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Peter Parker (Earth-616).jpg
Cosmic Spider-Man
You mean you came here just to fight me? WHY?!
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Bruce Banner (Earth-616) from Hulk Vol 2 7 0001.jpg
Grey Hulk
Best reason in the world Web-Head! BUCKS!
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Appearing in "Shaw's Gambit"

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Synopsis for "Shaw's Gambit"

Out in the Nevada Desert, the Hulk is smashing rubble to make himself more comfortable. He is also trying to keep his mind off the fact that Bruce Banner is regaining control of his life again, leaving the Hulk only with the evenings. To this point, the Hulk has come to the desert to be alone.[Continuity 1] As the Hulk begins to relax, a helicopter carrying Sebastian Shaw arrives in the area. Despite warnings from the Grey Gargoyle to stay away from the Hulk, he has come seeking out the gamma-spawned monster.[Continuity 2] Shaw has come at the behest of the prime movers of the Acts of Vengeance conspiracy have asked him to recruit the Hulk into attacking the cosmic-powered Spider-Man. Since Magneto, a fellow member of the Hellfire Club is a member of these prime movers Shaw suspects that his rival assigned him on this mission in the hopes it leads to Sebastian's destruction.[Continuity 3] Shaw lands his ship and approaches the Hulk, who is none too happy about the intrusion. However, he changes his tone and is willing to listen when Sebastian offers to pay the Hulk a large sum of money.

Hours later, Spider-Man has arrived at the Statue of Liberty where terrorists have threatend to destroy the landmark if their conditions are not met, and have taken a number of tourists hostage. Since a storm has prevented authorities from getting helicopters into the air, Spider-Man questions if he should do something to put an end to this situation. However, he has come to doubt his ability to control his new cosmic powers after he nearly killed Goliath in a recent battle.[Continuity 4] However, he decides to do it since he is already there. After nabbing one of the terrorists, Spider-Man goes leaping in and quickly subdues the villains with his mentally controlled webbing and his ability to fly. Soon, there is only one terrorist left standing, however it is the one with the remote detonator that can set off the bombs. However, before he can set off the bomb, Spider-Man encases it in webbing which he makes indestructible so that it contains the bomb blast. With the situation defused, Spider-Man leaves the situation to the authorities and flies back toward the city as he has to meet his wife Mary Jane and his friend Flash Thompson and his new girlfriend for a dinner date.[Continuity 5]

Later, at a restaraunt within the World Trade Center, Peter and Mary Jane meet up with Flash and his date, an abrasive woman named Amber.[Continuity 6] The woman is rude and complains throughout the entire meal. Later, when Flash suggests they take in a move together, Mary Jane declines telling Thompson that Mary Jane has a pre-dawn call for a location shoot and Peter is going to be tagging along. At 5 am the following morning, Peter and Mary Jane arrive on the set of of "Secret Hospital". Peter assures his wife that he will be able to keep himself entertained while she is getting ready. Soon, Peter's spider-sense begins going off and he spots Sebastian Shaw's helicopter arrive nearby and drop the Hulk down in Manhattan. The Hulk begins rampaging in the streets in an effort to draw out Spider-Man. When he tosses a truck containing two passengers, the wall-crawler arrives and saves their lives. The Hulk tells Spider-Man that he has been paid to fight him, leaving Spider-Man to why people have been attacking him for no reason.

The wall-crawler plows into the Hulk, slamming him into a building. Staggered, the gamma-spawned brute realizes that Spider-Man is stronger than before. However, he notices that his skintone is beginning to change, alerting him to the fact that it is dawn and he is changing back into Bruce Banner. Before the transformation can finish, the Hulk smashes a passing ambulance and leaps away, telling the web-slinger to meet him the following night on Roosevelt Island. Learning that the ambulance was carrying a stabbing victim who requires surgery, Spider-Man flies the patient to the nearest hospital. At daybreak, Bruce Banner wakes up in an alley, and wonders what his alter-ego has gotten him into this time. As the day passes, Peter Parker finds that he can't focus on a lecture at Empire State University. While in the city, Bruce Banner has to call in sick at his job at a nuclear research facility in Yucca Flats. While at Shaw Industries, Sebastian Shaw reads about the Hulk's battle with Spider-Man the night before and decides to give the brute one last chance to destroy the wall-crawler. That evening, Spider-Man arrives in the ruins on Roosevelt Island for his meeting with the Hulk. He is unaware that there are two children who have come here to secretly smoke cigarettes that they stole from their parents.

Soon the Hulk arrives and tries to smash Spider-Man, but the hero is too agile to allow a blow to land. Needing to end the battle quickly, Spider-Man is surprised when he is able to fire beams of light from his eyes that temporarily blind his foe. That's when the two kids come out in a foolish attempt to help the wall-crawler. Not wanting the children to get hurt, Spider-Man strikes the Hulk so hard he is sent soaring into the sky. The Hulk finds himself in planetary orbit. With no air, he wonders how long he will last before he reverts back to Bruce Banner and dies in the vacuum of space. However, when it doesn't appear that the Hulk is coming back down, Spider-Man rushes into the sky and pulls the Hulk back down to Earth. Putting on a brave face, the Hulk tells Spider-Man that he could have saved himself somehow, but decides to spare the wall-crawler for now and leaves. Hearing that the Hulk intended to kill him, Spider-Man begins to wonder if he can even die now that he has all this power. The next day, Peter tells his wife Mary Jane about what happened and how he hates them and wishes they will go away. Elsewhere, Sebastian Shaw has his men transport Bruce Banner back to Nevada. Concerned about Spider-Man's new powers, Shaw decides to plot a means of destroying Spider-Man once and for all.

Solicit Synopsis


  • Sebastian Shaw has been tasked with killing Spider-Man!
  • The Incredible Hulk comes to town to pick a fight with the Web-Head. Too bad for him, Spidey has new powers.
  • Plus, more of Spidey's strange, new power is revealed.


Continuity Notes

Acts of Vengeance (Spider-Man Arc)
Amazing Spider-Man #326 Spectacular Spider-Man #158 Web of Spider-Man #59 Amazing Spider-Man #327 Spectacular Spider-Man #159 Web of Spider-Man #60 Amazing Spider-Man #328
Spectacular Spider-Man #160 Web of Spider-Man #61 Amazing Spider-Man #329 Web of Spider-Man #64 Web of Spider-Man #65
  1. Since Incredible Hulk #345 the Hulk has been able to remain in full control thanks to a magic spell, as revealed in Incredible Hulk #351352, however, this spell had faded forcing the Hulk to only be active at night.
  2. The Hulk had recently battled the Grey Gargoyle in Incredible Hulk #363.
  3. Magneto joined the Hellfire Club in New Mutants #51 to create an alliance between the X-Men and the Hellfire Club. Magneto and Sebastian Shaw developed a hatred for one another that came to blows in New Mutants #75.
  4. Spider-Man battled Goliath in Web of Spider-Man #60.
  5. Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage is erased from existence by the demon Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545.
  6. This scene is depicted as taking place in the original twin towers of the World Trade Center. However, this should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. This is due to the fact that the original towers were destroyed in a terror attack on September 11, 2001, and have since been replaced with a new building.

Publication Notes

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