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  • September 18, 2022 9 min read

    Doctor Octopus(Otto Octavius) is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and first appeared in Amazing Spider-man #3(July 1963).A highly intelligent mad scientist, Doctor Octopus 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.

    Publication History(1)

    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. Lee recounted that "usually in creating a villain the first thing I would think of was a name, and then I would try to think of, 'Well, now that I've got the name, who's the character going to be and what will he do?' For some reason, I thought of an octopus. I thought, 'I want to call somebody Octopus. And I want him to have a couple of extra arms just for fun.' But I had to figure out how to do that." The character soon appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #11-12, and again in #31-33.


    Fictional Character Biography(2)

    Otto Octavius had a turbulent upbringing. His father, a factory worker, was abusive and violent towards both Otto and his mother, leading Otto to be shy and reclusive in school. However, at his mother's insistence, he was determined not to become like his father and threw all his efforts into his education, regularly scoring top marks. It was hinted that he was a low-level telepathic mutant whose powers emerged at puberty; this mutation may have been responsible for giving his father an aneurysm as his father went to beat him. His father's death in an industrial accident pushed Otto further towards the study of, and obsession with, physical science.

    Before his transformation into the megalomaniacal archenemy of the web-slinger, Otto was a brilliant and respected nuclear physicist, inventor, and lecturer. He became the youngest person to serve on the National Board of Nuclear Science. He designed a set of highly advanced mechanical arms to assist him with his research into atomic physics. The tentacled arms were resistant to radiation and were capable of great strength and highly precise movement. They were attached to a harness that fit around his body.

    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), and the scientist turned to a life of crime.

    Though Doctor Octopus himself tends to be portly, and in poor physical shape, he has recently been able to improve upon his physique. He was also near-sighted to the extent that he was legally blind without the aid of his extremely thick eyeglasses, but he no longer appears to suffer from that problem, presumably through the use of laser surgery. With his harness attached he is physically far more than a match for Spider-Man; in his first appearance he beat Spider-Man so badly that the wall-crawler considered giving up his heroic career until he was inspired to continue by the Human Torch at the time when the Fantastic Four was called in to fight Doctor Octopus.

    Over the years, Dr. Octopus has become one of most recognizable members of Spider-Man's rogues' gallery. He remains one of Spider-Man's most dangerous foes, having many legendary battles with him over the years. His crowning achievement was the near-fatal stabbing of Spider-Man's then-partner/lover, the Black Cat, who was placed in critical condition. This led to Spider-Man beating Dr. Octopus within an inch of his life. The trauma of the beating he received from Spider-Man left Octavius severely phobic of Spider-Man and spiders in general for years. This lasted until Spider-Man was forced to let his nemesis beat him in combat so as to allow him to break free of his fears and recruit him to save New York City from an exploding nuclear reactor.

    Doctor Octopus has worked with other supervillains on several occasions, most notably as the leader of the original incarnation of the Sinister Six. He has been a member of several versions of the team, and founded his own short-lived version of the Masters of Evil when his teammates from the Sinister Six proved too difficult to manipulate. Certain members of the Six have since attempted to murder him, to no avail.

    At one point, a boy named Ollie Osnick ran away from home, having stolen his father's Octopus-like equipment. He intended to become Doctor Octopus' sidekick, which was to be very much ill-fated. After a brief skirmish with Spider-Man, Osnick was returned home, sans tentacles.

    Doctor Octopus was murdered by the insane Peter Parker clone named Kaine. Octavius's student Carolyn Trainer took over the identity of Doctor Octopus until Octavius was resurrected by a branch of the mystical ninja cult known as the Hand. Although Octavius had discovered Peter Parker's dual identity shortly prior to his death while curing Parker of a lethal virus created by the Vulture, he lost all knowledge of it upon his resurrection. The reason for this was the memories he regained came from a those recorded on a computer chip provided by his associate Trainer. That recent memory had not been recorded at the time of his death. It is as yet uncertain whether or not Trainer had some ulterior motive for remodeling Octavius's mind.

    After his resurrection, 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 also had to contend with a usurper, an arrogant, yet brilliant scientist named Carlyle. Envious of Octavius's power, Carlyle created his own version of Octavius's harness and then tried to kill him. At the moment, none of the other people who assumed the mantle of Dr. Octopus are currently active, either due to retirement, imprisonment, or, in Ollie Osnick's case, a decision to emulate Spider-Man instead.

    Most recently, Octavius resurfaced in the attempt to kidnap a Palestinian ambassador, in hopes of causing chaos for reasons unknown. His plot was thwarted by Spider-Man and his temporary sidekick the Kiwi Kid. Octavius is currently doing time in a penitentiary.

    Powers and Abilities(3)

    Otto 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.

    Due to exposure to atomic radiation, Doctor Octopus has acquired the mental ability of psychokinetic control over the four electrically powered, telescoping, prehensile, titanium-steel artificial tentacle "arms" (a degree of psychokinetic control over them that he can also exercise over vast distances even when they are not connected to him) that are attached to a stainless-steel harness encompassing his lower torso. Each of these four arms is 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 are 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. He has managed to force opponents as formidable as Spider-Man, Daredevil, and Captain America to take up a defensive position in a fight.

    Doctor Octopus has also employed an armored body suit enabling him to breathe underwater and designed to withstand extreme water pressure.

    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; he relies completely on his arms to prevent opponents with superhuman strength getting in close enough to damage his relatively unfit physical form even before his illness. 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 has also developed psychokinetic-telepathic control over an army of "Octobots" (small octopus-like drones).


    Doctor Octopus has possessed a total of three different harnesses during his career: the original titanium harness, a more powerful adamantium harness, and a carbonanium 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.

    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 allow his persistent problem with alcohol abuse to flare up. 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.

    Powers as Spider-Man

    Having taken over Spider-Man's body, Otto Octavius gains possession of all of Spider-Man's powers, abilities, memories, and equipment, although he loses access to Spider-Man's memories after apparently removing his foe from their shared mind. As a way to reaffirm his perceived superior mind, he tinkered with the original Spider-Man costume, adding some carbonadium plating over his neck and skull, talons on his hands and feet, split-toed footwear fashioned as jika-tabi shoes, a slightly different, more imposing spider-motif on his back and enhanced lenses in his costume, with HUD and tracking abilities.

    He also retains access to some of his former Doctor Octopus hideouts, coupling Horizon Tech-derived inventions with his own peculiar brand of technology.


    The Octobots are octopus-themed robots that are created by Doctor Octopus. There are two different kinds of Octobots:

    The first model of the Octobot seen is a little metal ball with eight legs which are controlled mentally by Doctor Octopus via a remote control. These Octobots can also be used to attack, to perform different tasks, and attach themselves to anyone so that Doctor Octopus can control them.

    The second model of the Octobot seen is a giant metallic robot which Doctor Octopus uses to attack huge constructions.

    The Octobots have at least two known variations:

    The Spider-Slayers - These Spider-Slayers that appeared in Spider-Island are actually first generation Octobots that Spider-Man had laden with a special serum which was used to cure the Spider-Virus that slowly turned everyone into Man-Spiders.

    The Spider-Bots - The Spider-Bots are small red and blue spiders. While inside Spider-Man's body, he controlled them by remote and able to enact constant surveillance over the whole New York city, perform different tasks and control technology.

    Supporting Characters



    Doctor Octopus doesn't have many allies. He's a part of the Sinister Six which includes himself, Mysterio, Kraven The Hunter, Electro, Vulture and Sandman.





    Doctor Octopus has a number of enemies including Spider-man, Spider-man(Miles Morales), Spider-Gwen, Agent Venom, Spider-Woman, Daredevil and many more.








    Spider-Man 2(2004)

    This movie was the sequel to the Spider-man and was also directed by Sam Raimi. The movie featured Tobey Maguire reprising his role as Spider-man, James Franco as Harry Osborn and Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane. It also featured Alfred Molina as Dr. Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus. This movie was considered the best of the three movies and performed well both critically and financially.





    Notable Comics(4)

    Comics Writer(s) Artist(s)

    Essential Spider-Man Vol. 1
    Stan Lee Steve Ditko
    Spider-Man: Sinister Six Stan Lee, David Michelinie Steve Ditko, Erik Larsen
    Fantastic Four #267 John Byrne John Byrne, Glynis Wein
    Spider-Man - Doctor Octopus: Year One Zeb Wells Karre Andrews, Jose Villarrubia