Of all of Spider-Man's many foes, Doctor Octopus is amongst the most iconic. He's been menacing the wall-crawler since the third issue of Spider-Man's comic book, way back in 1963! With his genius intellect and super powerful mechanical arms, Doc Ock has proven to have the track record of a great supervillain. He's also just a great foil for Spider-Man. Both were pestered for being science nerds, both longed to be recognized for their accomplishments, and both draw inspiration from creatures with eight legs. They're like mirror opposites of one another. No wonder Doc Ock has always been in the running as Spidey's arch-nemesis, alongside Venom and the Green Goblin.
The life of a supervillain is very hazardous though. Even if he started just as a portly scientist, Doctor Octopus' body has undergone some strange changes over the past 50 years. Even beyond the freak lab accident that fused his tentacles to his body. Indeed, as he's changed sets of tentacles, it seems he might be more superpowered than originally assumed. And that's not even factoring in how he's upgraded his tentacles themselves. Doc Ock was always a genius, but since his accident, he's become even more.
For every bit of growth Spider-Man has, Doc Ock seems to match him. Some of the ways he's done that have gotten downright bizarre. His brilliant but insane mind has changed his body to better outwit his foe. These are just a few. Here are 30 Weird Things About Doctor Octopus' Body In Spider-Man.
30 He Programmed His Tentacles To Function Without Him
Even when Doctor Octopus is knocked out, he's still a threat. Those tentacles of his can actually operate independently if the need arises. It's true, Doc Ock has prepared them to. He's programmed the tentacles to still function if he's unconscious. The amount that they can do varies though. Sometimes they can only whisk Doc Ock to safety and wait until he wakes up. Other times, like in the alternate future story Spider-Man: Reign, they can keep going even after Doctor Octopus has died. Still, best not to test their limits.
29 He Can Feel The Pain In His Arms
The mental link between Doc Ock and his tentacles is a two-way street. They really are an extension of his body, like an arm or a leg. So when the tentacles get hurt, he feels the pain from them. Just like any other limb. How does this work when the tentacles have no nerve endings? Electricity! There's an electrical connection between the tentacles' harness and Doc Ock's spine. So Doc Ock can "feel" through the electrical resistance created when the tentacle's pincer touches something. Nifty, but not so great when you're regularly having fistfights with Spider-Man.
28 Yes, His Tentacles Are Made Of Adamantium
Doctor Octopus' tentacles are more durable than the rest of him and there's a reason for that. It's because his tentacles are made out of adamantium. Except for Black Panther's vibranium, adamantium is the strongest metal in the Marvel Universe.
You know, it's what Wolverine's bones are made of.
The villain Ultron has also made bodies out of it. Adamantium is nearly unbreakable and when made into knives, can cut through any other metal but vibranium. The adamantium increased the power of Doc Ock's already impressive tentacles, allowing him to go up against heroes like the Hulk and Iron Man.
27 He Has Tentacles Made Of Nanobots
Given that they were originally designed as lab equipment, it makes sense that Doc Ock's tentacles are rather versatile. But his incarnation from the Ultimate Universe takes it a step further. That version of Doc Ock's tentacles are made out of nanobots. Unlike the regular tentacles which are stuck with pincers, those tentacles can morph into all sorts of different tools. They also turn into a variety of weapons when he gets into fights with Spider-Man as well. The fact that they're nanobots also means that he even if they're ripped off, they'll just regrow.
26 He Has Had Multiple Bodies
Even the Grim Reaper can't keep a good villain down. Doctor Octopus' bodies have actually failed on him several times, but he keeps finding ways to come back. The first time, after Spider-Man's evil clone Kaine (long story), ended him, Doc Ock was resurrected by the Hand Ninjas. Another time, he kept a backup of his brain pattern and memories downloaded into a clone body after his original mind was destroyed by Spider-Man. Then after that didn't work out, he transferred his mind into a clone of Peter Parker. No matter what, Doc Ock's insane genius will always survive.
25 The Tentacles Have Names
The tentacles are no longer just tools to Doctor Octopus. They're more like his family. In the comics, he often refers to them as "His Beauties" or "Sweeties." This has even extended to the movies. While playing Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2, actor Alfred Molina and the puppet operators for the tentacles gave each of them a name.
Larry, Harry, Flo, and Moe.
Flo was the top right tentacle, given a female name because it was the most motherly to the doctor, removing his sunglasses and holding his teacup. It's little things like that that add to the character.
24 Remote Control
Doc Ock's connection to his tentacles goes deeper than many realize. It was originally thought that getting them fused to his body during his accident was what gave him mental control over them. Once they were removed from his body, he couldn't control them. Or so they thought. The tentacles were later surgically removed, but Doc Ock's control didn't cease. Even separated from his body, his mental link to the tentacles remains. So if he's not wearing them, he can still control the tentacles and have them act on their own. It's how he broke out of prison for years.
23 He Can Also Control Octobots With His Thoughts
His tentacles are the most famous, but they aren't the only things Doc Ock can control mentally. He also has an army of octopus-like drones called Octobots at his disposal. Much like the tentacles, Ock can control these with only a thought. He first built these during the failing health of his original body. The Octobots helped make up for his limited mobility. But alongside the tentacles and his connection to the Living Brain robot, the Octobots have inspired a theory. It states that Doc Ock's mental powers could extend to all technology, not just his tentacles if he wished.
22 His Arms Are Strong Enough To Face The Hulk
Of the many upgrades Doctor Octopus has made to his tentacles over the years, it's their strength that has proved the most impressive. Each one is able to lift several tons on its own, but with all four they're even stronger.
During one battle, they were able to stop the Hulk.
Then, Doc Ock used the tentacles to pummel the Green Goliath into submission. In another fight with Iron Man, the pincers on the tentacles' ends were strong enough to rip the hero's famous armor apart. So they might look silly, but don't doubt their power.
21 He's Hinted At Having Secret Metal Bending Superpowers
Doc Ock has been hinted at over the years of having greater superpowers than we know. His control of his tentacles and drones could be hints of greater control over technology in general. The same hinting happened with his Ultimate Incarnation, though more overt.
That Doc Ock had psychic control over metal.
He used it to create new tentacles for himself after SHIELD destroyed his originals. This was explained as him being exposed to the OZ formula during his accident, the same stuff that mutated the spider that gave Spidey his powers. Yet another way these two foes are mirrors.
20 Of Course, His Real Superpower Is His Brain
His tentacles might get all the focus, but Doc Ock's most dangerous weapon is his mind. The man has a genius level IQ and was a child prodigy. He earned his first doctorate at age 16.
Yes, unlike other villains, Doc Ock is an actual doctor.
Looking at you, "Doctor" Doom. But he's also shown great talent for both plotting elaborate schemes and building robots and technology to aid him. Doc Ock's knowledge of radiation is so great, even Reed Richards, smartest man in the Marvel Universe, has consulted with him. That's an endorsement of intellect.
19 Yes, He Traded Bodies With Spider-Man
The weirdest thing Doc Ock ever did to his body was leave it. During his most successful plan ever, Doc Ock tricked Spider-Man into letting Doc Ock's mind switch bodies with him.
He stole Spider-Man's body from him.
Doc Ock's body was failing at the time, and he was going to just leave Spider-Man to rot in it. But Spider-Man was able to shove all his memories into Doc Ock's mind at the last second. So inspired by his greatest enemy's selflessness, Doc Ock decides to not only take up the mantle of Spider-Man, but do it better.
18 Fused To His Body
Like all good supervillains, Doctor Octopus has a tragic origin story. He originally built his famous tentacles as a way to handle dangerous materials from a safe distance. But one day, there was an accident. Of course, it was also radioactive. The explosion actually fused the tentacles' harness to his body. This trauma was a factor in him turning into a super villain. The tentacles were thought to be unremovable and he needed a special prison cell because of that. They were later taken off surgically, but it's been on and off whether they're fused to him since.
17 The Reason For Sunglasses
One of Doc Ock's visual hallmarks besides his tentacles are his sunglasses. From movies to cartoons to video games, every incarnation of the doctor has them. But why the reason for the stylish eyewear? It all goes back to the accident that created him. The huge explosion that fused his tentacles on was so bright it affected Doc Ock's eyeballs as well. His vision has been extremely sensitive to light ever since. He also had myopia before the accident, so glasses came naturally to him. Doctor Octopus' Ultimate incarnation used them to cover up scars from the accident.
Fear of spiders is pretty common, but not helpful when you're fighting a dude called Spider-Man. Though in Doc Ock's defense, Spider-Man was the reason for his intense arachnophobia. After nearly ending the life of Spidey's partner Black Cat, the web-slinger beat Dock Ock within an inch of his life, scarring the villain mentally. But any problem Spider-Man causes, Spider-Man can also fix. In exchange for his help in deactivating a nuclear reactor about to destroy New York, Spidey let Doc Ock kick the heck out of him. The villain was still so scared, he had to let his tentacles do all the fighting.
15 His Arms Can Create Crazy Wind Strength
Doc Ock has figured out many different uses for his tentacles over the years. He uses them to battle superheroes, scale buildings, and rip open bank vaults. But one of the more unique uses he's found is generating high-speed winds. Yep, he can make tiny tornadoes. He does this by stiffening his tentacles and spinning them at high speeds like a fan. This can create winds up to 50 mph and blow away any incoming superheroes. Must be a pretty handy trick when you've got Spider-Man swinging toward you on a line of web. Even if it is silly looking.
14 A Mind Of Their Own
As far as laboratory tools go, Doc Ock's tentacles have always been pretty advanced. Not only can he control them with his mind, they also have a limited artificial intelligence themselves. The tentacles can think and act without him sometimes. But it's also hinted that the tentacles might have helped turn the good doctor evil. This is definitely true in Spider-Man 2. In that movie after his accident, Octavius can actually hear the voices of the tentacles in his head. They urge on his worse instincts. This is why mad scientists shouldn't give inanimate things minds.
13 That Time He Was An Octopus Monster
Aside from his trademark tentacles, Doctor Octopus doesn't actually have much in common with his namesake animal. It's not like he shoots ink or breathes underwater or anything. Someone at Marvel must have recognized this and hoped to change it in the 1602 alternate universe. In that universe, where heroes and villains popped up in the early 1600s, Doc Ock was a nobleman who caught plague and tried to cure himself with octopus blood. It mutated him into an octopus monster instead. This Doc Ock tried hunting down the 1602 Spider-Man thinking his spider-blood could cure him. He ended up smushed by Giant-Man.
12 His Tentacles Can Extend Up To 24 Feet (That's Crazy)
Deception is a trait Doc Ock makes frequent use of. It's there in his regular appearance. Because he looks like a chubby guy with a bad haircut, people underestimate how tough he his. His tentacles are the same way. Normally, they're only about six feet long but they can go further.
This makes sense when you remember they were originally for handling dangerous nuclear materials at a safe distance. But it's bad news for the likes of Spider-Man. Just when he thinks he's escaped Doc Ock's reach, in come the tentacles.
11 He Can Travel Up To 50 MPH
The octopus is not an animal especially known for its speed. In fact, its movement is kind of awkward outside of the water. Thankfully for Doctor Octopus, that's not a problem for him. His tentacles are actually really great for moving around. With them; he can traverse rough terrain, climb walls, and even move across ceilings. Using all four, he can reach speeds of 50 mph. Most often though, he uses the lower two tentacles to stomp around like he was on stilts. It's not the fastest way to get around, but darn if isn't intimidating.
10 Uhh.. He Can Shoot Fire From His Tentacles
Most normal octopi and other cephalopods shoot ink when they're threatened. Doctor Octopus does something similar, but in a more offensive fashion. His tentacles can shoot fire out of them. From the look of it, he achieved this by building a miniature flamethrower into the head of each tentacle. Right in the middle where the pincers meet. Just another way he increased his dangerous capabilities. Of course, Doc Ock has only been shown with this ability in the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride at Universal Studios, so how it's debatable how canon his flamethrowers are.
9 Aunt May Loves Him
In a supreme instance of irony, Spider-Man's Aunt May actually loves Doctor Octopus. She thinks he's such a nice, smart man and can't understand why the police are always after him. This in contrast to Spider-Man, who she thinks is a creepy weirdo. This stems from the time Doc Ock was hiding out in a boarding house Aunt May owned. He treated her very kindly, even having tea with her often. It even went so far as him almost marrying her. Sure, it was all a scam to get the nuclear plant Aunt May was about to inherit, but he did have some genuine feelings for her.
8 Da Vinci's Inspiration
Besides his namesake animal, Doctor Octopus has cited another inspiration behind his famous tentacles. In Spider-Man/Doctor Octopus: Negative Exposure #1, he claimed he got the idea from one of Leonardo Da Vinci's famous sketches.
The Vitruvian Man, the one with multiple arms.
Doc Ock said that Da Vinci was one of his idols. It's another great way depth has been added to his character over the years. Doc Ock isn't just evil, he can show respect to others and has a more noble side when it comes to science. He just also hates Spider-Man.
7 Other Doctor Octopi
Otto Octavius might be the first and most famous person called Doctor Octopus, but others have tried taking the title from him. The first was his apprentice, a woman named Carolyn Trainer. This was during the time everyone thought he was gone for good. Trainer kept his memory alive and menaced Peter Parker's clone who was Spider-Man at the time. She gave up the name after Octavius' resurrection and is still around as Lady Octopus. The third Doc Ock was Luke Carlyle, who tool Octavius to steal the Doc Ock name for himself. Spider had to rescue his foe to stop Carlyle.
6 Failing Health
Doc Ock is not the most physical of villains. He was already a bit on the chubby side when he started his long rivalry with Spider-Man. But the years of superhero battles have not been kind on his body. Without any superhuman endurance, he's felt the brunt of damage from fights. It eventually got to the point where his body started failing on him completely and left him a quadriplegic. Using only his tentacles, Doc Ock built himself a new armored suit to protect himself and keep him alive. It had four extra tentacles to help him move around.
5 He Bonded With Venom
It seems like everyone in Spider-Man's life has been host to the Venom symbiote at one point. Including Doctor Octopus. After hijacking Peter Parker's body and serving as the Superior Spider-Man, Doc Ock removed the symbiote from its current host Flash Thompson. Feeling alone, it bonded with him instead. Oct was unable to control the symbiote though and it went on a rampage. The Avengers had to step in to stop him, nearly revealing that Doc Ock had stolen Spidey's body in the process. The villain eventually had to summon up Peter Parker's memories to gain back control from the Venom symbiote.
4 His Robot Body
Doc Ock's plan to steal Spider-Man's body might have succeeded at first, but there was no way it could last. Peter Parker did eventually get Doc Ock to relinquish control and took his body back. But like any villain worth their salt, Doc Ock had a back-up plan. He'd left a back-up of brain patterns and memories in his robot henchman, the Living Brain. Ock stayed in the Living Brain until he could find a way to get himself a new body. It wasn't his only form though. He also spread his consciousness through a series of drones called Octobots.
3 Doc Ock's Is So Strong (And Focused) He Can Battle with Spider-Man And Drink Coffee At The Same Time
You'd think suddenly having four extra limbs would take some getting used to. Apparently not for Doctor Octopus though. Since the accident that fused his tentacles to him, he's become quite adept at utilizing them. He can do something else while controlling his tentacles' movement.
He doesn't even need to watch them.
Doc Ock's focus is so great that he can engage in battle with Spider-Man with his tentacles while he calmly sips a cup of coffee. It really shows the degree to which they're bonded to him. The tentacles aren't just tools, they really are part of his body.
2 Ending His Father (Maybe)
Otto Octavius' father was not a good man. He was abusive toward his wife and belittled his son for his shyness and intellect. Octavius' resentment of his working-class father led him to becoming a scientist. But he might have played a hand in ending his father's life. Albeit unknowingly. It's been speculated that Doc Ock's mental control extends to more than his tentacles. To what extent is unknown. But one comic suggested that maybe he had some inklings of telepathy at an early age. And maybe Young Otto let his hatred for his father out one day, giving his father a brain aneurysm. Again, not confirmed but still.
1 The Perfect Storm Of Super Villainy
A recurring theme throughout Doctor Octopus' incarnations is that he didn't start evil. He was a noble scientist who wanted to improve the world at first. He wanted to do good. So what happened to him? The accident changed him, more than you know. In addition to fusing his tentacles to his body, Doc Ock also suffered some brain damage in the explosion. This is also where the strong mental link to his tentacles comes from. It was that brain damage, along with now having to coordinate four extra limbs, that turned Otto Octavius truly monstrous.