So, the enigmatic and mysterious ‘Man in Shadows’ has plagued Spider-Fans ever since he first appeared in that post-credits scene for Amazing Spider-Man confronting Curt Connors and asking him what he’s told Peter Parker about his father. Many speculated that he was Norman Osborn, Richard Parker himself or someone entirely different altogether.
I plumped for him being the Hobgoblin with Roderick Kingsley but I was very wrong. Whatever a Spider Can readers also voted from an arbitrary list of candidates that I put together and Mysterio, Morbius and ‘Other’ were the favourites there. But now thanks to The Amazing Spider-Man 2 all speculation can stop because the identity of ‘The Man in the Shadows’ is no longer a secret.
First of all, no he is not Mister Fear, a villain that mainly squares off against Daredevil but has tangled with Spider-Man from time to time. Mister Fear spends his time spreading fear in people, similar to Scarecrow from Batman, he sprays, injects or gasses people with a fear pheromone. Why on earth would he be ‘The Man in the Shadows’?
No, it’s likely that people just misheard what was said as Fear does sound remarkably like this characters name. ‘The Man in the Shadows’ is actually Mr. Fiers, otherwise known as Gustav Fiers who many will also know as The Gentleman. The Gentleman is a sickenly wealthy man with no superpowers, although he is 100% evil making his money through creating chaos and wars.
He’s introduced in Adam Troy Castro’s trio of Sinister Six novels where he has an unhealthy obsession with Peter Parker after finding out that Parker had become Spider-Man (It’s also revealed that Gustav had a part in the death of Parker’s parents after they thwarted some of his previous plans). Spider-Man then kills Fier’s brother Karl, known as The Finisher and Gustav swears revenge. He then forms a Sinister Six to help him.
Now we know it won’t happen this way in the films because Peter Parker’s parent’s backstory has been changed slightly, however it’s clear that Richard and Mary were stopping their spider-serum being sold as a weapon by OsCorp and the Gentleman is clearly associated with OsCorp and would have made his money in the buying and selling of weapons, hence why he’d have a reason to arrange the deaths of Richard and Mary Parker and have an interest in Peter. I think he’ll be a great plot-point in the film and will definitely be the first real big-bad guy in the franchise.
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