I’m not so fan-blind as to ignore the fact that a big roadblock to getting people interested in comics lay in the convoluted (and often contradictory) backstory and history of well-established characters. On top of that already daunting roadblock lay in the equally confusing connections between characters, which can’t easily be summed up.
Marvel seems to understand that notion, and they’ve introduced the Marverl Universe Connections, a 3-D visualization that explores and explains the various connections between characters, and while it’s not quite super smooth (and a high resolution is a must), it’s an interesting tool. Go play in the Marvel Universe Connections.
Thumb is the Sin-Eater, the antagonist from one of Spider-Man’s best storylines.