The latest Spider-Man movie is all that geeks can talk about these days, and I proudly count myself among them. Spider-Man was my first love. I went to the grocery store with my mother in the 90’s and begged for a new comic each week from the wire-frame spinning rack. I collected anything I could get my hands on from thrift stores, antique stores, and local comic shops that sold back issues of my beloved web head.
In the course of that time, I also learned all about his villains.
Now that Spider-Man Homecoming has promised to establish a new cinematic universe for the web-slinger, a colorful cast of villains is a must. I thought I would take a moment to feature the Villains you saw and those you may not have caught in the film. I believe they will all lead up to a showdown with Spider-Man vs. the Sinister Six which, done properly, could be as high-stakes as any Avengers or Civil War film.
So, without further ado, here are all five villains from Spider-Man: Homecoming:
- Adrian Toomes/ The Vulture: The most obvious villain was the film’s main antagonist. Michael Keaton delivered in my favorite depiction of one of Spidey’s classic foes, The Vulture. The Vulture first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #2 in 1963. In the comic books, the character Adrian Toomes was an old man who had the power to fly and drain the youth from his victims. I had hoped Michael Keaton would have this power as well so he could revert back to his 80s Batman-Era form. Instead, this realistic depiction of the Vulture gained his abilities from salvaged battlefields of previous Marvel movies. The Sky Scavenger picked the previous MCU movies clean and promises to be a deadly foe for Spider-Man in the future! (Especially now that he knows Peter’s identity!)
- The Shocker(s): We were treated to TWO Shockers for the price of one (inflated) movie ticket in this film. Both characters wore a jacket that paid homage to the trademark yellow and brown costume of the original villain, Herman Schultz, who first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #46 in 1967. The Shocker in the film was a member of Toomes gang of technology scavengers and wore a large gauntlet capable of sending powerful concussion waves and blows that put Spidey on the ropes. IMDB revealed that Bokeem Woodbine indeed played Herman Schultz. Though in the film he was Shocker #2 after Shocker #1 tried to walk away from the Vulture’s operation. There was a throwaway line that Shocker #2 would have to “wear the dampeners” after receiving the gauntlet, which would explain the reason he was wearing the same type of yellow quilted jacket of the first, disintegrated, incarnation. (RIP Shocker #1)
- Mac Gargan/ Scorpion: In the comic books, Mac Gargan became the Scorpion after he was hired by J. Jonah Jameson to take down Spider-Man in a custom battle suit in Amazing Spider-Man #19 in December of 1964. The Scorpion was the basis for the comic villain’s suit because it is a natural predator of the Spider. Gargan wasn’t the brightest of Spidey’s foes in the comics but he certainly had staying power. He worked for years as the Scorpion before obtaining the symbiote and becoming Venom. In the film, he’s only seen as a low-level enforcer working with the Vulture. The only clue to his future career as the Scorpion was in his neck tattoo.
- Aaron Davis/ The Prowler: This entertaining appearance by Donald Glover had serious implications for the future of the MCU and the Spider-Man films. In the Ultimate Marvel Comics imprint Aaron Davis was a master thief known as the Prowler. The Prowler was able to stay active for years by skirting the legal loopholes of the law and never drawing too much attention to himself. That all changed when his nephew was bitten by a genetically enhanced spider from Oscorp. In the film, Spidey confronted Davis for information about the Vulture after seeing him trying to buy weapons from his gang. I had one of my loudest LOL moments when Spidey webbed Davis’ hand to his car and told him it would dissolve in two hours. Glover showed his comedic skills by protesting he “had ice crème” in the car. This sounded like a humorous throwaway line, but Davis in the comics often kept ice crème and popsicles in his freezer for visits from his nephew: Miles Morales, the second Spider-Man.
- Phineas Mason/ The Tinkerer: The Tinkerer is less of a villain and more of a black market Amazon for the Marvel Universe. In the film, he designed and constructed the Vulture’s gadgets and showed an ambition to create elaborate toys to pull off bigger heists. In the comics, he ran an underground shop disguised as a radio repair shop. I think it would be humorous if he moved his operations in the next film to an abandoned Radio Shack. Is there anyone left to buy those rights from? He’s not one of Spidey’s well-known antagonists even though he appeared in the very second issue of The Amazing Spider-Man in 1963 which, ironically, was the same issue that contained the debut of the Vulture! In the comics, Tinkerer was known for building Rocket Racer’s skateboard, rebuilding the Spider Mobile for the Kingpin, Scorpion’s battle suit and even Mysterio’s costume.
Mysterio would make an excellent villain for the new Spider-Man film franchise. His elaborate illusions would allow for unlimited gratuitous cameos from other MCU characters without having to worry about continuity. I believe the Tinkerer will facilitate his and many other Villain’s appearances and will continue his role in the MCU as the weapon and gadget designer for the rogues that eventually join together to form the Sinister Six. We already have three traditional members of the famous group on the board with Vulture, Scorpion, and the Shocker.
Who else do you think will join the MCU’s version of the Sinister Six? Let me know @JSandlinWriter on twitter. And check out my book Outbreak Mutiny. Alternate History. With Superheroes. Available now on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2tKfSxD