Who Are the Sinister Six? – An Introduction to Spider-Man’s Supervillain Group

     December 21, 2013


Following up the announcement that Sony Pictures will be creating two spinoff films from the Amazing Spider-Man franchise, Venom and The Sinister Six, we walked you through the comics history of the villainous symbiote Venom.  In this week’s installment, we’ll show you the origins and various rosters of the Supervillain team that has been giving Spider-Man problems for decades, The Sinister Six.  Strap in, get five of your best buddies, and hit the jump.

Sinister Origins

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one, Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, the Vulture, and Electro walk into a bar… Ok this isn’t really how it happens but it’s fairly close. After having each of their butts handed to them on a regular basis, Spider-Man’s various rogues decide that rather than fight him one at a time, they will band together…to fight him one at a time!  If you’ve never read the first appearance of the Sinister Six in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, it’s really worth a read, simply for the camp factor.  During this time, Marvel was still relatively young and were trying to push all of their heroes as hard as they could, so throughout the story, Spider-Man is constantly encountering other heroes who just so happen to be walking or flying by (“Hey is that Thor?” “It sure is Spidey, and be sure to read Thor’s continuing adventures in Avengers and Journey into Mystery every month!”) It’s really a great read and will have you laughing harder with each page you turn.

The story itself finds the Six kidnapping Aunt May as they’ve come to the conclusion that Peter Parker has some sort of connection to Spider-Man, as he’s always taking the guy’s pictures.  They call Peter and demand that Spider-Man run a gauntlet of fighting each of the villain in their natural habitat (Vulture in the air, Kraven in the jungle, and Doc Ock in…well I don’t want to ruin the surprise on that one just yet) While Spidey begins fighting his most lethal rogues, Octopus plays house maid to the kidnapped Aunt May, serving her tea and trying to keep her as calm as possible, which in turn has May commenting on what a gentleman he is.  One would think the obvious reaction she would have other than, “Oh what a charming fellow” would be, “HOLY JESUS YOU HAVE METAL ARMS COMING OUT OF YOUR BACK!” but I digress.  Spider-Man begins defeating his foes one at a time and reaches the final stage where he must fight Dr. Octopus in a giant fishbowl.

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Eventually, Spider-Man triumphs, saves the day, and the Sinister Six stew in their jail cells.  I wanted to save the best scene for last as on one page, J. Jonah Jameson, tired of not being able to confront Spider-Man, sees a spider outside his window and begins yelling at it, telling it to get word back to Spider-Man.  There is absolutely no way that most of these scenes will make it into the movies, but hey, a guy can dream.

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Sinister Who?

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Much like every other team roster in the comic book world, the Sinister Six’s roster has changed more times than you can count.  There have usually been a few mainstays from the original roster that we just looked at, with the addition of one or two other villains.  From Venom to Hobgoblin to Green Goblin to Gog to the Chameleon, at one time or another, a good chunk of Spidey villains have found themselves on the team.  Typically, the team would almost always be led by Doctor Octopus, with the other five acting somewhat as his cronies and would surprisingly get along well for the most part, though there were times when they would turn on one another which is something that should really stand out in the movies.  Even though they’re a team united in a single goal, they’re all ruthless killers who are always looking to get the upper hand on anyone they perceive to be a threat and so in-fighting is bound to take place, which offers for a cool super villain fight when Spider-Man isn’t immediately in their line of fire.

At one point, in a series written by Kick Ass creator, Mark Millar, the Green Goblin decided to try his hand at creating a super villain team and one up Doc Ock by forming the Sinister Twelve!  They got trounced by a combination of Spider-Man and the Avengers, but still, it created one heck of an image in seeing twelve of Spider-Man’s most fearsome villains all getting together.  With their origins and rosters out of the way, let’s delve into the questions that everyone has about the movie itself.

The Sinister Screen

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We can make some assumptions about who exactly will be the roster of the Sinister Six in the Amazing Spider-Man franchise from what we’ve seen of the first film and what we saw in the trailer for the sequel.  Most likely, villains such as Electro (Jamie Foxx), the Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan), and Rhino (Paul Giamatti) will be members as they are already a part of the second installment of the franchise.  Also, we’ll more than likely be seeing a return of the Lizard (Rhys Ifans), since he appeared in the first picture, and the trailer for Amazing Spider-Man 2 showed, clearly, Doctor Octopus’ arms and the Vulture’s wings in the background of Oscorp labs.  I would say that these six are the most likely to be making appearances on the team, with the possibility of adding an entirely new villain in the way of say Kraven or Mysterio, or perhaps even throwing Venom into the mix as the kids just can’t get enough of that guy.

SinisterSix_movie_Spider-ManThe most interesting idea that I’ve been thinking about from the announcement is that the Sinister Six will be a spinoff movie and may very well not even have Spider-Man make an appearance.  To see a movie revolving around an Avengers-style team that consists of nothing but villains would be a great thing to see, if handled properly.  In fact, a Sinister Six movie could take a lot of hints from the story structure of the Avengers film.  Start off by having the team unformed, following a single protagonist attempting to get the team together to take down Spider-Man, show plenty of infighting between the members, and then have them unite to fight a common enemy at the end (Maybe they would fight Venom at the end of their movie instead of including him in their ranks?)

One thing to keep in mind is certainly the “overload factor” which has been a problem for a number of comic book properties, especially the Spider-Man one with regards to Sam Raimi’s third Spidey film. If the studio is going to have a movie that juggles six villains without a hero, what is the best way to go about that?  The answer is to take each of these characters and see how they are able to play off one another, while giving each of them an equal amount of screen time to hog the spotlight.  This is why Avengers was able to work so well in that all of the heroes’ had been established in earlier films and were able to focus on the main threat they were presented with, as well as the relationships they were forming, without delving too much into expository background.

The tools that Sony needs are all there to build a rock solid franchise under the Spidey umbrella and I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with.


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