WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Spider-Man: Homecoming, in theaters now.
Spider-Man: Homecoming lays the groundwork for a couple of Spidey’s rogues to leave their mark on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Apart from the Vulture, aka Homecoming's major antagonist, we met the Shocker, Mac Gargan (aka Scorpion), the Tinkerer and the Ultimate version of Prowler. If the film’s post-credit scene is any indication, ol' web-head will have his hands full in the future! So what villains could pop up in the next solo Spider-Man movie?
There are some restrictions to keep in mind, however. Due to Sony's developing Spider-verse, Venom is out of the question, along with Mysterio, Kraven, Black Cat and Silver Sable. It also sounds like Sony and Marvel are avoiding Green Goblin for now, which is fair considering how a big a role he’s played in the two previous Spider-Man series. We probably won’t get the Sinister Six yet either, but depending on how many new foes are introduced, it’d make sense that some incarnation of the group would be in Spidey’s third solo film. Until then, however, here's a few of the bad guys we'd love to see torment Peter Parker in the sequel.
Dmitri Smerdyakov is a master of disguise, able to impersonate anyone he meets. In an age where people store all their personal info on the cloud and freely share their lives on multiple social media platforms, he could hack his victims to steal as much info about their lives as possible and then combine that data with a holographic image-enhancer to change his appearance. If you’re going to steal someone’s identity, you may as well go all out.
The state of Peter’s Spider-Sense is still up in the air at this point, depending on who you ask, so going up against Chameleon would a good way to explore the extent of this ability. His Spider-Sense could be triggered because Dmitri is disguised as a stranger on the street, but Peter still doesn’t have a proper handle on it, so he doesn't understand what this warning means.
Miles Warren was a brilliant biologist who also happened to be madly in love with Gwen Stacey. After her death, he became obsessed with avenging her, blaming Spider-Man for what happened instead of her actual killer, the Green Goblin. During the "Clone Saga", Warren spliced his genes with jackal DNA, giving himself superhuman strength and agility.
They haven’t established what was significant about the spider that bit Peter in the MCU, but if it turns out it was genetically modified, that could play into Warren’s biology studies. Maybe the spiders were just a test run, and his end game was to enhance humans with animal DNA through genetic therapy. Or perhaps we could see the beginnings of Spider-Man's clone troubles on the big screen. Though they aren't always that popular in the comics, Peter Parker's clone-themed adventures could make for a rollicking movie.
Green Goblin and Venom are two of Spidey’s most iconic villains, so if they aren’t available, it’d make sense to have the next most iconic villain show up: Dr. Otto Octavius. He's a genius scientist and inventor, equipped with four extra robotic arms. He could be an ex-Stark Industries employee, fired because of his ego (He's definitely the kind of guy who'd brag about being the smartest man in the room at any given time). If we do finally get to see the Sinister Six on the big-screen, Doc Ock would be the perfect leader for them. Bring back the bowl-cut, Marvel!
SPENCER AND ALISTAIR SMYTHE
The Tinkerer managed to make some pretty amazing tech by himself in a pretty small workshop, so what might happen if his resources and budget got bumped up to a full-scale production line?
Enter Spencer and Alistair Smythe, robotics experts. Spencer’s claim to fame was creating also a series of robots called the Spider-Slayers (No Prize for guessing what they were built for). His son, Alistair, created an upgraded versions of the Spider-Slayers, while also experimenting on himself with cybernetic implants that transformed him into the Ultimate Spider-Slayer.
In the comics, Alistair is also responsible with outfitting Mac Gargan with a new cybernetic Scorpion suit, so there’s a possibility the same could happen to the version of Gargan we saw in Homecoming. If the criminals of New York City are looking for a weapons upgrade, the Smythes might be the ones to give them the edge over Spider-Man.
Toomes and his crew were manufacturing their weapons and technology for at least eight years before Spidey caught onto them, which makes us wonder just who exactly they were selling them to. It’d make sense that there’d be some kind of crime boss keeping things under wraps, throwing the police off their trail if they keep supplying the goods. Kingpin is caught up in the Netflix corner of the MCU, but Silvio “Silvermane” Manfredi would make for a great replacement as the head of New York City’s crime syndicates in Spider-Man's world. In the comics, due to his old age Silvermane would eventually replace his body with a cybernetic one (another excuse to bring one of the Smythes into the mix). An evil old man cyborg; what’s not to love?
TOMBSTONE and HAMMERHEAD
If not Silvermane, Tombstone would be a great choice to lead New York City’s crime syndicate. Real name Lonnie Lincoln, he's an albino African-American who looks as menacing as his name suggests. He stands at almost seven-feet tall, his teeth are filed to razor-sharp points and he can only speak in a piercing whisper. He's a skilled fighter who worked as a hitman for the Kingpin, and whose skin is like stone, making him extremely durable in a fist fight.
We can't see Hammerhead as the main bad guy, but he'd make a great supporting villain. He has an unbreakable metal plate in his forehead which makes for one deadly headbutt. He also talks and acts like a 1920s gangster, which could be a lot of fun. If Marvel and Sony really wanted to get all three in there, they could be Silvermane's main lieutenants – or they could make them all three opposing mob bosses, putting Spidey in the middle of a gang war!
The chances of the Punisher crossing over into a Spider-Man film seem pretty slim, and the recent announcement that Sony is developing a Kraven the Hunter spin-off means he’s also likely off the table. If the MCU needs an assassin to hunt down Spidey, then, why not make it Massacre?
Massacre, AKA Marcus Lyman, is the victim of a failed assassination attempt that robbed him of his ability to feel emotions. This transformed him in the ultimate cold-blooded killer, one who feels no remorse for his actions! He’s also incredibly smart, and possibly stands a better than Kraven when it comes to hunting, trapping and ultimately killing Spider-Man. We can’t see him as the film’s big bad, but he’d definitely have a place as the hired gun of someone like Silvermane or Tombstone.
He may look like the world’s biggest 101 Dalmatians fan, but don’t let that fool you. The Spot could make for a really interesting movie villain. Originally known as Dr. Jonathan Ohnn, he can create portals that let him move through space. The black spots on his costume are also portals, so landing a proper hit on him can be tricky.
In Homecoming, the Tinkerer built a neat gadget that could create a temporary portal through solid objects. What if someone used tech that isn’t restricted by the device’s nodes needing to be secured to a surface. It could be a suit that lets the user warp through space, or maybe a gun that projects portals like in Portal. It could make for a more grounded take on Spot’s ability to move himself through his self-generated portals.
MORBIUS, THE LIVING VAMPIRE (AND BLADE)
In a recent interview director Jon Watts mentioned that he wouldn’t mind taking a shot at Morbius, the Living Vampire in the future. The character Dr. Michael Morbius was a brilliant doctor of biochemistry. That is until his attempt to cure himself of a rare blood disease accidentally turned himself into a vampire. Morbius isn’t inherently evil, but his new thirst for fresh blood may put him at odds with Spidey.
Watts mentioned adding vampire hunter Blade in as well, but since Morbius isn’t an actual vampire, it might be a bit tricky unless Watts fully embraces the supernatural.
BONUS: J. JONAH JAMESON
Is it really a Spider-Man movie if the Daily Bugle’s red-faced editor-in-chief isn’t slandering him? Okay, maybe he’s not a “villain,” but he’s pretty damn antagonistic. It’s easy to picture the front cover of the Daily Bugle proclaiming “Costumed Freak Menaces Innocent Neighborhood!” in the aftermath of the chase sequence through New Yorks’ suburbs which saw Spider-Man wreck a lot of private property and ruin at least one BBQ.
Missed during Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man movies, the MCU would make the perfect place to re-introduce J. Jonah Jameson. The supporting cast for Homecoming was really strong, so it’d be a shame to not have him somewhere in the mix. Here’s hoping they can get J.K. Simmons back on board!