Appearing in 1st story
- Michael Hall
- Iron Rangers
- Carnage symbiote
- Davidson (Only in flashback) (First appearance)
- Shriek (Frances Barrison) (Main story and flashback)
- Rocket Racer (Mentioned)
- Unnamed Scientists
Races and Species:
- Earth Orbit (Only in flashback)
- New York State
Synopsis for 1st story
Eight months prior, at a satellite facility, a technician named Davidson asks if anyone double-checked the course of one of their broadcast satellites, projecting that its trajectory will take it into a field of space debris. A voice tells him to just alter the satellite's course, but Davidson protests that he can't since if it's damaged than a quarter of their markets will miss the Super Bowl and he doesn't have the authorization. The voice tells him that he's giving him the authorization, and Davidson looks up to see Michael Hall, who owns the satellite in question. In space, the upper half of Carnage's body suddenly ploughs through the Hall Industries satellite, completely destroying it. In Ravencroft Institute, Frances Barrison - formerly the super-villain Shriek - screams that her beloved is returning, but is simultaneously tasered and drugged by a pair of guards. Her psychiatrist, Dr. Tanis Nieves, yells at the guards for abusing her client, but they dismiss her furious tirade and tell her that the new management has approved altering Frances' treatment without her permission.
Three weeks after the incident that amputated her right arm, Dr. Nieves lies in a hospital bed telling Spider-Man that's how she wound up chasing the armored truck through New York in her sedan. Spider-Man remarks that she has friends in high places who made it hard to locate her, telling her that he was looking for her because Doppelgänger's involvement and the nearby civilians going berserk clued him in to Frances Barrison's presence. When she refuses to answer his questions, he inquires about her injured arm and says that Tony Stark offered to make her a state-of-the-art prosthetic free of charge. Dr. Nieves tells him her "friends" beat him to it, revealing she has a biomechanical prosthetic arm similar to the one Michael Hall had demoed at the technology expo. Spider-Man asks who her benefactors are, but all she says is that they secretly bought Ravencroft and altered her contract so that they could attach the prosthetic limb without her consent. Spider-Man guesses they didn't ask her before transferring Frances out of the asylum, Dr. Nieves lamenting that she was finally starting to make progress with her. Dr. Nieves tells Spider-Man that she feels responsible for Frances and that's why she won't tell him who her benefactors are. A pair of legal representatives from Hall Industries arrive and order Spider-Man to leave, threatening to call the police on him; and he reluctantly complies, getting a call from Tony Stark.
When Spider-Man picks up, Stark - sitting in his lab - informs him that he searched the Avengers databases for Royal Blue and Firebrick but came up empty. Noting that whoever developed their tech did so from scratch and had the resources to absolve them of the accident with Dr. Nieves, Stark analyzes a sample of red-and-black biomass extracted from Royal Blue's net-cannon. Spider-Man immediately realizes what it must be and jokingly contemplates suicide rather than face the return of one of his most brutal enemies. Noticing the biomass spawning spikes and tendrils at the sound of Spider-Man's voice, Stark tells him to be quiet and watches as they recede. When Spider-Man asks if it's doing something, the biomass lashes out in a frenzy and Stark quips that it really hates the sound of his voice.
Being escorted from the hospital by the two Hall Industry lawyers, Dr. Nieves is told that they are adding more non-disclosure agreements to her contract but that she will be getting full access to her client and double the recommended salary. Dr. Nieves has a sudden hallucination of the two lawyers as rotting corpses, the inside of the vehicle soaked in blood, but plays it off as feeling a little strange as the vision fades. The lawyers note that the prosthetic's biofeedback can cause hallucinations and take getting used to, Dr. Nieves assuring them she'll be fine.
At Stark's lab, Spider-Man urges him to hurry up and incinerate the sample of the Carnage symbiote. Stark scolds him, saying that they can't destroy it until they know who cultivated it; and Spider-Man asks if he can have the honor of destroying the sample himself. Stark asks how Dr. Nieves is doing, and when Spider-Man mentions her biomechanical prosthetic Stark realizes that Michael Hall is behind everything - Spider-Man happily immolating the symbiote sample.
At Hall Industries' R&D facility, Dr. Nieves demands to be allowed to see Frances, who is contained in a glass bubble. One of the scientists states that Frances' shift has just started and that Dr. Nieves can see her after it's finished, but she insists saying that her client is obviously terrified. The scientist replies that their in-house shrinks signed off on it, telling Dr. Nieves to remove her prosthetic hand from the control room window. She asks what the amorphous red-and-black mass contained in an adjacent fluid-filled bubble is, and is told that is the source of Hall Industries' new innovative biomechanics - an "extra-terrestrial textile inventory" that converts negative emotions into biomass. The scientist asks Dr. Nieves to remove her hand from the window again, but her prosthetic doesn't respond even when she and the scientist try to pull it away.
Iron Man and Spider-Man approach the Hall Industries facility, the former telling the latter about the prosthetic that Hall debuted at the expo. Missing most of Iron Man's exposition, Spider-Man is incredulous that Michael Hall could be behind this and is told that Royal Blue and Firebrick are the sort of names a marketing team would come up with - meaning there's more than two of them. Inside the facility, the Iron Rangers - Royal Blue, Firebrick, Paris Green, Burnt Orange, and Gun Metal - don their biomechanical suits of armor and prepare to engage the intruders. In the main R&D room, Dr. Nieves' prosthetic arm suddenly grabs the scientist by the face, slamming him to the ground and crushing his skull. When one of the other scientists pulls out a taser and lunges at her, the prosthetic reacts by grabbing his arm and breaking it to stab him in the throat. As Nieves stares in horror at the two men she just killed, begging for someone to help her, the prosthetic arm grabs her throat and starts squeezing. She pleads with it for mercy, asking what it wants as it sprouts claws and tauntingly threatens to gouge her eyes out; the arm pointing a talon towards the Carnage symbiote.
Iron Man melts a hole through the fence surrounding Hall Industries' R&D laboratory, Spider-Man quipping that they could have just gone over it. The Iron Rangers confront them, saying they are trespassing on private property and have no legal right to be there. Iron Man counters by accusing them of manufacturing alien technology on American soil, giving him the right to inspect the facility; but the Iron Rangers retort that their armor is made using legally-acquired space salvage. Transforming their fingers into claws, they unsubtly threaten to use lethal force to protect Hall Industries' trade secrets should Iron Man and Spider-Man provoke an escalation. Spider-Man hits Royal Blue's visor with a spurt of webbing, but the PMC simply retracts it and derides his web-shooter tech. Charging his repulsors, Iron Man tells Royal Blue that the last time the suits saw action they injured an innocent civilian, but Royal Blue flexes his claws and retorts that they gave the "hot doctor" a better one.
Inside the lab, Dr. Nieves' prosthetic arm punches the glass bubble holding the Carnage symbiote, spider-webbing it with cracks before punching through. The Carnage symbiote reaches a tendril towards one of the biomechanical prosthetic's outstretched fingers, interfacing with the components made from its biomass and flowing onto Dr. Nieves. Outside, the battle between Spider-Man, Iron Man, and the Iron Rangers is interrupted when the latter gets an alert that a "situation" has occurred and fly away to resolve it. Inside the lab, Dr. Nieves - transformed into Carnage and under the symbiote's control - roars as she slaughters a group of guards.
The deadliest foe of Spider-Man is back! Web-Head teams up with Iron Man against a bloodthirsty force of evil and an army of super-powered menaces! The alien symbiote so twisted and murderous that it made Venom look like a choir boy has been brought back from space…but how? And without the psychopathic serial killer Cletus Kasady as its host, will Carnage be less dangerous…or more unhinged?! Don’t miss the villainous threat that will test these two Avengers teammates to the limit of their strength – if it doesn’t kill them! By Zeb Wells (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) and Clayton Crain (X-FORCE)!
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