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Spider-Man: No Way Home memes make Doc Ock look scarier without the arms

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Floating menacingly, to establish dominance

Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus in promotional material for Spider-Man 2. Image: Sony Pictures

Spider-Man: No Way Home is jampacked with tons of fight scenes and banter between heroes, but there’s one frame in particular that’s blowing up on social media. Specifically, it’s a shot of Doctor Octopus, played by Alfred Molina, in the middle of a fight scene with Spider-Man. Except someone has edited out his giant mechanical arms, so he’s just floating there, menacingly.

There’s something striking about the silhouette of the good doctor, floating toward you, and the internet has gone ahead and created tons of memes. You don’t need to know anything about No Way Home or even Spider-Man in general. No thought necessary, just enjoy hovering, intimidating Doc Ock.

Honestly, it’s just nice to see a villain given the gravitas they deserve. Doc Ock is a clever and intimidating opponent even without his giant robot arms. And honestly, there are tons of panels from the old comics that would benefit from a similar treatment. What if we lived in a world where Doctor Octopus’s arms were never visible? Would a panel like this one have the same je ne sais quoi?

Spider-Man comics - Doctor Octopus launches himself over a high fence into a scientific center. He thinks, “With my arms, I can go anywhere... do anything! Fences can’t stop me! No one can catch me!” Image: Marvel Comics

Now that we’re in a more experimental stage of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I suppose anything is possible. We may not be getting more movies with Molina’s Doc Ock, but that’s OK — this meme is nice while it lasts, and we’ll always have the memories.