Appearing in 1st story
- Beyond Corporation
- Mary Jane Watson
- Unnamed gang of robbers
- Kraven the Hunter ("Sergei Kravinoff")
- God (Yahweh) (Invoked)
- Morbius (Mentioned)
- Janine Godbe (Mentioned)
- Peter Parker (Comatose)
- Rhino (Aleksei Sytsevich) (Mentioned)
- Hulk (Bruce Banner) (Referenced)
- Deadpool (Wade Wilson) (Mentioned)
- Wolverine (Logan) (Mentioned)
- Colleen Wing (Referenced)
Races and Species:
- Hell (Invoked)
Synopsis for 1st story
Last night, as Marcus supervised some Beyond Corporation employees enjoying themselves at a bar, some leave for home after getting inebriated. One of them, Doug, takes off alone and walks down an alley under the receding rain, only to be met by something frightful enough to sober him up. At Beyond, Spider-Man (Ben Reilly) grows impatient with the firmware update, a mandatory upgrade after the Morbius incident, taking too long as Doug didn't show. But as Marcus reiterates why Beyond aims to support him, Ben takes offense to the dialogue sounding too possessive of him being Spider-Man. Ben reminds Marcus that his being more bullheaded than the original Spider-Man was why they hired him, not simply to make Beyond look good but to also help people.
With 30 minutes before patrol, and having altered his suit's firmware with a "do not disturb mode" the night before, Ben heads to Peter's hospital room without Beyond tracking him. Greeting Mary Jane, she appreciates his visit as he takes a vigil over Peter to let her get some food. Alone together, Ben opens up that, while he looks forward to Peter's return, he's scared about his role as Spider-Man, as he stopped asking "who is Spider-Man" and instead pondered "what is Spider-Man"; questioning if Beyond actually has the interests of the people he saves in mind. With the hospital TV reporting on an armed robbery and chase, Ben wishes Peter well, masks up, then informs Mary Jane duty calls. En route, an irritated Marcus finally reaches Ben through the comms reminding him to respect the process before Ben apprehends the robbers and stops the armed vehicle from crashing into civilians.
Immediately after, Marcus directs Ben to the home of Beyond Board member Andrew Airs, currently in lockdown mode and Ben being the only one able at the moment to check the scene. There, Ben hears Andrew's voice lead him to the master bedroom, but finds Andrew dead and is hit by an explosion. Heavily dazed, Ben finds the attacker to be Kraven, who overwhelms him while narrating how he is on a hunt of cleansing; having reached Wolverine and Deadpool beforehand. But being in no condition to fight, Ben lets Kraven monologue on baiting Spider-Man by hunting Beyond's highest officials, until Ben slowly recovers enough headspace to leap out the window to escape, but is caught in a prepared trap of hallucinogenic darts. Losing his sense of reality, Kraven appears in a nightmarish form, telling Ben to rejoice that his "great awakening" is about to begin.
• The aftershocks of the Morbius incident are still fresh in Ben Reilly's mind, and he's faced with KRAVEN THE HUNTER!
• A corporate-sponsored Spider-Man is more than Kraven can bear, and the hunter is going to test his prey like never before. The trap is set, and the bait is ready. Now it's just time to wait and watch.