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Appearing in "Dinner Hour"

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Synopsis for "Dinner Hour"

The Black Cat has redesigned her costume, including a mask that covers up her broken nose. In her new outfit, she decides to pay a visit to Doctor Strange to confront him regarding a spell of his inadvertently removing her powers.[Continuity 1] She thinks about how Spider-Man had the nerve to come to her aid to stop Sabretooth from attacking her.[Continuity 2] She leaps into an open window into Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum. As she gloats over the ease of breaking into the building, a sudden gust of wind blows her back out onto the street. She realizes that this is going to be trickier than she thought.

Elsewhere in the city, Alex Woolcot has is riding on the subway. Having run away from home after his newfound powers accidentally incinerated his abusive father, he tries to decide where he will spend the night.[Continuity 3] When the train comes to the end of the line, he briefly considers sleeping on it but decides against it as he might get caught. Think about what happened to his father, Alex believes that he doesn't deserve to live a normal life. While at the Woolcot home, Alex's mother Evelyn tries to ignore the fact that her husband and son have been missing for two days. However, she can't, realizing that ignoring problems is how she got into an abusive relationship to begin with. Looking in her son's room, she finds a pile of ash on the floor and, unaware that this is all that remains of her husband, cleans it up with the vacuum.

At that same moment, Randy Robertson shows his newlywed wife Amanda his childhood bedroom. However, Amanda can tell that he is avoiding the obvious tension between Randy and his father and figures she has something to do with it. Randy admits that his father is upset that he didn't tell him about their marriage until they arrived in New York. That's when Joe enters the room, narrowly avoids getting hit by a dart Randy was tossing at his dartboard. Joe makes a comment about his son's decision to make unilateral decisions and then tells them dinner is ready. Joe regrets what he said as it is further alienating his son, and wonders what he can do to sort out this situation.[Continuity 4]

Meanwhile, the Foreigner has broken into the Black Cat's apartment and is impressed with the layout. His entry activates a harpoon launcher, but he easily dodges it when he hears the mechanism kicking in. While back at Doctor Strange's home, the Black Cat's attempts to break into the Sanctum have all been impeded when suddenly a window suddenly opens on its own. However, once she goes through a door, she finds herself transported back outside, much to her irritation. At that same moment, Alex is walking the streets of Manhattan. Spotting a police car, he runs the other way and bumps into an older man in a trench coat who introduces himself as Bert. While back at the Robertson home, Randy tells his parents that he is pursuing a career in social work. This doesn't sit well with Joe, who thought his son would follow in his footsteps and pursue journalism. Martha pulls her husband into the kitchen where she scolds Joe for being so harsh on his son and his new wife before giving them a chance. When Martha suggests that it's because Amanda is white, Joe denies it, saying that he is upset that Randy made a huge life decision without consulting him. Joe isn't against the idea of his son being in an interracial relationship, but worries about the prejudices they may face in the outside world.

The Black Cat refuses to give up trying to get into Doctor Strange's home. She next tries to gain access by going through the massive skylight on the roof. Inside she can see Doctor Strange in a meditative state. Suddenly, his astral form comes out to see what she is doing, and surprisingly the Black Cat can see it. The Cat explains her upset at Strange for stripping her of her powers, however, he explains that her powers are not gone, but have changed. She becomes furious when Doctor Strange offers his aid in learning the scope of her new powers and leaves, warning Strange to stay away from her. Strange returns his astral form to his body and fears that her attitude and new powers could prove to be a fatal combination. The Black Cat returns to her apartment, chastising herself for her perceived failures.[Continuity 5] Inside, she is attacked by the Foreigner who has come to recover the golden notebook she stole from his home.[Continuity 6] She tells him that she melted it down and used it as the trim on the jacket of her new costume and challenges the Foreigner to try and take it. Somehow, the intruder disappears from sight and manages to knock her out from behind, leaving her vulnerable.

Meanwhile, Bert tries to lure Alex into his car, but the boy wiggles free and tries to make a run for it. This makes Bert's partner, Rod, uncomfortable and suggests they leave the kid alone. Bert refuses to give up and the pair go after the boy. Suddenly, Alex channels his powers and kills the two men with a single blast, but also destroys their car and a nearby power station in the process. This causes a city-wide blackout,[Continuity 7] When the power goes out at the Robertson house, Joe begins to choke on his dinner and is saved by Amanda when he gives her the Heimlich maneuver. While at the Black Cat's apartment, the heroine discovers that she is still alive, as the Foreigner found her to be hardly a challenge. When the lights go out, the Cat is shocked to discover that she can see perfectly in the dark. Although this gives her an advantage, the Black Cat is struck by the Foreigner so hard that she goes flying out over her balcony. Before she can fall to her death, the Foreigner grabs her arm and, now impressed with her performance, decides to make her a proposition.

Sitting down for a drink, the Foreigner proposes that the Black Cat assist him in the utter destruction of Spider-Man. This causes a conflict for the Cat, who finds the Foreigner's gaze almost hypnotic. When she asks him why he spared her life and now wants to work with her, he tells her that he has a thing for women with silver hair.[Continuity 8] After some thought, the Black Cat agrees to help the Foreigner and they toast to the destruction of Spider-Man.

However, Spider-Man may already be dead, as hours later in Temple Corners, Virginia, the National Guard is on the scene of a massive explosion. Among the people getting first aid at the scene is Daily Bugle reporter Joy Mercado. The disaster was caused by Roxxon Oil, but in the aftermath of the destruction, Joy realizes that she may have to drop that angle of her story. She is also concerned about Peter Parker, who may have been killed in the explosions. Although she doesn't believe it, she worries that he may be trapped in the tunnels below. Not far from where Joy sits, tattered fragments of Spider-Man's red and blue costume litter the rubble.[Continuity 9]

Solicit Synopsis

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned— or deprived of her super powers! That's what Doctor Strange discovers when Black Cat, the woman whose "bad luck" powers he eliminated, catches him! Meanwhile, the mystery deepens— where is Spider-Man?


Continuity Notes

Missing in Action
Web of Spider-Man #16 Web of Spider-Man #17 Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #117 Amazing Spider-Man #279 Web of Spider-Man #18
  1. Doctor Strange used his magic to remove a bad luck hex put on Spider-Man in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #115. A side effect of this spell also stripped the Black Cat of her powers.
  2. Spider-Man saved the Black Cat from Sabretooth in last issue.
  3. Alex's abusive family life and how he obtained his powers has been chronicled since Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #113.
  4. Joe Robertson asks himself "What would Bill Cosby do?" At the time of this story, Cosby was best known for his role of Cliff Huxtable, the typical wholesome TV dad on the The Cosby Show. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. Particularly such that Cosby's wholesome image has been marred by sexual assault allegations in 2014, giving this comparison some unintentionally dark undertones.
  5. The Black Cat refers to her self as an ex-daddy's girl and the ex-girlfriend of Spider-Man. Her father, Walter Hardy, died in Amazing Spider-Man #195. She and Spider-Man broke up over her bad luck powers in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #100.
  6. The golden notebook was the result of the Beyonder turning a building into solid gold in Secret Wars II #2. Spider-Man took possession of it in Amazing Spider-Man #268 however it was taken from him in Web of Spider-Man #15. It ended up in the Foreigner's possession in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #115 only to be stolen by the Black Cat.
  7. The original twin towers of the World Trade Center are depicted as part of the New York City skyline. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
  8. This is a vague reference to the fact that the Foreigner used to be married to Silver Sable, a fact that is revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #279.
  9. Spider-Man was seemingly killed in an explosion caused by Roxxon in Web of Spider-Man #17, he turns up alive in the following issue of that series.

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