Comics Reviews

The MCU’s Newest Antihero Doctor Octopus Is Double-Crossing Its Kingpin

Doc Ock has assembled a team of what appears to be multiversal versions of Wolverine, the Hulk, and Ghost Rider and is moving against the Kingpin.

WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Devil’s Reign #2, on sale now from Marvel Comics.

Two of Spider-Man’s classic foes (and Marvel’s most recent cinematic stars) are on a collision course with one another, although one of them doesn’t know it yet. In Marvel’s latest event, Devil’s Reign, it appeared that Otto Octavius (aka Doc Ock) was helping Kingpin consolidate control of New York. Doc Ock had specifically been trying to harness the powers of the Purple Man to sway the votes of New Yorkers and keep Fisk in office as Mayor.

However, at the same time, Octavius had been making moves against Kingpin. It is revealed at the end of Devil’s Reign #2 (by Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto, Marcio Menyz, and VC’s Clayton Cowles) that Doc Ock has assembled a team of what appears to be multiversal versions of Wolverine, the Hulk, and Ghost Rider. It’s not yet clear why or how Doctor Octopus is moving against Fisk, but what is clear is that these two are definitely not going to be friends at the end of this.

RELATED: Devil’s Reign Just Set a Classic Spider-Man Villain Up to Take the Kingpin Down

The timing of this event, which is building up to a confrontation between these two characters, doesn’t seem like a coincidence. Recently, both of these villains made very memorable appearances in the MCU. Doc Ock (albeit the Raimi version) appeared most recently in Spider-Man: No Way Home and Kingpin recently appeared (albeit with less fanfare) in the finale of Hawkeye on Disney+. And, something that is of particular note is just how different the 616 versions of these characters are from their MCU/Raimiverse counterparts.

In the Raimi films (and now the MCU multiverse), Doctor Octopus was a benevolent and kind man, who was corrupted entirely by the influence of his robotic arms, which had gained a sentience of their own. Conversely, the Doc Ock of the comics is an inherently bad person, with or without the arms. He’s always been a character who was out to prove himself better than others. This even carried over to his brief stint as the Superior Spider-Man where he only cared about being better than Peter Paker. He’s displayed a callous disregard for human life and frequently uses people to achieve his ultimate goals. In short, he’s a bad guy and a far cry from his inherently kind cinematic version.

RELATED: Why Marvel’s ‘Worst’ Spider-Men Are Going to War – Against Each Other

Kingpin, at least in his appearance in Hawkeye, also displayed discrepancies with his comic book counterpart. In the comics, Kingpin is shown mostly as a manipulator and is actively seeking political power and status as a public figure. Devil’s Reign, for instance, saw him manipulate his power as mayor to turn the law against New York’s heroes rather than confronting them directly. This is in contrast to his portrayal in the MCU as well as his classic portrayal in most other media, where he’s mostly stuck to the shadows. Furthermore, in the MCU, Kingpin also displayed a much more violent demeanor. Earth-616 Kingpin has been known to mix it up in the comics, but he fights mostly through underlings and henchmen instead. MCU Kingpin, however, had no qualms about beating up a young girl personally (though to be fair, maybe 616 Kingpin wouldn’t either).

While it’s probably out of the realm of possibility that Kingpin and Doc Ock would even meet in the MCU, it is surprisingly coincidental that these two villains, who are so present in the public eye right now, are on a collision course in one of Marvel’s main ongoing events. If Devil’s Reign ever does get the MCU treatment, fans might just get to see them face off on the big screen as well. Though, that might require a few alterations to the current MCU timeline or, at least, for Dr. Strange to open another portal into the multiverse.

NEXT: The Best Stories for Kingpin Fans after Netflix’s Daredevil and Disney’s Hawkeye

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