Today's Amazing Spider-Man #25 is proving to be quite a revelation for Marvel fans. We've already discussed the surprising return of a character Spider-Man and fans had believed dead, but that may not be the most shocking development of the issue.
In addition to the main story, Amazing Spider-Man #25 features a number of backup stories. The final story is written by Dan Slott with art by Giuseppe Camuncoli. The story follows Doctor Octopus after the events of The Clone Conspiracy.
Fans will remember that Doctor Octopus has had a strange recent existence. He had, for a time, taken over Peter Parker's body to become the Superior Spider-Man. Parker eventually took his body back, but Doctor Octopus survived as a consciousness uploaded to his arm computer that eventually uploaded him into the Living Brain. During The Clone Conspiracy, Otto was able to escape his robot prison and upload his consciousness into a new clone body.
The final issue of The Clone Conspiracy led Spider-Man and readers to believe that Doctor Octopus's clone body had dissolved while locked in battle with the Jackal. The following issue of Amazing Spider-Man suggested that Otto had escaped by entering the proto-clone body that he had perfected. The story in Amazing Spider-Man #25 confirms that to be the case, but that's not all.
Otto arrives at a secret, west coast base he established long ago. The junkyard facade is labeled "The Auto Empire." On entering the facility, Octopus comments on how his new body is a hybrid of his own DNA and that shows in the facial features. It also shows in Otto's new mix of powers. He has a version of Spider-Man's spider sense which he refers to as "octopus sense." He also maintains his connection to his robot octopus arms, which he uses in concert with his new spider-like reflexes and agility to take down a group of Hydra soldiers that have taken up residence in the base.
Upon further investigation, Doctor Octopus a deal. Hydra still lays claim to the base, but the hydra soldiers and agents stationed there will take order from Octavius. Otto agrees and begins work on a new costume, a combination of his Superior Spider-Man suit and his classic Octopus arms. The result is…
...the Superior Octopus, dressed in Hydra colors and with a symbol resembling the Hydra head. On his back are the deadly octopus arm, and behind him stands a legion of Hydra soldiers.
As you may have guessed, this is all leading up to Secret Empire, the massive Marvel event that sees Captain America's Hydra making a play for global domination. The story of the Superior Octopus will continue in Amazing Spider-Man #29, an official Secret Empire tie-in.
Amazing Spider-Man #25 is on sale now.