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Appearing in "A Bagel With Nova!"

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Synopsis for "A Bagel With Nova!"

Spider-Man, Night Thrasher, and Moon Knight have failed to capture members of the Secret Empire, who have absconded with the Nova. To make matters worse, the Punisher has gone missing as well, leaving them to wonder what their next move will be. Aboard the Secret Empire ship, the Punisher has just killed Number Three and stole his costume to disguise himself. However, he is still feeling week after being attacked by one of Sonic's energy-siphoning leeches.[Continuity 1] He thinks about how he snuck out of Moon Knight's Moon-Coptor while he was recovering and took Number Three's place while the Empire were making their escape. He rejoins the other member of the Empire's inner circle, where Midnight declairs their recent battle a success even though they lost their central Manhattan headquarters. When the other members of the inner circle complain about the lost assets, Midnight says they are as replacable as his damaged arm, ripping off the damaged limb to demonstrate this point. They soon arrive at their back-up headquarters within an abandoned warehouse where Midnight intends to have repairs done then discuss their next plan. Once inside, the Punisher begins looking around for a means of getting in touch with the others. Feeling himself about to black out, the vigilante quickly finds a storage closet where he won't be disturbed.

Back on the rooftops of Manhattan, Moon Knight once more curses taking on Midnight as a partner.[Continuity 2] This angers Night Thrasher who is tired of hearing this and wants to focus on rescuing his teammate Nova from the Secret Empire. The pair almost come to blows, but Spider-Man gets between them. He reminds them that fighting amongst each other will not help them find Nova or the Punisher. With nothing left to do, the wall-crawler suggests they take a break and get in touch with each other later.[Continuity 3] After the web-slinger leaves, Night Thrasher and Moon Knight make peace and make their own departures as well. On his way home, Spider-Man thinks about how stressful it is working with other super-heroes. When he arrives on the roof of his Soho loft, he remembers how he left Mary Jane in the middle of dinner. When he enters his apartment, he finds his wife sleeping on the couch, and wakes her up to let him know that she is home safe.[Continuity 4]

At that same moment, Marc Spector has returned home and spends a moment before the statue of Khonshu that he has in his bedroom. Overhearing him talking about taking a break is his lover, Marlene Alraune, who hoeps that Spector intends to spend this downtime with her. Marc admits that he never seems to have enough time for her, but looks forward to spending a romantic evening with Marlene under the light of the full moon. Not everyone is taking the time to relax, as at the headquarters of the New Warriors, Dwayne Taylor spends his time in training. He is interrupted by his teammate Silouette who tries to get him to stop torturing himself over Nova's capture. However, Taylor can't help it, as the leader of the New Warriors he failed Nova by allowing him to be captured. While at the Secret Empire's hideout, Elliot Franklin and Lynn Church have just finished installing Midnight's new arm. He calls upon his inner circle, who report that everyone is present except Number Three, who cannot be found. Midngiht decides to proceed with the meeting anyway, asking Lynn to join him. However, Lynn tells Midnight that she has to finish up and catch up with him later. By this point, the Punisher has woken up and continues his search for a means of contacting his allies. Unfortuantely, there is a large security detail outside the communications center. Unsure if he can use his disguise to pull rank, the Punisher instead goes to the lab where Nova is being kept to "check" on the prisoner. He manages to get close enough to Nova to tell him to escape and contact the others. To facilitate this escape, the Punisher uses a knife to cut the power-supply that keeps Nova restrained.

While the Punisher stands in on the meeting with the Secret Empire's inner circle, Nova breaks free from his bonds. This sets off an alarm, that distracts Midnight. The Punisher uses this opportunity to convince the other members of the inner circle to try and take down their new leader. Midnight easily holds off the mutineers as Elliot Franklin watches. He hopes that both sides end each other so that he might take over the Secret Empire for himself. Soon, the only member still standing is "Number Three". When Midnight attacks him, it ruins the Punisher's disguise. He manages to escape Midnight by closing the door and damaging the locking mechanism. By this point, Nova has contact Night Thrasher and word passes to Moon Knight and Spider-Man who agree to join in ambushing the Secret Empire's secret hideout. Watching Moon Knight's Moon-Coptor fly across Queens is Chris Powell, who decides to follow after it as Darkhawk and see if there is any way he can help.[Continuity 5]

As their allies converge on their location, Nova and the Punisher fight side-by-side against Midnight and the Secret Empire. Nova is spoiling for a rematch with Midnight after the cyborg kidnapped him, but is unprepared for the upgrades the villain has made to himself since.[Continuity 6] That's when Spider-Man comes crashing in through the skylight to join the battle. As more Secret Empire foot soldiers arrive on the scene, the Punisher and Nova focus thier attentions on dealing with this cannon fodder. They are soon joined by Moon Knight and Night Thrasher who have also arrived on the scene. The four heroes are able to turn the tide until Nova is ambushed by Elliot Frankin, who has used the Secret Empire's technology to createa replacement for the mystical powers he lost as a member of the Wrecking Crew.[Continuity 7] Before Thunderball can finish off Nova, he is interrupted by Darkhawk who recognizes Franklin from when Midnight broke him out of jail. When Moon Knight reaches Midnight and starts lashing into his former partner, he is suddenly stopped by Lynn Church who shocks everyone with her super-human strength. She explains to Midnight that she was used as a prototype for all the cybernetic systems that were installed in him.

As the heroes regroup, Lynn sheds her lab coat revealing a costume similar to that of Midnight. When Spider-Man asks what her next move is, Church tells the wall-crawler that she intends to kill them all.


Continuity Notes

  1. Sonic of the Seekers clamped this device on the Punisher in Amazing Spider-Man #355.
  2. Midnight was Moon Knight's partner from Marc Spector: Moon Knight #524 when he was seemingly killed in action. However, as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #353, Midnight survived and was turned into a cyborg by the Secret Empire.
  3. Spider-Man tells Moon Knight to keep in touch via their Avengers ID card. At the time of this story, Spider-Man had recently became a reserve member of the Avengers in Avengers #329. Moon Knight was a member of the West Coast Avengers from West Coast Avengers (Vol. 2) #2141
  4. Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage was erased from existence by the demon Mephisto as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here.
  5. Darkhawk recalls how he recently helped Spider-Man, that happened in Amazing Spider-Man #353.
  6. Nova and Midnight first fought back in Amazing Spider-Man #354.
  7. As Thuderball, Elliot Franklin had enhanced strength and a mystical wrecking ball. He was stripped of his powers back in Thor #430.

Chronology Notes

A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:

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