The Sinister Six

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The Sinister Six

(pop culture)
Dr. Octopus was up in arms after a trio of stinging defeats by Marvel Comics' wall-crawler. So in Spider-Man's first giant-sized edition, The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 (1964), Doc Ock invites each of the supervillains who had battled the web-slinger to join forces as a Spidey-crushing crew. In a 41-page epic written by Stan Lee and illustrated by Steve Ditko, the arrogant Green Goblin and the Fantastic Four–obsessed Dr. Doom decline Dr. Octopus' summons, but Spider-Man's five other foes (this story takes place during the infancy of the hero's rogues' gallery) sign up: Electro, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, the Sandman, and the Vulture, joining Ock as the Sinister Six. These villains share two things in common: a hatred of Spidey … and a dislike of one another. Constant bickering amid the ranks leads Dr. Octopus to rely upon the Six's individual strengths instead of teamwork. Spider- Man is goaded into a gauntlet of supervillains, battling the Sinister Six one at a time, and through sheer will overpowers them. While various smaller groupings of bad guys fought Spidey after Annual #1, it took over twenty years before a new criminal club followed the malevolent footsteps of the Sinister Six. In Amazing Spider-Man vol. 1 #280 (1986) Rhino, Hydro- Man, Speed Demon, and Boomerang rallied together under the leadership of the armored Beetle as the Sinister Syndicate. The original Sinister Six—with the Hobgoblin II replacing the deceased Kraven the Hunter—was dusted off for a return bout in 1990. Not to be outdone, the Sinister Syndicate regrouped, commissioned by the mob and comprised of returnees Beetle, Rhino, Speed Demon, and Hydro-Man and recruits Blacklash and Constrictor, in Deadly Foes of Spider-Man #1–#4 (1991), a miniseries spotlighting Spidey's enemies. After Dr. Octopus' (temporary) demise at the hands of the assassin Kaine, in 1995 Mysterio assembled the old guard—Vulture, Electro, and Hobgoblin II, along with the Beetle, the Shocker, and Scorpia (a female Scorpion)—as the Sinister Seven. The Syndicate was back in 1996, and even the vile Venom got into the team spirit in 1999, bringing together yet another incarnation of the Sinister Six. In the 2000s the group expanded to the Sinister Twelve under the leadership of the Green Goblin. As part of its “Ultimate” reimagining of the Marvel Universe, Marvel Comics published an Ultimate Six miniseries in 2003–2004, with altered versions of Sandman, Vulture, Doc Ock, Green Goblin, Electro, and Kraven tackling the sixteen-year-old Ultimate Spidey. No matter the roster, the Sinister Six and its violent variations always spell trouble for Spider- Man. Outside of comic books, Sinister Six appearances (with varying rosters) include a “Spider-Man and the Sinister Six” action-figure gift pack from Toy Biz; Adam-Troy Castro's novel, The Gathering of the Sinister Six (1999); the video game Spider- Man 2: Sinister Six; and the “Insidious Six” two-part episode of the 1990s Spider-Man cartoon. Inspired by the comic-book supervillains, a Seattle garage band called the Sinister Six made a blip on the music radar in the 1990s.