- Is this a private party? Or is anybody invited?
- -- Deathlok
Appearing in "Future Shock: Part II ...Am I Now or Have I Ever Been?"
Synopsis for "Future Shock: Part II ...Am I Now or Have I Ever Been?"
Still traveling through time and trying to get home, Spider-Man finds that he has traveled to another point in the future, but doesn't know when. He is shocked to discover Times Square in ruins and wonders what year it is. His thoughts are interrupted when he spots the cyborg known as Deathlok running past him. Seeking answers to his current situation, Spider-Man decides to follow after Deathlok to see what he can learn. Along the way, he spots Deathlok taking aim at a group of kids who are all carrying glowing cubes. He doesn't understand that these are cannibalistic thralls, and when Deathlok takes aim at them leaps in to stop him. The cyborgs shot goes wild, alerting the Cubists to their position. Spider-Man tries to fight Deathlok until the Cubists gather around them and try to blast the pair. Realizing that the youths are a threat, Spider-Man helps Deathlok to send them fleeing.
Asking Deathlok what is going on, he learns that he is some 15 years in the future from his own time. This revelation comes as a shock to the wall-crawler who wonders what has become of himself and his loved ones in this era. His attempts to get answers out of Deathlok yields nothing, as the cyborg tells him that he spent five years in Ryker's Body Bank where his memories were tampered with, the ones deemed useless being purged. He then explains that the Cubists are a band of mutant cannibals that were hunting him as he was hunting them. Deathlok tells Spider-Man to help him carry the lone Cubist that was left behind as he believes it can help them find the rest of his group. As they continue down Times Square, Spider-Man continues to consider the implications of this future and hopes this might be an alternate reality as opposed to the true future of his world.
As the pair continue their trek, they are unaware that they are being watched from above by two mercenaries named Strake and Grisson. The pair were sent here on orders from the Omni-Computer to eliminate Deathlok. Unsure what to make of Spider-Man, they suspect that he has also been targeted for destruction. Strake takes aim with his sniper rifle, but before he can squeeze off a shot, Spider-Man alerts Deathlok of the danger thanks to his Spider-Sense. Although the pair is able to avoid getting shot, the unconscious member of the Cubists is riddled with bullets. Furious at the senseless death, Spider-Man swings up and smashes through the billboard the two assassins are stationed from. He attacks Strake, demanding to know why he would senselessly slaughter a youth. His rage gets the better of him, as he doesn't know that Grisson is attempting to shoot him. However, Deathlok arrives and blasts the assassin with his laser.
It's by this time that the Cubists have tracked down the pair and attack with their cubes. Spider-Man and Deathlok make quick work of the Cubists, sending most of their numbers fleeing, leaving their costumed leader behind. Spider-Man is horrified when he unmasks the Cubists' leader to discover that it is a youth younger than he is. Hearing Deathlok's dismissive attitude toward the Cubists and his own obsession with getting revenge against Stryker sicken the wall-crawler. He decides that he has had enough and hopes that this horrible future is not his own. He returns to the Time-Platform in the hopes that he will finally return home.
This story is continued in Marvel Two-In-One #17...
- This story suggests that it is the future of Earth-616, however it is an alternate reality designated Earth-7484. References to this future being in the year 1990 and Spider-Man's own time being that of 1975 should be considered topical references. Both Earth-616 and Earth-7484 operate on Sliding Timescale. As such, modern readers should interpret this story as happening 15 years in the future from the modern age of Earth-616.
- This story takes place between the events of Astonishing Tales #36.
- Deathlok mentions how Ryker is losing his hold on New York to the mutants and cannibals that live there. This is a reference to Astonishing Tales #33-36.
- Inks: backgrounds by Hunt (uncredited).
- This issue contains a letters page, Mail It to Team-Up. Letters are published from Rook Jones, Rebecca Farash, John Harbottle, and Frank Lomenzo.
- First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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