The Octopus first appeared six years after the Spirit's comic started. He became a reoccurring villain for the Spirit, especially in the later stories.
Throughout Will Eisner's work, the Octopus' face was never shown. He was always depicted wearing a pair of purple gloves with three stripes. Whenever the Octopus appeared in a story, he was either off-panel (except for his gloves) or hiding behind some object (like curtains or another person). Another way the Octopus kept his face hidden was the fact that he was a master of disguise.
In a later battle with the Spirit, Octopus blinds him when a gunshot goes off by his face (Spirit is later cured by a convenient miracle drug called Fluid X).
The Spirit (Movie)
On December 25, 2008, Lionsgate released a live action movie directed by comic writer/artist (and former friend of Eisner's) Frank Miller. The Octopus was played by Samuel L. Jackson. Frank described him as "the center of evil" and that he had to be played by someone that could "scare the crap out of everyone." The Octopus is a villain waiting to become a big Kingpin of the crime world. Since only Octopus' gloved hands were seen in the comics, Frank needed someone that could fill those gloves. That's were Sam Jackson came in. Sam was told he could make the character what he wanted. He could dress how he wanted. Frank allowed him to flesh the character out. Somewhere along the line, the Octopus' character develops a love for huge guns as Sam Jackson had the prop department create the biggest guns they could.
The movie version of the Octopus developed a taste for dual wielding weapons and elaborate clothing, he is almost never shown without his trusy assistant, Silken Floss. He is also shown to be a scientific genius, able to clone his hechmen, create a poison that could disintegrate people and create a serum which makes the drinker invulnerable. The Octopus has 4 prison tears underneath each eye in total of eight, these tears resemble Octopus Tentacles. During the course of the movie Octopus is shown to be highly resillient to damage, not feeling pain when shot in the head or having his arm blown off.
The movie begins with The Spirit hearing about a plan set by his arch enemy The Octopus, The Spirit heads out to stop him. Next we see Sand Saref with her husband Mahmoud, retrieves two identical chests from the bottom of the lake. Sand and her husband tried to flee with both chests, but the Octopus wounded Mahmoud and snapped a line connecting the two chests. Sand escaped, leaving one chest behind, which the Octopus retrieved from the murky depths. Octopus accomplice Silken Floss drives up and picks up the the chest and leaves.
The Spirit and the Octopus then engage in a lengthy battle. During the fight one of Octopus's henchmen shoots the Spirit , which leaves him unable to fight. The Octopus notes the similairity between him and the Spirit and after that the Octopus retreats to his lair. In his secret lair, the Octopus and Silken Floss open the chest but discover that it does not contain the mysterious Blood of hercules as expected, but something else that glows. In a fit of rage, the Octopus killes three of his henchmen and lets the fourth kill himself. The henchmen tells of Sand’s involvement in the mixing up of the chests and the villains decide a trade is in order.
The Spirit is able to track down the location of Octopus's hideout, he takes out a few of his men and eventually reaches Silken Floss. She distracts him and then injects him with a knockout agent. After that, the Spirit awakens to find himself tied to a dentist’s chair. A beautiful woman sensuously dances behind a curtain and is revealed to be Plaster of Paris, a psychotic assassin. It is also revealed that the Octopus has set up a trade with Sand Saref, trading the Golden Fleece for Heracles's blood.
The Octopus enters and tells the Spirit about his quest for immortality. His and Floss’s experimentation eventually led to the creation of a serum nigh indestructibility, an attempt at immortality. Denny’s corpse was used as a test subject. When it proved succesful the Octopus injected himself. The Octopus reveals his plan to drink the mystical Blood and expand his immortality toward becoming a god and eventually rule the world. But first he intends to kill the Spirit by having Plaster slice him into tiny bits, but she stops when the Spirit talks to her about their past. The octopus intervens and Plaster is again about to cut the Spirit, but she cuts his restraints instead. The Spirit then gives the Octopus a beating, crushing him under a large statue. The Spirit then escapes with Plaster.
After recovering from the beating the Spirit gave him, the Octopus is next seen trading the two cases with Sand. Floss is unable to side with the Octopus and drives off, after that the Spirit appears.The Octopus attempts to kill the Spirit by constantly shooting him with bigger guns. When it seemed that the Octopus had finally defeated the Spirit, Dolan unleashes a full-out assault on the Octopus. Octopus and his henchmen open fire, but all henchmen die in the crossfire and Octopus loses an arm. After that Dolan shows up and shoots the Octopus six times in the head, not knowing that he has a healing factor, Dolan leaves.
The Octopus recovers and shakes out the bullets in his head, after that he heads for the vase containing the blood. He screamms out in victory but just as he is about to take a sip, the vase is shot by Sand Saref. Before he can react, the Spirit punches him and lodges a grenade in him, intending to take down Octopus together with himself. But before the grenade explodes, Sand Saref shields off the Spirit using the Golden Fleece. After that the Octopus is blown up. The last thing we see of him is his finger crawling towards Silken Floss. She picks it up and takes it with her, probably to clone his body.