Tag Archives: Dr. Octopus

Amazing Spider-Man #32, Jan. 1966

Amazing Spider-Man #32, Jan. 1966

Script & Editing by: Stan Lee
Plot & Illustration by: Steve Ditko
Lettering & Kibitzing by: Artie Simek

Damn, this is one emotionally-charged comic book. Watching Spider-Man get angry and going berserk on all the small-time crooks he comes across is something completely different than normal. I mean, most of the time when he gets mad it’s because he made a fool out of himself in front of a girl or J. Jonah Jameson stiffed him on a payment or something, and that’s more of an inner fuming than anything else. He gets fucking PISSED in this ish.

Aunt May is in the hospital and is very weak, and it turns out it’s because she somehow got some radioactive particles in her blood. How could that have happened? Maybe back when Peter Parker gave her a blood transfusion, and look, bub, he’s got radioactive blood! Well, that sucks, Pete is pretty much directly responsible for his aunt’s sickness. He gets the idea to call in a favor from Dr. Curt Connors, whom he saved from being the Lizard a while back. Connors orders some radioactive isotope that he needs in his serum, but it gets hijacked by the Master Planner’s gang.

So now Spider-Man is pissed. The Master Planner’s guys have been bugging him for a while now, and he doesn’t exactly know where they are. He starts tearing through all the crooks he can find near the waterfront, where he’s pretty sure the gang’s hideout is, but none of them know the Master Planner’s deal, either. After a couple days of this brutal interrogation, Spidey finally stumbles across their hideout and just beats the shit out of them. He finally meets the Master Planner, who turns out to be Dr. Octopus, but fights him off with such ferocity that Doc Ock just runs away. Unfortunately, Spidey causes a cave-in in the underwater base and gets trapped under a huge piece of metal.

This is the lead-in to one of the most famous Spider-Man moments, which’ll be in the next issue, with Spidey stuck under this piece of metal. It’s just this hugely powerful thing, this superhero being trapped and slowly drowning, knowing that his beloved aunt is dying because of him and the cure sitting mere feet away from him. This is why people love Spider-Man.

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Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, 1964

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, 1964

Written by: Stan Lee
Drawn by: Steve Ditko
Lettered by: S. Rosen

Man, if this was 1964 and there was anybody who didn’t pick up a copy of this annual, they were missing out in a big way. Not only does it have Spidey fighting the Sinister Six, featuring his six best villains to date, each with their own full-page action shot, it also features cameos from just about every other Marvel superhero (not counting the Hulk or Daredevil) and a short featurette in the end with a fictionalized account of how Stan Lee and Steve Ditko come up with their ideas for the comics. It’s a damn entertaining read.

Spider-Man recalls the time his beloved Uncle Ben dies and how he still feels guilty for his death. Suddenly, his powers seem to go out! Oh shit! This is doubly problematic, as Dr. Octopus has just gathered together a legion of other supervillains, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, the Vulture, Mysterio and Sandman to form what he calls the Sinister Six. Their plan: Kidnap Betty Brant (whom Spider-Man fought Doc Ock to save a couple times) and make him go through them, one by one, weakening him until he’s eventually defeated.

When Electro and the Sandman go to kidnap Betty Brant, it just so happens that Peter Parker’s Aunt May is there as well, making a social call to the girl she thinks has been upsetting Pete. The villains nab them both and stick them in a castle with Dr. Octopus. Even though he has no powers, Spider-Man has to try and save his girlfriend and aunt, so he goes after Electro. During the fight, he realizes that he actually has his powers after all, it was just a psychosomatic effect from all the guilt, and happily cleans up the entire squad of baddies. He finally rescues the girls, only to find that Aunt May has taken a serious shock… she missed the Beverly Hillbillies! But wasn’t that Dr. Octopus such a nice and gracious host?

Just like Spider-Man mentions in the final battle of this issue, the major flaw of the Sinister Six is that they all split up and tried to take him one-on-one, which basically completely defeats the point of teaming up in the first place. Apart from that, this is an excellent issue that’s full of great action, excellent comedy (we spend so much time with J. Jonah Jameson, you know it’s gotta be funny), and just an all-around solid story. Hollywood, if you ever wanted to adapt an old Spider-Man comic into a movie, you could do way worse than just reading this annual.


Amazing Spider-Man #12, May 1964

Amazing Spider-Man #12, May 1964

Written in the white heat of inspiration by: Stan Lee
Drawn in a wild frenzy of enthusiasm by: Steve Ditko
Lettered in a comfortable room by: Art Simek

I know a lot of superheroes flirt with having their identities revealed, but it’s just amazing that nobody’s ever figured Peter Parker was Spider-Man. It’s nearly as obvious as Clark Kent being Superman, and he doesn’t even wear a mask.

Doc Ock got away in ASM #11, and he’s apparently been doing a bunch of crimes in Philadelphia, waiting for Spider-Man to come after him so he can be killed. Of course, Peter Parker can’t get away from school, plus he doesn’t have the money to take another trip, so Dr. Octopus decides to go to New York to find Spidey there. He breaks into the Daily Bugle and kidnaps Betty Brant, telling J. Jonah Jameson to print a challenge to Spider-Man. Spidey’s on his way to Coney Island to confront the evil doctor, but he realizes that he’s weak due to some sort of virus. Octopus beats him easily then unmasks him, making everyone think it was just Pete dressing up as Spider-Man to rescue Betty.

Ock’s next try to fight the REAL Spider-Man is the next day, when he releases a bunch of wild animals from the zoo. Spidey’s feeling better, and helps the cops wrangle up the loose animals. He finds Dr. Octopus and they have an epic fight, ending with Doc Ock being trapped under a statue in a burning art museum. He falls through the floor and is captured by the cops… but it’s the fire’s fault, not Spider-Man’s. Obviously.

I wonder if the very entertaining sequence of Spider-Man fighting a bear, lion, and gorilla was the inspiration for introducing Kraven the Hunter, who constantly had big game animals for Spidey to fight. Probably not, but whatever, I’m just filling up space with some words! Hoorayyyyyyyy wordddsssssss!!!


Amazing Spider-Man #11, Apr. 1964

Amazing Spider-Man #11, Apr. 1964

None but Stan Lee¬†could’ve written this epic tale!
None but Steve Ditko could have drawn such gripping scenes!
Lettered by: S. Rosen

The plot of this issue revolves heavily around the relationship between Peter Parker and Betty Brant, J. Jonah Jameson’s secretary, and I haven’t been mentioning it very much. Basically Pete wants to date Betty, and Betty has a brother who’s in deep to the mob so she ran away from work and friends so they wouldn’t find out. I know I’ve been in that situation before.

Dr. Octopus has finally served his sentence and is being let out on good behavior. Spider-Man decides to watch his release, just in case, and sees him get into a car driven by… Betty?! Luckily he’s invented a spider-tracker, and plants it on the car, which drives all the way to Philidelphia. Doc Ock is being paid by a gangster, Blackie Gaxton, to break him out of prison.

Pete convinces his Aunt May to let him take a weekend vacation to Philly, and catches up with Doc Ock and Gaxton as they’re trying to get away on a boat, along with Betty and her brother. A fight breaks out which eventually resolves with Dr. Octopus getting away, the cops arresting everyone, and Betty’s brother being shot by Gaxton when he was struggling with Spider-Man. In a way, Betty blames Spider-Man for her brother’s death, and never wants to see him again! At this point, Pete decides that he’s not going to tell Betty that he’s actually Spider-Man after all.

Drama, intrigue, guys with giant robot arms fighting guys who shoot webs out of their hands… this issue’s got it all! No wonder comic books are so popular, I guess some people prefer their interesting humanistic stories to be punctuated by aliens fighting monsters. IS THAT SO WRONG?!


Amazing Spider-Man #3, July 1963

Amazing Spider-Man #3, July 1963

Story by: Stan Lee
Art by: Steve Ditko
Letterer: John Duffy

Nice, Dr. Octopus. I don’t know if you remember what I said earlier about heroes being defined by their villains (it was a way to say that I hate Ant Man), but I think that’s a huge reason why Spider-Man is a great hero, because he has awesome villains. Nearly all his recurring villains are great, not counting Mysterio, of course.

A brilliant nuclear scientist named Otto Octavius (or “Dr. Octopus”, because of the huge metal tentacles he wears) gets into an accident to find his robotic tentacles fused to him, and also he can control them mentally instead of having to use the controls. Spider-Man is a cocky little fuck and goes after him, thinking there won’t be any problems, but gets his ass handed to him. In typical Peter Parker fashion, he decides to give up forever because he finally got beaten.

The next day at school, there’s an assembly where the Human Torch gives a speech about not giving up, and this inspires Pete to try again (I think the reasoning was, “if not even the Human Torch gives up, then I really have no excuse”). This time he spends some time making a special chemical which will fuse Doc Ock’s metal arms together, which gives him the time to punch the dude in the face. Turns out his weak spot is everywhere but the giant robot arms.

There are two really good Spidey trademarks in this issue. First, Pete giving up. He does this ALL THE TIME. And it’s because he’s this green teenager who doesn’t really know anything about being a superhero, which is a great trait to give the guy. Secondly, he has to devise some gadget to beat the bad guy, and I love it whenever he has to do that. It’s a nice reminder that Pete is actually this really smart kid and that, even though he has all this brawn, it still takes his brain to win the day. What a nerd.