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The Spider-Man villains are having their own Civil War

Sinister War
Spider-Man Sinister War Pic credit: Marvel Comics

There’s only one thing worse than one pack of supervillains going to war: two of them, and that is exactly what is happening in Sinister War coming in July.

Spider-Man faces his famous rogues’ gallery, which is about to have its own conflict in Sinister War. It’s up to Spidey to stop the collateral damage of this savage clash. 

The Sinister Six 

The first Spider-Man Annual in 1964 had a simple but brilliant concept: Spidey’s top villains of the time–Doctor Octopus, Mysterio, Electro, the Vulture, Sandman, and Kraven– joined together as the Sinister Six to destroy their mutual foe.

Luckily for Spidey, the Six fell prey to the common problem that any supervillain team endures as their egos, greed, and mistrust worked against them, and he was able to defeat them. 

In 1990, Octopus reorganized the Six with Hobgoblin stepping in for the then-deceased Kraven. Octopus used them for his own designs with Revenge of the Sinister Six having them briefly seeking revenge but rejoining him.

Since then, the Six have made several appearances with their roster changing but always a major thorn in Spidey’s side.

The Six have also appeared in several video games from an NES entry to the acclaimed 2018 PS4 Spider-Man game. 

The Savage Six

Sinister Six
Spider-Man vs the Sinister Six Pic credit: Marvel Comics

In 2018’s Amazing Spider-Man “The Hunted” storyline, Kraven abducted various animal-themed supervillains into a special competition for rich people to hunt. 

In the aftermath, the Vulture gathered together King Cobra, Rhino, Scorpion, Stegron, and Tarantula to say, “The Savage Six has a nice ring to it.”

Now, promotional artwork comes from the Sinister War in July as the Savage Six tangles with the new Sinister Six comprising Doctor Octopus, Kraven, Sandman, Lizard, Hydro-Man and a yet unseen sixth member.

Octopus has been absent from the Spider-Man books for some time as he had briefly been living in a younger cloned body with Spider-Man’s powers to try and be the “Superior Octopus” hero.

To stop a twisted alternate-reality version of Norman Osborn, Otto agreed to a deal with the demon Mephisto to take back his old body and re-embrace being a villain. 

The story is written by current ASM scribe Nick Spencer with art by legendary Spider-Man artist Mark Bagley. It will cross over from the four-issue mini-series into the regular ASM book.

“Nick Spencer always goes big,” said editor Nick Lowe. “And this is his biggest story yet through this series and the concurrent issues of Amazing Spider-Man, so clear some room on your ‘Best Comics Ever’ shelf.”

One notable villain left off is Spider-Man’s old shape-shifting enemy, the Chameleon. That’s because May will have the four-part “Chameleon Conspiracy” storyline where Spidey teams up with his estranged superspy sister Teresa to face Chameleon, Chance, Jack O’Lantern, and the Foreigner plotting a master scheme. 

Kindred’s involvement

Spider-Man Kindred
Spider-Man enemy Kindred Pic credit: Marvel Comics

A possible wild card in all this is the new villain Kindred. 

In a powerful recent storyline, Spider-Man faced this demonic being who could control others and even dug up the bodies of Peter Parker’s lost love Gwen Stacey. 

Peter was shocked to discover Kindred was his long-time best friend, Harry Osborn. During a brief time, he was dead with Harry unknowingly latched onto the demonic Kindred who has been twisting him from the inside since his resurrection. 

Harry was trying to make Peter’s life a living hell to “teach” him the consequences of being so heroic hurting others. Despite being tested, Peter still held firm to his convictions.

Peter was able to beat Harry with the unlikely help of archenemy Norman Osborn who had been purged of the madness that turned him into the Green Goblin. Norman blamed himself for Harry’s fall and hoped to help save his son.

Tie-in issues show how Kindred is involved in this conflict, although what role he has to play is unknown. He was shown sliding one of his mind-influencing “centipedes” into Doctor Octopus’ ear.

As it stands, Spidey will be busy trying to keep these packs of enemies from tearing New York City apart but has another challenge. Because the one thing all these guys have in common is that as much as they dislike each other, they hate Spider-Man more.

So if the Wall-Crawler isn’t careful….he might be facing the Sinister Twelve. 

Spider-Man: The Sinister War #1 debuts July 14 from the creative team of Nick Spencer and Mark Bagley.

Michael Weyer


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