The Ending of 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' Teases a Classic Villain
A plethora of updated Spider-Man villains pop up alongside The Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming, including The Tinkerer, The Prowler, two versions of The Shocker. But one of the rogue gallery's staples, and a bad dude who could show up in future sequels for Peter Parker and Marvel Studios’ Marvel Cinematic Universe, isn’t truly revealed until the post credits scene: The Scorpion.
Miss him? In the film, Gargan doesn’t have any super-powers. In fact, he basically gets the crap beat out of him on the Staten Island Ferry once Spider-Man and the FBI show up to foil his illegal arms deal he was making with the Toomes crew. The blue-collar crew seems a little wary of Gargan and his hardened criminals, but (unbeknownst to Peter) Tony Stark has already alerted the FBI to their activities. Gargan gets thrown around and manages to stay alive as the ferry is ripped apart. If only he was his comic book counterpart.
Back in Amazing Spider-Man #19, a private detective named Macdonald Gargan (“Mac” for short) was hired by J. Jonah Jameson to find out how aspiring photographer Peter Parker was getting such good photos of Spider-Man. Gargan fails, of course, but that doesn’t stop Jameson from roping him into some light genetic mutation therapy and a super-suit, transforming him into the villain The Scorpion.
Eventually, Gargan ditches The Scorpion act and becomes the third Earthly host of the "Venom" Symbiote (previously seen turning Topher Grace into a fanged ball of black goo in 2007's Spider-Man 3). Gargan Venom spawns some other Symbiotes like Anti-Venom and Toxin during his run, as well as becoming a “dark Spider-Man” for the "Dark Avengers," then… well, that's a long story. With a Venom spinoff set to take off next year, expect Gargan to stick to The Scorpion suit in any potential sequels. Which is a total possibility.
After a few visually stunning credits flash by at the conclusion of Homecoming, we’re transported back to a prison where Adrian Toomes is about to go visit his family (presumably before they leave New York to avoid the publicity of a trial), when he runs across a familiar face. It's Mac Gargan, a little worse for wear after the encounter on the Staten Island Ferry. This time, we get treated to a shot of a scorpion tattoo on his neck, foreshadowing his character’s supervillain name. Gargan has heard that Toomes might know who Spider-Man really is under that mask and he has some “friends on the outside” who would be interested in such information. Toomes lies and doesn’t give up Parker’s name, but the seed is planted: Gargan and his mysterious “friends” are after the wall-crawler.
A few people have already speculated that the “friends” Gargan is referring to will eventually be revealed to be the Sinister Six, a classic villain team who will either show up en masse or have more members debut in Homecoming’s sequel. However, Michael Keaton only signed on for one Spider-Man installment, suggesting the original Sinister Six line-up wouldn’t include The Vulture… if there’s a Sinister Six brewing at all.
The rumors may just be a hangover from the flaccid attempts by The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the 2014 sequel that nearly imploded the franchise, to introduce the super-villain team in the post-credits scene. Sony Pictures publicly toyed with idea of spinning the Six off into their own anti-hero-driven standalone movie. That didn't take... but the idea die or did it just need a better movie to kickstart the spin-off? Spider-Man: Homecoming isn’t interested in the Sinister Six just yet, and recent rumors from Sony’s splinter “Spider-Man Cinematic Universe” suggest that Gargan’s “friends” aren’t the likes of Doc Ock, Electro, and Mysterio.
According to leaked plot details from Sony’s upcoming Spider-Man spin-off Silver and Black, Spider-verse movies that aren’t set to be co-produced by Marvel Studios, will be where most of the web-slinger’s villains will be fleshed out. We don’t know when on the shared timeline Venom and Silver and Black will take place, but the character that looks like he’ll be the first mile-marker is Gargan as the Scorpion. In Silver and Black, a fully-costumed Scorpion is a henchmen along with The Tarantula (another Spider-Man character) appearing to serve and protect Mendel Stromm, a scientist lackey of Norman Osborn (the recurring Spider-Man baddie who became the Green Goblin in the first movie trilogy) who has been experimenting on humans to give them animal based powers...including Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat.
Based on what's in the script, Silver and Black must take place after Spider-Man: Homecoming to feature a bugged-out version of Mac Gargan. He's not the only villain rumored to appear in the film; it's possible The Chameleon, Kraven the Hunter, and Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman) could all show up. However, in order for Gargan to fall in line with these creeps, the “friends” he is speaking of at the end of Homecoming are likely the Osborn/Stromm science team, not a bunch of other freelance villains.
The first indication we’ll be seeing some unification between Homecoming and the other Sony Spiderverse movies should be if they also cast Michael Mando in Silver and Black. That would mean that Scorpion would be the first MCU to Spiderverse crossover character and could be used as a benchmark to measure the canonical time difference between the two universes.
And you thought that post-credit scene was just a tease.