If you’ve seen Sony’s Spider-Man franchise reboot The Amazing Spider-Man already, and judging by the box office numbers you probably have, than you know that they left some plot threads hanging with the promise that they will play out in the next installment of the franchise. That promise comes in the form of a scene that pops up midway through the film’s end credits with the appearance of a mystery man cloaked in smoke and shadows in Dr. Curt Connors cell to inquire whether Peter Parker has learned the truth about his parents. But who is this mystery man? We dig into Spider-Man’s rogues gallery to run down some suspects.
Norman Osborn – As owner of OsCorp and the alter ego of the Green Goblin, Norman Osborn is pretty much the big bad of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery. Although he doesn’t make an appearance in the new film, his presence is surely felt by all, especially Dr. Connors, whose work with cross-species genetics could hold the cure for a mysterious ailment it is hinted that Osborn is suffering from. However, Ifans himself has flat-out denied that it was Osborn who was visiting Connors in an interview he gave to Capone at Aint It Cool News –
Capone: Okay, what do you think about that ending?
RI: Well, Connors is basically locked up in a very high-security mental institution.
Capone: We were debating whether it was a prison or a mental institute.
RI: It’s not a zoo. [laughs] I kept seeing it as maybe a mixture of both. Then a representative from OsCorp appears miraculously in the room. How he gets in there and how he leaves, we don’t know. Maybe we will find out. But it’s not Norman Osborn.
Capone: It’s not? You can say that?
RI: Yeah. But it is someone who is in the employ of Norman Osborn without question.
Capone: Someone we’re familiar with, who we don’t know is employed by Osborn?
Capone: Okay, interesting.
I had no doubt that Osborn will show up at some point in this new trilogy but just like the Emperor in the original Star Wars trilogy, it looks like our hero won’t have a direct face-off with him until the last installment. – Rich Drees
The Answer – The Answer is one of the most lesser known villains in Spider-Man’s rogue’s gallery, but not for lack of an intriguing power set. First appearing in 1984’s Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man and created by Al Milgrom and Jim Mooney, The Answer was a lackey for the crime boss, the Kingpin whose powers were simply whatever powers were needed at a particular time. Like, if he was in a fight with a rival gang, he’d gain invulnerability and super strength, or if he was tossed out of a plane, he’d be able to fly. And if he had to get into a locked room to intimidate a scientist, he be able to do whatever it takes to make that happen.
While he does have the powers to sneak into Connors cell, and a comic book resume as a henchman, I think fans would get up in arms if such an obscure Spidey villain made it into the films before more iconic villains such as Vulture and Rhino. Besides, if you are not going to bring the character’s garish circus airialist uniform from the comics into live action, then the whole thing just isn’t worth it.- William Gatevackes
The Cloak, aka Ty Johnson, is actually one half of the superpowered duo of Cloak and Dagger. As teen runaways, the two were forced to be guinea pigs for an experimental new form of heroine that either gave them powers or awakened latent mutant abilities, depending on when the story is being told. In Cloak’s case, he gained the ability to open a portal to a rather inhospitable-sounding place called the Dark Dimension to which he banishes bad guys. He also can turn intangible and teleport, two skills handy to have if you wanted to visit someone in a maximum security prison facility.
Although they first encountered Spider-Man as heroes early in their war on the drug trade, Cloak’s origin could easily be tweaked to make Ty Johnson a guinea pig in one of OsCorps many experiments and perhaps beholden to them through an addiction created by that experiment.
Unfortunately, even though the mystery villain certainly fits Cloak’s profile, we have to disqualify for him for reasons outside of the film’s narrative. Specifically, the rights to the character of Cloak, and his partner Dagger, does not lie with Sony/Columbia Pictures but with Marvel Studios. Currently, the pair are just one of a number of properties that Marvel is developing for television, in this case specifically ABC Family. So while we won’t see him here, we may see the character in live action soon. – RD
Spot- The Spot is another obscure Spider-Man villain created in 1984 by Al Milgrom in the pages of Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man, this time in conjunction with Herb Trimpe. His comic book origin ties in closely with Cloak, as he was a scientist in the employ of the Kingpin who was hired to explore the Darkforce Dimension where Cloak gets his teleportation powers in order to duplicate them. A lab accident resulted in the scientist getting powers similar to The Cloak, but in the form of black circles on his bleached white skin. He could remove the circles to create portals he could teleport through.
The Spot is less obscure than the Answer, but not for a good reason. He is roundly mocked in the world of comics for a lame design (he would later appear in the Spider-Man books in a team dubbed “The Legion of Losers”). If the Answer being selected would infuriate fans of Spidey’s classic villains, the Spot would send them into an apoplectic rage. However, if the producers can’t get Cloak because of rights issues and want a Darkforce based villain with similar abilities, the Spot might be just what they are looking for. –WG
Chameleon – With his uncanny ability to impersonate nearly anyone, Russian emigrant Dmitri Smerdyakov’s criminal activities have been a thorn in Spider-Man’s side since almost the beginning of his superhero career. Although he first used makeup and acting techniques to impersonate Spider-Man and others over the course of his crime career, over the years Smerdyakov upgraded his methods of disguise with a number of different technologies including a gas that could mold his features, holographic projectors and finally a surgical process that allows him to alter his appearance at will.
(A side question – Does the character’s Cold War origins suggest that he was created to be an allegory for Communism?)
His abilities clearly suggest that he would have no trouble in infiltrating a prison facility to contact Connors and in a number of the times that he has joined the various alliances of Spider-Man’s villains he has served in a similar, intelligence gathering position. However, the Mystery Man’s appearance out of the shadows seems a bit too theatrical to fit the Chameleon’s usual MO. While I could see him showing up in a future film under Norman Osborn’s employ, I don’t think we have intentionally been shown him yet. – RD
Venom/Carnage– While we have already seen one version of Venom, one based on the mainstream Marvel Comics line, in Spider-Man 3, The Amazing Spider-Man takes elements from Marvel’s Ultimate Comics offshoot. Ultimate Comics was created in 2000 to provide new readers with a more accessible version of the Marvel characters. This new universe featured familiar Marvel characters with slight to major changes to their histories and origins.
In the Ultimate Universe, the Venom symbiote was not an alien life form, but a medical experiment created by Richard Parker and another scientist named Eddie Brock, Sr in an attempt to find a cure for cancer. It was a protoplasmic suit that acted as a super antibody, one that would bond to a specific person and attack cancer cells inside the body while protecting the host from any outside harm. But if anyone else besides the intended user tried to wear the suit, the suit would attack the host, driving them crazy, and eventually drain their life force.
The Ultimate Carnage was created by the Ultimate Curt Conners by combining his blood with Peter Parker’s blood and a part of the Venom experiment. It essentially becomes a life force vampire, attacking humans to drain them of their life force.
The Ultimate Venom would fit in with the story the new trilogy is trying to tell and anyone wearing the symiotic suit would easily be able to disappear into the shadows and infiltrate a mental hospital room. – WG
Mephisto – Not so much a Spider-Man villain per se, the demonic entity known as Mephisto has been plaguing many of the heroes in the Marvel Comics universe over the years. Considering his demonic origins, he has mainly been an adversary of some of the more mystical and cosmic characters like Dr. Strange, Ghost Rider and the Silver Surfer.
In fact, the one time that he squared off against Spider-Man, he wound up making an enemy of a number of Spidey fans as well. At the conclusion of the One More Day storyline, Peter Parker makes a deal with Mephisto to save his Aunt May’s life in exchange for erasing from history Peter’s marriage to the love of his life Mary Jane Watson. Supposedly Mephisto proposed the bargain out of his hatred for Peter and Mary Jane’s happiness, but comments from Marvel’s publisher Joe Quesada indicated that it was a change because he felt that Peter Parker is a more interesting character to read when he is single than when he is married.
Despite the smoky nature of his entrance, it is incredibly doubtful that the film’s mystery man is Mephisto for a number of reasons, the biggest one being that the film rights to the character were most likely never part of the overall package for Spider-Man. – RD
Mysterio – If judging by the showmanship of the mystery man’s entrance into Connor’s cell, than Mysterio could very well be the identity of the visitor. A former special effects wizard, Quentin Beck decided that he could use his knowledge for a bigger payday than what he was earning in the movies. He fought against Spider-Man a number of times, both solo and as a part of various team-ups of supervillains.
As you can see from the picture at left, Mysterio’s usual costume is green spandex with a purple cloak, gloves and a fish bowl-like helmet. It is a far cry from the look that the mystery man was sporting. But the fact that it appears as if the mystery man is in the employ of Norman Osborn, who as the Green Goblin was also part of some of those supervillain team-ups in the comics, gives the idea that we saw Mysterio in the scene some weight. – RD
A Hallucination- Curt Connors was hurdling down the spiral staircase to madness as The Amazing Spider-Man progressed, even indulging in a melodramatic dialogue with himself. Is it so outlandish that he could have imagined his strange visitor in his cell in the button scene? Absolutely not.
Would the film makers throw such a red herring at us? Wouldn’t they know that button scenes are always supposed to tell the truth?
If the person talking to Connors was all in his mind, then all bets are off. The hallucination could have just been an embodiment of Connor’s dark side. It could have been any of the characters we mentioned above. It could have been a character who is new to the film trilogy and has never appeared in comics. Or it could have been a legendary comic character that you wouldn’t expect to be able to breaking into a secure mental health facility but was able to because he was a figment of Connors’ imagination. Then we’d really have to wait until the sequel to find out. –WG