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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

Who Are Marvel's Sinister Six?

Kraven the Hunter is the next major Spider-Man villain to get the big screen treatment in Sony's new foray into the world of the Web-Slinger. However, unlike previous villain outings like Venom and Morbius, Kraven has the longest history with Spider-Man and is one of the original villains he faced. But most importantly, the addition of yet another villain may allude to an even greater opportunity -- The Sinister Six.

The Sinister Six have had a rocky outing with Hollywood, as they were originally meant to debut as a spinoff movie set in The Amazing Spider-Man universe. However, when that universe was shelved to make way for Tom Holland's iteration, the best attempt at the team was in Spider-Man: No Way Home. But even still, there were only five enemies to challenge the three Spider-Men. Nevertheless, a new universe has offered new opportunities and, for many, an opportunity to explore the original team and why some could fill the roster should the group appear on the big screen.

Doctor Octopus Was The Sinister Six's Ringleader

The Sinister Six first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 (by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko) and wouldn't have been possible without Doctor Octopus leading the team. With four mechanical arms fused to his spine in an accident, Ock used his intelligence in tandem with his arms to steal and torment Spider-Man. Thanks to his ingenuity, he orchestrated a plan that involved five other villains and the kidnapping of Betty Brant and Aunt May. Though he failed in his plan, he kickstarted a team that would return in future iterations, many of which he led.

Vulture Took Villainy to New Heights

Adrian Toomes was an inventor that was spurned from the company he created after making a flight harness that enhanced his strength. With nothing left to lose, he became the Vulture and began a life of crime, only to be thwarted by Spider-Man. When he joined The Sinister Six, he thought having Spidey face him without his webs would offer a tactical edge. However, Spider-Man's agility and strength allowed him to win against the winged foe, giving him a clue to find Betty and May. Like Ock, Vulture was another enemy that would rejoin the team from time to time.

Electro Brought a New Level of Danger

Max Dillon was an electrical lineman and engineer who, while working a job, was electrocuted. Rather than kill him, the accident gave him control over electricity. As Electro, he became one of the most powerful enemies of Spider-Man with the potential to be one of the strongest in the Marvel Universe. He was the first of The Sinister Six that Spider-Man fought while in a power junction and was defeated only when Spider-Man wrapped a line around his ankle, grounding him. Electro, like so many others, didn't leave The Sinister Six and would return to the team multiple times.

Sandman Added Muscle to the Team

Flint Marko's history may be the most unique of the whole team, as his origin is as inconsistent as the sand he's made of. However, the most logical explanation of how he got his powers was that he was a petty criminal who, while on the run from the cops, was exposed to radiation on a beach. This experience turned him into the Sandman and allowed him to step up his crime, at least until Spider-Man came along. Sick of losing, he joined Ock's Sinister Six, where he trapped Spider-Man in a massive metal room. But being that he needed oxygen, his efforts to catch the hero depleted the oxygen in the airtight room, giving Spider-Man a chance to escape. Sandman was another returning member of the team and even led the fourth iteration of the deadly group.

Mysterio's Power Came in Misdirection

Quentin Beck was a special effects guru and stuntman who, sick of living without recognition, sought to make a name for himself. However, these endeavors only led to a life of vanity and crime. Using his special effects, he would cast illusions that he'd use for crime and even tricked Spider-Man on occasion. While with The Sinister Six, he set up an encounter where his robots, dressed as the X-Men, would attack Spider-Man. Ultimately, he would fail as Spider-Man overpowered the robots and beat Mysterio. Mysterio would return many more times to the team, even leading The Sinister Seven.

Kraven Brought a Grounded Villain to an Outlandish Team

Kraven the Hunter was a renowned hunter who, thanks to a potion, had heightened senses, strength and agility. As part of his mission to be the greatest hunter, he was led to New York City because he saw Spider-Man as elusive prey he had to kill. His defeat only fueled his obsession, and he thought, with the help of two Leopards, he could kill Spider-Man before he reached Doc Ock. But rather than beat him, Spider-Man humiliated Kraven by beating him without punching him. While his hunt never ended, it would be years before Kraven returned to the team.

Sony May Be Forming Its Own Sinister Six

The Sinister Six may be the most powerful collection of villains Spider-Man had ever faced and long overdue for a big screen appearance. But with Vulture putting a team together with Morbius in the same universe as Venom, that team could finally debut. It's unclear if Kraven will be set in this same universe, but if so, coupled with Rhino, the ranks are growing. And should the team form, especially with Kraven, it could be an unstoppable and unique collection of villains that Spider-Man may never recover from.

Kraven the Hunter hits theaters Oct. 6.

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