WANTED: Earth-Two's Most Dangerous Super-Villains
Residence: Unknown, likely mobile
Occupation: Professional Criminal
First Appearance (Golden Age):More Fun #80(June 1942)
Nothing is known of the crime boss known as the Octopus prior to his first encounter with Dr. Fate in 1942, tho he had already cultivated a reputation as a significant criminal operator. In the summer of 1942, he aspired to create a crime carnival, soliciting a range of criminal expertise to fleece a gullible public. Rapidly constructing a fairground in an empty lot, he had kidnapping experts appear to snatch wealthy patrons to deliver them to the fair. Forgers posed as hand-writing analysts to obtain copies of signatures. Pickpockets cruised the midway looking for marks. The Octopus oversaw it all mixing in legit, if rigged, games as a cover for the entire operation.
One evening the kidnappers targeted Kent Nelson and Inza Cramer out for an evening. Kent is startled and called the kidnapper - Sam the Snatch - by name but played along. Arriving at the fair, Kent and Inza are informed that their kidnapping is part of a ruse to get into the spirit of the carnival. Sam reports back to the Octopus that he has been made and Kent tells Inza that he recognizes most of the carnival operators as known felons. Suspicious, he slips off to assume his identity as Doctor Fate.
In this period, Fate was primarily in his half-helmed career and largely resorted to physical means of thrashing his foes. Being overwhelmed, the Octopus' men recognized Inza as Fate's paramour and capture her, moving her to the top a high platform holding a tight rope. They threaten to throw her off unless Fate relents but the hero charges forward anyway, causing them to toss Inza. She grabs the tight rope and Fate charges the platform. He is outnumbered and choked until the men throw him also over the side. As Inza loses her grip, Fate snags the ladder, stopping his fall and catching Inza as the thugs on the ground flee back to the Octopus. With Inza safely on the ground, Fate bounded back to the platform and made short work of his initial attackers, followed by a pointed interrogation. The defeated thugs revealed the role and location of the Octopus, sending Fate in hot pursuit.
Arriving at the Octopus' lair, Fate phases through the wall and is immediately by the dense black cloud that is the Octopus' trademark. As he struggles to see, the Octopus emerges and with enormous strength, chokes Fate unconscious. The criminal dispatches his men with Fate to a nearby garage and abandons him with a running car, intending to asphyxiate him with carbon monoxide. Trusting in Fate's demise, the villains leave but Fate manages to open a tire and use the stale air as a source of oxygen. Freeing himself, he follows the gang just as they happen upon Inza. Before the criminal can seize her, Fate tales them by surprise and subdues them until the police arrive and shut down the Octopus' carnival for good (More Fun Comics #80).
The final fate of the Octopus is unrevealed.
Powers and Abilities
The Octopus presented as a green-skinned humanoid with very unusual features. Whether he was actually human or whether this was some sort of disguise is unclear. He was gifted with enormous strength, likely at superhuman levels and considerable physical prowess. The nature of this strength is not known. The Octopus was also a clever and successful criminal, with a vast network of resources and manpower to pull of large scale crimes. Finally, the Octopus deployed an inky screen of black cloud projected from a weapon that could not be seen through without special lenses. The origin of this material is unknown.
Weaknesses and Limitations
The exact limitations of the Octopus are unclear, though caught by surprise by the full fury of Dr. Fate was he was captured and handed over to the authorities.
A counterpart of the Octopus has not been verified in any other timeline.
More Fun Comics #80
1st appearance, vs. Doctor Fate
Doctor Fate Archives Vol. 1