‘Spider-Man 2’: Why Did Doc Ock Try to Kill Peter Parker Before He Knew Who He Was?

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is always praised for its continuity and impressive dialogues. The franchise has one of the best storyline executions, but it isn’t without its faults.

While it’s always advisable to suspend reality and logic for the nearly two hours you’ll be watching any superhero movie, some plot holes are too large to ignore. For instance, in Spider-Man 2, Doc Ock tried to kill Peter Parker before knowing who he was.

A brief look into the original ‘Spider-Man’ franchise

Although Nicholas Hammond was the first actor to wear the Spider-Man suit in 1977, Tobey Maguire popularized the character to younger generations. Under Sam Raimi, Maguire appeared in three Spider-Man films in 2002, 2004, and 2007 before Andrew Garfield took over with The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012.

Raimi’s narrative follows Peter’s growth from high school all the way to college. The trilogy explores his toxic relationship with his childhood best friend and his relationship with his crush and girlfriend, Mary Jane. Peter also struggles with balancing his double life as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man and his daily life as a freelance photographer working for J. Jonah Jameson at the Daily Bugle.

Much of his inability to cope with his new life stems from the fact that he carries the secret alone and also has to work for a man who hates his alter-ego, Spider-Man, and constantly keeps putting out defamatory material against him.

Peter’s secret life usually leads him to very dangerous encounters with super-human criminals who threaten to destroy the peace and lives of civilians and end the world. Maguire returned for the last time as Peter in Spider-Man: No Way Home playing the alternate version of his character from another world.

Doctor Ock attacking Peter without knowing his identity makes no sense

Doctor Ock, played by Alfred Molina, the villain of the second Spider-Man movie, nearly kills Peter by throwing a car at him. Ock needs tritium to continue experimenting on his power source, so he threatens to kill Harry. Harry, who doesn’t have the isotope, strikes a deal with him promising to get Ock the tritium in exchange for a subdued Spider-Man.

He informs Ock that Peter is friendly with Spider-Man as he constantly photographs him for his work. Ock goes after Peter to get close to Spider-Man, and one of the ways he does that is by nearly killing Peter, which doesn’t make sense.

Alfred Molina, Tobey Maguire, and Kirsten Dunst promote Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 2 stars Alfred Molina, Tobey Maguire, and Kirsten Dunst in 2004 | Theo Wargo/WireImage

Ock has never met Peter before, and although he bugged Peter’s phone to learn about his whereabouts, he wasn’t sure that Peter would 100 percent lead him to Spider-Man. After all, his job simply entails capturing images of the friendly neighborhood superhero. Therefore, killing Peter would be a waste of time if Spider-Man and Peter were two people who didn’t know each other.

Additionally, at the time, Peter was dealing with imposter syndrome, which caused his powers to diminish. If Ock’s attack hadn’t reactivated his powers, Ock would have killed him for nothing and not gotten access to Spider-Man.

Alfred Molina’s Doctor Ock returned in ‘No Way Home’

Doctor Octavius meets his end in Spider-Man 2 when after battling Spider-Man, he commands his tentacles to kill him, thereby destroying his experiment. Ock returned in 2021’s No Way Home after Tom Holland’s Peter messed with the timeline by asking Doctor Strange to reverse time and confused him by making too many demands mid-spell.

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‘Spider-Man’: The Grim Reason Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker Nearly Died in the First Movie

Peter unleashes several evils which seep into his world, but he also gets to meet both versions of his alter-ego from other worlds. The three Peters/ Spider-Men band together to prevent the new cabal of evil from destroying Earth.