Thursday, November 22, 2012

Villain Spotlight: Lady Octopus.

Carolyn Trainer was a former student of the original Dr. Octopus and took over the mantle after Doc Ock was killed by Kaine (he got better). Carolyn was also the daughter of Seward Trainer, long time friend of Spider-man's clone Ben Reilly.

Doc Ock II, or Lady Octopus as she would later be called, made her debut during the clone saga. She showed up around the time Marvel was trying to say Peter was the clone and Ben was the original so as a result she mostly fought Ben Rielly, both as Scarlet Spider and during his short tenure as Spider-man. To me this character embodies the wasted potential of the clone saga. She had a lot going for her as a character but a lot of drags as well.

First of all, I think the idea of a legacy or protegee character for Doc Ock is an interesting one. Osborn has a ton of various Goblins following in his footsteps in one way or another, Venom spawned Carnage, as well as other, less memorable symbiote characters, but Doc Ock never gave us any real spin off characters until this. Kinda odd given how much Marvel loved derivative/spin off characters.

Also I think Lady Octopus had a decent look to her, other then her purple hair and her lesbian hair cut. But the armor looks pretty solid, and it makes sense for her to wear armor unlike some characters (I'm looking at you Nu52 Superman). Also she made a few upgrades to the tentacles and added a personal force field around her body making her a pretty decent threat.

But again, wasted potential. Her 'Daddy issues' with Seward Trainer, while on paper could have made for an interesting dynamic, came off mostly as whining from her. Writers would just shove it down the readers throat, over and over again, until it became almost a self parody.

And of course let's not forget her stupid stupid plans. She wanted to conquer cyberspace. Some of my younger readers might not realize this, but back in the mid 90's when the Internet was first really a thing, we all though it was fucking magic. Her plans included such nonsense as a "Virtual reality bomb" which used something called "VR waves". Holy shit it was stupid.

So what became of her? Well, once Peter took up the webs again Carolyn helped the ninja group The Hand mystically resurrect the original Doc Ock. After that she just sorta faded away. She no longer wants to conquer the Internet, apparently realizing that a kingdom consisting mostly of lolcats and pornography isn't really worth ruling. Aside from a random appearance here and there she's pretty much forgotten.

This could have been a decent villain, and maybe a writer will come along and do something worthwhile with her, but for now she remains a prime example of the wasted potential that was the clone saga.

Interesting side note, a guy named Warrack made a pretty great looking custom figure of her. You should check out his site, his custom toys look pretty bad ass.

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