Tag Archives: Dr. Octopus

Top 5 Rogues Galleries in Comics – #2

Coming in 2nd in the villain-collection countdown is my favorite superhero, Spider-Man. His cast of bad guys is most definitely one of the best, and is surely one of the most colorful. His villains tend to not be massive level threats, but rather smaller-scale ones that often focus their evil deeds directly at Spider-Man himself. Also one distinction Spidey has over other heroes is that it could be argued that he has two nemeses.

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The most vicious, personal, and psychologically damaging among his rogues gallery is the Green Goblin. Norman Osborn was the first villain to learn Spider-Man’s secret identity, and has continually used that knowledge to torture Peter Parker ever since. Brilliant both in science and tactics, and given enhanced strength and durability (but driven insane) by an experiment gone wrong, the Green Goblin attacks Spider-Man and his family on all fronts, and is responsible for arguably the defining moment of Spidey’s life: the death of his first love, Gwen Stacy.

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Almost on par with the Green Goblin is Dr. Octopus. He has been Spider-Man’s most consistent enemy having made his first appearance in just the third issue of Spider-Man’s solo comic, and has been wreaking havok on him continually since. Equipped with mechanical arms that he can control telepathically, Otto Octavius is almost singularly obsessed with killing Spider-Man, even once saving him from another villain that was about to kill him, just so he could kill Spidey himself. The history between Doc Ock and Spidey became even more entwined when their consciousnesses were swapped and Ock was dying. Inside Peter’s body he swore to be an even better Spider-Man, but ultimately failed as he didn’t hesitate to kill criminals instead of bringing them to justice.

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As part of his obsession with defeating Spider-Man once and for all, Dr. Octopus formed the Sinister Six, a super group of some of the Wall-Crawler’s greatest foes. Though the line-up has changed throughout its history, the team usually consists of: Electro (ability to shoot and control lightning), Mysterio (expert illusionist and effects specialist), Sandman (body composed of shape-shifting sand), Vulture (brilliant criminal with a bodysuit equipped with wings), Kraven (the world’s greatest hunter who sees Spider-Man as the “ultimate prey”), and lead by Doc Ock. Spider-Man typically requires help from other heroes to defeat the Sinister Six.

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After Spidey manages to remove the Symbiote that had become his black costume, the Symbiote falls onto Eddie Brock, a humiliated reporter that Spider-Man had proved a fraud. Their combined hatred for Spider-Man and Brock’s cancer-ridden body producing extra adrenaline (which the Symbiote feeds on) come together to form a new and totally vicious entity known as Venom. With full knowledge of literally everything about Peter Parker, the ability to block Spidey’s Spider Sense, and a twisted sense of morality, Venom immediately becomes a major threat to everyone in Spider-Man’s life.

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When the offspring of the Symbiote is left in Eddie Brock’s prison cell after his escape, it bonds with his cellmate, the psychopathic serial killer Cletus Kasady. Fueled by hatred for its “parent” and Kasady’s psychosis, Carnage is born. Breaking free and going on brutal killing spree, it took a truce between Spider-Man and Venom to defeat him. Even after his initial defeat, Carnage has continued to be a sadistic thorn in the side of the Web-Slinger.

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When biologist Curt Connors experiments on himself with reptile DNA in an attempt to regenerate the right arm he lost in the military, he is instead transformed into the mindless reptilian monster simply known as The Lizard. He eventually changes back, but will occasionally revert back to his monstrous form without warning. His story is one of the more interesting of Spider-Man villains, as Spidey is stuck trying to stop The Lizard’s deadly rampages but also trying to do so in a way that doesn’t permanently harm Connors.

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Biochemist Michael Morbius attempted to cure himself of a rare blood disease by experimenting on vampire bats, he inadvertently gave himself a form of “psuedo-vampirism” where he must subsist on human blood in order to survive and gains superhuman strength, reflexes, durability, and the ability to fly. His appearence also changes to resemble that of a bat, becoming known as Morbius the Living Vampire. His need to feed has set him at odds with Spider-Man on multiple occasions.

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While J. Jonah Jameson may not be the type of character you think of when you’re discussing a hero’s rogues gallery, but he has been every bit as big of a thorn in Spider-Man’s side as anyone else. Being Peter Parker’s boss at the Daily Bugle means that Peter has to listen to Jameson’s constant hate-filled defaming of Spider-Man on a daily basis. Jameson hasn’t settled to just attempt to destroy Spider-Man’s reputation through the media, but has also been behind several supervillains’ attempts at killing Spidey, including being responsible for the creation of major Spider-Man villain, The Scorpion.

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Stop Being Lazy Marvel

Marvel Heroes

As many of you know, I’m a Marvel guy. Always have been. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Batman. And DC has its share of other cool/compelling characters. But top-to-bottom, Marvel is, and has been for a long time, the better of the top two comic juggernauts. The recent successes of Marvel Studios has extended that gap.

But Marvel just can’t stop messing with their core characters in ill-conceived attempts/publicity stunts to keep them “interesting” or boost sales. Instead of just writing better stories or fleshing out new aspects of these stalwarts, they think it’s a preferable to just change who the character is all together.

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Spider-Man, the flagship character of Marvel Comics, has been the alter ego of Peter Parker since he first graced the pages of Amazing Fantasy #15. But since apparently the writers at Marvel are lazy or just don’t understand what it is that makes Spider-Man so compelling, they have screwed around with supporting characters time and time again. The most egregious of these being the reveal that Gwen Stacy had had an affair with Norman Osborn and gave birth to his twin children. It was a blatant slap in the face of the fans who had held Gwen Stacy in such high regard, and complete character assassination. It took the defining moment of Peter’s life (Gwen’s death), and made it feel dirty, sleazy, and tainted.

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Not satisfied destroying the secondary players in the Spider-Man saga, they eventually targeted the Wall Crawler himself. As Dr. Octopus’ body is dying, his mind is swapped with that of Peter Parker. So no Otto Octavius is in Peter’s body, and Peter died in Octavius’. Even worse, Marvel had the gall to call this book The Superior Spider-Man, as if this is somehow better than the Spider-Man we had before.

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Captain America is one of the oldest, most iconic superheroes in all of comics. Following the events of the Civil War, Steve Rogers is assassinated on his way to trial for standing up against Superhuman Registration Act. Shortly thereafter, he was brought back in a story that is way too convoluted to get into here. Read Captain America: Reborn if you’re interested in how…and if you’re not interested, it’s still a pretty good read. Now, in the most recent run in the comics, Cap had the Super Soldier Serum drained from his body. And instead of it just making him go back to the small, scrawny ordinary man he was before, his body essentially caught up to his natural age rapidly. Rogers is now a shriveled old man. Who if anyone is going to take up the reigns of the Star Spangled Avenger? That is yet to be seen.

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Now to top things off, Marvel has announced that Thor is going to become a woman. More correctly, Donald Blake is going to no longer be the embodiment of Thor, and a yet unidentified woman is going take his place. This wouldn’t be such a big deal, as it’s not the first time that someone else has assumed the role of Thor (Beta Ray Bill anyone?), if Marvel hadn’t pretty much admitted that it’s just for the publicity and an attempt to appeal to female readers.

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First of all, changing foundational parts of established characters just for publicity is always a bad decision. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth of your readers, and any additional fans you may get won’t stick around if the stories are good. Plus if you ever change things again, you take a big risk that they will leave.

Secondly, how sexist is it that Marvel thinks that women are only interested in female characters? I know plenty of geeky girls, and most of their favorite characters are male. Why is that? Because the male ones are more well-written! Instead of taking an established male comic icon and changing their genitalia, write better stuff for the established female comic characters that are so often overlooked.

Well kiddos, I probably won’t post any next week. I’ll be in Haiti with limited access to the inter-webs. Catch you all on the flip side. Excelsior.

You Will Never Find a More Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy (Part 3)

“The 25 Greatest Comic Book Villains of All-Time” countdown rolls on…

20. Juggernaut (X-Men)

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One of the X-Men’s oldest and most dangerous foes. Unlike most X-Villains, Cain Marko, who is the stepbrother of X-Men founder Charles Xavier, is not a mutant. After suffering abuse from his father and seeing him favor Charles, a deep resentment grew inside Marko towards the man that would one day become Professor X. When he discovered the Gem of Cyttorak, Marko was transformed into a “living Juggernaut.” With his nearly unmatched strength, invulnerability, and the inability to be stopped by any force when he is in motion, he finally had the means with which to kill his stepbrother. Juggernaut is the personification of destruction. He can and will destroy anything that gets between him and his objectives, whether it be a building or a person. His only true weakness is a vulnerability to psychic attacks, so he wears a special helmet that blocks telepathic abilities. While he has mostly been an antagonist of Marvel’s mutant teams, he has also gone toe-to-toe with Spider-Man multiple times, and has squared off against the likes of the Fantastic Four and Dr. Strange.

19. Kingpin (Daredevil/Spider-Man/The Punisher)

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Marvel’s number one crime boss. Originally created as a villain for Spider-Man and has crossed paths more than once with the violent vigilante The Punisher, but he really came to prominence as the nemesis of Daredevil. In a realm of super powered beings and over-the-top personalities, Wilson Fisk represents a real-world type of bad guy. He’s a cruel, methodical lord of organized crime who operates under the guise of an unsympathetic, greedy, shrewd (but legitimate) businessman. He will utilize whatever means are at his disposal to get the deal done…whether it’s intimidation, blackmail, threats of violence (or actual violence), assassination, or corporate attorneys. Being responsible for the death of Daredevil’s love interest and fellow crime fighter, Elektra, when he hired the assassin Bullseye to kill her, assured his inclusion among the worst villains comics has to offer.

18. Cobra Commander (G.I. Joe)

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While most people know of Cobra Commander as the always outsmarted and outmatched antagonist from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero cartoon, the character was handled much much differently in the comic book of the same name. In the comic, Cobra Commander is ruthless, brilliant, and extremely treacherous. He is the most dangerous terrorist in the world. He has an unwavering desire for world conquest, a hi-tech arsenal produced by the greatest weapons manufacturers (Destro’s M.A.R.S.), some of the greatest scientists in the world under his employ the create all kinds of chemical, biological, and technological weapons and gadgets, and an army of highly trained soldiers completely loyal to his cause. He has assassinated world leaders, created chaos and uprising around the world, and was even granted political sovereignty for Cobra Island (the headquarters of his criminal operations). He has also proven to be just as dangerous to those within his organization as those outside it, torturing and/or killing those whom he feels have failed or betrayed him.

17. Thanos (the Marvel Universe)

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The villain known as the “Mad Titan” is unique among the top big bads in that he isn’t really the arch-enemy of any particular hero. His obsession with and worship of the embodiment of Death has lead him to battle with most of the Marvel Universe. He killed Drax the Destroyers family. He cruelly trained Gamora to become a killing machine. He has even gone up against the planet-eating Galactus. But his most heinous act of villainy occured when, with the power of the Inifinity Gauntlet, he wipes out of existence half the life in the universe…all in an attempt to prove his affections for Death (because nothing says “love” like universal genocide). In an effort to stop Thanos, the vast majority of heroes (and even a few villains) in Marvel comics joined forces. During the ensuing battle, Thanos killed almost the entire army that had assembled against him, including Spider-Man, Wolverine, Thor, Captain Marvel, Cyclops, Iron Man, and Vision. Eventually the Gauntlet was taken from Thanos and the lives of those he killed were restored, but his actions solidified him as one of the greatest, most maniacal, and deadly adversaries that comics has ever produced.

16. Dr. Octopus (Spider-Man)

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Dr. Otto Octavius is Spider-Man’s most enduring foe. In fact, Doc Ock was once considered the Wall-Crawler’s arch-enemy. Dr. Octopus has been a thorn in Peter Parker’s side almost as long as the latter has donned a costume. Octavius is obsessed with defeating his nemesis. So much so that when he couldn’t kill him on his own, he brought together five more of Spider-Man’s more dangerous enemies to create the Sinister Six. He has even infiltrated the Web-Slinger’s personal life, at one time being married to Peter’s beloved Aunt May. The strangest chapter in their long history is that now Otto Octavius and Peter Parker have had their minds swapped, so Dr. Octopus is now actually Spider-Man. While I’m not a fan of the move, Marvel has certainly added another interesting layer to this battle.

To be continued…tomorrow #’s 15-11.