Spider-Man is about to have a good few years. Next month, Spider-Man: Homecoming will hit theaters, and later this year we’ll also be getting a brand-new TV series featuring the adventures of Peter Parker and Miles Morales, while the latter take on the hero will be getting an animated film this fall. And finally, both versions of Spidey will team up in August for Marvel Comics’ new GENERATIONS event.
As if that weren’t enough Spidey media, the character will be getting a brand-new game, simply called Marvel’s Spider-Man, likely due out early next year on the PS4. The game’s initial trailer came last summer, offering fans a tease of the action and Spidey’s spiffy new threads. This week, however, we finally got an extended look at the gameplay.
The new trailer features all of Spidey’s cool new tech and moves, while also showing off some of the villains he’ll be facing. While Marvel staple Kingpin will be featured in the story, the main action looks to focus on Mister Negative and his Inner Demons. But just who is this relatively little-known Spidey foe, and what level of threat will he bring to Insomniac Games’ Spider-Man?
Across film, TV, and multiple games, Spider-Man has faced all sorts of villains and classic rogues. And though Kingpin is an obvious inclusion for the new game, many fans may be left wondering why Mister Negative is a central threat to our hero in the name game. Many more may even be unaware of the villain at all.
Part of Mister Negative’s obscurity comes from his relatively new status in Marvel Comics. Still, he’s made quite an impact since his arrival, and has been factoring into more and more Spidey stories in the past few years. Created by veteran Spider-Man writer Dan Slott and artist Phil Jimenez, Mister Negative first appeared in 2007’s Free Comic Book Day issue from Marvel featuring Spider-Man. From there, he made his proper debut in 2008’s The Amazing Spider-Man #546 and has been factoring into Slott’s Spider-Man stories ever since.
A member of the Snakehead gang from the southeastern Chinese province of Fujian, we meet Mister Negative in the midst of smuggling immigrants from his home in the guise of bringing them to America, only to sell them into slavery. After a violent storm leaves the gang’s ship, the Golden Mountain, destroyed, Mister Negative becomes the only survivor to make it ashore. For a time, he poses as Martin Li, a man attempting to get to America to be with his wife. Eventually, he’s captured and experimented on by Silvermane, the head of the Maggia in New York.
A decades-old Spider-Man villain, Silvermane has long been working on a new version of synthetic heroin. Instead, he inadvertently creates a drug capable of unlocking incredible powers in an individual. After the fake Martin Li and several other test subjects are experimented on, they’re able to escape, but with some startling repercussions.
The man known as Martin Li is split in both mind and body into two individuals contained in the same person. One, is Martin Li, a man dedicated to the needs of the disenfranchised. He spends his life amassing a fortune to help fund the F.E.A.S.T. Project, a series of food shelters across NYC. His other persona, however, becomes Mister Negative. Appearing like a photo negative of a person, Mister Negative is a superpowered individual deadset on becoming the top crime boss of Chinatown with the help of his minions, known as the Inner Demons.
While Mister Negative will make for an intriguing villain for Spider-Man the game, he would also make a fantastic MCU rogue. Following the experimentation on the man posing as Martin Li by chemist Simon Marshall, Mister Negative is born as the evil and dark side of him. Meanwhile, the Martin Li persona lives his life full of happiness and charity. Both personalities are fully aware of each other, viewing themselves as a sort of living yin and yang.
Despite the kindly nature of Li, however, Mister Negative’s criminal schemes often win out and his powerful abilities make him a formidable foe. In his dark persona, Mister Negative has a wide range of powers. Harnessing a unique aspect of the Darkforce, he can power-up various weapons with a form of energy that greatly increases their strength. He himself has also demonstrated increased strength, agility, and reflexes when in his Mister Negative form. His most powerful ability, however, is his corrupting touch.
With his powers, Mister Negative can take control of an individual with a touch, changing them to look like he does. Essentially, the touch amps up their powers while also inverting their tendencies. While villains can be controlled, the effect is far more drastic on a good individual who is corrupted. His touch, interestingly, can even heal. His one weakness in this regard is that once someone has overcome Mister Negative’s corruption, they can’t be controlled by him again.
Along with his powers, Mister Negative has access to all sorts of advanced tech and weaponry. He also has his minions, who aren’t your average thugs for hire. Thanks to Mister Negatives influence, his Inner Demons are nearly impossible to kill thanks to their powerful healing factor. Though some have managed to be dispatched, they’ve been shown to recover from most wounds. Likely, the Inner Demons in the game won’t be so difficult to battle, but there will probably be higher tier members who prove to be more of a challenge.