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  1. #1
    Comic Book Fanatic!!! Memphis Raines's Avatar
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    Default Doc Ock: Spidey's greatest foe?

    It's pretty popular to say that Norman Osborn/Green Goblin is Spider-Man's arch nemesis and greatest foe, but I for one have always thought Dr. Octopus was. I think now with all that's currently been going on in Amazing and the events leading into Superior, that has become rather obvious, and it's really no contest at this point.

    Just think about: I mean after all, people point out that Norman killed Gwen Stacy, but they forget that Doc Ock killed Pete's mentor Captain Stacy first. Doc Ock was also the first villain who Spidey suffered defeat to, and he almost made Spidey give up and quit early on, teaching him a very valuable lesson that he has carried with him ever since. Also, Norman was kept dead for 25 years, so Doc Ock and Spidey have automatically had more great battles than he and Norman/GG had by default.

    Agree or disagree?

  2. #2

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    I think you can definitely make the case for Doc Ock being his greatest foe, but I can't help but think of Norman Osborn as Peter's arch enemy.

    It's same for Batman in my opinion: Ra's = greatest foe, Joker = arch enemy.
    Spider-Man from the beginning! Last ish: ASM #15 - Chameleon hires Kraven (first appearance!) to kill Spidey.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Turlast's Avatar
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    Yeah, Ock can definitely be considered Spidey's greatest foe ever. Especially when you consider how things are playing out in this current arc. I like Adam's explanation of it.
    "Remember that one time during the fight when it looked like you might actually win? No? Me neither." Spider-Man

  4. #4
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    I've always thought of the Kingpin as Spider-Man's greatest foe, but I grew-up with the 90's animated series where he was the big bad for most of the series. I know in the comics despite starting as a Spider-Man villain, he's more associated with Daredevil.

  5. #5
    Marked for Redemption David Walton's Avatar
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    I tend to agree. Whereas Norman is always on the verge of self-destruction, Ock is a cool customer.

    Norman's most famous master plan was to throw a superhero's girlfriend off a bridge and see where things went from there!

    Lame.
    "I came to the conclusion that the optimist thought everything good except the pessimist, and the pessimist thought everything bad, except himself." -- G.K. Chesterton

  6. #6
    Comic Book Fanatic!!! Memphis Raines's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam.walters View Post
    I think you can definitely make the case for Doc Ock being his greatest foe, but I can't help but think of Norman Osborn as Peter's arch enemy.

    It's same for Batman in my opinion: Ra's = greatest foe, Joker = arch enemy.
    I could agree with that. Even though Doc Ock has always been my favorite Spidey villain and his biggest enemy in my eyes, there is very sound logic behind the example you used.

  7. #7
    Futurist Detective TonyStark1012's Avatar
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    Doc is second. To me you can't put any other Spidey villain up there with Norman. Spidey's said so himself.
    "That's not just "one man"! That's TONY FREAKING STARK. You're intel should've warned us that he was James Bond and "Q" wrapped in the same guy!" Cobra

  8. #8
    Comic Book Fanatic!!! Memphis Raines's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDracul View Post
    I've always thought of the Kingpin as Spider-Man's greatest foe, but I grew-up with the 90's animated series where he was the big bad for most of the series. I know in the comics despite starting as a Spider-Man villain, he's more associated with Daredevil.
    I think for a period, Kingpin was Spidey's greatest foe and arch nemesis, late in Romita Sr.'s run and in the early 100s. You could tell that during that period they were really trying to make Spidey's mythos and universe unique and more grounded than a lot of the other Marvel heroes by trying to establish him more as a street level hero, and villains like Kingpin and Hammerhead were a reflection of that. But Kingpin eventually became just a fat man in an expensive suit after Stan Lee and Romita Sr.'s run ended until Frank Miller got permission to turn him into a more credible villain by using him as Daredevil's arch nemesis.

    But I find that people who still view Kingpin as more of a Spidey foe than a Daredevil foe usually fall into two categories: those who grew up reading Kingpin in ASM during Romita Sr.'s run when they were building him into Spidey's arch nemesis, or those like yourself who grew up watching Kingpin on the 90s Spidey cartoon.

  9. #9
    Chaotically Neutral Monty_Cristo's Avatar
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    sure, why not? Norman got a promotion, anyways.
    60% percent of the time, Ant-Man beats Doom every time

  10. #10
    Comic Book Fanatic!!! Memphis Raines's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monty_Cristo View Post
    sure, why not? Norman got a promotion, anyways.
    LOL!!!!

  11. #11
    Like a boss E. Wilson's Avatar
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    Prior to Slott's take on the character, I always had an intellectual acknowledgment of Ock's place in the roster, but never an emotional connection to their rivalry, if that makes sense. A lot of this has to do with when I started reading the book, when Octavious was dead, an anime star was using his old gear, and Norms returns to the scene with a diabolical flourish that blew my young comic-fan mind. Additionally, a lot of the better Ock stories weren't available to me, because Marvel's trade paperback program was limited to a single shelf; I missed a lot of good stuff until much later.

    But in terms of the character dynamics, Octavious had two things going against him: inconsistent motivation, and a lack of the personal connection to Peter Parker. I'll take the second point first, because I know a lot of people just said, "Uh, 'with this ring, I thee-web?!'", but aside from his brief...whatever it was with Aunt May, Ock never really screwed with Peter on a personal level. A lot of the things that Ock did, like lead to Benet Brant and George Stacy's deaths, steal the isotope that could cure Aunt May's blood poisoning, or even rent a room in May's house, were either accidents, or inadvertent consequences of whatever Ock was up to at the time.

    Think about it: the Master Planner Saga is considered (rightly, IMO) one of the best Spider-Man sagas of all time, and Ock is the central villain. But from Ock's perspective, this is just business as usual; he's completely destroyed Spider-Man's world as a by-product of his schemes, and he had absolutely no idea he's done it. Essentially, any villain could have been substituted for Octavious in these important stories, and the outcome would have been the same. (Which "Greatest Responsibility" kind of proved.) Meanwhile, when the Green Goblin or Venom put May, Gwen, Harry, lil' Normie, or MJ in their crosshairs, they know exactly what they're doing, and that personal spite resonates with both Spidey and the reader.

    As for my first point...I've always been bothered by how Octavious has been written with wildly different characterization over the years. Is he a sadistic megalomaniac? A misunderstood genius consumed by his own hubris? A wanna-be crime lord? A bitter toady of a man? A suave master criminal? All of these options are legitimate interpretations based on past stories.

    The first time Octavious "clicked" with me was during Paul Jenkins' "Countdown" storyline, although it wasn't due to Jenkins' attempts to get into Otto's past. It was in his more general characterization of Doc Ock, a man who is so friggin' frustrated at being constantly bested by what he perceives to be a clown, when Ock is clearly a genius. He puts the entire world at the brink of war out of personal spite against Spidey, and it rang true with me. While the entire "Countdown" story is just okay on its own, I think it totally nails Octavious, and Slott writes him in a similar vein.

  12. #12
    I wanna hear you scream Kevinroc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E. Wilson View Post
    Prior to Slott's take on the character, I always had an intellectual acknowledgment of Ock's place in the roster, but never an emotional connection to their rivalry, if that makes sense. A lot of this has to do with when I started reading the book, when Octavious was dead, an anime star was using his old gear, and Norms returns to the scene with a diabolical flourish that blew my young comic-fan mind. Additionally, a lot of the better Ock stories weren't available to me, because Marvel's trade paperback program was limited to a single shelf; I missed a lot of good stuff until much later.

    But in terms of the character dynamics, Octavious had two things going against him: inconsistent motivation, and a lack of the personal connection to Peter Parker. I'll take the second point first, because I know a lot of people just said, "Uh, 'with this ring, I thee-web?!'", but aside from his brief...whatever it was with Aunt May, Ock never really screwed with Peter on a personal level. A lot of the things that Ock did, like lead to Benet Brant and George Stacy's deaths, steal the isotope that could cure Aunt May's blood poisoning, or even rent a room in May's house, were either accidents, or inadvertent consequences of whatever Ock was up to at the time.

    Think about it: the Master Planner Saga is considered (rightly, IMO) one of the best Spider-Man sagas of all time, and Ock is the central villain. But from Ock's perspective, this is just business as usual; he's completely destroyed Spider-Man's world as a by-product of his schemes, and he had absolutely no idea he's done it. Essentially, any villain could have been substituted for Octavious in these important stories, and the outcome would have been the same. (Which "Greatest Responsibility" kind of proved.) Meanwhile, when the Green Goblin or Venom put May, Gwen, Harry, lil' Normie, or MJ in their crosshairs, they know exactly what they're doing, and that personal spite resonates with both Spidey and the reader.

    As for my first point...I've always been bothered by how Octavious has been written with wildly different characterization over the years. Is he a sadistic megalomaniac? A misunderstood genius consumed by his own hubris? A wanna-be crime lord? A bitter toady of a man? A suave master criminal? All of these options are legitimate interpretations based on past stories.

    The first time Octavious "clicked" with me was during Paul Jenkins' "Countdown" storyline, although it wasn't due to Jenkins' attempts to get into Otto's past. It was in his more general characterization of Doc Ock, a man who is so friggin' frustrated at being constantly bested by what he perceives to be a clown, when Ock is clearly a genius. He puts the entire world at the brink of war out of personal spite against Spidey, and it rang true with me. While the entire "Countdown" story is just okay on its own, I think it totally nails Octavious, and Slott writes him in a similar vein.
    I think this post sums it all up pretty well.
    The monster saved them all. And in their fear, they betrayed him. As they always have. As they always will.

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  13. #13
    Spider-man/DCU Moderator ShaggyB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E. Wilson View Post
    Prior to Slott's take on the character, I always had an intellectual acknowledgment of Ock's place in the roster, but never an emotional connection to their rivalry, if that makes sense. A lot of this has to do with when I started reading the book, when Octavious was dead, an anime star was using his old gear, and Norms returns to the scene with a diabolical flourish that blew my young comic-fan mind. Additionally, a lot of the better Ock stories weren't available to me, because Marvel's trade paperback program was limited to a single shelf; I missed a lot of good stuff until much later.

    But in terms of the character dynamics, Octavious had two things going against him: inconsistent motivation, and a lack of the personal connection to Peter Parker. I'll take the second point first, because I know a lot of people just said, "Uh, 'with this ring, I thee-web?!'", but aside from his brief...whatever it was with Aunt May, Ock never really screwed with Peter on a personal level. A lot of the things that Ock did, like lead to Benet Brant and George Stacy's deaths, steal the isotope that could cure Aunt May's blood poisoning, or even rent a room in May's house, were either accidents, or inadvertent consequences of whatever Ock was up to at the time.

    Think about it: the Master Planner Saga is considered (rightly, IMO) one of the best Spider-Man sagas of all time, and Ock is the central villain. But from Ock's perspective, this is just business as usual; he's completely destroyed Spider-Man's world as a by-product of his schemes, and he had absolutely no idea he's done it. Essentially, any villain could have been substituted for Octavious in these important stories, and the outcome would have been the same. (Which "Greatest Responsibility" kind of proved.) Meanwhile, when the Green Goblin or Venom put May, Gwen, Harry, lil' Normie, or MJ in their crosshairs, they know exactly what they're doing, and that personal spite resonates with both Spidey and the reader.

    As for my first point...I've always been bothered by how Octavious has been written with wildly different characterization over the years. Is he a sadistic megalomaniac? A misunderstood genius consumed by his own hubris? A wanna-be crime lord? A bitter toady of a man? A suave master criminal? All of these options are legitimate interpretations based on past stories.

    The first time Octavious "clicked" with me was during Paul Jenkins' "Countdown" storyline, although it wasn't due to Jenkins' attempts to get into Otto's past. It was in his more general characterization of Doc Ock, a man who is so friggin' frustrated at being constantly bested by what he perceives to be a clown, when Ock is clearly a genius. He puts the entire world at the brink of war out of personal spite against Spidey, and it rang true with me. While the entire "Countdown" story is just okay on its own, I think it totally nails Octavious, and Slott writes him in a similar vein.
    I actually will second this as its how i feel about otto too. While I disliked slott's hes dien angle it has panned out pretty good thus far with the whole ends of the earth thing and now 698... Its been pretty entertaining.

  14. #14
    Like a boss E. Wilson's Avatar
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    Incidentally, I think it's funny how Norman Osborn has been built up to an Avengers-level enemy over the course of several years, partly because he had to be built up in several high-profile stories. Meanwhile, Doctor Octopus already is an Avengers-level threat, and has been for decades; for some reason, he's just rarely used that way. Not that I'm complaining, because the void left by Osborn getting into pissing contests with Tony Stark and SHIELD is exactly what left space for Ock's revival.

  15. #15
    Veteran Member Leocomix's Avatar
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    Doc Ock was the first villain to both beat Spider-Man AND unmask him. He's the founder of the Sinister Six. He also caused the death of Capt Stacy. And he's in the Master Planner saga, best ever Spidey story. Osborn is only second.

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