Spider-Man Vs. The Sinister Six: How they can Work in the MCU
The first two Spider-Man movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe gave us two of the best villains in the MCU so far: Vulture and Mysterio. However, Spider-Man has one of the most impressive rogues’ galleries in comics, and even though we’ve seen, at this point, Green Goblin, Dr. Octopus, Venom, Sandman, Lizard, Electro, Rhino (kind of) and the two previously mentioned, there are still many we have yet to see. But what fans will really want? Spiderman vs the Sinister Six. And the post-credits ending to Spider-Man: Far From Home sets it up for perfectly. Even better, we can have a Sinister Six with villains we haven’t yet seen on the big screen.
Back to Street Level
Spider-Man has always had an interesting place in the Marvel Universe. He can go on cosmic and inter-dimensional adventures, but then the next comic he can be swinging through the streets of New York fighting mobsters. In Homecoming, we had a street-level story that turned into something bigger. In Far From Home, we had a global adventure. But Spider-Man needs to go home and have a true New York City tale. And to do that—show all of New York—we would need the mobs and their bosses.
Spider-Man’s MCU Sinister Six
And that’s where we get to a Sinister Six the MCU can give us, by focusing on the mobs wanting revenge. Spider-Man’s been operating in the MCU for a while, even after “the Blip” and before the events of Far From Home. If anyone wants revenge on the webhead, it would be the mob bosses. All those small crimes Spidey stops? Well, most of those guys work for somebody. And those somebodies are probably tired of Spider-Man interfering with their operations. So who could be so pissed off with Spider-Man that they’d work with their enemies to stop him?
Hammerhead is often a joke of a character, but he still manages to maintain a pretty strong grasp on organized crime in New York City, and this makes him a good Sinister Six member to start with, especially since Spider-Man likes to humiliate him. John DiMaggio isn’t the brightest Spider-Man villain, but he is one of the most ruthless. With his unbreakable skull (which another character on this list turned to metal in the comics), he is also a hard guy to take down and keep down. He wouldn’t be the big bad of the Sinister Six, but he’ll definitely make Spider-Man’s life a lot harder.
Tombstone is similar to Hammerhead—but more powerful, more ruthless, and smarter. His entire body is as hard as concrete, and he’s even more viscous than DiMaggio. Lonnie Lincoln has the respect and muscle—both in resources and in pure strength—to be a valuable member of the Sinister Six. But one of the best aspects of Tombstone is that even though he is a physical tank, he doesn’t get involved in a physical fight until he has to. He has the restraint that Hammerhead lacks, but when he unleashes, he can literally break heroes. But though he’s a good Spider-Man villain, he’s still not the right leader of the Sinister Six—we’ll get to them last.
Of course, the Sinister Six would need more than mob bosses to fight Spider-Man. They need operatives, and Dmitri Anatoly Nikolayevich Smerdyakov would definitely be someone who can complicate Spider-Man’s life…for reasons we won’t reveal that has to do with Far From Home. As his name suggests, Chameleon can appear as anyone. Though Mysterio used illusions, he does so on a massive scale. Chameleon’s actions are a bit more nuanced, taking the identity of one person at a time, not unlike a Skrull. The Sinister Six needs someone to mess with Spider-Man’s mind—Chameleon is the best guy to do it.
Now, originally I was going to list the Black Cat, but she’s basically Catwoman, and that would just irritate audiences. Silver Sablinova can be easily be combined with Felicia Hardy—a mercenary thief. As someone who can work in the shadows, her abilities play off well with Chameleon’s, but she’s also a more physical threat to Spider-Man. In fact, Sable is one of the only non-powered characters who could give Spider-Man a run for his money, making her perfect for an MCU Sinister Six. However, as a mercenary and comic book anti-hero, she would also be the film’s wild card. Plus, there are way too many dudes on the team. Has there ever been a Sinister Six in Spider-Man comics with a woman on the team? Probably not.
Kraven the Hunter
Physical might, thugs, and psychological warfare are great, but you still need a guy who can take out the Spider. And if we’re being honest, we all want to see Kraven the Hunter in a Spider-Man movie. Sergei Nikolaevich Kravinoff is also the older half-brother to the Chameleon, which can lend to an interesting dynamic. Everyone else in the Sinister Six would be the ultimate distraction for Spider-Man as Kraven does what he does best—hunts. As the Joker would say, Kraven’s their “ace in the hole.” Hmm…there are a lot of Russians on this list. That could make it interesting too.
The Leader of the MCU Sinister Six
Now, Stilt-Man seems like an odd choice, but he’s actually a technological genius, and he can—ah, I’m just messing with you.
Massive army of thugs? Check. Obscene amount of resources? Check. Crazy superpowers? Check. Martin Li is not just a powerful mobster, he’s a powerful citizen of New York too. He acts like the world’s biggest philanthropist, using his FEAST homeless shelters as a front for his organized crime…and Aunt May happens to work at one of those shelters. She’s also great friends with Li (and since Aunt May is younger in the movies, a love triangle between Li, May, and Happy Hogan would be fun to watch). Li is also very intelligent too and a natural leader. If anyone should lead a crime-based Sinister Six in the MCU, it’s Mr. Negative.
Not Too Many Characters
If we’ve learned anything about the MCU, it’s that they know how to handle big casts. Usually, multiple villains don’t work out, but in this case, it could—if they give them the focus they need. But if they’re going to put Peter Parker through the gauntlet, as the cliffhanger in Far From Home suggests, it’s time to make Spider-Man face the Sinister Six.
There was a Sinister Six movie in development during the short-lived Amazing Spider-Man era, but it looks like Sony abandoned that project (hopefully). Since it looks like Sony is going to stick with Marvel, there’s no reason not to make it.
Roman Colombo finished his MFA in 2010 and now teaches writing and graphic novel literature at various Philadelphia colleges. His first novel, Trading Saints for Sinners, was published in 2014. He's currently working on his next novel and hoping to find an agent soon.