Hello and welcome to another week in Ye Olde School Café! Last week, we took a look at a very early meeting between Doc Ock and Spider-Man. Now, after that great issue, we’ll be feasting on the next one, that has Doctor Octopus at his old tricks again! Written by Stan Lee, with art by Steve Ditko and Artie Simek ( The Amazing Spider-Man #12, 1964).
As Peter returns to NYC and tries to go back to his life at the Bugle, Betty Brant is trying to do the same. Meanwhile, Doc Ock is having a crime spree across the country, and although Peter is aware, he can’t afford to buy an airplane ticket to go after him (yes, Peter had problems that simple back then, compared to now). Doc Ock then figures that Spider-man won’t come to him, so he must return to NYC and find him. The next scene is at the Daily Bugle, where Betty Brant gets a phone call. The person on the other end of the line doesn’t say anything, and Betty gets a chilling feeling over her. Just a few moments later, as Peter, Jonah, and Betty are in the office finishing up for the day, Ock’s tentacles come crashing through the window. Peter is helpless to do anything in front of the other two, so he must let Doc Ock kidnap Betty. Jonah thinks to himself that even though Peter is a good photographer, that he should go after Ock himself for an exclusive!
As Doc Ock takes Betty to Coney Island to wait for Spidey, he tells Betty that if Spidey doesn’t show, it will be bad news for her! Spidey shows up, but begins to have some kind of sickness, and it strips him of his spider-powers. He feels as if he still must protect Betty, so he lunges at Doc Ock. He gets one punch in, but it barely phases Ock. Then, Ock pounds the life out of Spidey, and Jonah, Betty, and the police look on. Ock remarks how something must be wrong, because Spider-Man can fight way harder than this weakling. He then unmasks Spider-Man in front of them, and they see Peter’s face! Of course, everyone believes that Peter just put on a costume to try and save Betty or be heroic, not that he’s really Spider-Man. Ock tosses Peter at them and escapes.
The next day, the newspapers mock Doctor Octopus for fighting a teenager and being fooled by him. Flash Thompson makes fun of Peter in front of Liz, but she reprimands him for it, and Peter is astonished that someone actually stood up for him. Later that day, Peter gets word that Doc Ock has run amok, and let the animals out of the zoo. Spidey shows up moments later and begins to corral them. A lion, a bear, then a gorilla all eventually get outwitted by Spidey. Meanwhile, Doc Ock is downtown going berserk, and nearly kills a few people. But Spidey shows up, and the fight is on.
The two enemies battle all over the city, but the action really gets crazy when they brawl in the studio of a sculptor! Spidey really starts to crank up the offense and a fire begins to develop as the fight rages on. As a gigantic sculpture falls on top of Ock, Spidey tries to help him, but the flames are surrounding him. Spidey must use his abilities to get himself out of harm’s way first, and worry about Ock later. He uses his webbing as a shield, and smashes through a window to escape. Ock was taken out of harm’s way when the floor collapsed, and the police took him into custody as he was almost unconscious.
Afterwards, Liz approaches Peter and asks him out. He tells her sorry, but he’s heading for Betty’s house to take her out on a date! Liz is heartbroken, and Flash tells her that Peter is “crummy” for talking to her like that. Liz tells Flash that they deserve it for how they’ve treated Peter over the years.
Well, that’s it for now, and I hope you enjoyed this look at Peter and Doc Ock. Right now, Dan Slott is doing some amazing things with Pete, and whether you agree or disagree with them, you must admit he’s changing the landscape that is Spidey’s world!