By now, many have done and dusted the first adventure of Insomniac Games' new Spider-Man. You've collected the backpacks, taken the photos, saved New York, and defeated the Sinister Six. Marvel's Spider-Man ends with two fairly strong teases as to the direction of next game, but who should be a part of the sequel's rogues gallery?
You may know some of Spider-Man's greatest hits, as they're repeated across all related media, but the web-slinger has a strong roster of smaller villains too. Insomniac did a great job in the first game of giving you familiar villains like Scorpion and Vulture, alongside lesser-known ones like Tombstone and Screwball. So here's a few villains I think should be in the next sequel.
Herman Schultz is low-level criminal that whipped up some shock wave gauntlets and a suit to survive his own attacks. Unfortunately for him, he chose the Shocker as a name decades before its more colloquial meaning.
WHY ARE THEY HERE?: Yes, the Shocker appeared in the first game as two of the boss fights. But the Shocker getting beaten so easily is one of the long-running Spider-Man gags. I'd honestly make the Shocker the first fight in the sequel, running alongside the game's early tutorial. Bring him back and let him get put away immediately. Again. Hell, I'd do it for the third game too.
Dr. Jonathan Ohnn, a scientist in the employ of the Kingpin, opened a series of portals in an experiment one evening. When the experiment went awry, Ohnn stepped into one of the portals he had created. Upon finding his way back to reality, Ohnn found that he had spots all over his body and the ability to create portals around him. With these portals, he can move himself, or any part of his body, almost any distance. He named himself the Spot and dedicated his life to low-level crimes.
WHY ARE THEY HERE?: The Spot is another one of those villains that's a bit of a throwaway, but kind of fun at the same time. I think he'd lend himself to an interesting early boss fight, popping his arms and legs in and out of portals.
At a young age, budding scientist Robert Farrell designed a rocket-powered skateboard and a pair of gloves giving him an explosive punch. He then proceeded to commit small crimes in order to support his family. Unlike most of Spider-Man's villains, the Rocket Racer isn't particularly evil and eventually reformed in the comics.
WHY ARE THEY HERE?: I really enjoyed the first Shocker fight in Marvel's Spider-Man, where you had to chase him through the city. It was fairly unique and the Rocket Racer would give Insomniac a chance to repeat that style of fight. In addition, the Rocket Racer is a villain you can reform, allowing the developer to play up the more humane side of Spider-Man. Plus, he's a good contrast for one of the mid-bosses.
Black Tarantula & Hammerhead
I'd hazard a guess that at least one of these guys may appear in Turf War, the second downloadable content (DLC) release for Marvel's Spider-Man. Both characters are essentially crime bosses of different flavors. South American criminal Carlos LaMuerto inherited a set of powers passed down from father to son, with superhuman strength, speed, healing, and uhh... the ability to fire beams out of his eyes. Hammerhead is a mobster who had his skull surgically replaced with a metal one (whether it's vibranium or adamantium is unknown). How was his skull replaced? Don't ask questions.
WHY ARE THEY HERE?: The point here is to have both of these guys fighting it out for control over the territory left empty by the Kingpin and Mr. Negative, with Spider-Man caught in the middle. This would be a turf war, which is why I think they'd possibly appear in the aforementioned DLC, but if they don't, they should appear in the sequel.
This character can go in either the B-list or mid-range villain categories to be honest. We're going to go with the Ultimate version of The Prowler. Instead of using Hobie Brown, this Prowler will be Aaron Davis, brother of Jefferson Davis and uncle of Miles Morales. Davis is a basic cat burglar with a few stolen gadgets; in the original Ultimate universe, he's how the spider that bit Miles and gave him powers got out of Oscorp in the first place.
WHY ARE THEY HERE?: The Prowler is a pretty small villain, but his use here is more about providing conflict for Miles. Aaron Davis is a clever guy who unfortunately uses his natural abilities to commit crimes. He's the character that hammers home the classic Spider-Man mantra—with great power comes great responsibility—for Miles. Perhaps Davis re-enters Miles' life after the death of his father, only to be revealed later as the Prowler. That's pure drama and seeing a version of this scene in the games would be amazing.
Sergei Kravinoff is a big game hunter who has decided that Spider-Man is the biggest game in the world. A potion he consumed earlier in life made him more durable and agile, while also improving his sight, hearing, and sense of smell. Otherwise, Kravinoff has trained himself to hunt and has a wide variety of techniques available to him. Taking the name Kraven the Hunter, Sergei is generally honorable and fair in his hunts.
WHY ARE THEY HERE?: It's a toss-up what version of Kraven Insomniac should use. There's room for the classic, more serious interpretation, but most modern versions tend to make Kraven a reality television show host who's hunting Spider-Man for the ratings. One interesting style of fight in the first game are the Taskmaster battles, where the mercenary ambushes you mid-traversal to fight. I think Kraven could be a way to replicate that, at least in the first and second acts of the plot.
Quentin Beck is a special effects guru who decides that his Hollywood career is going nowhere and instead turns to crime. Beck has absolutely no power whatsoever; instead he uses gadgets, chemicals, and hypnotism to trick Spider-Man and the authorities. His suit creates smokescreens with a hallucinogenic gas, has a holographic projector, and offers other gadgets to enhance his jumping and general movement.
WHY ARE THEY HERE?: In the first game, Scorpion's gas allows for a trippy sequence, not unlike Arkham's Scarecrow levels. Mysterio is the guy that really should've been doing that stuff, so let's put him in the sequel. Given his special effects background, perhaps he and Kraven are working together?
Dr. Curt Connors is a surgeon who lost his right arm in a Army combat situation. After his loss, he became obsessed with limb regeneration, working on a drug based primarily on lizard DNA. Being a good fictional scientist, he tries the drug on himself. This regrows the limb (good!), but also makes Connors into a humanoid lizard (bad!). As the Lizard, he's got superhuman speed, strength, and healing, but he's mostly feral.
WHY ARE THEY HERE?: The ringers are the real meat of the storyline. I'd like to think Insomniac wants to keep Parker's scientist side strong, so introducing Curt Connors is a solid direction. In the first game, Parker was offered a job by Norman Osborn; perhaps he either takes that offer or goes to work with Connors at Horizon Labs, another Dan Slott creation. Either way, he's there to see Connors trip himself up; being unable to save Octavius makes Peter's desire to save Connors that much stronger.
The Lizard is our Mister Negative, fairly prominent, but not actually the real villain.
As his villainous other self, the Green Goblin, Norman Osborn is Spider-Man's most dangerous enemy. He was originally a corporate climber and co-owner of Oscorp, before pushing his partner, Mendell Stromm, out of the company. Osborn found that Stromm had been working on a formula to grant superhuman strength, but the chemicals were tampered with by Osborn's son Harry, who was angry about his father's constant rejections. The accident gave Osborn the strength he wanted, but also corrupted his mind, turning him into the Green Goblin.
WHY ARE THEY HERE?: This is the big bad for the sequel. There was a lot of teasing in Marvel's Spider-Man for the Green Goblin: a "medical glider", a helmet, and the Goblin's pumpkin bombs all appeared in the game. Norman is semi-sympathetic in the Insomniac universe, as he creates Devil's Breath by accident in an attempt to save his son. But following the events of the first game, he's lost everything, probably forced to take his experiments underground.
There is some trust and understanding between Peter and Norman, so I'd play that up more. I'd also have the serum that turns Norman into the Green Goblin and corrupts his mind be related to The Lizard. Perhaps Peter turns to Norman for help with regards to a cure for the Lizard, and behind-the-scenes, Norman tries it out as a solution to Harry's disease. That way you have one villain flowing right into another.
The only real question is whether Osborn ends the game dead or alive.
If you've beaten the game, you're probably wondering, "Where's Venom?" To be honest, you can't use all the best villains in a single game. It's likely that Insomniac's Venom will be Harry Osborn, given the second ending stringer in Marvel's Spider-Man. I'd put Venom in the third game, springing out from the corruption and fall of Norman. Then you have Peter fighting his best friend for what might be his final outing.
That gives you one of Spider-Man's best villains as the anchor of each game: Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin, and Venom. And I purposefully left more villains for a third game, including Sandman, Morbius, Hobgoblin, the Beetle, Cardiac, or the Spider-Slayer. There's even room to bring back some of the villains from the first game for an encore.
Being the fastest-selling PlayStation 4 exclusive means the future is bright for Insomniac's Spider-Man and this is just one proposed direction for the series. I'm looking forward to seeing where Insomniac takes it in the future.