Spider-Man: Homecoming really impressed us with its villains, while also proving that multiple foils can be done for the hero’s journey in New York. Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes (the Vulture) and his team of goons delivered true greatness in Jon Watts’ film, which detailed Peter Parker’s adjustment to the full-fledged superhero life after Captain America: Civil War. Tinkerer was cleverly done as the genius who built up the tech for the baddies, while we saw two separate incarnations of the Shocker, as well as a tease of Mac Gargan, the Scorpion!
Watts’ depictions of these ne’er-do-wells also bodes well for future instalments, as Spider-Man has one of the most extensive rogues galleries in all of comics. In fact, Sony is hedging their bets that this shared partnership with the MCU will be more than enough to propel solo films for Venom (who is rumored to be taking on Carnage), Mysterio and Kraven. With these four big names taken off the list and word officially emerging that this movie will occur after the fourth Avengers film, CBR decided to dive into villains that we need to see, and some that we don’t, when the Homecoming sequel swings into theaters.
SPOILER WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for various Spider-Man comics and movies
15. NEED: NORMAN OSBORN
Norman Osborn has gotten air-time in Sam Raimi and Marc Webb’s franchises so let’s ease him into this rebooted world. What stood out in Homecoming was that Stark Tower in NYC was sold. To expand Pete’s world to that of something that’s more familiar to comic fans, why not have it become the new Oscorp Tower?
Now, we’re not petitioning for Norman to go full-villain because he could simply be monitoring Spidey’s activities, as well as that of all the criminals, to really get a feel for the ground and how he can capitalize. Pete would be distracted so it would allow Norman to work in the shadows, scheming up scientific plans on how he can take over. His philanthropy can be introduced first, setting the stage for bigger things, which could end with recruiting a genius like the Tinkerer for, say, H.A.M.M.E.R., a la the Dark Reign in the wake of Thanos.
14. DON’T NEED: MEPHISTO
We would love to see Mephisto in the MCU someday but just not in Spider-Man. The two don’t mix well, as seen with the travesty that comics fans know to be One More Day. We don’t need the devil offering a youngster any sort of deal for his soul, or mixing with a science-heavy world.
Mephisto would be better suited for a supernatural property like Blade or Ghost Rider. Fans are still trying to get the taste out their mouth when Joe Quesada and company engineered Mephisto as the man who erased Pete’s marriage to Mary-Jane in an attempt to resurrect Aunt May. It’s better to let sleeping dogs lie, especially as the kid already has enough trouble with his love-life, detention, keeping his identity secret, and oh yeah, policing Queens!
13. NEED: SCORPION
Gargan was taken to task by Pete on the ferry when he scuppered the FBI raid Tony Stark orchestrated to catch the Vulture in a weapons sale. The mid-credits later showed a scarred Gargan in jail insisting Toomes reveal Spidey’s secret identity, as rumor had spread that Vulture found it out. Toomes played it down, however, offering something in the way of redemption after Pete saved his life in the movie’s climax.
That said, Gargan was boasting his Scorpion tattoo and looked like he wanted another crack at our young hero. He said he had some guys on the outside who also wanted to take the wall-crawler out, and with Tinkerer still at large, he could well be powering them up. If Gargan escapes prison and goes into full-blown Scorpion mode with a power suit, it may tease that the Sinister Six isn’t too far behind.
12. DON’T NEED: MORBIUS
It would simply be too much to throw vampires (even “living” ones) into Spider-Man’s world. Morbius is a concept that works great in comics, as it marries science and mysticism, but such a move would most likely be too convoluted on film.
We’ve already seen Watts position Pete’s world as one that’s more built on hard science and technology, so we don’t want to stray too far. If this angle is taken into consideration, Morbius getting air-time could lead to a movie similar to Webb’s first film with the Lizard as the antagonist. Besides, we’re not sure if Pete wants to carry garlic, holy water and silver in his arsenal! It would be fun hearing his artificial intelligence, KAREN, lecture him on mythology, though.
11. NEED: CHAMELEON
Cerebral villains and tricksters make for a good time and the Chameleon ticks both boxes. He would be a perfect mix of Loki and the Joker, given his penchant for subterfuge and chaos. Chameleon (Dmitri Smerdyakov) is a Russian master-of-disguise and he would throw Pete’s world into a tailspin. However, this could help Spidey evolve as he would have to rely more on instinct, which could enhance his so far nonexistent Spider-Sense.
Chameleon has appeared in many animated series revolving around our friendly-neighborhood webhead and the studio could even chart a course like Marvel did in the Ultimate Spider-Man books. Here, the character was depicted as twins who were toying with Pete’s personal life. In the ’90s cartoon, the villain ran afoul of S.H.I.E.L.D. a couple of times, and he was also tied to the Red Skull, as his step-son!
10. DON’T NEED: TOMBSTONE
Tombstone got a lot of love in that ’90s cartoon as well: as a hitman and enforcer. However, there’s nothing that special about him to differentiate him from a henchman you’d see in the Netflix pocket of the MCU, though he would admittedly offer a great visual. As for his powers, he underwent a transformation to enhance his speed and durability, but that aside, do we really want a bootleg super-soldier?
Tombstone also hasn’t really been one with a huge personality — mostly relegated to steely whispers — and it doesn’t feel like he’ll stack up against Spidey. In terms of how the villains are being depicted in the reboot, they’re heavily focused on cool gear and hi-tech weaponry, which isn’t something Tombstone’s is usually associated with. He has undergone a resurgence and reinvention in the comics, but even his more measured crime boss of today could crumble in an adaptation to the MCU screen.
9. NEED: ALISTAIR SMYTHE
Alistair Smythe deserves to get a shot at big-screen glory because he’s one of Spidey’s most criminally underrated villains. We saw him in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, of course, and in the comics, he gained notoriety for the Spider-Slayers (robots that hunted the wall-crawler). These would make for interesting stories in the new franchise, with a potential Tinkerer partnership on the horizon.
The Slayers could be fashioned in a similar way to Pete’s Spider-Drone, or Smythe could transform himself into the Ultimate Spider Slayer — a super-powered hunter. He appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (portrayed by B.J. Novak) as the bullying boss of Max Dillon (Electro) and is slated for the 2017 cartoon out this summer, but it’s about time he hits live-action!
8. DON’T NEED: HOBGOBLIN
Let’s hope this franchise doesn’t get ahead of itself and throw the Hobgoblin at us. Roderick Kingsley was used in this role after Roger Stern and the creative team decided against bringing back the Green Goblin character. In other words, he should follow in the footsteps of the Osborns and not before.
It’s easy for Sony to have Tinkerer prototype a Goblin-glider and such, and help create this character, but the first version should come from the mind of Norman. We feel like using him would be like putting the cart before the horse. Also, we don’t want another ninja-Goblin characterization like Harry Obsorn from Spider-Man 3. Patience is a virtue and when the next Goblin arrives, it needs to be different from anything that came before it.
7. NEED: RHINO
Rhino was played by Paul Giamatti in Webb’s last movie, which used the Russian iteration of the character; that is, a gangster in a behemoth of a super-powered suit. However, the film ended with the hero launching himself at the villain, so we never got to find out what happened. We’re hoping that with all the cartoon love that Rhino gets, he comes back in cinemas soon.
The Ultimate version would be a perfect fit as he used his techno-suit to torment Spidey, Iron-Man and Captain America as well. He would fit in directly into the Tinkerer’s schemes and skills, and add a lot of muscle to Pete’s world. Rhino is usually in the video games as well, and he was set to return in Webb’s third movie, so clearly the powers-that-be know he has a fanbase.
6. DON’T NEED: MISTER NEGATIVE
Mister Negative and his crew of Inner Demons will appear in 2018’s Spider-Man video game which marks the character’s first mainstream landmark appearance. He’s always been used as a peripheral figure and in this universe, he would come off as a Jekyll and Hyde character — especially as his evil side grants him a touch that corrupts even the purest hearts.
Martin Li, as he’s known to the public, has also had several team-ups with Spidey’s other rogues, and run-ins with S.H.I.E.L.D., Aunt May and Black Cat in the comics, but he just doesn’t feel grand enough for cinemas. His Inner Demons would also like a sort of knock-off of The Hand. They would end up being like the Yakuza, meant to test Spidey’s hand-to-hand combat skills, but after Netflix, that would just feel… repetitive. We are looking forward to him in the game, though!
5. NEED: MILES WARREN (JACKAL)
Miles Warren is known as The Jackal and more so, he’s known as the scientist who engineered The Clone Saga. Now, we’re not asking for the likes of Kaine and Ben Reilly to be running around the MCU, but it would be cool to have him experimenting with Pete’s DNA to create some sort of spider-power serum!
Maybe he could end up using Miles Morales as a test subject, allowing him to become Spider-Man, himself. It would also be intriguing if we mapped Pete’s origins and found that Warren actually was the mastermind behind the radioactive spider that bit him in the first place. Then again, we saw how well X-24 worked out as a clone in Logan in battle against Wolverine, so you never know. Maybe a Spidey-clone is just what the MCU needs!
4. DON’T NEED: HARRY OSBORN
We would be pretty cool with Norman appearing because it was only Raimi’s first Spider-Man film that focused on him. Webb’s ASM 2 had him briefly but much like Raimi’s trilogy, it was all about his son, Harry. And we’re really sick of Harry. Honestly, it was a welcome reprieve to finally have a movie without him in Homecoming.
We had James Franco as a ninja-Goblin and then Dane DeHaan took over the glider, so it’s safe to say we got overkill. There’s only so much we can take when it comes to the erosion of his sanity and descent into madness as the Green Goblin. The MCU doesn’t need more of his daddy issues either. Maybe later he can slide in, but right now we’re dealing with empires and kings, not pretenders and heirs.
3. NEED: ANA KRAVINOFF
Ana Kravinoff would be a great addition here because she could take over the Kraven mantle in hunting Spider-Man. He has his solo film lined up but Sony shouldn’t wait to have someone headhunting Pete. If Kraven doesn’t make it through his movie, then she would be ideal as the new Kraven, perhaps even working with Chameleon who’s her uncle.
Ana could be a femme fatale or a badass warrior like Daredevil’s Elektra. Apart from hunting game, she’s known as a pretty good assassin and this dynamic with a woman or young girl hunting Pete would be pretty interesting as he’s only fought dudes thus far. Ana is a no-nonsense kind of gal and feels very much opposite to Spidey, making a clash all the more enticing.
2. DON’T NEED: DOC OCK
We all love a good Doc Ock arc but we already got the best of Otto Octavius in Spider-Man 2. He went from Pete’s mentor to a man tipped over the edge after losing his wife and his career. Since then, Dan Slott wrote him as taking over Pete’s body in The Superior Spider-Man, and now we see him as part of Steve Rogers’ HYDRA unit in Secret Empire.
It’s clear he’s a big thing at Marvel Comics but let’s hope Sony doesn’t decide to bring him to life again. With him, it feels like everything the studio needed to do, they did. They got him all but perfect so let’s not touch the standard he left. Alfred Molina delivered such a performance that he even had us empathizing with him and his self-sacrifice at the end to save the day.
1. NEED: VENOM
Yeah, no matter what Marvel Studios or Sony say, there’s no way they’re going to stop us craving this showdown. Also, once Venom performs well at the box office, how can they keep him away from Pete? You can’t have a proper Venom story without Spider-Man, so once his origin is set up through the battle of symbiotes, it would be nice to see him, even as an anti-hero, going up against Spidey.
Tom Hardy taking on Tom Holland would be a hell of a thing, giving us that David versus Goliath fight we almost never get sick of. Maybe the MCU would even consider making Hardy’s Eddie Brock their version of Agent Venom to act as an enforcer / space explorer. The Thunderbolts or the Guardians of the Galaxy could be great fits once he takes on — or takes down — Pete!
Let us know in the comments which villains you’d like to see Spidey battle… or not battle… in the Homecoming sequel!
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