Next month, Otto Octavius will once again don the red-and-black tights and highly reflective lenses of his Spider-Man costume in Superior Spider-Man #32 by Dan Slott, Christos Gage, Giuseppe Camunicoli and Adam Kubert.

There's just one major problem with that: Octavius was inhabiting Peter Parker's body when he was Spider-Man, and Peter has that back now. He is the sole owner of his own body. So how in the world could the Doc Ock Spider-Man's title come back? The easy answer, of course, is simply "comics," but let's explore some of the possible explanations, shall we?

 

Explanation 1: It's an alternate universe.

There are alternate universes where Spider-Man's daughter with Mary Jane didn't disappear forever (and they stayed married), where Spider-Man is a noir character, and where Peter Parker killed Mary Jane with radioactive sperm. It stands to reason there could be an alternate universe where Otto stayed Spider-Man.

Plus, this is a tie-in to the new "Spider-Verse" event, which is all about alternate-universe Spider-Men and Women.

 

click to enlarge

 

 

Explanation 2: Otto got a new body.

There's little doubt that Doctor Octopus will be returning at some point down the road, so it might as well be now. Venom has had four or five different hosts now. Lex Luthor switched bodies one time. Why couldn't Doctor Octopus' consciousness do the same thing?

 

Explanation 3: This is someone else.

Marvel's preview for the issue states, "How is the Superior Spider-Man still around? Where is he? What is he doing?" It doesn't say anything about him being Doctor Octopus, specifically. Maybe it's the woman who was Doctor Octopus for a period in the mid-1990s.

 

click to enlarge

 

 

Explanation 4: It's the afterlife.

Maybe Doctor Octopus went to a version of heaven or hell full of cephalopod-based art.

 

Explanation 5: It's another dimension.

The preview art sure looks like it's set in the future. There are flying cars, after all. Maybe instead of dying, Doc Ock just went to another plane of existence, or blasted into a crazy future.

 

click to enlarge

 

Explanation 6: It's all a dream.

Let's pray it's not this one.

We'll all find out if any of these turn out to be right when Superior Spider-Man #32 hits comic shops and digital August 6.