We don’t even need a trailer for the new film Spider-Man: No Way Home to know what has been painfully obvious for months. Leaks and casting info have been all over social media and comic websites: The Sinister Six are being assembled in the MCU.
The members of the villainous team may actually be coming to face our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man from all corners of the multiverse, but before their on-screen debut, comic collectors and investors should assemble to see if there is any value we can glean from their individual or collective appearances.
First, let’s look at the original team and what we know about each member.
The Sinister Six Roster
Probably the worst-kept casting secret in the lead-up to this movie was Alfred Molina spoiling that he would be returning as Otto Octavius, aka Dr. Octopus, in the upcoming movie. That didn’t make the Marvel brass too happy. It led to a cascade of leaks, rumors, and casting confirmations that made the Sinister Six inevitable, though. The last we saw Dr. Octopus, he seemingly sacrificed himself to save New York from a nuclear reaction experiment in Spider-Man 2, so his reappearance will likely be explained by something to do with that nuclear fallout.
Once the dominoes started falling on casting news for the upcoming movie, it didn’t take long for Jamie Foxx to reveal he would reprise his role as Electro from 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Electro was also seemingly killed at the end of the movie. But surely there will be an out here as well, likely due to the electricity that overwhelmed his body at the end of that movie. All we can hope for here is that they do away with the hideous blue glowing suit and go with something from the more traditional green and yellow scheme.
This one fits neatly into the MCU universe already. Our current version of Peter Parker subdued Adrian Toomes as Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming and sent him off to prison. We know in a mid-credits scene that Toomes and Mac Gargan (Scorpion!) are already plotting against Spider-Man. So this is an easy path to a jailbreak and confrontation.
Slightly more messy, but his upcoming appearance can be easily explained. Quentin Beck was the master of illusions, as shown in Spider-Man: Far From Home. So while he is presumed dead, it could all be an elaborate ploy that started with a fake death and then led to Beck leaking information to J. Jonah Jameson about Spider-Man’s identity.
Thomas Haden Church originally played Flint Marko/Sandman in 2007’s Spider-Man 3. He has certainly been rumored to be making a comeback in the upcoming film, but nothing is completely confirmed. In that film, Peter Parker forgives Marko and allows him to go free. So all Sandman would need to do is find a pesky wormhole through the multiverse, and boom! He is ready to go. What would Sandman’s motivation be to join the team? That remains to be seen.
And here is the trickiest of the bunch. Kraven has never appeared in a Sony or Marvel project to this point, although the character has been cast. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is attached to a solo Sony project featuring Kraven, and we know Sony and Marvel have been discussing how to share character rights, so maybe Kraven becomes the first. It would seem difficult to introduce an entirely new character. Especially in a film that is already slated to be one of the more complex and robust of the entire MCU franchise.
So if Kraven doesn’t appear, who might take his place? Let’s look at some possibilities.
Other Potential Sinister Six Members
Surely by now, you have seen the pictures of a slimmed-down Jacob Batalon. Many speculate that he is preparing for a role as the Ned Leeds version of Hobgoblin from the comics. It wouldn’t take too much to carry a plotline of Peter and Ned having a falling out for some reason and Ned taking on the mantle of Hobgoblin.
Willem Dafoe has long had his name attached to the upcoming movie as a way to reprise his role as Green Goblin from the first three Spider-Man movies. Nothing at all is confirmed, and Dafoe is 66 years old, but surely he can hop on the Goblin Glider one more time to fight his old nemesis.
As mentioned above, Mac Gargan is ready and waiting in the MCU universe to be introduced as Scorpion. Now that we have Jonah Jameson in the MCU, the comic-accurate storyline of Jameson hiring Gargan to track Spider-Man, leading to his transformation into Scorpion, seems VERY likely at some point.
Does Paul Giamatti feel like getting in the mechanical Rhino suit one more time? This one seems unlikely as there are many other potential options to fill a Sinister Six spot. But Rhino (Aleksei Sytsevich) was broken out of prison at the end of Amazing Spider-Man 2 and confronted Spider-Man. Could that confrontation continue in the MCU? Perhaps.
Investing in the Sinister Six’s First Appearance
Take a moment and look at that list of villains above. Maybe Batman’s cast of misfit enemies can rival it, but these are some of the most iconic Marvel villains ever introduced. Not only are they iconic, but all of them except Rhino was introduced in the first 20 issues of Amazing Spider-Man. (Ned Leeds was introduced in ASM #18, although Hobgoblin wouldn’t appear until ASM #238). If you’re reading this piece, you likely understand what means for collecting any of these individual first appearances. You understand the hit your wallet will take.
The first 20 issues of Amazing Spider-Man are like the holy grail of Marvel runs. In fact, if you peruse GoCollect’s sales database and choose a CGC grade of 6.0, for example, the cheapest villain first appearance from these first 20 issues right now would be ASM #20, the first appearance of Scorpion. That grade is selling for $1,200 right now when it was selling for under $700 in late 2020. All Sinister Six and Spidey villains are white-hot right now.
If you want the first appearance of an original Sinister Six member, the cheapest you are going to find is Mysterio in ASM #13. At $1,800 for a CGC 6.0, his book is back at the levels from the time he made his MCU debut. In late 2020, this book was selling for around $1,100.
Presently, the most expensive of the roster is ASM #3, the first appearance of Dr. Octopus. His first appearance in a 6.0 grade sold at auction in June for $5,200 when the same book was just $2,700 one year earlier.
Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1
The value of these books will continue to skyrocket as we get closer to December 17th and Spider-Man: No Way Home. Since we, as average investors, likely can’t dip our toes into the waters of every one of these books, if you are looking to invest in pure movie speculation I suggest the sure things.
What are the sure things?
On the high end, we have confirmations of Dr. Octopus and Electro in the film. While these are certainly in the upper range of price points, they are likely the safest for individual first appearance collections. Will we get Green Goblin? Will Scorpion finally appear? Perhaps, but it’s impossible to know.
The other sure thing is to invest in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1. This, as you likely know, is the first appearance of the group. Whoever does make an appearance in the movie, the Sinister Six is going to be formed and is going to last.
I can see no scenario where these powerhouse villains are introduced and then we never hear from them again after No Way Home. Think about it. We already have six characters in the MCU/Sony universe who could stick around even if the OG film villains head back to their part of the multiverse:
Mysterio, Vulture, Scorpion, Hobgoblin, Kraven, and The Shocker!
Unfortunately, we can’t turn back time and invest in ASM Annual #1, but there are still some reasonable price points. You can still spend only about $1,000 and invest in this book for a CGC grade 2.0 or below. But the escalation from that point upwards is not ridiculous. CGC 6.0 grades are around $3,000 while 4.0’s are under $2,500.
Cheaper Sinister Six Issues
If you’re looking for dirt cheap Sinister Six books these days, I recommend the Return of the Sinister Six storyline from ASM #334 to ASM #339. In this storyline, Dr. Octopus and Electro recruit Sandman, Vulture, Hobgoblin, and Mysterio to help with a plan to HOLD THE ENTIRE WORLD FOR RANSOM. The writing may leave something to be desired. Still, this is by far the longest continuous stretch of a Sinister Six story since their introduction.
Certainly, we could also see elements of this in the No Way Home movie. I don’t know if they will hold the whole world ransom, but surely there is going to be some devious plot Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, and Co. will have to face.
Go ahead and splurge on these books if you want. You deserve it. You can get the whole six-issue run in a CGC 9.8 for less than $1,000.
What Is Your Sinister Plan?
That leaves me with a final question. How are you choosing to invest in these Sinister Six books? Are you staying on the sidelines because you think the values are inflated? Or are you buying with a hope to make a profit when the movie hits?
Also, what do you think the MCU”s plan is for the Sinister Six? Is this a one-shot or a years-long endeavor we are about to uncover with these villains? Let me know in the comments!