Appearing in "Hate is a Many Splendored Thing"
- 🢐 Answer (Aaron Nicholson) 🢒
- Sinister Syndicate
- New York City
- New Jersey
- Spider-Man's Suit
- Spider-Man's Web-Shooters
- Beetle Armor MK II
- Guardsman Armor
- Vulture's Wings
- Nuclear Blaster
Synopsis for "Hate is a Many Splendored Thing"
Inside the Vault prison, Otto Octavius communicates telepathically with the disembodied form of the Answer. The Answer has just informed him that the Sinister Syndicate had just stolen the atomic blaster they needed in order to break Octavius out of the Vault. Otto had hoped to manipulate Elias Hargrove, his last surviving relative to steal it for them. However, this is only a minor set back, as Octavius has other ideas on how to free himself from the Vault. Meanwhile, in Central Park, a couple is about to get mugged when the muggers are ambushed and slaughtered by Stegron the Dinosaur Man. The couple is grateful for the man-monster's rescue. Unfortunately for them, Stegron only killed the muggers so he could have the pleasure of murdering the couple himself. While in West New York, New Jersey, Abner Jenkins -- aka the Beetle -- is furious that he is down to his last 250 dollars after paying off everyone who suspected who he is. He decides that it is time to stop thinking small and start networking. As he begins calling other super-villains he discovers that nobody is willing and able to help him out on a big heist. He also hears that his former teammates the Rhino and Boomerang have started working for a woman named Hardshell. Suspecting that this is Leila Davis, Abner changes into the Beetle and flies off into the night, seeking to get revenge.[Continuity 1]
While in Midtown Manhattan, Elias Hargrove meets with his cousin's lawyer, Michael Gerdes to hand over a message to Otto. Although Hargrove knows this is a bad idea, he passes along the formula which Gerdes begins converting into code to hand over to his client. As he leaves, Elias curses himself for being related to Otto Octavius, for getting his cousin a job at US Atomics, or allowing Otto to help him cover up the fact that he was embezzling money from the company. Now, he is indebted to his cousin forever, and once more thinks that he is doomed. At that same moment, Michael Gerdes makes his scheduled call to his client and begins giving Otto Octavius the formula over the phone. On his way in to take the call, Otto offers to furthe assist one of the Guardsme on his science project. Meanwhile, at the Yonkers hideout of the Sinister Syndicate, the Vulture examines the stolen atomic blaster and discovers that it can be used to cure him of the cancer that is slowly killing him. He then begins contemplating stealing the weapon for himself. [Continuity 2] His research is interrupted when the Rhino comes to blows with Boomerang after Boomerang discovered the Rhino had betrayed them during their last heist together.[Continuity 3] Before things can get more heated, Hardshell gets between the two and forces them to stop. Witnessing this squabble, the Vulture considers that stealing the atomic blaster for himself will not be as difficult as he thought.
Later, at the Museum of Natural History, Stegron breaks into reuniting himself with the dinosaur bones on display there. He then begins coming up with a plan on how to resurrect the ancient lizards by stealing the atomic blaster. He is interrupted by Spider-Man who deduced that Stegron would come here after he learned that his foe was back. The battle between the two mortal enemies is interrupted by the arrival of the Beetle. With Spider-Man knocked out, the Beetle explains to Stegron that he wants to get revenge against the Sinister Syndicate, and asks Stegron if he wants to join him in exchange for the atomic blaster. Back at the Vault, Otto helps the Guardsman with his project. In reality, however, he is using it to return the Answer back to his physical form. The Answer then uses his powers to knock out the Guardsman. When the Answer tries to double cross Otto Octavius, Otto reveals that he anticipated such a betrayal and ensured that they still have a mental link. Exerting his control over the Answer, Otto uses his ally to free himself from the Vault. Thanks to the Answer's powers, the pair manage to slip past security.
While back at the Sinister Syndicate's headquarters, the team votes to sell the atomic blaster to AIM for a billion dollars. The only one who offers objections is the Vulture. Before they can leave to make the deal, the Beetle and Stegron come crashing in through the door. However, before battling, the two intruders make an offer. They reveal that they have Spider-Man as their prisoner and offers the wall-crawler in exchange for the atomic blaster. Elsewhere, Doctor Octopus begins working in a new set of arms.
- The Beetle was humiliated and defeated by Davis and the Sinister Syndicate in Deadly Foes of Spider-Man #4.
- The Vulture revealed that he was dying of cancer in Spectacular Spider-Man #186–Spectacular Spider-Man #188.
- The Rhino betrayed the Sinister Syndicate in order to get the money needed to free himself from his armor and retire. However, he was forced back into crime shortly thereafter as seen in Deadly Foes of Spider-Man #4.