SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for “Amazing Spider-Man” #18, on sale now.
You know him, you love to hate him, and now, it looks like he’s heading back into the land of the living.
Doctor Otto Octavius, better known as Doctor Octopus — or, more recently, the Superior Spider-Man — is done with his metal prison of The Living Brain, serving as butler and assistant to Peter Parker, and wants to once again have a body of his own.
But how did Doc Ock even survive his apparent demise in “Superior Spider-Man?” Through the wonders of exposition, Dan Slott and artist R.B. Silva reveal that during the tumultuous events of “Spider-Verse,” Octavius actually transferred his consciousness into an AI that he re-appropriated from his brief visit to 2099. Not only was it smart enough to go into sleep mode for 100 days (getting around Otto’s memory wipe at the end of “Spider-Verse”), it had large enough memory banks to store a complete copy of Otto’s consciousness. While he wasn’t able to take over Peter Parker’s brain again, Otto did manage to find his way to The Living Brain, making the robot a figurative lifeboat.
It was the perfect plan. Not only was Otto behind the scenes at Parker Industries, he was able to manipulate events to his massive favor — like the firing of Sajani Jaffrey, and the overseas job offer of Anna Maria Marconi’s latest office romance. However, once he decided that his beloved Anna Maria would only ever be interested in his brain inside Peter Parker’s body, he vowed to once again become the Superior Spider-Man.
The kicker? Ock learned it was his own fault that he lost out on being Spider-Man — but has a trivial fact like that ever stopped the wall-crawler’s longtime nemesis? At the end of the issue, he’s back in his Octobot 2099 AI, he’s mad as hell, and he wants his superior biological brain back. No more of these Parker brainwaves for him. There’s only one option: the resurrection of his old body and brain through New-U!
Although, there seems to be much more than meets the eye to New-U. The Jackal has already recruited a number of Spidey’s associates and villains (including Hobie Brown, the stand-in Spidey better known as The Prowler) to his cause, and he’s got his eyes set on some pretty big fish. Despite the fact that the Jackal insists that he’s the good guy this time around, there’s definitely something fishy going on — as evidenced by the unshakable pinging of Peter Parker’s Spider-Sense when it comes to the procedure.
Otto Octavius’ return has been inevitable since the launch of “Amazing Spider-Man” post-“Secret Wars,” when readers found out he had been hiding in The Living Brain. It’s been a slow build with clear purpose, and now that New-U has been introduced as the concept behind “Dead No More,” Dr. Octopus, along with, The Rhino, the Lizard and a new Electro, is about to once again round out Spider-Man’s rogues gallery.
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