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Appearing in "The Outlaw Trail"

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Synopsis for "The Outlaw Trail"

Unaware that they are being observed by some unknown being, Spider-Man meets with the Puma, Prowler, Rocket Racer, and Sandman.[Continuity 1] When the group asks why they have all been called together, and Spider-Man reminds them that they had all worked together in the recent past.[Continuity 2] He then explains that he has gathered them together in order to go up against the Avengers. This comes as a surprise to the group of reformed vigilantes. Spider-Man explains to them that he was apparently tricked by She-Hulk into releasing some strange black void from a tenement. When he went to confront the Avengers about it, She-Hulk denied it and Spider-Man thinks they are lying and wants to find out why. Although they are reluctant, they all agree that there is something big going on and they should intervene. When the wall-crawler asks Puma if this will make them even, but the Puma explains that the debt will be paid when he decides that it is.

Deciding to get to the bottom of what they are going on. He sends the Puma and the Prowler to investigate whatever it was that they released by looking over the files at Wilson Fisk's corporate headquarters, while Sandman and Rocket Racer check their records at the Department of Buildings at city hall. While they are doing this, Spider-Man is going to sweep the city trying to find the swarm that he unleashed. As they go about their tasks they are unaware that Spider-Man had been tracked by the Avengers in one of their Quinjets. Inside the craft, Captain America, She-Hulk, Thor, Quasar, and Sersi go over their records about Spider-Man's allies. They are concerned that they all have criminal records and are concerned that they are going to engage in illegal activities. When they decide what they are going to do, Captain America they wait and see what happens. Meanwhile, Mary Jane goes to a singles bar in Soho to meet with Jason Jerome. She wonders why she agreed to meet with him as she is a married woman.[Continuity 3] Jason is glad that she came, but Mary Jane insists that she came to tell him that nothing is going to happen. When he tries to get her to sit down and have a drink she tries to leave the bar. Out on the street, Jason catches up to her and forces her to kiss him. Breaking away, Mary Jane spots her cousin Kristy who is out on a walk with Normie Osborn. She tries to explain to Kristy that this isn't what it looks like and tries to flee. Watching Mary Jane go, Jason figures his plan to seduce Mary Jane is going according to plan.

At that moment, Spider-Man's spider-sense has brought him to the Central Park Zoo where he witnesses the black swarm consuming the apes in the zoo. Once is finishes it goes after Spider-Man, cornering him. Suddenly, the wall behind him breaks open as the Avengers come to the wall-crawler's rescue. When the swarm tries to attack them, it is driven off by a blast from Quasar's Quantum Bands. When Captain America wants to know what's going on, the web-spinner tells him to ask She-Hulk since this all started because of her. She-Hulk continues to deny anything that has happened. Spider-Man still refuses to believe her and tells them to stay out of his way while he tries an learn the truth. Meanwhile, the Prowl and Puma successfully break into the Kingpin's office. As they go through the computer records, Puma thinks about how the Kingpin recently asked him to assassinate Hammerhead and the Chameleon, a job that he is still considering. The Prowler manages to dump all the data on the property. Just then, the Puma scents the Kingpin approaching the office and the two make their escape before they are seen.

While at the Department of Records, the Sandman waits for the Chief Inspector to leave so he can return to human form and help Rocket Racer get inside. When the Racer finds the file on the building, the Sandman suddenly attacks him. Suspecting that the same thing that happened to She-Hulk happened to the Sandman, Rocket Racer escapes with the file. However, this is not really the Sandman, but the Space Phantom, the real instigator in current events. Returning to his proper form, the Space Phantom is then visited by the holographic projection of his employer. This being demands to know why the Space Phantom disobeyed his orders. The Space Phantom is upset that since being rescued from Limbo, his benefactor has told him to do things without telling him why and decides that he will only work for himself. When the Space Phantom leaves to carry on his own agenda, his employer concludes that everything is going according to plan. Meanwhile, the Sandman has returned from Limbo with no memory of what happened. When the Rocket Racer returns to their meeting place and attacks the Sandman. Spider-Man also arrives and breaks them up. When the others arrive, the Rocket Racer explains how the Sandman had attacked him. The Sandman doesn't remember being at the Department of Records. Spider-Man believes Sandman and suspects that there is something going on and that it is time for them to confront the Avengers for answers.


Continuity Notes

  1. The individual observing them states that it is the year 1990. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
  2. The Outlaws were first formed in Web of Spider-Man #50.
  3. Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage was erased from existence by the demon Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here.

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