My Sinister 6
Spider-Man has one of the wildest Rogues Galleries in all of comics, literally. Nearly all of them are based off some kind of wild animal. That makes for a nice consistency. And one key component of Spidey’s baddies over the years has been the Sinister Six. Back in 1964, six of Spidey’s greatest villains teamed up to take him on as a group, because none of them could beat him on their own. Essentially they all sat down and someone said, “Gentlemen, we’re going to kill Spider-Man!”
It didn’t work. They lost.
The first Sinister Six was composed of Doctor Octopus, Mysterio, Electro, Sandman, Vulture and Kraven the Hunter. That team stayed pretty consistent throughout the years, with a few additions and subtractions here and there. They basically always teamed up to kill Spider-Man, though sometimes also to commit crimes.
Well today I’m going to debut my vision of an even better Sinister Six! The idea of some of the big bad guys teaming up just to kill Spider-Man is passe. Nowadays the Sinister Six should be more working-class, more street-level guys banding together to accomplish something. Kill Spider-Man, sure; but being super criminals should come first.
It should be no surprise that DC Comics’ Secret Six is a big influence on what a villain team should be.
1. Lady Octopus: Villainous mastermind and brains of the operation!
It’s true! There’s a Lady Octopus! She is an obscure character (my favorite kind!) who hasn’t been seen much since she debuted in the mid-90s as a part of the Clone Saga. That makes her perfect for revamping into something new and spectacular! Just cut away all the crappy baggage she had back in the day and make her sleek, new and exciting. Get rid of the armored costume and give her something more subtle and a little bit sexy. Keep the Doc Ock arms, but make them more stream-lined and less mechanical. And pink hair is always cool. When she debuted, she was all about Cyberspace, back when the Internet was called the Information Superhighway and nobody really knew what it would become. They can keep the interest in the Internet, just don’t get insane about it. She’d be the new mastermind of the team, the one who brings everyone together for her nefarious schemes!
2. The Spot: Transport and some comic relief.
My faithful readers first met the Spot on my list of 6 Favorite Comic Book Characters, so it shouldn’t be any surprise that I’d want him for my team. Should I ever get to try my hand at writing a Marvel comic, I have big plans for the Spot. He has the super power of creating portals out of thin air and then using them to transport himself and anything else over great distances. So clearly he’d be great as a teleport-for-hire sort of guy. Saves the team from having to rent a truck, or something. So he’d be great for that. He’s also an amazing visual. The Spot is just fun to look at. A recent appearance made him something of an arrogant comic relief, and I’d keep that while also giving him some of the recent back bone he’s developed.
3. The Rhino: Strong silent type, the muscle.
Just look at that picture, read those captions. The Rhino is no longer the big, blundering fool he used to be. There was a story in Amazing Spider-Man not too long ago that had the Rhino retiring from crime because he’d fallen in love. He went to prison, served his time and then got out and married the woman. Then some Rhino wannabe came on the scene with a new mechanical suit and challenged the old Rhino to a fight. Spider-Man stepped in and had a cool scene where he told the old Rhino to go home to his wife, Spidey would handle this new guy because that’s what Spider-Man does. And Rhino listened! It was a brilliant story, really humanizing this long-standing joke character.
Then a few issues later, the bad guys came back into the picture and killed the Rhino’s new wife. He went off the deep end then, becoming the monster you see in the picture above. So now he’s tough, strong and super angry. I’d keep all those things going with Rhino on the Sinister Six.
4. Hobgoblin: Insane, funny wildcard.
Another character from my list of favorites, the Phil Urich Hobgoblin. This choice is mostly fanboyism. I love the character, I want to see more of him and this would be the perfect opportunity. It would give Phil a higher profile. Hobgoblin has a long-standing history with the Sinister Six, so throw him back on the team. He’s wildly crazy, in a fun way, and would be the perfect wildcard (like Charlie Kelly). Marvel is trying to make this Hobgoblin a legitimate character, and I’m all for it!
5. Scorpion: Tough, angry veteran.
Mac Gargan, the Scorpion, has been around forever. He was even Venom for a few years. But he’s back now as the Scorpion, with a badass costume and a return to glory as a bitter, angry, henchman-for-hire. He was originally a private eye hired by J. Jonah Jameson to get some dirt on Spider-Man. Then JJJ went the extra mile and paid for some Science to turn Gargan into the Scorpion. Gargen’s been half-insane and bitter at JJJ ever since. Plus as a kid, I loved scorpions (still do), so this guy was always one of my favorites. He was never a member of the comic book Sinister Six, but he was on the cartoon show, when they were called the Insidious Six.
One has to assume that FOX Kids in the 90s just didn’t like the word ‘sinister’. They also wouldn’t let Spider-Man punch anybody.
6. The Shocker: Heart of the team, the put-upon every-man just trying to get by.
The Shocker, Herman Schultz, is the ultimate working-class super-villain; so he’s a real hero of mine. This is a guy who just wants to make a buck. He’s not in this game to be a super-villain or ‘kill Spider-Man’. He’s just a crook doing his thing. And that’s fantastic. I want to write a Shocker solo series. I want more Shocker. Here is a schlub, a working stiff, a guy that readers can really relate to. He was a safe-cracker who invented a pair of gauntlets that release a vibrational frequency that would destroy the safes. But they vibrate so powerfully he also had to design a protective suit for himself. So that’s why he looks like a costume super-villain. His costume actually serves a function!
So The Shocker would be the star of my Sinister Six series. He’s the sort of guy you can write about taking the subway, or standing in line for coffee or complaining about making rent for the month. He’s perfect.
And special thanks for friend-of-the-site Alyssa for this list suggestion. If you have a suggestion for my Lists of Six, put it in the comments!