If you haven’t heard, an impressive three-minute-long trailer gave us a much-needed look into Spider-Man: No Way Home yesterday night. Beyond some interesting plot details, it also looked at multiple villains making comebacks in the next MCU Spider-Man film. Though there were teasers and minor confirmations up until now, it was the first look at these villains in action. With five (possibly six) villains confirmed, fans think the Sinister Six are coming to the MCU Spider-Man movies. For those unaware, the Sinister Six is a villain group composed of Spidey’s greatest threats working together. Nerdist has an excellent article about them/their origins. In celebration of them finally coming to the live-action silver screen, here are the six best versions of the Sinister Six.
6. The Pseudo-Six from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse
At the bottom of this list comes an unofficial entry. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse is the first of the Spider-Man movies to execute six different villains. However, the fact that they don’t work together puts this one at the bottom. In this iteration, the “pseudo-six” all simultaneously work for the same goal, but in different ways. Kingpin leads them to get a super collider going. Lesser-known gangster villain Tombstone makes an appearance, as does the Prowler. Green Goblin, a female Doc Ock named Olivia Octavius, and Scorpion all round out the team. Though the line-up is impressive, the closest we get to a real brawl is when Tombstone, Prowler, Scorpion, and Doc Ock attack Aunt May’s house while a collection of Spider-Men (and women) are having a strategy meeting. Not quite at their best, but still downright awesome.
5. The Insidious Six from Spider-Man: The Animated Series
Spider-Man: The Animated Series is one of the most famous Spider-Man cartoons. Though the Sinister Six had been around since the original comics, this was the first version to be properly animated. This one consisted of Doc Ock, Scorpion, Shocker, Rhino, Mysterio, and Chameleon. Used by Kingpin for his nefarious purposes, they were able to beat a powered-down Spidey and unmask him. Of course, they just thought he was a fake and moved on. Though this Sinister Six were indeed a well-oiled machine, they only appear in a handful of episodes. This may be because fewer iconic villains were used to fill in some spots. Further, Mysterio is later replaced with Vulture. The strength of their team was only limited to their cohesiveness as a group. That’s what earns this one the number 5 spot.
4. The Original Sinister Six from Marvel Comics
Created in 1964 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko themselves, this one was a revolutionary team-up. Two years after the debut of Spider-Man, our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man had built up a collection of baddies. After Doctor Octopus’s latest defeat, he called upon all villains of the wall-crawler to help in destroying him. Electro, The Sandman, Mysterio, Kraven the Hunter, and Vulture responded. The first iteration, though troubling, proved that villainous hubris would be their downfall. Each one individually challenged Spider-Man one after the other, making it more manageable for him in the long run. In the end, Spider-Man comes out on top and mocks Doc Ock for their lack of teamwork. The team makes many more appearances, with Hobgoblin replacing Kraven eventually. These next few times, they prove to be quite the menace. Their big flaw is lack of depth since Spidey himself was just gaining footing in the world of comics.
3. Regent’s Sinister Six from Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows
Let’s get a little more multiversal with this next one. The Regent is a powerful villain who exists in the Secret Wars saga of the comics. Since the Regent has beaten the rest of the Avengers, Spider-Man retires to focus on his own family. After some time, the Regent wants to track down Spidey as well. He sends out this version of the Sinister Six to do it. In this world, Regent is the premiere security force of the world, and Spider-Man is a rogue. With the Sinister Six hunting down Peter Parker’s family, we get to see a nastier side to him. He takes out more than one of the original members in his confrontations with them. Throughout the comics, many villains are within the ranks. Beetle, Boomerang, Rhino, Kraven, Mysterio, Shocker, Doc Ock, Vulture, and Hobgoblin all make an appearance. It’s almost like a reunion of the fan favorites, with a couple of fresh faces. With Kraven leading the hunt, it makes for a compelling story.
2. Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4’s Sinister Six
Plenty of TV and comic versions of the Six have graced this list, but let’s talk games. More specifically, Marvel’s Spider-Man, which took Game of the Year when it was released. In a climactic sequence, Spider-Man is rushed to The Raft, where a mass breakout is occurring. As players traverse the level, there are run-ins with some of Spidey’s famous villains as they all start to escape. Turns out, this was more than just happenstance. Doc Ock had made a concerted effort to bring six villains together for his schemes. In this line-up, we also have Electro, Scorpion, Rhino, Mister Negative, and Vulture. All of them have problems, genetic or mechanical, that Doc Ock has promised to fix for them should they succeed. They beat Spidey to a pulp in their first appearance, and are huge thorns in his side for the third act. Alas, they soon break up into two-man teams to fight him, and haphazard ones at that. Another case of criminal miscommunication makes them no trouble at all.
1. The Sinister Twelve from Marvel Knights: Spider-Man
The Sinister Twelve is the most iconic version of the concept, simply because Green Goblin is the leader this time. In no other iteration is the alter ego of Norman Osborne at the head. And what does the biggest Spider-Man villain do when he assembles his team? He doubles it. This time, the team also has Scorpion, Vulture, Electro, Shocker, Boomerang, Hammerhead, Tombstone, Chameleon, the Lizard, and Hydro-Man. Brought together mere moments after Spider-Man and Black Cat broke Norman out of prison, this group is his deadliest fight yet. The team demolishes both of them the first time. It’s only by calling upon the combined might of The Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Yellow Jacket, Captain America, and Iron Man that Spidey can even win in the first place. The Goblin knew how to hit Spider-Man hard, and without a ton of help, our spidey friend would have been squashed. That’s what makes this version of the Sinister Six in the Spider-Man universe the most sinister of all.