Most comic fans understand that the octopus is a wily and cunning beast, but in Oberhausen, western Germany, one of these eight-tentacled creatures named Paul has been said to have near psychic abilities due to the fact that he predicted World Cup winners with uncanny accuracy. In fact, Paul was dead-on in predicting the outcomes of all six of Germany's matches and even Spain's eventual championship triumph.

But despite a long and successful career at the tentacles of this psionic cephalopod, Paul is reportedly retiring. Fortunately, comic book readers know that the octopi have had a strong presence in comics for years and will continue to thrive as Paul enters a more relaxed phase of life.

DR. OCTOPUS - Otto Octavius was already an egotistical scientist when a nuclear accident fused his body to a four-armed harness he had invented. His brain apparently damaged by the radiation, he became utterly insane but could also control his telescopic arms through sheer force of will. Over the years, he's attempted several times to become a conqueror and has often been defeated by Spider-Man, whom he's developed an obsessive hatred toward. Occasionally, he's inspired some strange women to follow him, such as the super-strong Stunner and the second-string villain Lady Octopus.

TOPO - During the 1950s, Aquaman would hang out with a surprisingly intelligent octopus named Topo. Topo would hang out and assist here and there in many surprising ways. As the stories went on, we learned that Topo was skilled in archery, to the point that he could use four bows and arrows at once. He was also a talented musician, able to take the place of an entire band if he had to. And man, did he look good in a bow-tie when formal dress was called for. Whatever the situation, Topo was prepared.

THE LAUGHING OCTOPUS - Debuting in Metal Gear Solid 4, the Laughing Octopus, also known as "the Devil's girl", was a woman with a shattered childhood. As a young girl, her village was attacked by an insane cult that later forced her to torture and execute her own family. They even made her laugh during the process. Years later, the traumatized woman who would burst into laughter at random was recruited into the deadly Beauty and the Beast Unit as its stealth expert and given an advanced "octocamo" suit equipped with mechanical tentacles. Definitely a creepy lady.

OCTUS - In the 853rd century, the Justice Legion-A protects Earth's solar system. And aiding them in the protection of the known universe is the Legion of Super-Familiars, a group of sentient, superpowered animals. One such Super-Familiar is the creature called Octus, a cephalopod who exists in eight dimensions. Beings limited to three-dimensional senses cannot fully understand Octus's powers (unless your name is Grant Morrison), but one of the more obvious ones is his ability to create limpet grenades from thin air.

Forget what you saw in Frank Miller's "The Spirit" movie. In the original comic book adventures of The Spirit, the crime lord known as the Octopus was a mystery to everyone. He was in charge of various criminal operations and orchestrated them from afar, often hiding behind a curtain even from his own agents. A master of disguise who made a hobby of eluding the law, the Octopus could only be identified by the purple gloves he wore that were decorated by three bars.

- In the pages of "Batman Confidential," the Dark Knight wound up fighting a real life Nazi who was ready to destroy the world in the name of Hitler's dream. This was bad enough. The fact that he had a small army of followers made it even worse. The added fact that he possessed a lot of advanced technology, made it much, much worse. And the added-added fact that this psychopath used his advanced tech to construct a giant, robotic Nazi octopus thingee made it a just-plain-crazy-worst-case-scenario that made even Batman go "Oh, crap!"

So rest easy Paul, comic book octopi will continue to thrive.

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