Dr. Octopus In Animation - A Retrospective

Part One - Part Two - Part Three - Part Four - Part Five - Part Six

The villain of the week formula of season one was thrown aside for season two and the show began a bold storyline featuring Spider-Man fighting his own superpowers as the mutation which caused his powers began to spiral out of control and threatened to transform him into something that “won’t be human”. The Neogenic Nightmare, although flawed, was perhaps one of the most ballsiest things I've ever seen on Saturday morning.

The season opened with Spider-Man’s powers failing him as The Kingpin decides he’s had enough of the wall crawlers’ constant interference to the point he sprung six different supervillains in order to form a team capable of beating Spider-Man. They were quite sinister, so the new group, consisting of The Rhino, Shocker, Scorpion, Chameleon, Mysterio and the star of our thread, Dr. Octopus. They were all in jail as a result of their previous encounters with Spider-Man the previous season. Doc Ock was still encaged in his cool looking prison with his arms entrapped in the corners that were broken by The Shocker destroying them with his vibration blasts.

With Ock’s previous episode establishing that he wasn’t just another Neanderthal in a costume, I was glad to see that they gave him a real motivation behind join the Insidious Six rather than simple revenge against Spider-Man. Promising Octavius one of the finest labs and an unlimited budget to match, Doc Ock then became the leader of The Insidious Six.

Amongst some fanboys nods of a possible chemistry between Octavius and Aunt May these two episodes are great fun. In order to learn where Spider-Man is, the group kidnap Aunt May and a powerless Spidey must defeat all of them in order to save his Aunt. I’ve always loved the ending of this episode, in which The Six surround him and The Chameleon asks if he’s ready for the end. The look on Spider-Man’s face as he realises that he doesn’t stand the slightest chance against them was one of my favourite shots in the series. Typically, I don’t have a screen shot to show you.

I enjoy part two more than part one, and it acts as a great follow up to Armed And Dangerous, as when Octavius unmasks Spider-Man and Octavius believes that Parker is merely an impostor as Peter couldn’t be Spider-Man because he was defeated far too easily. I especially loved seeing Peter outsmart the six without his powers and essentially had them defeat each other. The chemistry between Parker and Octavius is still present here and Ock still refers to Peter as his student. Their own egos and unwillingness to follow The Kingpin eventually lead to the groups’ demise, but for me, despite how great the episodes are and how much good stuff is in there, the best part is the ending, after Spider-Man awaits the answers to his blood test as his powers have now returned to him.

Spider-Man: C’mon Doc, my powers came back and I feel great! How bad can the test results be?
Conners: This bad. The mutagenic factor in your blood has undergone another transformation.
Spider-Man: Did you say mutagenic, as in “mutant”?
Conners: I’m afraid so. While I can’t tell you exactly what your powers are turning you into – one thing’s already clear… it won’t be human.

My personal favourite ending in the entire show. Whilst the episode didn't quite live up to the amazing standards of his original appearance, I'm sad to say his next appearance wouldn't even come close.