Alot’s been said about Spider-Man and its loving and respectful adaptation of the famous wallcrawler and everything to do with him, and it’s been said again and again. Mostly because it’s really true. Insomniac’s devotion to one of the world’s most popular superhero shines through in every inch of the game, and one such area where that happens is with the villains. The group of baddies we come across in Spider-Man is an excellent one, and though a few have clearly been developed much better than a lot of the others, every encounter still feels unique and memorable.
The game also lays down plenty of groundwork for some of the villains we’ll be coming up against in the inevitable sequel, and here in this feature, we’re going to talk about eight antagonists we think we’re going to see quite a lot of in the inevitable Spider-Man 2 (or whatever Insomniac chooses to call it).
This list will contain a mixture of new antagonists, and bad guys we’ve already seen in Spider-Man but expect to see making a return. So without further ado, let’s jump right in.
Obviously, there will be spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t played Spider-Man to completion yet, read on at your own risk.
Ah, the big one. Alongside the likes of Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus, Venom is perhaps the villain that gets associated with Spider-Man most often. A great many people expected to see the Symbiote in some form or another in the very first game itself, but Insomniac made it clear in the build up to the game’s launch that that wouldn’t be the case, that the alien symbiote was far too big a deal to just cram into a game that was already brimming with other notable bad guys. But you know what? Those people weren’t wrong. Venom may only have appeared for a single second right at the very end of the game, but that fraction of a second was enough to send Spidey fans all across the globe screaming with j0y.
The setup done here is incredibly exciting, and it’s become increasingly clear that Venom is going to be an integral part of Spidey’s plot in upcoming instalments. Seeing the symbiote attached to Harry Osborn, whose ill person floats in a stasis tank, may have sent us all reeling with a thousand questions in our minds, but the possibilities are endless. Are we going to see a Venom without an Eddie Brock? Perhaps this is some other rendition of the symbiote- Carnage? Riot? Red Goblin? Something else entirely? In the Ultimate Spider-Man animated TV show, Harry Osborn and the symbiote very often went hand in hand, so are Insomniac going to take inspiration from that storyline, perhaps? Whatever it is, it sets up truly exciting things for the sequel.
Oh, and speaking of Goblin…
Even though we never really saw Green Goblin in Spider-Man, the Osborns were at the heart of the game’s story from start to finish. In the eight years that Peter Parker has been Spidey, he has come up against many bad guys, some of whom we’ll be speaking of going forward, but the game made it pretty clear that Norman Osborn, for all his shady, slimy ways, hasn’t made use of the infamous glider up until now. But surely, without Green Goblin, there can be no Spider-Man, and the game does more than enough setup for what is perhaps Spidey’s most famous villain to make an entrance with a bang in the inevitable sequel.
Hints of Norman Osborn’s misguided experiments are peppered throughout the experience. GR-27, or Devil’s Breath, may or may not have something to do with Green Goblin, something that becomes even more of a question mark when you take Venom’s involvement into consideration, but even if you ignore the failed science experiment completely, there are still plenty of little hints that point to the rise of the Goblin in the future. The glider is mentioned and hinted at very clearly in the Oscorp lobby, Gobbie’s Pumpkin Grenades are shown in Norman’s hidden lab, while the entrance to his hidden lab itself is revealed by putting on a mask that looks way too much like Green Goblin’s ugly mug.
Otto Octavius’ transformation and his descent into villainy as the eight limbed Dr. Octopus were handled expertly by Insomniac in Spider-Man, taking cues from Sam Raimi’s rendition of the character and his relationship with Peter Parker more than anything else. Even though the moment he appeared on the screen, most of us knew where the story was headed, the game portrayed him in such a way that there were still moments of doubt when we couldn’t help but think- is this really going where I think this is going? Otto’s relationship with Peter and his motivations were written very well, so that when he did become the infamous Dr. Octopus, his transformation felt earned, and had more impact than it would have in any other scenario.
And even though Spider-Man ends up defeating the disgraced scientist at the end of the game, there’s still plenty of setup for him to return in some capacity in the sequels. We haven’t seen the last of Otto Octavius, that much is abundantly clear, and the final shot of him in his prison cell with an expression of absolute contempt and rage on his face should also clue you into the fact that he hasn’t given up on his misguided, evil ways. But how is he going to be integrated into the story going forward? Well, that brings us to our next point…
As we get closer to Otto Octavius’ tragic descent in Spider-Man, we start seeing hints of yet another major antagonist possibly making an appearance in the future. Otto is shown as a scientist with a lot of ideas but simply not enough funding to back them up throughout Spider-Man, but when the game revealed that he was being funded by A.I.M., the alarm bells surely went off in the heads of millions of Marvel fans. A.I.M., or Advanced Idea Mechanics, you see, is a very rich organization that, as Marvel fans would know, is also composed of villains and supervillains that seek to overthrow governments across the world through less than fair means.
A.I.M.’s funding of Otto’s deadly experiments, as well as Peter’s remarks about how the scientist shouldn’t be getting in bed with the shady organization, provide lots of clues about the future of the series. There’s no doubt that we’ll be seeing the organization in a big way in Spider-Man 2, and perhaps even in further sequels, as part of an overarching plotline that spans more than just one game.
Incidentally, Otto Octavius isn’t the only character in the game that has ties with A.I.M. Who else, you ask?