As Doctor Octopus travels through the Multiverse, he comes across a new incarnation of the Superior Spider-Man — but it doesn’t end well.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Devil’s Reign: Superior Four #1 by Zac Thompson, Davide Tinto, Matt Milla and Ariana Maher, now on sale from Marvel Comics.
Marvel’s newest incarnation of the Superior Spider-Man isn’t long for this world.
In Devil’s Reign: Superior Four #1, Doctor Octopus teams up with a cadre of his variants to prove his superiority. After aligning himself with Kingpin in Devil’s Reign, Doc Ock controls the Bridge, a dimensional gateway that can travel to any reality. Venturing into the Multiverse, Otto seeks to either recruit his counterparts or destroy them. Ultimately, this device leads him to Earth-2902 — and the Superior Spider-Man that lives there, whom Otto claims is the cause of his humiliation.
The Superior Spider-Man, aka TJ, protects Fresh Frond City from those who would terrorize it. A victim of abuse himself, TJ decided at a young age that he would prove his superiority by achieving personal greatness despite his hardships. When Otto and TJ meet, the Superior Spider-Man calls Doc Ock pathetic and arrogant. Despite his harsh words, TJ believes Otto could be a great man if he could escape the trauma of his upbringing. Unfortunately, Doc Ock isn’t interested in being the bigger person, choosing to prove he is the superior Otto by absorbing TJ’s intellect into his own mind, killing Spider-Man.
This bout isn’t the first time Doc Ock has played mind games with a Spider-Man variant. In Amazing Spider-Man #700, Otto famously became Spider-Man after swapping their consciousnesses. Though he initially used his newfound power for his selfish gains, Otto eventually became a force for good, aligning himself with Peter Parker upon the latter’s return. However, in the conclusion of Superior Spider-Man, Otto made a deal with Mephisto to defeat a variant of Norman Osborn, costing him his intellect and powers.
The consequences of Otto’s actions directly inform Devil’s Reign: Superior Four. As a result of his deal with the devil, Doc Ock is missing portions of his memory. This absence has led him to develop an inferiority complex, thus causing Otto to seek out his variants in a desperate attempt to regain his mind. While it’s unclear what he does or does not remember, Otto’s fierce attack on his superior counterpart suggests that he remembers some of his time as Spider-Man, and resents those who have not succumbed to defeat themselves.
Though Doc Ock’s meeting of the minds with TJ ended in death, he has found companions in his mission to reign as the Multiverse’s superior Otto. Earth-8816’s Otto Banner, Earth-1666’s Otto Blaze and Earth-9712’s Otto Howlett stand beside Earth-616’s Doctor Octopus to form the titular team in Devil’s Reign: Superior Four. Currently, the ensemble is on a collision course with another Otto variant known as the Supreme Octopus, who has merged his mind with the magic of Doctor Strange and the might of Doctor Doom to become a multiversal threat unlike any other.
KEEP READING: EXCLUSIVE: Amazing Spider-Man’s Doc Ock Just Beat Two Major Netflix Marvel Heroes
Source: Marvel Comics
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