10. Doctor Octopus Settles Down - Spider-Man: Life Story
Spider-Man: Life Story is a decades-spanning epic with an excellent premise: what if Spider-Man, along with everyone else in the Marvel Universe, aged in real time? The fact that Peter Parker began his crime-fighting career in 1962 but remains in his mid-twenties in 2020 is efficient for maintaining a certain status quo, but ignores a plethora of intriguing storylines that come with a superhero growing older.
One idea that Life Story really focused in on was the fact that, as the world changes around them, people change too. It's not just a case of giving each character grey hair and wrinkles: writer Chip Zdarsky ensures that everyone gets a complete character arc, showing how they are affected by the ups and downs of everyday life.
Inspired by an actual storyline in which Doctor Octopus tried to marry Peter's Aunt May, Zdarsky decided to give Otto Octavius a brief period of retribution in his life. After suffering a heart attack in the seventies, Doc Ock realises that there's more to life than using his big metal tentacles to rob banks and fight Spider-Man. He is reformed into a respectable citizen, taking up a job in Reed Richards' laboratory and settling down with his newfound love, May Parker. For a while, Peter and his 'Uncle' Otto even work alongside each other as lab partners!
Sadly, this doesn't last forever. The death of Aunt May has a profound effect on Otto, and by 2019 he's back to his villainous, octopus-themed ways.
Jimmy Kavanagh is an Irish comics enthusiast and co-founder of Club Valentine Comedy, a Dublin-based comedy collective. You can hear him talk to his favourite comedians about their favourite comics on his podcast, Comics Swapping Comics (available on all good podcast platforms).