Peter Parker struggles to balance his crime-fighting duties as Spider-Man with the demands of his normal life. Parker is estranged from both love interest Mary Jane Watson and best friend Harry Osborn, the latter still bent on revenge for Spider-Man's involvement in his father Norman's death. Harry, now head of Oscorp's research division, sponsors the research of brilliant nuclear scientist Otto Octavius. Octavius, who dreams of perfecting fusion power, wears a harness of powerful robotic arms with artificial intelligence for an experiment in sustained fusion. It quickly becomes unstable; Octavius' wife is killed, the neural inhibitor chip which prevents the arms from influencing his mind is destroyed, and the arms are fused to his spine. He is taken to a hospital, but the tentacles savagely kill the medical crew. The tentacles lead him to the resolution that he must complete his experiment. To finance his work, Octavius - now called Doctor Octopus or "Doc Ock" by the Daily Bugle - robs a bank.