In early March, Marvel Comics announced a line of villain variants for the upcoming Secret Empire event series. The Secret Empire villain variants each feature a different major Marvel villain drawn by Dan Mora for each issue of the Secrete Empire series. The villains include Madame Hydra, Baron Zemo, Magneto, Kingpin, and Baron Mordo.
However, the villain variant cover for Secret Empire #2 was held back and marked as “top secret.” Marvel was clearly trying to avoid spoiling something for fans, but now Marvel let the cat – or the octopus as the case may be – out of the bag.
Marvel’s secret is revealed with a first look at the Secret Empire #2 villain variant cover featuring the Superior Octopus, also known as Otto Octavius, the former Doctor Octopus.
Those who have not been following Dan Slott’s Spider-Man epic through the events of The Superior Spider-Man, The Clone Conspiracy, and the follow-up story in Amazing Spider-Man #25 may be a little confused about Doc Ock’s new persona.
A few years ago, Doctor Octopus and Spider-Man seemed like they were locked in final combat. In truth, Doctor Octopus supplanted Peter Parker’s consciousness within Spider-Man body. Otto decided to continue Spider-Man’s mission but to do it better than Peter Parker ever did by becoming the Superior Spider-Man.
Otto continued to act as Spider-Man for a time until he came up against a foe he could not defeat, the Green Goblin. With the life of the woman he loves, Anna Marconi, hanging in the balance, Otto was forced to accept that teh Green Goblin may be a problem that only Peter Parker could solve, and so he allowed Peter Parker to reassert himself and take control of Spider-Man’s body.
Otto was believe gone for good, but it turned out that the Superior Spider-Man was plucked out of the timestream during the Spider-Verse event and learned of his own imminent demise before it happened. Otto averted this by uploading a backup copy of his consciousness to a computer on his gauntlet. That gauntlet later uploaded Doc Ock’s consciousness into the Living Brain, where Otto lay in wait for his moment while secretly staying close to Anna Marconi.
Otto saw his moment when the Jackal began bringing the dead back to life with advanced cloning technology. Otto made his way to the Jackal’s lab and his consciousness was uploaded into a new Doctor Octopus body. Otto set to work improving on the Jackal’s technology and created a proto-clone by mixing his own DNA with Peter Parker’s DNA.
Doctor Octopus’s relationship with the Jackal fell through and they two ended up locked in combat as both of their clone bodies deteriorated. Doc Ock was victorious and uploaded his consciousness into the proto-clone body as his prize, leaving his old clone body to turn to dust.
Octavius escaped the Jackal’s lab and headed to one of his old, abandoned secret labs. However, when he arrived the lab was no longer vacant. Hydra had moved in. Otto used his proto-clone body, which combines Doctor Octopus’s ability to control his metal octopus arms with Spider-Man’s agility, strength, and what Otto now calls “octopus sense” to defeat the Hydra forces.
Arnim Zola was operating the base and greeted Otto. Rather than fight Otto, Zola offered a deal. Otto could join Hydra and command the Hydra forces stationed at the base. Otto agreed and immediately set about building himself a new suit. Once completed, the Superior Octopus was born.
Now the Superior Octopus is an agent of Captain America’s Hydra, which is set to make a play for world power in the pages of Secret Empire. Check out the Superior Octopus villain variant and other villain variants in the gallery below.
Issue #1 – Madame Hydra
Issue #2 – TOP SECRET
Issue #2A – The Superior Octopus
Issue #3 – Arnim Zola
Issue #4 – Baron Zemo
Issue #5 – Magneto
Issue #6 – Crossbones & Sin
Issue #7 – Baron Mordo
Issue #8 – Taskmaster & Black Ant
Issue #9 – Kingpin