Top 10: Candidates for Webb’s Sinister Six by Jerry Whitworth
With director Marc Webb teasing the Gentleman for the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man and introducing the Lizard, Electro, Rhino, and Norman Osborn in the series, it’s beginning to look like the film series plans to introduce the Sinister Six. It then follows that the third film will bring in more villains to round out the group which begs the question: who’s next? Lets take a look at some Spider-Man villains we could see crop up later in the series.
Among Spider-Man’s enemies, Venom ranks among the likes of the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, and Hobgoblin in terms of notoriety. The villain is considered so viable that he was forced into Spider-Man 3 against the director’s wishes. Some believe that one of the reasons the film was received so poorly among viewers was because the character was shoehorned into a script that largely was meant for the Sandman. Eddie Brock was a journalist whose career was ruined when Spider-Man brought a serial killer to justice demonstrating Brock had lied in a piece he ran in the Daily Globe newspaper claiming to expose someone else as the murderer. When Brock contemplated suicide and went to a church to pray, Spider-Man’s black alien symbiote suit attached itself to the disgraced reporter giving birth to Venom, a villain with all of Spider-Man’s powers, aware of all of his secrets, and was immune to Spider-Man’s spider-sense. Venom would flip-flop between villain and anti-hero, at one point joining the Sinister Six. In the film series, much emphasis is placed on Oscorp’s exploration of cross-species genetics (these experiments giving birth to Spider-Man, Lizard, and Electro), so it’s likely should Venom be included in the film his origin may reflect how Spider-Man obtained his powers. As for his suit, rumor has it the Rhino in the series will be some sort of cyborg so it’s not outside the realm of possibility the film symbiote could be some sort of nanotechnology-based device. Likely the greatest knock against Venom’s appearance maybe his history with the last Spider-Man film series, either as avoiding reusing villains who have already made the transition to film or his appearance perceived heralding the demise of the Sam Raimi series.
A founding member of the Sinister Six and the main villain of Spider-Man 3, Sandman was petty criminal Flint Marko who came into contact with nuclear irradiated sand turning him into living sand. Trying to use the advent as a means to steal, the Sandman battled Spider-Man, the Hulk, and Fantastic Four for years before reforming. As a hero, Marko worked for mercenary Silver Sable and was a reserve member of the Avengers. After a number of years, Sandman would go bad again following a series of unfortunate events. Sandman’s appearance in the new film series seems unlikely considering an emphasis on animal-based villains and the Sandman suffering from the same issues as Venom: Sandman’s made the transition already and was part of the film that killed the last franchise (despite generally being viewed as among the better aspects of that film).
Former special effects wizard and stuntman, Quentin Beck came to realize despite his abilities his career wouldn’t award him the riches he desired. So, he adapted them toward crime combating Spider-Man and Daredevil and becoming a founding member of the Sinister Six. For the Sinister Six novel trilogy written by Adam-Troy Castro which maybe some inspiration for the Webb film series (the novels introducing the Gentleman who brought the Sinister Six together), Mysterio was not only a member of the Sinister Six, but the featured villain of the first novel Spider-Man: The Gathering of the Sinister Six. Considering the new series’ emphasis on science and technology, Mysterio’s use of holograms (and spider-sense canceling gas) could fit right into the themes of the films. Perhaps the greatest knock against the villain’s use is his perceived weakness by fans. Among villains who can turn into sand or shoot lightning, the use of illusion seems to pale by comparison. Compounded by the so-called fishbowl head of his costume (viewed as slightly more ridiculous than Electro’s lightning star mask) and Mysterio gets little respect by comic readers.
The ultimate hunter seeking the ultimate game in Spider-Man, Russian immigrant Kraven the Hunter was a founding member of the Sinister Six whose most well known event was committing suicide in the famous storyline “Kraven’s Last Hunt.” Because of his death, Kraven was left out of a resurgence of the Sinister Six and similar groups in the years that followed only recently being resurrected (though, he would spawn various villains like Calypso as well as various family members like Grim Hunter and others who took up his name). Should Kraven appear in the new series, it’s likely a note will be borrowed from The Spectacular Spider-Man series and see his DNA combined with that from a lion, leopard, and cheetah. What may prevent Kraven’s use in the film series is his similarities to his possible teammates. If the Lizard is included, it would mean two feral humanoids running around in the film. Should the Rhino be entered as a member of the Sinister Six, the addition of the Lizard and Kraven would make the group seem more like a monster football team than a varied group of supervillains.
Introduced during Stan Lee’s first break on The Amazing Spider-Man, Michael Morbius was a Greek scientist who tried to cure his rare blood disease using bat DNA only to transform into a pseudo-vampire that needed to drink blood to live. Introducing Morbius is smart on several levels for the film series. The first is it plays up the ongoing theme of cross species genetics but instead of producing a large beast like the Lizard or a long distance combatant like Electro, it’s something more along the lines of a Spider-Man mutation while being unique with different capabilities (in other words, it would add variety to a possible Sinister Six team-up). The second reason is obviously because vampires are huge. Twilight played up vampires as sex symbols while downplaying some of their darker qualities and series like True Blood and Vampire Diaries have followed along this line maintaining the reemerged phenomenon. Vampires have since popped up virtually everywhere which means a vampire in Spider-Man could be highly marketable.
One of Spider-Man’s most notorious enemies who founded the Sinister Six and whose actions brought about the death of Captain George Stacy, fatherly figure to Peter Parker and strong supporter of Spider-Man, Doctor Otto Octavius was Peter Parker’s science teacher who in an experiment gone wrong went completely insane. In that same accident, Octavius’ four mechanical tentacle-like arms were fused to his body and could be controlled by the scientist’s very mind. The once meek Octavius became Doctor Octopus, bent on world domination and one of Spider-Man’s most frequent and dangerous foes. Octopus would on several occasions lead the Sinister Six, rarely giving up power over the group to any other (likely the closest being when Octopus was commissioned by the Gentleman in the Sinister Six trilogy). Octopus would be the villain to combat Spider-Man in the second film helmed by Sam Raimi, the director originally planning on pairing the villain with the Green Goblin in his first movie before deciding the plot would be too bloated (for the second film, there was a push to team Octopus, the Lizard, and Black Cat). While Octopus would fit well with the Webb film series and has generally been included in various incarnations of the Sinister Six across various media, the character nonetheless has been done already which holds him back from being highly likely for inclusion.
Created by the scientist who inadvertently helped create Spider-Man and under commission of J. Jonah Jameson to make a natural predator for Spider-Man, private investigator Mac Gargan was turned into the Scorpion who was physically superior to Spider-Man but driven completely insane. Despite groups like the Sinister Six and Sinister Syndicate cropping up, the Scorpion wouldn’t become a team player until the Insidious Six for the Spider-Man animated series. As had been said repeatedly, Scorpion is a viable candidate because of his cross species genetics origins and his abilities, like Venom or Morbius, would well compliment the Sinister Six. Perhaps the only gripe about his inclusion would be his appearance, that his tail and his color draws parallels to the Lizard who is likely going to be part of the Sinister Six should they appear.
The first supervillain to combat Spider-Man, the Chameleon was a master of disguise that later adopted technology that allowed him to imitate others. It wouldn’t be until the Insidious Six that the Chameleon would team with fellow Spider-Man villains against the hero. In the Sinister Six trilogy, the Chameleon was a key player. The character was more-or-less the Gentleman’s personal agent and facilitator, the field operative that brought the Sinister Six together and helped keep the group together. For the film series, it wouldn’t be farfetched through either genetic modification or use of hologram and sonic technology for the Chameleon to be present. Further, it would add another dimension to the Sinister Six instead of simply being a group of super-powered thugs tripping over each other. In the Chameleon’s first appearance, he masqueraded as Spider-Man committing crimes making the police hunt down the hero. For the film, this could be adapted as the Sinister Six employs strategy to turn public perception against Spider-Man as the Chameleon could also serve the same purpose in the Sinister Six trilogy helping the members of the group escape jail.
For a time rumored to appear in the second film, director Marc Webb has since declared Colm Feore (the actor rumored to play the villain) was cast in a different role (while Michael Massee portrayed the “Man in the Shadows,” perhaps the Gentleman, in the first film, since his face was never revealed another actor could take up the role in the series). In any event, Adrian Toomes was a brilliant inventor whose business collapsed when his partner embezzled its funds leaving Toomes to turn to crime as the Vulture. A founding member of the Sinister Six, despite his advanced years, the Vulture became one of the most dangerous and frequent villains to ever face Spider-Man. Employing a wondrous flight harness, the Vulture can fly silently at super-speeds, has enhanced strength and durability to fight toe-to-toe with Spider-Man, and whose wings are sharp enough to cut through stone and can be dislodged as projectiles. The Vulture has consistently been one of the most versatile members of the Sinister Six offering the group speed and maneuverability to press Spider-Man past the breaking point when he’s preoccupied with his ground-based foes.
Perhaps the likeliest to appear, Chris Cooper has already been cast to portray Norman Osborn, alter ego of the villainous Green Goblin. While the Green Goblin has already appeared in the original Spider-Man films (as father and son Harry combated the series’ hero, the latter joining forces with him later), the Goblin is the closest Spider-Man has to a nemesis making him the Lex Luthor to his Superman or Joker to his Batman. So, it makes sense despite already appearing in the other films, he would reemerge especially considering the series villains seem to keep emerging from Oscorp. In terms of how he could make the transition, one of Curt Connors’ motivations for his experiments in cross species genetics was a direct need by Osborn for his research to pay off. It then wouldn’t be farfetched for Osborn, or his employees, to continue this research for the benefit of Osborn’s health. Perhaps the reason for the Green Goblin’s reptilian complexion could be his use of the Lizard’s serum. Further, in the comics, the Goblin is known for shooting blasts of electricity. While this was because of devices in his gloves, perhaps in the film it could have something to do with Electro. Who knows, maybe Vulture technology could translate to his glider and Mysterio’s spider-sense canceling gas to the pumpkin bombs.
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