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Quote1.png Onslaught. He meant to enslave us. He destroyed our city... murdered our heroes... ...he took away so much... I... Quote2.png
Peter Parker

Appearing in "Swarmed!"

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  • Hampton milk truck
  • Lamborghini
  • Patrol cars

Synopsis for "Swarmed!"

At the Institute of Seismoharmonic Research, scientists are hard at work trying to prove that will allow them to identify the vibratory patterns that hold everything together. However one of the scientists warns that their work could be used to alter those patterns which could prove dangerous to all life on Earth. However, their ethical debate is interrupted when the outside of the lab is suddenly being covered in bees that appear to be trying to get inside the facility.

Meanwhile, across town, Spider-Man is swinging toward the Daily Grind where he works in his civilian identity of Ben Reilly. He has been forced to web-sling to work because the public transit system is still unreliable as the city continues to repair the damage caused by Onslaught's recent attack on the city.[Continuity 1] Quickly changing into his civilian identity, Ben enters the Daily Grind through the back door. On the job, Ben strikes up a conversation with Buzz, one of the regulars. Buzz turns his attention to the front page of the Daily Bugle which reports of a strange influx of bees in the city almost as though the insects are coming to the city. Their conversation with quickly interrupted by Desiree Winthrop. She forgoes her regular table for the front bar, but only to insist that Ben join her on a date after work to see a show on Broadway with her and quickly leaves before can say anything contrary.[Continuity 2]

Back at Institute of Seisharmonic Research, the lab is being filled with bees. When the lead scientist tries to stop the insects from getting close to their invention he gets stung. Suddenly, the bees begin taking on a human form, which introduces itself as Swarm. The creature explains that it was once a human that experimented on bees in South America. Although he mutated the bees, they consumed his body. In some strange twist of fate, his consciousness survived and from then on he has been in control of the hive that devoured his human body. In the past, Swarm has fought Earth's heroes and was seemingly slain.[Continuity 3] However, the recent psychic maelstrom created by Onslaught has increased the mental powers of the mutant bees and they have come to use the machines in the lab to revive their human host mind and become whole again.[Continuity 4] The hive entity then demands that the scientists help in obtaining its goals or they will all be killed.

In Forest Hills, Peter Parker and his wife Mary Jane are walking to an appointment with Mary Jane's OBGYN.[Continuity 5] Along the way, they can't help but notice the damage caused by Onslaught's attack on Manhattan which is still being repaired. Peter is still pretty upset that many of the city's heroes were seemingly killed during the final battle.[Continuity 6] It's then that thery arrive at the doctor office where they get an ultrasound done so they can learn the gender of their unborn child. After an examination, the doctor informs the couple that they are going to have a baby girl. By this time, Ben Reilly is rushing back home to prepare for his date with Desiree Winthrop. As he heads for his bathroom his spider-sense begins going off. However, he continues on and walks in on mobster Jimmy-6 and a date who are taking a bubble bath together. He is surprised to see the gangster, who actually took up Ben's offer to stop by after Reilly saved his life recently.[Continuity 7] Deducing that Reilly needs the bathroom to get ready for a date, Jimmy and his date make a quick departure, leaving Ben to try and figure out what to do with this recent development. Although Ben arrives outside of the Daily Grind a little late, Desiree is still waiting for him outside. As they walk to the theater, Desiree tells Ben that although she appears to be materialistic and shallow, it is only a ruse she puts up to protect herself. She then confides that she really is interested in Ben and wants to get to know him better. Suddenly, Reilly's spider-sense begins going off.

That's when he notices a swarm of bees overhead and makes up an excuse to leave to make a phone call.[Continuity 8] As soon as Ben has changed into Spider-Man the swam of bees begin attacking people on the street. The wall-crawler begins coming to the aid of panicked New Yorkers. After getting everyone on the street to safety, Spider-Man follows their bees to the source. There he discovers the Institute of Seismoharmonic Research completely covered in bees. Suddenly, the swarm takes the shape of the Swarm's face, who tells Spider-Man it intends to use the technology within to make itself the master of the world and there is nothing Spider-Man can do to stop it.

Solicit Synopsis

  • Is it a boy or a girl? The sex of Peter & Mary Jane's baby is revealed!
  • Plus.- Spidey has to stop the threat of the newly augmented Swarm! This issue has it all: Onslaught fallout, a tasty secret revealed, and buckets o' bees!


Continuity Notes

  1. This story happens shortly after the Onslaught crisis. Spider-Man's own involvement in this event was documented in Amazing Spider-Man #415 and Spider-Man #72.
  2. The theater show listed on the tickets is Rent, which in 1996 was a popular musical on Broadway. This should be considered a topical reference.
  3. The Swarm's recollection shows the Swarm battling Iceman, the Angel, and Spider-Man all at once. However, this is not an accurate representation of events, as these are two different battles. It fought Iceman and Angel as well as the rest of the Champions in Champions #1415. The battle with Spider-Man took place in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #3637.
  4. The Swarm's telepathic control was severed in Lethal Foes of Spider-Man #4. The psychic maelstrom in question was unleashed by Onslaught in X-Men (Vol. 2) #56.
  5. Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage is erased from existence by Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. Mary Jane was revealed to be pregnant in Spectacular Spider-Man #220.
  6. The Avengers and the Fantastic Four seemingly sacrificed their lives to destroy Onslaught, as seen in Onslaught Marvel Universe #1. However, they survived and now exist in a pocket dimension as seen in the Heroes Reborn event. They will ultimately be returned to their home reality in Heroes Reborn: The Return #14.
  7. Jimmy-6's lives was saved by Ben Reilly in Spider-Man #70.
  8. Ben specifically states that his beeper has gone off. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 as pagers are generally considered an obsolete technology.

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