Friday, February 10, 2012
4341. Doctor Octopus
Doctor Octopus (Dr. Otto Gunther Octavius) is a fictional character, a supervillain that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics since 1963. A highly intelligent mad scientist, Doctor Octopus is one of Spider-Man's greatest foes. He is typically portrayed as a stocky, myopic man who utilizes four powerful, mechanical appendages, and is obsessed with proving his own genius and destroying Spider-Man. In his first several appearances, Dr. Octopus' last name was spelled "Octavious." All stories since have spelled it Octavius. Spider-Man has also nicknamed Octopus as Doc Ock. The character has appeared in numerous Spider-Man cartoons and video games and is portrayed by Alfred Molina in the 2004 film Spider-Man 2. In 2009, Doctor Octopus was ranked as IGN's 28th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time. Comics journalist and historian Mike Conroy writes of the character: "Created by Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko, Doc Ock, as he became known, has become one of the web slinger's most persistent and dangerous foes."
Born in Schenectady, New York, Otto Octavius had a turbulent upbringing. His father, Torbert, a factory worker, was abusive and violent towards both Otto and his mother Mary, leading Otto to be shy and reclusive in school. Young Otto's shyness and good work in school got him labeled as a "teacher's pet" and targeted as a subject for bullying. Torbert Octavius did not appreciate having a bullied son, and roared at Otto to use violence in dealing with the bullies. Mary Octavius would defend her son from Torbert's tirades, saying Otto was a gifted thinker who would use his brain to solve problems, not his fists. Due to his mother's insistence and her disgust towards men who worked in manual labor, Otto was determined not to become like his father and threw all his efforts into his education, regularly scoring top marks. Otto's devotion to study paid off with him being awarded a university scholarship. During Otto's freshman year of college, his father's death due to an industrial accident pushed Otto towards the study of, and obsession with, physical science. After graduating from college, Otto Octavius found work in an engineering firm.
Otto became a brilliant and respected nuclear physicist, atomic research consultant, inventor, and lecturer. He designed a set of highly advanced mechanical arms controlled via a brain–computer interface to assist him with his research into atomic physics. The tentacle arms were resistant to radiation and were capable of great strength and highly precise movement, attached to a harness that fit around his body.
Though his relationship with co-workers was typically hostile, a fellow researcher named Mary Alice Anders befriended him when Otto impressed her with a demonstration of his harness, and the two began a courtship. In due time, Otto proposed marriage to Mary Alice. However, Otto's mother did not approve, believing that no woman was good enough for her son. To please her, he ended his engagement. Later, when he discovered that his mother had begun dating a librarian, he rebuked her, causing her to have a fatal heart attack in the heat of their argument. With the death of his mother and Mary Alice Anders out of his life, Octavius' disposition towards nearly everyone became mean-spirited, and he had become more distracted from paying attention to detail and safety precautions in his work.