Ezekiel Sims in Marvel Comics

‘Madame Web’s Villain Has Close Ties to a Strange Piece of Spider-Man Lore

Ezekiel Sims will make his live-action debut in Sony’s upcoming film, Madame Web. However, some may be wondering who this Marvel Comics character is and how he ties into the Spider-Man family.

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Tahar Rahim, best known for appearing in The Mauritanian and A Prophet, is set to portray Sims in Madame Web. He will serve as the primary antagonist against Cassandra Webb (Dakota Johnson) and several other members of the Spider-Man family. While the official trailer for the film insinuates he can see the future like Webb, it doesn’t fully explain his motivations and story. Before Madame Web, Sims made his feature film debut in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. That interpretation of the character was called Spider-Therapist and voiced by Mike Rianda.

It’s interesting that Sims was tapped for the lead villain role in Madame Web, considering he’s a more obscure Spider-Man villain. With Spider abilities and a close connection to the Spider-Totems, Sims has quite a bit of potential if the film executes his character properly.

Who is Ezekiel Sims in Marvel Comics?

Ezekiel Sims and Spider-Man
(Marvel Comics)

When Spider-Man first met Sims in Marvel Comics, he was a very mysterious figure. It wasn’t clear how he had received his powers and why he seemed to know more about what those powers meant and their origins than Spider-Man did. His unconventional origin story later explained his intimate knowledge of Spider-Man. Rather than being bitten by a radioactive spider, Sims had immersed himself in the history of the Spider-Totems and managed to track down a Spider-Temple. In the temple, he performed a ritual to gain Spider-Man powers, even though the Spider Gods didn’t choose him as a Spider-Totem.

Initially, Sims used his powers to become a wealthy businessman. When he later met Peter Parker and Cindy Moon, Sims decided to bestow his knowledge of the Spider-Totems on them. Sims’ knowledge made him aware of Morlun and Shathra, and he helped Parker and Moon defeat these Spider-Totem enemies. He very much seemed to be an upstanding member of Spider-Society despite his shadowy past. This is why Parker trusted Sims when he warned of another enemy, the Gatekeeper.

According to Sims, the Gatekeeper, a Spider-Totem deity, wanted to kill Parker because Parker was unworthy of his powers. Sims tried to help guide and prepare Parker to face the deity. However, the truth was that the Gatekeeper wasn’t after Parker—it wanted Sims. After all, Sims had attained his Spider-Totem powers even though he wasn’t meant to, thus disrupting the balance of the Web of Life. Desperate to save himself, Sims decided to sacrifice Parker to restore balance. Sims managed to subdue Parker and brought him to a Spider-Temple to sacrifice him. While performing the ritual, Sims was struck by the realization that Parker was a far more worthy hero—so he sacrificed himself to the Gatekeeper to spare Parker.

Who is Sims in Madame Web?

Tahar Rahim as Ezekiel Sims in Madame Web
(Sony)

Not much is known about Sims’ role in Madame Web. Based on the trailer, though, it appears he may be quite different on screen than in the comics. He’s much younger in the movie; he might even be immortal. Additionally, for the first time, he has his own black-and-red Spider-Man suit. The trailer also suggests Sims may have psychic abilities and is trying to change the future.

Madame Web could still tie back to the comic books. Perhaps Sims isn’t seeing the future, but is predicting the consequences of his rituals. He could be attempting to capture Webb and other members of the Spider-Man family for the same reason he was in the comic books—to sacrifice them to the Spider Gods. Ultimately, it remains to be seen what kind of villain Sims is in Madame Web and what his true motives are.

(featured image: Marvel Comics)


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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.