Marvel's Spider-Man brought this year's E3 2018 PlayStation Showcase to an end in dramatic fashion. Long-time readers of Marvel Comics will be familiar with a storyline that sees a massive prison breakout at supervillain holding facility The Raft. In Spider-Man on PlayStation 4, it's everyone's Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man left to clean up this mess by himself.
Unable to stop the breakout by himself, five of Spidey's most powerful villains are now loose. Mr. Negative, Scorpion, Rhino, Vulture, and Electro all take it to the heroic web-head, but something seems off here. The group isn't called the Sinister Five, they're the Sinister Six. That's where things get interesting.
After last year's E3 trailer, it was assumed that Mr. Negative was the central villain of this game. He is not. In fact, he specifically instructs the other villains that "he" doesn't want Spider-Man killed. Who is "he?" Spider-Man confronts this mystery villain at the very end of the trailer, but his identity is not revealed.
So who is this mysterious villain and the centerpiece bad guy for Marvel's Spider-Man? Shacknews has a few guesses.
The Green Goblin
The obvious guess is The Green Goblin, Spider-Man's arch-nemesis. Norman Osborn has been a thorn in Spidey's side for decades and holds the most victories over the webslinger. The biggest of these victories came when the Goblin learned Spider-Man's secret identity and threw Peter Parker's love interest, Gwen Stacy, off the George Washington Bridge to her death.
Spider-Man and the Goblin have been bitter enemies for many years and it really wouldn't feel like a complete Spider-Man game without renewing that heated animosity between these two hated foes. Most recently in the comic book world, author Dan Slott concluded his run on The Amazing Spider-Man with the latest of these climactic showdowns between these two characters.
Where this theory falls apart is that Osborn isn't typically a team player when it comes to dealing with Spider-Man. Peter Parker is his and his alone. In fact, in the aforementioned Amazing Spider-Man #800, Peter takes advantage of Osborn's desire to kill Spider-Man by himself, goading the villain into a one-on-one showdown. Even as the Mayor of New York in this PlayStation 4 game, Osborn will never truly be satisfied until he knows that Spider-Man has been eliminated.
The Goblin isn't at the top of the list when it comes to Sinister Six leaders. But you know who is?
Keeping in mind that much of Marvel's Spider-Man is based off that previously-mentioned Dan Slott comic book run, it would make sense that Doctor Octopus is the man behind the Sinister Six. In those comics, Doc Ock had grown old and feeble, dying from the years of punishment his body had endured over the years.
But in his final days, Ock proved to be the most effective leader. He nearly destroyed the world before his passing in a plan so meticulously crafted, he was able to lead the Sinister Six to its biggest victory ever. Whereas the group was largely considered a joke, Ock coached them up to the point that they were successfully able to defeat the Avengers.
Ock as a master villain makes perfect sense. If the Green Goblin is the number one Spider-Man villain, Ock is at his heels in a 1A slot. And considering how prominent Ock has been in the past decade of Spider-Man comics, a spot as the lead villain in this latest game feels appropriate.
This one is a little tougher to work out, especially since last year's E3 trailer saw Wilson Fisk getting hauled off to prison. But what if this was all a convoluted plot constructed for a greater purpose? What if the Kingpin's men getting attacked at the construction site during last year's trailer was part of a greater ruse?
Fisk is used to amassing his own power and he's not used to being a lesser force in the middle of a Norman Osborn administration. What if he comes to realize that working with Mr. Negative and the other Spider-Man villains is the easiest way to acrue the power he desires?
In the recent comics, Fisk has upped his image to the point that he was elected New York's mayor, something that doesn't sound so crazy, given the current political climate. Assuming Fisk gets himself out of jail, does he make a run at Osborn's office? And does his path there mean potentially aligning himself with the Sinister Six?
The Black Cat
Even though she skates on the wrong side of the law, Felicia Hardy has been a long-time ally to Spider-Man. At least that used to be the case. During Dan Slott's Superior Spider-Man run that saw Doctor Octopus act as a hero inside Peter Parker's body (don't ask), Ock took out the Cat and left her to rot in prison. Even with that arc over and Peter Parker back in the saddle, Hardy never forgave Spidey for what happened and has since gone the full-blown villain route.
And she's gotten quite good at it. There have been a lot of crime vacuums over the years, with Wilson Fisk and The Hood having both gone to prison at various points. The Black Cat has helped herself to their old henchmen, as well as long-time underground gangster Hammerhead, and has become one of the most feared criminals in the New York streets.
Will Felicia Hardy's antipathy towards Peter Parker in the comics extend to Marvel's Spider-Man on the PS4? It should be interesting to see if this is addressed.
And lastly, there's the dark horse pick. Venom can never be ruled out, simply because of his popularity as Spider-Man's darker doppelganger. Eddie Brock has felt a seething jealousy for Spider-Man for many years, but it's his symbiote that feels the real rage towards the masked hero. After all, Peter rejected the symbiote as a host, something that still sticks in its craw.
Where this theory doesn't quite hold water is that Venom has played with the Sinister Six in the past and... let's just say that Venom doesn't play well with others. Brock's few alliances with groups like the Six have often ended violently. Like Norman Osborn, Venom wants the webhead to himself and he's not willing to share.
Got any guesses for who the big bad for Marvel's Spider-Man is? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments.