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This page contains unmarked spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man Issue #700, and the story arc as a whole. You Have Been Warned.

"Farewell, 'Otto Octavius.' From now on, my name is Peter Parker. And from this point on... I am Spider-Man."

Part of Marvel Comics' Marvel NOW! initiative, Superior Spider-Man is a Spider-Man series released in January 2013, taking the place of Amazing Spider-Man. After the events of the 700th and final issue of the original volume of Amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker and Dr. Octopus have switched bodies and Peter dies in the body of Dr Otto Octavius, but not before forcing him to relive Peter's life and force a Heel–Face Turn. Now there's a new Spider-Man in town - smarter, stronger, and SUPERIOR.

The title ended in April of 2014, after which Peter Parker retakes his body and resumes his normal operations to a degree in a new The Amazing Spider-Man title, just in time for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, however, two more issues are released in August and September taking place in a time travel interval during issue 19, setting the stage for Spider-Verse in which Otto plays a significant part.


In September of 2018, it was revealed that the title will be relaunched in the aftermath of the Spider-Geddon event, where Otto's friendship with the Peter Parker of Spider-Man (PS4) inspired him to become a hero again.

This was loosely adapted into the "Superior Spider-Man" arc in Marvel's Spider-Man.

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All storylines are written by Dan Slott.
  • Troubled Mind (No. 7-9) - Octavius has a lot of problems on his mind: the Avengers are worried about their friend Spider-Man, Cardiac is on the move again and, oh, yeah, Ghost-Peter is active in his mind. Time to clear his head of those problems.
  • No Escape (No. 11-13 — with Christos Gage) - Alistaire Smythe, the Spider-Slayer, is set to be executed for causing the death of Mayor Jameson's wife Marla. However, the madman isn't ready to go just yet and to stop him, Otto'll need to pull some smooth moves.
  • Run, Goblin, Run (No. 15-16) - Phil Urich, the Hobgoblin, is back in town and Otto's actions are set to make him a deadlier foe.
  • Necessary Evil (No. 17-19) - Miguel O'Hara, Spider-Man 2099, is sent back into the past to save his timeline. Will Otto's actions save him or will it send the Marvel Universe into a darker path?
  • Darkest Hours (No. 22-25 — with Christos Gage) - Flash Thompson, Agent Venom, is back in New York. However, no one told Otto that Flash is on the side of the angels, and he sees something even better with the Venom Symbiote. Something... superior.
  • Goblin Nation (No. 26-31, including prelude chapter) - The Green Goblin's army rises to claim New York City as its own. With New York hating Spider-Man for his recent actions, Otto can only watch as everything he's built is torn down. There's only one man who can stop this madness, and he's simply Amazing.
  • Edge of Spider-Verse (No. 32-33) - The untold story of Otto's missing time during Necessary Evil. Flung into the distant future of 2099, Otto discovers that a new threat is attacking Spider-Men across the multiverse. Can he and a ragtag group of web-slingers save the day?


Tropes pertaining the Superior Spider-Man series:

     2013 Run 

  • Alas, Poor Villain: When Otto deletes himself to give Spider-Man his body back. Peter clearly has some pity towards him, even after all that Otto has done.
  • Always Second Best: Not only is Otto the inferior hero, but also not Spider-Man's greatest Arch-Enemy, as the Goblin King proves.
    • Somewhat subverted in that Peter points out that it was only due to Otto that he was able to finally to rid Norman of his enhanced abilities with a 'cure' for the Goblin serum.
  • Anti-Climax: In a sense, Issue #30. A lot of people were hoping that Ghost-Peter would get a rematch against SpOck to smack the Supervillain out of his body. Ghost-Peter even says that he's ready for round two to Otto's face. So, what does Otto do? He simply gives up and takes Peter to Parker Industries so he can get his body back, all while Otto is erased. What's particularly odd is that previous issues seemed to be building up to a showdown between the characters, but at the least there's still the Goblin King to deal with. However, it's obvious to see that Otto was reaching a Villainous Breakdown of epic proportions by that point.
  • Anti-Hero Substitute: The new Spider-Man is the formerly villainous Doc Ock's mind in Peter Parker's body, who's also not above killing villains, starting with Massacre. To the point that Frank Castle, the Punisher himself, approves. In addition, he's not so much on board with the "Great Power and Great Responsibility" mantra. Part of his reason for being a hero is to do it better than the original and leave behind a greater legacy.
  • Anti-Villain: Otto's motives are partially heroic (with great power comes great responsibility) and partially selfish (he wants to make sure everybody knows he's "superior" to Peter). He's also not above beating the tar out of anyone he faces, be they hero or villain.
  • Appeal to Audacity: After regaining his body in the Grand Finale, Peter gets Miguel to listen to him and not hate him by explaining exactly what was going on with the "Freaky Friday" Flip.
    Miguel: ... Yeah, that sounds just stupid enough to be right. Let’s go.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Inverted by Norah Winters after Phil Urich tries to hold her hostage:
    Norah: Urich, you total *@%$! You drink my last beer, make me watch Expendables 2, and now this? We are so done!
  • Asshole Victim: The bullies that were picking on Anna Marconi for being a little person. Sure what Otto did was Disproportionate Retribution, but those guys were hardly innocents. Same goes for many of the bad guys that Otto has beaten up or killed.
  • The Atoner:
    • Otto takes up Peter's mantle as Spider-Man to atone for his deeds as Doctor Octopus but also to prove that he is "superior" to Peter.
    • He views his relationship with Aunt May as this. After marrying her to gain her inheritance long ago, Otto tries to make it up to her by spending more time with her as her nephew than Peter ever did.
    • He later erases his own memories so that Peter wouldn't have any distractions, leaving only Peter behind.
  • Attention Whore: Otto's goal is to leave behind a legacy, and the steps he's taking aren't half-assed.
  • The Bad Guy Wins:
    • In Issue #9, Doc Ock battles Spidey inside his mind and defeats him by delivering a stinging What the Hell, Hero? by pointing out that the villains he put away earlier came back doing even worse, ending in taking Peter to task to the fact that he nearly allowed a little girl to die just so Octavius couldn't find him in a Moment of Weakness. In the end, a defeated Peter can only watch in horror as Ock seemingly erases him.
    • In the end, this trope no longer applies, not because Peter defeats Ock, but because Ock gives up after a Heel Realization over what he has done.
    • Tiberius Stone got away with everything he had done in Issue #19, including ruining Horizon and killing Spider-Man (temporarily).
  • Bait the Dog: Initial stories in the comic make it seem like Otto is willing to change to become a better person. However, later developments in the story indicate that he's a particularly unflinching (and hypocritical) Well-Intentioned Extremist that is willing to use methods no different from his stint as a villain.
  • Bad Future: Due to Age of Ultron, Battle of the Atom, and the Hulk causing various anomalies, Miguel O'Hara (Spider-Man 2099) comes to the past. And gets stuck there.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: Spider-Man grabs a gun — how he deals with Massacre.
  • Battle Butler: The Living Brain, a Killer Robot battled twice by Spider-Man early in his career, reappears as a member of the wannabe Sinister Six. After defeating it, Otto reprograms it to be his assistant.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind:
    • Happens between Otto and the remnants of Peter Parker. Otto is victorious and wipes Peter from his mind. Or at least he believe this...
    • Averted in their rematch. Peter is ready for round two, but Otto simply gives up instead of fighting.
  • Becoming the Mask: In an attempt to bide his time, Ghost-Peter hides in Otto's memories, living through his enemy's entire life until he completely forgets that he isn't Otto Octavius. It continues until the point where Peter-in-Otto died and he received all the memories he gave Otto to do a Heel–Face Turn, at which point Ghost-Peter realizes that he's the genuine article.
  • Bed Trick: Otto and Anna Maria. Anna Maria had no idea it was not the real Peter Parker. Although she had never met Peter prior and Word of God is that it's Otto she fell for. Notably, Peter doesn't try the same and wastes little time telling her the truth when he is back.
    • Otto also tries to pull this on MJ but doesn't go through with it.
  • Berserk Button
    • Do not under any circumstances harm children. The Vulture found this out the hard way.
    • Bullies, and anything that triggers Otto's memories of being bullied cause him to react with Disproportionate Retribution.
    • He also reacts rather violently to being called "low tech" by Miguel O'Hara.
    • When the new Carnage remarks that he is "superior" to Cletus Kasady, Otto is livid that he uses that epithet.
    • Occurs when Blackout kidnaps Aunt May. Otto rescues her and afterwards proceeds to torture Blackout as a warning to anyone else who would harm his loved ones.
  • Big Bad: The Goblin King, though he doesn't get to doing much to SpOck until the last arc. Technically, SpOck himself could be considered this in a way.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Otto has set up numerous robotic spider drones to patrol the city, allowing him to watch over everything and determine which threats to deal with and which ones to ignore and instead reroute the police or fire department to to better use his time. Also to spy on people, like the CEO who hired Massacre.
    • Insecurity Camera: Not that it stops the Goblin King from hacking them to include a "Goblin Protocol" so that anyone with a Goblin tattoo or mask is ignored by Otto's bots (including those not affiliated with the Goblin King, such as the Hobgoblin).
  • Bittersweet Ending: Peter gets back his body, reconciles with Spider-Man 2099, the Avengers, Aunt May and Jameson Sr., stops the Green Goblin and saves Anna Maria, but learns that Anna did love SpOck, J. Jonah Jameson retires as mayor after the Spider-Slayer incident and Carlie and MJ get tired of being targets for Peter's enemies. Carlie even leaves New York altogether. Even worse, Liz Allan seems to be working for Norman Osborn to help him establish a new identity, now that his identity as the Green Goblin is no longer a secret, and Black Cat's defeat at SpOck's hands has transformed her into a revenge-obsessed psychopath. Still, even after all that's happened, he can't help but feel sorry for poor Doc Ock.
  • Break the Haughty: Otto does not take his own failures well. Especially with his loss of the Venom symbiote, which ends with him being interrogated by the Avengers and childishly quitting the team. The entire "Goblin Nation" war in New York finally succeeds in breaking him completely, causing him to commit Heroic Suicide so Peter can fix his mistakes, since he knows he's not able to fix them himself.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Otto successfully erases Ghost-Peter from his mind... but that has the unfortunate effect of erasing all the memories of Peter Parker, which was the main way he managed to pass as Peter in first place, making his job as a vigilante much harder than it was.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Once Otto sees Vulture — his old friend — using children to do his dirty work he flips out and realizes how bad a person the Vulture really is.
    • The Avengers started to see Peter as this, following his executing of Massacre - Wolverine makes the point that all of them have done something similar at one point or another. Once he brutally beats Jester & Screwball into a bloody mess, however, Wolverine agrees that the Avengers need to deal with him.
    • Kaine sees Peter as this as well.
    • Add MJ and Max Modell to that list too.
    • And now, we add Black Cat and J. Jonah Jameson into the mix.
    • And Flash Thompson and Spider-Man 2099 as well. It's pretty safe to say that Otto has been on one hell of a bridge-burning spree.
      • In the end, some of those are rebuilt, but not all - Captain America's still suspicious of Spidey's attitude and when Spidey drops in on Iceman and Firestar, Iceman's still sore over the incident with Wolverine early in the event.
  • The Bus Came Back: Stunner, Otto's former accomplice and girlfriend, finally comes out of her Convenient Coma.
  • Byronic Hero: In Avenging Spider-Man and Superior Spider-Man Team-Up, where Otto certainly tries to do good, but his old habits and methods keep getting in the way. The best example is the Superior Six, a team he made to fight alongside him to do good... that was made up of supervillains he was using mind-control on to force them to make up for their past actions. They eventually got free and put everyone in New York in danger.
  • Call-Back:
    • When Spider-Man uses his webbing to save Anna Maria from a fall, he comments that he improved on that skill so he won't have to "relive old nightmares".
    • When Otto is attempting to wipe Peter from Otto's consciousness, the name Peter calls out before vanishing is Palmer, which was used back in "Spider-Man Vs. the Chameleon!"
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: Even though Peter technically never quit the Avengers (though "Peter" did), Peter races in to aid the Avengers in taking back New York, Captain America points out that he quit. Peter's response? "I did? Like I would ever do that. You know what they say: 'Once an Avenger...'"
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Stunner's virtual reality equipment which is used by Otto to blackmail his colleague into revoking the plagiarism claims of his work.
    • Peter giving Octavius his memories back in Amazing #700. It ends up being what brings Peter back in full.
    • Otto is caught in a temporal explosion and goes missing for nine hours. This is a set-up for Spider-Verse in which Otto finds himself in the year 2099.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Mason Banks, who mostly appears in the background with Liz Allan, is revealed to be Norman Osborn in disguise.
  • The Chessmaster: The Goblin King spends most of the series quietly amassing an army of the thugs and henchmen that Otto lets slip through the cracks, before finally declaring war in the final arc.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Early on, Otto takes this idea up from Peter. This is later subverted as he takes more extreme stances on crime along with a Never My Fault mentality. It takes the Goblin King to take everything from him to get him to realize why Peter went this way.
  • Covers Always Lie: With the cover to Issue #20, you would think that Black Cat would play a significant role in the story and have a small romance with Otto. Instead, he just punches her in the face after meeting her, webs her up, and leaves her confused, bitter, and really pissed off, for the cops.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: When Spidey attempts to reconcile with Miguel during the finale, he uses the whole "Doc Ock hijacked my body" spiel. Miguel points out that it's so stupid that it has to be true and buddies up with him.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • The Kingpin has a Body Double whose only purpose is to sit around until he needs to fake his own death by killing the double and leaving the body to be found by the authorities. Furthermore, his double had his code genetically altered to match Kingpin's exactly, in order to convince everyone that the body really is him.
    • Otto is this in regards to fighting Spider-Man's enemies. When preparing to fight Carnage, he equips his Spiderlings with sonic emitters, and arms himself with a wrist-mounted flamethrower to kill Agent Venom.
  • Creepy Child: Normie Osborn, especially in the finale.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Goblin King absolutely destroys Otto and all he has built himself up.
  • Damsel in Distress: Anna Maria in #28.
  • Darker and Edgier: The new Spider-Man is a dangerous and self-serious Anti-Hero, a far cry from the fun and quippy original. Then Spider-Man executes Massacre and the Spider-Slayer, after he beats Boomerang, Screwball, and Jester to near death.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Ghost-Peter, because even in death you can't keep a good guy down.
    • Otto occasionally also falls into it, though it's not the same kind of sarcasm as Peter's quipping.
  • Death by Secret Identity: Alistair Smythe was already dying, but Otto still revealed his identity to him.
  • Demoted to Extra: Mary Jane, one of the most prominent characters in Spider-Man's entire mythos, is given a backseat in most of the action and is barely involved in any of the plots, to the point where she largely interacts with Peter via phone messages, and one of her biggest story arcs revolved around whether or not she listened to a message on her cell. Many other established supporting characters in Spider-Man's world have also been shuffled offstage.
  • Depending on the Writer: In Avenging Spider-Man #16 (written by Christopher Yost) Wolverine is suspicious of Spider-Man's new attitude and actions (particularly when Otto loses patience and absolutely thrashes him) to the point of trying to get Rachel Grey to scan his mind to verify he's actually Spidey. In the main series he's consistently the Avenger most supportive of Spidey when the other Avengers challenge him.
  • Dirty Coward: While the Goblin Nation raze Spider-Island 2 to ground via aerial bombardment, Otto orders his remaining Spiderlings to hold their ground. Otto then precedes to make a "strategic retreat", via the Living Brain as a boat, taking only "invaluable" equipment with him.
  • Dirty Old Man: Otto initially comes off as this, leering at MJ's cleavage during a dinner date. Same as when he enjoys the flirtations of a few college girls, which creeps Ghost!Peter out, who points out that not only is Otto too old for them, Peter himself is too old for them.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Otto's beatings are excessive.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Otto is stunned when he punches Scorpion and knocks his jaw clean off. It's in that moment he realizes how much Peter was holding back every time he fought someone.
  • Do I Really Sound Like That?: Otto has this reaction when he hears a recording of his former self.
    Otto: Is that really how I sound? Like an underwater walrus.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Otto hacks all the displays in New York to tell the citizens to be on the lookout for Phil Urich, the man behind the Hobgoblin costume. He even shows pictures of the two to make sure.
  • Dramatic Irony: Otto himself was crippled due to the constant beatings he sustained at Peter's hands. Now he's delivering even more brutal beatings and doing the same to other villains.
    • Also, Stunner trying to kill Spider-Man for killing her beloved Otto... do we really need to say it?
    • Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #7 has SpOck trying to talk Sandman out of going berserk, only for Sandman to reveal that he'd used to believe in Spider-Man... but that Doctor Octopus was right all along.
  • Easily Forgiven: Many of Peter's friends do end up forgiving him for his asshole-ish actions, though it's shown that Mary Jane and Carlie are utterly tired of being in the crossfire of Peter's enemies.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Otto Octavius erases his own mind and relinquishes control of his body back to Peter, memories intact, just in time for The Amazing Spiderman 2.
  • Even Semi-Reformed Evil Has Standards: Ock Spidey draws the line at harming small children, and is appalled at the Vulture putting them into battle.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Phil Urich was prepared to kill everyone in the Daily Bugle with his deadly sonic laugh. He stopped when he realised he was also hurting his uncle Ben (Leaving him open to Otto's counterattack).
    • Norman Osborn was never father-of-the-year even before he became the Green Goblin, but he is absolutely gobsmacked when Hobgoblin insults Harry.
  • Evil Counterpart: The title character serves as this to Kaine, Peter's self-described evil clone, especially as shown in their "Sibling Rivalry" Bat Family Crossover. Kaine is legitimately trying to help on his own, distinctly separate from the many heroes in New York, and does use lethal force on occasion for deliberately benevolent reasons, denying being a hero the whole way through even as he works as The Atoner. Otto instead uses lethal force as a simple means to an end instead of an unfortunate consequence, and aims to make a legacy instead of help out. Kaine even points out how much of a Broken Pedestal he is in the crossover.
  • Evil Gloating: Superior Spider-Man doesn't do the jokes and quips so much as the original. He tends to ramble about how brilliant he is, and how he's outthought whichever foe he's up against. It's still the trope, just being used by kinda-sorta-reformed-evil.
  • Evil Laugh: Ock!Peter still laughs like a Mad Scientist. It scares even the Kingpin.
  • Evil Tastes Good: Averted. The symbiote Venom notes that Peter's taste is horrible compared to before because of Otto and quickly tries to go back to Flash.
  • Evil Versus Evil: As Otto slides more and more into his old habits, ways, and viewpoints, the comic quickly descends into this, making him only slightly better than the villains he fights.
    • Eviler than Thou: He ends up meeting his match in the final arc in the form of Norman Osborn.
  • Exact Words: Ock!Spider-Man asks J. Jonah Jameson to be extremely explicit when he tells the hero that he wants to make sure the Spider Slayer dies. He records it to blackmail Jameson into giving him the Raft as a superhero base.
  • Expy: Jester and Screwball seem to be channelling The Joker and Harley Quinn.
  • The Extremist Was Right: Played with at first as Otto's brutal methods are met with (almost) universal approval, but eventually subverted when his heavy-handed methods and unflinching narcissism makes him overlook details, meaning that for all his heavy handed force, Otto never really changed all that much, just moved a few major players around.
  • Eye Scream: Otto ended up shattering a spotlight into Vulture's eyes, blinding him, and then mini-Spider-Slayer bots burrowed into them.
    • Though the latter was to restore the damage caused by the former.
    • Massacre gouges out one of Dr. Kafka's eyes to trick the recognition system.
  • Failure Hero: For all of Otto's boasting that he was the "Superior" Spider-Man, the series was a case study as to why an arrogant man like him will never be superior to Peter Parker - blackmail, murder, spying, attacking and alienating his friends and family, recklessly using his powers and smarts for personal gain all came back to bite him in the rear come the end, ultimately leaving Otto to give up and die peacefully, giving Peter back his body and memories.
  • Faking the Dead: Wilson Fisk had a body double solely for this purpose.
    • Roderick Kingsley sends a brainwashed minion to fight the Green Goblin to die in his place and, having been assumed dead, escapes to Paris.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: The entire story comes out of one between Doc Ock and Peter, where Peter died in Ock's body. Alistair Smythe, the Spider-Slayer, also tried, but Otto had prevented it the same way he did it when Peter tried in Amazing 700.
  • From Bad to Worse: It starts out as bad when Otto tries to get rid of Peter once and for all, and he stoops lower and lower from there. And things start going bad for him once the Avengers start trailing him and the Goblin King makes his move.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Every issue shows how Ock uses technology to make crime-fighting easier. In particular, his Spider-Bots, which monitor the city for him, and allow him to catch crime he would normally be unaware of.
  • Ghost Memory: As a result of Peter's last attempt to get his body back. Also doubles as a Soul Fragment.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: The lenses in the new Spider-Man mask provide Stat-O-Vision, Night-Vision Goggles, and so on.
  • Good Feels Good: Otto after successfully performing brain surgery on a young girl who was affected by his global warming scheme and receiving her stuffed doll as a thank you.
    Otto: I have never received a token like this. Never had this kind of victory. Being a hero? This... suits me. I've finally found it, haven't I? The greatness I was born for.
  • Grand Finale: After building up over the entire run, "Goblin Nation" serves as this for the whole series.
  • Grand Theft Me: You know who.
    • Alistair Smythe tries the same trick. It doesn't work, as Otto had anticipated Smythe trying to pull something like that and.
  • Groin Attack: Jester used a projectile to hit Spider-Ock's groin. Needless to say, this is more humiliating him rather than hurting him, so it should be Played for Laughs (and the people In-Universe can't help but laugh). Unfortunately, Otto can't stand a humiliation, cue the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown as Disproportionate Retribution.
  • Heel Realization: Otto realizes that the real Spider-Man was the superior one all along when the Goblin King brings everything down around him. Thus he sacrifices himself to give Peter his body back so that Spider-Man can do what Otto failed to do; protect Anna and stop bad guys the right way.
  • Hero Antagonist: Ghost!Peter trying to reclaim his body from the Villain Protagonist. He succeeds, with some help.
  • Heroic BSoD: In issue #28, Otto watches as the Goblin Army tears apart Spider-Island. All he can do in response is to say "I don't know" when his Spiderlings ask him what to do.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Spider-Man 2099 attempts one, deciding that a future without Alchemax is more important than his own existence. Doesn't work, however, once he realizes this could have a negative impact on his loved ones or even lead to a worse future.
    • Don Lamaze throws himself between Octavius and his hacked waldoes, getting speared by them. And he ends up dying, believing that the Spidey he's looking at is the real hero.
    • Otto's ultimate fate. See Heroic Suicide.
  • Heroic Suicide: Eventually Otto decides to just erase himself so that Peter isn't distracted while dealing with the Goblin King, killing himself since he admits that Peter Parker is the actual Superior Spider-Man.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Inverted; despite being a total douchebag at times, Otto's won over most of the police (minus Carlie Cooper and J. Jonah Jameson after Issue #13), especially after he killed Massacre. This goes so far that just about all the cops are willing to lie about him killing Massacre to Captain Watanabe in order to avoid him getting in trouble.
    • Of course things change as the series goes on due to his later actions, culminating to the people watching the Venom-possessed Otto fighting Captain America and finally speaking their mind how "big brother" is finally getting annoying.
  • He's Back!: Thanks to the Venom symbiote, Ghost-Peter comes roaring back. This time, though, he's playing it safe, and keeping a low profile while he plots to fully resume control unless Ock decides to completely and utterly screw up. Eventually comes back for good when Otto gets pushed into a corner and decides to just give Peter his body back.
  • Hidden Depths: Otto doesn't let the fact that Anna Maria is a little person stop him from falling in love with her.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: The final arc of the series sees Norman Osborn's return to the franchise where essentially proves that he's higher on the totem pole than Otto.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Otto is able to blackmail Jonah into giving him the Raft by recording his Exact Words in killing Smythe.
    • Otto is subject to many of these himself. According to Dan Slott, the main reason Otto's plans always failed wasn't because they were ones that Parker would have come up with, but Octavius. The events of this series really hammer that point home.
      • In Issue #19 his deletion of Peter's memories ends up leaving him unable to stop the destruction of Horizon, and by trying to surpass Peter he ended up caught in the blast. It would have been a permanent death, if not for Max Modell. In addition, his desperate attempt to remember something in Peter's past allowed Peter to reemerge from deep within Otto's subconscious.
      • In Issue #25 We find out that Ock had erased the files over Spider-Man's diagnostics way back in issue #7... except for the security camera installed by Iron Man, who was Properly Paranoid thanks to Secret Invasion.
      • Issue #28, we find out that the police are looking for Carlie and Peter's the prime suspect in her disappearance since he was the last one to be really seen with her.
    • How is the Goblin King finally defeated? Spidey pulling off his mask, defeating the "Goblin Protocol" that allowed him to evade detection.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: One of the reasons this storyline lasted as long as it did, beyond the complained usage of Idiot Ball, is the fact that the storyline happened during a time where a number of big-name heroes and characters who would have blown the lid off of this almost immediately are taken out of the picture through their own storylines, such as Avengers vs. X-Men, the then-current run of Fantastic Four and the Iron Man storyline "The Secret Origin of Tony Stark". A conversation with the Human Torch in the rebooted Amazing Spider-Man comic confirms this.
  • Hypocrite: Hypocrisy, thy name is Otto Octavius.
    • At the start of Issue #1, Otto swears to become a hero and leave his past behind. A couple of pages later, he gets quite angry at the "unmitigated gall" of a bunch of C-List villains using the name of "his" old group, the Sinister Six.
    • Otto constantly brags how he's a Superior Spider-Man to Peter. He's also the guy who called the X-Men arrogant for using superior in homo superior.
    • Throughout the Ends Of The Earth, Otto bemoans the fact that he's been effectively crippled by Spider-Man, even though this was because he'd been breaking the law and running into Spidey so many times instead of receiving a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown like he claimed. What does he do when he becomes Spider-Man? Deliver excessive beatings to all criminals.
    • One of his major arguments against Peter is that he's too selfish to be Spider-Man. Yes, this is coming from the egomaniac that's trying to Attention Whore his way to fame.
    • In Avenging Spider-Man he scoffs at Scott Lang's past in thievery as if he hasn't done anything as petty. In another issue, his monologue concerning the Hobgoblin is about how the villain's smugness and thoughts of being better then everyone else grates on him.
    • In Issue #11 he cuts himself off from doing this while going on a rant about how the Spider-Slayer couldn't be a changed man since he was a lifelong criminal and murderer... which he was up until he bodyjacked the original Spider-Man. It's for this reason, in the "Sibling Rivalry" arc, his criticism of Kaine falls short considering they've done some of the same things. He's just mad because he was killed by Kaine.
    • In the "Sibling Rivalry" crossover between Superior Spider-Man Team-Up & Scarlet Spider, Otto complains about Kaine "stealing [his] life". Obviously, he's not really in any position to complain about people doing that.
      • Similarly, during the Infinity tie-in to Mighty Avengers, Otto freaks the hell out when he sees Ronin (known at the time as "Spider Hero") wearing a knock-off Spider-Man costume. He has the gall to get indignant at another hero "ripping him off" despite, y'know, having killed Peter and stolen his life.
    • During his Battle in the Center of the Mind with Peter in #9, Otto beats him with a Breaking Speech that Peter was so afraid over being discovered in Otto's head that it caused him to risk a little girl's life, with Otto gloating that he would never do that. Later on in the first annual, when Aunt May is taken hostage by Blackout and Otto doesn't have any recollection of Spider-Man's invovlement with him due to the afforementioned battle with Peter purginging him of several of Peter's memories, he considers visiting someone like Doctor Strange to probe his mind to find a way to defeat the villain, but decides against it at the last second, feeling the risk that Strange could discover he's not really Peter is too great. He did the same thing he accused Peter of that made him "inferior": prioritizing his own identity over someone's life.
  • Idiot Ball: A common complaint is that most of Peter's friends, family, and allies have become total idiots in order to keep from derailing the plot. Some people were relieved when Carlie found evidence that Otto is pretending to be Spider-Man until she gets kidnapped (though most of those people also quickly realised Carlie should not have been the first person to realise something was wrong).
    • This is especially bad when you realize that Mary Jane was able to spot a fake Peter within two pages during Kraven's Last Hunt. On the one hand, Otto has (or had) Peter's memories, which helps him keep up the facade. On the other hand, in spite of those memories, he acts nothing like Peter and every serious Out of Character moment is brushed off.
    • Take Daredevil, Wolverine and Captain America. All three of them have considerable history with Spider-Man. All three of them are both very experienced and very observant, two of them have enhanced senses, and Captain America is second to none when it comes to observing patterns and finding strength and weaknesses. They've all had to deal with allies who have been mind-controlled, had personalities swapped between bodies, etc. Despite repeated encounters with Otto/Spidey, none of them thought that Spider-Man's drastically altered behavior, sadistic brutality, alteration in speech patterns, completely different body language, reliance on technology to a level he'd never displayed before, unfamiliarity with people and places he should have been very familiar with, and indifference to the thoughts and feelings of others was anything other than Spidey being under stress or having a bad day. And all this is taking place in a Universe where things like clones, Mind Control, body hijacking, Shapeshifters and Alternate Universe copies are so common that the Avengers probably have a number code to refer to each of these specific situations. The Idiot Ball was almost worn out after this story arc, even more so than in the terminally bad One More Day/Brand New Day abominations.
    • This is even lampshaded in a post-Superior comic where Peter successfully manages to bluff the Black Cat into thinking Otto's still in control of his body by going into his usual brand of hammy ranting. After it's over, Peter has a "Do I Really Sound Like That?" moment and mentally wonders how not a single person could have not noticed the drastic difference in his behavior while Otto was still in charge.
  • Ignored Epiphany: In spite of his intelligence, Otto doesn't seem to learn from his mistakes.
    • After the Superior Six debacle, Ock is on the verge of quitting and surrendering to the Avengers. Then, Namor decides to give him a pep talk in his own arrogant way. Ock knocks him on his ass and swings away as thanks, once more full of himself.
    • It also seems this way concerning what memories Otto decided to save: Ghost-Peter realizes that many of them are memories that defined who he is, but Otto obviously doesn't make any connections, as evident when he decides the memory of Gwen Stacy's death would just merit "further study".
  • I Hate Past Me: After being threatened by a pre-recorded tape of himself in one of his old bases, Otto quickly decides his past self was a joke, constantly self-sabotaged by pointless vanity.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Wraith and Sajani vs. Monster who is Carlie Cooper after having been given a dose of Goblin formula unwillingly.
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You!: Superior Spider-Man, in a fight with the Spider Slayer, "lets slip" that his Spider-bots are powered by the Raft's power grid. The whole thing was a ruse to trick the Spider Slayer into going for that.
  • Incest Subtext: Played with at first and then dropped with Otto's relationship with Aunt May while in the body of her nephew. Otto spends a lot more time with her than Peter used to and Ghost Peter is weirded out by the implications. The annual clarified that Otto's actions were a result of him trying to A.) make up for taking advantage of her with his inheritance scheme and B.) rectifying Peter's past behavior in never spending any time with his family as opposed to any romantic intentions.
  • Innocent Bigot: Aunt May, upon discovering that Anna-Maria is a little person, expresses her concern over potential grandchildren being like her.
  • Insistent Terminology: The Green Goblin is referred to here as the Goblin King.
    • Likewise, Otto insists if you are referring to him, you call him Superior Spider-Man.
  • Internal Reveal: Several times in the series, with people finding out what's wrong with Spider-Man. Finally, most of Spidey's friends and allies are told the situation in the finale.
  • Ironic Echo: "I will be... free!" The first time it's said is by Otto after seemingly erasing Peter's memories. The second time, Peter says it, when he returns during the Superior Venom arc.
  • Irony:
    • What is the first thing that destroys everything Otto has worked for? "Stealing" his own work for his doctorate thesis, putting himself, his step-uncle and co-worker in the mercy of the bank. This gets resolved with a bit of technological trickery.
    • The Venom symbiote jumps at the chance to rebond to its original host, but is disgusted by "Peter's" new psyche and attempt to return to Flash, only for Otto to force it to stay bonded to him.
    • In Issue #27, Goblin Knight (recently the previous Hobgoblin) mentions that the storming of Spider-Island is just like his storming of Shadowland... except it's Otto's turn to see how it feels to have everything come crashing down.
    • The thing that forces Otto to return Peter and get erased himself? Being forced to save the same child that he blamed Peter in trying to kill.
    • On more then one occasion Otto referred to his former self as "Spider-Man's greatest enemy." In the end, it took Spidey's true greatest enemy, the Goblin, to destroy everything Otto worked for.
    • In the early days of Spider-Man's career, Jameson would often accuse him of being "in cahoots" with the villains he fought. When SpOck follows his taking down of the Shadowland by declaring on live television that he had Jameson's backing, Jameson bemoans the fact that (Due to SpOck blackmailing him) they're "in cahoots".
    • When SpOck bursts into the Daily Bugle to apprehend Phil Urich, Robbie Robertson demands proof that he's the Hobgoblin.
      SpOck: Unbelievable. The Daily Bugle is asking me to prove someone's a menace. You do see the irony here, don't you?
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Otto ends up breaking up with MJ after she got captured by some of Vulture's goons realizing that she'd never be safe. Even Peter is impressed that he had the guts to finally break it off.
  • Jerkass: Otto. Good God, Otto. It's bad enough that he drives away almost everyone that Peter loves or is friends with.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While Otto might be a borderline sociopath, he did have a point that Peter barely used his abilities to their full potential and just sort of bumbled around tripping over trouble and did almost nothing to be proactive in his hero career.
  • Just Between You and Me: Just before Alistair Smythe dies, Otto reveals his true identity to him.
  • Hope Spot: From the first issue we find out that Peter is still around as a 'ghost' and that he is trying to find a way back. Otto discovers this in #9 and erases him.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: J. Jonah Jameson finally loses it and constructs an army of Spider-Slayers to kill Spidey.
  • Kick the Dog: Otto beating Peter to a bloody pulp and afterwards erasing him from his mind in Issue #9.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Otto's execution of Massacre.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Otto has no trouble murdering criminals after they've been defeated, disarmed, and unable to defend themselves.
  • Knight Templar: He thinks anything he does is superior to the rest of the Hero Community (especially to Peter), from blackmailing to outright murder, going by crippling, and that he can't ever be wrong because he is a genius.
    Ock: [after being accused of plagiarism by Dr. Lamaze and planning his revenge] Just think of all the good I've done! Why should that suffer? All because Lamaze wants to meddle in my affairs! He's at fault here! And dealing with him? Why that's for the common good! Yes! I'd definitely be in the right!
  • The Lancer: Ghost-Peter is an odd variation of one seeing as how Otto can't see him but he's there most of the time snarking at him. Until Octo erases him.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The concept of the comic spoils the end of the Amazing run.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Otto's attitude puts him into conflict with a lot of the superheroes Peter was good friends with or who admired him, including the Avengers, Spider-Man 2099, and Agent Venom.
  • Love Cannot Overcome: Ultimately, even after finding out about the whole "Freaky Friday" Flip situation with Peter, Carlie Cooper and Mary Jane Watson both realize that being one of Peter's love interests is just too dangerous.
  • Love Triangle: A really confusing one Mary Jane still loves Peter and dated "Peter". Ghost-Peter still loves Mary Jane, and is pretty pissed about Otto dating her in his place. Otto has feelings for MJ due to having Peter's memories and reliving parts of his life, but broke up with her since he didn't want her to get hurt. Seeing as Ghost-Peter gets wiped and Otto is avoiding her, it's resolved by MJ getting fed up and finding a new boyfriend named Ollie. It's reinforced in the finale when Peter returns, she believes his mind-swapping story immediately, but she doesn't care.
  • The Mafia: Goblin King is setting one up to deal with Superior Spider-Man. As of Issue #14 he controls over 52% of all crime.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Issue 31 reveals that under the alias of "Mason Banks", which Liz Allan knew to be a front, Norman Osborn funded the creation of Alchemax-616 in order to leave a legacy for his grandson, Normie, with Liz Allan approving of his involvement.
  • Mega-Corp: Alchemax is outright called one upon its assembly in Earth 616.
  • Moment Killer: Otto's romance with Anna Marconi is interrupted when his henchman inform him about Flash Thompson, forcing him to leave before it got hotter.
  • Moment of Weakness:
    • Ghost-Peter endangered a child to protect himself. Being called out on it is a major reason Ghost-Peter loses their Battle in the Center of the Mind.
    • Ironically, that very same child that Peter endangered is the same one who convinces Otto that he is not Spider-Man, when Ghost-Peter forces him to save her rather than keep searching for Anna Maria.
  • Moral Event Horizon: In-Universe, Wolverine seems to view the horrifying beatings SpOck gave to Screwball, Jester, and Boomerang as this. In addition, Black Cat shares this view after SpOck beats her. Agent Venom also fell into this to being conned by both "Peter" and Spidey.
  • Morality Chain: Ghost-Peter is really trying to be this, forcing Otto to pull a Heel–Face Turn before he died, and preventing him from killing Boomerang. Unfortunately he isn't very successful at keeping Otto from killing Massacre and eventually gets erased himself.
  • Morality Pet: Anna-Maria functions as this for Otto. It's his love for her, and his inability to save her, that causes Otto erase himself and give his body back to Peter.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: As of Superior Spider-Man #21, Dr. Peter Parker is in the house.
  • Mood Whiplash: Happens from time to time, but Issue #6 really sums it up. "Oh hey, Jester and Screwball are playing pranks on JJJ! That's pretty funny! Oh, and they're doing it to Spock too! That's hilar—oh wait, now he's beating them to death."
    • Issue #10 has it shifting between Otto on a date with Anna Marconi and MJ caught in a fire, waiting for him to save her.
  • Mooks: Otto turns the Raft into a base and gathers an army of Mooks at the end of Issue #13. They help him take down the Shadowland.
  • Mook Carryover: After Otto starts killing members of his Rogues Gallery, their surviving mooks seek employment and protection from the Goblin King.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Otto tacks four Ock-esque spider arms onto his back in #15.
  • Multi Layer Facade: Otto starts to get confused about who he is; one minute he's referring to himself as Doctor Octopus and moments later as Peter Parker.
    • The same thing happens to Peter as he relives Otto's memories. By the end of it, he's convinced that he is Otto.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Otto's reaction after seeing a young girl whose brain damage worsened after his global warming scheme.
    • Gets another one after his "Superior Six" plot spectacularly collapses.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In the weirdest of places. As Ghost-Peter is getting mind wiped, his attempt to remember his name comes out as "Peter... Palmer?", a name Stan Lee's narration mistakenly called him a few times during the superhero's early days.
    • While possessed by the Venom symbiote, Otto declares that the city has a "lethal protector". This is a nod to the Venom: Lethal Protector miniseries from 1993.
    • In the final issue, a panel has a slightly altered version of the iconic panel in which Mary Jane first appeared.
  • Never My Fault: Otto has a bad habit of refusing to accept the blame for his failures and shortcomings, often shifting it to others. The worst example occurs after he fails to save Horizon Labs; He claims he only failed because he was working off the "flawed" work of Peter Parker, but the truth of it was that he just couldn't figure out the equation required to stabilise the unstable Reverbium (which Peter figured out on his very first day at Horizon).
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • So, Spidey and his army has liberated the Shadowland from the hands of Wilson Fisk and the Hand and forced Fisk to flee. That's good and all. Too bad the Goblin King has decided he was going to take over, swooping up the remaining members of the Hand from that area and rebranding himself the Goblin Kingpin of Crime.
    • Nice job knocking out Spider-Man 2099, the only guy who could save Horizon after you deleted Peter's memories.
    • Nice job using your old tech as Peter Parker, Ock. Now you got everyone thinking he's a fraud, a thief and worse!
    • As a whole, the "Goblin Nation" arc seems to be reaching this conclusion - Otto's actions end up making things much worse in the long run instead of better. He finally realizes this, and commits Heroic Suicide to let Peter fix what he can't.
    • Ghost-Peter runs into this. Having lost most of his memories after Otto tried to purge him from his consciousness, he hides within Otto's own memories in order to wait until the opportune moment to strike to take his body back. He ends up becoming so lost in the memories that he starts thinking that he's Otto. Then, the trope is inverted when he reaches Otto's last memory, when Peter Parker/Doctor Octopus forced his memories onto Otto Octavius/Spider-Man's mind, which causes Peter to snap out of it and get all of his memories back, giving him the strength to confront Otto.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Hard to track, but the Goblin King technically leads to the redemption of Spider-Man, since his breaking of Otto leads him to give the reins of the body back to Peter, giving back the one thing that he believes can stop the Goblin Nation.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Otto's using Peter's strength to the fullest when he fights. While Jester and Screwball got beat badly, he blinded Vulture, knocked Scorpion's jaw off, and nearly killed Boomerang.
  • Not Brainwashed: Liz Allen is willfully working for the Green Goblin. The reasons for her Face–Heel Turn are unknown.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore:
    • The series opens with a new Spider-Man, and Peter Parker dead.
    • The series ends the same way. Although many of the relationships with Peter's friends and family are repaired, and Peter gets his body back, Peter still has Otto's memories melded with his own, the Shadowland has been freed from Kingpin's influence, Otto is dead, J. Jonah Jameson retires as mayor after the Spider-Slayer incident, and Carlie and MJ grow tired of being targets for Peter's enemies, with Carlie even leaving New York.
  • Not Quite Dead: Despite originally posturing that the remains of Peter's psyche was 100% gone for good, thanks to Otto focusing too hard on Peter's memories in issue #19, it's shown that he has dug out of the rubble from issue #9.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When the Goblin King calls Spidey "Otto". A little bit later, Otto's soldiers flip out when the Goblin Army attacks Spider-Island and they have no idea how they slipped by.
    • Goblin King himself has one in the finale, when a single, solitary quip in the old familiar tone of voice lets him know that Otto is no longer operating as Spider-Man, which means the one who knows and has beaten him repeatedly is back in charge of his own body.
  • One-Steve Limit: Inverted. There are two completely differant supervillains using the code name Blackout; one a Ghost Rider villain and the other an old Nova villain. Otto ends up fighting both of them during his brief career as Spider-Man.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Peter, though he doesn't use any ghost like powers. He just follows Otto around, webslings with him when Otto is out as Spider-Man, and gets access to Otto's memories.
  • Out-Gambitted: As Otto previously stated, Alistair isn't half the plotter his father was. So matching wits with the aptly named "Master Planner" in a jailbreak scheme? Alistair didn't have a ghost of chance.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Partly subverted. Spider-Man suddenly speaking in an arrogant manner without any wisecracks, relying on technology and brutal in fights should be a huge red flag yet is just shrugged off. See Idiot Ball above.
  • Parenthetical Swearing: In the last issue on the part of the Goblin King. One quip lets him know he's no longer dealing with the would-be "Superior" Spider-Man, but is now facing the genuine article. He says "It's you," but the obvious thrust of his expression and phrasing is a rather stronger Oh, Crap!.
  • Pass the Popcorn:
    Peter: [when Ock throws down the gauntlet at the Avengers] Oh, what I wouldn't give for some ghost-popcorn right now.
  • Pet the Dog: Though Otto performs morally questionable actions, he does have his moments where he acts as a hero should.
    • Otto performs successful brain surgery with Cardiac on a girl who was brain-damaged by one of previous attempts to take over the world, having felt guilty and trying to atone for it. This was after he tried to take the helmet off of her for his own use while she was alive before Cardiac stopped him and explained the situation. In return, the girl gave Otto her personal doll and got a Spider-Man doll for herself.
    • Also, he was the one who made the armor that Wolverine currently uses, so that Wolverine could have a fighting chance now that his healing factor is gone.
  • Poorly-Disguised Pilot: Issue #19 serves as one for a new Spider-Man 2099 series, set in the present day after Otto strands him in the past.
  • Preferable Impersonator: The premise involves Otto Octavius stealing Peter Parker's body and applying his criminal mind to Parker's various problems. Without Parker's moral code to weigh him down, Octavius manages to temporarily end Spider-Man's Herowith Bad Publicity reputation and makes Peter Parker a rich man by patenting his various inventions, earning Spider-Man and Peter a level of social favor, while alienating Peter away from some of his family and friends (Aunt May, Mary Jane). Eventually Otto himself realizes that Peter is the better Spider-Man.
  • Pretender Diss: Otto gives a couple to the new Sinister Six in the first issue.
    • Upon first seeing them:
    "UNBELIEVABLE! Of all the unmitigated gall!
    Well, I guess they're letting anyone call themselves the Sinister Six these days."
    • Later, after figuring out the new Six's plans to build a weather machine:
    Otto: What were you going to do? Blackmail the city with a tornado?
    Boomerang: Shut up! It was a good plan!
    Otto: It was uninspired tripe. Unworthy of the Sinister Six!
  • Psycho Serum: The Goblin Formula. Those who take it go insane, even though they can convincingly act sane. Carlie is transformed by this into "Monster" but she is given an experimental cure by Sanjay later on that seems to have worked.
  • Rage Quit: When the Avengers attempt to get information out of SpOck, with the reasoning that they think that they can do so just because he's an Avenger, he throws himself out the window and screams "I QUIT!"
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Superior Spider-Man's costumes are red and black rather than red and blue, and Otto becomes increasingly antagonistic as the series goes on.
  • Red Is Heroic: Tellingly, while the first Superior Spider-Man outfit has the normal amount of red, the second one, as Otto becomes increasingly villainous, has far more black in it.
  • The Reveal: In Issue 25, the Goblin King reveals that he is Norman Osborn, yet refuses to unmask himself. It isn't until the final issue when we find out why — he surgically altered his face for his guise as Mason Banks, the creator of Alchemax.
  • Ret-Canon: Arune Singh confirmed at Comic-Con that the Superior Spider-Man's second outfit is based on the one Alex Ross designed for the first Spider-Man movie. The design ultimately went unused in the film, but was leaked online, has appeared in some of the video games, and Assassin Spider-Man in What If: The Spider that Came in From the Cold also used a costume based on the design.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In a retcon of a 90's Spider-Man Unlimited story about Octavius trying to cure AIDS to save an old flame, it's revealed that it was Norman Osborn who had infected her with a deadly virus in an attempt to coerce him into teaming up with him. When Octavius learns the truth, he flips out and starts pummeling Osborn silly, trying to kill him.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: During his first fight against the new Sinister Six, Otto is pummeled so badly by Speed Demon, he decides to leave (But turns back to protect a police officer).
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Otto briefly contemplates this at the end of the "Arms of the Octopus" crossover with All-New X-Men. He considers using a time machine to go back and guide his younger self onto the path of heroism. He quickly decides otherwise, acknowledging that altering history is far too dangerous.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Otto and Anna Marconi getting snuggly in her lab is being shown as two large jellyfish being close to each other.
  • Spirit Advisor: Subverted - Peter is technically still alive, but Otto has no idea that Peter's along for the ride and can't hear him when Peter talks to him; and the only influence Peter is able to exert over his body is stopping Otto from crossing lines he would never cross, until Massacre is killed. Then Peter gets a Disney Death, too.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Carlie's storyline is effectively this. She deduces that Spider-Man is really Doc Ock and uncovers evidence to prove her claim, but as soon as she is to go public she is kidnapped by the Green Goblin and exposed to the serum. By the time she is cured, she confronts Spider-Man only to discover that Peter Parker had been restored to his body.
  • Ship Sinking: Peter/Mary Jane. Otto's jerk behavior towards Mary Jane might have been the trigger, but it's not the deciding point. After spending time away from him, Mary Jane decides that she prefers having a normal life that she can handle on her own terms, rather than being consumed by Peter's. Although she points out that she will always care for him, and considers him the best man she knows. Time will tell if it sticks or not (similar arguments have been used before for these two to be apart and it didn't), but the "sinking" scene is one of the most convincing ever, with a symbolic frame that reproduces Mary Jane's first appearance to boot.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Mary Jane claiming that everything's "Crazy Town Banana Pants" and that it's something Peter used to say all of the time when questioned on it.note 
    • Otto tells the Living Brain, which he modded to be his assistant, to fetch him some tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
    • His lab gear in that scene also resembles that of Doctor Horrible.
    • At one point in the same issue "Peter" wears a brown coat and striped scarf, resembling The Fourth Doctor as a result. Likely intentional, as the author, Dan Slott, is a Doctor Who fan.
    • JJJ makes a spider signal that Otto promptly destroys. He then psyches Jameson out that it was a test due to the stupidity of the idea.
    • When Don Lamaze tells Peter that he had a visit from someone (Otto Octavius) the previous night, Peter quips: "Wait. Don't tell me. Darth Vader from Planet Vulcan."
    • A happily lovestruck Ock!Peter sings a few bars from "Suddenly" right before a romantic rendezvous with Anna.
    • Otto finds himself channeling Rorschach in #20.
      Otto: No doubt our other former colleagues will realize what you have... albeit when it's far too late. They'll beat on the doors, screaming, 'save us!' and I will whisper—
    • When Otto uses a holographic recording to talk to the people who gathered for Smythe's execution, Norah Winters wastes no time in bringing up a Star Wars reference:
      Norah: Nice. Now say "Help us, Obi Wan. You're our only hope."
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Otto wasn't exactly a saint before, but, rather disturbingly, he seems to be becoming increasingly brutal and amoral the longer he acts as Spider-Man.
  • Something Only They Would Say: The Goblin instantly knows the original Spidey is back in town when the latter quips at him rather than talk like an evil scientist.
    Goblin King: Aaand here he is at last! The hero of our little drama. Just in time for the thrilling climax! But wait — a twist! The "hero" isn't one at all. In fact, he never was. Really, Otto, you're just embarrassing yourself with this charade. Granted, you were never on my level, but being a bad guy suited you. Saving that little lady is your last remaining achievement as Spider-Man. When it all goes boom, you'll have nothing left! Hahahaha!
    Spider-Man: Except the dignity of knowing I never carried a man-purse.
    Goblin King:'s you.
    Spider-Man: The one and only.
  • Staging an Intervention: The Avengers stage an intervention when they see that Spider-Man no longer conforms to their standards.
  • Status Quo Is God: An odd take, as the ending seems to shunt Peter back to pre-Big Time levels: Horizon Industries is gone (although he's still CEO of Parker Industries), he's still part of the Avengers, Mary Jane is once again out of the picture...
  • Stranger Behind the Mask: Subverted. For over a dozen issues, the Goblin King has been dropping increasing broad hints that he's Norman Osborn, but always refuses to take the mask off. At the climax, Spider-Man rips off his mask, only to discover it's... some redheaded guy with a mustache he's never seen before. It turns out it really is Norman Osborn - he'd gotten plastic surgery since his original face had gotten too well-known.
  • Storming the Castle: The Goblin's Army attack Spider-Island, obliterating it.
  • Super Team: Otto tried to make one of these out of the Sinister Six, called the Superior Six in the Team-Up series. It failed horribly.
  • Superior Successor: Otto certainly likes to think he is. Issue #19 proved him wrong, but it doesn't seem that Otto took the lesson well until #30.
    • On more than one occasion, Otto expresses that Alister Symthe is NOT this compared to his father. For all his faults, Spencer Symthe was a scientist first and foremost; the bulk of his fighting was done with his brains unlike Alister.
  • Take That!:
    • To the Bat-Signal. JJJ installs a Spider-Signal; Otto trashes it as soon as it's turned on, pointing out that it just tells every enemy where they can find Spider-Man.
    • Jester and Screwball seem to be an expy of The Joker and Harley Quinn. Spider-Ock brutally beats them into a bloody mess for their humiliating prank on him (including a Groin Attack). Even Ghost-Peter is horrified by Spider-Ock's action.
  • Taking Up the Mantle: Otto becomes the new Spider-Man after he's forced to experience Peter Parker's memories — good and bad — learning how and why Peter is Spider-Man.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Given by Otto to the ghostly version of Peter inhabiting his mind after he tries doing the same thing to him, essentially telling him that he doesn't deserve to be Spider-Man because of how ineffective and childish he is. He points out how Peter being so lax on villains like Massacre and The Vulture because of his moral code is foolish considering all the harm it ends up doing, and that Peter's earlier interference almost cost a little girl her life, all because Peter was afraid Otto would eventually find him.
    • Otto also delivers one to Massacre in Grand Central Station, between crippling him and blowing his brains out. Either he's putting on a show for the crowd to make them like him, or he's genuinely disgusted with what passes for supervillainy now.
  • Tempting Fate: After the bad publicity the Spider-Slayers bring him, Jameson tries to find comfort from the fact Alchemax will go down with him since he sees no way they could get a positive spin from that. The next scene features Tiberius Stone talking to several nation representatives who want to buy robots able to fight the Avengers to a standstill.
  • Terrible Trio: Monster, Menace, and the Goblin Knight; brains, beauty, and brawn, respectively.
  • Thou Shall Not Kill:
    • Deconstructed. After killing Massacre, SpOck mentions to Ghost!Peter that dropping this trope is necessary since it did more long term harm than good in both the safety of New York City citizens and public relations. Even Wolverine mentions that some of the Avengers such as Captain America had to use lethal force in most extreme circumstances even though they may not like to do so. Said deconstruction and Wolverine's rationalization is then subverted when SpOck is subsequently far less judicious about lethal force.
    • And reconstructed in the finale. When Peter swings back into action, he proceeds to knock out people and web them up and when Spidey saves Anna and Norman, he tells Osborn "No one dies. Not even you."
  • Traitor Shot: Liz Allen holding a Goblin Mask, proving she was the one who sabotaged the Spider-Slayers for the Goblin King.
  • Trapped in the Past: Miguel O'Hara is trapped in the past at the end of Issue #19.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: In the finale, the Spider-Men have the Goblin King disarmed, de-powered and dead to rights - until Liz "accidentally" presses a spider-sense jammer. Osborn escapes into the sewers before Peter can recover.
  • Villain Protagonist: If you didn't already know this from the protagonist being a super villain who murdered the iconic hero, stole his life, and dated his girlfriend in his place, then SpOck is rapidly approaching this status as his morals decline further and further, being an Anti-Villain at best. He begins as an aversion of Peter's Hero with Bad Publicity status after his early acts of more extreme violence, but turns toward a Villain with Good Publicity by the end of the "No Escape" arc.
  • Villain Respect: As miffed as the Goblin King was with Otto being the one to finally defeat Spider-Man, he couldn't help but be impressed on the manner of how Otto did so.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: Word of God is that that this is one of the differences they wanted to showcase by showing Otto being proactive how a villain would rather than simply running into trouble.
  • Villains Never Lie: Invoked by Dr. Kafka in regards to Massacre. Marcus is a mass-murdering sociopath, yet remains a man of logic and can be counted on to keep his word. Dr. Kafka tries to strike a deal with the loose inmate for her life in exchange for getting pass the security door. Massacre declines as he only requires an eye...
  • Villains Out Shopping: The first thing Massacre does after escaping from prison? He goes to a fast food restaurant.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Well, since Otto IS a villain, his rant in #26 is easily this when he throws himself out of Avengers Tower, he starts ranting that they were nothing without him and that he doesn't need anyone.
    • He did it again in Mighty Avengers #5 after being humiliated by She-Hulk.
    • The entire "Goblin Nation" arc is this, showing Otto just how much he sucks at being a hero.
    • The source of the Villainous Breakdown seems to be the Spider-Verse storyline itself, as Otto throws a hissy fit when the Inheritors ruin his super awesome plans and get two of his team killed.
    • The Goblin King suffers one when he discovers the real Spider-Man is back; He sets off the timer to his explosives and tries to escape. When Spidey attacks him, the Goblin rants about how he's "crushed" him before, even while he's losing.
  • Villainous Friendship: Otto had one with the Vulture, from way back when the Sinister Six was first formed. When Otto confronts his old friend as Superior Spider-Man, he offers Toomes a small fortune, and the chance to retire. Then he finds out Toomes is using kids as minions...
    • Team-Up revealed that at one point Otto and Norman Osborn had become friends during a partnership. It ends when Norman, in an attempt to prove a point, stages a car accident for Otto's ex-girlfriend and replaces the blood transfusion at the hospital with AIDS-infected blood.
  • Virtual Sidekick: When Otto was sent to 2099, the first thing he did after he escaped the authorities was to construct an AI assistant much like Miguel's Lyla, based on Anna-Maria.
  • Walking Spoiler: The identity of the new Spidey (Otto Octavius) is one for the end of Amazing Spider-Man.
  • We Can Rule Together: The Goblin King makes this offer to Otto, seeing how they'd never been enemies or even rivals before Otto swapped minds with Peter. Otto refuses, so the Goblin decides to tear down everything Otto has built up.
  • Wham Episode:
    • In Issue #9, Otto seemingly wipes Peter from his mind, though later revealed to just be him successfully suppressing Peter's consciousness.
    • Issue #19: Miguel O'Hara is trapped in the present, Horizon Labs exploded, Otto has lost all credibility, Carlie has more or less figured out what is going on, Liz Allan turns Allan Chemical into Alchemax, and Otto's attempt to save face by dredging up the stored memories he'd already found has reawakened Peter's consciousness which is fighting back once more, thereby undoing the "erasing" in Issue #9.
    • Issue #20: More of Parker's life is smashed up as Octavius beats up and arrests the Black Cat, who vows that she'll never forget what he had just done. While trying to obtain a doctorate by passing off technology he had invented as Otto as Peter's, he is exposed as a fraud by an old friend of his from when he was Octavius, and the woman whom Octavius allowed to become the Stunner (last seen in a coma after she helped bring him back to life the first time) returns and takes up her old identity vowing to crush Spider-Man.
    • Issue #21: All the problems brought up in the previous issue are solved (with the exception of the Black Cat problem), but the Goblin King has Carlie's evidence on Otto being Spider-Man after one of his goons kidnap her. Oh, and Peter Parker's grave is empty.
    • Superior Carnage #5: Carnage knows Spider-Man is Doc Ock and Cletus Kasady is no longer lobotomized.
    • The entire "Goblin Nation" arc, which basically screws Otto over in every way possible.
    • Issue #30: Ghost-Peter reveals himself, and Otto decides that Peter is the superior one, erasing himself and bringing Peter Back from the Dead.
  • Wham Line:
    • In Issue #8:
      Ghost-Peter: I am going to find a way back!
      Otto: No, Peter. You won't.
    • In Issue #19. This is less of one, since it was implied to be in progress, but the Wham comes from how it is solidified.
      Liz Allan: Mr. Banks. Mr Stone. Let me be the first to welcome you to this bold endeavor. The foundation of this all-new Mega-Corp, Allan Chemical, merged with my son's holdings in Oscorp... and the intellectual properties Tiberius helped us acquire from Horizon Labs. Gentlemen, I give you Alchemax. Long may she stand.
  • Wham Shot: Peter digging his way out of the rubble in issue #19.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: What happened to Otto's original body?
    • It's revealed in the much-later Clone Conspiracy event that it was exhumed by the Jackal.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Brought up in the Sibling Rivalry story. Otto sees clones as abominations, while Peter wasn't exactly thrilled but supported his surviving clones.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: It's no surprise that you-know-who gets these a lot.
    • SpOck is able to trap Agent Venom by giving him artificial limbs but separating the symbiote from Flash Thompson. Once Flash realizes what he's done, he reads him the riot act right before the symbiote breaks free, fuses with SpOck and turns him into the Superior Venom.
    • The next issue, Mary Jane finally confronts Peter and demands to know what's going on. When she finds out about the symbiote she sics the Avengers on him.
    • In Mighty Avengers #5, Jessica Jones is so livid that he brought his little army in in front of her kid, that she punches him hard enough to shatter his mask lenses.
    • In Issue #28, one of the workers in Parker Industries snaps at him when she finds out he's hiding Spidey Tech in the building, wondering why he's trying to draw out all of this attention to his building.
    • In Issue #29, Gloria Grant chews out J. Jonah Jameson for using the Spider Slayers on Spidey and not using them on the invading Goblins before turning around and quitting.
  • Wild Card: Mary Jane Watson in Issue #28 calls herself this.
  • Would Hit a Girl: No matter if it's a criminal Femme Fatale like Black Cat — who, making it even worse, was one of Peter's girlfriends — Otto would rather just punch her in the face and leave her to the cops.
  • Worth It: Spider-Man 2099 punching Tiberius Stone in the final issue. He knows he can't change the future too much, but he absolutely loved being able to sock him in the face to save Spidey.
  • Xanatos Gambit: The Goblin King's entire plan. Norman Osborn and Liz Allen conspired to give Normie Osborn something to rule over and even though Spidey liberated New York, Normie's set to inherit Alchemax when he's older.
  • You and What Army?: In Superior Spider-Man Team Up #9, Otto asks this of a mole in his Spiderlings. The answer?
    Mole: Your own! HAHAHAHAHA! [cue two page spread of him, Daredevil, and The Punisher surrounded by Otto's men wearing stolen supervillain gear]
  • You Are Too Late: When Peter attempts to convince J. Jonah Jameson to not quit as mayor, returning the Spider-Bot with the blackmail video from way back in issue 11, Jameson mulls it over before smashing the device, screaming that it would have mattered if he wasn't 30 minutes late. Though, considering how stubborn the man is, JJJ probably would've said/done the same thing even if Spidey came an hour earlier.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: In Issue #30, Otto delivers this speech to Peter Parker. He claims that unlike Otto, a flawed man who overcompensates to hide his failings, Peter Parker was always superior but kept sabotaging himself because he didn't feel like he deserved to be superior.
  • "You!" Exclamation: Downplayed Trope in Issue 31. Upon realizing that the Spider-Man he's facing isn't Otto, Goblin King lets out a soft "'s you."

     2018 Run 
  • Affably Evil: Digger of the Night Shift. Always joking and jovial, but ready to fight and is still a criminal.
  • A Million is a Statistic: After War of the Realms, Otto proves this is not the case for him. Every person he reveals he was unable to save leads him to having a Heroic BSoD.
  • Batman Gambit: When Ock confront Osborn, he pretends not to care about James and lets Osborn drop him to his death. Immediately after its shown Otto planned for this and already had an extra pair of arms to rescue James.
  • Body of Bodies: Master Pandemonium returns, this time scheming to induce a mass possession of innocent people and use their now demonic bodies to shore up his own until he becomes a giant.
  • Cliffhanger: After defeating Osborn, Otto grabs the piece of the Web of Life Osborn had used to travel through dimensions. He comments he will find a better use for it than Osborn.
  • Covers Always Lie: The cover of issue #9 shows Norman Osborn sinisterly overlooking Otto, but while the comic's end does include him, it's not the business suit-wearing 616-Norman depicted — it's Spider-Norman.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The first fight of Spider-Osborn over Superior Spider-Man ends this way, with Norman victorious. In their next fight, it is Doctor Octopus who wins. Otto telepathically calls in his extra mechanical arms, as in ALL of his extra arms, to restrain Norman, break his bones, incapacitates Spiders-Man, and rescues James.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: Otto's attempt to stop Terrax. Otto is an experienced, well equipped fighter and it definitively shows, but he was still going up against a Herald of Galactus.
  • Deal with the Devil: In issue 11, knowing he can't defeat Spider-Norman, Otto makes a deal with Mephisto to restore his classic body so he can fight him as Doctor Octopus. The deal is in return Otto gives up not only his current body but also Peter's influence on him. He will retain all memories of his heroic deeds, but not the seemingly associated empathy from sharing Peter's memories.
  • Demonic Possession: Master Pandemonium sends his demons to possess the people of San Francisco. He later uses the demon possessed people to form a new gigantic body he controls.
  • Downer Ending: The series ends with Otto returning to his original body, having lost his empathy for others and the majority of his memories of his time as Spider-Man, and now vowing to return to villainy. However, Ock does state no one is to harm those he cared for during his time as a hero unless they suffer his wrath. He also set up a trust fund for James to help him financially. This occurred after he became Doc Ock again.
  • Fully Absorbed Finale: The War of the Realms tie-in serves as one for the West Coast Avengers (2018), whose book had recently been cancelled.
  • Good Feels Good: A theme of of the comic. In the last issue, Digger, a zombie member of the Nightshift, comments that he liked playing hero, even if it was only for money.
  • Hero of Another Story: The tie-in to War of the Realms discusses this. Otto believes he can be the one who saves the Ten Realms and hijacks the West Coast Avengers to do so. Despite both the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man telling him to go back to LA and help protect it, he refuses until Gwenpool tells him that this is Thor's story and the best he can do is return to LA and protect it.
  • Heroic BSoD: Following the War of the Realms, Otto's bottled up emotions over the death toll finally spill out when Peter drops in for a visit. Though Peter tells him that his regret over the death toll means he's doing his job right, he ends up fully breaking down when his co-worker Emma finds him.
  • He's Back!: In issue 11, the classic Doctor Octopus returns, with both his original body and weaponry.
  • History Repeats: Once again, Otto, as Spider-Man, is on the losing side of a battle with Norman Osborn. Also once again, (a) Spider-Man makes a deal with Mephisto to Take a Third Option.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Even having turned over a new leaf, Otto still escaped consequences for his prior villainous actions as Doctor Octopus and even collaborating with HYDRA during Secret Empire. The final arc of this series has Norman reveal Otto's secrets to public at large.
  • Mundane Utility: Otto uses his Spider-Bots to cook dinner for a date with a co-worker.
  • Never My Fault: After getting his new body, he has come to see his past actions as influenced by various factors:
    • He blames his behavior as Doctor Octopus on supposed brain damage that he suffered after the mechanical arms fused with his body. Anna Maria crushes the claim, stating that all the radiation did to rewrite his brain was give him the ability to control his arms telepathically. Even Mephisto claims such.
    • On the other hand, he sees the adverse effects of his first time as Superior Spider-man as the result of attempting to live as Peter Parker, rather than embracing his full potential.
  • Redemption Rejection: After becoming Otto again Anna Maria and Emma Hernandez, Otto's love interest, attempt to get him to stay. He refutes them, claiming that part of his life is over.
  • Reformed, But Rejected: Anna Maria realizes that the new professor in Horizon is Otto and proceeds to read him the riot act over his actions, vowing to call the cops on him. Anna Maria acts as Otto's conscience and to help actually reform him.
    • Other heroes have shown complete reluctance to work with him due to him taking over Peter's body. However, they do acknowledge that he is making a genuine effort to become a hero and even try to defend him when Norman Osborn reveals his identity.
  • So Bad, It's Good: In universe, this is how Quentin Quire views Otto. He views Otto's embarrassing attempts at banter and his "The die is cast!" catchphrase as so dumb and lame that he can't help but love them.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Tolliver using the "The Die is Cast!" catchphrase ends up tipping Anna Maria on who he really is.
  • Take a Third Option: Spider-Norman offers Otto a deal to free James: He either kills 3 innocent people to get James back, or he could try to rescue James himself. Either way, Otto knows Norman will probably kill James. The third option Otto takes? Mephisto.
  • That Man Is Dead: After Otto goes back to being Doctor Octopus, he knows he can no longer be the Superior Spider-Man or even a hero again. More so, a funeral is held for Elliot Tolliver (actually a disposable last-minute clone created by Otto), with those in attendance knowing who he truly was.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: While in the previous run Otto learned empathy from Peter's ghost and memories, in this version he actually starts taking this to heart. Anna Maria acts as The Heart for Otto, James becomes a Morality Pet for Otto for whom he sympathizes over the death of James' parents, and Emma as his love interest also becomes a Morality Pet. All of this contributes to Otto actually wanting to help people and seeing them as people, and not just prove he is a "superior" Spider-Man.
    • After becoming Doctor Octopus again much of this is undone. However, he still did some good, like setting up a trust fund for James after he became Doc Ock again. His last moments with Anna Maria and Emma as well as when he spied on Elliot's funeral suggests that despite his reversion, he still feels some of this empathy and reluctance, though he manages to supress it easier.
  • The Unmasking: Otto's identity as Superior Spider-Man is outed on television in issue 10. At the same time, Max Modell realizes that Elliot Tolliver was Otto. So both of his secret identities are kaput.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: In a rather jerkish and condescending way, Otto believes that someone as powerful and intelligent as Peter should be incredibly successful and rich by now. Why is this jerkish and condescending? He thinks Peter is too childish and navel-gazing to achieve those things.