I’ve never really liked Doctor Octopus. Yes, I know that he’s a classic Stan Lee/Steve Ditko creation whom, it could be argued, is Spider-Man’s arch enemy. But when I see Doctor Octopus I think of Roy Orbison in green pajamas. The bowl cut, goofy glasses, dull costume, and frumpy physique all played into my dislike of Doc Ock. I’ve read dozens and dozens of Spidey stories that featured Doc as the villain but none of them were especially memorable. They’ve revamped the look of the character a few times. For a while he ditched the green tights and donned a stylish white 3 piece suit. Around the time that Spider-Man 2 was released which featured Alfred Molina as Doc Ock, the character’s look in the comics was modified to more closely resemble his on-screen appearance; thinner with a black trench coat. There was a time back in the 90s when he died and was replaced a young female Doctor Octopus but, like most changes that took place during the “clone saga” years, that was undone and a resurrected Otto Octavious reclaimed the tentacles for himself.
In his more recent appearances the good doctor has been a withered husk of a man, dying of cancer and forced to encase himself in a robotic cocoon. Now even though I said I never liked his classic frumpy green look, it is iconic, and the recent bald robotic version strayed too far from it for my liking. I hope I’m not spoiling anything for anybody but in the recently published Amazing Spider-Man issue 700 Doc Ock’s deteriorating body finally gave out on him. But not before he swapped minds with Peter Parker. This means that Peter died in the gross diseased body of his worst enemy while Otto gets to live on in the young able body of Peter. And no one in Peter’s life, Aunt May, Mary Jane, the Avengers, have figured it out; though many are suspicious because of a few drastic changes in Peter’s personality. Amazing came to an end with issue 700 and a new series was launched called Superior Spider-Man which stars this new Doctor Octopus/Spider-Man hybrid. This new Spider-Man uses gadgets, has a secret headquarters, has minions, and even kills bad guys. Now if you’re hearing about this for the first time you may think it sounds awful. You are not alone in that. Marvel was flooded with angry emails about this move and writer Dan Slott even got death threats over it. But let me tell you, as a life-long Spider-Man fan, you should be reading Superior Spider-Man.
This crazy story has infused new life into the book more than Brand New Day, more than Big Time, more than the Clone Saga, More than the black costume, even more than the unmasking during Civil War. The possibilities of this are endless and I’m very glad to see that Marvel seems to be standing behind Slott and letting him tell this story. Everybody knows that Peter will be back eventually and Amazing Spider-Man issue 701 will see print eventually but I say strap in and enjoy this Superior ride while it lasts. For the first time ever, I love Doctor Octopus.
However, this figure has nothing to do with any of that. This is a figure of Ultimate Doctor Octopus which means he hails from a completely different universe than the one I was just talking about. If you’re not familiar with the Ultimate Universe read my post on Ultimate Spider-Man.
In the Ultimate Universe Doctor Octopus was cooler from the get go. He was lean, muscular, had cool Morpheus style shades, and had a better costume. Even his haircut was a bit better. Ultimate Ock was written more realistically and wasn’t so hell bent on world domination like so many other super villain stereotypes. This figure captures the look of him pretty well. You can see that he has a muscular build with no signs of pudginess. He’s got his dark green and silver costume and his matrix sunglasses. It’s actually a really good figure from the Spider-Man toy line which blends seamlessly into my Marvel Universe collection.
The only real negative aspect of this figure is the backpack. Instead of having the tentacles coming right out of Otto’s back as they should, they’re attached to a big clunky backpack with an action feature. This is the type of redundant accessory that I usually discard. Every time I get a Spider-Man packaged with a web cannon or a Wolverine packed with a sword the accessories go immediately into the bin. However, since the tentacles are attached to the backpack I have to keep it on. If you take his tentacles away Doc Ock is just Doc and that’s not fun. The backpack is so thick that this Doctor Octopus just barely fits into the wall case I display my MU figures in. The tentacles themselves are rather stiff, even with the action features that makes them move when a button is pressed. An ideal Doctor Octopus figure would have flexible wire arms. I’ve owned several Doc Ock figures over the years and this is one of the better ones. 7 out of 10.