- Loki created that monster! And if destruction is what Loki wanted -- destruction is what we're gonna get!
- -- Spider-Man
Appearing in "The Three Faces of Evil!"
- New York City
- New Jersey
Synopsis for "The Three Faces of Evil!"
After a number of hard-won battles, Spider-Man swings across the city looking forward to the peace of his science classes at Empire State University.[Continuity 1] En route, his spider-sense begins to go off and he narrowly avoids a collision with Nova who is speeding by. Nova is thinking about how he had a recent fender bender with a delivery truck. Noticing that the driver was in a hurry to go and was carrying a gun, he followed him as Nova and later saw it pulling up to the building that was that was wrecked due to artificial Vibranium.[Continuity 2] When he arrives at the scene, he catches the driver and some men trying to offload weapons and other technology from the building. Spotting the hero, one of the men open fire with a weapon that launches rubber batons. That's when Spider-Man intervenes and begins webbing up the thieves. Unfortunately, the two heroes are felled thanks to a sonic grenade, allowing the crooks to make their escape, but not before Spider-Man can tag their truck with a spider-tracer. Webbing up the sonic grenade, it lessens its strength long enough for Nova to smash it. Nova is upset that Spider-Man interfered, telling the wall-crawler that he could have handled the situation on his own. Unphased by this, Spider-Man takes off to see if he can track down the crooks. As Nova recovers from the sonic grenade, he realizes he was more mad at himself than Spider-Man as he has just recently started using his powers again and he is still out of practice.[Continuity 3]
Unfortunately, the crooks managed to get out of range, and Spider-Man is unable to pick up his spider-tracer. The wall-crawler beats himself up over failing to stop them, remembering the facility as he was involved in the incident with Roxxon's unstable artificial Vibranium.[Continuity 4] At Empire State University, Spider-Man spots Carlos Munoz, the grad student who assisted Roxxon on the experiments. Recognizing him as one of the thieves, he demands answers. Carlos explains that he wanted to find out what went wrong with Nuform and was hired by someone to steal a supply of Antarctic Vibranium, sealing it in a container that shields its metal melting properties. Dumping Carlos in a nearby bush, Spider-Man fears what sort of damage the Antarctic Vibranium if it ends up in the wrong hands. However, with no leads to go on, Spider-Man has to return home as he has social engagements to undertake. Back at his Soho apartment, he and his wife Mary Jane get ready to go visit Aunt May.[Continuity 5] Mary Jane reminds him that they also agreed to go out clubbing with some friends.
After a filling dinner at Aunt May's, Peter and Mary Jane leave for their next engagement. Mary Jane is upset that Peter has been preoccupied all night, and Peter admits that he can't stop thinking about the Antarctic Vibranium. As Mary Jane tries to convince Peter that he can't be Spider-Man all the time. Her wears fall on deaf ears when Peter spots Nova flying across the sky again and insists that he needs to go and help. This angers Mary Jane and she storms off, telling Peter to go and play hero. Watching his wife storms off, Peter remembers that something has been bugging Mary Jane for weeks, but she hasn't explained what it is. Figuring the harm was already done, and the changes into Spider-Man and catches up with Nova. Although Nova is reluctant to work with Spider-Man after the wall-crawler explains that he tagged the truck with a spider-tracer and it had New Jersey plates, he agrees to assist. With Nova's flying speed, he takes Spider-Man over to New Jersey where they canvas the area searching for the spider-tracer's signal. Eventually, Spider-Man picks up the signal and they follow it to the base of a mountain where the entrance with a secret complex. Curious as to what is going on, the two fly to the back of the mountain where they find an air shaft.
Breaking into the ventilation system, Spider-Man leads Nova through the security systems in the vents thanks to his spider-sense. Eventually, they come to a fork in the system and they split up. Eventually, Spider-Man reaches another vent and looks through. There he sees a massive complex where a city is being built. Much to his surprise, the secret underground city is being protected by the Tri-Sentinel. Spider-Man doesn't like the look of things since the giant robot is the work of Loki's magic merging three Sentinels into one during the Acts of Vengeance conspiracy and how it took the power of Captain Univers to stop him.[Continuity 6] While in the other shaft, Nova comes upon a lab where he overhears two of the scientists behind this operation discussing a demonstration to their customers, whom they are selling the possibility of survival. When they leave the lab, Nova decides to snoop around but triggers a silent alarm in the process, and he is soon surrounded by guards. When they order Nova to surrender, he flies through the ceiling instead.
This prompts the alarms to go off, leaving Spider-Man to wonder if he or Nova set them off. He is quickly spotted by guards who arrive on the scene, forcing Spider-Man to take the defensive. Elsewhere in the facility, Nova fends off against an army of guards until he is incapacitated by an electrified net. While back in the massive chamber, Spider-Man fights off the other guards until he is ordered to stand down or else Nova will be killed. Spider-Man is surprised to see that the man giving the orders is none other than Carleton Drake the leader of the Life Foundation. Suddenly, the whole situation makes sense, as Drake and his Foundation have been building doomsday shelters for the filthy rich in the past.[Continuity 7] Spider-Man warns him against using the Tri-Sentinel as it is too dangerous to control. Drake scoffs at this, explaining that his organization recovered the remains of the Tri-Sentinel from the site of its destruction. As Sentinels have auto-repair functions, they worked on reassembling the robot for their own ends. As a fail-safe, he had implanted the container of Antarctic Vibranium inside the robot's head to destroy its computers in case it becomes impossible to control.
Deciding to show that the Tri-Sentinel is no threat to himself or his customers, Drake activates the Tri-Sentinel and sets it to attack Spider-Man. However, the moment the Tri-Sentinal is reactivated, it disregards its new orders to follow the original directives given to it by Loki: To destroy the planet Earth. The Tri-Sentinel then begins to go on a rampage through the facility. Carlton Drake tries to regain control or activate the failsafe but his remote control is ineffective. As the robot blasts its way out of the mountain, Spider-Man decides to stop it even though he doesn't have the cosmic powers that allowed him to destroy the robot previously. As Spider-Man struggles against the robot, Nova wakes up and breaks free from his bonds. While Nova distracts the Tri-Sentinel, Spider-Man breaks open the access panel into the robot's head. However, as he tries to gain access it traps him with a force bubble. As Nova is wrapped up in the Tri-Sentinel's coils, Spider-Man is sprayed with knock out gas. As he passes out, he kicks himself for not listening to Mary Jane.
- ↑ The narration states that Spider-Man had recently battled Doctor Doom and Sandman. Spider-Man fought both in Amazing Spider-Man #350 and Amazing Spider-Man #347 respectively.
- ↑ Nuform, created by Roxxon, was responsible for the damage done to the building, as seen in Web of Spider-Man Annual #7.
- ↑ Nova had seemingly given up his powers in Rom #25. However, at the time of this story he recently discovered that he still had them in New Warriors #1.
- ↑ This occurred during the "Vibranium Agenda" storyline in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #25, The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #11 and Web of Spider-Man Annual #7.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Spider-Man gained the power of Captain Universe in The Spectacular Spider-Man #158 in order to stop the threat of the Tri-Sentinel. The power left him after destroying the Tri-Sentinel in Amazing Spider-Man #329.
- ↑ Spider-Man last encountered Drake's operations in Amazing Spider-Man #298-299.
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- ↑ First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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