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Synopsis for "Caught in the Game!"

This story continues from Web of Scarlet Spider #2...

In Paris, France, the mercinary known as Joystick meets with Henri, one of the referees of the Great Game. She has just arrived from a battle in Castellon de la Plana and hands over the spoils of her victory: a mask she removed from the face of the mercinary known as El Toro Negro. After collecting her money, she is interested when Henri tells her that her next target is in New York City. She learns that it is a non-player, and the newest hero of New York: The Scarlet Spider. She's a little disappointed that she is not testing her abilities against Spider-Man.

While in New York City, the Scarlet Spider has interrupted a brawl between two rival street gangs. Not needing this sort of trouble right now, the Spider quickly webs up the gang members and rushes to Club Noir, where he is already late for his shift. As he arrives for his shift, Ben Reilly continues to be concerned that his boss -- Jason Tso -- is involved in some kind of criminal activity.[Continuity 1] Before he starts his shift, Ben takes a moment to call Carrie Bradly to apologize for cutting their date short the night before. She accepts his apology and agrees to go out on another date. However, she thinks to herself that this is the last chance she is willing to give Ben Reilly. After his phone call, Ben's coworker Rachel comes by to say goodbye. Since Club Noir is under repairs she isn't making any money and has decided to quit to find work elsewhere. As she leaves, she suggests that Reilly do the same before he is stuck in a rut.

Meanwhile, in cyberspace, the virtual avatar of Seward Trainer is amazed by his new life, even though his physical body now lays comatose in a hospital bed.[Continuity 2] He has been spending his time combing the internet to try and find data on the crimes of his daughter, the new Doctor Octopus. While at her hideout, Doctor Octopus is furious of the Scarlet Spider's interference in her plans. However, the Master Programmer has assured her that they will soon have the means to defeat their foe. To this end, the Master Programmer is sent through the internet to make contact with the woman known as Stunner. He intends to recruit her into their cause. As they talk, Stunner finds something familiar about the Master Programmer, however all he can tell her that he is a friend.[Continuity 3] As this is going on, Doctor Octopus is contacted by her spy, Linette Martinez, who tells her that her observations of Joe Wade have turned up some suspicious behavior. It's at this point that Seward Trainer discovers that his daughter has developed technology to physically enhance and enslave her victims and leaves to warn Ben about this right away.

Later, back at Club Noir, owner Jason Tso is furious about recent developments, including the recent attempt on his life, the damage done to his club, and the Daily Bugle making accusations that he is involved in organized crime.[Continuity 4] When Orlandor Kannor suggests they ignore the press, Tso refuses to do so. He then orders Ben Reilly to go and talk to the reporter responsible, Ken Ellis. This creates some problems for Ben, who fears that if he goes to the Daily Bugle, he may be mistaken for Peter Parker.[Continuity 5] Jason Tso isn't the only one who is looking for Ken Ellis, as Joystick has arrived outside of the Daily Bugle building. She has targeted Ken Ellis since he has been making all the news reports on the Scarlet Spider. Entering the office, she runs into Phil Urich, who is smitten by Joystick's good looks. She tells him that she is looking for Ken Ellis and gives Phil her card and tells him to give it to Ken. Phil promises to do so, however, he doesn't like Ellis and intends to give the information to his uncle, Ben Urich. That's when Ellis bumps into Phil and is easily tricked into checking out a false lead on the new Green Goblin.[Continuity 6]

Outside, Ben Reilly is sent to deal with Ellis, and just for his luck, Ken is just leaving the Daily Bugle. As Ben goes after him, he is briefly noticed by J. Jonah Jameson who thinks he recognizes Reilly as Peter Parker, but dismisses it as his imagination. Also following Ken Ellis is Joystick who tails him from her van when the reporter hops into a taxi cab. Meanwhile, Phil Urich returns to his loft where he takes out his Green Goblin costume. By this time, Ben has changed into the Scarlet Spider in order to follow after Ken Ellis. That's when he is ambushed by Joystick. She explains that he has been made a target of the Great Game and attacks him. As the Spider tries to defend himself, Ken Ellis notices the battle and rushes to get a closer look. This puts Ken in harms way, but he is saved from falling debris thanks to the timely arrival of the Green Goblin. Seeing the arrival of the Goblin, Joystick radios in to her controller and t ells him that she wants to increase the prize money she will get for taking out both heroes.[Continuity 7] Just before Joystick can eliminate the wall-crawler, however her controller reminds him that this is just an initial attack and that for non-players they must give them a chance to prepare a counter-defense against their foe. With this, Joystick slams her weapons together, creating a blinding flash to cover her get away.

When the Scarlet Spider's vision returns he finds only the Green Goblin remains. The Goblin offers his help in tracking down Joystick, but the Spider is not interested. Learning that it is six o'clock, the Scarlet Spider realizes that he is late and rushes away. Unimpressed with this encounter, the Green Goblin decides to leave as well, leaving Ken Ellis stranded on a watertower. As Joystick plots the next phase of her plan, Ben Reilly arrives late for his date with Carrie Bradley. She is upset with him, but she forgives him for it since he actually showed up. However, things are not looking good for Ben's hopes of dating the Carrie. Just then, his spider-sense goes off alerting him of a mugging that is happening behind them. Before Reilly can slip away and become the Scarlet Spider, the purse snatcher comes running by them and is closelined by Carrie. Ben is surprised how quickly she acted on this situation. Unfortunately, Bradley is unimpressed that Ben stood by and let it happen, and decides to end their date.

While back in Paris, Henri has his meal interrupted by El Toro Negro, who demands to know wher Joystick is. Even though there are rules against personal vendettas in the Great Game, El Toro still desires revenge against the woman who bested him.

... This story continues in Green Goblin #3.

Notes

Continuity Notes

Cyberwar
Web of Scarlet Spider #2 Amazing Scarlet Spider #2 Green Goblin #3 Scarlet Spider #2 Spectacular Scarlet Spider #2
  1. Ben mentions the damage recently done to the Club in Spectacular Scarlet Spider #1.
  2. Seward has been in this condition since an injury sustained in a virtual battle last issue.
  3. The "identity" of the Master Programmer is revealed in Spectacular Scarlet Spider #2.
  4. The attempt on Tso's life happened in Scarlet Spider #1 while the damage done to his club occurred in Spectacular Scarlet Spider #1.
  5. This fear of mistaken identity is due to the fact that Ben is a clone of Peter Parker, as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #149. This creates complications, especially since Peter Parker quit his job at the Bugle and left New York in Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #1.
  6. At the time of this story, Phil had secretly become the new Green Goblin as seen in Green Goblin #1.
  7. The Green Goblin mentions his last encounter with the Scarlet Spider. That happened in Web of Spider-Man #125.

Publication Notes

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