Doctor Octopus

Doctor Octopus
Doctor Octopus
Doctor Octopus drawn by John Romita Jr.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The Amazing Spider-Man #3 (July 1963)
Created by Stan Lee
Steve Ditko
In-story information
Alter ego Otto Gunther Octavius
Team affiliations Sinister Six
Masters of Evil
Legion Accursed
Notable aliases Master Planner, Master Programmer, Doc Ock, Bowrey Bum, Prisoner #4756689
  • Genius-level intellect
  • Super-strong and durable mechanical appendages

Doctor Octopus (Dr. Otto Gunther Octavius) is a fictional character, a supervillain that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics since 1963. A highly intelligent mad scientist, Doctor Octopus is one of Spider-Man's greatest foes. He is typically portrayed as a stocky, myopic man who utilizes four powerful, mechanical appendages, and is obsessed with proving his own genius and destroying Spider-Man. In his first several appearances, Dr. Octopus' last name was spelled "Octavious." All stories since have spelled it Octavius. Spider-Man has also nicknamed Octopus as Doc Ock. The character has appeared in numerous Spider-Man cartoons and video games and is portrayed by Alfred Molina in the 2004 film Spider-Man 2. In 2009, Doctor Octopus was ranked as IGN's 28th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.[1] Comics journalist and historian Mike Conroy writes of the character: "Created by Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko, Doc Ock, as he became known, has become one of the web slinger's most persistent and dangerous foes."[2]


Publication history

The character of Doctor Octopus first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #3 (July 1963), and was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko. The character soon appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #11 and #12, and again in #31, #32, and #33.

Fictional character biography

Born in Schenectady, New York, Otto Octavius had a turbulent upbringing. His father, Torbert, a factory worker, was abusive and violent towards both Otto and his mother Mary, leading Otto to be shy and reclusive in school. Young Otto's shyness and good work in school got him labeled as a "teacher's pet" and targeted as a subject for bullying. Torbert Octavius did not appreciate having a bullied son, and roared at Otto to use violence in dealing with the bullies. Mary Octavius would defend her son from Torbert's tirades, saying Otto was a gifted thinker who would use his brain to solve problems, not his fists. Due to his mother's insistence and her disgust towards men who worked in manual labor, Otto was determined not to become like his father and threw all his efforts into his education, regularly scoring top marks. Otto's devotion to study paid off with him being awarded a university scholarship. During Otto's freshman year of college, his father's death due to an industrial accident pushed Otto towards the study of, and obsession with, physical science. After graduating from college, Otto Octavius found work in an engineering firm.

Otto became a brilliant and respected nuclear physicist, atomic research consultant, inventor, and lecturer. He designed a set of highly advanced mechanical arms controlled via a brain–computer interface to assist him with his research into atomic physics. The tentacle arms were resistant to radiation and were capable of great strength and highly precise movement, attached to a harness that fit around his body.

Though his relationship with co-workers was typically hostile, a fellow researcher named Mary Alice Anders befriended him when Otto impressed her with a demonstration of his harness, and the two began a courtship. In due time, Otto proposed marriage to Mary Alice. However, Otto's mother did not approve, believing that no woman was good enough for her son. To please her, he ended his engagement. Later, when he discovered that his mother had begun dating a librarian, he rebuked her, causing her to have a fatal heart attack in the heat of their argument. With the death of his mother and Mary Alice Anders out of his life, Octavius' disposition towards nearly everyone became mean-spirited, and he had become more distracted from paying attention to detail and safety precautions in his work.

Criminal career begins

Cover of The Amazing Spider-Man #3 (July 1963), first appearance of Doctor Octopus. Art by Steve Ditko.

During an accidental radiation leak that ended in an explosion, the apparatus became fused to Octavius' body. It was later revealed that the radiation (or possibly his own latent mutation) had mutated his brain so that he could control the movement of the arms using his thoughts alone. The tentacles have since been surgically removed from his body, although Octavius retains the power to control them telepathically from a great distance. The accident also seemingly damaged his brain (although it was later suggested that what was interpreted as brain damage was in fact his mind rewiring itself to accommodate four extra limbs[3]), and the scientist turned to a life of crime, first taking the hospital hostage although Spider-Man defeats him.[volume & issue needed]

Though Doctor Octopus himself is portly, in poor physical shape, and is near-sighted, with his harness attached he is physically more than a match for Spider-Man: in his first appearance he beat Spider-Man so badly throwing him outside the hospital, that the wall-crawler considered giving up his heroic career, until he was inspired to continue by the Human Torch.[4]

Over the years Dr. Octopus has become one of the most identifiable members of Spider-Man's rogues gallery. Doctor Octopus formed the original Sinister Six to fight Spider-Man after taking Betty Brant and May Parker hostage. In the battle he first detached his tentacles to attack Spider-Man from behind, then dropped him into a giant fishbowl and battled him wearing scuba equipment, hoping to drown Spider-Man, but Spider-Man used his webbing to tangle his tentacles. With the rest of the Sinister Six he was jailed.[5] He has led subsequent Sinister Six groups, and usually takes offense when some one else leads the team. Disguised as the Master Planner, he organized a theft of atomic equipment, leading a gang which used high-tech equipment. After he stole a formula that Spider-Man needed to cure his Aunt May, Spider-Man tracked the gang to their base. In a fight with Spider-Man a support beam was destroyed and the ceiling collapsed, causing a leak to spring up, though Spider-Man escaped using his strength.[6] It is later revealed he used a scuba tank to escape.

Doctor Octopus later attempts to steal the Defense Department's Nullifier device, and sets a trap for Spider-Man.[7] He became May Parker's tenant,[8] then got close enough to use the Nullifier on Spider-Man; although he had hoped that it would merely nullify Spider-Man's web-shooters, the radiation in Spider-Man's blood resulted in the Nullifier's interaction with Spider-Man's unique biology rendering him amnesiac,[9] Doctor Octopus subsequently tricking Spider-Man into helping him before Spider-Man's own better nature resulted in him turning against his 'partner' despite his memory loss long enough for John Jameson to use the Nullifier to shut down his tentacles.[10]

Doctor Octopus later exhibited the ability to activate his mechanical arms remotely, and used them to free himself from prison.[11] His resulting battle with Spider-Man resulted in the death of Captain George Stacy.[12] Doctor Octopus later waged a gang war with Hammerhead.[13] He attempted to wed May Parker in order to acquire an island with an atomic plant which she had recently unknowingly inherited.[14] Doc Ock escaped death when the island was destroyed, and began a life as a homeless person.[15] He next battled the "ghost" of Hammerhead, and was able to return him to human form and defeat him after a temporary alliance with Spider-Man.[16]

Doctor Octopus later attempted to hijack an atomic submarine.[17] He also attempted to poison New York City with printers' ink, and battled the Punisher and Spider-Man.[18] He next battled the Owl and his gang.[19] He successfully deactivated a nuclear reactor in a laboratory before meltdown.[20] He later displayed symptoms which Mister Fantastic diagnosed as multiple personality disorder.[21] Doctor Octopus was taken to the Beyonder's Battleworld, where he fought a horde of heroes and plotted against Doctor Doom for leadership of the group of villains. He was able to defeat the X-Men until Magneto came to the mutants' aid.[22]


His crowning achievement of evil was the near-fatal beating of Spider-Man's then-partner, the Black Cat, which led to Spider-Man beating Doc Ock to within an inch of his life. The trauma of the beating he received from Spider-Man left Octavius afraid of Spider-Man and spiders in general for years, and he needed to be treated for his acute arachnophobia.[23] Spider-Man was forced to let his nemesis beat him in combat so as to allow Octavius to break free of his fears and recruit him to save New York City from an exploding nuclear reactor; Octavius had been planning to detonate the reactor to kill Spider-Man indirectly, but after his out-of-control arms beat Spider-Man seemingly senseless, Spider-Man convinced him to shut down the reactor to ensure that there were witnesses to his 'great triumph. Octavius decided to let Spider-Man live on the grounds that he would now have to cope with the same humiliation he had endured.[24]

Death and resurrection

During the Clone Saga, Doctor Octopus saved Spider-Man from certain death from a poison injected by the Vulture, although this was only because he desired to be the one to kill Spider-Man.[25] During the healing process he discovered the identity of Spider-Man and then allowed himself to be taken in by police, expecting to be saved by his accomplice/lover Stunner. However, Stunner was knocked out and Doc Ock was murdered by the insane Peter Parker clone named Kaine.[26] Octavius' student Carolyn Trainer took over as "Doctor Octopus" until the original was resurrected by a branch of the mystical ninja cult known as the Hand.[27] Upon his resurrection, it was revealed that he had no knowledge of Spider-Man's identity. The reason was that the memories he gained came from a computer chip provided by Carolyn Trainer; that recent memory had not been recorded at the time of his death.[28]

Subsequent schemes

In later years, Octavius attempted to create his own personal assassin in the form of a villainous mutated entity he dubbed "Spider-Woman", and was involved in a plot involving using prosthetic limbs as mind-control devices, to create an army of minions. He has also had to deal with another usurper, in the form of an arrogant young businessman and con artist named Carlyle, who pretended to employ Octavius at his company.[29] This proved to be a ruse, and Carlyle subdued Octopus and stole his technology, using it to create his own version of Octavius' harness.[30] During a prolonged battle with Octavius and Spider-Man, Carlyle was defeated when Doc Ock ripped open his suit, allowing Spider-Man to fill Carlyle's suit with webbing, although Doc Ock informed his enemy that he only did this to hurt Carlyle rather than to help Spider-Man.[31]

Then, Dr. Octopus took the ambassador of the newly-formed Free Palestinian State hostage, demanding that in exchange for the ambassador's freedom, Spider-Man would meet him in Times Square and unmask himself in front of the world. When Spider-Man went to Times Square, he pulled off his mask to reveal another mask, angering Octavius enough to distract him from the release of the ambassador by agents of the Israeli Secret Service.[32]

Dr. Octopus was taken to Ryker's Island and was drugged and brainwashed to take down the Green Goblin. He interrupted a battle between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin on the Brooklyn Bridge, and the two villains were struck by lightning and fell into the river below. Octopus was dragged out days later with no memories of the event.[33]

Civil War

Octavius unsuccessfully tries to form and lead another version of the Sinister Six, because Captain America's Secret Avengers managed to defeat the villainous group, although Ock himself eludes authorities.[volume & issue needed] In Sensational Spider-Man #28, Dr. Octopus is seen viewing a telecast of Peter Parker revealing himself to be Spider-Man. Ock then goes rampaging throughout the city, in utter disbelief that not only was he beaten numerous times by a teenager, but of the lost opportunity he had when he unmasked Parker in one of their first encounters (at the time, Peter was severely weakened by a bad case of flu and Octavius assumed he was an impostor). He is again defeated by Spider-Man, who confronts Dr. Octopus unmasked, after two of Peter's students distract Octavius.[volume & issue needed] He is then sent to Baron Zemo's supervillain detention facility (as seen in Thunderbolts #104 and Iron Man Vol IV #14). He is one of the ex-supervillains trying to hunt down the renegade super heroes.[volume & issue needed]

In "One More Day" Part 2, Octavius is one of the people Spider-Man contacts to see if he can help with Aunt May's condition.[34]


During the Dark Reign storyline, Doctor Octopus learns that due to injuries suffered from his many battles, his body is failing, giving him only months to live. He has now modified himself to be mentally connected to his own army of miniature 'octobots', and has added four additional appendages to his harness. He used the octobots to take control of all of the technology in New York City and planned to turn it into a paradise under his control, though he subconsciously also targeted Spider-Man, and disrupted the wedding plans of his ex, Aunt May. Spider-Man and the Human Torch eventually tracked down his base, save the captive J. Jonah Jameson Sr. (May's fiancee), Carlie Cooper, and Norah Winters, and finally destroyed Doctor Octopus' hold over the city. Doctor Octopus is then able to escape (still holding power over his octobots) and vows a "terrible revenge".[35]

During the "Origin of the Species" storyline, Doctor Octopus assembles a supervillain team consisting of Chameleon, Diablo, Electro, Freak, Hammerhead, Hippo, Lizard, Mister Negative, Morbius, the Living Vampire, Mysterio, Overdrive, Rhino, Sandman, Shocker, Spot, Tombstone, Vermin, and Vulture IV. He tells them to secure specific items and promised they will receive a reward. First, he targets Menace's newborn infant despite Spider-Man's interference as it has pure Goblin Serum in its veins which Doctor Octopus thinks that it would help cure his crippling illness.[36] After Spider-Man grabs the infant from Doctor Octopus, he sends the villains after Spider-Man.[37] Doctor Octopus talks with Chameleon stating that he had placed an Octo-Tracker on Spider-Man in order to track him down.[38] After Chameleon steals the baby from Spider-Man, Doctor Octopus talks with the Chameleon saying that the baby is the first of a new species. Because the serums inside Norman Osborn and Lily Hollister co-mingled when they reproduced, the baby is beyond Octopus' procurement. He refers to it as "Sui Generis" and plans on using the new species' DNA to repair his body. When Spider-Man caught Chameleon, he mentioned that the baby is still alive and that the Lizard stole it from him before it can be handed over to Doctor Octopus.[39] Doctor Octopus was looking for the Lizard when Spider-Man arrived. Spider-Man told Doctor Octopus that they will get the baby back from the Lizard and then fight over who will get it. Spider-Man even mentioned to Doctor Octopus that the Lizard is now in a different appearance. When Doctor Octopus attacks Spider-Man, the Lizard attacks Spider-Man. Spider-Man threatens to attack the Lizard with the Lizard serum if he doesn't give him the baby. Lizard agrees and reveals that he got a blood sample from the baby and found out that Norman Osborn is not the father. The Lizard then gives the baby to Spider-Man saying that if Osborn is not the father, then the baby is of no use to him. Doctor Octopus then attacks the Lizard while Spider-Man escapes with the baby.[40]

Spider-Man and the Avengers later fight Doctor Octopus and his macro-octobot army. During that time, he had assembled another version of the Sinister Six consisting of Chameleon (who was posing as Steve Rogers), Electro, Mysterio, Rhino, and Sandman in a plot to slip the macro-octobot army into a military base and detonate them. This was prevented by Spider-Man, the Avengers, and the Fantastic Four. After his defeat, Doctor Octopus acknowledges Spider-Man's intellect and no longer considers him as the 'foolish child' he had believed him to be.[41]

When Alistair Smythe was having Scorpion, Fly-Girl and some cyborgs attack the launch base where John Jameson is, Doctor Octopus was observing the occurrences with a remote Octobot and uses the machine to assist the astronauts on board as part of his heretofore unknown plans.[42]

It was revealed that both Otto and Tony Stark had a working relationship years ago before they became superhumans. Otto would lecture, bellitle, and even boasted about how much smarter he claimed to be compared to Stark. While Stark would return the favor by insulting him with joke and cruelity, like telling Octavius how he's not as smart as he thinks. Attempting to find a cure for his condition, Doctor Octopus attempts to capture Tony Stark to force him to find a treatment for his injuries, threatening to detonate a nuclear bomb if Stark doesn't help him. However, when Stark suggested contacting others such as Doctor Strange or Mister Fantastic for help, Doctor Octopus rejected the offer proclaiming that he had mainly made the offer to force Stark into a position where he would fail programming the bomb to go off in six minutes, to prove how much "smarter" he was then him.[43]

The Sinister 6 and the Avengers Academy fought each other when the Sinister Six were trying to steal something from a lab in Paris. Although it seemed like they were trying to steal something the lab in Paris, they were actually trying to steal something in Hank Pym's lab. They tricked Jocasta (one of the teachers at the academy) into opening a portal into the lab and stole the object that Doc Ock said could have ruined his future plans. Otto's actions caused to not only leave some of the Avengers Academy members to be hospitalized, but their defeat by the Sinister 6 also hurt their reputation.[44]

Spider-Man and the Future Foundation stumble onto a plot by Doctor Octopus and the Sinister Six to cause trouble on a Caribbean Island with a plot that involves masquerading as zombie pirates.[45] It was revealed that the zombie pirates were animatrons constructed by Mysterio, as were the rest of the Sinister Six aside from Mysterio and Chameleon. The real Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Electro and Rhino had taken advantage and gotten into the Baxter Building whilst it was completely empty, and Doctor Octopus is looking for something.[46]

Powers and abilities

Octavius is a genius in the field of atomic physics, and he holds a Ph. D. in nuclear science. A brilliant engineer and inventor, he is also a superb strategist and a charismatic leader. His genius in radiation is so exceptional that he was once called upon by Mister Fantastic of the Fantastic Four to offer his expertise when the Invisible Woman suffered from complications during her second pregnancy as a result of the cosmic radiation that had given the team their powers.[21]

Due to exposure to atomic radiation, Doctor Octopus has the mental ability to control his four, electrically powered, telescoping, prehensile, titanium-steel, artificial, tentacle arms (even when they are not connected to him, he can also control them over vast distances), that are attached to a stainless-steel harness encompassing his lower torso. Each of these four arms are capable of lifting several tons, provided that at least one arm is used to support his body. The reaction time and agility of his mechanical appendages is enhanced far beyond the range attainable for normal human musculature. The arms allow Octavius to move rapidly over any terrain and to scale vertical surfaces and ceilings. He has developed his concentration and control to the point that he can engage a single opponent, like Spider-Man, or multiple opponents with the arms while performing a completely separate, more delicate task, such as stirring coffee or constructing a machine. Due to his weight and age, his opponents are often lured into a false sense of security, only to find he is a formidable combatant, as he has managed to force to fight on the defensive, opponents as dangerous as Spider-man, Daredevil, and Captain America.[47]

Doctor Octopus has also employed an armored body suit enabling him to breathe underwater and designed to withstand extreme water pressure.[volume & issue needed]

Doctor Octopus has begun wearing a full-body armor suit due to a crippling illness caused by the amount of punishment he has sustained over the years - made even worse by the fact that his ability to take damage is still at a human norm, even if he can deliver a superhuman level of punishment. To compensate, he has covered his entire body with his new suit, his normal arms are bound to his chest, and four additional tentacles have been added to his harness. He also has telepathic control over an army of "Octobots", small, octopus-like drones.[35]


Dr. Octopus has possessed a total of three different harnesses during his career: the original titanium harness, a more powerful adamantium harness, and the current harness, with tentacles bearing an octopus-like motif. The original and adamantium harnesses were both destroyed in the Lethal Foes of Spider-Man miniseries.

His current harness is made of a titanium-steel-niobium alloy mixture that is dense but light weight in composition. While wearing the harness, the arms are powerful enough to allow him to walk up sheer concrete walls and move about quickly. They are also used to grab items, both small and large, and as literal weapons in terms of being swung at objects and people like clubs. The pincers at the end of each tentacle can also be used to cut and tear into the flesh of his enemies. His sheer power using these appendages was great enough to beat Daredevil, a seasoned combatant with superhuman senses, almost to death.[48]

The adamantium harness was powerful enough to both restrain and pummel the Hulk into submission during a series written by Erik Larsen. The adamantium in his tentacles made besting Iron Man in combat possible, tearing the hero's armor apart with a defeat so harsh that Tony Stark began to doubt his abilities almost enough to resort back to alcoholism.[49] The harness is also capable of holding a small jetpack allowing him to fly to places faster and able to evade Spider-Man more easily. Doctor Octopus is even capable of whirling his tentacles around to deflect small projectiles like bullets.

Eventually, Dr. Octopus' harness was surgically removed, but he was still able to control it mentally, even at a distance. This power was initially explained as having been caused by the initial accident; Octopus and his arms were fused together mentally, as well as physically. In fact, when the original harness was destroyed it caused Octavius excruciating pain. He was seen sweating profusely and screaming. Later stories suggest that Octavius possessed minor telepathic powers that gave him a direct mental link with his harness. These telepathic powers were also hinted at to have caused a brain aneurysm in his father when they first developed during puberty.

Other versions

House of M

In the House of M reality created by the Scarlet Witch, Otto Octavius makes an appearance as a researcher for the government, studying stem cells.

Marvel 1602

In the Marvel 1602 universe, a version of Dr. Octopus appears in the Spider-Man 1602 miniseries. Baron Octavius is an Italian nobleman living in France. His attempts to use the blood of octopi to cure himself of bubonic plague have resulted in his becoming a deformed monster. A potion derived from the blood of Hal McCoy by the natural philosopher Henri Le Pym keeps him human, but is growing steadily less effective. He believes that the blood of Peter Parquagh might be the basis of a more effective potion.[volume & issue needed]

Marvel Zombies

On Earth-2149 (a world in which almost all heroes and villains are zombies) an undead Doctor Octopus first appears in the Marvel Zombies series alongside several other zombie supervillains attempting to kill and devour the invading Galactus; this incarnation of Doctor Octopus is apparently destroyed piecemeal by several cosmically powered hero zombies after he got in the way of an attack they were aiming at Galactus.[50]

In the prequel series to Marvel Zombies, Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness and Marvel Zombies: Dead Days, the zombie Doctor Octopus makes a few cameo appearances, as a member of the undead Sinister Six. He returns in Marvel Zombies Return along with a version of the Sinister Six. He was ripped in half and infected by the undead Spider-Man. The Doctor's body is then destroyed.[51]


In the MC2 alternate continuity, it is revealed that Doctor Octopus attacked the Daily Bugle shortly after the disappearance/retirement of Spider-Man, killing editor-in-chief Joseph "Robbie" Robertson. This motivates Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson to initiate "Project: Human Fly", an attempt to create a government controlled superhero. Mercenaries (later revealed to be in the employ of Doctor Octopus) attempt to steal the Human Fly suit, but are thwarted when Jameson's grandson takes the suit (the controls of which bond to the first user) and becomes the superhero The Buzz. The Buzz and Spider-Girl eventually apprehend Doctor Octopus, who—now being struck with cancer—falls into a coma from which he is not expected to recover.

Later, the mantle of Doctor Octopus is taken up by Lady Octopus.

Noir Doctor Octopus

In the Spider-Man Noir series, his name however first appears in the Daily Bugle newspaper near the end of Volume 1 issue 4 as one of the biologists undertaking an oceanic voyage on a research ship named "The Atlantis'.[volume & issue needed] He appears in person in issue one of the sequel series, "Eyes Without a Face". Here, he is a doctor working in a facility on Ellis Island. His legs are crippled and withered, and he travels in a wheelchair with six long metal claw-like tentacles sticking out. He is officially conducting experiments on primates, to study their brains in connection with evolution, and in the end, it is shown he is secretly taking in kidnapped African-Americans for his own more secret experiments. He is later revealed to in fact be working with the Nazis and their American proxies, "Friends of New Germany", with the plot of making all minorities into mindless slaves.[52]

Spider-Man: India

In Spider-Man: India, Dr. Octopus is featured as a minion/meek doctor who is transformed by Nalin Oberoi into a mystical version of Doc Ock. He is later killed by Oberoi, while trying to help Spider-Man rescue MJ and Aunt Meera from Oberoi.

Spider-Man: Reign

In the Alternate Universe as conceived by Kaare Andrews, in which many superheroes had grown old and retired, Octavius appeared to save Spider-Man from death at the hands of an older version of the Sinister Six. While he originally appeared to merely be world-weary, relying on his 'four sons' (his tentacles) to keep him alive, he revealed via monologue that he had in fact been dead for months, and had left the tentacles a program that would force them into action to find Spider-Man. Furthermore, the tentacles were used to play the tape on which his monologue is recorded, and take him to the graveyard where his loved ones lay. The hope is to use Spider-Man to reignite the age of the super powered beings, as both Doctor Octopus and Spider-Man were born from nuclear accidents.

Ultimate Doctor Octopus

Doctor Octopus as seen in the pages of Ultimate Spider-Man #18 (April 2002). Art by Mark Bagley.

In Ultimate Spider-Man, Doctor Octopus is younger and very muscular. While the original Doctor Octopus wore sunglasses due to myopia, the Ultimate Octavius wears them to disguise horrible wounds inflicted on his eyes during the accident that created him, that leave him very sensitive to light. His arms are also different: he modifies them so that their ends are made up of nanobots, and thus can have various lethal accessories, transforming the three-pronged 'claws' into flamethrowers, tasers, and machine guns. Ultimate Six revealed he had a psychic link with his arms and could control them remotely; #103 expanded on this, revealing Octavius also has the ability to manipulate metal.

Dr. Otto Octavius is introduced as a scientist at OsCorp and secretly a corporate spy for Norman Osborn's business rival, Justin Hammer. He is caught in a lab accident (the same one that turns Norman into the Green Goblin), grafting his traditional metal arms onto his body. After this incident, he is able to communicate with these mechanical arms via telepathy. He modifies his arms to have the power to morph into different shapes, and then seeks revenge against Justin Hammer, but Spider-Man intervenes. Although Octavius is defeated by Spider-Man, Justin Hammer perishes due to a heart attack caused by Doctor Octopus attacking him. Afterwards, Octavius is brought into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody where he, along with Norman Osborn, form the Ultimate Six, consisting of some of Spider-Man's rogues gallery. There are only five villains to begin with, but Norman Osborn planned to bring Spider-Man into the group. The five attack S.H.I.E.L.D. and capture an unmasked Spider-Man. They tie him to a chair, and Osborn humiliates Peter by rcounting the accident that created him, and he and Otto's involvements. Osborn then blackmails Peter into joining them, threataning Mary Jane's life. In a battle between the Six and the Ultimates on the White House lawn, Octopus is taken down by Wasp. Octavius is separated from his tentacles and held in a different prison far away from them. Octavius later finds out that his ex-wife is giving the rights to use his likeness in the Spider-Man film. Outraged, he summons his tentacles from the S.H.I.E.L.D. facility and goes on a rampage. He manages to capture Spider-Man, and he brings him aboard an airplane, ties him to a chair, and unmasks him. From there, he inflicts humiliation and torture on to Peter, mocking him as a teenager, pulling a tooth out, and webbing his mouth. Peter escaped, and defeats Octavious. Back in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, Nick Fury melts Doctor Octopus' mechanical arms in front of him and instructs the guards to watch the melting mechanism for at least an hour afterwords to make sure the arms would not try to escape. However, in the Ultimate Hobgoblin story arc, it was revealed that a spare set of arms existed within a bunker belonging to Norman Osborn. Plans for these remain to be seen.

In the Ultimate Clone Saga, Otto Octavius was revealed to be responsible for all the Spider-Man clones, including an older clone of Peter believing itself to be Richard Parker, and a Gwen Stacy clone that can transform into the Carnage creature. His experimentation and research was done for the FBI/CIA (both organizations are said to be behind it in different issues) in order to find a way to create super soldiers so the U.S. Government wouldn't have to be reliant on Nick Fury's monopoly on the Ultimates. In #103, he smugly reveals he is now outside Fury's jurisdiction and takes pleasure in pointing out to Peter that his work perverts the hero's life. In issue #104 he creates a new set of arms out of metal scraps and battles both Spider-Man and Spider-Woman, killing two other clones in the process, before being knocked out.

Octavius makes a brief appearance in Ultimate Spider-Man #113 confronting Norman Osborn as the latter breaks out of the Triskelion; Octavius attacks his former boss to prevent his escape, informing him that he betrayed him by giving the OZ formula to the FBI. Otto is beating Norman senseless until his other former ally, Electro, intervenes and shocks Ock with a bolt of electricity, knocking him out.

During the Ultimate Mystery, Doctor Octopus appears as a member of Roxxon's Brain Trust.[53]

Alongside the rest of the Ultimate Six, Octopus plays a role in the "Death of Spider-Man" storyline. Norman Osborn breaks him and the rest out of the Triskelion. After their escape, Norman Osborn informs them that God wishes for them to kill Peter Parker.[54] Doctor Octopus wanted to leave the group, because he wanted to live a normal life as a scientist and also said that he took enough pride in helping created Spider-Man. Osborn was outraged by the fact that Octavius tried to share credit for Spider-Man's existence, and attacked him. The two of them fought which ended with Osborn pummeling him to death.[55]

This version of Doctor Octopus is ranked as 179th greatest comic book character of Wizard.[citation needed]

In other media


  • Doctor Octopus appears in the 1960s Spider-Man TV series, voiced by Vernon Chapman. In the episode "The Power of Dr. Octopus", he tries to destroy part of the city to demonstrate his power and captures Spider-Man along with Betty Brant before being webbed up. In the episode "The Terrible Triumph of Dr. Octopus," he tries to steal the Nullifier (an anti-missile weapon invented by Professor Smartyr).
  • Doctor Octopus appears in the Spider-Man episode "Bubble, Bubble, Oil and Trouble", voiced by Stanley Jones. He stole crystals in order to enhance the power of his extra arms and planned to use them to steal the oil from the ships at the harbor. He is stopped by Spider-Man.
  • Doctor Octopus was later a guest villain in the 1982 The Incredible Hulk episode "Tomb of the Unknown Hulk", voiced by Michael Bell. Doctor Octopus had stolen a rocket ship in the military camp.
  • Michael Bell reprises his role of Doctor Octopus, who appeared in the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends episode "Spidey Meets the Girl of Tomorrow". He plots to steal a time machine from two siblings from the future.
Doctor Octopus in the Spider-Man animated series.
  • Doctor Octopus made several appearances in the 1990s Spider-Man TV series, voiced by Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. in a thick Germanic accent. In his first episode "Doctor Octopus Armed and Dangerous", Otto Octavius was Peter Parker's science teacher at Science Camp when Peter was 10 years old. This relationship of former mentor and pupil made Dr. Octopus fond of Peter even after his descent into villainy. Years later, he began experiments in order to generate Nuclear Fusion inside a battery and was offered a position by the Hardy Foundation controlled by the mother of Felicia Hardy. After his budget was cut, he was forced to move to an old house where he continued his experiments on fusion using four metal tentacles. When the experiment exploded, Octavius' tentacles were permanently fused to his skeleton becoming Doctor Octopus. Of Spider-Man's main rogue's gallery, Doctor Octopus was a character that appeared quite frequently in the series. Aside from his vendettas against the Hardy Foundation, Octavius was also a member in both incarnations of the Kingpin's Insidious Six, as the leader of the group in the field. He later teamed up with the Kingpin to once again battle the Hardy family. On a solo venture, he created a sentient smaller robotic version of his tentacles called an Octobot. With it he battled Spider-Man, and after an injury caused the web-slinger to have temporary amnesia, he convinced Spider-Man they were partners in criminal endeavors. In the three-part "Secret Wars" saga, Doctor Octopus was among of the villains the Beyonder chose to represent evil in the Secret Wars saga. They conquer some of the planet. He originally colonized Octavia before it was taken over by Doctor Doom who renamed it New Latveria. This causes Doctor Octopus to collaborate with Red Skull and Alistair Smythe to reclaim Octavia after crushing the rebels. He and the other villains were later sent back to Earth by Doctor Doom. In the two part "Spider Wars" saga, a Spider-Man of an alternate dimension had defeated Docto Octopus and took possession of his trademark tentacles.
Doctor Octopus as he appears in The Spectacular Spider-Man.
  • Doctor Octopus appears in The Spectacular Spider-Man, voiced by Peter MacNicol, as a major antagonist. Dr. Octavius is a research scientist working under Norman Osborn at OsCorp. He is very timid and willing to apologize for every little thing, a direct contrast to his boss, Norman. He is one of OsCorp's most intelligent scientists and the creator of a four armed harness that makes him able to do dangerous experiments, playing a part in the creation of Sandman and Rhino, earning him the nickname "Doctor Octopus", which he considers demeaning. Eventually, as the result of a devastating nuclear fusion accident at Oscorp orchestrated by the Green Goblin, Octavius' harness becomes fused to his spinal cord. When found by Osborn and Spider-Man, the already paranoid doctor becomes deranged and megalomaniacal, blaming the two for his accident. He attacks both parties, and takes "Doctor Octopus" as his new name. With his arms permanently fused, he then seeks to destroy all of those who have wronged him, but Spider-Man eventually defeated the menace at a Coney Island carnival. In the following days, Doc Ock sent letters to Electro, who was going through therapy at Ravencroft. He convinced Electro to break him and the other members of the Sinister Six (Vulture, Sandman, Rhino, and Shocker) out of Ryker's Island to fight Spider-Man. Doc Ock showed an interest in Spider-Man's symbiote costume during the final battle at Central Park. Spider-Man's symbiote costume started to take control of Spider-Man and if it weren't for the intervention of Captain George Stacy, Doctor Octopus wouldn't have survived the battle. At the beginning of the second season, he is moved to Ravencroft where he is being treated by Dr. Kafka along with Electro and Cletus Kasady, and is apparently cured. He was offered a chance in the new Sinister Six, but Electro mentioned he isn't worth saving anymore, since he's no longer interested in villainy. At the end of the episode Reinforcement, his tentacles break him out of Ravencroft, apparently by force. It's later revealed that he is the Master Planner, and has been in preparation for a gang war between the criminal organizations of his, The Big Man's (Tombstone), and Silvermane's. He is defeated by Spider-Man when a fight breaks out between the leaders. Doctor Octopus is not seen again for the remainder of the series, as the gang war has ended and the next few episodes focused on the Green Goblin's return.


Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 2 (2004).
Spider-Man battles Doctor Octopus atop a subway train
  • Director of the Spider-Man films, Sam Raimi, has stated that Ock was intended to appear in the first film, teaming up with Green Goblin, but wasn't included because Raimi thought it "wouldn't do the movie justice to have a third origin in there."[56]
  • For Spider-Man 2 (2004), Doctor Octopus is portrayed by Alfred Molina as the main antagonist. The movie version is portrayed as a sympathetic character, and he is married to a woman named Rosalie. He first meets Peter when Curt Connors recommends visiting him. Otto tells Peter he is experimenting with a substance called tritium that he will use as a fusion-based energy source. He later begins his experiment with a handful of fellow scientists and reporters looking on, as well as Peter and Octavius' sponsor, Harry Osborn. Octavius attaches his A.I. tentacles to his waist and back, using them to contain the fusion beams. Unfortunately, the experiment goes out of control. The resulting magnetic field indirectly kills Rosalie and destroys the inhibitor chip that Otto had used to prevent the advanced AI of the arms from adversely influencing his own mind. It also fused the arms to his spine. At the hospital Otto's arms, now with a life of their own, kill the doctors while Otto is out cold. The tentacles convince Otto that in order to get funding for a new fusion reactor, he must begin a life of crime, becoming Doctor Octopus. Ock robs the first national bank of Manhattan, but is interrupted by Spider-Man. After a skirmish with the somewhat-debilitated Spider-Man, Ock abandons the bank heist and abducts Aunt May for use as a hostage. Spider-Man wins the day, but Ock avoids capture. Octavius spends the money that he stole to get equipment for the more advanced version of his experiment. Octavius travels to the home of Harry Osborn, who tells him that he will provide him with tritium once he brings Spider-Man to him. The next day, while Peter is having coffee with Mary Jane, Doc Ock crashes in and kidnaps Mary Jane. Peter follows Doc Ock to a tower on the west side. Their battle starts on the tower's top, but fall off onto the roof of a passing subway train. After battling for several minutes, it becomes clear that the two are too evenly matched for further fighting to have much purpose. Ock sets the train's throttle to maximum and then destroys the control panel, threatening to send the train hurtling off the end of an elevated track into the dockyards and sea. Ock easily captures the now exhausted Spider-Man after he saves the speeding train. Giving Spider-Man's unconscious body to Harry, he takes the tritium and heads back towards the warehouse. Spider-Man arrives in the nick of time, combating Octavius once again, and almost gets close to killing Spidey when he accidentally stabs some electric cables attached to the machine. Peter then reveals himself to Octavius, who has returned to his senses through a combination of factors: being pummelled into submission by Spider-Man, being given a lecture on morality by an unmasked Peter Parker, and simply by observing the danger inherent in the imploding reactor. With the machine once again out of control, and Otto decides to sacrifice himself to save the city. He destroys the reactor's support beams, and it sinks into the bottom of the river, taking Octavius with it.
  • Archive footage of Molina as Dr. Octopus appears in the opening scene of Spider-Man 3, and an old newspaper headline in J. Jonah Jameson's office states that Octopus is still at large.

Video games

Doctor Octopus appears in many Spider-Man computer games and video games, some of which feature him as the game's primary antagonist:

  • Doctor Octopus appears in the Spider-Man Questprobe game.
  • Doctor Octopus was one of many Spider-Man villains to appear in the arcade game Spider-Man: The Video Game.
  • Doc Ock is one of the bosses in The Amazing Spider-Man for the Game Boy.
  • Doctor Octopus is the final boss in Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six.
  • Dr. Octopus is the first boss in the game The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin.
  • Doctor Octopus the first boss in both the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis games based on the animated series.
  • Doctor Octopus appears as a boss in the Japanese only Super Famicon game Spider-Man: Lethal Foes.
  • Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. reprises his role of Doctor Octopus in the Spider-Man video game for the PlayStation, Dreamcast, PC, Nintendo 64, and Game Boy Color. Doctor Octopus works with Carnage to turn everyone in New York into symbiotes but they are both defeated by Spider-Man. After being defeated, the Carnage symbiote bonds with Ock, turning him into Monster Ock (voiced by Marcus Shirock). After Monster Ock is defeated, the Carnage symbiote separates from Doctor Octopus, and he is arrested and is seen banging his head on the cell bars.
  • Doctor Octopus appeared as the final boss in the Game Boy Color game Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six.
  • In Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro, Doctor Octopus was seen at the end still banging his head on the cell bars when the villains in Electro's cell ask Doctor Octopus' cellmates if they know how to play Go Fish.
  • Doctor Octopus appeared in the Spider-Man 2 game based on the movie Spider-Man 2 voiced by Alfred Molina. He was the final boss in the game, in addition to being in other boss fights. He also is seen in the boss arena along with Rhino, Shocker, and Calypso, respectively, replacing Mysterio.[citation needed] In the PC/Mac version of the Spider-Man 2 game, the prologue cutscene takes most of the cutscene from the main console version where Dr. Octavius' machine goes haywire and Spider-Man swings in to stop it. Taking from that, Doc Ock is responsible for nearly all of the game's events. It is possible that he was responsible for having several crooks cause a major riot at the New York Maximum Security Prison and free the supervillain known as the Rhino, which was successful, though the Rhino failed to kill Spider-Man when he escaped. After the Rhino was defeated when he accidentally blew up a gas station and was sent several blocks away from the explosion, knocked unconscious, we see Ock's arms spiriting Rhino away. In the next level, Doc Ock pulls a heist on the bank, like he did in the movie and the main console version, and after Spider-Man defeats several of Ock's crooks and saves several security guards and civilians, he confronts Ock in the bank's basement. There, Ock is stealing much gold and money in a vault and after Spider-Man solves a puzzle that opens the large triple door that is separating them, they battle. Ock escapes, and Spider-Man is forced to let him go to save his Aunt May from three crooks whom have decided to kidnap her and place her in their van. Later, after Spider-Man defeats the supervillain Puma at a construction site, Puma reveals to Spider-Man he was merely a distraction for Spider-Man while Ock kidnapped his girlfriend, Mary Jane Watson, which Ock did. Later, Ock was responsible for the hold-up at OsCorp with his thugs, the Rhino, and the eight bombs Ock planted in the building. Spider-Man took care of all those, but Ock counted on Mysterio to distract the vigilante with an illusion of New York literally torn up out of the ground. Mysterio failed, and Spider-Man lived. Later, Spider-Man fought through several of Ock's cronies at the subway station, and confronted him on top of a moving train where Ock constantly threw things at Spider-Man and dismantled the carts of the train. That is until it crashed, and both superhumans survived. Spider-Man tracked Doc Ock down in his compound, fighting through more thugs, destroying gun turrets Ock placed around and inside the compound, until Spider-Man finally found Mary Jane and Ock activated his machine. There, Ock confronted Spider-Man on a platform on top of a machine, throwing explosive barrels at Spider-Man, and the vigilante defeated him by shooting at four generators that caused explosions that temporarily stunned Ock and let Spider-Man pummel him several times. Once Spider-Man finally defeats Ock, he realizes the error of his ways like he did in the movie, and sacrifices himself by pulling his machine down into the river as Spider-Man saves Mary Jane.
  • Doctor Octopus is a playable character and a boss in the Spider-Man: Friend or Foe video game voiced by Joe Alaskey. He alongside Green Goblin, Sandman, and Venom are shown in the opening cutscene fighting Spider-Man and New Goblin until they are attacked by P.H.A.N.T.O.M.s and the villains end up abducted. Spider-Man encounters him in a secret lab within a Japanese industrial factory building another solar generator apparently to power the P.H.A.N.T.O.M.s. Spider-Man defeats Doctor Octopus and frees him from the Control Amulet. After being freed, Doctor Octopus joins Spider-Man on his quest because like the vast amount of other villains in the game he is after revenge for being put under mind control. After agreeing to aid Spider-Man, he says "If I didn't know any better, I'd swear I've been punched," to which Spider-Man (who had punched him various times during their battle) answers "Huh. Weird."
  • A female, Marvel 2099 version of Doctor Octopus appears as a boss in the video game Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions,[57] voiced by Tara Strong. Her real name is Dr. Serena Patel and she is the head scientist of Alchemax's Shadow Division which is dedicated to the creation of dangerous super-weapons and twisted experiments. Fearing that Spider-Man's war on Alchemax would lead to her, Patel creates a battle suit and models it after her idol Dr. Otto Octavius along with six high-tech mechanical arms, and gives herself the title of 2099's Dr. Octopus. Believing that Octavius killed the Heroic Age Spider-Man, she uses her knowledge of history to defeat the 2099 Spider-Man including creating Hobgoblin 2099 and manipulating Scorpion 2099. When she finds a fragment of the Tablet of Order and Chaos, she goes mad with power and builds a Condensed Matter Reactor powered by the fragment to wreak havoc and take over the world. When Spider-Man 2099 finds Doctor Octopus, he is attacked by her and escapes upon setting off the self-destruct sequence. Spider-Man 2099 escapes the explosion and finds her at the Condensed Matter Reactor. Doctor Octopus ends up unleashing some strange creatures wielding a copy of her tentacle on Spider-Man 2099 as he moves about to shut down the 4 reactor cores. After shutting down the reactor cores, Spider-Man 2099 confronts Doctor Octopus in the reactor. Doctor Octopus is defeated by Spider-Man who claims the tablet fragment.
  • Doctor Octopus (credited as Doc Ock) appears as a villain in two missions in the MMORPG Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, voiced by Peter MacNicol.
  • Doctor Octopus appears in Spider-Man: Edge of Time, voiced by Dave B. Mitchell. When history is altered so that Alchemax was established in the seventies, Doctor Octavius is a scientist employed by the company, who apparently never turned to crime, although he still uses his tentacles as tools for his research. When he and Walker Sloane (the company 'founder') attempt to use Anti-Venom to kill Spider-Man, the intervention of a future Spider-Man results in Octavius, Sloane and Anti-Venom being merged and trapped between the two times after they are all accidentally thrown into the time portal at the same time. When they return to the real world as the monstrous Atrocity (resembling a bloated Anti-Venom with Doctor Octopus's tentacles), the two Spider-Men are able to determine that separating Atrocity by returning it to the portal is the key to stopping the time storms that now threaten to destroy reality. They are also able to use Atrocity to defeat the Alchemax CEO (a future version of Peter Parker) by having Spider-Man tear off Atrocity's tentacles and toss them through the portal into the future, the Anti-Venom elements of the tentacles weakening CEO Peter enough for the future Spider-Man to injure him.


  • Doctor Octopus appears in the Robot Chicken episode "Tapping a Hero" voiced by Seth Green. In the "Superheroes Tonight" segment, paparazzi nabbed Spider-Man emerging from a window from Aunt May's house causing Doctor Octopus to think that Aunt May was Spider-Man.

Toys and collectibles

  • Doc Ock has been recreated in action figure form multiple times, first as part of Mattel's Secret Wars line, then later many times by Toy Biz in their Spider-Man and Marvel Legends series, and finally by Hasbro as part of their Spider-Man: Origin series. The movie figure will also be featured in Hasbro's Marvel Legends Spider-Man 3 wave. The action feature from this figure was removed. Hasbro released a Spectacular Spider-Man action figure later.
  • The character has also been recreated in several statues and mini-busts, by the likes of Diamond Select, Art Asylum, and Bowen Designs.
  • Doctor Octopus is the third figurine in the Classic Marvel Figurine Collection.



  1. ^ Doctor Octopus is number 28 , IGN.
  2. ^ Conroy, Mike. 500 Comicbook Villains, p.44-45, Collins & Brown, 2004.
  3. ^ DeCandido, Keith R.A. (1997). "Arms and the Man". In Stan Lee and Kurt Busiek. Untold Tales of Spider-Man. Berkley Trade; Boulevard edition. ISBN 1572972947 
  4. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #3
  5. ^ Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1
  6. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #31-32
  7. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #53
  8. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #54
  9. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #55
  10. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #56
  11. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #88
  12. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #89-90
  13. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #112-115
  14. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #130-131
  15. ^ Amazing Spider-Man#152, 154, 156
  16. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #157-159
  17. ^ Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #1
  18. ^ Amazing Spider-Man Annual #15
  19. ^ Spectacular Spider-Man #73, 75, 76
  20. ^ Spectacular Spider-Man #124
  21. ^ a b Fantastic Four #267
  22. ^ Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1-12
  23. ^ Web of Spider-Man #4-5
  24. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #297
  25. ^ Spectacular Spider-Man (vol. 1) #220
  26. ^ Spectacular Spider-Man (vol. 1) #221
  27. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #427
  28. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #428
  29. ^ Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #43
  30. ^ Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #44
  31. ^ Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #45
  32. ^ Spectacular Spider-Man (vol. 2) #6
  33. ^ Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #12
  34. ^ Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #24
  35. ^ a b Amazing Spider-Man #600
  36. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #642
  37. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #643
  38. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #644
  39. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #645
  40. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #646
  41. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #648
  42. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #653
  43. ^ Invincible Iron Man #502
  44. ^ "Avengers Academy #14"
  45. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #659
  46. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #660
  47. ^ Spectacular Spiderman #221
  48. ^ Daredevil #165
  49. ^ Marvel Fanfare #22
  50. ^ Robert Kirkman (w), Sean Phillips (p), Sean Phillips (i). "Marvel Zombies (Part Four)" Marvel Zombies 4 (May, 2006), Marvel Zombies
  51. ^ Marvel Zombies Return #1 (2009)
  52. ^ Spider-Man Noir: Eyes Without a Mask Issues #1-4
  53. ^ Ultimate Mystery #3
  54. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #156
  55. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #157
  56. ^ (DVD) Making The Amazing. Sony. 2004. 
  57. ^ Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions Achievements

External links

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