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Appearing in "To Challenge The Beyonder!"

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Synopsis for "To Challenge The Beyonder!"

Several miles southwest of Hartsdale, New Mexico, Thomas Fireheart meets with his tribe's shaman for a mystic ceremony. The shaman explains to Fireheart that his destiny as the Puma is to slay the "One-Who-Comes-From-Beyond", known around the world as the Beyonder. Although Fireheart has his doubts about the old legends, he decides to go through the ceremony out of respect and transforming into his Puma form defeats his tribes best warriors by himself. Having succeeded in the final test, the shaman awards Thomas with a new costume and wishes him luck on his quest to destroy the Beyonder. Before he leaves, Thomas is recommended to seek the aid of Spider-Man in defeating their enemy, as their fates are intermingled.

The next day in New York City, Spider-Man is web-slinging across town, his mind dwelling on the recent death of Jean DeWolf.[1] His attention is brought to a group of thugs attacking two young men handing out pamphlets on the street corner and easily scares the thugs off. The young men thank Spider-Man for his help and offer him a button and reading material for their spiritual group of Cosmic Oneness. Spider-Man politely declines and when they mention their founder is one from "beyond", Spider-Man wonders if the Beyonder is responsible for the cult. As he web-slings across the city, he recalls how he was pulled into a secret war by the Beyonder[2] and his recent encounter with the Beyonder that led to the Heroes for Hire building being turned into solid gold.[3] He considers on the bright side how that incident netted him the golden notebook that could solve his financial woes,[4] but also considers the guilt he feels for thinking of himself when taking it. Spider-Man finally arrives at his destination: Queens County Hospital where he scales the walls and changes into his guise of Peter Parker. There he checks to see how Nathan Lubensky is doing since being brought to the hospital following his heart attack. He is surprised to not only find his Aunt May there but most of the members of her boarding house for the elderly. As he visits, he overhears a news report about the Cosmic Oneness cult which features an interview with its executive director Barry Foxxe. Listening to how the cults mandate is for everyone to learn their true potential, Peter -- noting that his Aunt May is sporting the group's buttons -- feels uneasy about the cult and it's true intentions.

Peter Parker is not the only one, as Thomas Fireheart arrives at JFK airport aboard his company jet. His considerable resources have made a connection between the Beyonder and the Cosmic Oneness cult. He considers the idea of seeking to work with Spider-Man, considering in their last encounter he was hired to kill the Wall-Crawler.[5] Cosmic Oneness has also gained the interest of the Daily Bugle, whose new editor Kathryn Cushing demands results from her staff on the cult. When nobody has any answers to provide, she sends Ned Leeds and Lance Bannon to get the scoop on the cult. Peter notices that the new editor is still out to "get" him, giving important jobs to other photographers. Peter happens to notice when Betty confronts Ned and tells her husband that they need to talk. Ned angrily brushes her aside telling her that now is not the time and he will talk to her when his job is done if he bothers coming home that night. Later as Peter walks the streets, he thinks about how Betty has also been recently seeing Flash Thompson, and wonders if he has any right to get involved with Betty's personal life especially her affair with Flash. He feels guilty, however, as his knowledge of this affair makes him feel like he's an accomplice.

When Peter arrives at his Soho apartment, he finds Mary Jane waiting for him and has completely forgotten that she has come by to help him repair the damages by the recent fire in his apartment.[6] In the lobby, Mrs. Muggins reminds Peter that she intends to deduct the repair costs from the check he recently gave her[7] and that his rent is also due. When Peter and Mary Jane get outside Peter's apartment, Peter's spider-sense goes off and when he opens the door he finds Thomas Fireheart in his apartment. When Fireheart politely asks Mary Jane to leaves, she realizes that this means business and leaves. Fireheart tosses Peter the golden notebook and tells him it shouldn't be left lying around. He then introduces himself as the Puma and tells him he knows that Peter is really Spider-Man (although he doesn't know, nor cares to know what Peter's name is).

As Peter is shocked by this revelation, across the street from the Daily Bugle, Ned Leeds and Lance Bannon wait to watch the front door of their place of employment. When Ned sees Betty exit and meets up with Flash Thompson, giving him a hug, Ned has seen as he needs and storms off.

Back at Peter's apartment, Thomas offers to pay him a thousand dollars to help him slay the Beyonder. Peter finds this offer crazy and does not accept the money to murder someone -- even a potential threat like the Beyonder. However, he does agree to tag along to make sure that the Puma is doing the right thing. Dawning his black costume, Spider-Man joins the Puma, who tells him all the information regarding the Beyonder he has learned. He explains that the Beyonder, under the alias "Frank" was involved with crook Vinnie Corbo[8] before apparently being involved with the Cosmic Oneness cult, but has yet to determine the extent of the Beyonder's involvement with its operations.

With blueprints on the brownstone the cult is located in, the two super-beings climb in through the electrical system. As they travel along, the Puma begins tracking Barry Foxxe, thinking that he might be the Beyonder. Along the way, Spider-Man thinks to himself and wonders if killing the Beyonder is the right thing to do. When Foxxe is alone, Puma decides to go down and determine if he is the Beyonder and land a killing blow. When Spider-Man hesitates, the Puma goes down alone. As Spidey struggle to make up his mind to stop Puma or not, the Puma determines that Foxxe is not really the Beyonder. When Foxxe detects the Puma's presence, he is surprised at first, but not frightened. When Foxxe confirms that the Beyonder was responsible for helping set up the cult, he happily provides them with the Beyonder's home address.

Outside, Spider-Man has decided that he has no desire to be party to murder and gives Puma directions to the Beyonder's home before departing. As the Puma begins his travels he once more questions the validity of his quest, considering his company has important business deals in Japan. Before he can reach the Beyonders home, the Beyonder appears before him and expresses how interesting he finds the Puma to be. Telling Fireheart that he couldn't possibly kill him unless he allowed it, the Beyonder decides to help Puma out by transporting him to Japan to deal with his business there. Puma is shocked at the power the Beyonder has. Rushing to the Japanese branch of Fireheart Industries, he places a call to Jenna Taylor at head office and arranges to have his passport (with forged entry stamps to avoid issues with customs) to be sent to him in Japan.

A week later, as Peter Parker and Mary Jane begin repainting Peter's apartment, they are interrupted by the arrival of Thomas Fireheart. Taking a cue, Mary Jane heads out, but not before Fireheart gifts her with an authentic Japanese kimono. Once more alone, Fireheart explains to Peter that he was teleported to Japan and spent the entire week trying to get back to America. Having realized the full power and threat of the Beyonder, Fireheart offers Peter 100 thousand dollars to help him kill the Beyonder. Peter, having had enough tells Fireheart he is crazy, that the Beyonder could snuff them out with a thought and says that if he's listening all you need to do is yell "Hey Beyonder!"... Before Peter can say any more the Beyonder appears in his apartment asking Peter what he wants.

This story continues in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #111...

Solicit Synopsis

The Puma wants to kill the Beyonder. But will Spidey let him?


Continuity Notes

Secret Wars II
Secret Wars II #1 New Mutants #30 Captain America #308 Uncanny X-Men #196 Iron Man #197 Secret Wars II #2 Web of Spider-Man #6
Amazing Spider-Man #268 Fantastic Four #282 Secret Wars II #3 Daredevil #223 Incredible Hulk #312 Avengers #260 Secret Wars II #4
Dazzler #40 Alpha Flight #28 Rom #72 Avengers #261 Secret Wars II #5 Thing #30 Doctor Strange (Vol. 2) #74
Fantastic Four #285 Secret Wars II #6 Cloak and Dagger (Vol. 2) #4 Power Pack #18 Micronauts (Vol. 2) #16 Thor #363 Power Man and Iron Fist #121
Secret Wars II #7 New Mutants #36 Amazing Spider-Man #273 Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #111 Uncanny X-Men #202 New Defenders #152 Secret Wars II #8
New Mutants #37 Amazing Spider-Man #274 Avengers #265 Uncanny X-Men #203 Fantastic Four #288 Secret Wars II #9 Avengers #266

Chronology Notes

Events in this story happen behind the scenes that affect the chronologies of the following characters:




See Also

Links and References


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