Electro is one of the Amazing Spider-Man’s most iconic villains of all time. With memorable powers that allow him to control electric currents, he is a worthy adversary of the beloved superhero, clashing with him countless times over their decades-long rivalry.

The supervillain made his live-action debut in 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, played by Jamie Foxx. Much to the chagrin of die-hard fans, this version of the character was quite different from his comic book counterpart. While Foxx is getting a mulligan in this Spider-Man: No Way Home, fans can still look back at all the aspects about the live-action version that didn’t match with the comics.


He Wasn’t Electrocuted By Eels

Electro, a.k.a. Max Dillon, first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #9. Dillon famously received his electricity powers after an accident involving power lines, wherein he was grotesquely electrocuted for an extended period of time. The character then attempted to cash in on his new powers, quickly turning to a life of crime.

The take on Electro’s origin is altered in a bizarre way in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. In this reimagining of the character, Max Dillon falls into a tank of electric eels, which electrocute him extensively, altering his physical composition and overall mental state.

He Was An Electrical Engineer

Max Dillon in the original comic books is depicted as an electrical engineer and a lineman, whose work with the power lines around New York City costs him his regular life and transforms him into a supervillain with enough power to take on the Spider-Man. However, the movie version tweaks this tale ever so slightly.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 spends a bit more time with Dillon before his heel turn, showing his day-to-day life as an employee of Oscorp. He is shown working directly under Alistair Smythe (B.J. Novak), who mistreats and bullies him. While the character is still an engineer, his job seems to be relegated mostly to the office work of the job, rather than the hands-on responsibilities of a lineman.

He Wasn’t A Loser

The comic version of Electro is often arrogant and self-seeking, like many of Spidey’s best villains. Though he partners with other villains on occasion, the character almost always has an ulterior motive to serve himself and no one else. At times, he is shown to have a rough past, which accounts for part of the reason he turned to villainy upon receiving his powers.

Foxx’s version of Electro attempts to make the character somewhat more sympathetic, spending plenty of time with him before his descent. The film does this by making him a “loser,” desperately seeking friendship wherever he can. However, the character’s odd mannerisms and obsessive personality work against him, causing Max Dillon to become one of the least likable characters in The Amazing Spider-Man franchise.

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Music Only Played A Part For The Character In The Movie

While he is an undoubtedly iconic Marvel character, the original version of Electro is at his core a fairly run-of-the-mill villain. He has his powers, his suit, and his schemes, but things rarely take any additional aesthetic. Music, as a result, rarely has much, if anything, to do with an Electro outing.

Given Jamie Foxx’s musical background, and a medium more designed to include audial stylings, the film version of Electro is heavily associated with music. His inner monologue is presented to the viewer through the film’s score, which includes a track sung by Foxx himself. In addition, during his final battle with Spider-Man in the power plant, Electro’s currents bounce off the grid with rhythmic buzzes that create a surprisingly tense action sequence.

He Engaged In More Criminal Activity

Electro is a hands-on criminal adversary of Spider-Man, who often deals in low-level street crime or perhaps a bank heist. The character has also been known to team up with certain other villains in attempts to kill Spider-Man, but things rarely get more serious than that.

The film version of Electro does not portray the character as a criminal, but more as a henchman for Harry Osborn, whose turn as the Green Goblin begins to steal the electrified villain’s spotlight. While little is known about Electro’s future story, his upcoming return in Spider-Man: No Way Home seems poised to redeem Electro’s cinematic appearance, perhaps including his transition into a hardened criminal.

He Is Motivated By Simple Greed

Electro’s comic book counterpart is typically in the game for the wealth and the power. He doesn’t seem to have too many designs for higher things, like a Doctor Octopus or Green Goblin-type. Instead, he seems relatively happy with the here-and-now, gaining as much for himself as possible at any given time.

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The film version of Electro, however, doesn’t seem all that interested in money or power. Instead, he seems to want fame and recognition. While certain Electro storylines from the comics, such as J.M. DeMatteis’s “Light the Night,” deal with Electro on a similar hunt for fame, this is a motivation mostly unique to the cinematic version of the character.

Max Died In The Comics

Electro, like many comic book characters, has had his dealings with death, though these deaths almost never remain permanent. The character saw his end in recent comics, when Francine Frye, who would later become the new Electro, stole his powers and murdered him in cold blood. The character was later resurrected by Doctor Octopus.

In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Electro’s death is less decisive, with Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy overloading him with power until he explodes in a surge of electricity. He is presumed deceased after this battle, but given that his body was never found, the character may have returned in the canceled Amazing Spider-Man 3 film, or in future installments of the franchise. No Way Home will possibly answer the question of what happened to Electro after this moment.

He Wasn’t Obsessed With Spider-Man

Like many of Spider-Man’s greatest enemies, Electro quickly becomes obsessed with the web-swinging hero, even to an unhealthy level. In the comics, Electro is mostly focused on killing his archnemesis after multiple embarrassing defeats at Spider-Man’s hands. The villain’s continuing losses only fuel his fires of hatred for the hero.

While Jamie Foxx’s version of Electro is also unhealthily obsessed with Spider-Man, the reasons behind his obsession are quite different. Max Dillon becomes a Spider-Man super-fan after his life is saved by the superhero. He begins to call Spidey his “best friend” and becomes fiercely protective of him.

His Powers Are Different

Though there have been far more powerful variants of Electro in the comics, the original villain himself is still quite mighty, especially when supercharged with copious amounts of electricity. In most iterations, the character’s powers are mostly regulated to the input and output of electricity, which occasionally also grant him the powers of flight, super strength, and enhanced speed.

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The version of Electro depicted in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is shown to have the same powers as the comic book version, but also takes liberties with what those powers allow him to do. Most notably, the character appears to be capable of the transmutation of his own body into pure electricity, moving through power lines by doing so. While this added to the threat that Electro posed to the hero, it was a diversion from what fans knew about the character’s powers from the comics.

The Costume Isn’t At All The Same

A comic book character can only ever last the test of time if they have an iconic look that is instantly recognizable. Electro certainly checks this box, with his memorable green and yellow suit and over-the-top mask comprised of intersecting lightning bolts. Electro is truly one of the most recognizable Marvel villains ever.

Electro did not adopt this classic look in his live-action appearance, however. Perhaps worrying that the original design would prove campy, the producers of the movie opted to instead have Electro’s body become entirely comprised of electricity, becoming entirely blue as a result. While certain versions of the character later adopted the look pioneered by The Amazing Spider-Man 2, nothing could ever really match up to the original design, which is expected to appear in some form when Electro returns in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

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