The new Ultimate Universe Green Goblin and Doc Ock have surprising ties to Iron Man

In the mainstream Marvel Universe, Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus are widely considered Spider-Man’s two biggest arch-enemies. But things are a little different in the new Ultimate Universe, where May 29’s Ultimate Spider-Man #5 just gave brand new backstories to both Harry Osborn and Otto Octavius, setting up what seems to be a very different status quo for the new reality.

Readers have already met Harry Osborn, and Marvel’s solicitation for August’s Ultimate Spider-Man #8 foreshadowed the arrival of Otto Octavius, but Harry’s backstory is now revealed, and we’ve been introduced to Otto earlier than expected. And on top of that, Ultimate Spider-Man #5 even includes the origins of two more classic Spidey villains whose new Ultimate counterparts have already debuted, Shocker and Kingpin.

Spoilers ahead for Ultimate Spider-Man #5

With Peter Parker and his family now well established in the reborn Ultimate Universe, Ultimate Spider-Man #5 by writer Jonathan Hickman, guest artist David Messina, color artist Matthew Wilson, and letterers Cory Petit and Joe Sabino goes about the work of filling in more of the other side of the coin, revealing some backstory for several classic Spider-Man villains, some of whom undergo some big changes.

Mainly, we learn a lot more about Harry Osborn and how he became the Green Goblin, with most of the issue taking place in flashback. As we’ve already learned, Harry inherited his father’s company when the Maker’s cabal made an attack on New York City and blamed it on Tony Stark, the son of Howard Stark, one of OsCorp’s biggest competitors.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

With both Howard and his business partner Obadiah Stane off the board thanks to the events that kickstarted the new Ultimate Universe, their company falls under the control of none other than Wilson Fisk. Fisk has appeared in Ultimate Spider-Man before, but here we get some backstory on him, learning that he’s just recently been promoted to the Kingpin of the New York territory. 

Fisk summons Harry to his offices, offering to sell him Stark Enterprises on the condition that he uses that to keep both Tony and Howard Stark out of the picture. Harry presumably agrees, because the next time we see him, he’s breaking into the Stark Enterprises labs, where he finds a whole suite of Iron Man armors.

This is where Otto Octavius comes in, as Harry’s right hand man and his big brain science guy who sets about trying to crack Stark’s armor and ARC reactor technology. Meanwhile, Osborn digs into Stark’s files, learning about the Maker and his cabal of supervillains and their machinations to control the world.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Radicalized by the discovery, Osborn vows to fight them on their own terms, with Octavius constructing him a suit of armor and a glider, while he continues to try and crack the rest of Stark’s technology. 

There’s one last bit of backstory given in Ultimate Spider-Man #5, this time for the Shocker, who showed up several issues ago. We learn that he, like Peter Parker, got his shock gauntlets from one of Stark’s time-traveling orbs. But unlike Peter, the Shocker we’re seeing here was not the intended recipient of the gauntlets. Instead, that guy died and the current Shocker stole them from him.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

And that makes four classic Spidey villains who have now made it into the Ultimate Spider-Man mix, some with vastly different places in Spider-Man’s life. And with Marvel officially teasing the Ultimate Sinister Six down the road, things are only going to heat up from here.

Ultimate Spider-Man #6 goes on sale June 19.

Stay up to date on all the new Spider-Man comics Marvel has planned for release.

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