The Neglected Nemeses: Electro

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Recently, we learned that the villain Electro was rumored to be the route that director Marc Webb and writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman were headed for the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man sequel. What better way to introduce my latest installment of The Neglected Nemeses? Some feel Electro is a secondary villain, but if you really look at the character and his abilities, I think he could be a lot of fun on the big screen. The fact that he is consistently beaten by Spidey only makes him that much more angry and drives him to go further and further with his antics; to the point that it pushes Parker to the brink of his own abilities. I think with a bit of work, Electro could be a rather menacing nemesis for Spider-Man.

Maxwell Dillon spent his time working as an electrical engineer and lineman and during a routine job repairing a damaged line, he was struck by lightning. The shock caused a mutagenic change in Maxwell that transformed him into a living electrical capacitor. Initially, his powers were weak, so to subsidize and grow his powers, he stole electrical equipment from Stark Industries. While this was happening, Magneto approached Maxwell, asking him to become a member of his Brotherhood, claiming that his powers could rival those of Magneto’s, but Dillon refused the mutant leader. The very next day, Dillon was approached by a small-time thug who came to collect money that Maxwell owed him. When the thug drew a gun, Maxwell quickly responded by sending a bolt of electricity through the man’s chest, killing him. Taking on the name Electro, Dillon turned to a life of crime and his first victim was J. Jonah Jameson. Electro broke into the Daily Bugle and robbed Jameson’s safe right in front of him. Jameson quickly blamed Spider-Man, claiming they were the same person. During the confrontation that occurred, Spider-Man was electrocuted and nearly killed when he touched Electro. Spidey ended the battle when he donned a pair of rubber gloves and turned a fire hose on to the villain, essentially causing him to short-circuit and temporarily lose his powers.

Electro went on to be embarrassingly defeated by Spider-Man multiple times. Finally taken to the brink of his tolerance, Electro decided to take over New York City by hijacking the city’s power supply. Having his plan thwarted by the Web-Slinger once a gain, he was convinced to retire by Spidey, but that did not last very long. The insane Spider-Man clone Kaine, began to dispose of all the enemies of Spider-Man, one by one, causing Electro to fear for his life. The electric villain then temporarily joined Mysterio’s Sinister Seven, who banded together to defeat Kaine. The clone was soon defeated and disappeared, which allowed Electro to return to retirement. When The Rose opted to fund an experiment that would heighten his powers, Electro decided he would participate and in return, act as an enforcer for her.  Having new-found powers, Electro attempted once again to prove his strength and gain respect by trying to take over the city’s power supply. Not surprisingly, Spidey was there to stop him, this time, wearing an insulated suit. In an effort to make a final grand gesture, Electro tossed himself into the Hudson river while fully charged, seemingly killing the villain.

Electro later resurfaced as a member of the new Sinister Six, who were formed to kill Senator Stewart Ward and Doctor Octopus, whom they disliked for his arrogance. Electro’s powers had reverted back to their pre-amplification levels and he was now wearing a new blue and white costume. When Venom turned on his fellow Sinister Six members, he attacked Electro, leaving him to die. He once again survived and when he returned, he was wearing his usual green and yellow costume. In the early 2000’s, Electro had teamed with Vulture; both were attacked by Spider-Man, who had assumed the duo had kidnapped Aunt May. In a fierce battle, Electro had used his powers in a more “intelligent” way, using them to blow up nearby cars, killing innocent civilians. The battle soon moved to a gas refinery where Spidey once again came out on top, badly injuring Electro. The villain quickly recovered and joined Green Goblin’s Sinister 12, who were defeated thanks to the help of the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Captain America, Iron Man and Yellow Jacket.

Electro has taken on several other Marvel heroes in his time. Early on, he was confronted by Daredevil when he attempted to break into the Baxter Building. He was quickly defeated by Daredevil. In a battle against the Falcon, he was defeated mainly due to his lack of respect for the Falcon’s power. Electro also attacked the Fantastic Four during the wedding of Reed Richards and Sue Storm. Come to find out, his mind was under the control of Doctor Doom. Thanks to Mr. Fantastic, Electro has no recollection of the incident. In an attempt at retribution against Daredevil, Electro formed the second version of the Emissaries of Evil, which consisted of Gladiator, Stilt-Man, Leap Frog and the Matador.

In looking at the many rogues of Spider-Man, there is no denying the fact that he some very eclectic people to battle against; ranging from Sandman and Rhino, to Green Goblin and Kraven. All of them offering up something very different from one another. We have seen Doc Ock and Green Goblin on film, both of which were done fairly well. In the third Spider-Man film, we were forced to watch Sandman and Venom, or a watered-down version of them. In the upcoming reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man, we will see our first glimpse of the Lizard, which could prove to be highly entertaining, (time will tell on that one) and we are likely to get an idea of who the Web-Slinger will take on next. I say…bring on Electro. While he can come across as cheesy (just look at that get-up!), he could prove to be a very cool baddie to see on film. With the special effects we have these days, seeing a villain with powers like this would be a ton of fun to see. His costume would have to be toned down a bit to make it more acceptable on the big screen, possibly using the look he had in The Amazing Spider-Man, with his face covered in burns and scars. As long as we avoid using the Ultimates version. (Can you imagine?!) Either way, I think it’s time we see this baddie hit the silver screen.

There have been many fan-casts that include Electro, and there is one name that has shown up repeatedly; an actor who has owned just about every role he has been given. Ben Foster has proven time and again that he is a phenomenal actor often over-looked in his roles. He has actually had parts in three previous comic book movies (X-Men: The Last Stand, 30 Days of Night and Punisher) and was a stand out in all of them. Some of his more impressive roles include a villain role in 3:10 To Yuma, a role in which he stole the spotlight from the likes of Russel Crowe and Christian Bale. In Alpha Dog, he played a brother on the hunt, tracking down the punks who kidnapped his younger brother. He continued on to star opposite Woody Harrelson in The Messenger, gaining quite a bit of attention for that role. No doubt he has the chops and the passion to take on a role like this and add a new, twisted spin on the character. But I’d like to toss out another name for the role: Aaron Paul. The actor has garnered a lot of attention for his part in AMC’s Breaking Bad and would bring a different feel to Electro. While Foster would bring the not-so-controlled chaos that he is capable of, Paul could bring the cool, calm and collected element, taking a more psychological route against Spider-Man, in addition to his elemental powers. Regardless of which of these two actors you choose, they’ed be a great addition to The Amazing Spider-Man sequel. Which would you rather see?

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