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 The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 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
Not long after Otto Octavious has officially assumed the roll as the Superior Spider-Man. He knew working with the Avengers would be a problem as they did not share his vision of crime fighting. Otto decided to rebuild a new version of the Sinister Six known as the Superior Six. He first started by breaking into the Baxter Building during a mission to watch over the Future Foundation and extracted the main grain of sand that housed the Sandman's mind. He then teamed up with Thor to defeat a return Electro after he had pulled himself back together after his battle with Thor during "Ends of the Earth". Knowing he would need a member who could go deep undercover in the criminal underworld, Otto then hacked into the S.H.I.E.L.D. database and discovered that the Chameleon was imprisoned there. He returned them all to his base on Spider Island (formerly the Raft) where he started working his mind control on the main three.
Not long afterwards, Otto had discovered that Mysterio has some how returned. Knowing that the Quentin Beck had been trapped in the Ultimate Universe, the Superior Spider-Man discovered that this was a different man known as Mysterion who had been given Mysterio's equipment by the Hobgoblin. After a battle with the Hobgoblin, Otto took Mysterion prisoner and decided he could use the inexperience villain for his new team. The final member was Adrian Toomes, better known as the Vulture. Toomes was still suffering from optic damage after his previous two battles with Otto and it didn't take long for Otto to use his sources to have the Vulture transferred to Spider Island. Otto operated on Toomes and repaired his optic damage and gave him even better vision and implanted his mind control on Toomes.
Not long afterwards, the Wrecking Crew showed up attacking Alchemax trying to steal a new type of particle generator. They were attacked by the new Sun Girl who had been in the area. She was at a disadvantage with the Wrecking Crew when Otto showed up with his mind controlled Superior Six and the group quickly defeated the Wrecking Crew who fled. It was later revealed that Sun Girl's father, the Lightmaster had sent the Wrecking Crew after the generator and reassembled a new Masters of Evil to attack the Superior Six and Alchemax. The plan ended up freeing the Superior Six from their mind control and seemed to have killed Sun Girl. Distraught thinking his own daughter was dead, the Lightmaster's plan fell apart and the Superior Six attacked what was left of the Masters of Evil without morals and defeated the group before turning towards Otto. However, Sun Girl was revealed to be a live and with Otto's help, he defeated his former team which quickly disbanded but vowing that they would make it their life's mission to destroy Spider-Man for everything he had done to them.
With the previous group disbanded, a new team has emerged with the goal to create a weather manipulation device. Led by Boomerang, the new Sinister Six also included: Shocker, Lady Beetle, Overdrive, Speed Demon and the Living Brain. 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.
After a series of failures Boomerang teams up with the Owl and forms the Sinister Sixteen in order to retrieve the picture of Doctor Doom that the former had stolen a few days before, and that was now in the hands of the Chameleon. The line-up consisted of the dregs of the underworld and mostly served as canon fodder in order for Boomerang to retrieve the painting.
All-New Sinister Six
Whilst teaching at Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, a new Sinister Six was formed. Led by Swarm, it consisted of Killer Shrike, Delilah, Melter, 8-Ball, and Squid. However they were easily defeated by Spider-Man's students.
Prowler's Sinister Six
After returning from the dead due to the continuity changes after Secret Wars, Aaron Davis, a.k.a. the Prowler, decides to form a new incarnation of the Sinister Six in order to pull off the biggest heist of his career. Using contacts from his criminal associate Ceres Goldstein, Davis recruits Sandman, Hobgoblin, Bombshell, the Spot, and Electro II, with Davis donning a refurbished version of the Iron Spider armor designed by Tony Stark. Once the group is assembled, Davis informs them that their target is a decommissioned S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, which has been kept in storage ever since S.H.I.E.L.D. was disbanded. The group is soon joined by Bombshell's daughter Lana, who is forced into the team against her will, while Ceres acts as their mission control from her remote base. Davis mentions that he has a buyer lined up for the Helicarrier, but refuses to give further details.
The new Sinister Six quickly faces challenges, with Sandman, Electro and Spot banding together to cut the others out of the deal once the heist is over. The situation is further exasperated when the Hobgoblin is captured by the Red Hulk (who had been guarding the Helicarrier) and is forced to give up details on the plan. Despite this, the heist proves successful, and the villains are able to make off with the Helicarrier. After kicking Hobgoblin out of the group (his treachery having been discovered by Sandman), the remaining members of the Sinister Six head to Latveria, where they deliver the Helicarrier to its buyer, Lucia Von Bardas. However, the plan comes crashing down when Spider-Man (Aaron's nephew) arrives with his own team, the Champions. Though Davis escapes, the Champions manage to take down and capture the rest of the Sinister Six.
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.
The Sinister Six has appeared several times in Spider-Man's different animated incarnations, although never featuring the original line-up.
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 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.
The Sinister Six appear in a self-titled episode in the show's second season. The group consists of Doctor Octopus, Electro, the Rhino, the Lizard, Kraven, and the Beetle. In the series, the group is explicitly composed to deal with Spider-Man's S.H.I.E.L.D. team (White Tiger, Nova, Power Man, and Iron Fist). The group also shows up in Season 2's penultimate episode, "Return of the Sinister Six," with the Scorpion now replacing the Beetle (who left the team to pursue more profitable freelance work).
At the close of the film, Harry Osborn is visited at the Ravencroft Institution by Gustav Fiers, a.k.a. the Gentleman. The two plan on forming a special group to get revenge on Spider-Man, and Fiers is then shown walking past the weapons of various members of the team in the comics, including the Vulture's wing suit, Doctor Octopus' bionic tentacles and Kraven's spear. This was meant to lead into a Sinister Six spin-off film, but the movie was never produced.
- In the NES game Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six, the Sinister Six is featured with the same line-up as the story arc the game is named for: Electro, the Sandman, Mysterio, the Vulture, the Hobgoblin and Doctor Octopus.
- In Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six, the Sinister Six consists of Doctor Octopus, Mysterio, the Sandman, the Vulture, the Scorpion, and Kraven the Hunter.
- In the DOS game Spider-Man vs. The Sinister Six, an interactive game with multiple endings, the Sinister Six consists of Doctor Octopus, the Chameleon, Mysterio, the Hobgoblin, the Vulture and the Shocker.
- In the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PSVita versions of Lego Marvel Super Heroes, if a player unlocks all the members of the original Sinister Six, which consist of Doctor Octopus, Mysterio, Electro, the Sandman, the Vulture and Kraven the Hunter, the player will unlock an achievement called "Sinister Six".
- In the mobile game Spider-Man Unlimited, the Green Goblin assembled a multiverse Sinister Six by a portal which they intend to invade multiple dimensions and harvest iso-8 materials. This team is based on Spider-Man's abovementioned 25th Anniversary Special issue (Green Goblin, Vulture, Electro, Sandman, Doctor Octopus and Mysterio), along with multiple counterparts from various dimensions (different variations of the said characters) as well as other villains who aid them in their conquest. They have an army called Sinister Soldiers who assist them in their conquest as well.
- In Marvel: Avengers Alliance, the Sinister Six made its debut as a group during "Special Operations - Along Came the Spiders." It consists of Doctor Octopus, Vulture, Mysterio, Kraven the Hunter, Lizard and Electro. Their aim is to capture a Spider-Man (who have been gathering because of the threat of Karn of the Inheritors) and sacrifice it to Doctor Octopus' machine which has the capability to hide the dimension from the threat of incursions.
- In Marvel: Contest of Champions, the Sinister Six are featured in the "Battlerealm: Homecoming" event. The group consists of Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin, Venom, Electro, Vulture and Rhino. They are hired by the Grandmaster to eliminate many of the Spider-powered champions.
- In Marvel: Future Fight a special mission features the Sinister Six in collaboration with Hydra. This, however, is led by Mysterio, who disguised himself as Doctor Octopus and tricks the other members as well as Hydra to take control of the group and the Hydra faction in New York. It is unknown if the Vulture is an official member but he assists the other villains in their fight with Spider-Man and his allies.
- The Sinister Six appear as major antagonists of the PS4 exclusive Spider-Man game, consisting of Doctor Octopus, Electro, Rhino, Scorpion, Vulture, and Mister Negative. Otto forms the group in an attempt to take revenge on his former business partner, Norman Osborn and they clash with Spider-Man when he interferes.
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
- ToyBiz produced a special Marvel Legends box set based around the Sinister Six. The set included Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, Black Cat and Venom, as well as a Spider-Man figure.
- Hasbro released a Spider-Man vs. the Sinister 6 box set based on the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon. The set included Doctor Octopus, Vulture, Sandman, Green Goblin, Rhino and Arnim Zola, as well as Spider-Man himself.
- Various members of the Sinister Six were featured in the HeroClix figure game.
- Bowen Designs released statues of the various members of the Sinister Six, including Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Vulture, Electro, Kraven and Mysterio.
- Diamond Select released a series of Sinister Six statues that included Doctor Octopus, Vulture, Electro, Sandman, Kraven and Mysterio. When combined with a Spider-Man statue that Diamond also released, the statues form a diorama.
- Hasbro released a special Marvel Universe Sinister Six box set, deliberately modeled after the early Marvel Super Heroes action figures from the 90s. The set included