WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man #26 from Nick Spencer, Kev Walker, Laura Martin and VC's Joe Caramagna, on sale now.
In the Marvel Universe, one of Spider-Man's most notorious groups of enemies is the Sinister Six. Throughout several arcs the team's roster, and name, has changed several times, but the team is usually comprised of Spider-Man's most lethal foes like Doctor Octopus, Electro, Shocker, Rhino, Scorpion and sometimes Norman Osborn's Green Goblin. Almost every major Spider-Man villain has been part of the team at one point or another.
Despite all that, the Sinister Six has always been somewhat ineffective. Now, Amazing Spider-Man #25 has introduced a new take on the concept with a familiar name, the Sinister Syndicate, an all-female crew featuring six villains who want to wreak havoc on New York. Instead of the petty bickering that usually dooms the Sinister Six, this team puts egos aside to work together and form a seamless well-oiled machine that's one of the best groups of Spider-villains ever.
This is the fourth incarnation of the Sinister Syndicate, a group that was initially created in Amazing Spider-Man #280 by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz as a copycat of the Sinister Six that featured with B and C-list villains. Folks like Beetle, Hydro-Man and Boomerang made up the first iteration of the team, and they were essentialy a group of freelance mercenaries. They were simply looking for a payday and if the web-head got involved, they'd take him out as a bonus. That attitude and antipathy towards Spider-Man is still one of the main concepts behind the team.
The new team, simply called the Syndicate, is redefining what organized crime looks like in Marvel's New York. Led by Janice Lincoln, the female Beetle who's also the daughter of the Spider-villain Tombstone, the team is seemingly bank-rolled by a semi-reformed Wilson Fisk and aims to put more women in power in the Manhattan underworld. The Syndicate includes a 401K plan, benefits, pensions and daycare for any villainous moms who want to break the underworld's glass ceiling.
While pursuing Boomerang, who's run afoul of Fisk, Beetle tries to recruit Francine Frye, the current Electro who was also part of the most recent Sinister Six. After breaking her out of custody, Beetle introduces Electro to the Syndicate's other members: Lady Octopus (Carolyn Trainer, who was briefly Doctor Octopus in the '90s), Scorpia (Elaine Coll, a new Scorpion given powers by the crimeboss Silvermaine); the mysterious tech savant known as Trapstr; and White Rabbit (Dr. Lorina Dodson, an Alice in Wonderland -themed villain).
Electro only accepts because she wants to take out Boomerang, who once left her at the mercy of Kingpin's henchmen so he could make a clean getaway. That kind of double-cross is something she can't ever forget and this leads her to join the all-female six-pack.
For their first mission, the Syndicate take out F.E.A.S.T., the community center where Aunt May and Peter Parker give back. As part of his efforts to rehabilitate his character, Boomerang has been helping out at the shelter since he fell back into villainy during Secret Empire. However, the Syndicate doesn't care about his rehabilitation. They only have their eyes on Kingpin's bounty, and in Electro's case, getting a little bit of revenge.