Quote1 Those dark thoughts? The doubt? The anger? The fear swirling in your mind? They're not some invasion -- some alien force -- they're your own. The revenge you're seeking will not free you. The more you hate Murdock, the smaller you will become. The more easily he will control you. But what if you were to walk out of that door today -- and never waste one second thinking about Matt Murdock again? Don't you see, child? You have nothing left to fear. Quote2
-- Cindy Moon

Appearing in 1st story

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Synopsis for 1st story

Perusing the aisles of Grocery Etc, Gwen Stacy ponders how the Venom symbiote has made her ravenously hungry despite consuming a large quantity of junk food, and that no matter what or how much she eats nothing tastes right nor satiates her. Noticing the Bodega Bandit robbing the store of ice cream sandwiches, she follows him and transforms into Venom. Noting that all her appetites are out of control, Venom pounces on him from behind as he celebrates his successful robbery. As he cowers before her, Venom coldly dismisses him as ridiculous and pathetic, calling him everything that's wrong with the world and stating that she's tired and bored of this obnoxious game. Pleading for mercy, the Bodega Bandit confesses he never wanted to be a criminal living on the streets, but that he became addicted to the thrill after his first robbery and can't stop himself anymore. Spotting a missing poster set up by the Mary Janes, Venom departs, leaving the Bandit confused and terrified.

The next morning Detective Jean DeWolff and Officer Fletcher Boyle speak to Marvin, the owner of Grocery Etc, about what had happened. When Marvin states he's afraid that Spider-Woman will attack him, DeWolff assures him that Spider-Woman is confused, angry, and in pain due to someone close to her having been badly injured. Marvin asks if that person is George Stacy, and when Boyle tries to deflect, DeWolff interrupts and confirms it. Marvin tells DeWolff that after George Stacy was brutally beaten while under police protection he has no confidence in their ability to handle Spider-Woman. Leaving the store, Boyle apologizes to DeWolff, saying that he thought they'd finally gotten a lead on Spider-Woman; and she notes that the fact that Spider-Woman hadn't turned the Bodega Bandit in concerns her more than Frank Castle having gone rogue and starting a war with the Kingpin. Spotting the missing person poster for Gwen, she takes down the number and tells Boyle they're going to call the Mary Janes.

At the playground, Gwen solicits Reed Richards' help in breaking into S.H.I.E.L.D.'s maximum-security prison. Reed notes that he can easily bypass S.H.I.E.L.D.'s encryption and find Cindy Moon's cell, but observes that Gwen's new look and behavior strike him as borderline diabolical. Gwen acknowledges that he's right but promises not to hurt Cindy, saying she needs the S.I.L.K. leader's help. Reed warns Gwen that Cindy won't help her for free and that she can't owe a person like her, but Gwen replies that everything started with the spider Cindy made and released into the wild, and that if anything Cindy owes her. Infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D.'s prison using Reed's portal device, Venom notices a couple of guards gossiping and decides to borrow one of Miles Morales' tricks: turning invisible. Sneaking up behind the guards, she knocks them out and then opens the door to Cindy's cell, finding her meditating. Without turning around or opening her eyes, Cindy mocks Gwen's attempt at stealth and how cliched donning black to reflect her angst is.

Telling her to get in and close the door, Cindy asks Gwen what it is she thinks she wants, but Venom angrily grabs her by the throat and then throws her to the floor, demanding to know why Cindy ruined her life. Cindy notes she'd expected Gwen to ask her "how" — how to defeat Matt Murdock, how to control the symbiote — and then tells Gwen she wasted half her life trying to recapture a moment that had passed her by: replicating the radioactive spider that would have given her powers had it not been killed; but when she finally succeeded, she'd been terrified of the prospect of failure. Rather than use it on herself to gain the power she'd desired, Cindy had set it loose into the world where it had bitten Gwen. Furious at Cindy's flippant answer, Venom slams her into a wall, but Cindy reiterates that she'd been afraid not only that the spider would have failed to grant her powers, but that it would have succeeded. Telling Gwen that the rage and fear and doubt driving her to violence aren't the work of the symbiote but her own emotions, Cindy challenges her to let go of her hatred towards Murdock; then returns to meditating as additional guards arrive and break down the door of her cell. As Venom attacks them, she assures Gwen that she can overcome her fear and hatred if she tries, then asks if Gwen has the courage to do so.

At Betty's apartment, Em Jay outlines her plans for the group to hand out fliers across all of Manhattan. When Glory urges her to calm down and rest, Em Jay snaps that she has no intention of doing so and that Gwen needs their help. Glory states that if Gwen is Spider-Woman that means she's been on her own for longer than they realized; and as sad as it is that they weren't able to support her sooner, they can't make up for it in one day. Betty sends a text to Falcon asking for his help just as there is a knock at their door. Glory opens it to see May and Ben Parker holding one of their fliers.

As Venom prowls a cell-block of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s prison complex, she spots a cell door labelled "Hardy, Felicia". Peering inside to see the former Black Cat lying on a cot and wearing an orange jumpsuit, Gwen retracts the symbiote from her face and asks why she's locked up in a S.H.I.E.L.D. prison. Reed opens a portal and tells Gwen to hurry up, so she offers to bust Felicia out. Felicia refuses and glumly remarks that Murdock has won, that everyone and everything not already under his control soon will be, and that this is the price she paid for failing to kill him.

Onboard a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, Falcon throws a tantrum over not being allowed to participate in Spider-Woman and the Kingpin's grudge match. Dismissing Spider-Woman as a distraction, Director Peggy Carter has Agent Clay Quartermain read a list of global-scale threats -- including a eugenics war on Mt. Wundagore and a plague of Thor frogs in the Gulf of Mexico -- for him to tackle instead. Director Carter tries to bribe Falcon into compliance, so he relents and sends a text message to Captain America asking her to find Gwen. Standing in the S.H.I.E.L.D. prison looking over the unconscious agents left in Venom's wake, Captain America replies that she's already on the case.

Solicit Synopsis


• S.H.I.E.L.D. is coming for Gwen and the Venom symbiote, and giving into its power may be Gwen’s only way out!

• Is saving her skin worth losing herself?

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