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Psych Ward

Psych Ward: The Sinister Six

Will the most dangerous foes of Spider-Man hit the big time or implode?

By Tim Stevens

As requested, here are the dossiers this writer created on the so-called “Sinister Six.” I should warn you that these details are, of course, not 100% up-to-date. In particular, numerous sources declare both Otto Octavius and Aleksei Sytsevich deceased, something that this writer urges you to take note of. The staff has done their best to bring information current, but we have had to rely on secondary sources, for the most part, to do so and therefore have only included information we were able to confirm from multiple sources.

Additionally, only what can legally be shared in accordance with state and federal law and any releases the clients chose to sign is included. As stated previously, you can choose to go through with your subpoenas for the full records if you wish, but laws and ethical standards are both in agreement and quite clear on this.

Doctor Octopus: Doctor Otto Octavius is an unquestionable genius who has shown aptitude in a multitude of scientific fields, especially robotics and physics. He has demonstrated time and again that he is very aware of this fact, often presenting as arrogant and assured of his own superiority.

It appears this arrogance may mask significant insecurities. Octavius grew up in a difficult household and went on to a career where most of his co-workers treated him with either indifference or casual mockery. This continued on into his second career as a super villain as Spider-Man would consistently degrade and embarrass the subject.

By all evidence, Octavius succumbed to a chronic illness several months ago. Towards the end of his life, his behavior became increasingly unusual and unreliable. He consistently rejected end of life counseling from prison psychologists and several contractors, including our office. Yet, several days later, he agreed to speak to this writer and presented in a way that was wholly inconsistent with all previous data on him. Although one’s own death can obviously make a person take stock and perhaps attempt to alter him or herself in their final days, this change seemed above and beyond that and not the result of any organic brain issues. Unfortunately, the client died before he could be more fully evaluated by this writer or anyone else.

Sandman: William Baker, now known as Flint Marko, is a challenge to understand. His personality has proven rather unstable over the years. At times he has acted as hero, at others as a villain. He is typically of around average intelligence, but has also been childlike or nearly mindless at others.

Following his defeat by the costume vigilante Spider-Man and the mercenary Silver Sable, Sandman was isolated to his single “control” grain of sand and incarcerated. Despite repeated requests, no one was granted the right to evaluate him in this form to determine how being reduced to this form might have affected his mental health. At last request, the official response has been that Sandman is “no longer in state custody.” However, the federal government also denies having him and both sources insist he did not break out of his prison. Whatever the case is, given Baker’s reactions to previous bodily traumas that involved the severe restriction of control over his physical form it is entirely possible that his mental state is significantly impaired, wherever he might be.

Rhino: Aleksei Sytsevich is a tragic individual. While, arguably, he was always bound for a life of crime, an experiment that went amiss placed him in this very specific subset of criminals where he has never quite fit in fully. He is, to speak frankly, a thug, a low level criminal who would’ve been good at following orders and providing muscle. Instead, he finds himself often trapped in his “costume” and trapped into life as a super villain.

Sytsevich did recently attempt to give up the life, meeting and marrying a woman, and settling down. Unfortunately his old life came looking for him in the guise of a new Rhino. While Sytsevich, with Spider-Man’s help, was able to defeat the new Rhino, he was unable to save his wife. His new “straight” life destroyed, he re-embraced his Rhino persona.

Shortly after, he appeared to have died while battling Spider-Man and others on behalf of Doctor Octopus’s global extortion scheme. Although no body was discovered, reports held that he essentially committed an act of suicide, not wishing to live in a world without his deceased wife. Unfortunately, his act also cost Silver Sable her life.

Chameleon: While the Chameleon was born Dmitri Smerdyakov, his ability to take on the appearances of others paired with his own weak self esteem and lack of self knowledge, has long since erased who Smerdyakov might have turned out to be.

His unstable self image aside, however, the subject is a crafty, dangerous person. While certainly presenting as arrogant much of the time, he has shown a lack of ego in terms of what he is willing to endure to achieve his goals and protect himself. This has included feigning insanity on multiple occasions. Or so he claims. This may be a case of retroactive justification for true psychotic episodes.

In a recent melee, Smerdyakov disappeared from incarceration. However, it is unclear if this was something he had planned, a simple case of good luck, or a removal against his will. Certainly, at least a few of the people attempting to secure him during the break-in appeared to wish to harm him, not save him from jail time. Besides a brief glimpse of what might have been him captured by a traffic cam that happened to have view inside of an Italian restaurant due to an act of vandalism, there are no indications of where Smerdyakov is or what his current activities are.

Electro: In a field known for severely insecure people, Maxwell Dillon has developed quite a reputation for being one of the most self-doubting. This drove him to retire for a time, following his biggest attempt at committing a crime being thwarted by, as usual, Spider-Man.

Obviously, he eventually returned to crime, thanks, in part, to power upgrades. However, these upgrades left him scarred and unable to control his powers. How this disfigurement and physical isolation will affect him is unclear in the long term.

Another important recent change appears to be a growing hatred of the Avenger Thor. Apparently harboring a grudge due to a previous defeat, Dillon pursued even further modifications to his physical body with the intention of murdering Thor. Several eyewitness accounts indicate this somewhat far-fetched idea might have actually had a chance of being realized until Spider-Man intervened and helped defeat the criminal.

Strangely, no one has been able to located Dillon since and Spider-Man has not explained where his solution to stopping Dillon might have sent him.

Mysterio: Quentin Beck was once a master of special effects. However, not satisfied with merely having a well paying job he was respected for doing well, he attempted to parlay his skills into crime. He felt he deserved more.

This grandiose thinking has driven him repeatedly to stage more and more elaborate attempts at beating Spider-Man and has consistently gained him nothing but defeat.

Beck’s current whereabouts are unknown. The most recent confirmed information available is that he helped defeat Doctor Octopus after being the terrorist’s ally for most of his global extortion plan. After that, things get very murky and odd. There are numerous claims of Beck bragging about inter-dimensional travel and plans to definitively kill “not just one, but two Spider-Men.” Some believe he get himself stuck in another dimension.

However, there are also reports of him battling Spider-Man more recently. Unfortunately, several have insisted that Spider-Man repeatedly stated that that Mysterio was not, in fact, Beck, but an impostor of some kind. Once again, Spider-Man defeated the villain but since then there are no records of trials, incarcerations, or any other follow-up on whoever was dressed as Mysterio,

Please refer to the work of Doctors Christopher Yost and Marco Checchetto for further information on the Sinister Six. Their latest volume of scholarship is called Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #5 and is available for review on October 23.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant and Psychology intern at a small(ish) university in New York City.

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