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Characters / Marvel Comics: Otto Octavius

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Doctor Octopus
As Doctor Octopus
As Superior Spider-Man

Alter Ego: Dr. Otto Gunther Octavius

Notable Aliases: the Master Planner, the Master Programmer, the Bowery Bum, the Superior Spider-Man (Peter Parker), the Superior Venom, the Superior Octopus, Dr. Elliot Tolliver, the Cosmic Superior Spider-Man, the Cosmo-Spider, the Cosmo Superior

Species: Human Mutate (Later Clone Human Mutate)

First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man #3 (July 1963)note ; The Amazing Spider-Man #698 (November 2012)note ; The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 4 #25 (May 2017)note 

"The die is cast."

A highly intelligent Mad Scientist, Doctor Octopus is one of the greatest foes Spider-Man has ever faced.note  First appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man (Lee & Ditko) #3, 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 (and not necessarily in that order). 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 as the film's main antagonist; Molina would later return to the role in 2021's Spider-Man: No Way Home as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. An Alternate Universe version of the character appears in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, but to say anything else would be a spoiler. In 2009, Doctor Octopus was ranked as IGN's 28th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.

Born in Schenectady, New York, Otto Octavius had something of an unhappy childhood. His father, Torbert, was abusive and violent towards both Otto and his mother Mary. Otto was determined not to become like his father and put all his effort into his education, regularly scoring top marks. Unfortunately, a combination of Otto's shyness and good school work got him labeled as a "teacher's pet" and he became a target of bullying. Otto eventually became a brilliant and respected nuclear physicist, atomic research consultant, inventor, and lecturer. One of his most iconic inventions was a set of highly advanced mechanical arms controlled via a mind–computer interface to assist him with his research into atomic physics. Unfortunately, there was an accidental radiation leak that ended in an explosion and those wonderful mechanical arms became fused to Octavius's body.

The accident also seemed to have damaged his brain and the scientist turned to a life of crime. His very first criminal act was taking the hospital hostage and proclaiming himself Doctor Octopus, the derogatory nickname that his co-workers had originally given him. In their first encounter, Octopus defeated Spider-Man by tossing him out of a window. Following this defeat Spider-Man considered giving up his heroic career, but was inspired to continue by the Human Torch and ultimately defeated Doctor Octopus. Since then the Good (or Bad) Doctor has gone on to become one of the most identifiable members of Spider-Man's rogues gallery. He was actually Spider-Man's first recurring Arch-Enemy before the Green Goblin and his mystery overshadowed him. Goblin's death did nothing to raise Dr. Octopus' profile, since other contenders for the Goblin and Venom overshadowed him. He formed the first Sinister Six to fight Spider-Man. He was the villain for one of Spidey's most iconic early arcs, If This Be My Destiny...!, as "the Master Planner". He was also indirectly responsible for the death of Gwen Stacy's father George, who died when debris from a building where he and Spider-Man were fighting fell below, and Captain Stacy sacrificed his life to save a child from becoming collateral damage.

Dr. Octopus faded from view and prominence in The '80s, with his major storyline, The Owl/Octopus War happening in the pages of the second series The Spectacular Spider-Man (Issues #73-79) rather than the flagship title. In The '90s, writer Tom DeFalco in a number of stories established his backstory, and during the Clone Saga, briefly reworked him into an ally of Spider-Man only for him to be briefly killed off and replaced by Carolyn Trainer, who became Lady Octopus for a brief time, until Defalco brought Octopus back only with his memory of being allies with Peter removed. Dr. Octopus was back and here to stay. He returned to prominence in a series of stories starting from ASM #600 where Peter comes across Octopus' brain scanner and uses it in his attempt to stop a catastrophe. The problem is that the device gives Octopus a scan of Peter's brain. Repeated use of the device over the next 100 issues gives Octopus more and more information to plot the ultimate daring heist. In addition to this, After years of fighting Spider-Man, his body began to succumb to the injuries he had sustained over the years. In one storyline, Ends of the Earth, Dr. Octopus briefly ascended to a global Marvel-wide threat needing Spider-Man and the Avengers to shut him down with Spider-Man dying and decaying in his body leading to the Dying Wish storyline.

As a way to prevent his death, Otto switched bodies with Peter Parker using one of his robots and the information from the brain-scanning. Before dying in Otto's body, Peter urged Otto to change for good and succeed the Spider-Man mantle with his last breaths. Otto complied, swearing to both live up to Spider-Man's example but do it his way, i.e. doing good by proving that he's the superior hero, resulting a more brutal, but still trying-to-be-heroic Spider-Man. Unfortunately, he found himself slowly slipping back into evil, starting with his attempted erasure of a fragment of Peter Parker's soul and Jumping Off the Slippery Slope from there. He eventually had a Heel Realization that he was doing more harm than good by the time Peter's soul fragment came Back from the Dead, and relinquished control of Peter's body, erasing his own consciousness as penance. As Otto died, he told Peter that Peter was a better Spider-Man and a better person than Otto (the self-proclaimed Superior Successor) could ever hope to be.

As of All-New, All-Different Marvel, it is revealed that a copy of Dr. Octopus' mind now resides within the Living Brain, stalkingly watching over Anna Maria. After teaming up with the Jackal during The Clone Conspiracy and temporarily inhabiting a clone version of his old body, he eventually betrayed the Jackal for insulting his love interest. Afterwards, he hijacked a new, powerful experimental clone body. He was then recruited by Armin Zola and HYDRA to aid in destroying Parker Industries, reinventing himself as the "Superior Octopus". After the downfall of the Hydra Empire and the restoration of the true Captain America, and a truce with Peter after Go Down Swinging and Spider-Geddon, Ock once again decides to try and abandon his supervillain ways, seeking to set himself up as the heroic protector of San Francisco in Superior Octopus #1 and the second volume of Superior Spider-Man. Unfortunately it wouldn't last, as Ock made a deal with Mephisto to defeat Spider-Norman. The deal would restore Ock to his old body but with it back to full health. The price being the empathy gained from sharing Peter's memories.

This character provides examples of:

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    As Doctor Octopus 

As Doctor Octopus

  • Abusive Parents: His father was an abusive, alcoholic Jerkass, his mother was My Beloved Smother.
  • Acrofatic: Otto's on the pudgy side, but with his tentacles he can really get around.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Usually sports short brown hair but in the Ultimate Spider-Man (2012) animated series he sports long black hair.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Doctor Octopus is rather ugly in the Marvel comics, in contrast to his much more striking depiction by Alfred Molina in the Spider-Man 2 film and his more buff physique in the 90s animated series.
  • Affably Evil:
    • In the first annual, he kidnapped Betty Brant and Aunt May Parker, and then gave them tea and cookies while apologizing for neglecting his guests.
    • He also once rented a room from Aunt May and behaved like a perfect gentleman, even helping her around the house. He also came very near to marrying her after she somehow inherited a nuclear plant.
    • In some of his iterations, he protects civilians, or at least refrains from harming them, but his most notable battles, such as the Death of George Stacy, and The Owl/Octopus War shows him sociopathically indifferent to collateral damage, in the climax of the latter he attacks a hospital and at one point cuts an elevator carrying runaway patients and hospital workers which Spider-Man has to stop.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: In some continuities, in particular Sam Raimi's trilogy, his tentacles contain an advanced AI that influences him.
  • Alliterative Name: Both his first and last names begin with "O".
  • Always Someone Better: Or in his case, someone worse, as Peter considers him his "runner-up nemesis at best" with Norman Osborn taking up his top slot on the villain totem pole. The reason for this is that Dr. Octopus repeatedly went to jail multiple times, while Green Goblin went 40 years in publication history without facing justice for his crimes. Spider-Man's last major battle with him was a gang war in a '80s storyline at the end of which Dr. Octopus was traumatized by a fear of spiders that Spider-Man himself had to help him overcome later on in ASM #296. And even after that Norman Osborn and Goblin remains a more powerful and dangerous figure, and someone who Otto as Superior Spider-Man failed to do anything against leading him to bring Peter back to stop him.
  • An Arm and a Leg: In The Owl/Octopus War, after putting the Black Cat in the hospital, Spider-Man was so consumed with rage, he tore Ock's metal arms off. Because they are physically meshed into his spinal column, this was incredibly painful for Doc Ock, and in the aftermath, it had to painfully reinserted by his minions and Otto insisted they do it without anesthetic because he wants to feel the pain he's going to put Spider-Man and Black Cat through.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: As his moniker suggests, octopi. And later, spiders.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Doctor Octopus was originally an insulting nickname given to Otto by his co-workers, and in some continuities, Norman Osborn.
  • Arch-Enemy: Otto is the main rival to the Green Goblin in regard to Spider-Man. He held this title most consistently until Venom's debut in the late 80s and the Goblin's revival in the mid 90s, then regained his status as Spidey's main villain in the early 2010s. Otto was the closest thing to an overall Big Bad in Spider-Man's early years; he was the first supervillain to beat Spider-Man, and founded the first incarnation of the Sinister Six. Indirectly, he killed Captain George Stacy and irreparably strained Peter's relationship with Gwen Stacy, and put Black Cat, Spider-Man's third great love, in the hospital. Then in Dan Slott's run, he managed to take over his body and live his life. However, this experience would wind up changing Otto for the better and he would eventually become an anti-hero like Venom. Sadly, thanks to Mephisto, it didn't stick.
  • Artificial Limbs: Well, he attached four cybernetic arms of questionable morality to his spine.
  • Ax-Crazy: During The Owl/Octopus War, he plots an insane scheme to destroy New York with a Neutron Bomb. So crazy is this scheme that The Kingpin is scared of him and he pre-emptively plans on moving his business empire and himself out of the city. When Spider-Man and Black Cat, stops his original plan, Ock goes truly nuts with The Power of Hate promising Spider-Man to kill him To the Pain and Black Cat too, and gleefully indifferent to whoever else gets in his path.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Kaine murdered him at one point in the 90s, but he was resurrected by the Hand with the help of Carolyn Trainer and Angelina Brancale.
    • Zigzagged as Superior Spider Man. After the Spider-Verse incident (where he discovers that Peter has regained his body and the Otto from Peter's present is dead), Otto created an AI copy of his psyche intending to retake Peter's body at a later point. However, he later decided to contract Miles Warren to create a superior body, a young adult frame made from a fusion of his and Peter's DNA, and took over that instead.
  • Badass Bookworm: He's a nuclear physicist and skilled roboticist. He can also go toe-to-toe with Spider-Man.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: He was almost always seen in a white suit in the early-mid '90s.
  • Bad Boss: Could easily have been the Trope Namer for Insufferable Genius, given the way he treats his henchmen, as well as when he's the leader of the Sinister Six (or his short term as leader of the Masters of Evil).
  • Big Bad: plays this role in Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man (PS4).
  • Being Evil Sucks: What the aftermath of his supervillainy essentially boils down to. Despite all the boons inherent in being a powerful super-criminal armed with four mechanical Combat Tentacles, the process that gave him said tentacles has deranged him to the point that he has trouble thinking beyond his next criminal caper, and the tentacles seem to have a mind of their own Depending on the Writer. To make things even worse the accident has also impaired Otto’s ability to heal, resulting in him being reduced to a pitiable shell of his former self hooked up to life support, slowly dying in agony as the injuries from all of his past criminal behaviour finally take their toll.
  • Blind Without 'Em: He sometimes has this problem. In his first debut he was near-sighted before the accident but depending on the continuity (and Depending on the Writer) it's sometimes considered a side-effect of the accident that gave him his powers. (In one min-series, he claims that the accident made his eyes sensitive to light, requiring him to wear shaded glasses.)
  • Brains Evil, Brawn Good: While they both have plenty of brains and brawn, the various versions of Doc Ock tend to have an edge on Spider-Man in terms of brainpower and the various versions of Spider-Man have an edge on him in strength, agility, etc...
  • Calling the Old Man Out: After his widowed mother makes him break things off with his fiancée, so he can take care of her instead, he catches her getting ready to go on a date. He calls her out for her hypocrisy, and as this is pretty much the first time in his life he's ever stood up to her, it gives her a fatal heart attack. All of these emotional problems weighing on him is why he doesn't notice the radiation accident until it's too late.
  • Came Back Strong: Octavius hijacking the Proto Clone from the Jackal, which has a mixture of both his DNA and "Spider-Clone" DNA, which gives now gives him his incredible smarts on top of Spider-Man's legendary abilities. His "Superior Octopus" costume is also this as it takes his Superior Spider-Man costume and gives it an Octopus motif, complete with his classic arms.
  • Catchphrase: "The die is cast!" became one during his time as the Superior Spider-Man, and seems to have stuck long through the aftermath.
  • The Chessmaster: One of his aliases is Master Planner for a reason. Some of his exploits include taking over Spider-Man's body and creating a backup copy of his consciousness in case anything happened, and getting Sajani Jaffrey fired so that his beloved Anna Maria could take her position.
  • Character Death: Technically, the original Otto Octavius died at the conclusion of The Superior Spider-Man in 2013, while the Otto that appears in all later appearances (except Spider-Verse, which features a time-displaced Otto-as-Spider-Man) is an AI copy that has hijacked a powerful clone body. While the two are treated as one and the same, AI!Otto lacks the memory of Otto's final days.
  • Cigar Chomper: Sometimes he's depicted as being a smoker having a taste for cigars; a notable example being his Sam Raimi incarnation.
  • Civvie Spandex: His costume has traditionally consisted of a lab coat or sometimes just a plain suit. But during the 70's and 80's he wore green spandex on occasion, but otherwise, he stuck to civvies.
  • Combat Tentacles: Four cybernetic artificial limbs. He's had multiple versions.
  • Cool Shades: Due to him being myopic.
  • Crazy-Prepared: In the "Return of the Sinister Six" storyline Ock recruited the Sandman (who wasn't a criminal at the time) but because he was pretty sure the Sandman would likely turn against him - and he did - he took inspiration from a battle Sandman once had with the Hulk, and kept a weapon on him that could melt silicon and turn sand into glass, which in-effect, petrified Sandman.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Averted in most of his incarnations: He was a scientist who invented and used his arms for legitimate research purposes. It took a lab accident fusing the arms to his body and driving him insane to turn him into a supervillain. This insanity, then, is why he doesn't just give up on being a supervillain and go back to being a scientist, usually.
    • Slightly subverted in the 90s cartoon; Doc Ock still thinks of himself as a scientist over a villain... the problem is, his obsession is with pursuing scientific goals goes to the extent that he's indifferent to any potential harm to people as a result, which is why nobody will take him in as a legitimate scientist. To put this in perspective, his introductory episode has him kidnap Felicia Hardy due to a vendetta against her mother... only this turns out to mostly be a distraction so he can pursue an experiment with creating a fusion reactor, indifferent to the fact that if this goes wrong, the resultant explosion could wipe out half the city.
    • Subverted in Ultimate Marvel; when Norman Osborn tries to recruit the Sinister Six, Octavius actually refuses to join in, pointing out that the whole idea is stupid, that he's never really had a particular enmity for Spider-Man and, if anything, he's proud of Spidey, since he engineered the spiders that made Spider-Man in the first place, and so Spider-Man is basically the living pinnacle of his work. Sadly, Norman promptly kills Otto for refusing to join in.
    • Subverted in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon; Doc Ock is being forced to work as Norman Osborn's black ops scientist after his death was faked by Osborn, and he simply can't get out from under Osborn's thumb. Of course, by the time he does escape, he's so full of hate and rage that he decides to become a supervillain in his own right.
    • Similar is done in the new Spider-Man (PS4) game. Otto, with Peter as his research assistant, starts off trying to create good-as-new prosthetic limbs for the disabled, but as is expected, forces (namely, Norman Osborn and Otto's buried vitriol towards him for past sins) conspire to rob him of his sanity and turn him into Doc Ock.
    • Subverting this is Invoked with the Superior Octopus storyline; Otto wants to use his new body and his new costumed identity to start over and become a hero, having developed a taste for it during his time as the Superior Spider-Man.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: After having the tentacles fused to his spine, he turned evil.
  • Cyborg: The tentacles and their harness were fused to his body.
  • Dented Iron: He spent most of his career trading blows with Spider-Man, who has Super-Strength, despite being just an ordinary guy with cybernetic extra limbs. In a Cerebus Retcon, it was eventually revealed that he was effectively being beaten to death over the course of his career, leaving him a hideously disfigured, dying wreck of a man trapped on life support.
  • Depending on the Artist: Some Marvel artists depict Doctor Octopus as overweight and fleshy, while others depict him as muscular.
  • Depending on the Writer: Much like Doctor Doom, Otto can be a Noble Demon Anti-Villain in one story and a remorseless mass-murdering psychopath in another, though unlike Doom, not much Arc Welding has been done to make the two takes in line with one another, with the writers of the former variation downplaying the latter:
    • Dr. Octopus was portrayed as a megalomaniac without any redeeming virtues for the first 30 years or so. He was self-interested, arrogant, and vain. His courtship with Aunt May still coincided with him acting as a gangster in a gang-war with Hammerhead (who helpfully for Peter, crashes the wedding between Ock and Aunt May) and motivated by a scheme to win a nuclear power plant that Aunt May inherited.
    • Tom Defalco in a number of stories in The '90s sought to deepen his character by creating a sympathetic backstory to heighten similarities between him and Peter, and also to better allow Ock to play a new fraternal bond with Peter with mutual admiration as a scientist. Aspects of this would seep into Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2 and other versions. This created a problem for writers more familiar with one take rather than the other. Case in point, in 2002 both Paul Jenkins and J. Michael Straczynski (writing the titles "Spectacular Spider-Man" and "Amazing Spider-Man", respectively, both part of 616) did a story with Ock as the villain; the latter has Ock pursuing a vendetta against an amoral corporate yuppie who stole his tech, but shows Otto going out of his way to save civilians (then leaving Spider-Man to die, because "you're not a civilian") and suggests what he really wants is legitimate scientific and business success; the former portrays him as an utterly ruthless Manipulative Bastard professional criminal motivated entirely by ego and Greed who, in the words of Spidey, (doesn't) care enough about anyone to hate them, Ock responding with a "touché" before savagely beating on Spidey (remarking he's an exception).
    • His hatred of Spider-Man is the one consistent character trait, but otherwise he could be saving the innocent one minute and trying to kill all life on Earth out of spite the next. At some point he's mercenary, trying to bait old ladies so that he can appropriate their inheritances, in others he plans to destroy New York just to prove he's his "superiority" and establish himself as the greatest intellect of his day (in other words, a terrorist).
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Aunt May can't seem to understand why the police would want to arrest such a nice man.
  • Diagnosis from Dr. Badass: When he recalled his first fight with Spider-Man:
    "...with a punch that, by my best estimate, was over twelve hundred foot-pounds. That, Dr. Louis, would be my first case of traumatic brain injury."
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: With some assistance from the Superior Four, Otto, during the events of Devil's Reign, fused with a Man-Thing variant of himself and killed an alternate universe version of himself who was also a Composite Character with traits of Dr. Strange and Dr. Doom (particularly the armor). Prior to Otto's victory, the Sorcerer Supreme/Dr. Doom version of Octavius was manhandling the entire Superior Four and casually informed them of how he'd defeated Dormammu, Knull, and Shuma-Gorath.
  • Disastrous Demonstration: He had some problems during his new invention's demonstration, which sets him on the path to become a supervillain. The movie Spider-Man 2 carried over this element of his origin-story.
  • Distaff Counterpart: In the '90s, Scarlet Spider faced off against Lady Octopus, a female supervillain who was enamored with Otto and deliberately patterned her identity off of his, complete with a cybnetic arms harness. The Web Warriors mini-series also introduced Octavia Otto, a heroic female counterpart of Otto's from Earth-1104, who returned in Spider-Geddon. Another female version of Doc Ock appears in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
  • The Don: He created an actual criminal gang, with his minions dressed in remarkably dorky uniforms, multiple times with the goal to take over the underworld, most notably as the Master Planner. He also formed a supervillain team, the Sinister Six, with himself as the leader with the goal to kill Spider-Man and carve territory. Later on, Otto fights gang wars with the Hammerhead and Daredevil villain Owl to establish domination over the criminal element.
  • Double Consciousness: a long-standing characterization attempting to resolve the varying depictions mentioned in Depending on the Writer. Somewhere between his traumatic childhood, the neurological damage from being fused to a malfunctioning Brain/Computer Interface, the nebulous, possibly imagined, active influences of said system, brain damage from years of fighting well beyond his organic body's capacity, his own megalomania, personal fixations, and countless other issues, Otto is in a constant state of identity crisis. He is torn between his identity as the confident, ruthless, and brilliant supervillain Doctor Octopus... and the insecure and troubled man desperately seeking vindication, Dr. Otto Octavius. While not a true split personality, even Doc Ock has no idea what he really wants beyond his latest scheme, and what he'll do to get it.
  • The Dragon: Some stories show him as this to Norman Osborn while becoming a Dragon with an Agenda.
  • Dr. Jerk: He was like this before the accident which made him a villain, rude and egotistical, the biggest reason why his co-workers called him "Dr. Octopus" behind his back. (Part of it, of course, was due to stress caused by his mother's death, which also made him careless and caused the accident in the first place.)
  • Drunk with Power: With the adamantium tentacles he started thinking he was invincible, and acted very rash (going so far as to start using an Evil Laugh) and even tried to Take Over the World for real. It ended badly, and even he himself would later admit it had been a bad idea.
  • Easily Forgiven: He was a terrorist, and killed many innocent people over the years, and by collateral damage, is responsible for the death of Captain George Stacy, Peter's Parental Substitute, and then he hacked Peter's body and hijacked his life while ruining his life and career. Yet, the minute Otto affects redemptive traits, Depending on the Writer, Peter says "things are square" between them.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: After becoming Superior Spider-Man, he has the brawn to match his brains.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Octavius's relationship with his mother was unhealthy and complicated, but he did care about her. Her death saddened him.
    • In his youth, Octavius was engaged to Mary Alice Anders. Years later, he tried and failed to cure her of AIDS.
    • While occupying Peter Parker's body as Superior Spider-Man, Octavius found himself falling in love with Anna Maria Marconi.
    • To this day, he has a genuine soft spot for Peter's Aunt May. During the Spider-Man: Sinister Six Trilogy, when she was believed dead, he interrupted a villainous speech at the Daily Bugle to offer his sincere condolences to Peter about her passing.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Much of Otto's actions as the Superior Spider-Man backfire as he can't grasp that being a hero means more than just showing yourself as "the best." As it turns out, Otto lets Peter come back to his body with the realization Peter is a true hero.
    • Thanks to a time-travel escapade, Otto learns he loses to Peter and downloads his brain patterns into a robot assistant for Anna Maria. When Anna Maria talks of Otto and how terrible he was, Otto thinks he needs to take back Peter's body to get Anna Maria back. He then decides that Peter's mind "hurt my own" and by getting his original brain back, he can get Anna Maria's love once more. Otto literally cannot understand that Anna Maria will never love someone with such a record of murderous actions as Otto.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Peter, on the scale of being a scientist, using smarts for evil purposes and being based on an eight-legged creature. The biggest difference between the two is that Otto had a couple decades of cynicism ground into him before getting his powers. He plays it even straighter as in recent times, he has acquired a body and costume very similar to Peter's own.
  • Evil Cripple: Years of super-powered fights have taken a toll on his body.
    • In the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, he depends on his cybernetic tentacles to get around because he was in an accident that rendered him a quadriplegic. If it weren't for his arms, he'd be completely immobile from the neck down. Subverted when, during the series finale, he uses nanotech to rebuild his body and undo the damage.
    • The version of him in Spider-Man (PS4) is on his way to being this even before he becomes a villain due to a neurodegenerative condition that's causing him to slowly lose his motor skills. Peter estimates that within a year, he'll be completely paralyzed.
  • Evil Genius: A definite poster boy of this trope. Hell, in The Spectacular Spider-Man he drinks out of a coffee mug with this label on it. Otto is an master strategist and manipulator and an expert in many scientific fields, including the study of radiation, which even Reed Richards acknowledges is better than his own.
  • Evil Is Hammy: At times he will demonstrate that he is enjoying being mean profusely ("Find him. Or I'll peel the flesh off her bones...")
  • Evil Mentor: To both Carolyn Trainer (aka Lady Octopus) and Angelina Brancale (aka Stunner) two of the very small number of people to show Undying Loyalty to him. He was also this to Peter himself in the1990s animated series.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: In The Sentry miniseries, as the heroes are gathered to stop the Void, Spider-Man notices Doctor Octopus lined up with them. Dialogue goes something like this:
    Spider-Man: Doc Ock? What are you doing here?
    Doctor Octopus: We need to stop the Void or else it'll destroy the world. Once this is over, next time I see you I'll kill you.
  • Evil Virtues: Octavius has a stellar work ethic, as Anna Maria observes in Superior Spider-Man about "Peter":
    Anna Maria Marconi: That's what I like about you. You want a doctorate? You get it. Your own company? Boom. There it is. You help out Spider-Man, you look after your Aunt. Anything you want to do, you just do it ... and do it well, no excuses, just results.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Doc Ock was very much a momma's boy growing up. However, as a grown man he came to the conclusion that she had been coddling him, even while accepting that his dad was a drunken asshole.
  • Excuse Me While I Multitask: He was known to use his arms to fight off enemies' attacks while casually lighting a cigarette or focus more attention on something else, like giving instructions to a minion or continue a chemistry experiment.
  • Extra-ore-dinary: His Ultimate Marvel counterpart, who is eventually revealed to have the ability to psychically manipulate metal. This means that, even though his tentacles get surgically removed, he can recreate them from ambient metal if he wants to.
  • Fallen Hero: He used to do experiments for the sake of bettering mankind and then he discovered first-hand how Cybernetics Eat Your Soul.
  • Fat Bastard: At first and later depending on the artist.
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride. Octopus can't stand the idea of anyone not acknowledging his genius, and is absolutely obsessed with proving himself as the greatest scientific mind in Marvel.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: In The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride, he's able to expel fire from his tentacles.
  • For Want Of A Nail: A What If? story suggested that, if the radioactive spider had bitten Flash Thompson instead of Peter Parker, Peter would have averted Otto Octavius's Start of Darkness.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: He wears glasses because he's myopic.
  • Freak Lab Accident: His origin story, which is another similarity he shares with Peter Parker.
  • Friendless Background: Young Otto was bullied and picked on as a child, much like Peter was, and also like Peter, compensated by becoming engrossed in his studies. Indeed, the biggest difference between the two in that regards was that Peter had the loving, nurturing family that Otto lacked.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: That timid researcher and Momma's Boy has come a long way in terms of badass.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Both as a villain and an Anti-Hero.
  • Genius Bruiser: When wielding his tentacles, he's a formidable fighter, despite his otherwise less than athletic physique. He regularly tangles with the likes of Spider-Man, so you better believe he knows how to fight. His new body combines DNA from both his original body and Spider-Man, making it a lot stronger and tougher.
  • Glass Cannon: If Spidey can get past the tentacles, it usually doesn't take much to knock him out. Averted with his new flesh and blood body, which has Spider-Man's strength and durability.
  • Gonk: He's often depicted as a fat, ugly man with a bad haircut.
  • Guess Who I'm Marrying?: Doc Ock was actually marrying May because she was the heir to a private nuclear reactor (dont even ask). He didn't even realize that Spider-Man was her nephew until after he unmasked in Civil War. Brilliantly, he then went into a rant about how stupid he was not to figure it out and how he should have kept up the marriage facade for far longer.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Prior to the Death of Spider-Man in the Ultimate Universe, he tries to back out of the Green Goblin's latest scheme, declaring he always wanted to be a scientist not a villain, he wants to go back to science, and he'd rather take pride in the fact it was his genetic engineering experiments with spiders that ultimate created Spider-Man. The Green Goblin promptly kills him.
  • Heinousness Retcon: His first love was a woman named Mary Alice who later died of HIV. In Superior Spider-Man Team-Up Issue #11-12, it is revealed that Norman Osborn was the one who infected her with HIV because he saw her as a distraction to Otto.
  • Hero-Worshipper: In Spider-Man/Doctor Octopus: Negative Exposure, he claims to idolize Leonardo da Vinci, and was inspired to invent his tentacles by DaVinci's famous Vitruvian Man pencil sketch.
  • Heroic Willpower: Never take this guy on in a battle of wills. As strong as his arms are, his mind is even more potent. The Answer, Fusion, and Peter himself found this out the hard way.
  • Herr Doktor: In the 1990s animated series and the Spider-Man video game he has a thick German accent (he was voiced by Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in both; that's right—Doctor Octopus is Alfred).
  • Insistent Terminology: Superior. He puts that at the head of everything he does now. It started when he became the Superior Spider-Man. But then he captured and brainwashed his Sinister Six comrades and called his team The Superior Six. When taking on the Venom Symbiote from Flash Thompson he became Superior Venom. After dying and taking a clone body he uses the moniker Superior Octopus before going by the Superior Spider-Man again. Even after fully becoming Doctor Octopus again, body and all, he recruits three alternate versions of himself to become the Superior Four. He also will just say the word over and over again. He loves saying it.
  • Irony: Otto hates clones and considers them abominations. Guess how he comes back from the dead.
  • It Only Works Once: Doc Ock has a tendency to learn from his mistakes and to come up with effective counter-measures for Spidey's tricks. For example, after being blinded with a squirt of webbing he started treating his glasses with a non-stick coating.
  • Joker Immunity: Let's see, he has been resurrected once and had his mind transferred into Spider-Man's body. He is apparently really dead now that his body is in rigor mortis and his consciousness has been erased. Of course, he was once killed, proclaimed dead, and buried in a cemetery, only to be brought back to life by the Hand in an unholy ritual, so you never know... Turns out he had his holographic copy of Anna set up a contingency plan and uploaded a copy of his consciousness into the Living Brain.
  • Kavorka Man:
    • Despite being unattractive and tentacled, Octavius successfully wooed Aunt May and almost married her. Even afterwards, May is STILL rather fond of him.
    • Octavius won Stunner's love and gratitude when he used virtual reality technology to make her beautiful and mighty.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • In the Ultimate Marvel universe, by Norman Osborn.
    • In the main universe, the original Otto Octavius died at the conclusion of The Superior Spider-Man, while the Otto that appears in all later appearances (except Spider-Verse, which features a time-displaced Otto-as-Spider-Man) feature an AI copy that has hijacked a powerful clone body. In fact, the Spider-Verse adventure sets up the creation of the duplicate since it has Otto learn-then forget-that he is destined to die in the future and take precautions. In-Universe the two are treated as one and the same, though.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Originally introduced as a seemingly unbeatable enemy who combined a brilliant mind with great physical formidability, and really shook Peter's confidence. He's got little to no comedic quirks and he is the first villain to actually beat Spider-Man. Whenever he shows up you know things are about to get nasty.
  • Legion of Doom: He founded the Sinister Six, and would later reunite the team twice.
  • Large Ham: He has his fair share of hammy moments in the comics and adaptations.
  • Living with the Villain: So, Aunt May decides to rent out a free room in the Parker household. Who moves in? Doc Ock of, course! What happens next? He hits on Aunt May and nearly gives Peter a heart attack in the process.
  • Mad Scientist: Wasn't one to begin with but he had a lot of repressed feelings and then there was this accident...
  • Made of Iron: Averted. He's often had to create armor due to the incredible damage he has taken because, when all is said and done, he is still an ordinary man.
  • Married to the Job: Even before his mother's death, the man was a workaholic, and after it happened, he shunned out other people entirely, becoming an anti-social Dr. Jerk. Eventually, this attitude caused him to overwork and caused the accident due to fatigue.
  • Merging Mistake: The accident where he was stuck by radiation, causing him to be permanently fused with the harness.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Almost became one in "The Return of the Sinister Six" storyline. In fact, the reason Spidey was able to defeat him is because he managed to convince Ock that his plan would cause The End of the World as We Know It, which Ock didn't want. (Yet.)
  • Momma's Boy: As his dad was abusive, he bonded more with his mother.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Actually, he does hold at least one real doctorate (but not in medicine).
  • Moral Myopia: The whole "blaming Spider-Man for beating him to near-death" thing in the build up to the Superior Spider-Man storyline really falls into this. Doc, if you don't want to get bashed around by the super-strong vigilante, then maybe you should, y'know, not commit crimes? Especially not crimes that involve trying to kill said vigilante in the first place?
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: His claim to infamy is his four mechanical arms.
  • Multi-Armed Multitasking: He was very good at using his tentacles to do this. According to the most reliable source, he could use his tentacles in combination with his regular hands to do one complex task and two simple ones at the same time. And as the above Trope shows, there were also several stories where the "complex task" was a heated battle.
  • My Beloved Smother: His mother was incredibly overprotective and smothering, presumably as a way to "make up" for his father's abuse. As a result, Octavius grew up with an unhealthy attachment to her.
  • Never My Fault: Often comes up after his time as the Superior Spider-Man, with the version of Otto that was brought back assuming that Peter beat him because being in Peter's body "weakened" him in some way, rather than just accept that he's not as good as he thinks he is.
  • New Tech Is Not Cheap: He's had to rob banks before because that equipment he uses is not cheap.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Octavius' use of Body Backup Drive stolen from the Inheritors, combined with some bungling by the Web Warriors still on Loomworld, kicks off the Spider-Geddon event.
  • Not That Kind of Doctor: He had a doctorate in Nuclear Physics originally. The Ultimate version seems to have replaced this with genetics. The Sam Raimi films maintain his nuclear physics background, while the PS4 incarnation of the character is instead primarily a robotics expert.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: While primarily a nuclear physicist, he is also skilled in chemistry, engineering, biochemistry, and robotics.
  • Phlebotinum-Handling Equipment: What his tentacles were originally designed for.
  • Pet the Dog: He has gotten a few pet the dog moments over the decades, including trying to save Aunt May from Hammerhead and trying to develop a cure for AIDS in order to save his ex-girlfriend.
  • Pride: Octavius' most prominent recurring failure is his arrogance; even when he's trying to be a good guy, he's still hugely ego-driven. For example, in Superior Octopus #1, he rescues a bus full of people from being robbed by the Night Shift, boasting about how they cannot hope to compete with the advantages his intelligence gives them even as he dishes out a Curb-Stomp Battle. When he returns to his lair, he is shown dismissing the city's original protectors, such as Daredevil and the original Spider-Woman, as "weaklings" incapable of doing the job, and arrogantly proclaiming that even the local high-level supervillains like Graviton and Count Nefaria, despite being "possessed of near-godlike power" (in his words), are no threat to him.
  • Radiation-Induced Superpowers: Doc Ock originally gained his powers from a radiation experiment gone wrong. Doctor Octopus: Year One (set in the original Marvel timeline of the early 60's) embraces this trope, showing that Octavius became obsessed with the power of the atom long before the accident, fantasizing about it to the point of fetishism, and identified with the cleansing atomic fire as a counterpart to his own rage against the world.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: He's made his mark mostly as being Spider-Man's Arch-Enemy but has also faced off against other heroes like Daredevil, Iron Man, or the Hulk.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: An iconic western example, both invoked and justified in many incarnations by having them do double-duty as prescription Sinister Shades to deal with light sensitivity issues.
  • Shadow Archetype: According to Tom DeFalco, he is what Spider-Man could have easily have become if he let his powers go to his head. Much more so when he actually becomes Spider-Man.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Starting when he formed the second version of the Sinister Six, he got rid of his original costume in favor of expensive Italian suits; these lasted until his death and later resurrection by the Hand.
  • Spider Limbs: His tentacles, of course.
  • Status Quo Is God: Superior Spider-Man vol.2 ends with Otto Octavius's original body and personality being restored, his efforts to be a hero as the Superior Spider-Man now considered irrelevant and all knowledge of Spider-Man's secret identity being lost.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: Gets a lampshade hung on it by J. Jonah Jameson:
    "Guy named Otto Octavius winds up with eight limbs. What are the odds?"
  • Sunglasses at Night: He's rarely seen without them; frequently justified as a result of light sensitivity issues
  • Synchronization: If his metal tentacles are damaged or destroyed, even from hundreds of miles away, he feels incredible pain and a shock that can often render him unconscious or cause him to fly into rage. After years of using them, the arms have almost become a part of his body.
    • In the mini-series "Doctor Octopus: Year One", it's revealed that he created his infamous tentacles with the ability to feel radiation.
  • Swiss-Army Appendage: Most incarnations of his tentacles have this capacity to some extent. Common alt-modes for his claws are spiked blades, electronic interface devices, Sensory Tentacles, and dedicated drills or drill-like rotation of the claws.
  • Take Over the World: This has been his stated goal in some of his schemes (including the "Return of the Sinister Six" and "Ends of Earth" storylines), but it was usually a front for some other goal, except in "Revenge of the Sinister Six" where it really was his goal.
  • Technopath: One of Marvel's latest trends is to attribute this power to Doc Ock.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Some stories will show that when Octavius really puts his mind to it, he can be a threat not just to Spider-Man but also to the Avengers and the entire world.
    • That one time he got adamantium tentacles. He beat the Hulk unconscious. He gave Iron Man such a thrashing he considered retirement, setting him up as a villain who can hang with the big guns.
    • When he found out he was dying in Ends of the Earth, Octavius decides to go all-out, defeating Spider-Man and the Avengers with the Sinister Six and came close to annihilating most of Earth's population.
    • His comeback as the Superior Octopus. A brand-new set of powerful tentacles, but now complemented by an actually superhumanly powerful body, Spider-powers included.
    • In Devil's Reign, he forms the Superior Four from variants of himself across the multiverse and defeats the Supreme Octopus, a variant of himself who also a Dr. Doom/Sorcerer Supreme Composite Character and who was implied to be the most powerful alternate universe Doom out there, based on how he casually boasted of destroying Dormammu, Knull, and Shuma-Gorath.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Several of Otto's losses are because he underestimated Spider-Man, assuming that his foe "cheated" in some way rather than accept the idea that the wall-crawler can achieve things that he can't.
  • Unwitting Pawn:
    • He considered the second incarnation of the Sinister Six to be this.
    • In one three part story, Fusion, a villain who Spider-Man had previously called a "poor man's Mysterio", thought he had brainwashed Doc Ock into being his slave. Boy, was he wrong. Doc's iron will couldn’t be scratched, and he had been using Fusion as his own Unwitting Pawn the whole time. When he no longer needed him, Fusion found himself on the receiving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle, as Ock beat him severely and left him broken, bloody, and barely alive for Spider-Man to find as an example of anyone who challenged him.
  • Villain Over for Dinner: At one point, Aunt May was dating him and they nearly got married. Right now he even supplies the page image for this trope.
  • Villain Protagonist: Of Superior Spider Man.
  • Villain Team-Up: Octavius is often the leader, and in some continuities the founder, of the Sinister Six.
    • He has also led at least one version of the The Avengers villain team, Masters of Evil.
  • We Used to Be Friends: In a few versions, most notably the 90s cartoon, Dr Otto Octavius encouraged a young Peter Parker's love of science, and told him to ignore those who would mock him. They weren't exactly friends, but close enough that Octavius remembers who Peter is when they meet after he's become Dr Octopus. The PS4 incarnation of the character takes it even further, where Otto was practically Peter's surrogate father before his descent into villainy.
  • Western Terrorists: Some of Ock's actions over the years were outright terrorism. This includes an airplane hijacking of a foreign diplomat, holding him hostage in exchange for money and safe-passage at an airport (ASM #88) and his plot to bomb New York with a neutron bomb in The Owl/Octopus War and his actions in the Ends of the Earth. Likewise in Spider-Man (PS4), Otto branches into bioterrorism where he launches an aerosol agent called "Devil's Breath" spreading an epidemic in Manhattan that kills several people, including Aunt May.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He once developed arachnophobia after a very angry Spider-Man beat him within an inch of his life after the scientist nearly killed the Black Cat.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • While he despises Spider-Man and is obsessed with defeating him, Octavius nonetheless appreciates that Spidey is highly intelligent and respects him as a formidable enemy.
    • In Ultimate Marvel, part of what prompts him to try and give up on villainy is because he decides Spider-Man is so impressive that he ought to be proud of having created him, even if by accident.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Due to Otto's abusive childhood seeing someone harm a child is his Berserk Button. This is somewhat Depending on the Writer, since he once tried to wipe out 95% of Earth's population.
    As Superior Spider-Man IV/Superior Venom 

As Superior Spider-Man IV/Superior Venom

"Better yet, with my unparalleled genius — and my boundless ambition — I'll be a better Spider-Man than you ever were. From this day forth, I shall become... THE SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN!"

  • Ambiguously Evil: In almost all of his appearances in other comics especially in Alpha: Big Time and Avenging Spider-Man, where he is using Alpha to upgrade himself and seems to be rebuilding the Sinister Six respectively. Not that this is surprising given that he's a somewhat reformed villain.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: It's a brand new Spidey, for better or worse. Sort of; even though it's Peter's body, Doctor Octopus is in control of it.
  • Angel Face, Demon Face: As Superior Venom. If Otto is in control his eyes are smooth, the webbing motif neat and tidy, and nary a fang in sight. When he starts to get angry, however, he sprouts a maw full of fangs and both the eyes and webbing motif become distorted.
  • Antagonist in Mourning:
    • After he kills Peter, he remembers everything that Peter went through due to the Freaky Friday Flip. It's enough to drive him to use his powers for good.
    • Notably averted when he purges Peter from his mind — he immediately celebrates that he's free.
  • Anti-Hero/Anti-Villain: As of the beginning of Superior, Nominal Hero for the former and Noble Demon for the latter. While he becomes increasingly antagonistic and arrogant, he believes he's doing it for the good of the city (and his ego). When he ultimately realizes he's been doing more harm than good, he sacrifices himself to give Peter his body back.
  • Anti-Hero Substitute: He lacks the aesthetics to be a proper '90s Anti-Hero, but certainly has the attitude and viciousness of one.
  • The Atoner:
    • Much more so than Peter, which is saying quite a bit. He was so moved by learning about the original Spider-Man's past that he decided to use his powers for good instead of for selfish reasons. He's got plenty to atone for, too: nearly destroying the planet for starters, and pretty much every other heinous thing that he's done as Doctor Octopus. This is the only thing keeping him from being a Karma Houdini from the conclusion of Amazing.
    • However, as the series goes on, his quest becomes more driven by his own ego than by any desire to do good, making this a Subverted Trope.
    • Double subverted in the 2019's run as this time, with Anna Maria Marconi's encouragement, Otto genuinely tries to be a hero. By the end, even Anna admits that he is a true hero. Unfortunately, this is after Mephisto reverted him back into Doctor Octopus in his old body.
  • Bait the Dog: It sure was nice of him to perform a brain surgery to save a little girl. Too bad that he does it as a means to find Peter's remnant and try to kill him for good.
  • Bad Liar: Otto tells everyone that he was being controlled by traces of the symbiote that infected him when Spider-Man fought Agent Venom in Venom Vol. 2 #4. Mary Jane buys the excuse, but the Avengers do not.
  • Berserk Button:
    • In Superior Spider-Man Issue #3, finding out that his old friend the Vulture was using children as mooks, drove Otto blind with rage, especially since he had hit one of them. Due to his father abusing him as a child, he abhors the idea of harming children, especially if he hurt them. He changed his mind from giving the Vulture money so he would stop his crimes, to trying to kill him.
    • Bullies in general, and anything that triggers Otto's memories of being bullied cause him to react with Disproportionate Retribution.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Like Flash, Superior Venom has white-rimmed black lenses for eyes. Unlike Flash, Otto plays this trope straight by becoming increasingly brutal and bloodthirsty.
  • …But He Sounds Handsome: Whenever Doctor Octopus is brought up.
  • Combat Tentacles: The symbiote turns Otto's robotic spider legs into biomechanical tentacles resembling the ones he had as Doctor Octopus.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: After Horizon Labs is destroyed he founds Parker Industries in order to keep developing weapons and equipment.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: As the Superior Venom, Otto easily defeated Bruin, Devil-Spider, Steeplejack, Tumbler, Ringer, and Blaze - a troop of the Hobgoblin's minions. When the Avengers stopped him from killing Blaze, Otto proceeded to take them all on at once and nearly won. He tanked a direct blow from Mjolnir while staggering Thor with a punch of his own, and badly damaged Iron Man's Model 42 armor with a single blow.
  • Deadpan Snarker: It's most evident in The Avengers, however he tends to be more on the deadpan side.
  • Dirty Old Man: Although being in Peter's body does not make him physically old in the slightest, he is a middle-aged man, and a lot of issue 1 and 2 of Superior have him hitting on women of Peter's age, meaning women at least 20 years younger than he is. Then in issue four, when he reenters grad school, he flirts with one of the students there. Ghost Peter is very disturbed.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Or rather, he didn't know what Peter's strength really was. When Otto went up against Scorpion as the Superior Spider-Man, he punched Gargan full-force and knocked Scorpion's jaw off. It was then that Octavius realized just how much Peter held back all those years against him.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Taking on the Venom symbiote causes him to lose all self-control and start ranting like a madman and become obsessed with finding any lawbreaker he can find (no matter how minor) so he can beat them up and demonstrate his superiority. This results in Peter resurfacing and convincing Ock to free himself from the Symbiote's control.
  • Fair-Weather Mentor: To Alpha.
  • Fighting from the Inside: In a striking inversion, the symbiote was the one fighting against Otto's control. When it succeeded in taking him over, Otto unsuccessfully tried to fight it off and gave up until Ghost Peter intervened.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: He's tricked out the outfit to have Stat-O-Vision and Night Vision, like Iron Man.
  • Good is Not Nice: Probably the defining difference between him and Peter. And the "good" part is stretching it.
  • Grand Theft Me: Pulled a Freaky Friday Flip on Peter after his battle with both Hobgoblins.
  • Graceful Loser:
    • In the end, Otto acknowledges Peter is the true Superior Spider-Man and willingly gives Parker his body back, even purging his memories to avoid distracting and confusing Peter.
    • When Peter successfully trounces him during their fight in Spider-Verse, Otto admits defeat with begrudging acceptance.
  • Ghost Memory: One of his new "powers", in a sense. He got these memories from Peter, and it's what inspired him to go through his Heel–Face Turn in the first place. He loses them after purging the remnants of Peter from his body.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Otto takes over as Spider-Man after Peter dies, overwhelmed by Peter's memories and thoughts. Of course, he's still an egomaniac, so he's also motivated by being a better Spider-Man than Peter was.
  • Heel Realization: He finally realizes all he has done wrong and all of his flaws in the Goblin Nation arc.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • In Goblin Nation he realises how much he messed up and that only the original Spider-Man could beat the Norman Osborn a.k.a. the Goblin King, so he gives Peter his body back and deletes his own consciousness. It turns out later he actually had a back-up plan, uploading his cobsciousness in the Living Brain. However, he still sacrifices his life as Peter Parker and his position as the "superior" Spider-Man.
    • When Norman Osborn of Earth-44145 is holding a boy hostage, Otto makes a deal with Mephisto to transform him back into Doctor Octopus, losing his memories as Peter Parker, his young and powerful body, and the people who love and care for him. All so he could regain the "ruthlessness" needed to save the boy.
  • Heroic Suicide: He erases himself to allow Peter back his body to save New York in Superior Spider-Man 30.
  • Hidden Depths: Even though Anna Maria Marconi rightfully despises Otto for deceiving her, when Emma accuses Otto of only caring about appearances, Anna jumps to Otto's defense and says he cares about people based on who they are, and it is Peter Parker who dates super models.
  • Hijacking Cthulhu: Otto dominated the symbiote with his will, preventing it from returning to Flash. The symbiote later returned the favor.
    Symbiote: Old host... bad. Tastes... wrong. Want to go home.
    Flash: That's it. Come to Flash. Back where you belong.
    Otto: I think not!
  • Hulking Out: Superior Venom bulks up massively when the symbiote takes over.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • In Spider-Verse, when Otto and Peter face off for the final time, Otto sneers at Peter for ganging up on him with Spider-Girl and Spider-Woman. Peter is quick to point out he has no right to judge, since he founded the Sinister Six with the same intent in mind.
    • During Mighty Avengers, he yells at "Spider Hero" (no hyphen) for stealing his identity, and demands he remove his costume immediately. This'd be the same guy running around in someone else's body.
  • I Hate Past Me: When they come face to face in Spider-Verse, Otto assumes Peter is from before his Grand Theft Me and mocks him lacking the ruthlessness to kill his enemies. Peter responds by punching him in the nose, then beats him by surrendering and telling SpOck to prove his superiority by killing him.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: His whole attitude towards Peter and his legacy screams of this: He constantly wants to prove he's better than Peter in every aspect of his life, constantly calling himself the "Superior" Spider-Man. It's pretty clear he wants to confess himself he's better than the hero who constantly beat him. In the end, he recognizes that Peter's humility and selflessness is what really makes him the Superior Spider-Man, giving him his body back to defeat Norman Osborn.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: The reason Otto decided to keep the symbiote instead of killing it or putting it back into containment.
  • Insufferable Genius: About 90 percent of his thoughts are how much Superior he is to Peter, or how other the resident geniuses of the Marvel Universe are not as smart as him, like Reed flipping Richards.
  • It's All About Me: Well, as if hijacking another man's body and stealing his life just so he could keep living wasn't a hint. Also, just in general. During Mighty Avengers, he brings an army of minions to Luke Cage's doorstep just because he can't stand the idea of there being other heroes cutting into "his" turf. Only the threat of legal action in the form of She-Hulk gets him to go away.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Why he splits up with Mary Jane. He also does this out of respect for Peter.
  • Jerkass: In terms of personality, he's really not someone you'd want to hang around with. This trait nearly got him kicked off of the Avengers.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: However, he's also doing the right thing because he feels that it's what the real Spider-Man would do. Even still, the "Jerk" aspect of this can be stretched a bit, considering that part of the reason he's being good is due to simply outdo the original.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: His actions are increasingly less heroic and more extreme. This definitely kicks in by the time he erases Peter. He subverts this, though with his final actions.
  • Karmic Death: A self-inflicted example. Otto put Peter down for the count for a long time by erasing him from his own mind. When he realizes that the world needs Peter, he does the same thing to himself in penance, and so that Peter won't be distracted by Octavius' extra baggage.
  • Kill and Replace: Previously, Dr. Octopus had swapped bodies with Spider-Man, leaving the hero to die trapped in Ock's broken body and leaving the villain in a healthy, heroic body with no one realizing anything. Doc Ock uses his new life to constantly try to prove himself a superior Spider-Man. In the end of the series, Otto realizes Parker was better than him and lets him take control of his body once more.
  • Kill the God: In order to stop the Inheritors, Otto kills the Master Weaver.
  • Large Ham: Good gravy, just look at the quote.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Getting sent back to Earth-616 erased his memories of the events of Spider-Verse.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Kicking Peter out of his head cost him Peter's memories, which becomes increasingly important as the story arc progresses.
  • Legacy Character: Doctor Octopus is now Spider-Man after the aforementioned Grand Theft Me.
  • Love Redeems: Otto's love for Anna Maria leads to him giving Peter his body back in order to save her.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He's manipulating pretty much everyone right now.
  • Mad Scientist Hero: Like the original Spidey, only more fiendish.
  • Meta Guy: In Hickman's run on the Avengers, oddly enough.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: As of #22, Dr. Peter Parker is in the house.
  • Most Definitely Not a Villain: For the most part, he doesn't act anything like either Peter or Spider-Man, although it takes a while for anyone to notice.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: His new suit has four cybernetic spider-legs, similar to Peter's old Iron Spider outfit.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The symbiote turned Otto's robotic spider legs into biomechanical tentacles similar to the ones he had as Doctor Octopus.
    • Otto refers to himself as a Lethal Protector, Eddie Brock's title during his period as an anti-hero.
  • Nominal Hero: In the original series, while working as a superhero he barely cares for civilians and operates as brutal as he did in his villain days. His main motivation to be a hero in the first place is that he wants to prove he's a better Spidey than Peter was.
  • Not Quite Dead: In the Superior Spider-Man #32 and #33 SpOck is shown to have been transported to the 2099 universe, though this takes place during his fight with Spider-Man 2099.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Otto realizes the symbiote has been undermining his will and that he can't control it anymore, let alone force it to leave him, he starts to panic and gives up. Fortunately for him, Peter's psyche intervenes.
  • Please, I Will Do Anything!: When an alternate universe's Norman Osborn has kidnapped a boy whom Otto cares for, he is reduced to tears and grovels on the ground, saying he would do anything Norman wants as long as he lets the boy go.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: Sort of. His series starts off as a recovering villain that uses the methods of an Anti-Hero, seemingly becoming more heroic over time. Later on, he becomes more of a Well-Intentioned Extremist and uses increasingly morally questionable methods to achieve his goals, and ultimately leaves many of those that are close to him alienated by his actions.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Ghost-Peter just before purging him.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: SpOck's second costume is based off of Alex Ross' concept art for Spider-Man, and he becomes increasingly violent and antagonistic, taking cues from Nineteen Eighty-Four.
  • Redemption Equals Death: While he wasn't able to undo the damage he did to Peter's life, he did allow Peter to live to fight another day.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: He decides to give heroism a try after he gets infused with Peter's core memories, but he keeps his arrogant attitude and acts as brutal and ruthless as he did in his Doc Ock-days before sacrificing himself in order to defeat Norman Osborn, finally getting some Character Development.
  • Sanity Slippage: After returning from being time-warped, Otto becomes more brutal and totalitarian than ever. This is because while fighting the Inheritors, he learns that Peter will eventually regain control of his body.
  • Screw Destiny: When Otto figures out that Peter is going to get his body back in Spider-Verse, he tries to destroy the Web of Life thinking it will free him from his fate.
  • Shadow Archetype: He already was this as Doctor Octopus and now it's taken up a notch. His methods of crime fighting are more vicious and what would happen if Peter decided to be serious about protecting the whole city.
  • Sssssnake Talk: As Otto's control over the symbiote wavered his speech became increasingly sibilant.
  • Superior Successor:
    • This is the real reason why he tried being a hero after taking Peter's body. For the most part, he plays it straight as he succeeded as he was able to accomplish many things Peter did not or could not accomplish such as getting a doctorate, founding multimillion dollar company, and getting J. Jonah Jameson to stop hating him. He even makes multiple improvements for his Spider-Man suit like talons and enhances lenses. However , it becomes subverted in the end when his methods prove inadequate to stop the Goblin Nation, and he gives Peter his body back after admitting that Peter was the Superior Spider-Man not him. Peter proves it and defeats Norman himself.
    • It becomes even more subverted when a time-displaced Otto-as-Peter winds up in the Spider-Verse crossover. After disputing on who should lead the Spider-Army, Otto and Peter get into a fight with Peter effortlessly winning. What makes this even better? Peter ends the fight by outsmarting Otto, realizing that Otto assumes Peter is from his past because Otto's ego prevents him from imagining a scenario where Peter gets his body back. When Peter realizes this, he uses it to get Otto's guard down and knock him out. Peter is the Superior Spider-Man.
  • Tainted Veins: Superior Venom possesses a white webbing motif on his head and shoulders, as a Mythology Gag to Venom in Spider-Man 3. When he goes berserk, it becomes distorted and even more vein-like.
  • Take Me Instead: In his desperation to save an innocent boy, Otto tells Mephisto to take his soul as payment. Unfortunately, Mephisto rejects him.
  • Taking Up the Mantle: Becomes Spider-Man after Peter dies.
  • The Unfettered: He nearly kills someone during his first night on the town. Arguably Subverted due to the influence of Ghost-Peter. He later plays it straight: in issue five he uses a gun to point blank shot Massacre in the head, even after Massacre was able to feel emotion again.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: So Peter Parker, normally a good-natured quipster, suddenly to all his friends and family turns into an operatic jerkass, and no-one in the superhero community seems to suspect anything's up. Mighty Avengers gives the mild handwave that everyone assumes he's just been reading way too much Ayn Rand lately.
  • Villain Protagonist: He becomes more and more of this as the series progresses.
  • Voice of the Legion: As Otto's control over the symbiote slips, he speaks in distorted red speech bubbles with jagged white text, though he often catches himself and goes back to speaking normally. When the symbiote fully takes over, the speech bubbles become black.
  • Walking Spoiler: The identity of the character spoils the conclusion of the "Dying Wish" arc in the Amazing series. That being said, anyone who opens up an issue of Superior is going to have the twist immediately spoiled for them.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Kaine, self-described "evil clone" of Spider-Man, berates Otto for how far he's fallen.
    • As do a lot of the other heroes that Otto has run into.
    • When Flash asks the symbiote to come back to him a second time, it fully seizes control of Otto and lays into him verbally and physically for keeping it chemically suppressed.
    Venom: You... used chemicals, controlled me. Now I am in control. Better, faster, stronger... Sssuperior!

Alternative Title(s): Otto Octavius, Doctor Octopus