Appearing in "Gun From the Heart"
- Hammer Industries
- Venom (Eddie Brock) (Bonds to the Venom symbiote)
- Mötley Crüe (Mentioned) (Topical reference)
- Cletus Kasady
- Willie Lumpkin
- Sapirdyne Chemicals
- Herschel Sapir (Owner) (Only appearance)
- Josh Wirtham (Photo) (First appearance)
- Manuel (Police Officer)
- New York City
- Arctic Ocean
- Hammer's Iceberg Vacation Lair
- Spider-Man's Web-Shooters
- Cardiac's Beta Staff
- Venom Symbiote
- Carnage Symbiote (First appearance)
Synopsis for "Gun From the Heart"
Cardiac continues his attacks on Sapirdyne Chemicals by targeting their main office. He blasts open a safe looking for records, however, he finds none. One of the executives tells him that the CEO, Mr. Sapir, had taken them early that morning. Cardiac figures they were taken intentionally after his last attack. Suddenly, the security guards come bursting into the room. Not wanting to hurt them, Cardiac tries stuns them with a blast from his beta-powered pulse staff. However, with bullets flying all over the office, Cardiac decides to leave the scene to find the information he is looking for and leaps out of the window. Quickly getting away, Cardiac slips into the ambulance that he has parked nearby and changes into his civilian guise of Doctor Elias Wertham. As he heads back to the hospital he owns, he fears that his attacks on Sapirdyne have caused them to start covering up their ethically questionable business deals. Meanwhile, Spider-Man is swinging across Queens trying to find some lead on Cardiac. He questions Cardiac's methods of attacking Sapirdyne's sale of chemicals to South America. While they could be used to produce cocaine, the chemicals also have a legitimate use and they can't jump to the conclusion that they are going to be used in criminal activity. No matter how noble Cardiac's intentions are, Spider-Man has to stop him. Moments later, Mary Jane arrives at Aunt May's house and worries that Peter is going to be late. However, he surprises her by arriving on time.[Continuity 1]
After Peter changes into his civilian clothes, he and Mary Jane are invited into May's house for lunch. Also, there is May's new boyfriend, Willie Lumpkin. Left alone with Willie while the women are serving lunch, Peter has an awkward time striking up a conversation with the mail man. Willie breaks the ice by telling Peter he knows how he must feel after the death of his Uncle Ben and the more recent passing of May's fiancee Nathan Lubenski, but he assures Peter that he has nothing but honorable intentions for May.[Continuity 2] Peter thanks Willie for speaking so candidly with him and apologizes for being stand-offish. Willie takes no offense as he knows Peter loves his aunt and only wants what is best for her. Meanwhile, at the Arctic retreat of industrialist Justin Hammer, the crooked businessman cannot take his mind off of how Cardiac is interfering with his business operations. Hammer decides to take things a step further, telling his assistant Phillip Barnett to get him the contact information for the press and various embassies located in New York City.
Two days later, Peter Parker still has found no trace of Cardiac and it has started to affect his grades. Returning to Empire State University, Peter comes across a poster of Silver Sable asking Spider-Man to contact her immediately. He wonders what Sable wants with his alter-ego this time. Changing into Spider-Man, the wall-crawler pays a visit to the Symkarian Embassy where Silver Sable introduces him to Herschel Sapir the owner of Sapirdyne Chemicals who has hired Silver Sable International to deal with Cardiac. Since he also knows that Spider-Man had previously assisted Silver Sable in the past he has also asked for the web-slingers assistance as well. He is willing to pay Spider-Man for his time, and the web-slinger accepts the offer although he doesn't entirely trust Sapir considering he had hired the Rhino to protect one of his chemical plants. At sunset, Elias Wertham's media alert system informs him of a news report about how Sapirdyne Chemicals making a massive shipment of chemicals aboard the S.S. Palermo in what the company insists is a legal sale of chemicals. Seeing this Elias begins to be wracked with pain. He rushes to his secret lab where he uses the maintenance program to stabilize his artificial heart that not only keeps him alive but also channels his powers. He insists that he must stay alive as long as possible so he can fulfill the promise he made to his brother Josh.
That evening, tugboats pull the S.S. Palermo out of New York Harbor for its trip.[Continuity 3] Onboard, the ship is Spider-Man, who is on board to protect the ship from attack by Cardiac. Also on board is an Australian man who has been to hired to deal with Spider-Man after. While at Riker's Island, Eddie Brock continues his ongoing exercise regime, much to the annoyance of his cellmate Cletus Kasady, a notorious serial killer. Suddenly, the window of their sell is filled with a black substance that seems to be alive. Cletus is frightened by the mass, but Eddie Brock is delighted to see that his symbiote is alive after all.[Continuity 4] Bonding with his "other", Eddie Brock then smashes the outer wall of his cell and flees. Cletus is still frightened but figures the incident is over with, unaware that the symbiote left a dripping portion of itself on the bars of the window.
By this time, the tugboats have finished pulling the ship out to sea. No sooner than the S.S. Palermo begins its voyage, Spider-Man's spider-sense goes off. He warns the crew to abandon ship and they all comply except for the Australian man. He turns out to be Spider-Man's foe Boomerang. Meanwhile, Spider-Man confronts Cardiac in the ship's cargo hold. He tries to reason with Cardiac, telling him that laws are not to be broken, even if they need to be changed. Not willing to listen, Cardiac opens fire with his beta-staff, but the wall-crawler dodges it. The hero then tries to pull the weapon from Cardiac's hands but fails. As the battle rages, Boomerang watches from the sidelines. Even though Justin Hammer ordered him not to reveal himself until after the battle is over and to finish whoever was left. However, the villain wants to make a reputation for himself and attacks the pair. He tosses two "disruptorangs". While one briefly stuns Spider-Man, the other affects Cardiac's, artificial heart. Seeing Cardiac in distress, the wall-crawler quickly stops Boomerang's attack by webbing up one of his rocket boots sending him flying out of control into the ocean.
When Spider-Man turns to aid Cardiac, he discovers that his foe has recovered and he successfully blasts a hole in the ship, causing it to sink. Cardiac gloats that he has struck a crippling blow to Sapirdyne Chemicals that will lead to the organization's financial ruin. Summoning a glider, Cardiac makes his escape despite Spider-Man's failed attempt to tag him with a spider-tracer. While back ashore, Eddie Brock climbs out of the waters. With his symbiote enveloping his entire body, he becomes Venom once more.
- 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. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here.
- May has had some bad luck with romance. Her husband Ben Parker was murdered by a burglar in Amazing Fantasy #15. More recently, her fiancee Nathan Lubenski died of heart failure in Amazing Spider-Man #336.
- The original twin towers of the World Trade Center are seen in the New York skyline here. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. The original towers were destroyed in a terrorist attack circa 2001, and a new tower has since been constructed in their place.
- Venom's symbiote was seemingly killed by the cancerous touch of Styx as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #333.