Appearing in "Shattered Dreams"
- Sinister Syndicate
- Steve Partridge
- Ms. Guillermo (District Attorney)
- Chan (Prison Guard) (Only appearance)
- Dr. Goulding (Only appearance; dies)
Synopsis for "Shattered Dreams"
Following the signal from his spider-tracer, Spider-Man believes he has found the secret hideout of the Sinister Syndicate. However, once enters the warehouse he discovers that he has fallen for a trap set for him by the Beetle. Tired to a time bomb is the district attorney. Recognizing it as a Tinkerer made bomb, the wall-crawler manages to disarm it mere moments before it could go off.
While at their back-up hideout, the Beetle keeps his trap a secret from his compatriots. He tells his teammates that he has arranged for an inside man who can help them break the Boomerang out of prison. Since this will be done without risk to themselves, the rest of the Syndicate agree. However, Speed Demon secretly hopes this break-out fails, as he is making a play for Boomerang's girlfriend Leila Davis. Abner goes onto to tell them about a job offer that has come up. Before he can get into the details, the Rhino interrupts to tell him that he still intends to retire and won't be joining them on this next job. The Beetle begs him to reconsider, but the Rhino refuses to do any such thing. As he leaves, Speed Demon and Hydro-Man wish him luck. Without the Rhino's strength, Jenkins tells his two remaining teammates that he will need to re-evaluate their plans and tells them to check in with him the next day. On the way out, Speed Demon asks Leila to join them for some drinks, but she tells him that she needs to work on her van to make sure their getaway vehicle is in working order. As he leaves, Sanders slaps Leila's behind, and she acts like she is into it. However, in reality, she only allows him to get away with it because she has a need for him for her own agenda. Later, as she works on her van, she overhears a conversation between the Beetle and his lawyer Steven Partridge. They are discussing the plan to break Boomerang out of prison, and she hears that the Kingpin is somehow involved.
At the Tombs Prison, Herman Shultz, aka the Shocker, is teased by one of the guards over his fear of being killed by the Scourge of the Underworld. As the other inmates laugh at Herman's expense, he vows to get revenge against the guard. He is soon told that his lawyer has come to see him. However, it is Steven Partridge. For a moment, Herman thinks that it is Scourge in disguise. He convinces Schultz to do a favor for them in exchange for having his case re-opened and freed from prison. The Shocker agrees, although he is not entirely convinced that this isn't a trap being set by Scourge. The next morning in the prison infermary, Herman is on cleaning duty as guards keep a close eye on Boomerang before he is shipped to the Vault. While the guards are not looking, Herman ambushes the guards and takes one of their rifles. Free from his shackles, Boomerang trabs some surgical instruments to defend himself with. The pair get past the guards and get out through a door that was left unlocked for them. However, on the other side prison guards are waiting for them. Before the guards can open fire, Leila pulls up in her van and helps them escape. Ten minutes later, Leila explains that the "guards" at the door were actually the Kingpin's men and they were going to kill both Boomerang and the Shocker. She also reveals to him that she was only using Fred in order to get at Abner Jenkins. She reveals that she was the wife of the costumed criminal known as the Ringer. She goes on to say that a humiliating encounter with the Beetle, the Ringer wanted to prove himself as a super-villain.[Continuity 1] However, this put him in the Bar With No Name, the place where Scourge killed a number of super-villains.[Continuity 2] Since she helped Fred and Herman get out of prison, she tells them that they owe her and will help her get revenge against the Beetle.
Elsewhere, the Rhino is undergoing a painful procedure to remove the armor that has been fused to his skin. After the first test, Doctor Goulding tells the Rhino that they will continue the following day and puts him to rest. Two days later, in an abandoned building, Boomerang and the Shocker are training in preparation for their mission to assassinate the Beetle.[Continuity 3] Although the training session is going well, the Shocker is lacking in confidence, leaving Leila to question if he will be useful in the battle ahead. Later, in New Jersey, the Sinister Syndicate attack a secluded home where their target is located. Fighting through the automated defenses and the guards, they confront Doctor Goulding. Goulding has a briefcase filled with enough money to clear off his gambling debts, however, the Syndicate was sent to kill him. Unaware that this man has been trying to help the Rhino, the Beetle kills the doctor. Hearing the commotion, the Rhino comes downstairs and believes that the Beetle killed Goulding in order to force him to return to their ranks. Not wanting to battle the Rhino, the three remaining members of the Sinister Syndicate flee the scene.
With so many enemies, the Beetle and his allies retreat to yet another secret hideout aboard a houseboat. There, Hydro-Man and Speed Demon tell the Beetle that they don't trust him, but as long as he continues to give them jobs that will make them rich, they will stand by him. Two days later, at Leila's hideout, the Shocker reads all the reports of the villains killed by Scourge.[Continuity 4] Boomerang rips up the clippings, telling the Shocker not read the depressing stories. While in the next room, Leila Davis is having doubts about her revenge scheme, particularly working with the Shocker and Boomerang. Suddenly, the phone rings and after listening to the person on the other line, she tells her two associates that it is time to get moving. They go to the home of Doctor Gould where the Rhino attacks them, thinking they are still in league with the Beetle. However, Leila convinces the Rhino to stop attacking and offers him the chance to get revenge against the Beetle. The Rhino thinks for a moment and agrees to join them.
However, the Shocker has lost even more confidence after losing his nerve battling the Rhino. As they drive back to Manhattan, Herman explains his situation and they all agree that the Shocker is a liability and let him go. Herman's behavior reminds Leila of her late husband, the Ringer, except for the fact that the Shocker had the good sense to step away when he got in over his head. After cleaning out all his money, Schultz hails a cab. Coincidentally, Peter Parker is hailing a cab at the exact same time. He shoves Parker out of the way and takes the cab. With his spider-sense going off, Peter recognizes the Shocker. Quickly changing into Spider-Man, the wall-crawler goes after Herman's cab. When he yanks the villain out of the vehicle, Schultz snaps. Pulling on his mask, the Shocker lashes out at Spider-Man. When bystanders are put in danger, Spider-Man goes to their rescue, leaving him open to attack from the Shocker. As officers are arriving on the scene, the Shocker is about to land the killing blow on Spider-Man. However, someone shouts "Justice is Served" from a nearby alley and opens fire. Thinking this is Scourge, the Shocker is surprised when the vibrations in his costume deflect the bullets.[Continuity 5] Fearing for his life, the Shocker hijacks a car and flees the scene.
Not far away, Leila and her allies are preparing to strike out against the Sinister Syndicate. Unfortunately, the Syndicate has deduced this betrayal and launched a sneak attack. Soon, the battle spills out onto the streets of New York City.
- ↑ The Beetle forced the Ringer to battle Spider-Man back in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #58
- ↑ The Ringer was seemingly killed with other villains in Captain America #319. However, the Ringer survived this massacre and will resurface in The Lethal Foes of Spider-Man #1.
- ↑ The narration states that the building is a building that was originally used for Linotype, that the company went out of business thanks to the advancement in computers. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 as Linotype companies were phased out in the 1980s.
- ↑ In addition to the massacre at the Bar With No Name, there are also articles regarding the murders of both Basilisk and the Enforcer. These murders occurred in Fantastic Four #286 and Iron Man #194 respectively.
- ↑ This is not a member of the Scourge organization, but an employee of the Kingpin as revealed next issue.
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