Following Dr. Octopus' murder, Hargrove, as Dr. Octopus' last living relative, spoke at a public memorial telling his cousin's associates and the numerous reporters in attendance about the gentle man his cousin was before the accident that left him twisted. After the memorial, Hargrove rode his bicycle back to his apartment, musing over the fact that with his cousin's demise, he was entirely out from under his thumb and could get on with his life. Arriving home, Hargrove was confronted by Gerdes, who, as the executor of Dr. Octopus' estate, carried out his client's orders by delivering a video recording to Hargrove. Playing the video, Hargrove watched as his cousin bestowed the legal rights to his patents, inventions, and worldly goods to him. Octavius also spurred him on, telling him that only the strong survive and with these tools at his disposal he could forge his rightful destiny. Hargrove used the information given in the recording to contact his cousin's former associates, Electro, the Hobgoblin, Mysterio, and the Vulture. Speaking to the arriving criminals via a video-feed, Hargrove told them how Dr. Octopus' notes and equipment were confiscated by the government following his death and that he would be interested in hiring them to retrieve them. Adding that his cousin provided information on his former associates that could be used against them if they refused, Hargrove was interrupted by the Scarlet Spider, who tracked the Vulture to the meeting.
Packing the equipment he used to speak to the villains, Hargrove resumed Dr. Octopus' recording for the next step in his plan. Stunned by something in the footage, Hargrove left his apartment.
Bursting into Gerdes' office with a gun drawn, Hargrove told him he had realized the recording of his cousin was a fake on noticing the upside down reflections in his glasses. Firing as Gerdes moved toward him, the bullet instead passed through his target to Hargrove's surprise, and he was ambushed by Mysterio, who used Hargrove to create a distraction while he retrieved Dr. Octopus' files on criminal underworld figures. As Mysterio began threatening Hargrove to give up the decryption code for the disk, the Scarlet Spider burst into the office, engaging Mysterio while Hargrove passed out. Waking just as Mysterio opened the disk, Hargrove was spirited out of the office while the disk detonated. Observing the aftermath of the explosion, Hargrove offered to give himself up but was given a second chance by the Scarlet Spider, who told Hargrove the hold his cousin had over him ended with his death, warning him to avoid criminal activity in the future.
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