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Grey Gargoyle

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
In Reply To

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,072
Subj: Fair played, thank you. :-)
Posted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 10:47:26 am EST (Viewed 156 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Doc Ock // Spidey !!!
Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 at 11:24:49 am EST (Viewed 126 times)

    I see. Still, I'd say that a villain comparing himself to his opponent so that he can describe himself as better (or should the word here be "superior"? \:\-\) ) is an old convention, so here comparing his arms to a web even if that comparison does not, IMO, properly fit, can be excused.

Granted. \:\-\)
It was also tempting, spiders being trapsters, for Steve Ditko to make a visual effect on the cover showing a totally powerless Spider-Man against Doc Ock.

    BTW, ASM #3 does provide two other interesting things:

    On the splash-page Doctor Octopus is already (and somewhat spoilerifically) touted as "the only enemy ever to defeat Spider-Man". Even though that did not mean very much at the time (in his previous three appearances Spider-Man had merely been up against a normal-powered burglar, a normal-powered master of disguise (the Chameleon) and an enhanced senior citizen (the Vulture)(1)), the story did set up Doc Ock as a villain to be reckoned with. And until the Green Goblin showed up and carved out his niche, Otto Octavius was arguably the top dog among Spider-Man's villains.

Yes : Doc Ock is the first opponent whose abilities are supposed to nullify Spider-Man's powers.

Chameleons are supposed to be eating arthropods but, like you said, the Chameleon isn't strong enough to beat Spider-Man in a fair fight.
The Vulture might be his first super-strong opponent but a bird would be a prey for a giant spider.

On the contrary, even if spiders & octopuses are far from being natural antagonists, there is some kind of logic to choose an octopus as the totem of the next foe.
Visually, both animals are quite disgusting & scary.
Both are trapsters.
Both have eight legs.
Et cetera.

BTW, when Doc Ock first appeared, he was supposed to be a mutate like Spider-Man.
He had some kind of supernatural psionic power over his artificial arms.
In the first issue, it is more than some kind of telepathy.
Doc Ock comments that the arms are stronger after the radioactive accident.
So it might be some kind of psychokinesis (like how Medusa controls her hair).
In later issues, Stan Lee forgot it and explained that the arms are using hydraulic technology to be super strong.

Then, the Marvel Handbook tried to give a more precise explanation : the arms are powered by some kind of portative atomic battery and that's why they never need to recharge and why they are so powerful.

Then, more recently, the cyberpathy was explained by a cybernetic interface built by Doc Ock to control his arms.

Actually, all these retcons evolved Doc Ock :
Everybody thought that he was a super-powered mutate thanks to a radioactive accident.
Instead, he is a normal human who built the weapons that he used against Spider-Man.

In a previous post, you spoke about Calamari Carlyle, the guy who failed to replace Doc Ock as the new "multi-armed supervillain around".

One of the consequences of the evolution of Doc Ock is that he is no longer the only one who can become Dr. Octopus.
"Classic Doc Ock" being a mutate, nobody else had the same link that he had with his arms.
On the contrary, if the cyberpathy is based on the technology of a cybernetic interface and if the strength is due to an atomic battery, then somebody else can duplicate its technology, like Trainer & Carlyle.

Being a bit conservative on the topic, I wish that writers hadn't forgot that Doc Ock is supposed to have some kind of superpower (technopathy) but, unfortunately, they have.
Ultimate Doc Ock was quite interesting because BMB & Mark Bagley 'updated' the power level of the character (to the point that he is nearly as powerful as Magneto).

Anyway, my favorite version of Doc Ock is when he is supposed to be more powerful than Spider-Man :
- experienced scientist vs scientific student
- four super-strong arms vs two super-strong arms
- tireless artificial arms vs superhuman resiliency
et cetera

Of course, it is an old convention that the powers of the supervillain are superior to the ones of the superhero but it is an important one.
Otherwhile, there is no challenge.

One of the worst times of the career of Doc Ock was at the beginning of the 1980s : when he developped arachnophobia and started to fear Spider-Man.
It was an original idea to further the relationship between the villain and the hero but if the villain is afraid of the hero, then there is no challenge anymore.
I was quite surprised by such an idea (Doc Ock was one of the only two Spidey foes participating to the Secret Wars and the only one with a Secret Wars action figure).
Also, back then, Green Goblin 1 was supposed to be dead, Green Goblin 2 was 'cured' (Harry was happily married) and Hobgoblin was only a newcomer. Venom only appeared in 1989.
Nevertheless, the 1980s have been no good to poor Doc Ock.
I had to wait the Return of the Sinister Six to see the true return of the criminal mastermind (only to see him humiliated by Hulk then ...).

So, that's the problem with Doc Ock : the 1960s are his Golden Age.
In the 1960s, even after Green Goblin showed up, he was still one of the Apex villains (the deaths of Bennett Brant & George Stacy, the only villain who actually became a lodger of Aunt May ! ...).

But, in the 1970s ... the wedding with Aunt May was such a ridiculous idea ...

Then, in the 1980s, when he had some kind of nervous breakdown ...

I've always felt that there has always been some kind of symmetry between Spidey & Doc Ock (even in the 1980s).
He is one of the few Spidey villains to be known by his nickname given by Stan Lee (the other being Scorpey ... Yes, that's the Scorpion).

So, that's why I try to prove so much how close they can be or they could be.
It is true that there are other villains with animal totems, alliterative names, radioactive origins, scientific knowledge, abilities which can cancel Spider-Man's powers, et cetera. but Doc Ock is one of the few who gathers all these characteristics into one supervillain and also who knows Aunt May.

Even if the Green Goblin is the 'greatest villain' (because he slept with Gwen ... sorry, I mean, because he killed Gwen), for me, Doc Ock is the one.

I think that, with good writers, he could be more interesting than Osborn or Venom.

The closest to an evil counterpart of Spider-Man could have been Spencer Smythe with the Spider Slayer Mark III but I see him more as a 'B version' of Doc Ock than as a true archfoe.

    And of course, in the panel just before the one with the lines you quoted, Doctor Octopus utters the immortal words: "And now, *Super-Man,* I grow bored with this game!"

One of the funniest lapsus ever (^_^)

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