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Appearing in "Slaughter on 10th Avenue"

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Synopsis for "Slaughter on 10th Avenue"

As dawn breaks, Spider-Man lies on the snow-covered roof of the West Side Manhattan tenement where Nick Fury gunned him down a few hours before. He was left for dead, but he is not, and soon he regains consciousness. Having difficulty breathing, he removes his mask, and then he recalls the events of the previous night. He remembers finding Nancy Rushman who strongly resembles the Black Widow, the attack by the S.H.I.E.L.D. Strike Force, the subsequent battle, and how Fury shot her. He remembers feeling blood on her chest and then attacking Fury. Since he is alive, he knows that Fury used an anesthetic bullet. Since Fury used the same gun on Nancy, Spider-Man decides she must be alive as well, and he web-swings away, hoping to track her down.

Meanwhile, inside the skyscraper that houses S.H.I.E.L.D.'s New York headquarters, Fury is discussing the night's events with Jasper Sitwell. They look in on the Black Widow, who is under sedation being treated by a S.H.I.E.L.D. medic, Dr. Ames. It is difficult for Fury to figure out what is going on, so he orders Ames to get the Widow ready for interrogation by sunset. Fury tells Sitwell that the Widow contacted him a while ago in a panic to warn him of a terrible disaster, but then she disappeared. They finally found her, but Val de Fontaine disobeyed his orders and tried to kill her instead of simply capturing her. Too much has been going wrong with S.H.I.E.L.D. lately, continues Fury, and if he does not find out what is going on soon, they may not remain alive long enough to regret it. Peter Parker arrives at the Daily Bugle building and heads for the library — the "morgue" — where he asks the librarian, Maggie McCulloch, for information. The gruff lady hands him a telephone directory and tells him where to look up S.H.I.E.L.D.'s address.

After making some telephone calls, Peter heads for the skyscraper. When he enters, he swiftly runs by the security guards and takes an express elevator to the 50th floor. The startled guards sound the alarm as Spider-Man, temporarily safe in the moving car, quickly changes into his costume and climbs out onto the car's roof. When the elevator door opens, the guards are waiting for him, but he is nowhere in sight. As Ames files his report on the Black Widow's condition, the viewscreen of the videophone on his desk starts to glow. Then a voice tells him that the Black Widow is an enemy whom he must destroy. His eyes glazed, the hypnotized physician tries to stab her with a scalpel, but fortunately, she regains consciousness in time and slams him into a wall. She does not know where she is, but she quickly finds her costume, puts it on and heads down a hall. She is confused, still unable to reconcile her imagined life as a teacher with the possession of a trained killer's reflexes. Suddenly a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent attacks her, but even before she can react, Spider-Man knocks him out with a punch to the jaw. Then he quickly explains that they are in the basement of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Manhattan skyscraper, but when alarms suddenly sound, the Black Widow starts to panic. As more S.H.I.E.L.D. agents run in, Spider-Man knocks the Black Widow out and carries her up a ventilation duct all the way to the skyscraper's roof. He now knows that someone has somehow removed her memories, so he must try to help her regain them.

Eighty miles west of Manhattan, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier soars two miles above the Earth. At the bridge of the airship, Clay Quartermain receives a report from New York about the Black Widow's escape. Quartermain is hypnotized, and the person who controls him stands in the shadows behind him with her two henchmen. Realizing that Ames has failed, she orders the Silver Samurai to use his ring to teleport Boomerang to Manhattan. Boomerang's mission will be to seek out and destroy both the Widow and Spider-Man. The Samurai asks to do the mission by himself because he has "unfinished business" with Spider-Man, but the woman says she needs the Samurai by her side. Defiant but nevertheless obedient, the Samurai vanishes with Boomerang. Then the woman turns on a television, where she learns from the CBS Morning News that the President is scheduled to address Congress later that evening. When his speech is finished, she muses, the world will never be the same.

On Pier 30 in lower Manhattan, Just east of Chinatown, Nick Fury speaks with Denis Nayland Smith from a telephone booth. He suspects that an enemy has somehow taken over S.H.I.E.L.D., and he needs Smith's agent, Shang-Chi, to help him. As he enters his sportscar, he recalls that "Nancy Rushman" was the Black Widow's cover identity when she first came to the United States as a Soviet spy. Could her defection be a fake? is she still working for the Russians? If not, he wonders, then for whom? The tracer that he planted on her is still broadcasting, so he turns on his tracking device and drives away. But unknown to him, his car is bugged as well, and Boomerang flies after it, unseen.

Sometime later, Nancy awakens in Peter Parker's apartment, and he offers her a bowl of Aunt May's chicken soup. He explains that Spider-Man brought her there, and she says groggily that she remembers being in a hospital where a doctor tried to kill her. Peter reassures her and asks her her name, but she is too confused to reply. Then the memory of being tortured assails her, and she starts to scream in fear. Peter calms her down, wondering what could possibly have been done to her. Suddenly the door smashes open and Nick Fury covers them both with his pistol. They are under arrest for espionage and treason, he declares, and he orders them out of the building and into his car. Suddenly Peter's spider-sense tingles, and he shouts a warning as he knocks Fury and Nancy over. Then the car explodes. Fury sees Boomerang flying through the smoke and starts shooting, knocking the criminal's boomerangs out of the air. Despite being handcuffed, Peter slips away in the confusion, breaks the cuffs, and, dressed as Spider-Man, tackles Boomerang from behind. Spider-Man and Boomerang fly onto a nearby roof, and Fury rushes to help, telling the Widow to stay under cover. But when she sees the battle, she instinctively decides to join in. When Spider-Man is hurled off the roof, she quickly places herself beneath him and breaks his fall. Stunned, Spider-Man gasps that Boomerang's boot-jets caught him head on, and he thanks her for saving his life. The Widow asks him to get the handcuffs off her so they can both aid Fury, who is battling Boomerang by himself. They quickly head for the roof, where Spider-Man dives into the criminal. But just as he is about to knock him unconscious, the Silver Samurai materializes in a flash of light behind Boomerang. Spider-Man recognizes him from previous battles and sees the teleport ring that John Beiushi once had. Spider-Man warns Fury and the Widow about the Samurai's energy sword, which cuts through steel like butter.

Boomerang tells the Samurai that their opponents are helpless and urges him to finish them off, but the Samurai declines, saying they are merely off balance. There is too much at stake to risk defeat, he continues as he activates the teleport ring. Then the Samurai and Boomerang vanish in a light-burst. The Widow says that bits and pieces of her memory are returning, so she may soon be able to tell them where the Samurai and Boomerang have gone. She is still not certain who she is — Nancy Rushman or the Black Widow — but she does know that unless they act quickly, the world may soon be destroyed.


Continuity Notes

Chronology Notes

A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:

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