Posts Tagged ‘spider-man’

Who likes bad guys? Everyone, that’s who, bitch. This is R. D. Harless’ Profiles in Villainy.

I've obviously given up on my appearance.

I’ve obviously given up on my appearance.

Old comic book villains harken back to a simpler time when people with no real motive or aptitude decided to become “evil” for the purposes of money or some vague, illusory notion of power. You’re not going to fall into toxic waste and then take over the world, but you’d think at least one person in the history of civilization had actually done that the way these guys try. And when it comes to guys with little to no reason whatsoever to break bad, Dr. Otto Octavius is right up there near the top of the list (a list almost exclusively populated by disfigured scientists).

On paper, Doctor Octopus is the perfect villain. Arrogant, an alliterative name, has a doctorate degree, foreign accent, crazy technology, and an animal-based nickname. If he was a eugenics-advocating Nazi, he would be the whole package (then watch your ass, Red Skull). In practical terms, though, what the hell is this guy’s problem? He was widely recognized as a brilliant scientist. He had a legitimately fantastic workman’s comp lawsuit after the accident that jacked him up because why in God’s name did his supervisor let an employee conduct radiation experiments in solitude with no oversight using a potentially dangerous harness wired to his nervous system that he cobbled together himself? That’s, like, forty OSHA violations right there. Otto could have sued the shit out of Acme Labs or wherever the hell it was that allowed that kind of thing to go on and been set for life. Plus, bonus, he’s got four bad-ass arms grafted to his doughy abdomen. That’s a ticket to instant celebrity and a guaranteed pity prize from the Nobel committee.

So what’s this jackass do instead of talk to a competent injury lawyer? He goes, right off the bat, into full-tilt bullshittery. He takes the medical staff that saved his life hostage in a total dick move that isn’t really villainy so much as it’s just being an asshole. It’s weak planning, too, because what the hell is the endgame there, not to mention it’s really overreaching considering that the biggest plot Otto had hatched up to that point was probably figuring out a way to ‘accidentally’ brush up against his intern’s blouse. Naturally, in the middle of this morphine-fueled, poorly thought-out supervillain debut, Spider-Man showed on the scene to blow up Otto’s spot in lieu of letting a seasoned professional hostage negotiator do his job. But, wielding beginner’s luck and the power of the ‘all is lost’ moment, Otto proceeded to beat Spidey like a red-headed step mule with those mechanical arms that he refuses to make millions off of by patenting. Total facepalm rookie move, though, he doesn’t double-tap the sticky kid in the unitard, just tells him he’s not worth it like it’s a friggin’ After School Special and chucks him out a window. That’s some bush league stupid, and, after shitting that bed pretty hard, Otto moved on to taking over a nuclear facility instead of a hospital (because in the sixties every other building had something nuclear in it). It’s there that Spider-Man rallied back to knock him out with one punch, putting an end to Otto’s, I don’t know, scandalously non-peer-reviewed after-hours research or whatever.

Now here’s a helpful test to see if you should be a criminal. If a nerdy teenager who doesn’t have four giant, articulated metal arms grafted to his spine can lay you out cold with one desperate swing, go apologize to everybody you just took hostage, plea bargain the charges down to a couple of years, and use that time to get your life together with the prison psychiatrist. You are clearly not built for the world of crime. Sadly, no one intervened to tell Doctor Octopus this. They all just sat back and watched him shit the bed over and over. I mean, let’s look at the illustrious career of Doc Ock:

-Killed a police captain. Accidentally. With negligence and shoddy masonry. While getting punched in the face.

-Tried to become a gang leader, which . . . c’mon, man, put down the Sopranos box set. I’ll give you credit for the track suit and the terrible Eastern European thug haircut, but you’re not gangster.

-Tried to steal atomic equipment.

-Tried to steal atomic submarine.

-Tried to marry May Parker to get his hands on an island with an atomic power station that she somehow inherited (Relatable. See how Marvel heroes had problems just like yours?).

Here’s another helpful test to see if you should be a criminal. If any of the heists you plan have the word “atomic” in them, immediately quit what you’re doing. If you need three degrees to know why a thing is worth stealing then science is your clearly first love, not curb-stomping shopkeepers for protection money. And, yes, you’re right, even Albert Einstein created a doomsday weapon in a secret underground lab, so go ahead and chalk that up as a point for you if you want, but he didn’t stick up liquor stores to finance it and he didn’t use the a-bomb to ransom Long Island. Look at the way you think, man! You need to take a step back, Otto. Consider the choices you’ve made and the consequences that have resulted. Make a personal inventory. Then suck it the hell up, polish your resume (tip: gloss over prison time), and go get a job at a defense contractor or an R & D firm. And I mean someplace legitimate like Lockheed-Martin or Raytheon, man, not fucking AIM. Shit, would you just get your life together for once?