Spider-Man: Far From Home could be an important step along the road to introducing the Sinister Six in the MCU. Superheroes have always tended to band together in order to defeat foes too great for individual heroes to handle on their own; the Sinister Six are a neat inversion of that idea, a super-villain team-up of classic Spider-Man villains who aim to take the wall-crawler down. The first incarnation of the Sinister Six was assembled by Doctor Octopus in the very first Amazing Spider-Man annual. Since then there have been many versions of the team, but they've all been a challenge for the webhead to defeat.
Sony has long been fascinated by the idea of the Sinister Six, and they intended to launch a spinoff from Marc Webb's Amazing Spider-Man series. Unfortunately, their long-term plans led to them shoehorning setup into The Amazing Spider-Man 2. When that film failed to perform as intended - the Sinister Six subplots were frankly intrusive - the idea was left dead in the water. There are occasional rumblings that Sony still want to do a Sinister Six movie, perhaps as part of their Venom-led villains universe, but right now, that looks unlikely.
Besides which, what's the point of a Sinister Six film without Spider-Man? The whole attraction of the Sinister Six is the idea that Spider-Man must face all his greatest foes at once, using all his wits and powers to triumph. If the Sinister Six do happen, they'll surely be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the assembled super-villains battling Tom Holland's Spider-Man. And Spider-Man: Far From Home may well help set that up.
The Sinister Six In The MCU So Far
The MCU Spider-Man has already crossed paths with a number of villains who are traditionally members of the Sinister Six. Spider-Man: Homecoming introduced Michael Keaton's Vulture as head of a gang of illegal weapons dealers, and one of his agents was the Shocker; both characters have been central to several versions of the Sinister Six. The film also featured Michael Mando as the Scorpion, in a take clearly inspired by the Ultimate Comics where Scorpion was a brutal gang leader; Spider-Man: Homecoming's mid-credits scene revealed that Scorpion held a grudge against Spider-Man, even trying to get Vulture to tell him the wall-crawler's real name. Finally, Donald Glover appeared as a local criminal called Aaron Davis; in the comics, he became the Prowler, and actually led the latest Sinister Six team.
Spider-Man: Far From Home adds Mysterio into the mix, and although Quentin Beck was apparently killed, that doesn't mean Mysterio couldn't return. He's a master of illusion, after all, which means he could have faked his death when he realized he wasn't going to beat Spider-Man quite so easily as he'd though. Even if Beck did die, several crooks have taken up the Mysterio mantle in the comics. Given that's the case, it's notable that Beck was working with a pretty large team in Far From Home, all of whom had access to his technology and could supplant him. At this stage, then, between four and five members of a potential Sinister Six team have already been introduced in the MCU.
Far From Home's Mid-Credits Scene Makes Spider-Man A Target Of The Sinister Six?
The mid-credits scene from Spider-Man: Far From Home radically transforms Spider-Man's status quo. The wall-crawler may have defeated Mysterio, but that victory comes at a greater cost than he could ever have expected; Mysterio's associates fake footage of Spider-Man's triumph, portraying him as a villain, and they then unmask Spider-Man to the world as Peter Parker. The secret identity is usually a core component of the Spider-Man mythology, and nothing like this has ever been done with a big-screen Spidey before. The only comic book precedent was as a result of 2006's "Civil War" event, in which Spider-Man unmasked himself in a press conference. It turned Peter Parker and all his loved ones into targets, and he ultimately struck an ill-advised deal with the Devil (literally) in order to rewrite history.
If the various villains from Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home hold a grudge, then they now know just who Spider-Man truly is. That means, just as in the comics, they could assemble and launch a very personal attack upon Peter and all his friends and family. Fitting in with this idea, Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 - which introduced the Sinister Six - was also the first comic in which Peter had to fight to keep Aunt May safe, as she'd been taken hostage. Meanwhile, although several of the bad guys were last seen in prison, it's worth remembering they may not have been among Thanos' snap victims - which means they could already have served their time, and be out again, free to launch a vendetta against Peter Parker.
Norman Osborn May Still Be Teased In Spider-Man: Far From Home
Of course, although the first Sinister Six was assembled by Doctor Octopus, their most famous leader in the comics is Norman Osborn There have been recurring rumors that the MCU has already set up its own version of Osborn, who could easily be retconned into the MCU's history as a corrupt, wealthy industrialist. He could be the man who bought Stark Tower in Spider-Man: Homecoming, as well as the one who was originally purchasing tech from the Vulture; he could even be Sonny Burch's mysterious client in Ant-Man & the Wasp, interested in acquiring advanced technology. It's true that, at this stage, these are just rumors and theories; but it would be a smart play on Marvel's part. Norman Osborn could become the MCU's next big villain after Thanos; in the "Dark Reign" era, he literally took charge of the entire Marvel Comics universe. Osborn is far more than just a cackling Green Goblin; handled well, he can become an Avengers-level threat in his own right.
Spider-Man: Far From Home showed that whoever bought Avengers Towers was conducting extensive construction work on it. Marvel carefully avoided giving any hint who now owns the building, but it's clearly important; the signs around the old Avengers Tower carried the hilariously meta statement, "We Can't Wait To Show You What's Coming Next," complete with arrows pointing towards where the entrance would be. Norman Osborn would certainly fit the bill, turning Avengers Tower into OsCorp's HQ.
Who Will The MCU's Sinister Six Be?
But here's the catch; the Sinister Six are exciting precisely because they're an inversion of the traditional superhero team-up. That means they work best with the same kind of approach Marvel used with the Avengers; introduce them all, establish how much of a threat they are, and then team them up. As things stand, the MCU is still running a little short. Donald Glover's Aaron Davis may have purchased his Prowler gauntlets in Spider-Man: Homecoming, but he's yet to be seen using them; if Mysterio did indeed fake his death, or if he has a successor, then that needs to be established; and the MCU's Norman Osborn needs a chance to shine as well.
Of course, it's possible that Mysterio really is gone for good after his battle with the wall-crawler in Spider-Man: Far From Home. If that's the case, then Marvel need to introduce another Sinister Six member too. The most sensible candidate would probably be Kraven the Hunter, who in the comics views Spider-Man as the most attractive prey. An MCU version could perhaps lift from the Ultimate Comics Kraven, a reality TV celebrity who decided taking down Spider-Man on live TV would boost his career. Now Spider-Man is viewed as a threat and a menace in the MCU, it would be pretty easy to work Kraven in.
Should Marvel Save The Sinister Six For Later?
All this means that, while Spider-Man: Far From Home is potentially an important step along the road to a Sinister Six movie, it probably isn't where the Spider-Man franchise is going next. Indeed, Marvel's been quite open about that fact; Spider-Man: Far From Home producer Eric Carroll has explicitly noted that the Sinister Six team-up isn't on the radar right now. "We kind of take these movies one at a time," he noted. "I think that's something audiences would love for sure. I do think it's something people have been wanting for a long time. So, I can't imagine it's not somebody's dream project? But it's not something we're specifically building to at the moment."
That's a sensible approach; the foundations are still being laid for the Sinister Six, and at least one - possibly even two - major characters still need to be introduced in Spider-Man 3. Besides which, Marvel Studios would be wise to take a tip from the comics themselves; there's a reason Stan Lee decided that the Sinister Six were too big to do in a standard issue, and had to be the focus of Spider-Man's very first annual. Handled well, Spider-Man versus the Sinister Six becomes the biggest cinematic event in the history of the entire Spider-Man franchise, and Marvel would be wise to market it as an "event" movie rather than just the latest chapter of their Spider-Man story. So while the Sinister Six could well be coming to the MCU, it shouldn't really be for be for a while yet.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019