WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for Spider-Geddon #1 by Christos Gage, Dan Slott, Jorge Molina, David Curiel and VC’s Travis Lanham. It also includes spoilers for The Superior Octopus #1 by Christos Gage, Mike Hawthorne, Wade von Grawbadger and Jordie Bellaire. Both are on sale now.
Recently, it looked like there was a chance that Otto Octavius could finally rise past his prior convictions and grow as a person. It even seemed as though he could become the hero he was always convinced he was on the inside, and with a new, cloned spider body, it really looked like he was going to get the chance.
However, in the first issues of Superior Octopus and Spider-Geddon, Otto falls back into his old habits -- hard. While he’s at least made the step towards admitting his previous mistakes, he’s still running around and behaving a lot like a supervillain, making the same kind of decisions that led him try to blow up the planet... or rule it.
Everyone’s already sees the writing on the wall: No matter how hard he tries, Doctor Octopus just can't be a hero. Can he?
RELATED: Superior Octopus #1 CBR Review
Old Habits Die Hard
Otto’s decision to become the anti-hero protector of San Francisco was met with some shock and surprise in the pages of The Superior Octopus #1. Other villains didn't expect to see him breaking up criminal activities, and Otto himself is told by a police officer that he should probably get a new look if he wants people to trust him. No one is really sure of him yet as a hero, and that’s fair.
Otto even admits they have a point. He reflects on his time lying to Anna Marie, and doesn’t try to excuse his behavior. He’s forced to admit that he’s a flawed a man, and that becoming a good one requires learning how to rise past those previous problems.
Regardless of his introspective soul-searching, however, throughout both issues, he proves to still very much be the supervillain at heart. He’s building clones to help him live forever, which has almost never worked out for anyone. He gets Count Nefaria (who has apparently become a major west coast supervillain) to back down from a plot by threatening to kill his entire extended family.
He’s quick to anger and fast to fight, coming to blows with other heroes -- in this case representatives from the Spider-Verse -- in no time at all. He doesn’t even give the other spider heroes a chance to warn him of the Inheritors before he’s threatening them or webbing them up. He’s not acting at all like he knows he needs to; reverting to type before even trying to play the hero.
He even refuses to accept any of the blame for choosing to side with Hydra during Secret Empire. It was just “a simple mistake,” he says. This shucking of ownership in his decisions speaks to the blind commitment to the idea that he’s always right. That haughty overconfidence is at the core of Doctor Octopus, and it threatens to not only doom him but others as well.
In the pages of Spider-Geddon #1, Otto Octavius has already gotten people killed. His attempts to use the cloning technology perfected by the Inheritors allows them to create new bodies within the 616-universe and escape their extended prison on a radioactive husk of a planet. As such, it is Otto's fault that they get loose and manage to kill both Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Man UK!
There’s no way around it, Otto screwed up. Then again, once upon a time, so did Spider-Man.