Courtesy of Cheeseburger, who made the suggestion (I just added the Dr. Octopus qualifier) on the Official Top Five Suggestion Thread , here are the Top Five Spider-Man/Dr. Octopus Battles!!
5. Spectacular Spider-Man #78 and 79
This fight took place over two issues, and writer Bill Mantlo really sold us the goods on this showdown, really hyping it up in the story as "The Final Battle."
The first part mainly shows us Peter preparing for the battle, as he is fully prepared that he might die in the fight, so it shows him getting his affairs in order, catching up with his various supporting cast members.
Then it comes to the battle.
The battle, ably illustrated by Al Milgrom, takes place all over New York City.
In the end, Peter just has too much to live for, and he beats Doc Ock so badly that Otto was scared of Spider-Man for the next four years or so.
This battle would be higher, except it followed on the heels of #75's battle - just THREE MONTHS EARLIER!!
4. Amazing Spider-Man #3
The first batte between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus was awesome, mainly because, up until this point, Spider-Man really hadn't faced any foes who could really challenge him, strength-wise.
So the appearance of a guy who could beat the hell out of Spider-Man was a great addition to the mythos (for at least as long as he was someone we could take seriously).
In this issue, Peter gets beaten by Octopus so badly that he basically gives up, until he hears a pep talk by the Human Torch, and Peter comes up with one of his brilliant plans, and manages to defeat Doctor Octopus, but not before a harrowing fight at a plant.
Lee and Ditko were in fine form here.
3. Spectacular Spider-Man #75
This was a nice, dramatic battle, to highlight the 75th issue of Spectacular Spider-Man.
The set-up? Doctor Octopus and the Owl had been fighting a gangwar the past few issues, and finally, Doctor Octopus is victorious. His prize? The activator for a neutron bomb! The Owl planned to use it to hold New York City hostage. Doctor Octopus wants to use it to, well, USE IT!!!
Yep, he wants to kill all of New York City, and he even has the Kingpin heading for the hills.
So this leads to a fight between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus, who has also kidnapped Spider-Man's squeeze at the time, Black Cat, and is beating her up pretty bad, while Spider-Man tries to stop him.
Ultimately, Spider-Man stops Doc Ock by RIPPING HIS ARMS OFF!!!
It is handled well by Al Milgrom, and it really feels like a triumphant moment.
Nice job by writer Bill Mantlo.
2. Amazing Spider-Man #11 and 12
You have to remember, when these issues came out, Doc Ock was still a tough opponent for Spider-Man, so it was awesome to see Spider-Man really having to go all out to defeat a bad guy.
In the first part of the tale, Doctor Octopus is on a crime spree across America, and Spider-Man tracks him to Philadelphia for their fight.
And well, after their first meeting, Doctor Octopus was prepared, so he whips Spider-Man silly, causing Spider-Man to actually be PLEASED to see the fight interrupted while Octopus escapes, because he doesn't think he can win!
In the next issue, the cocky Octavius shows up to demand a fight with Spider-Man, and a sick Spider-Man shows up, but everyone thinks it is just Peter Parker dressing up to be brave.
Soon, Peter heals, and he has a thrilling fight, executed wonderfully by Steve Ditko, where he uses every tool in the book to finally put Doctor Octopus down.
What a satisfying read.
1. Amazing Spider-Man #31-33
This one is a bit sketchy - as the battle is tops for me not so much for the battle (which isn't that long), but for how the battle occurs.
Basically, the Master Planner is this mysterious bad guy, who we eventually learn is Doctor Octopus.
However, Spider-Man needs this serum the Master Planner has to save Aunt May's life. So, in #32, there is this fight that I absolutely love, where Spider-Man just basically goes nuts on Ock, causing Ock, who was ready to fight, to turn tail and run.
Remember, this is still the old school Doctor Octopus. The guy who was a total bad ass.
Yet Spider-Man is so intent on getting Aunt May that serum, that he just cuts loose on Doctor Octopus, causing Otto to beat feet, but not before taking down his underground headquarters around Spider-Man's head.
This, of course, leads to one of the most awesome Spider-Man issues of all-time, so I'll admit that I may be a bit biased towards this particular battle.
Well, those are my picks! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!