Appearing in "Deadly Reunion"
- Answer (Aaron Nicholson) (Appears in flashback)
- Sinister Syndicate
- Elias Hargrove (First appearance)
- Michael Gerdes
- Maggie (Ryker's Island prison guard) (Only appearance)
- Pam (Atomic Research Center supervisor)
- Hydra (Recap)
- Dagger (Recap)
- Ringer (Anthony Davis) (Photo)
- Ringer (Keith Kraft) (Photo)
- New York City
- Spider-Man's Suit
- Spider-Man's Web-Shooters
- Doctor Octopus' Tentacles (Destroyed)
- Vulture's Wings
- Nuclear Blaster
- Venom Symbiote (Recap)
Synopsis for "Deadly Reunion"
From his cell in the Vault prison, Doctor Octopus can feel the destruction of his adamantium mechanical arms thousands of miles away in New York City. The event is seen by members of the press, including Peter Parker who is photographing the event for the Daily Bugle. Among those gathered is Michael Gerdes, Doctor Octopus' lawyer, who claims that the destruction of the mechanical arms is a violation of his client's civil rights. Since this argument has been exhausted in all three levels of court, his protests fall on deaf ears. Although the mechanical arms are destroyed, Otto vows to get revenge as greater power is soon in his grasp. Back in New York, the courts then destroy the original mechanical arms of Doctor Octopus.[Continuity 1] Otto feels pain from their destruction as well and begins to rampage around his prison cell. This sets off the automatic defenses that spray him with knock out gas. as Octavius loses consciousness, Otto vows to get revenge against those who have tortured him.
Later, back in New York, Spider-Man celebrates the forced retirement of one of his oldest foes. With the destruction of the mechanical arms of Doctor Octopus and his multiple life sentences, the wall-crawler is convinced he will never see Octavius ever again. While back in Colorado, Doctor Octopus awakens to find some telepathic force trying to invade his mind. He can sense that the processor that allowed him to control his adamantium arms remotely had miraculously survived the destruction of the arms. As such, someone has managed to gain access to the signal to try and take over his mind. Doctor Octopus refuses and fights off the invasion of his mind. However, Otto decides that he could use the link to take control of the outside mind and force it to free him. When Octavius attempts to establish control again, he is contacted by the energy form of the Answer. The Answer apologizes for the painful intrusion, as he had grown desperate. He asks Otto to give him a moment to explain his situation.
The Answer tells him that during the period when the Kingpin and his son Richard Fisk ran Hydra.[Continuity 2] He was the Kingpin's best assassin, being able to find answers for any problem. It was during this time, the man who would become to the Answer underwent experimentation to get superhuman powers. At first, it appeared as though it had no effect and the Kingpin eventually returned to his operations in New York City. One day, the assassin was surrounded by enemies and he was surprised when suddenly gained super-strength and rock hard skin, easily trouncing his attackers. Yet, when he returned home, he tried to lift up his fridge but it wouldn't budge. A week later, he was able to leap out of the way of an exploding boiler. He soon discovered that his body could transmute into powers that could answer all a current problem. Feeling loyalty to the Kingpin, he returned to his employ. As the Answer, he clashed with Spider-Man many times until he was seemingly incinerated by the vigilante known as Dagger.[Continuity 3] In reality, he was discorperated into unconscious being of energy. That was until recently when a cosmic disturbance caused his awareness to return.[Continuity 4] Although the Answer is now self-aware again, he still does not have a physical body. He finally found a means of communication, he now offers Doctor Octopus the means of building new mechanical arms and a means of escape in exchange for returning his physical form. The Answer determines that the solution to both of their problems can be the Atomic Research Center, the birthplace of Doctor Octopus. Octavius agrees to help and then banishes the Answer from his mind so he can begin to plan.
Later, in Lower Manhattan, Elias Hargrove, the last surviving member of Otto Octavius' family, receives a phone call from Otto's lawyer, Michael Gerdes. Hearing what the lawyer wants, Hargrove agrees to the request. As he hangs up his phone, Elias fears that he is doomed. At that same moment, Leila Davis is released from Ryker's Island after serving her time.[Continuity 5] On her way out, one of the guards tells her to stay on the straight and narrow, reminding her that she was legit before she was arrested and she can be legit again. Leila assures the guard that she will never see her in Ryker's again. Shortly thereafter, Leila Davis has called together the Vulture, the Rhino, and Boomerang together for her next criminal enterprise. Each member of her Sinister Syndicate has their own motivations: the Rhino seeks to earn enough money to bring his family to America, Boomerang is motivated by money and revenge against the Beetle, and the Vulture is seeking a cure for cancer.[Continuity 6] After hearing her proposal, the trio of villains agree to side with her, for now. After they go, Leila goes over the photos and newspaper articles about her late husband, the Ringer. She recalls how she hates the Beetle for using her husband in as battle against Spider-Man, a battle that she blames for his later death at the hands of Scourge.[Continuity 7] She is upset that someone else has taken up the mantle of the Ringer, and vows to get revenge against this impostor after she establishes a financial base to strike at her enemies.[Continuity 8]
Meanwhile, the next day at the Atomic Research Company in Yonkers, New York, Peter Parker takes a tour of the facility. He remembers the first time he came here, years ago, during his first battle against Doctor Octopus.[Continuity 9] On the tour, Peter asks about the accident that created Doctor Octopus. While she is hesitant to talk about that troubled part of their history, she tells him that they never found out what caused the accident. Not far away, Elias Hargrove works nervously, as he still thinks he is doomed. Suddenly, Hardshell and her new Sinister Syndicate come crashing through the wall. They single out Hargrove and demand to know where they store the nuclear blaster. Elias tells them where to find it, and even though it is stored behind a four-foot-thick concrete wall, they easily get to it thanks to the Rhino charging through it. Although the Vulture manages to recover the weapon, he is ambushed by Spider-Man. However, the wall-crawler is easily incapacitated by Boomerang and Hardshell. He is then rammed by the Rhino, who isn't concerned about sparing Spider-Man's life anymore.[Continuity 10] Seeing the situation, Elias saves Spider-Man's life by activating a plexiglass shield that can withstand the force of a nuclear explosion. The villains try to break through, but are forced to flee when they hear the police approaching. As Spider-Man speaks, Hargrove tries to speak, but he is too frightened to speak up for fear of reprisal from his cousin, Otto Octavius.
An hour later in Central Park, the Sinister Syndicate hideout to make sure they haven't been followed. There, they begin to squabble over who gets to hold the atomic blaster. In the struggle, the weapon goes off, prompting them to flee before they are discovered. They are unaware that the blast from their weapon had struck a nearby homeless man who has been living in the park. This is not just any man, but Vincent Stegron, and the radiation from the blast triggers his transformation back into Stegron, the Dinosaur Man!
- Otto Octavius used his mechanical arms from Amazing Spider-Man #3 until he temporarily replaced them with the adamantium pair in Spider-Man #18–23.
- The Kingpin's run of Hydra lasted from Captain America #145–148.
- The Answer seemingly perished in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #96.
- This disturbance was the implosion of the Multiversal Matrix in Excalibur #50.
- Leila has been in prison since her arrest at the end of Deadly Foes of Spider-Man #1–4.
- The Vulture discovered that he dying of cancer in Spectacular Spider-Man #186–188.
- The Ringer was forced to fight Spider-Man by the Beetle in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #58. The Ringer was later seemingly killed by Scourge in Captain America #320. He will turn up alive and well in Lethal Foes of Spider-Man #3.
- Keith Kraft, the second Ringer, began his criminal career in Marc Spector: Moon Knight #10.
- Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus battled for the first time in Amazing Spider-Man #3. Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, this battle happened roughly 8 years ago.
- The Rhino previously spared Spider-Man's life in Deadly Foes of Spider-Man #1.
A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:
- Answer (First appearance chronologically)