10 March 2007

The Many (Many) Foes of Spider-Man - The Sinister Six

Spidey is one tough dude. His foes cannot defeat him one-on-one so they had to form The Sinister Six

After suffering three defeats in a row from the wall crawler, Doc Ock realised he required assistance from others in order to defeat Spider-Man. He got in touch with every known supervillain Spider-Man had crossed paths with and only five responded: The airborne assassin Vulture, the electrifying Electro, wild Kraven the Hunter, illusion master Mysterio and the dangerous Sandman. Knowing he'd never be able to keep the team together for long, Doctor Octopus quickly formulated a battle plan that would give each of the villains personal glory and Spider-Man an early death. Each individual member of the Sinister Six would battle Spider-Man in a carefully chosen location, until the point where the wall-crawler was no more.

Spider-Man himself had his own problems, as he had somehow lost his powers and prepared to return to normal life as a teenager. While blaming himself for the death of his Uncle Ben, Spidey lost his balance and fell down the side of a building, landing and clinging to a flagpole. As Peter returned to his normal life as a student and a freelance photographer, he was unaware of the fact that the Sinister Six realized the Daily Bugle secretary Betty Brant played a large role in Spider-Man's life. They kidnapped her along with an innocent bystander - Aunt May. It was then left to the Vulture to spill the beans to J. Jonah Jameson, warning him to inform Spider-Man that Betty was being held hostage along with Aunt May and if he wanted to see them alive, he'd have to battle the Sinister Six.

Despite not having his powers, Peter put on his Spider-Man costume and went to fight Electro at an electrical plant. During the battle, Peter somehow regained his superpowers (It was speculated to be a mental thing, caused by his own self-loathing for the loss of his uncle, which he got over when facing a life-or-death situation) and easily defeated Electro. Spidey then battled against Kraven- who confronted him with some wild cats- and defeated this foe too. After defeating Mysterio, Sandman and the Vulture, Spidey went up against Doc Ock, who lured him into an enormous fishbowl. The two foes battled and Spider-Man was victorious.

Later the villains all escaped prison and went to get revenge on the wall-crawler. However, times had changed as Kraven had committed suicide, so the Hobgoblin took his place. The group was organized once again by Dr. Octopus, who claimed they would try to defeat Spider-Man. However, this was a trick, part of a larger plan by which Octavius alone would be the master of the world. The Sandman, at this point in his career reformed, aided Spider-Man in defeating the Sinister Six, and ultimately stopping Octavius's plans to conquer the world.

The group reunited once more in a bid to take over the world with alien weaponry. Sandman's foster family was hit with a bomb, and Sandman, believing Octopus had attacked his foster family as punishment for betraying him, joined the other members of the Sinister Six in a plan to take revenge upon Octopus. Despite his grief, however, Sandman contacted Spider-Man and asked him to shadow the group as insurance against him being double-crossed or unexpected surprises. By this point, Octopus had already obtained his lost adamnantium arms (by killing a wealthy, unethical individual who offered to sell the arms to him) and stealing the old man's robot soldiers and weapons. Octopus easily defeated the other members of the six with them, then zapped Sandman with a weapon that transformed his living sand body into solid glass (Octopus, however, was apparently not responsible for the bombing of Sandman's foster family, which was apparently done by the other members of the Six in order to coerce Sandman into joining their revenge scheme; in addition, Octopus had not only anticipated the Six's plan to reassemble and take revenge upon him, but had deliberately facilitated it, even secretly paying Electro to help ensure the Six reassembled so that he could coerce the other members into aiding his scheme). The assembled Sinister Six went off on a rampage, stealing advanced weapons and technology from several sources, including raiding an alien dimension for advanced weaponry and attacking a facility specializing in cybernetics, in the process having several successful encounters beating Spider-Man, the Hulk (in his Professor identity), Deathlok, Solo, and others (before acquiring more advanced alien weapons, the Hulk trounced the other members of the Six, then got stomped upon by Octopus because Octavius had the adamnantium arms), Merely defeated in his initial encounter with the Six, Spider-Man was left with hairline fractures on one arm and leg, but was able to pursue them with medical attention including cybernetic casts. Eventually, Spider-Man and several other heroes confront the villains as they are seizing a HYDRA base to gain access to deadly, world-devastating weapons (during the Six's raiding assaults on various locations, the group engaged in wanton mass murder, simply exterminating anyone who got in their way, shocking Spider-Man, as, despite their lack of scruples, these particular villains didn't generally kill wantonly). The last member of Octavius's Sinister Six was revealed to be Gog, and a combat between members of the super hero community summoned by Spidey (including the Fantastic Four, Nova, the Hulk, and Solo) broke out, ending when the broken-glass body of the Sandman shredded Doctor Octopus, nearly killing him.

A variation known as the Sinister Seven was formed by Mysterio to fight Kaine, a defective clone of Spider-Man that was killing villains, including Doctor Octopus and the Grim Hunter (Kraven's son). Eventually Sandman and Mysterio II (the original had died) formed a new version, with Venom temporarily replacing Doc Ock. The Sinister Six were defeated again (Ironically, Venom subsequently went on to attack the various members of the Sinister Six, nearly killing the Sandman and badly injuring Electro and Kraven before he and his symbiote were briefly separated from each other).

Another version put together by the Sandman was put together for the sole purpose of destroying Doctor Octopus and his charge, Senator Stewart Ward. When Spider-Man intervened, they were forced to add an extra member to their roster as a replacement for Doc Ock: the enraged Venom.

In Marvel Knights Spider-Man, Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, had been unmasked to the public and imprisoned after losing a battle to Spider-Man. Defeated but unbowed, Osborn concocted a fiendish contingency plan. He contacted a group of supervillains who also bore grudges against Spider-Man, and all of them had been financed by Osborn's fortunes for years. (It was revealed that most supervillains have corporate funding in the Marvel Universe) Eager for revenge, the villains agreed to band together, and the Sinister Twelve was formed.

The Sinister Twelve was the largest gathering of Spider-Man's enemies of all time. The major villains not part of the Twelve were either deceased (Mysterio, Kraven the Hunter), retired (Molten Man, Hobgoblin), or incarcerated (Rhino and Doctor Octopus.)

Mac Gargan, the Scorpion, was the de facto leader of the Twelve while Osborn was in prison, and it was he who kidnapped Peter Parker's Aunt May and threatened to kill her if Spider-Man did not help Osborn escape from jail. A desperate Spider-Man, with help from the Black Cat, broke Osborn out, only to be confronted with the Vulture, Sandman, Electro, Chameleon, Lizard, Hydro-Man, Shocker, Hammerhead, Boomerang, and Tombstone. Osborn, now in the guise of the Green Goblin, introduced them as the Sinister Twelve. The final member of the group, Scorpion, shocked everybody present when he arrived, revealing that he had bonded with Eddie Brock's alien symbiote, becoming the new Venom. Although Osborn was displeased with Gargan's new power, he nevertheless watched with glee as the assembled villains converged on the hopelessly outnumbered Spider-Man and Black Cat.

Despite the odds, Spider-Man and the Black Cat fought back in a heroic last stand. Before the two could be killed, salvation arrived in the form of Captain America, Iron Man, Daredevil, Yellowjacket and the Fantastic Four, who struck back at the villains. Spider-Man's wife, Mary Jane Watson, had called S.H.I.E.L.D. to aid him, as she feared he was heading into a trap. A furious Green Goblin rocketed away and kidnapped her, and Spider-Man pursued him, fighting off Venom, who was trying to stop him. Spider-Man and the Goblin clashed once again upon a bridge (not the one where Gwen Stacy was killed), this time with Mary Jane's life at stake.

Finally Osborn gave a vital clue as to Aunt May's whereabouts, and was defeated by a combination of being shot by Mary Jane, struck by lightning, and attacked by Doctor Octopus, who was brainwashed by the police into trying to kill him. The Goblin fell into the river below, and Aunt May was found and saved.

In the aftermath, Peter received a pre-sent letter from Osborn, thanking him for all the "excitement" their rivalry has provided over the years and telling him to rest easy until they meet again. The rest of the Sinister Twelve were subdued by the heroes and arrested; Gargan ended up, ironically, in Osborn's old cell.

Villain Profiles:

the Beetle
Black Cat
the Chameleon
Doctor Octopus
the Green Goblin
J. Jonah Jameson
Jack O' Lantern
the Kingpin
Kraven the Hunter
the Lizard
The Sinister Six

Spider-Man 3 debuts in 55 days!


toast said...

I saw 300 on the weekend and a brand new trailer for Spider-Man 3 was shown! This one focused on Eddie Brock and the symbiote story.

I'm getting afraid that there is too much story in this movie. This new trailer showed a plot that could be an entire movie. No need for Harry, weddings, Gwen Stacy or Sandman.

Check it out if you haven't already.

Chip Chief said...

I am afraid Venom is going to get shortchanged.

j said...

Haven't we all learned a lesson from the original Batman movies? Too many characters to give screen time makes for a terrible movie. Or maybe it was just all the terrible pun-liners. "Ice to see you"