Spider-Man has made a lot of enemies in his career. His rogues gallery rivals that of Batman's in both size and notoriety. The Green Goblin, Kingpin, Venom, and more are all notable villains existing within the Spider-Man mythos.
With so many classic baddies, it makes sense that Sony wanted to get as many of them as possible on the big screen. Done in waves, this can work just fine, but trouble has ensued when too many of Spider-Man's antagonists have shared the same screen.
Spider-Man 3 was the first Spidey film to have this problem. The film was way too cluttered with villains, each of them getting their own side story; Venom, Sandman, and Harry Osborn's New Goblin were all featured in the film, all with their own personal vendetta against Peter Parker and/or Spider-Man.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 tried the same thing ten years later, cramming in villains like Electro, Green Goblin, and Rhino to about the same negative result. After two failed attempts, you'd think that people would stop trying to fill Spider-Man movies with more than one villain. However, Marvel, being the risk-takers that they are, tried again with #SpiderManHomecoming, and surprisingly, this time it worked.
'Spider-Man: Homecoming' Also Incorporates A Great Number Of Spider-Man Villains
Spider-Man: Homecoming finds our hero facing off against #AdrianToomes, a.k.a the Vulture. Toomes is the main villain in the film, but Peter Parker also comes across many other villains from Spider-Man's impressive rogues gallery. Aiding Toomes in his evil duties are his coworkers Phineas Mason, Herman Schultz and Jackson Brice, portrayed by Michael Chernus, Bokeem Woodbine and Logan Marshall-Green, respectively.
Mason is the Tinkerer, a brilliant inventor and technician who makes dangerous weapons for other supervillains. His knack for taking advanced technology (such as the Chitauri tech from the Battle of New York) makes him the perfect man to design weapons for Vulture.
Marshall-Green and Woodbine both portray different incarnations of the Shocker. Both Brice and Schultz are known for wearing gauntlets that can shoot out powerful blasts of compressed air. With Brice, Schultz and Mason all working under Toomes, Homecoming already has four #SpiderMan villains in the same film. But surprisingly, it doesn't stop there.
Besides the main crew of Spidey villains featured in Homecoming, the movie also features supporting appearances from Donald Glover and Michael Mando, who portray Aaron Davis and Mac Gargan, respectively.
Fans of #PeterParker's adventures in the comics should recognize Gargan's name as the alter-ego of Scorpion, a ruthless villain with enhanced speed and strength, and a grip as strong as a real scorpion's pincers. As if he weren't deadly enough, the comics see Gargan donning a scorpion-like suit that comes with a deadly sharp mechanical tail.
Aaron Davis isn't a character that originated in the mainstream Spider-Man comics, having made his debut in the Ultimate Marvel universe. Davis is a cat burglar known as the Prowler. He's also the uncle of Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man, a fact that was subtly referenced in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
But 'Homecoming' Manages To Balance Its Villains Well
Despite having a total of six villains, Homecoming isn't slowed down by them. That's because, rather than give each character a side story explaining their motives or their origins, the film focuses on the story it came to tell: Spider-Man taking on the #Vulture, with the rest of the villains comfortably on the sidelines.
Besides Vulture, the other villains in the film don't get a real backstory. Instead, Homecoming delivers the best way to display Spider-Man's rogue's gallery; by showing us that there are criminals out there, lurking in the shadows, but not necessarily forcing them all to come out of the darkness at once.
This is why Homecoming works, despite the amount of villains it contains. Spider-Man 3 didn't work because it tried to give every one of its villains a separate and complete character arc: Eddie Brock is a photographer set on replacing Peter Parker as the Daily Bugle's Spider-Man expert, before he comes into contact with the alien symbiote that transforms him into Venom. Flint Marko is an escaped convict who resorts to a life of a crime in order to get the money needed to help his sick daughter; he's then transformed into the Sandman after an unfortunate accident in a government testing facility. Finally, Harry Osborn decides to take revenge on Spider-Man, believing the hero killed his father, Norman Osborn. So he suits up and becomes the new Green Goblin in an effort to end Spidey's life.
This was all packed into a two-hour film that was supposed to be about Peter Parker learning how to truly appreciate his powers and the responsibility that comes with them. As you might have guessed, the movie was way too cluttered. #Homecoming avoids this issue by keeping the villain focus on Vulture, giving him and him alone the tragic backstory and personal crusade to thwart our hero.
The stories of the other villains will undoubtedly be revealed in future Spider-Man movies, but for now, Homecoming sticks to one villain's arc, teasing the rest with clever comic book nods and sequel-building post-credits scenes. That's what makes Homecoming's showcasing of Spider-Man's rogue's gallery such an impressive and successful feat.