Captain America: Civil War – Who Will Oppose Spider-Man?
The biggest news in superhero cinema thus far in 2016 was probably the reveal of the new Spider-Man. You can see the reveal at Entertainment Weekly, but suffice it to say Spidey dramatically swung into action at the end of the latest trailer for Captain America: Civil War, stealing Captain America’s shield and cheekily greeting his fellow superheroes. It marked the first time, despite two prior Spider-Man film series, that this particular hero has been seen in connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
But of course, the answer to millions of fans’ question – what will the new Spider-Man look like – only led to more questions. How big of a role will he have? Is he going to go through multiple costumes? How does Tony Stark get connected to him? And most importantly: who’s going to oppose him?
With the possible exception of Batman, on the DC side of things, Spider-Man has a comic history littered with more significant bad guys than most any other superhero. Indeed, you can probably count more noteworthy Spider-Man villains than all other significant Marvel villains combined, which makes the question of the new Spidey’s primary opponent all the more vital. But which villain could be used with this new version of the character, and will we see him in Civil War?
The primary candidate might be Venom. This is a character who’s certainly among the most famous Spider-Man villains, as well as one who could have a nice natural niche in the MCU. To begin with, Marvel has already unabashedly embraced the outer space aspects of its comics; we’ve seen alien interference in Earthly activities, and given that Venom is basically a combination of a wicked alien liquid with a human host, this character would follow suit. It’s also worth mentioning that in the Civil War comic stories, Venom at one point joins the Thunderbolt team that begins to battle the Avengers (a possibility for future Marvel films). For what it’s worth, there’s also been a possible indication through Marvel video games that Venom could be on his way. In the Marvel: Contest of Champions app, Venom has gained a presence relatively similar to that of Ultron in the months surrounding the release of Avengers: Age Of Ultron.Another interesting possibility is Norman Osborn/Green Goblin, who’s been used in both prior Spider-Man series. For his part, Osborn actually led the Thunderbolts at one point in the aftermath of the comic Civil War, so an introduction of the character now may make sense. Osborn is also part of the same advanced science world Tony Stark lives in, which could give him an easy point of entry given that we know the new Spider-Man will be befriended by Stark. And not unlike Venom, the Green Goblin also has a presence in gaming, most notably through a Betfair Casino game called Spider-Man: Attack of the Green Goblin. Situated in the 25-line slot machine section of the site’s gaming selection, it’s the only one of many Marvel-themed casino experiences to specifically invoke a villain. That may not be the kind of direct indication we sometimes get from games like the aforementioned Contest Of Champions app, but it does speak to the popularity of Green Goblin vs. other Marvel villains.
That pretty much covers the two biggest Spider-Man villains, and perhaps the two likeliest options. Other possibilities might include Rhino, who was teased but never fleshed out in the Marc Webb Spider-Man series; Vulture, who was rumored to be in line as the villain in Sam Raimi’s fourth Spider-Man movie, before that series ended; The Lizard, another very popular Spider-Man bad guy; or even Kingpin, aka Wilson Fisk, who was portrayed wonderfully by Vincent D’Onofrio on the first season of Daredevil. But the likeliest choice outside of Venom and Green Goblin may actually be Mysterio, one of the most bizarre villains of the Spider-Man comics. It would be a completely original cinematic decision, a unique take on Spider-Man, and perhaps most importantly, it would introduce a sort of supernatural, mystic villain in the very same summer that Doctor Strange – a mystic superhero – is being brought into the MCU.
It may be that none of these characters are introduced just yet, and Spider-Man’s primary opposition in Civil War will simply be Captain America and his team. But if there is a villain specifically meant for the wall-crawler, one of these guys is a good bet.