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Appearing in "Rivers of Blood"

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Synopsis for "Rivers of Blood"

Following his battle with the Man-Thing, Spider-Man is brought to a hospital for treatment. He is left under the care of Claire Temple, who tells him that he is surprised to see that the wall-crawler is recovering from a battle that would have killed a normal man. She tells him that he should be fine after a few days of bed rest. However, Spider-Man has more faith in his recuperative powers and leaps out of bed, however, his landing is somewhat painful. Doctor Temple is called away to treat an eight-year-old boy who has suffered a serious stab wound. The boy's mother is hysterical but explains that someone broke into their home while the boy was alone and robbed the place, stabbing the boy before he fled. The most disheartening thing is that the thief was only thirteen years old. As Clare rushes the boy into surgery, she tells Spider-Man to get back to bed.

Spider-Man thinks about how the real heroes are doctors like Claire Temple but his thoughts are interrupted by the arrival of lawyer Matt Murdock. When Spider-Man asks why Murdock is at the hospital, he explains that he is representing the hitman known as "Peepers" Scanlon who has decided to turn in states evidence against his employers. Unfortunately, someone tried to kill Peepers, landing him in the hospital. Hearing that Spider-Man was also at the hospital, he decided to pay the wall-crawler a visit. Matt heads off to see his client, declining Spider-Man's offer for help. The lawyer amuses himself by wondering what Spider-Man would think if he were to discover that Matt Murdock was secretly the costumed hero known as Daredevil. Still, Murdock can't help but worry that Peepers might be in trouble, regardless of the fact that he is under police protection in the hospital. As he heads for his client, he is oblivious to the fact that the costumed villain known as Solarr is making his way to the building.

Solarr, having recently escaped from Project PEGASUS, has been hired to eliminate Peepers Scanlon. Meanwhile, Murdock meets with his client who is glad for the visit as he is lonely. He confides in the lawyer that after years of being a hitman he has developed a conscience and feels horrible for all the blood that is on his hands. When he asks Murdock what he should do, Matt tells the troubled man that he is already doing what needs to be done. At that moment in the hospital, Spider-Man pays a visit to the boy who was stabbed. He puts on a show to impress the boy but is ordered back to bed by Claire Temple. Suddenly, Spider-Man's spider-sense goes off. He goes into the hallway and his senses warn him of some men who appear to be maintenance men and decides to check it out. Spider-Man's hunch is on point, as they are really hitmen hired to kill Peepers. When they arrive on the repentant killer's floor they ambush the police officers who are stationed outside Peeper's room. The shots are heard by Matt and Peepers. Suddenly, Spider-Man comes crashing in through the window to stop the assassins.

While Spider-Man is distracted with the goons outside, Solarr uses the opportunity to burn his way into Peeper's rooms. Murdock is able to push Peepers out of the way of Solarr's flame blast. White down below, the stab victims mother finds Claire Temple and tells her that her son has left his room. Fearing that the kid might reopen his stitches they begin to look for him at once. The boy, meanwhile, hearing all the commotion upstairs decides to go upstairs to check things out, opening his stitches in the process. As this is all happening, both Matt Murdock and Spider-Man try to stop Solarr, distracting him long enough for Peepers to run for cover. Murdock is slammed into a wall, and Spider-Man's back is burned for their troubles. While everyone's attention is on Solarr, Murdock manages to slip away and change into Daredevil. The two heroes battle Solarr, taking their battle outside of the hospital. Watching the battle is Peepers and the boy. Fearing for his life, Peepers grabs a knife and takes the boy hostage in order to try and escape the hospital to save his own hide.

While Spider-Man deals with Solarr, Daredevil tries to talk Peepers into surrendering and keep the boy safe. Ultimately, the boy's open wounds literally put blood on his hands causing Peepers to remember his guilt and let the boy go. By this point, Spider-Man has determined that Solarr gets his power from the sun, and with it starting to set he notices that Solarr is losing his power. He uses this to his advantage, luring his foe to a nearby water tower where he douses the villain's flame. With Solarr down, Spider-Man uses his webbing to wrap up the would-be assassins. With the battle over, Spider-Man is rejoined by Daredevil, who explains that he left the battle to save two lives. Spider-Man is happy to hear it, but wonders why Daredevil sounds so bitter. He explains that to save two lives, it came at the sanity of Peppers, who has suffered a mental break after his experiences.


Continuity Notes

  • The narrative states that Solarr managed to break out of Project PEGASUS during a recent attack. That was in Marvel Two-In-One #57.
  • In addition to his injuries battling Man-Thing last issue, Spider-Man notices that his ankle is still sore after his battle with Cobra and Mr. Hyde. This battle occurred in Amazing Spider-Man #232.

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