Warning: SPOILERS for Spider-Man Homecoming ahead
As Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into the box office to blow the cobwebs out of our wall-crawling superhero, all signs point to Jon Watts striking gold with this one. With 21-year-old Tom Holland signed on for a trilogy of standalone movies, discussion has already turned to the subject of where the upcoming Homecoming sequel could take us. Promising to launch Phase 4 of the MCU, the next Spider-Man film will certainly have to up the ante somehow. One way to do that would certainly be the introduction of the Sinister Six.
Presumably, Watts has learned from the mistakes of the previous incarnations of Spider-Man and has decided to keep its villains around for more than just one feature. If that doesn't scream Sinister Six, nothing will. However, sparing Michael Keaton's Vulture from death not only means he could return for another brilliant performance, but it neatly sets him up for inclusion in the villain team-up. Looking to Homecoming's post-credit scenes, we get our clearest look yet at Marvel crafting their own Sinister Six.
A Sting In The Tail
A spoilerific cast list already spoiled that Michael Mando would be starring as Mac Gargan, but we can now reveal what role he has to play in Homecoming and the future of Spider-Man in the MCU. After a defeated Adrian Toomes finds himself incarcerated at the end of the film, he is seen sharing a prison with Mando's Gargan - a nice mirror on Eddie Brock and Cletus Kasady in the comics. Gargan seems to be a former associate of Toomes, and the duo hatch some dastardly schemes for revenge against Peter Parker. As Gargan turns to Toomes, it is what he says next that particularly hints at the Sinister Six:
"I've got some friends on the outside."
While Gargan could just be talking about some unnamed goons, it is much more likely to reference the notorious team of supervillains that were first introduced in 1964. Presuming that Gagan will take on his villainous persona as Scorpion (he has a prominent scorpion tattoo on his neck) and Vulture will return, we already have two out of the six villains we need for the MCU.
Three's A Crowd
So, if we take Vulture and Scorpion as the first two members of the Sinister Six, who fills the remaining slots? The whole Shocker/Shockers issue was resolved when we saw Logan Marshall-Green's version of the character accidentally killed by Vulture. Bokeem Woodbine soon stepped into the role, and although he was left incapacitated by Homecoming's close, he could easily still return. Two more likely candidates are Kraven the Hunter and Mysterio. However, although Marvel and Sony are currently on amicable terms, the sharing of characters is still a complicated web of intrigue.
Sony is certainly moving forward with its own villainverse to bring us a Venom and a female-first feature focusing on Silver Sable and Black Cat. Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man 2 attempted to set up a Sinister Six movie, but with the MCU handling the reboot we assumed those plans had gone by the wayside. A recent THR article confusingly confirmed that Sony's Sinister Six movie had been canned, but also promised that the studio plans to bring Mysterio and Kraven into live-action movies:
Other projects will focus on Kraven the Hunter and Mysterio. The idea, says a studio source, is to build out a world gradually rather than launch one immediately, as they had been trying with Spider-Man villain ensemble 'Sinister Six,' which has been shelved.
Given the particularly dark tone of Kraven's Last Hunt, and the extended absence of Peter Parker's Spider-Man, it would seem more plausible for Kraven to enter the Sonyverse; however, he could just as easily sign on for the MCU's Sinister Six. Also, we know that Sony had already been touting Mysterio as early as Sam Raimi's ditched Spider-Man 4. If the studio is no longer handling its own Sinister Six, perhaps the MCU has taken over the entire idea. That neatly takes our roster up to five potential bad guys, but who could take that elusive final spot?
The Doctor Is In
The MCU promised to focus on some lesser-known Spider-Man villains, and the inclusion of Toomes, the Tinkerer, and Shocker certainly lived up to that. However, how much longer until we see some of the really famous faces from Spider-Man's rogues' gallery make their way onto our screens? While Green Goblin would be an obvious addition, the whole Osborn saga has been done to death in the Raimi and Webb films. One person who is sure to cause a stir in the MCU would be Dr. Otto Octavius. It is hard to imagine Holand rounding off his Spider-Man story arc without us matching eight legs with eight.
Alfred Molina was superb as Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 2, and while it would be a difficult task to top his performance, there are plenty of other great actors who could take on the role of Doc Ock - especially if the character was reinvented a little for the MCU. With Michael Chernus' role as the Tinkerer, the Sinister Six already has the perfect minion to craft all their villainous weaponry and suits. Even with rehashed origins and a lack of Spidey sense, given that Octavius founded the original lineup of the Sinister Six in the comics, would there be any point in having the team without him?
Even if any of the above doesn't make the ranks of the Sinister Six, other big names like Electro, Sandman, and Hobgoblin all had their time. As the numbers grew beyond just a group of six, pretty much every notable Spider-Man foe has dipped their toe into the Sinister group at some point. With Holland's tenure as Web-Head only just beginning, the comic book world is our oyster. Hopefully, the MCU can pick up whatever tatters of a Sinister Six that Webb left behind, and give the vile villains the limelight they deserve!
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