Warning: Contains spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man #6 (#900)!
Though the team strikes fear into the hearts of many a Marvel fan, even the Sinister Six themselves know their alliance wasn’t always a huge threat to Spider-Man. In a landmark 900th issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, Electro goes all the way back to the series’ beginning, recalling the Six’s first attempt to take out Spidey – and just how ridiculous of a plan it was.
The Amazing Spider-Man #6 (the 900th issue under the TASM title) by Zeb Wells and Ed McGuinness celebrates Spider-Man’s history and pays homage to Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s original run, going back to the original Sinister Six roster from The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1; (Doctor Octopus, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, Sandman and Vulture). The story sees Spider-Man take on the Sinister Adaptoid, a combination of the powers and personalities of the original Sinister Six who actually uses dialogue from early Stan Lee scripts to voice the six personalities.
When Spidey teams up with the Six to fight the Sinister Adaptoid, the team eventually lives up to their name by turning on the hero after defeating their common enemy. As the Six gang up on Spider-Man, Electro remarks, “The first time we met, we agreed to attack one at a time. We won’t make that mistake again.” Here, Electro directly references the Sinister Six’s original team-up, as Doc Ock united the group to attack Spider-Man in turns. After drawing slips of paper to determine the order, the Six plan to fight Spider-Man one-on-one in various locations across New York, hoping the Web-Slinger would tire enough from the consecutive fights to be more easily beaten. As Electro points out, the Six’s idea to attack Spider-Man one-by-one proved a flawed premise in its own right. Looking deeper at the group’s initial modus operandi, one can wonder how the team ever managed to not disband for good.
Electro is right to call out the one-at-a-time plan for being the wrong move. While there is some logic behind tiring Spider-Man out as he fights villain after villain across the city, he pretty handily defeats his foes, never truly slowing from exhaustion by the end of the gauntlet. The plan seems even worse when one considers that Doc Octopus has selected six locations tailor-made for the villains, each placed on the cards drawn at random: “On each of your cards I have written a location! It is the place where you will battle our common enemy… and each location is best suited for your particular talents.” Though the drawing happens to work out for the Six, their team-up likely would’ve gone even worse if Mysterio had to fight in Sandman’s air-tight box, Kraven picked the card for Vulture’s aerial battle or Doc-Ock’s battle with Spider-Man in a giant fishbowl was left to Electro. The dog pile approach has proven to be a large part of what makes the gang so formidable, with examples like Marvel’s Spider-Man‘s Raft breakout or the recent Sinister War showing how terrifyingly powerful the Six can be when working in tandem rather than spreading across the city after drawing names from a hat.
The Sinister Six acknowledge the error of their ways in The Amazing Spider-Man #900, eschewing the one-on-one method for a group attack. The anniversary issue’s reference to The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 reminds audiences of a simpler time in Marvel’s history, one that painted even the Sinister Six in a silly Silver Age style.
The Amazing Spider-Man #6 (#900) is available from Marvel Comics now.
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Author: Casey Loving