Back Issues: Why Electro's Evil Energy Makes Him the Ultimate Adversary
An electricity-based villain in Spider-Man's rogues gallery is Maxwell "Max" Dillon, aka Electro. Created by legendary creators Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Electro has been featured in numerous Spider-Man comics and storylines, along with appearances across animated series' and a live-action movie. Jamie Foxx portrayed Electro in 2014's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and will reprise his role in Spider-Man: No Way Home opposite other returning villains like Alfred Molina's Doctor Octopus and Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin. Electro has had an interesting career in the comics, where he's died, come back to life, and even found someone else take up the Electro mantle during his absence.
Electro made his Marvel Comics debut in 1963's Amazing Spider-Man #9. Working as a lineman, Dillon gained his superhuman abilities after being struck by lightning while attached to a power line. This helped catapult him into a life of crime, pulling off petty heists until he was recruited by Doctor Octopus to join what would be known as the Sinister Six. The original members of the Sinister Six included Doc Ock, Electro, Vulture, Sandman, Mysterio, and Kraven the Hunter. Interestingly enough, each villain has either already appeared in a cinematic movie (Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus, Jamie Foxx as Electro, Michael Keaton as Vulture, Thomas Haden Church as Sandman, and Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio) or is about to (Kraven, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson).
Aside from a stint on Doctor Doom's Emissaries of Evil, Electro has cycled through various incarnations of the Sinister Six. Each time Spider-Man has been able to overcome the odds to secure a victory, sending Electro to jail time and time again. He infamously played a major role in the formation of the New Avengers, after helping to coordinate a breakout from the supervillain prison The Raft. Spider-Man worked together with Wolverine, Luke Cage, Captain America, Iron Man, Sentry, and Spider-Woman to contain the chaos taking place in The Raft, with the heroes remaining together as a team afterward.
Electro suffered from a few different upgrades to his powerset over the years, which often resulted in a change to his physical appearance and costume. One time when his powers started to malfunction he accidentally killed an accomplice named Francine Frye when they kissed. The Jackal, who specializes in creating clones, made a copy of Frye, who repaid her earlier death by stealing Electro's powers and killing him in a similar fashion. Frye would have a run as Electro, even joining a similar Sinister Six all-female squad called the Sinister Syndicate.
The villain Kindred devised a plan to bring Electro back to life, using Doctor Octopus as his puppet to make it happen. Back in the land of the living, Electro can return to terrorizing Spider-Man and the Marvel Universe.
Jamie Foxx's take on Electro in Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a superfan of the wall-crawler. After a chance encounter with Spidey, Dillon became obsessed with helping however he could, which may have been fueled by being a loner and having low self-esteem. He got his powers similar to his comic book counterpart, except his skin turned blue in the process. Jamie Foxx revealed how not being blue was a factor in reprising the role for Spider-Man: No Way Home.
"I was excited knowing [producer] Amy [Pascal] for years, man, and knowing what she's done with this franchise, and she was explaining to me that it's gonna be hot, and I didn't have to be blue, and things like that as far as my character is concerned, so you're gonna be a little more hip, and that I get a chance to hang out with these incredible thespians. To walk on set and to see these guys, I literally bowed to them, and we've been having a ball. I'm happy we got a brand new start, a brand new look," Foxx shared.
Now that he's not blue and with an updated costume, Foxx's Electro will look to get revenge on Tom Holland's Spider-Man in No Way Home. He's hoping this confrontation doesn't end with him dead, though Doctor Strange confirmed in the film's second trailer that Electro, Green Goblin, and Doctor Octopus are all fated to die in combat with Spidey.
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