Spider-Man: Doctor Octopus - Year One #4

Background

Doc Ock's "Year One" continues, and so does the retelling of the events of ASM #3..

Story Details

It's raining in New York. Ock has escaped from custody, and runs into a lone guard. He laments the loss of his humanity to the guard, and then ends his life. His tentacles help him notice "A pulse... diminutive but present." And so the Spider-Tracer has been found.

Meanwhile, Spider-Man is back at the base with the military guys. Spidey wants to head out after Ock, but the military science guy tells him not to bother. Turns out that Doc Ock got a case of radiation poisoning from his accident, and the military's plan is just to wait it out and hope the radiation finishes him off.

By now, Ock is lying belly down in some back alley. The radiation poisoning is starting to get to him. A man comes by to help him out, and Ock catches a glimpse at the headline of his newspaper: "DOCTOR OCTOPUS AT LARGE!" He takes the guy's coat and heads on his way.

Mary Alice is working at a nuclear power plant. Two technicians behind her are arguing. Seems that the core temperature's too high, and the coolant isn't being released. The story is told on the news, and one passerby that notices it is none other than our favourite mechanical armed scientist. Ock flips out, running wildly through the street and smashing up a taxi.

But of course, Ock has to calm down sometime. Next we see him in his apartment (wouldn't that be the first place the military guys would look for him? Unless of course he went to someone else's apartment...) dissecting the Spider-Tracer he picked up before. He brings it to some unnamed guy, who bears a strong resemblance to the Tinkerer, to have it checked out for him. Ock leaves, flips out again, and "becomes one with the radiation." No more radiation poisoning!

There's a TV broadcast with some overly happy-looking reporter interviewing some "green people" hippie protester. And Ock's made a "green people" button out of his stolen Spider-Tracer. And, it turns out he's got a few dozen boxes worth of them.

To be concluded...

General Comments

There's so much wrong with this issue I don't even know where to begin. I won't mention all the continuity problems, since this story is meant to reinvent the events of ASM #3, and so to keep it from being boring, changes will need to have been made.

Ok, so the military's great plan is to sit back and let Ock die? They would at least send Spider-Man back out after him, since it would be better for them to take Octavius in alive. There's also the chance the radiation poisoning won't kill him. If that happens, you end up with a psychopathic mad scientist with 4 metal killing machines strapped to his waist. Which, incidentally, is what happens.

And now Ock can talk to radiation? Having him talk to the arms was okay when done well, but this is just weird. Instead of making Ock the creepy, deranged, cunning mastermind that they had built up in the first few issues of the series, they make him a spastic nut.

And at the end of this issue with the Spider-Tracer buttons... Okay, the Tinkerer said that it would take him three days to get back to Ock with the Spider-Tracer. It would take Ock at least a day or two more to make them all into buttons, unless that was what the Tinkerer was doing for him. Wouldn't Ock have been found during that time? And what about the nuclear reactor that was overheating? After three days, there would have been a meltdown, but according to the last news story, all that's happened is some people started protesting.

Overall Rating

2 webs. It's a pretty lousy issue, but it could've done worse.

Footnote

Next issue, "Year One" comes to an end, and so does the wave of Dr. Octopus titles.