Marvel Looks At ‘Spiral’ Villains

ASMSpiralGerry Conway’s return to Amazing Spider-Man starts tomorrow with Amazing Spider-Man #16.1, in a story arc called Spiral.

Nature abhors a vacuum, and Marvel’s criminal underworld is no different. takes a look at the criminal heavies who are now clashing with one another to be ‘the Big Boss’ with Wilson Fisk no longer in control.


Whether you have the squeakiest-clean business or the sleaziest, most underhanded, having more than one person talking to folks like they work for them can be a nightmare. With Kingpin out of the picture, a whole host of lowlifes have risen to the occasion, all of them striving to be criminal numero uno.

Before the “Spiral” saga by legendary writer Gerry Conway kicks into high gear in this week’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #16.1, get acquainted with the upstarts trying to usurp Wilson Fisk’s empire!

The Circus of Crime: Lacking the hilarity—and abject terror—of traditional clowns, the majesty of large animals riding small vehicles, or the whimsy of a French circus, the Circus Of Crime demands respect. Corralled by their on-again off-again leader, Ringmaster, these nefarious foes of Spider-Man have returned to town with no plans of moving on anytime soon.

Black Cat: Descending from a lineage of famous criminals, Felicia Hardy possesses the charisma, experience, and persuasive qualities one would need to excel in the underworld.  Plus, she’s made the right connections in her long career on both sides of the law—and the wits to exploit them all.

Hammerhead: Hammerhead legitimately fits the bill of a crime lord—as well as the most likely hood to use the word “see” after every sentence whilst flipping a coin. Draped in dapper duds, the titanium-skulled, tommy gun-toting, wise guy refuses to play second fiddle to anyone. The “Roaring 20’s” might be long gone, but this guy’s planning the blood soaked revival.

Tombstone: One of the underworld’s most ruthless gangsters, Tombstone waited for the day he’d finally be called the boss. A former flunky of Kingpin and Hammerhead, Lonnie Lincoln grew tired of being the best number two in the game. With his teeth filed as sharp as his ambition, Tombstone possesses the chops to become an even more fearsome master than his predecessor.

Mister Negative: Created the same day as Cloak and Dagger, Martin Li—the man later known as Mister Negative—did not get his name by being a cynical pessimist.  Powered by the Darkforce, this savage criminal mastermind tangled with heroes and villains on his rise to the top. His organization waged war with the likes of The Hood and battled Spider-Man on numerous outings.

I’d dare say the current ‘Murder Murder Kill Kill’ Black Cat can’t possibly have many connections left on the right side of the law. Nevertheless, I was struck with a longing for Superior Foes of Spider-Man after reading this tonight. All of the players here (except for the Circus of Crime) were prominently featured in the recent Nick Spencer & Steve Lieber Superior Foes comics, and some of them were fighting against one another for control of the Maggia. Sadly, I doubt Spiral will acknowledge any of that.

Me personally? I am pulling for either Hammerhead or Tombstone. The rest are a bunch of candy asses who never could have outfought Santino (heh!) I exempt Black Cat from this because Marvel’s current take on the character is so wildly off base.

Either way – something to actually look forward to! And to celebrate so many great street villains, here’s a blast from the plast with my favorite song from Bugsy Malone.

–George Berryman!

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(4) Comments

  1. F

    After hearing that song I'm wearing circus colours in NYC! For the Old-School Gangters! Been reading a lot of classic marvel recently and they keep showing up like an actual threat, you'd think that they'd get more respect just for being around so long without being killed off, If they tried to crash an avengers wedding these days the "heroes" would've blown all their heads off and declared marshal law. Their connection with Hawkeye should get them some cred too It's rather bizarre after reading their original appearances to see so many old Villains reduced to joke characters only for their unpopular replacements to also fall to joke status and for all of them to be maligned by writer and reader alike with few seeing the irony. Great to see old characters taken seriously Great to see Spider-man in what almost looks like an actual Spider-man story Great to see slott's not involved And that song just reminded me of why I'm a Spidy-fan in the first place, so thanks for that

  2. Ryan3178

    I completely agree George but I have a soft spot for the Circus in my heart. I agree, I feel that Superior Foes will be forgotten. I do look forward to Conway's take on the Circus and Me. Negative. Love the concept but the origin was lazy.

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