This article contains spoilers
They say that two heads are better than one, but when it comes to 2024’s Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse sequel, it could be a case of six heads are better than one. A wild theory has emerged that the infamous Sinister Six will be the big bads of Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, and if you were watching Across the Spider-Verse closely, the lineup could’ve been hiding in plain sight.
Across the Spider-Verse cast Jason Schwartzman’s Spot as the main villain, but alongside a smorgasbord of Spider-People, you might’ve spotted Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus, Donald Glover’s live-action debut as Prowler, and more obscure foes like Mooseterio from Earth-8311. Away from equally ominous theories that Miguel O’Hara/Spider-Man 2099 (Oscar Isaac) will emerge as a vampiric villain in Beyond the Spider-Verse, the Sinister Six get an actual nod in the movie’s jaw-dropping finale.
Across the Spider-Verse’s Sinister Six Tease
After Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) escapes the clutches of the Spider-Society, the Go Home Machine incorrectly identifies the DNA of the spider that bit him, meaning he’s sent to Earth-42 instead of his original universe (Earth-1610). Because the multiversal arachnid bit Miles, there’s no Spider-Man here, so Earth-42 has gone to hell. Just before the climactic face-off between our Miles and Earth-42’s villainous Prowler Miles, a news report from J.Jonah Jameson (again voiced by J.K. Simmons) mentions the “Sinister Six Cartel” running riot.
As pointed out by The Cosmic Circus, we don’t have to do much deciphering to figure out who will be part of the Sinister Six if they appear in Beyond the Spider-Verse. In this ruined version of New York, a series of company names point to the Sinister Six’s members. The fictional companies advertise the following
- Vulture Corp
- A Sandman “Rolex Watch”
- Oct 8
- RR (Rhino Casino)
Running with this theory, we’ll likely see Electro, Vulture, Sandman, Scorpion, Doctor Octopus, and Rhino as the Sinister Six. This is conveniently close to the original comic book lineup, which featured Electro, Vulture, Sandman, Doctor Octopus, Mysterio, and Kraven the Hunter. At some point or another, all of these have signed up with the group of evildoers to try and take down Spidey. As our wall-crawling hero is absent in Earth-42, it’s possible these heads of several high-profile companies have been allowed to thrive as their villain alter egos.
The History of the Sinister Six
Introduced in 1964’s The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, the Sinister Six is a who’s who of Spidey rogues that’s included some of his most dangerous enemies over the years. The ranks have extended into teams including the Superior Six, Sinister Twelve, and the all-star ensemble of the Sinister Sixty. Beyond the Spider-Verse wouldn’t be the Sinister Six’s first animated outing, with the group appearing in several cartoons – most famously as the Insidious Six in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
Importantly, Across the Spider-Verse is the first time we’ve heard the Sinister Six get a mention in this world. 2018’s Into the Spider-Verse included Green Goblin and Doc Ock, while Rhino and Vulture have fleeting appearances in Across the Spider-Verse. Even if the Sinister Six doesn’t happen in the next movie, it would be a miss for the trilogy not to include mainstays like Electro and Sandman. Assuming we do get the Sinister Six, it’s unclear how the Earth-42 iteration will differ from what we’ve seen before. Looking at what the franchise did with the revamped Olivia Octavius (Kathryn Hahn), expect the unexpected.
The road to the Sinister Six has been a complicated one, with Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 teasing the team way back in 2014. The post-credits scene cued Drew Goddard’s planned Sinister Six spin-off that was rumored to be throwing names as big as George Clooney around for Doctor Octopus but fell into development hell. As late as 2018, Sony’s Amy Pascal told Variety she was still interested in using the script but was waiting for Goddard’s schedule to open up.
Even though Spider-Man: No Way Home gave us a live-action Sinister Five by bringing together the likes of Willem Dafoe and Jamie Foxx from the Maguire and Garfield eras of the Spider-Verse, Beyond the Spider-Verse could finally give us a full-blown Sinister Six. Elsewhere, the maligned Morbius seemingly set up its own Sinister Six with Michael Keaton’s Vulture and Jared Leto’s Living Vampire. Finally, let’s not forget Michael Mando’s Scorpion mentioned his “boys on the outside” way back in Spider-Man: Homecoming. We’re still yet to get a live-action Sinister Six in all their glory, and by the looks of it, we’ll see them in animation first.
Pitching the Sinister Six Cartel as the big bads of Beyond the Spider-Verse is all well and good, but with doppelgänger Miles, the Spot, and Spider-Man 2099 to deal with, adding the sextet could repeat Spider-Man 3’s problem of villain overkill. The road to the Sinister Six is more winding than Doc Ock’s tentacles, but if this theory is on the money, they could finally lurch from the shadows in Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse.