Sony’s E3 conference gave us a new look at Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4 from Insomniac Games with some electrifying game play footage and a taste of the plot. In a page taken out of The New Avengers: Breakout comic, Electro attacks the supervillain prison known as the Raft in order to release its criminal population out into the world, and he’s soon joined by Rhino, Scorpion, Vulture and Mister Negative, who all beat Spidey to a pulp. Broken and beaten, Spider-Man turns and reacts to seeing a mysterious villain just as the footage cuts off, leaving us in suspense as to who the big bad could be.
On the surface it might seem like we didn’t get much in the way of clues, but after scouring the trailer and poking around online, we came up with a list of evidence that points to a some familiar faces, and even a couple deep cuts from Spider-Man’s rogues gallery.
If you haven’t already seen it, give the E3 footage a watch before proceeding:
Before we get to our list of potential villains, here’s everything we know.
- Spider-Man recognized the villain (“Wait! You?”) and sounded surprised, confused, and a little hurt, so it’s likely someone he didn’t expect because they have a personal connection to him via his life as Peter Parker.
- Electro says the villain made him his new high-tech suit, and this villain presumably made the new suits for Scorpion, Rhino, and Vulture, so he either has tech expertise or the money and resources to have such things made.
- When the villain arrives, a bright light shines, and if you listen closely you can hear a mechanical whirl, so the villain also utilizes their own tech.
- A PlayStation blogpost confirmed this mystery person is indeed a villain, which nixes any theories that it might be an ally showing up to help Spider-Man.
- Back in February, Insomniac tweeted there would be no symbiotes in the game, so that rules out the likes of Venom and Carnage.
- Mister Negative tells the other baddies, “Remember, he said not to kill him,” which confirms the villain is male, and that they’re all taking orders from this mysterious leader.
- We’ve already seen Kingpin and Shocker, so it can’t be them, otherwise this character wouldn’t be a surprise reveal.
Based on all those details, here are our best guesses. You can flip through the slideshow below to see our picks or keep scrolling to read the list as an article.
Green Goblin, Norman Osborn
Often the most obvious answer is the right one, and at first glance, all signs point to Norman Osborn given that his evil persona the Green Goblin is considered Spider-Man’s greatest foe. He’s also been the leader of the Sinister Six in the comics, and while this group of villains isn’t explicitly called that, it’s clear that’s what we’re getting.
Norman checks all the boxes. He has a personal connection to Spider-Man because Peter is friends with his son, Harry Osborn. We already know from previous trailers that Norman is running for re-election as mayor of New York City in the game, so maybe Spider-Man doesn’t know his true identity and is shocked to learn it in this scene. Norman is incredibly wealthy so he could bankroll fancy new suits for the Sinister Six, courtesy of Oscorp. Green Goblin riding in on his Goblin Glider would explain the mechanical noise heard when the villain arrives, and to that point, they are all high up on the roof of the Raft, so it would make sense for Green Goblin to fly in to make his entrance.
The one thing that pokes a hole in this theory is found in a piece of Yuri Watanabe’s dialogue. As you’re chasing down Electro, she radios in to say, “Well, it looks like the entire population of the Raft has escaped. That makes five of your worst enemies that are now on the loose.” This implies that Electro, Rhino, Scorpion and Vulture were all freshly broken out of the Raft along with the mystery villain (remember Mister Negative gets choppered in later for the final battle), so that means this villain was a prisoner along with the rest. It’s doubtful Norman would be running for public office while incarcerated. Then again, there’s a lot we don’t know, so perhaps there’s a way it could still end up being Norman.
Doctor Octopus, Otto Octavius
Doctor Octopus is another A-list Spider-Man villain and in the comics was the leader of the original Sinister Six. He’s been depicted in the comics as a scientific mentor and inspiration to Peter Parker (plus he has the hots for dear old Aunt May), so that creates both a personal connection and a reason for Spider-Man to feel betrayed at seeing him aligned with the bad guys. Doc Ock could have used that big brain of his to design new suits for his crew, and his four mechanical arms could be what we hear at the end.
It’s also worth noting that the two men who wrote the Amazing Spider-Man comic series over the past decade, Dan Slott and Christos Gage, are writers on this game, and their Superior Spider-Man arc featuring Octavius is a fan-favorite, so making him the main villain would be right up their alley.
The Jackal, Miles Warren
Speaking of villains that Slott and Gage are familiar with, the Jackal was a main player during key arcs in their run. The Jackal’s most infamous story, “The Clone Saga,” is so complicated that it gives even hardcore comic readers a headache, so to keep things brief, he’s a mad scientist obsessed with cloning and genetic tampering, like how he cloned Spider-Man (several times) and spliced his own DNA with that of a jackal in order to gain superhuman strength, speed, and agility. This fellow doesn’t fit the mold as well as our first two options, but he would make for a truly surprising choice, and a story based on him would be absolutely filled to the brim with mind-bending plot twists.
The Ultimate Spider Slayer, Alistair Smythe
While Alistair Smythe isn’t a household name, he has a long history of being a Spider-Man baddie in the comics. He developed his hatred for Spider-Man when his father, Spencer Smythe, created the Spider-Slayer robots to destroy Spider-Man (commissioned by J. Jonah Jameson, no less), only to fail and pass away due to illness caused by working with the radioactive materials that powered the machines. Alistair blamed Spider-Man (naturally) and continued his father’s legacy with the goal of exacting revenge. In addition to building new Spider-Slayers, he eventually experimented on his own body and turned himself into a genetically altered, mechanically enhanced super baddie, dubbing himself the Ultimate Spider-Slayer.
It’s not hard to imagine that Alistair created new suits for each member of the Sinister Six so they could be his new “spider slayers” and help him get revenge on Spider-Man.
Mysterio, Quentin Beck
Mysterio is the villain for the upcoming sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming, so why not ride that wave by making him the villain of the wall-crawler’s new video game, too? Double the exposure, double the hype!
Aside from being a regular member on Sinister Six teams in the comics, Mysterio is a different kind of villain that would make for some interesting gameplay. After all, he is a master of illusion and trickery, enough to make our web-head’s spider-sense work overtime, so he would be able to attack from all angles and make players question everything they see. While he doesn’t have an innate personal connection to Spider-Man, a new one could be written into the game by having him pose as someone Spider-Man trusts, only for him to make a grand reveal of his true identity right when Spidey is at his lowest point. Sounds just like the kind of theatrical move Mysterio would relish.
Check out the Spider-Man gameplay walkthrough shown off later in the presentation: