Superhero movies are the most popular and profitable films in the market. Pretty much every studio who has the rights to superhero or comic book characters, have done something with them, whether it be films or television shows. Sony Pictures currently own the Spider-Man film rights, and as such, they have a whole toy-box of wonderfully unique characters at their disposal. Since their acclaimed 2013-comic book debut, I have believed that the Superior Foes of Spider-Man hold the key to Sony’s cinematic universe, and today, I want to explain why they are Sony’s Secret Weapon.
The Superior Foes of What?
Everyone knows the Sinister Six. They are a staple of the Spider-Man mythos, first appearing in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1. In the MCU, Kevin Feige and co have been subtly building towards the cinematic debut of the team thanks to the introduction of main players like Vulture, Scorpion and more recently, Mysterio. But, the Superior Foes of Spider-Man are not the Sinister Six. In fact, they are so much more.
The Superior Foes are the B-listers. The losers. They guys who get picked last in basketball. They are straight-up ignorant. To me, there is so much cinematic potential to a team of super-villains who discover that they should be superheroes. The original comic book line-up consisted of the Shocker, Boomerang, Beetle, Speed Demon, and Overdrive – hardly the most iconic ensemble. But because these characters were so weird and strange, it allowed writer Nick Spencer to really explore, and understand them. The original 17 issue run provided countless moments of comedy genius, as well as a handful of incredibly poignant and heartfelt stories about redemption, and letting go of the past.
The Superior Foes of Spider-Man Are Sony’s Secret Weapon
Much like how James Gunn re-introduced the world to the Guardians of the Galaxy – and made them household names in the process – I believe Sony could do a similar thing with these weirdos. The first volume of the comic dealt with the characters conducting an intense heist, filled with ridiculous scenarios, which would make for the superhero equivalent of Ocean’s Eleven we never knew we needed. The series only got better from there; in the comic’s follow-up, Beetle was tasked with the difficult decision of joining her father (Tombstone) or saving her found family (the Foes). These stories are distinctly unique; they are not ‘end of the world’ stuff. They are personal and intimate.
The wonderful thing about The Superior Foes of Spider-Man is this: They are new. They are not characters we have seen done before (I don’t count the Shocker’s awful appearance in Spider-Man: Homecoming). Essentially, the Superior Foes of Spider-Man are a blank canvas. Sony could do literally anything with these characters, and I would be there opening night. If you have read any of the brilliant Spencer-written books, you know what I mean.
If Sony were smart, they would do something with these characters. Audiences want new and fresh comic book films. If there is anything that Joker should have taught studios, it is exactly that. Enough reboots and sequels; give us an interesting and exciting new property. Sony, give us your secret weapon; give us The Superior Foes of Spider-Man.