Appearing in 1st story
- Arthur Schweibe (First appearance)
- Mrs. Mulligan
- Susan Schweibe (First appearance)
- Thanos (Mentioned)
- Doctor Doom (Victor von Doom) (Mentioned)
- Elias Wirtham (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- United States of America
Synopsis for 1st story
In the wake of legend, clean-up. When Attilan exploded over New York and spread the Terrigen Mists around the world, most of the wreckage landed in the harbour. But enough hit the city to inconvenience people - and to the Superior Spider-Man, it is a godsend. He and his operatives spread through the city helping with the recovery, rescuing people from the rubble, talking of the public good... then taking the rubble back to his base to strip it of valuable technological secrets. As he swings through the city, he muses on the difference between his old life as the dying Doctor Octopus, and the people below him. He found an escape method by stealing another man's body. They wait for the rescue services.
A radio message from a Spiderling brings him to an apartment on a street where most electronics have suddenly stopped working. Covering for a heedless underling, Spider-Man talks to the police. A piece of Inhuman debris hit the roof of the building. Since it showed no hazardous radiation, the police marked it as a low priority. Now one of the apartments is glowing... and as the hotels and hospitals are already full from the high-priority sites, the people on this street who couldn't get out immediately just have to take whatever happens next.
Observing the impact site, Spider-Man and his firefighter escort, Lt. Coyle, realise that something has been taken, probably for its resale value, probably by the occupants of the glowing apartment. Moving through the building from the roof, Spider-Man notices that the residents are strangely lethargic, and realises that whatever is draining power from electronics is also draining energy from people.
At the apartment, Spider-Man's righteous spiel is answered by Arthur Schweibe, the husband, wearing half of a set of power armor. Arthur has his own spiel, of how he and his wife played by the rules in a world without rules, and were left behind.
Spider-Man's web-shooters are failing, as is his strength, but he manages to distract Arthur long enough to find the rest of the armor, attached to Susan Schweibe, the other occupant. Susan has cancer. Arthur couldn't afford to help her, but with this armor, maybe he can heal her. And he will kill everyone in this city if he can bring her back.
Coyle speaks up, having followed Spider-Man in. He asks Arthur why Susan is asleep. When Arthur is silent, Coyle spells it out: Susan didn't want him to hurt others for her benefit, so Arthur drugged her so she wouldn't stop him. Coyle empathises, saying he's lost people, but that Arthur seems angry for other reasons. And if he will hurt people for that rage, he's not really doing it for Susan, he's doing it for himself.
Defeated, Arthur lets go of Spider-Man, who swiftly disables the powersource in the armor. He explains that it probably wouldn't have worked, but that he can get Susan an appointment with Elias Wirtham, a driven doctor with a knack for unconventional therapies. He also asks Coyle to back up his statement that Arthur was being controlled by the armor, and should be left free to support his wife. Coyle agrees, but asks Spider-Man why he is being so lenient. Thinking back to his final days as Doctor Octopus, Spider-Man merely says that no-one should die alone.
Leaving the apartment, he sees the Spiderling from earlier arguing jurisdiction with the Fire Department. Spider-Man intervenes and lays down the law: when it comes to clean-up, the FDNY are to be backed without question from now on.
• Atitlan has crashed out of the sky into New York City.
• In the chaos, the Superior Spider-Man discovers that super powers aren’t all it takes to be Superior.
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