Yesterday we ran down the four Spidey villains whose names had surfaced in connection with the next Spider-Man movie, although none of them have been confirmed. And while all of them --Carnage excepted -- are classic characters, Sam Raimi could do much better. After raiding our comic-book archive (and the occasionally brilliant comments on yesterday's article), we came up with four Spidey foes who would stand alongside the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, the Sandman and Venom as iconic and optically exciting antagonists. Read on, true believers!
Mysterio, Master of Illusion
Detractors aside, not only is Mysterio one of the cooler-looking villains in Spider-Man's stable of rogues (that smoke-filled dome is creepy, which is why they used it for Johann Kraus in Hellboy 2), he also has some of the most visually interesting powers. As the Master of Illusion, he can make Spidey see anything he wants, thanks to mirrors, projectors, hypnosis and even the occasional hallucinogen. So if Raimi wants to show a 6-inch Spidey fleeing from giants or a dragon winging through Manhattan, or even if he just wants to use images of dead loved ones to put Peter Parker thorough the wringer, emotionally, Mysterio is his man. Sure, he's really only interested in robbing banks, but the Mad Maple had a great idea for how your standard revenge plot could be included. Plus, it involves Bruce Campbell, which is always a winner.
On the one hand, the Scorpion is just another strength-and-stamina-enhanced Spidey foe with animal powers, but he has a unique connection to Spider-Man's supporting cast. Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson actually hired private investigator Mac Gargan to undergo the treatment in order to capture Spider-Man; when the process drove Gargan mad, he decided to blame Jameson for his newfound abilities and tried to kill him. Spider-Man stopped him, but the Scorpion has gone after both men repeatedly, in his scorpion-themed battle suit, complete with electrified, acid-shooting stinger. Making Scorpion the bad guy would not only bring the Spidey/Jameson rivalry to a head (bad PR has always been Spidey's greatest enemy, and JJJ's gotta be getting frustrated at Spidey's growing popularity), it would also mean more screen time for J.K. Simmons.
We know, we know, the Kingpin appeared in the Daredevil movie, but we don't think we're going to see another one of those any time soon. So why not pit him against the hero in whose comic he first appeared? Spidey has clashed with the Kingpin just as many times as Daredevil has -- which makes sense, since the Kingpin controls crime in New York. The massive crime boss is unnaturally strong, but he's not above using freelance super-villains (like Bullseye in DD) to do his dirty work. We see Spidey crossing the Kingpin's path once too many times, and KP unleashing a series of powered goons after him, like Hydro-Man and Electro. Or, as Jason suggests, use New York's various crime bosses as Kingpin's army: the masked Rose, the steel-skulled Hammerhead, albino powerhouse Tombstone and master of disguise the Chameleon.
That's right, the Jackal! Half of you are shaking your heads in horror, and the other half have no idea who the heck we're talking about. Genetic scientist Miles Warren was one of Spidey's professors who blamed Spider-Man for the death of student Gwen Stacy, whom he had fallen in love with. Warren discovered that Peter Parker was Spider-Man and cloned him; the clone, grown to full size, had all of Peter's memories, and believed himself to be the real Peter, fighting crime as Spider-Man and ultimately doing battle with the original. Spidey vs. Spidey would be a great hook for the film, and the addition of mercenary-for-hire the Tarantula as one of Warren's henchman would kick things up a notch (no pun intended). Heck, even Warren wears an elaborate gremlin costume in the story, but maybe that would work best as a final-act bit of genetic tampering. Fanboys may demand that Raimi shy away from anything that reminds them of the mid-'90s Clone Saga, but as long as they stick to the original 1970s story, everything should be okay. Although we're not averse to having the clone dress up in a hoodie...
Out of kindness, we won't torture you all with our brilliant idea for a Kraven the Hunter-centric movie. What do you think? Would you see a movie starring any of these villains?