After suffering three defeats at the hands of Spider-Man, Doctor Octopus realized that he needed help against the web-slinger. He got in touch with every super-powered villain who had battled the wall-crawler. In the end, five other super-criminals heeded Ock's call---the Vulture, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, and the Sandman. However, Doctor Octopus recognized that he would never be able to control these super-villains. They were incapable of working together or functioning as a well-oiled machine. Instead of trying to change this unruly bunch, Doctor Octopus conceived a battle plan that exploited their individual appetites for personal glory. Each member of the Sinister Six would stage a separate battle with Spider-Man at a carefully chosen location. One by one the criminals would fight him until the wall-crawler was finally destroyed.
The Sinister Six were first introduced in Spider-Man annual #1 (1964) and were created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee.
Throughout the years, the Sinister Six has had many members join and many leave.
Major Story Arcs
The Sinister Six
In this story the Sinister Six are created after Doctor Octopus loses to Spider-Man three times in a row. He asked every villain that fought Spider-man at that point but only Sandman, Electro, Vulture, Mysterio, and Kraven The Hunter responded. After facing Spider-Man numerous times, Octopus found that Spider-Man seemed to have a deep connection with Betty Brant, so Sinister Six captures her and a random bystander who turns out to be Aunt May. They call out and dare him to fight them through a gauntlet like tournament. First Spider-Man fought Electro in a Stark Electric Plant, and beat him after regaining his powers that were lost at the time. Next he had to go up against Kraven, but instead of fighting him and his leopards he just takes a note from Kraven that leads him to his next enemy, Mysterio. Mysterio was beaten quickly however and next was Sandman, who lost to Spider-Man since the airtight room they were in made Sandman collapse before Spider-man did. Spider-Man then went on to defeat Vulture and Doctor Octopus, Vulture on a building and Doc Ock in a booby trapped castle.
Return Of The Sinister Six
Doctor Octopus, Electro, Mysterio, Sandman and Mysterio escaped from prison and went to get revenge on the wall-crawler. Since the death of Kraven, the Hobgoblin (Macendale) took his place. Doctor Octopus reformed the group, promising them the defeat of Spider-Man. However, this was a trick, part of a larger plan by which Octavius alone would be the master of the world. The Sandman, at this point in his career reformed, aided Spider-Man in defeating the Sinister Six, and ultimately stopping Octavius' plans to conquer the world.
Revenge Of The Sinister Six
During this story arc, five villains played as pawns by Doctor Octopus plan to get revenge on him. Ock steels adamantium tentacles from an unnamed old-man at the beginning of the story. Then Sandman checks up on the his landlords at the beginning of the story, and their house blows up. He blames Ock, but in fact it were the other four villains who blew up the house. He learns that during the confrontation with Ock, and is promptly turned into glass (again) due to Ock's new technology. Ock then coerces the four ex-members into working for him again.
It turns out that Electro was hired by Ock to gather the the other members to get revenge on him. Spider-man gets defeated numerous times to this new Sinister Six though, because of the technology Ock stole from the old man and their new recruit Gog. Spider-man decides to call in some help in the form of Sandman, Hulk, Ghost Rider, Nova, Deathlok (Collins), Solo, Cyborg X, Sleepwalker and the Fantastic Four. Spider-Man leads the team to Ock's team consisting of Octopus, Electro, Vulture, Hobgoblin, Mysterio, and Gog (all with advanced technology that were used to wipe out Gog's entire dimension). But in the end, the superheroes overpower the Sinister Six and win the fight.
When Kaine began killing off Spider-Man's villains, including the founder of the Sinister Six Doctor Octopus, Hobgoblin realized it was only a matter of time till he came for him so he gathered together a group of villains to track him down and kill him. They had the upper hand at first until Spider-Man showed up to save Kaine. The team consisting of Hobgoblin, Beetle, Scorpia, Shocker, Electro, Vulture and Mysterio.
Another Sinister Six
Sandman's team was unlike the other teams because they were not organized for the purpose of committing crimes. Instead they were created for the purpose of hunting down the old leader of the Sinister Six, Doc Ock, and getting revenge on him. Venom decided to join them when he realized they would eventually run across Spider-Man and it would give him the opportunity for his own revenge. The team consisting of Sandman, Venom (Brock), Alyosha, Electro, Vulture and Mysterio (Berkhart).
The Last Stand (Sinister Twelve)
The Sinister Twelve is a team created by the Green Goblin after, while in prison, he judges that a team of villians would be needed to defeat Spider-Man. Mac Gargan was the de facto leader of the Twelve while Osborn was in prison, and it was he who kidnapped Peter Parker's Aunt May and threatened to kill her if Spider-Man did not help Osborn escape from jail. A desperate Spider-Man, with help from the Black Cat, broke Osborn out, only to be confronted with the Vulture, Sandman, Electro, Chameleon, Lizard, Hydro-Man,Shocker, Carnage, Hammerhead, Boomerang, and Tombstone. Osborn officially dubbed the team the Sinister Twelve. Despite the odds, Spider-Man and the Black Cat, aided by Captain America, Iron Man,Daredevil, Yellowjacket and the Fantastic Four, managed to hold their own. Meanwhile, Osborn kidnapped Mary Jane Watson. Spider-Man pursued him, fighting off Venom along the way. Spider-Man confronted the Goblin, and finally Osborn gave a vital clue as to Aunt May's whereabouts. He was defeated by a combination of being shot by Mary Jane, struck by lightning, and attacked by Doctor Octopus, who was brainwashed by the police into trying to kill him. The Goblin fell into the river below, and Aunt May was found and saved. The rest of the Sinister Twelve were subdued by the heroes and arrested; Gargan ended up, ironically, in Osborn's old cell.
The Sinister Six were briefly mentioned during the Civil War as being stopped by Captain America and his gang of Secret Avengers, in order to prove to people that they didn't need to be regulated and government approved to fight villains. This is significant because it is the first time that an incarnation of the Sinister Six has not faced off against Spider-Man. The team consisting of Doctor Octopus, Lizard, Trapster, Shocker, Grim Reaper and Vulture.
In an attempt to capture Harry Osborn's child to study his unique DNA, Octavius gathered together a group of villains and offered them a prize for the first one to bring him the child. After they were each defeated and disbanded, Octavius kept five of them together for his next plan and they formed the latest incarnation of the Sinister Six. The team consisting of Doctor Octopus, Chameleon, Sandman, Electro, Rhino and Mysterio
Since the previous group wasdisbanded, a new team has emerged. Led by Boomerang, the new Sinister Six originally set out to create a weather manipulation device using various pieces of technology. The Superior Spider-Man quickly defeated the Living Brain before he was taken out of the fight by saving the life of a police officer on the scene. However, he had tagged the rest of the group with nano spider tracers allowing him to hear their conversations and where they were heading. Over the course of a couple of hours, Otto set up ways to disarm the rest of the Sinister Six when they broke into Horizon Labs and were quickly defeated.
Boomerang then manipulated the rest of the team, minus the Living Brain, into recovering the head of Silvio Manfredi from the Owl. Boomerang had been coerced by the Chameleon, who believes that the Maggia leader's head will give him political power in the underworld. The other members of the Sinister Six vote Boomerang out of his leadership position, voting in the female Beetle. Boomerang anonymously tips off Power Man and Iron Fist of the team's whereabouts, and the duo makes short work of the villains. Boomerang frees the team en route to jail, reasserting his leadership role.
Marvel Zombiverse (Earth-2149)
A zombified version of the Sinister Six has been seen attacking Wolverine and Magneto, who were protecting uninfected people taking shelter in a SHIELD Helicarrier.
In this alternate future, the group is now called the "Savage Six", which is composed of Dragon King, Funny Face, Killerwatt, Mr. Abnormal, Raptor and Sabreclaw.
Ultimate Universe (Earth-1610)
In the Ultimate Universe, the group is called the Ultimate Six. They are composed of Doc Ock, Green Goblin, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, Sandman and Spider-Man, who was forced to be a member and leader. They fought Nick Fury and his Ultimates where they were defeated with the help of Spider-Man. Peter was force to join the group because Aunt May was thought to be kidnapped by Norman Osborn, but was informed by Captain America that she is safe in SHIELD custody.
Spider-Man: Reign (Earth-70237)
In this reality, the group is now called the Sinner Six. They are made out of Electro, Kraven the Hunter, Hydro-Man, Mysterio, Sandman and Scorpion. They were formed by Mayor Waters, and if they kill a recently appeared Spider-Man, they will gain their freedom from the sealed-city of New York.
In Other Media
The Sinister Six has appeared several times in Spider-Man's different animated incarnations, although never featuring the original line-up.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series
The Six was renamed "The Insidious Six" under the fear that the word sinister was too scary for children. It was first organized by the Kingpin and featured Doctor Octopus, Mysterio, Shocker, Rhino, Chameleon, and Scorpion. After the Six was defeated, Kingpin organized a replacement team consisting of Doctor Octopus, Shocker, Rhino, Chameleon, Scorpion and Vulture (Mysterio having apparently been killed in an explosion earlier in the series).
The Spectacular Spider-Man
The Sinister Six is first organized by Doctor Octopus. Octopus manipulates the institutionalized Electro into breaking into the prison and releasing him, in addition to Sandman, Rhino, Vulture, and the Enforcers (including Shocker). After successfully defeating Spider-Man and forcing him to retreat, they bicker over their various, personal vendettas. Soon, they are defeated by Spider-Man's symbiote costume and sent back to prison.
However, in the series' second season, The Master Planner organizes a second Six, with Mysterio and Kraven The Hunter replacing Shocker (believed to have returned to the Enforcers) and Doctor Octopus (apparently reformed). The Six attack Spider-Man in pairs, leading to a final confrontation between Mysterio and Spider-Man. Mysterio delays Spider-Man long enough for the Master Planner's men to evacuate the other defeated villains.
Spider-Man: Revenge of the Sinister Six (Nintendo)
The original Nintendo game featured Spider-Man fighting his way through Doctor Octopus, Electro, Mysterio, Hobgoblin, Sandman, and Vulture. The game was loosely based on the comic book story arc.
Spider-Man: The Sinister Six Pc Game
Spider-Man pc game, developed in the mid 90's, pits Spider-Man to battle his arch nemesis' The Sinister Six. Spidey has to fight his way through Vulture, Chameleon, Hobgoblin, Mysterio, Shocker, and Doc Ock.
Spider-Man: Revenge of the Sinister Six
Peter Parker, the amazing Spider-Man, has made an astonishing discovery-he has a sister! Unfortunately, a manipulative super-villain known as the Gentleman-who had a hand in the deaths of Peter's parents-has somehow brainwashed her into becoming the deadly supervilainess known as Pity! Together with Doctor Octopus, Electro, the Vulture, and Mysterio, they've formed the newest incarnation of the super-villain group dedicated to destroy Spider-Man, the Sinister Six! But there is something more than just the death of Spider-Man on the Sinister Six's agenda; something that has caused Col. Sean Morgan and his high-tech anti-espionage agents of S.A.F.E. to become involved. Spider-Man teams up with Morgan to stop the Sinister Six before they can put their world-threatening plan in motion, and to save his sister before it's too late!
- Written By: Adam-Troy Castro
- Publisher: Ibooks (April, 2002)
- ISBN-10: 0743444639
- ISBN-13: 978-0743444637
Spider-Man: The Gathering of the Sinister Six
At the behest of a deadly benefactor known only as the Gentleman, the Chameleon must assemble a new Sinister Six: Dr. Octopus, the Vulture, Electro, Mysterio, and the Gentleman's mysterious ward, Pity. But Mysterio, the master of illusion, has a plan of his own! A number of Hollywood people has been targeted for murder, and the Webhead must halt Mysterio's deadly rampage before more lives are claimed.
Part one of the Sinister Six trilogy.
- Written By: Adam-Troy Castro
- Publisher: Berkley (March, 1999)
- ISBN-10: 0425167747
- ISBN-13: 978-0425167748
Spider-Man: The Secret of the Sinister Six (a.k.a. Spider-Man: The Sinister Six Combo)
Mass-market edition of a brand new novel which follows super hero Spider-Man as he tries to put a stop to The Gentleman's (the leader of the Sinister Six) plan to destroy all the financial markets in the world. Spider-Man battles the most dangerous Sinister Six line-up ever: Doctor Octopus, Electro, Mysterio, the Vulture, the tragic but deadly Pity, and the group's mysterious leader, the Gentleman - a villain who had a hand in the deaths of Spider-Man's parents! But what neither Spider-Man nor his enemies know is that the Gentleman is about to set his master plan into motion: destroying all the financial markets in the world and make himself the richest man in the world. As for the villainess Pity, Spider-Man has become convinced that she is his long-lost sister. But to get Pity to reject her life of crime and break free of the Gentleman's control, he needs conclusive proof - proof that only the X-Man known as Wolverine has. But time is running out for Spider-Man, for Pity and for the world.
- Written By: Adam-Troy Castro
- Publisher: Ibooks (February, 2003)
- ISBN-10: 074345832X
- ISBN-13: 978-0743458320