- Only madmen could contain the thought, execute the act, fly the planes. The sane world will always be vulnerable to madmen, because we cannot go where they go to conceive of such things. We could not see it coming. We could not be here before it happened. We could not stop it. But we are here now. You cannot see us for the dust, but we are here. You cannot hear us for the cries, but we are here.
- -- Spider-Man
Appearing in "Stand Tall"
- Kid's father (Corpse)
- Captain America (Steve Rogers)
- Conservatist (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only)
- Al-Qaeda (First appearance)
- unnamed militant (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only)
- Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff)
- Thing (Ben Grimm)
- Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards)
- Daredevil (Matt Murdock)
- Cyclops (Scott Summers)
- Magneto (Erik Lehnsherr)
- Doctor Doom (Victor von Doom)
- Juggernaut (Cain Marko)
- Kingpin (Wilson Fisk)
- Doctor Octopus (Otto Octavius)
- Hawkeye (Clint Barton)
- Storm (Ororo Munroe)
- Wolverine (Logan)
- Rhonda Fleming (Behind the scenes)
Races and Species:
- United States of America
- Spider-Man's Web-Shooters
- Spider-Man's Suit
- Captain America's Shield
- Captain America's Uniform
- Thor's Armor
- Doctor Doom's Armor
- Doctor Octopus' Tentacles
Synopsis for "Stand Tall"
The story starts with Spider-Man looking down in shock at Ground Zero shortly after the North Tower of the World Trade Center has collapsed in the wake of September 11th, 2001, and finds himself unable to speak, to comprehend...to forgive. He web-slings down as the dust cloud spreads through Manhattan and runs into a couple who blames him for letting the tragedy happen. Unable to tell them what happened, Spider-Man decides to walk straight into the dust cloud, thinking that no one could ever comprehend such anarchy. Only the madmen of Al-Qaeda could have done it.
Walking among the rubble, he sees various firefighters and even superheroes, including Captain America, Thor, Daredevil, and Thing, helping out, so he starts helping Cyclops out. They are all there, even if you may not know it. Even supervillains such as Magneto, Juggernaut, Doc Ock, the Kingpin, and Doctor Doom, have come to the wreckage. These people, once enemies, are now seen as friends, because they realize that this is simply inhumane, because they realize this is not right. These five don't appear to do any actual work, save for Magneto who is lifting a few steel beams, but they are clearly sad, with Doom even shedding tears.
Spider-Man then reflects on the heroes of 9/11, who were not superheroes but just ordinary people. The firefighters, racing without hesitation into the carnage that only a few would survive. The civilians, who either got people away from the building, brought people into other buildings to protect them from the dust cloud, or worked together to take down Flight 93. He thinks of the murderers and those who say America deserves it. Those that fell to their deaths on television. Those that conquered mosques and made people worship their form of Islam.
Spider-Man then comes upon a young kid, who is sitting quietly outside the rubble. He tells him that he needs to leave and not see the terror that has arisen, but the kid says that his father had gone in there to get something, and had told him to wait outside until he came back. He has been waiting patiently since in the hopes that he survived. But as they talk, the father, revealed to be one of the firefighters, is taken out of the wreckage - dead. As the kid goes to mourn, Spider-Man feels that he is among the least deserving. Deaths of innocents results in the death of innocence. Rage is now able to block out the sun.
As Spider-Man goes to get some water, a wounded yet conscious woman is taken away on a stretcher. Out of shock, she clutches Spider-Man's hand and asks him repeatedly why did this happen, but he truly can't speak this time. He then stands together with Captain America, and realizes that only Captain America knows what it's like to feel such pain. Pearl Harbor, the Holocaust, D-Day. Spider-Man can't comprehend going through this all over again.
Together Captain America and Spider-Man look at the lucky civilians. Spider-Man wonders what to tell their children about evil now. How to tell them about a thought behind any face, one that will always give them nightmares. Maybe they should tell them sorry. Sorry for not making this world perfect. That we need to listen to good instead of speak it. That the burdens of one are the burdens of everyone. Or maybe we just tell them we love them. In a world where they love materials more than people, it may seem insubstantial. But it is always needed to just move on.
Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, and Vision help Daredevil and Thor, and Spider-Man then changes tone. As Wolverine and Storm stand among the civilians, Spider-Man realizes the truth. We are now going to fight a war. We did not see these deaths coming. They will not see their deaths coming. And the heroes will be there. With every attack on the terrorists. With every Afghanistan human we save. We cannot lose faith, or the War on Terror has already been lost. Always remember. As Mister Fantastic starts helping out also, Spider-Man says that we create our own destinies. The future is ours to decide, not in the past of the last 6000 years. But those people of the past have given us a message. Whatever we have done, whatever we have faced, the human race has always been a force for good. No plane, no maniac can keep us from stopping to shed tears. We have endured worse. The terrorists tried to weaken us as a sacrifice to a god. But instead we are stronger. Able to not let this terror happen again. On so many occasions we have been alone in grief. But now we are one in grief. One in determination. One in recovery. One in reconstruction. And that just makes us more powerful than ever before.
Always remember September 11th, 2001.
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