Mysterio: [getting between Spider-Man and an Elemental] “You don’t want any part of this.”
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Spider-Man: Far From Home is following a tough act. It comes out a mere ten weeks after Avengers: Endgame, the grand finale of The Infinity Saga. Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio is a good start, but Far From Home also features a lesser-known team called The Elementals as villains.
Realizing that the original Elementals were one-note villains, the MCU has updated the team using a group of lesser known Spider-Man villains. So who are these walking natural disasters? Grab some survival gear and let’s find out!
1: The Sandman
Sandman: “Y’know I hadn’t planned on comin’ after you. But you’re just determined to be the cloud hangin’ over my sunny, sandy beach. Time to change the weather, forever.”
–Spectacular Spider-Man “Competition” (Season 1, Episode 5)
Flint Marko was a common thug running from the law when he paused to rest on an abandoned beach. Unknown to Marko, the beach had been a nuclear test site. The residual radiation turned his body into sand and gave him the power to manipulate sand.
An ecstatic Marko renamed himself The Sandman and went on a crime spree that attracted Spider-Man’s attention. Spider-Man struggled against the shape shifter until he had the bright idea to trap the Sandman in a vacuum cleaner. Unfortunately, vacuums make poor prisons, and Sandman quickly escaped. He has since fought Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four on countless occasions.
The Sandman is obscenely powerful, hindered only by Flint Marko being an idiot. He can fly, shapeshift, create weapons from sand, change his body into glass, and becomes more powerful depending on how much sand he controls. Sandman’s consciousness is only bonded to a single grain of sand. So long as that grain exists, he is immortal. One version of the Sandman even survived the heat death of the universe, giving the present incarnation a fear of his immortality.
Sandman debuted in 1960’s Spider-Man voiced by Tom Harvey. He has since appeared in almost every Spider-Man series. Sideways’ Thomas Haden Church brought The Sandman to life in Spider-Man 3, blending him with the mugger who killed Uncle Ben. Church did well in the role, but was hampered by the rest of the movie being overstuffed.
Spider-Man: “Hydrant Man? The dogs must love you.”
Hydro-Man: “It’s Hydro-Man! And it’s the last name you’ll ever hear.”
Spider-Man, “Hydro-Man” (Season 2, Episode 3)
You know who’s a good villain? Sandman. So what if we made a lame villain with the same powers but themed around water? Then you get Hydro-Man!
Morris Bench was a sailor whose ship was transporting a nuclear power generator. He was knocked overboard while Spider-Man fought the Sub-Mariner. The radiation and underwater gasses mutated Bench into a being made of water. The newly christened Hydro-Man swore to kill Spider-Man, who he blamed the accident on.
Naturally, Hydro-Man was defeated by the wallcrawler. In between assassination attempts on Spider-Man, he joined a villain team called The Frightful Four. While working with the Four, Hydro-Man battled a reformed Sandman. Their similar power-sets caused them to fuse into a monster called the Mud-Thing. They eventually defused, but the event left them traumatized.
Hydro-Man is more powerful than Sandman, especially when you realize his body is made from the stuff covering three-quarters of the Earth. Luckily, he’s even stupider than Sandman. It’s pathetically easy for Spider-Man to trick him into electrocuting himself. There are few who could stop Hydro-Man if he ever used his powers to their full potential.
Hydro-Man debuted in Spider-Man: the Animated Series, voiced by Rob Paulson. He was used as a replacement for Sandman, who was planned to appear in an unmade Spider-Man movie. He next appeared in Fantastic Four voiced by Brad Garrett. Spongebob Squarepants’ Bill Fagerbakke voiced Hydro-Man in Spectacular Spider-Man. Finally. Star Wars’ James Arnold Taylor voiced Hydro-Man in Ultimate Spider-Man.
3: Molten Man
[all the cell doors in a prison have opened]
Mark Raxton: “OK… what’s going on?”
Green Goblin: “The Goblin is your saviour, you owe him a favor. Spidey’s trapped in the prison. Put him out of commission.”
Mark: [as the other inmates run off] “Why would I do your dirty work, Goblin? I’m already in prison, what more could you do to me?!”
Green Goblin: “Oh, just to be perverse, I’ll activate your curse! [Mark forcibly transforms into the Molten Man] To prevent it getting worse, put the Web-Head in a hearse.”Spectacular Spider-Man, “Opening Night” (Season 2, Episode 12)
Mark Raxton was a scientist working for Oscorp. He was partnered with Dr. Spencer Smythe to use a radioactive liquid alloy to enhance Smythe’s killer robots, the Spider-Slayers. Raxton decided to steal the alloy and sell it on the black market. Smythe caught him and the two fought until Raxton was accidentally doused with the alloy.
The liquid bonded to Mark’s skin and gave him superhuman strength, durability, and blasts of radioactive fire. The powers were cool, but they were consuming Mark from the inside out and driving him berserk. Spider-Man got involved and stabilized Molten Man after a fight. He has since continually swapped between hero and villain.
Outside of comics, Molten Man has appeared the least of The Elementals. He debuted in Spectacular Spider-Man with Eric Lopez in the role. His only other appearance was in Ultimate Spider-Man, where James Arnold Taylor voiced the Molten Man. Huh, so he’s voiced Molten Man and Hydro-Man. Do you think they could fuse together into a Steam-Thing? Let us know in a comment.
Which of The Elementals do you think is the coolest? Let us know!
Jared Bounacos has written for Movie Rewind since 2017.