After the Punisher accidentally released Survivor 118, a chemical designed to help people adapt to a post-apocalyptic environment, Spider-Man was the first to show symptoms from it when he ate the Rhino during a hockey game. The Fantastic Four subdued him shortly afterwards and put him in a cage for examination.
Reed Richards put together a science team to uncover the cause of his sudden shift in nature. It wasn't long before they learned that Spider-Man was infected with a virus that altered his DNA, making him more predatorial and giving him the desire for human meat. Soon, the plague that infected Spider-Man spread throughout New York City and other parts of the world.
Ben Grimm succumbed to the plague himself and freed Spider-Man from captivity, though the exact reason is unknown. As he escaped into the city, he briefly fought Wolverine and the Punisher. Soon, the world started to fall apart as heroes and villains alike became cannibals, eventually leaving the Punisher as the only person left to fight them.
A turf war erupted among the emerging tribes of cannibals, due in part to the King of Death's manipulations in an attempt to thin the herd. Spider-Man, now referred to as Patient Zero, was the most successful and took control of Manhattan for his own tribe while the others left to stake new lands. Meanwhile, the King of Death built up his own tribe by destroying others and used his resources to bring them into Manhattan to challenge Patient Zero for his land. To that end, he killed many of Patient Zero's tribesmen and took his mate Mary Jane prisoner. Hoping to save her, Patient Zero went to the Punisher and asked for his help. In exchange for killing the King of Death and saving his mate Patient Zero offered to give him information on hidden survivors and promised to leave them be.
Though initially hesitant, Frank eventually agreed and went to fulfill his end of the bargain along with Patient Zero's tribesmen Deadpool, Black Widow, and Scorpion. After some difficulties, the Punisher was victorious and brought Mary Jane back to him. However, while Patient Zero rejoiced, Frank shot him point-blank in the head.
Due to his exposure to Survivor 118, Patient Zero was capable of adapting to extreme changes in his environment.
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