Two minor Spider-Man villains just deployed a surprising combo move against their fellow Marvel bad guys in the Sinister War event.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Sinister War #2 from Marvel Comics, now on sale.
Kindred has effectively forced all of Spider-Man’s enemies against one another in the so-called Sinister War — with the victors being the ones who finally bring down the Wall-Crawler once and for all. While Spider-Man has handled all of the participating villains on their own and even as parts of teams, the sheer number of villains engaging him in conflict is quickly overwhelming Spider-Man.
Even the villains themselves are revealing just how powerful they can be to those that would underestimate them — with two undersung classic Spider-Man bad villains, Hydro-Man and Shocker, working together and revealing an impressive new combo move during Sinister War #2 by Nick Spencer, Bed Brisson, Mark Bagley, Dioegenes Neves, Carlos Gomez, and Ze Carlos.
The Shocker and Hydro-Man have never been considered top-tier Spider=Man villains. Though the Shocker’s gauntlets have proven incredibly versatile over the years and Hydro-Man’s liquid body makes him shockingly durable and deadly, the two have often been considered low-level enemies of Spider-Man. Even other villains are quick to ridicule them, with the Shocker, in particular, being something of a punching bag to his fellow villains and teammates in the Superior Foes of Spider-Man series by Spencer and Steve Lieber. However, they’ve both been recruited to another team, largely recreating their incarnation of the Sinister Six (albeit with Shocker’s long-time friend Hydro-Man replacing the Beetle, who now leads the female-centric Syndicate).
Stealing Spider-Man away from the Foreigner and his team (Chance, Jack O’Lantern, Slyde, Taskmaster, and Black Ant) before they kill Spider-Man, Boomerang and Overdrive try to make their escape with Spider-Man while Shocker and Hydro-Man advance. Although Chance and Jack O’Lantern avoid the watery assault from Hydro-Man, the other four villains are quickly soaked by Hydro-Man growing around them and hitting them with a wave made out of his body. Initially, they’re otherwise unaffected by the apparent weak attack — with Taskmaster complaining that Hydro-Man was always the worst of the regular Spider-Man enemies.
But it turns out he and Shocker have been practicing how to quickly drench enemies in water and pull back fast enough for Shocker to then deploy a new electro-shock function built into his gauntlets. Electricity quickly spreads through the water and immobilizes the assembled villains almost instantly. Calling the move the “Hydro-Electric Damned,” Shocker openly admits that the move won’t kill them — but it shouldn’t be an easy move for them to recover from either. All in all, it’s a very effective technique, halting four villains at once while allowing Hydro-Man to avoid the attack and continue on the offensive against the other villains who weren’t caught up in the initial blast.
It’s an impressive move by the two villains and one that seems additionally effective because of the lack of respect and fear they tend to get from their fellow villains. With the right tactics, these two villains could be far more dangerous than anyone gives them credit for. If they could be this creative in their other fights, then they might have some more victories under their belt. As it stands at least, this should give the other villains — including Taskmaster, who has held his own against entire rosters of Avengers — more pause the next time they try to call the pair out for being lame villains.
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