Each week, we use our super sleuth skills to dig into the histories of the characters fighting on both sides of Secret Empire!
Doctor Otto Octavius has decided not to let his new lease on life go to waste. After first inhabiting Peter Parker’s body for a while then hanging out inside the Living Brain robot, he finally scored a new form for himself thanks to the Clone Conspiracy story which found him taking over the Proto Clone.
Ock soon made his way to one of his old bases, but found new occupants: Hydra! He took out the guards, but then came face to face with Arnim Zola. Instead of fighting further, the two made an agreement that would bring Doctor Octopus into the Hydra fold and allow him to eventually take control of what he saw as rightfully his: Parker Industries.
This all goes back to the time Otto spent living inside of Peter Parker’s body during the SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN series. During that time, Ock used not only Peter’s physical gifts, but also his own smarts to build first his education by finally acquiring a PhD and then built up Parker Industries himself.
Parker eventually regained his body when Octavius realized that he didn’t fully deserve the title of “superior” Spider-Man. Thanks to a trip to the year 2099, he made a copy of his consciousness up to the point of Spider-Verse, programmed it to sleep for 100 days and then wake up. It made its way to the Living Brain and downloaded itself into the robot at that point.
In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #29, Superior Octopus started some trouble with Parker, but the hero ran off to get beaten by Captain America in Washington, D.C. Spidey then told Mockingbird he needed to take care of his longtime foe instead of immediately joining up with the resistance.
However, he didn’t bother heading to the Parker Industries building in San Francisco. Ock did, however in #30, using his leverage as a member of Hydra to get inside the building and take what he wanted even though it stood on mutant property as part of New Tian.
Instead, Parker traveled to Shanghai where he warned his people that Ock would come. He appealed to his brilliant employees for help and when the Superior Octopus did finally arrive, Spider-Man thought he had the upper hand against the solo villain.
However, at that point, Otto revealed that he had not only built back doors into all things Parker Industries, but also hidden a part of himself as well. With that, he took over Spider-Rider’s fleet of arachnid-themed vehicles and announced that he’d taken over the company!
The Empire Strikes Back
Secret Empire does not mark the first time Doctor Octopus crossed paths with Captain America. Heck, it’s not even the first time they’ve worked together! During his time as Spider-Man, Otto came in contact with the Star-Spangled Avenger a number of times. After taking notice of Spider-Man’s increasingly brutal methods, Cap wondered if the Avengers still needed him in their line-up as seen in SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #5. In #7 the team confronted him and the formerly-friendly neighborhood wall-crawler flipped Captain America! Cap knocked him out in the following issue and they ran tests on Spider-Man, but couldn’t find anything wrong with him, much to the true Peter’s chagrin. The duo came into conflict again in SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN TEAM-UP #1 when Spidey started taking out all kinds of heroes in an effort to track down the Carrion Virus which happened to take over then-Avenger Hyperion.