Appearing in "When Strikes the Octopus!"
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Synopsis for "When Strikes the Octopus!"
A transport truck carrying nuclear material across the Queensboro Bridge is suddenly attacked by Doctor Octopus. He easily stops the vehicle and removes a canister of radioactive isotopes. Although the guards shoot at him, Doctor Octopus deflects the bullets with his mechanical arms and makes an escape. Later, Peter Parker is grading papers while watching the news in his apartment. When he hears about Doctor Octopus' robbery, he puts aside his grading to go looking for his old foe as Spider-Man. As the wall-crawler searches the city, he thinks about how many people Doctor Octopus attempted to murder during their last encounter.[Continuity 2] After a few hours of searching, Spider-Man's spider-sense begins going off. It draws him to a suspicious looking man standing outside of a jewelry store. Thinking the man is about to rob the store, Spider-Man stops him only to discover that the man owns the store. When a squad car arrives to see what's going on, Spider-Man bashfully flees the scene.
Over the next few evenings, Doctor Octopus makes a series of successful thefts of the components he needs to make a nuclear bomb. The following day, Peter Parker learns that J. Jonah Jameson is once again publishing editorials that accuse Spider-Man of colluding with Doctor Octopus. Having had enough, Peter decides to pay Jameson a visit. When he finds Jameson, the publisher is complaining about an employee's request for a paid vacation. As he is ranting about work ethic, Peter uses this opportunity to mention his recent editorial. However, Jameson refuses to talk to Peter unless he has some photos to sell and storms back to his office. Peter is rankled by this, but his mood changes when Joe Robertson tips Peter off to a shipment equipment headed to Brentwood Labs on Long Island. He figures that if Doctor Octopus operates true to form, he will probably rob the shipment. Thanking Joe for the tip, he rushes off to investigate this lead.
That evening, the ship carrying the equipment arrives on the west side of the city. Sure enough, Doctor Octopus arrives to steal the equipment, easily taking out the police officers guarding it. Entering the ship, Doctor Octopus discovers Spider-Man waiting for him. However, Spider-Man gets overconfident, allowing Doctor Octopus to toss the wall-crawler into a pile of metal drums. This puts Spider-Man on the defensive, as he tries to put some distance between himself and Doc Ock until his head stops ringing. When Spider-Man recovers and fights back, the hero only succeeds in making the Doctor angrier than before. As Spider-Man struggles with his foe, the police officers arrive on the scene and begin firing tear gas at the two combatants. Although Spider-Man is affected by the gas, Doctor Octopus manages to keep his distance thanks to his mechanical arms. He uses them to pick up Spider-Man and tosses the hero at the police officers. Thanks to Jameson's editorial in the Bugle, the police officers think that Spider-Man is in league with Doctor Octopus and attempt to arrest him. Still affected by the tear gas, and not wanting to hurt the officers, the web-slinger is forced to retreat. Upon a nearby rooftop, Spider-Man pulls off his mask so he can get some fresh air and shake off the effects of the tear gas. Although he managed to get pictures of Doctor Octopus, Peter is furious that Doc Ock has escaped and he will likely get the blame for it.
Meanwhile, in the secret laboratory of Doctor Octopus, the master villain has completed construction of his nuclear reactor. Otto intends to use it to expose himself to controlled amounts of radiation to boost his powers enough so he can destroy Spider-Man once and for all.[Continuity 3] Later, at the Daily Bugle, Peter Parker turns over his photos to J. Jonah Jameson. Jonah is impressed by the photos and tells Joe to publish them. When Lance Bannon, a rival photographer, suggests that they crop the photos to make it look like Spider-Man is in league with Doctor Octopus, it starts an argument between Peter and Bannon. However, Joe Robertson steps between the young photographers before they can come to blows. That's when Isabel Bunsen, the Bugle's science editor, comes into the room and tells Joe that Doctor Octopus is likely constructing a nuclear reactor. Hearing this, Peter rushes out of the office to change into Spider-Man and continue his hunt for Doctor Octopus.
However, Spider-Man doesn't know where to start searching for Doctor Octopus. Suddenly, he gets a hunch and web-slings out to the jewelry store he thought was being robbed nights earlier. Sure enough, when he arrives, his spider-sense begins to go off again. Following the pulse of his senses, Spider-Man follows it into the sewers below and it leads him to the secret lab of Doc Ock. However, the security cameras have tipped the villain off to Spider-Man's presence. During the ensuing battle, Doctor Octopus causes damage to his reactor, causing it to slowly overheat. Ultimately, Spider-Man manages to knock out his enemy by dropping a crate on Ock's head. As the web-spinner tries to deactivate the reactor, Doctor Octopus' arms begin attacking him out of reflex. With the danger growing every minute, Spider-Man manages to wake up his foe with a pitcher of water. Octavius is about to start the battle anew when Spider-Man turns his attention to the reactor. Although Otto shuts down the reactor, he is furious with Spider-Man for interfering with his plans once again. Lashing out, Doctor Octopus causes his lab to collapse. Although Spider-Man manages to escape, Doctor Octopus is seemingly buried alive.
- This is a fill-in story that takes place between the events of Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #72 and 73.
- Doctor Octopus attempted to murder readers of the Daily Bugle by putting a lethal poison in the printing ink. That happened in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #15.
- Doctor Octopus bases this theory on the fact that it was radiation that first gave him his powers. A nuclear explosion fused Otto's mechanical arms to his body and gave him the ability to control them mentally as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #3.