Doctor Octopus: Negative Exposure

    (Marvel, 2003–2004)
™ and © Marvel Entertainment Group

Storylines surrounding the “modern-day myth” of Spider-Man are apparently endless. As Marvel and its legion of fans celebrate The Amazing Spider-Man #500, the less-hyped Doctor Octopus: Negative Exposure #1 sneaks onto the stands, giving readers a well-rounded super-hero adventure filled with action, character development, and even a few tidbits to engage the intellect.

A fellow photographer for The Daily Bugle is confounded by Peter Parker’s uncanny ability to take exciting photos of Spider-Man in the heat of battle. What frustrates him even more is Parker’s nonchalant attitude about photography as an art form. Parker is perfect as the unpretentious youngster who simply takes photos in order to pay the bills, and the reader wonders by story’s end how the newly introduced photographer’s growing disdain for Parker will manifest itself. Will he sabotage Parker’s photos? Will he pull a Kenny Braverman and eventually become a super-villain? Will he team up with Doctor Octopus?

Speaking of the bad (but brainy) doctor, his portrayal here is interesting. The more organic-looking octopus tentacles (as redesigned by Humberto Ramos) are a bad idea, but Doc Ock’s motivation for stealing a prized piece of Leonardo da Vinci art is a character-enlightening beauty.

— Brett Weiss

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1 of 5Brian K. VaughanStaz Johnson


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Collects Doctor Octopus: Negative Exposure #1-5; ca. 2004Brian K. VaughanStaz Johnson