The Cross-Species Outbreak
Several months later, Peter and Gwen snuck into Oscorp, now directed by nanotechnology specialist Alistaire Smythe, under the suspicion that the scientists were continuing Dr. Connors' cross-species experiments. Coming across a rhino cross-species, they met Dr. Smythe, who revealed that some of the biologists had indeed been continuing the cross-species experiments in secret by infusing animals with human DNA. The new cross-species carried a potent virus and were currently in the process of being shipped off to the bio-labs and disposed of. Unfortunately, the cross-species reacted violently to Peter's presence and escaped, infecting the scientists, including Smythe and Gwen, in the process. Donning his Spider-Man suit, Peter managed to get Gwen and the scientists to quarantine, fighting off Smythe's anti-cross-species security robots in the process, but was unable to stop the creatures from escaping into Manhattan.
The next morning, Spider-Man came into contact with one of Smythe's S-Bots, which had been released into the city to deal with the cross-species. After defeating it, Spider-Man subsequently traveled to the Beloit Psychiatric Hospital, where Dr. Connors had been incarcerated since the Lizard's rampage, and broke Connors out with the intent to create an antidote for the virus. Establishing a laboratory in Peter's apartment, Spider-Man subsequently set out to contain the outbreak, forming an alliance with investigative reporter Whitney Chang along the way. The antidote's development quickly became a race against time when they discovered that Smythe was making his own cure, one involving nanobots destroying the infected from the inside out.
Eventually, Connors completed his antidote, and Spider-Man rushed back to Oscorp to administer it to the scientists. However, Smythe, skeptical of Spider-Man's intentions, impulsively used the antidote on himself, only to lose the use of his legs and his mind. Furious, Smythe reprogrammed his robots to attack Spider-Man, who narrowly managed to escape Oscorp with his life.
Returning to his apartment, Spider-Man blasted Connors for the faulty antidote before passing out from exhaustion and his injuries. While he was unconscious, Connors realized that Peter himself was the key to the antidote, as he was a cross-species himself but never lost his humanity, and used his blood to perfect his antidote. Upon regaining consciousness, Spider-Man returned to Oscorp with the new antidote and administered it to Gwen and the scientists, though Smythe had disappeared. With the public at large believing Spider-Man himself to be responsible for the cross-species outbreak, Gwen made her way to the police station to inform them of the truth.
Through some means, Smythe managed to discover Spider-Man's secret identity and kidnapped Connors, daring Spider-Man to come save him. Spider-Man succeeded in doing so, only to fall into a trap; Smythe successfully captured Spider-Man and injected him with his completed nanobot cure, stripping him of his powers. Despite being significantly weakened and assailed by Smythe's robots, Spider-Man managed to escape the facility as Smythe activated his latest S-Bot, which was programmed to spread the nanobot serum all over the city.
Spider-Man emerged into Manhattan to discover the entire city in chaos as a result of the outbreak. He proceeded to make his way to Connors' old sewer lab to find both Connors and Gwen. With no other way to stop Smythe, Connors injected himself with his Lizard serum, becoming the Lizard once more despite Gwen's objections, while Spider-Man briefly died from the nanobots in his system.
Gwen successfully managed to revive Peter, who, despite being powerless, immediately went back out into the city to help Connors. Reaching the S-03 robot with help from Whitney Chang, Peter, under Gwen's advice, deliberately electrocuted himself within the S-03, destroying the nanobots in his blood and restoring his powers. Spider-Man and the Lizard subsequently worked together to disable the S-03 and defeat Smythe, but Connors unfortunately lost himself to the Lizard's mind in the process. Spider-Man handed Smythe over to the police before pursuing the Lizard into the sewers, where, after a hectic battle, he managed to cure him once again, proceeding to return Connors to Beloit and administer the cure to all the infected, saving the city.
The Rise of the Kingpin
Two years after the Cross-Species Infection, Spider-Man was still an active superhero in New York, and in the downtime with no major supervillains or crises to deal with, began to pick up on the trail of the man who murdered his Uncle Ben. Following Captain Stacy's advice to "use the small fish to lure the big fish", Spider-Man began disrupting gang operations throughout the city, eventually being tipped off that the man in the photograph was a frequent dealer with one of the local gang bosses- Herman Schultz, who had recently managed to secure a shipment of high tech military grade assault weaponry to escalate his turf war with the Russian Mob. Spider-Man descended on his deal-in-progress, capturing his guns and taking out his men, before swiftly overpowering Schultz himself, demanding answers. Schultz revealed that the man who murdered Uncle Ben was named Dennis Carradine, and that his iconic tattoo was a gang symbol that meant he could get anyone anything, no matter the cost. Spider-Man, so engrossed in the interrogation to find Ben's killer, allowed himself to get distracted long enough for Schultz to deploy a flashbang and escape.
Spider-Man spent some time solving petty crimes and listening to the police radio for news of Carradine, saving Cousin Stan from a burning building and visiting him at his comic shop. Not long after that, he received an update over the police band, about Carradine's involvement in a car-jacking, sending Spider-Man into pursuit. While Spider-Man was able to keep up with the car, he decided that the life of the criminal's hostage was more important than his own vengeance, allowing Carradine to gain a lead while he attended to saving the innocent person in the car with him. When Spider-Man caught up to the car, he was shocked to see that the vehicle had been run off the road and in flames, and that Carradine had been brutally stabbed to death, with the initials C.K. painted on the nearby wall; the latest victim of the Carnage Killer.
Peter went home to talk with Aunt May about his conflicted emotions regarded Carradine's death: on one hand, he was glad the man who killed his Uncle was dead, but on the other, it was by the hands of an even worse criminal still on the streets. Before he could resolve his moral dilemma, a gang strike hit the OsCorp tower, orchestrated by Herman Schultz and his men, causing Peter to make the excuse that Gwen was still interning there and he needed to make sure she was still okay- allowing him to sneak into his Spider suit. Arriving on the scene of the crime, Spidey discovered that the Russian Mob, another criminal faction in the City, had reached OsCorp at around the same time, and while he was sneaking and fighting his way through the tower, they seemed to be as interested in killing each other as they were in killing Spider-Man. Eventually, Spider-Man made his way to the lab-room where the Russians were keeping hostages, including one Maxwell Dillon, who he saved and recruited to serve as his "eyes and ears" in the OsCorp facility. Dillon directed Spider-Man to the reactor room and guided him through the process of reactivating the cooling and venting, allowing him to stabilize the tower and prevent it from detonating.
Finally, Spider-Man confronted Herman himself, now wielding a new weapon- The Seismic Harness Construction Resource, more aptly named, The Shocker. Realizing that Herman had broken into OsCorp to recover a sonic generator to power himself up, Spider-Man used his superior speed and spider-sense to avoid Schultz's attacks and take him down, once again interrogating him. Schultz revealed that he and the rest of New York's crime bosses, including Mister Negative and Hammerhead were terrified of the Carnage Killer, and that he and "freaks" like Spider-Man and the Cross-Species Genetic Experiments had escalated things so that firearms were no longer the most effective hardware on New York's streets. Satisfied with his interrogation, and reminding himself to keep an eye on the brewing gang war, Spider-Man webbed up Schultz and stole the OsCorp Sonic Generator for himself, developing custom webbing fluid from it designed to forcefully knock larger enemies down and incapacitate them.
After the defeat of the Shocker, Parker was witness to a new deal set up by his former friend, Harry Osborn and the enigmatic Wilson Fisk, to set up a new OsCorp funded specialized police force to deal with metahuman threats such as the Cross-Species Experiments and Spider-Man. Between dodging past the Task Force and putting down the Russian Mob throughout the city, Spider-Man came across a message left for him by Kraven the Hunter, requesting that Spider-Man come meet him, offering to help him. Thinking it over, Peter decided to visit Kravinoff not as the Spider, but as the man, visiting him as a Daily Bugle journalist, pretending to interview him. After quizzing him about his morals, goals and skills, he decided that Kraven seemed trustworthy enough to visit as Spider-Man. Kraven explained to Spider-Man that he had no sons, and sought someone to carry on his legacy- he wanted to train Spider-Man in the ways of the hunt and teach him how to use his animal instincts to better defeat crime. They went on a surveillance mission together where Kraven showed him that, while he may have wanted to dive into a group of drug dealers and take them down, if he waited, he could follow them all the way to a base of origins, using the little fish to catch the big fish. Thanks to Kraven's advice, Spider-Man tracked the Russian Mob down to an underground lair where they were collecting OsCorp armor and weapon designs, but he was able to defeat them and bust the lair.
While in the lair, Spider-Man comes across a detailed map, highlighting where in the city Russian Mob operatives had been murdered by the Carnage Killer, and papers indicating their plans to assassinate Wilson Fisk at an Anti-Crime Fundraiser being thrown by Fisk to raise money for the new Task Force. Parker was able to convince Whitney to take him with her as a photographer, allowing him to defeat the Russian Mobsters and save the hostages taken in the backrooms of the Fundraiser, before returning to meet up with Harry. He also encountered Felicia, for the first time in their civilian identities, and while he recognized her as someone familiar, he couldn't quite place where. After a brief interview with Fisk himself, Peter left the Fundraiser to deal with the Russian Mob who he learned were based out of a former Air Force Base, when he learned that the Russians had apparently captured the real Carnage Killer. After subduing the guards and destroying their stolen high-end weaponry, he traveled to the hangar where the supposed Carnage Killer was being held. Seeing that it was clearly an innocent man, Spidey intervened, stopping the mob execution and rescuing the terrified civilian, once again saving the day.
The next day, Spider-Man teamed up with Kraven to use their hunting instincts, the map and the descriptions of the killer, to track down the true culprit behind the murders- Cletus Kasady. Kraven hoped that seeing Kasady in action would inspire Spider-Man to finally embrace his killer instinct and become a hunter worthy of succeeding him, but Peter refused, intervening to save the life of Kasady's would-be-victim, and engage the serial killer in combat. While Kasady was a skilled knife fighter, he was still no match for the meta-human Spider-Man, who promptly disarmed and defeated him, webbing him up for the cops to take away. While Kraven expressed his disappointment in Parker's refusal to take a life, Kasady was enrolled in Ravencroft.
With the Russian Mob crippled and falling apart, Schultz Gang disassembled, and the Task Force cracking down on Mister Negative and the Hood's crime operations, a new player began to fill the void of power left in their wake, enigmatically referred to as "The Kingpin". While Spider-Man was working with the police, they received a tip that the wall-crawler had broken into the Kane Museum. While the cops were sure it was just someone impersonating him, they still urged him to go check it out, and Parker agreed- discovering that the Museum break-in was an elaborate set up put together by Felicia with the Kingpin's men. As he took down her men one by one from the shadows, he argued with her over the intercom, trying to convince her to leave crime behind- but his efforts were ultimately unsuccessful and he was forced to fight her. He was surprised to see that she had sought cross-species genetic experimentation on herself, and had become the Black Cat, but her new-found speed and strength were still no match for him, and he promptly defeated her. Questioning her, Spider-Man discovered that the Kingpin was actually Wilson Fisk, but he failed to convince Felicia that she could do the right thing, join Witness Protection and help take down men like the Kingpin. Conversely, she tried and failed to convince him to elope with her- though she did persuade him that giving her over to the cops would be a death sentence for her, as there was no prison Fisk couldn't get to her from. Reluctantly, Spider-Man allowed Felicia to escape, saving her life.
Parker decided to pay Harry a visit to get information on Fisk, discovering that the man had only agreed to work with Harry on the Task Force in order to get closer to OsCorp's money and help plan a hostile takeover, and that Fisk had hired Kraven the Hunter. Harry also revealed to his old friend that he was dying of a horrible disease passed to him by his father, but he believed that Spider-Man could save him with a sample of his blood, asking Peter to talk to the Spider for him, since Parker was always taking his pictures for the paper. After leaving, Peter switched into his suit and talked to Harry inside his limo, explaining that he wanted time to research his blood more, in order to avoid another incident like Curt Connors' becoming a Lizard- an excuse that infuriated Osborn. Nevertheless, Spider-Man swung on to Kraven's Loft, where he intended to demand answers for his work with the Kingpin, believing that the entire time, Kraven had just been using him to eliminate Fisk's enemies one by one. Kraven ambushed him with knock-out gas and dragged him to Central Park, where he explained that he was only interested int the hunt, and that he believed Spider-Man would be the ultimate challenge, finally creating a worthy opponent. Using what Kraven taught him, Spider-Man was easily able to cut through Kraven's hunter tricks and overpower him, brutally defeating him but refusing to take his life- instead demanding answers about Fisk, all of which Kraven was honor-bound to provide.
Sneaking into an armored truck at Fisk Tower, Spider-Man traveled to the outskirts of the City where Fisk's operations were based. He was able to keep to the shadows and eliminate the Task Force thugs, before sneaking into the lower levels to confront Fisk directly. Despite his immense size, strength, weaponry and disposable guards, the Kingpin was ultimately unable to defeat Spider-Man, however he still got the last laugh on the vigilante. As far as the law was concerned, Spider-Man had just broken into private property and assaulted a respected member of society for no reason, forcing Parker to attempt to hack Fisk's computer to gain evidence. He was nearly successful, but a blackout from Max Dillon, now transformed into the supervillain Electro during the horrifying experiments performed on him at Ravencroft, interrupted him and forced him to leave. Returning to Manhattan, Spider-Man engaged Electro, who blamed him for abandoning his "partner" to the tortures of Fisk's people at the Asylum, and Spider-Man was forced to violently beat Max down.
The next day, the city found itself under siege from a splinter group of Task Force troops, working for a man called "The Goblin", to plant bombs throughout the city. Spider-Man successfully stopped the bombs and the troops placing them around Manhattan, before confronting the Goblin- who was actually Harry Osborn, who had become so desperate to save his life that he turned to other experiments, driving him mad. Taking the name Green Goblin, Harry forced Spider-Man to fight him, intending on bleeding Parker dry and claiming his blood to try and cure himself permanently. Reluctantly, Peter fought and defeat the Goblin, leaving him for the Cops to take in, with hopes that he could one day cure his former friend.
Shortly thereafter, riots erupted at Ravencroft, prompting Spider-Man to investigate. Donald Menken explained to Spider-Man that they had placed Kasady in a special section of the institute called the Venom Wing, to test a symbiotic suit project that was one of several dead ends in trying to cure Norman Osborn of his disease. The Venom Project turned Kasady into a horrifying monster with superhuman strength, speed and agility, calling itself Carnage. Kasady was going to use his new suit to infect every person he could, creating the family he never had. Spider-Man descended into the depths of Ravencroft and fought Carnage, defying the monster's explanations that they wanted the same things. Eventually Parker realized that fire was essential to weakening the Venom Suit and used it against Kasady, eventually defeating him.
Still conflicted about everything he had seen and done since becoming Spider-Man, Peter decided to visit Cousin Stan again at his comic shop. The two talked about Uncle Ben, with Stan explaining that he thought Peter had grown into exactly the kind of man Ben would have been proud of, and that in a cruel, hard world, people needed heroes like Peter. Inspired by Stan's words, Peter left the shop and vowed to continue to work against the Kingpin's forces and defend the innocent.
- Mechanical Web-shooters: Peter created devices that he could strap to his wrists that were capable of shooting a special web fluid. It appears to be able to hold more than one web cartridge in case more is needed.
- Web-slinging: Peter uses his web-shooters to travel by swinging on web-lines.
- Peter's number is 555-9977.
- 2 Appearances of Peter Parker (Earth-TRN376)
- Minor Appearances of Peter Parker (Earth-TRN376)
- Media Peter Parker (Earth-TRN376) was Mentioned in
- 19 Images featuring Peter Parker (Earth-TRN376)
- 1 Quotations by or about Peter Parker (Earth-TRN376)
- Character Gallery: Peter Parker (Earth-TRN376)
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