Once he was Otto Octavius, a brilliant and respected nuclear physicist. Octavius designed and constructed a set of highly advanced robotic arms to assist him in his research. Now able to manipulate radioactive substances from a safe distance, Octavius was dubbed Dr. Octopus by his coworkers. A freak laboratory accident exposed Octavius to intense radioactivity, grafting the mechanical appendages to his body and granting him complete telepathic control over the artificial limbs. The mishap also altered Octavius' mind, transforming him into a criminally insane megalomaniac. Abandoning his hopes of one day advancing the field of atomic research, Octavius turned instead to a life of crime. Possessed of incalculable power, the formerly timid scientist came to see himself as the most dangerous man alive.
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