Dr. Octopus got raving reviews when he played the main villain in the movie, Spiderman 2. Said to be one of Spiderman’s arch enemies, He makes his debut in the third issue of The Amazing Spiderman, and is advertised as the first arch enemy who defeated Spiderman.
Plotline and Synopsis:
Spiderman is busy beating up criminals and handing them over to the authorities. In the third issue, we are introduced to a Spider-signal, one that Spiderman activates with his belt buckle. While he defeats the enemies with ease, he is getting a bit bored with the crime fighting business, because he thinks that there is nobody who can be a match to him, what with his superpowers and physical abilities.
Well, in comes Doctor Octopus – yea, there’s no name for him as yet – who is the only Doctor allowed to wear a vest with arms, which help him in the work.
Doctor Octopus is quite proud of his work, and thinks that he is the best in the business, and while he is working on a nuclear experiment, there’s an incident that has Doctor Octopus suffer great brain damage, and the mechanical hands fuse to him.
While the authorities try to dissuade Doctor Octopus from working, his damaged brain thinks that the authorities are disallowing him from working because they are jealous of his work and are worried that he will become more famous than they would ever.
While he finds out that the arms are not just fused along his body but he can control them like his real limbs, Spiderman strikes a deal with Jameson that he will bring Doctor Octopus’ photo. Well, as Spidey reaches the hospital with his trusty camera, Doctor Octopus escapes from the hospital by beating up one of the doctors. Of course, our trusted superhero tries to stop him, but is beaten up by Octopus.
Spiderman is not just physically beaten up, but also mentally scarred by this confrontation. He goes into a phase of self doubt, as Doctor Octopus makes his way to an almost dilapidated plant on the outskirts of the city and takes over the plant.
Peter Parker is now questioning the very existence of Spiderman and his crime fighting roles, when he comes across the Flash, who tells people that winning and losing are part of their crime fighting life. Inspired by this, Spiderman decides to confront the Doctor once again.
And that he does this time, armed with everything that he needs to defeat Doctor Octopus. Singlehandedly, Spiderman ventures into the dilapidated plant, and even as Octopus finds him through the cameras installed everywhere, Spidey reaches the place where Doc is controlling all the action from.
The Webhead first fuses the mechanical hands together, but Doc Ock just uses them as a pummeller to create more issues for Spiderman.
For his part, Spidey weaves and ventures throughout the fight, and finally uses the oldest trick in town to defeat. He renders Doc blind for a moment with his webbing and punches him out cold. And before he leaves, he wraps up Doc in webbing, so the authorities don’t have problems from the fallen scientist.
So, flying thieves gone, aliens gone, and Spiderman seems to be becoming famous with the kids. So, what do the storywriters do? Well, they decide to portray the issues that the kids back then faced. While ridicule and light ragging were concept that Stan Lee confronted right from issue one, this is the issue where he portrays aspects like ego and attitude.
And the storywriters tell us that both the antagonist and protagonist can experience these emotions. At one point, Spiderman is wondering whether all this is worth it and Doctor Octopus is proud of his work, so proud that when he is stopped from doing it, he decides to escape, thinking that they don’t want him to work because they are jealous of him.
This issue is also interesting, because it tells us about the worst case scenario electronics going bad – creating enemies out of humans. In the second issue, The Vulture just had mechanised wings, but here, the mechanical arms are fused into Doc Octopus’ body.
That is fodder for thought today, isn’t it?