One of Spider-Man’s earliest, and coolest, foes is Doctor Octopus. Whoever thought of this villain was a genius. With four mechanical arms that are controlled by the mind of a madman, he lasted nearly the entire first volume of Amazing Spider-Man, starting from issue 3 all the way to issue 700 and continuing into Superior Spider-Man. So obviously the two of them have fought many times. But what was it like the first time? What was it like when we saw Spider-Man vs Doctor Octopus?
In Amazing Spider-Man issue 3 we see that Spider-Man has been getting bored battling muggers and low-life criminals. He wishes that he had an actual challenge, as his strength has out-matched everyone. Be careful what you wish for Spider-Man! During an accidental nuclear explosion, brilliant scientist Doctor Octopus had his mechanical arms fused to his body and his mind went bad. Suddenly he’s an evil villain. A little far fetched perhaps but now we have the powerful foe that can match Spider-Man’s power. We also have someone who is smarter than him as well. So everyone knows that this is a setup for a fun fighting match.
When Spider-Man shows up at the hospital hoping to get some photographs for the Daily Bugle, he discovers that the good doc has flipped his lid. He also finds out that Doc Oc’s arms also have super-strength and it takes all of Spider-Man’s strength to overpower them. The arms are also too powerful for Spider-Man’s webbing. They have the “energy of an atom”. Since Spider-Man appears to be no threat, the doctor just throws him out the window. Spider-Man is confused since he had never been beaten before, and couldn’t even put up a good fight.
A pep talk from The Human Torch (from the Fantastic Four) encourages Peter Parker (Spider-Man) to never give up. We see Spider-Man vs Doctor Octopus in an Atomic Research Center. Since Doc Oc took over the lab he’s throwing all sorts of things at Spider-Man like electric bolts. Spider-Man finds a Chemical lab and creates a concoction that fuses two of Doc Oc’s mechanical arms together. After shooting a web at his enemy Spider-Man knocks him out with an old-fashioned punch to the jaw. The Moral of the story is that Spider-Man won with his wits and not his strength.
If you are a fan of movies then you might know that we also got to see Spider-Man vs Doctor Octopus. In the second Sam Raimi movie, we see Doc Oc with a varied origin. In a similar accident while attempting to create fusion, his mechanical arms became permanently fused to his body. However in this case the arms have a form of artificial intelligence, and they influence Doc Ocs mind. Why they are evil I don’t know.
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