2011's Spider-Man: You're Hired (by Paul Tobin, Fred Van Lente, Reilly Brown, and Dale Keown).
Electrosaurus was a short-lived antagonist in Spider-Man: You're Hired, a comic made to promote NY’s Mayor Mike Bloomberg and his 2011 job program. The comic itself is pretty campy, starting off with Peter and Aunt May conveniently bumping into the Mayor on a train of all places. Continuing onwards, the comic served as a lengthy ad campaign for the prosperity that Bloomberg seeks to bring to New York through the enhancement of job search resources and the like. All the while Peter repeatedly slips away in order to take down criminals who would draw unwarranted attention. One such villain that Parker deals with turns out to require the work of not just one, but two heroes to take it down.
A robotic T. Rex by itself would be enough of a problem for someone like Spidey to handle. But when equipped with a whole arsenal of machine guns, rocket launchers, and a cartoonish and large revolver, a robotic T. Rex suddenly becomes a lot more than just a problem. As Peter swings onto the scene, he finds the aforementioned Robo-Dino stomping the nearly invincible Iron Man into the ground. It takes the combined might of Peter and Tony to knock out Electrosaurus, which ended its already brief performance within the panel. From this one fight alone Electrosaurus is already a tough but strange challenger. The idea of Spider-Man fighting a dinosaur at all is fairly uncommon, but that's not to say it hasn't happened before.
Both before and after the publication of Spider-Man: You're Hired came comics involving the Savage Land, a place out of the time when Dinosaurs of all kinds roamed the Earth, where Peter battled various reptilian adversaries. Two such enemies were pterodactyls named Stegron and Sauron, once humans before transforming themselves into the dinosaurs they appear as in Spider-Man & the X-Men #3 (by Elliott Kalan, Marco Failla, and Nick Bradshaw). Although their fights with the Webslinger are more comedic than dangerous, Stegron still catches Peter off guard when initially dragging him to the Savage Land. Sauron himself puts Peter on a significant back foot by destroying his attempts at negotiation through his determination for villainy and making dinosaurs.
When compared to the scope and scale of his enemies, Dinosaurs such as Electrosaurus or Sauron seem to be some of the most threatening non-humans that Peter Parker faced. Electrosaurus may just be one of the many underappreciated designs for a Spider-Man villain that are worthy of a revamp in the near future. As a violent and mindless machine, it poses as much of a threat to Peter Parker as his more deadly adversaries do.
It could be another worthy challenge for Peter to overcome. The dinosaur foe also provides plenty of opportunity for a more lighthearted Spider-man adventure. Of course, a comic villain wouldn't be anything without an engaging design, and Electrosaurus' glistening metal shell definitely outshines that of a bunch of men in animal-themed costumes. Hopefully, Marvel revisits the idea of Electrosaurus down the line if only as a lighthearted reference.