The Octopus (comics)

The Octopus (comics)

character_name =The Octopus

publisher =
debut = "The Postage Stamp" (14 July 1946)
creators = Will Eisner
full_name =
affiliation =
status =

The Octopus is a fictional comic book supervillian from the comic book "The Spirit", created by writer-artist Will Eisner. He first appeared in "The Spirit" on July 14, 1946, and became the primary nemesis in later stories. The Octopus has never showed his face in the stories but readers could always identify the character by the distinctive gloves he always wore. A master of disguise, The Octopus was involved in the epic fight with The Spirit, which left Denny Colt blinded.

Fictional character biography

An origin story tells of Zitzbath Zark, a young man who seems to have been killed when trying to blow up the city's power plant. However, a month later Zark's mother receives a package - it contains some jewelry along with a note: 'From "Z" with love'. She throws the package out, shouting that: "He probably stole them. He should burn", not realizing that she is being watched across the street by her son.

Time moves onto the present day (in this case, 1966), and Zark's mother has found The Spirit, and asks him for help in finding her son. It is revealed that The Octopus is alive and well and planning a major robbery. One of the Octopus' henchman decides to defect.

The Spirit and Zark's mother are at police headquarters when the henchman asks to see him. Zark's mother shoots the man when he tries to speak, telling the Spirit that it is her son. However, with his last breath the man tells the Spirit that in fact it is the Octopus who is disguised as his own mother.

Finding himself cornered, the Octopus jumps into an incinerator. After the incinerator has been cooled down, no trace of the Octopus is found.

In a subsequent story, the Spirit is kidnapped and beaten by a very much alive Octopus, who is trying recover a stolen bankroll that had been hidden by Spider Webb, who died in the Spirit's arms. With the Spirit missing from Central City, Commissioner Dolan assigns young officer Sam Klink to find him and the payroll. Klink finds the Spirit and Octopus' henchman, Crusher, but not Octopus. The Spirit later stumbles across the payroll while on a picnic.

The authorities release the false information to the press that Crusher has escaped jail, luring the Octopus into a trap, where he kills Crusher, because he had seen Octopus' face. During the subsequent fight between the Octopus and the Spirit, the Spirit is blinded by a gunshot blast close to his face. The Octopus releases a grenade that seemingly kills him instantly.

The Spirit is captured by Mr. Carrion, who treats the Spirit's blindness with a miraculous cure called Fluid X. During a fight with the villain on a ship, there is an explosion, which along with the Fluid X, causes The Spirit's vision to return.

The Octopus, he would reappear alive and well several months later in the story "Umbrella Handles".


*14 July 1946 - "The Postage Stamp"
*17 November 1946 - "Return to Caramba"
*1 December 1946 - "The Portier Fortune"
*6 July 1947 - "Wanted - Mortimer J. Titmouse"
*10 August 1947 - "Sign of The Octopus" aka "Klink Versus The Octopus"
*17 August 1947 - "The Picnic"
*24 August 1947 - "Showdown with The Octopus"
*28 December 1947 "Umbrella Handles"
*25 January 1948 - Montabaldo"
*1 February 1948 - "El Espirito"
*1 August 1948 - "The Eisner Travel Agency"
*31 October 1948 - "Hallowe'en Spirit"
*5 December 1948 - "Stop the Plot"
*26 December 1948 - "Will Eisner's Almanack" (cameo)
*4 February 1951 - "Showdown with The Octopus" (reprint)
*11 February 1951 - "Octopus Back in U.S.A."
*18 February 1951 - "To The Spirit with Love"
*25 February 1951 - "The Portier Fortune" (revised reprint)
*18 March 1951 - "Darling Unmasks The Octopus"
*15 July 1951 - "Heat" (cameo)
*22 July 1951 - "Hospital Zone - Quiet"
*25 November 1951 - "I Hate The Spirit Because Contest" aka "The League of Liars" (cameo)


On July 19, 2006, "The Hollywood Reporter" reported that comic book writer/artist Frank Miller would write and direct the feature film adaptation "The Spirit", ["The Hollywood Reporter" via Reuters (July 19, 2006): [ " 'Spirit' Comic Comes to Life on Big Screen"] ] previously announced as a project in 2004. [ [ "Variety" (July 22, 2004): "Odd Lot, Batfilm join forces for 'Spirit'", by Michael Fleming] ] The film is scheduled for release by Lionsgate on December 25, 2008. [ [ "The Spirit" official website] ] The film will feature Gabriel Macht in the title role, and Samuel L. Jackson as the criminal The Octopus. Unlike the comics, his face is seen in the film. It also appears, from the comic-con media clips, as well as trailers and teasers, that in the film he displays a new love of powerful guns. He is seen rapidly firing two Desert Eagles, two .500 S&W Magnums, and two Sawed-off shotguns. In the latest trailer, he and the Spirit have a battle in which the Octopus shoots the Spirit in the chest with two four-barreled shotguns. The Spirit escapes and is healed by Ellen Dolan, restarting his war against his nemesis. The Octopus then goes to desperate measures and hires a beautiful assasin (Sand Saref) to take down the Spirit.


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