With The Amazing Spiderman’s success set in stone during the summer, and the Blu-Ray on its way, let’s take a look at some villains that I heavily consider to be great villains for the potential sequel(s).
1. Maxwell Dillon, a.k.a. “Electro”
Electro made his first appearence in The Amazing Spiderman #9 (Feb. 1964) comic, and created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
Maxwell Dillon, while repairing a power line still connected to its spool, was struck by lightning. Instead of being killed, the freak accident caused a mutagenic change in his nervous system, allowing him to generate and control vast amounts of electricity. After creating a colorful costume, Max turned to a life of crime as Electro.
Electro is already being considered as a main villain for the first sequel to Amazing Spiderman, and I think he would make for an excellent villain. News has been coming in fast on this topic, as Shailene Woodley of Secret Life fame has already been cast as love interest Mary Jane Watson.
According to Variety, actor Jamie Foxx is in talks to don the electric attire, but what will fans think of an African-American Electro? Well how did they feel about an African-American Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson), or a black Heimdall in Thor (Idris Elba). Race shouldn’t play as a factor for these characters, as they are being given a more modernized coat of paint. Foxx is an excellent actor, and I really enjoy Electro as a character because of how much of a powerhouse he is. If casted, I think Electro would make for an “electrifyingly” powerful villain.
2. Adrian Toomes a.k.a. “Vulture”
Vulture made his first appearence in The Amazing Spiderman #2 (May1963), and was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
Adrian Toomes is a former electronics engineer who employs a special harness of his own design that allows him to fly and endows him with enhanced strength. Toomes is quite old, though spry, and is a virtually remorseless killer.
Oh poor old Vulture, he’s so close to getting his screen time that he can almost taste it. Entertainment Weekly reported on how veteran actor Ben Kingsley was set to dress in the green get-up alongside Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) in Spiderman 3, before Sony scrapped the villain in replacement of Venom (Topher Grace). The film ended up being the worst in the series, according to this writer’s opinion, but one wonders what might have been.
Vulture was nearly given a second chance to take the spotlight in the cancelled Spiderman 4 project, played by another big-name actor, John Malkovich. But as soon as news of a secondary new villain, known as Vulturess (Anne Hathaway) was brought to light, a backlash started, and the film was eventually scrapped. A reboot would soon follow in the form of Marc Webb’s Amazing Spiderman.
So not only do I feel Vulture deserves a chance as a secondary villain at most, I feel that he’s gained enough popularity because of his early days in the comics and appearences throughout the centuries. He could very well be played by an older actor, or perhaps take the Blackie Drago approach and make him young. My one suggestion would be a heavily modernized costume change. Perhaps metallic vulture outfit. Something that strays away from an old-man-in-a-tight-green-bird-costume look. It’s just not appealing to the big screen.
3. Quentin Beck, a.k.a. Mysterio
Mysterio’s first appearence was in Amazing Spiderman #13 (June 1964)
Quentin Beck was a special effects wizard and stunt man working for a major Hollywood studio with dreams of making a name for himself in the film industry. However, he came to see his career in special effects as a dead-end job, but realized that his expertise in illusions could make him an effective supervillain. Thus, Mysterio was born.
With the release of the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight trilogy and countless appearances by Dr. Jonathon Crane, a.k.a. Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy), a somewhat new found element to getting the jump on a superhero was discovered. Not saying that Nolan started it all through playing with a character’s mind, but he made it amazing to watch. Scarecrow is one of my all time favorite Batman villains, because he is about to mess with Bruce Wayne’s mind and make him question what’s reality and what’s an illusion.
Mysterio is all about illusiveness. Utilizing special effects and stunt experience from his former job, he can make anything seem like a reality. He knew basic psychiatry and could employ hypnotism successfully. He also learned a great deal of applied chemistry, especially the use of hallucinogens, and electronics. Beck was a meticulous planner and organizer, and a skilled actor who kept himself in top physical form. The fishbowl helmet, purple cape and smoke are trademarks that have carried well into the 21st century, and could easily be translated into a modern-day Spiderman film. I feel Webb could definitely borrow a little extra Nolan inspiration if he ever decided to place Mysterio in a film, who could very well work as the primary antagonist, as he already plays one in Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions, Friend or Foe and Mysterio’s Menace.
4. MacDonald “Mac” Gargan a.k.a. “Scorpion”
Gargan first appeared as Scorpion in The Amazing Spiderman #20 (July 1964) and was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
Former private investigator Mac Gargan was hired by J. Jonah Jameson to find out how Peter Parker is able to get incredible pictures of Spider-Man. Gargan’s efforts to locate Peter in order to find out the truth triggered Parkers’s spider sense, making him easily avoidable. Frustrated, Jameson decided to pay $10,000 to Gargan as the subject of an experiment. An experiment created by Dr. Farley Stillwell, a researcher in animal mutation which endowed the subject with the characteristic of another animal. Unfortunately the process resulted in the loss of Gargan’s sanity, and the creation of the super-powered criminal menace known as the Scorpion.
I remember a quote from the 1990’s Fox television Spiderman show, in which the Dr. Farley Stillwell character explains how he chose the Scorpion because “it was a natural predator to the spider”. It’s surprising that the character didn’t become as big of a villain as he should’ve been, but was more a demotion to another petty criminal who took orders from higher thugs like the Kingpin and Doctor Octopus.
But there’s definitely potential for a modernization in the Scorpion’s character. It may be tricky, but could work in a way that pits Scorpion as a much larger, more threat-inducing villain. Of course, its also another character that needs an easy tweak of the costume, much like Vulture, but its a very do-able villain. Potential for primary and secondary villain.
5. Dmitri Anatoly Smerdyakov Kravinoff a.k.a. Chameleon
The Chameleon made his first appearence in Amazing Spiderman #1 (March 1963) and was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
The Chameleon was born a Soviet citizen named Dmitri Smerdyakov. In his youth, he was a servant and half-brother to Kraven the Hunter, Sergei Kravinoff, and eventually became a minor associate to one Gustav Fiers. As the Chameleon, he can instantly change his appearance and imitate others so convincingly that practically no one can tell the Chameleon and his victim apart. His natural talents are now augmented with a face-changing serum.
Chameleon is a villain who was definitely swept behind the bookshelf, in my opinion. And its not fair, because he made his first appearence in the very first Spiderman comic ever published. Sadly, Chameleon is living in the shadow of his half-brother, Kraven the Hunter, who became a much larger villain in the series. I definitely feel that like Mysterio, Chameleon could do some major damage to Spiderman’s perception of what’s real and what’s not, and some real trust issues and second-guessing could happen throughout the film, as Chameleon could literally be posing as anyone at anytime.
He’s much deadlier than we give him credit for. Sadly, with a lack of real superpowers other than face-changing, Chameleon may not make a film appearence. But he should be given more or less a secondary villain role, at least if Kraven the Hunter is considered before Chameleon.
So there you have it, folks. Agree with me or not, I feel I’ve given good enough context as to what constitutes the reasons behind why I’d love to see any of these villains on the big-screen. There are some villains that didn’t make this list that you may feel should’ve been, and by all means, feel free to leave a comment below. The one villain I refused to promote was “Rhino”, because I just don’t feel he would make an interesting villain. And I could go into deeper detail as to why I feel this, but this article is long enough.
Leave your thoughts in the comments below.