I won’t mince words here, I love villains, you love villains, everyone loves a good villain. And where can you get the most beautifully creative, utterly deranged, and wildly memorable baddies but in the realm of comic books? A hero is only as good as their adversaries, and Spider-Man has a wealth of dastardly evildoers we could see Insomniac bust out for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. As Batman got to have some of the high (and low) points of his rogues’ gallery represented in some manner throughout the Arkham games, I have a few Spidey ghouls I’d love to interact with in October.
5. The Sandman
Is ol’ Sandy the most interesting foe to Spider-Man? No. In fact, the best look Sandman ever got was an episode of the ‘80s Spider-Man show where he absorbed some radioactive soil and was as legit a threat to Spider-Man as he’s ever been — at least until a cement mixer showed up. Which is truthfully more creative a solution than how Sandman is typically dealt with.
My reason for this is mainly imagining the boss fight with those wonderfully rendered grains of sand. It could even be a multiple-phase affair where Sandy’s part of a series of side quests and manages to slip away twice before he gets angry and becomes a big Sandman in a last-ditch effort to destroy everyone’s favorite quipster. (Sandman’s a slightly less fun Clayface, now that I think about it.) I trust Insomniac to do something better than “And then Spidey splashed some water on the Sandman and saved the day!”
I always liked Mysterio. Outside of Jake Gyllenhaal and that time he tricked Wolverine into murdering all the X-Men, Mysterio is one of those unsung villains who, at best, can be described as a “minor inconvenience.” But there’s so much more to Quentin Beck than meets the eye. His power is basically “whatever weird illusionary stuff the writers could think of,” which lends itself well to a video game with gorgeous graphics.
I may be invalidating the above paragraph with this pitch, but I could see Mysterio being a one-quest wonder where Spider-Man enters an auditorium with a (literal) captive audience, forced to applaud the antics of a deranged Mysterio. Spidey gives chase, there’s a bunch of visual shenanigans, and then Mysterio gets punched in the face without the fanfare or dignity of a whole climactic showdown. Sometimes, the trope is there for a reason.
Don’t give me that look. I promise I’m not suggesting that the infamous Clone Saga be foisted onto poor Insomniac. Hell, Marvel barely knew how to write themselves out of it, so why would I ever want a studio as talented as Insomniac to suffer trying to incorporate that nonsense into their game? Seriously, if you have no frame of reference for what the Clone Saga is, look it up — a brief synopsis rather than a play-by-play because it’ll drive you as insane as Jackal himself.
Hear me out, though. You go full scorched earth on the storyline by having Spider-Man hear reports of a rogue creature on the loose, and as the mystery plays out, you uncover a gross, imperfect clone that’s this eight-legged abomination wearing a tattered Spider-Man costume created by Jackal to try and mold a superior, subservient “Spider Man (no hyphen, of course).” Yes, it’s in a state of unending agony. No, Spider-Man can’t kill it no matter how much he should — but best believe the mission ends with the Spider-Creature eating Jackal after Spidey punches through some requisite clones and makes me and a whole bunch of other players upset beyond our wildest nightmares.
2. El Muerto
Cards on the table, my impetus for this one is just to have a shameless reference to the first Spider-Man movie and Bonesaw. No, I’m not saying it. You know the quote. Anyway, I would love it if the game mechanically shifted during this encounter to emulate an actual wrestling match. You know what, maybe El Muerto really wants a challenge. He isn’t much of a “villain” when it comes down to it anyway, so why not have El Muerto challenge The Spider to a good ol’ wrasslin’ match?
Plus, Insomniac could give El Muerto more to do with an actual arc of his own — and this time, he won’t be stuck in development hell! Sure, you could argue he’s just “Dollar Store Bane,” but come on. Let’s not pretend Insomniac couldn’t pull off something awesome and give El Muerto the respect he deserves. Make him a Miles Morales villain! He needs more of his own anyway.
He was cool when he was first introduced, okay?! It’s not his fault Marvel saw dollar signs and kept returning to that well with diminishing returns! Morlun is a “psychic vampire” who could take whatever Spider-Man threw at him and then some. Before the Spider-Verse event in the comics and before the stupid Inheritors, Morlun was that guy — someone who even managed to shut Spider-Man up and forced the web-slinger to take his brand of menace seriously.
Could you imagine the glory and presence Insomniac could give to Morlun? In fact, I’d even say Morlun may deserve his own DLC expansion, truth be told. Do I like myself a joking, jovial Spider-Man? Absolutely. But there’s something raw and dark about introducing Morlun as a threat that neither Miles nor Peter can stop — even with their combined might. No Inheritors, no “totems,” no nonsense. Just a straight-up indomitable evil that requires both Spider-Men to dig deep to defeat. …And now I’m all hyped up and need to stop writing so I can prevent myself from being disappointed when Morlun doesn’t make his grand Insomniac debut.