In the Marvel comics, Spider-Man’s final-boss-level foe is the Sinister Six. Not the Fatal Five, not the Frightful Four, not the Seven Samurai, although those are also all things. In the Internet-breaking first trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home, there are distinct teases and reveals for at least five villains: Electro, Sandman, Lizard, Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus. Who will be the sixth adversary in the much-anticipated Spider-Man film, to be released this December from Marvel and Sony Pictures?
Reasonable folks might say, “aren’t five antagonists enough for one feature film?” But reasonable folks are not necessarily comic book fans. It’s the Sinister Six. If you had three or four villains, fine, that’s “several” villains, or a “bunch” of villains, or a gaggle or a host or whatever the collective word is for super-villains. But if you show us five, then there really better be six, or else longstanding Spider-Fans, speaking for myself, will revolt. The Sinister Six is a big deal, Sony and Marvel both know this, a Sinister Six movie has been in quasi-development for however many years now. The S6 has a fluid roster over the years, so there’s no sure thing, but I’m here to propose a dark-horse possibility.
IS the sixth villain… Mr. Negative? Unlikely, but let’s game it out. Martin Li, a.k.a. Mr. Negative, is a major figure in the Playstation 4 Spider-Man game. In his benevolent alter-ego persona, Martin runs F.E.A.S.T., a homeless shelter which seems to be glimpsed briefly in the No Way Home trailer, as Peter runs through a cafeteria in a black suit.
As Spider-Writer Preeti Chhibber says in the NOC’s trailer reaction video (above), “Spider-Man PS4 is the best Spider-Man movie,” a statement with which I wholeheartedly concur. Both the PS4 Spider-Man games are spectacularly well-executed Spider-Man narratives. The PS4 S6 membership includes Doctor Octopus, Vulture, Electro, Rhino, Scorpion, and Mr. Negative. Kingpin, Hammerhead, and Shocker are in there too (the game is bountiful with legacy characters) but Mr. Negative is the strong sixth presence towards the end of the game when Spidey is getting seriously dog-piled-upon by the Sinister Sextet.
Mr. Negative is Chinese American, a split personality who (ingeniously) ties into the origin story of Marvel heroes Cloak & Dagger. One of the things he can do is corrupt people with the “dark” side of their personality. Like that time in Amazing Spider-Man #618 when he got into the head of dear old Aunt May and turned her attitude against her beloved nephew Peter.
Again, I do not think it likely that Mr. Negative shows up in No Way Home (a Martin Li cameo at F.E.A.S.T. seems more feasible)… but, looking ahead for the franchise, who doesn’t want to see Evil Marisa Tomei as a Darkforce-possessed Aunt May? For real, Darth Tomei would own. Give that woman some scenery to chew!
More practical candidates for the Sinister Sixth are: Vulture (reprised by Michael Keaton, or someone else), Scorpion (hinted at in Homecoming) or Rhino, last seen in the last frame of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Of course, Sony’s Spider-Man Universe also features Venom, Carnage, and Morbius in their own standalone films — it’s improbable that No Way Home would act as a bridge point between the MCU and Sony’s Villain-verse, but it sure would be cool.
There are more exotic scenarios: Ned turns into Hobgoblin. Shocker gets a much-needed costume. Someone is Chameleon. Mysterio’s not actually dead, nor showered. If fellow Spider-Nerd Swara had his way, it’ll be Macavity the Mystery Cat:
…except it’ll be Black Cat, calm down. Personally, I hope for Scorpion, but all I really know is there’s got to be a sixth villain of some sort, or else the entire Spider-Verse will collapse. As Norman Osborn himself puts it, in the last panel of Ultimate Six #1:
Who do y’all think will be the sixth member of the Sinister Six in Spider-Man: No Way Home? Leave a comment, or tag a tweet to @dommah and @thenerdsofcolor! Shall we look at that teaser trailer once more, so as to verify some of these rantings? Yes, let’s.