Appearing in "While the City Screams!"
- 🢐 NYPD 🢒
- 🢐 Justin Hammer 🢒
- Phillips (Mayor's Aide)
- Pembroke (Kingpin's Employee)
- Dr. Peterson (Kingpin's Employee) (First and only known appearance; dies)
Synopsis for "While the City Screams!"
The Sinister Syndicate has broken into two factions, those who are loyal to the Beetle, and those who are assisting Leila Davis get revenge against their former leader.[Continuity 1] Siding with the Beetle are Hydro-Man and Speed Demon, while on Leila's side are Boomerang and the Rhino. Speed Demon focuses on Leila, telling her that they could have been an item. Using the gauntlets owned by her late husband, the Ringer, she manages to catch him in rings. Meanwhile, Hydro-Man attacks the Rhino until he is hit by a gas-arrang by Boomerang. He then blasts the Beetle out of the sky, landing him into the clutches of the Rhino. By this point, the NYPD has arrived on the scene to cordon off the area. However, they are ordered to hold back from orders by the mayor.
Meanwhile, the Rhino has the Beetle pinned and Boomerang unmasks him. This is when Leila Davis reveals to the Beetle that she is the wife of the Ringer and that she blames Abner for his death. Before she can put a constricting ring around his neck, he manages to break free. The Boomerang tries to flee, the other close in. However, before Leila can act, the Rhino stomps his foot in an attempt to stop the Beetle, but it disorientates his allies instead. By this time, Speed Demon and Hydro-Man recover from the opening salvo. While Speed Demon attacks the Rhino, Hydro-Man focuses his attention on Boomerang. The Beetle tries to get away from Leila by throwing a car at her. She dodges the vehicle and pulls out a gun, deciding this is the simplest way of killing Abner now that his helmet is off. The battle has been attracting the attention of others, such as Spider-Man who goes swinging into the city. Meanwhile, the Kingpin gets a report from his assistant that the battle his having an effect on his illegal business operations. The Kingpin is unconcerned as this is all going according to plan. Still reeling from his battle with the Shocker, Spider-Man sees the chaos happening in the streets and doesn't even know where to start. When the Beetle throws another car to Leila, the wall-crawler swings in and saves her life. However, when she tries to shoot Jenkins, he webs up the barrel of her gun.
Davis leaps to her handbag and puts on her husbands Ringer gloves again, but both she and the Beetle are webbed up by Spider-Man. The web-slinger then turns his attention to the fight between the Rhino and Speed Demon. Unfortunately, this leaves him open to attack from Boomerang, knocking the hero out. By this point, the local police precinct is running on a skeleton crew as officers rush to the scene. Everyone is so pre-occupied that nobody notices one of the Kingpin's men, disguised as a police officer, enters the building. Back at the scene of the battle, Speed Demon decides to retreat but is tripped up by Spider-Man. By this point, Leila manages to trap the Beetle in rings and prepares to crush the life out of him. While at the same time, the Kingpin's agent goes into the evidence vault at the police station and copies out some digital records.[Continuity 2] By this point, Spider-Man has turned things around. After wrapping up Boomerang, the Beetle, and Leila, the other members of the Syndicate flees. In the aftermath of the battle, Spider-Man realizes that the Rhino is unaccounted for.
At that moment, at the Kingpin's office, the Rhino is being paid for his assistance in the mobster's big scheme. The amount being paid will help the Rhino get his armor surgically removed. After the Rhino has left, the Kingpin reveals to his assistant that he intentionally set the Sinister Syndicate against themselves in order to distract the police long enough for the Kingpin to steal the data he needs. He had hired the Rhino to prolong the battle until the Kingpin's man could complete his operation. He muses about how the plan was nearly foiled by Spider-Man's battle with the Shocker, however, the Kingpin had one of his operatives pretending to be Scourge frightened the villain away before he could compromise the Kingpin's schemes. Two weeks later, the Rhino is in a secret lab of the Kingpin in the hopes of getting cured. However, Doctor Peterson in charge can't remove the Rhino's hide. However, as he leaves he overhears Peterson admitting that the Rhino could be cured, but the Kingpin forbade it. In response, the Rhino kidnaps Peterson's children as hostages. With no choice, Doctor Peterson goes to Goulding's lab in New Jersey and completes the cure. However, Peterson fears for his life because betraying the Kingpin made him a marked man. The Rhino says he knows exactly how to deal with this.
Later, back in New York, Spider-Mans is out searching for the Rhino. He spots Leila's van and swings down to investigate. Inside he finds Doctor Peterson and his children tied up. There is a note from the Rhino asking Spider-Man to help them get to safety since the wall-crawler owes him when he saved his life during a previous bank heist.[Continuity 3] A month later, the Rhino is enjoying his retirement in Mexico City. When he hears a knock on the door, he finds a package waiting for him. However, it harmlessly explodes. The Rhino then gets a phone call from the Kingpin, who reveals that he can find him anywhere and his betrayal has ended whatever good standing that he had with the mobster. Realizing that he has to get back into the game, the Rhino puts in a call to Justin Hammer looking for a new suit and a job. Hammer has just the work for the Rhino, destroying Spider-Man. At that moment in New York City, Spider-Man has the strangest feeling that someone has been talking about him.
- Leila is plotting to kill the Beetle because she feels he is responsible for the death of her husband, the Ringer. This is because the Beetle forced the Ringer to battle Spider-Man in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #58. In her mind, this humiliating defeat led the Ringer to become focused on becoming a legitimate hero. This turned tragic when he was seemingly murdered by the Scourge of the Underworld in Captain America #319. Unknown to Leila at the time of this story, the Ringer survived and will resurface in Lethal Foes of Spider-Man #1
- The data is depicted as being collected on 5" floppy discs. This shoud be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 as this is an obsolete technology.
- The Rhino's intervention saved Spider-Man's life in Deadly Foes of Spider-Man #1.
Events in this story occur behind the scenes that affect the chronology of the following characters:
- 🢐 Page 1-23, Panel 1 🢒 - Spider-Man stops the Sinister Syndicate from trashing the city.
- 🢐 Page 23, Panel 2-Page25 🢒 - Spider-Man has a strange feeling that someone is talking about him.
- 🢐 Page 1-23, Panel 1 🢒 - The Kingpin uses the Sinister Syndicate's war to recover evidence against him.
- 🢐 Page 23, Panel 2-Page 25 🢒 - The Kingpin forces the Rhino back into crime.