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Synopsis for "Dead Man's Hand"

Chapter One: Aces & Eights

After an explosion at SHIELD's Emergency Bio-Hazard Facility in Bethesda, Maryland, agents find Doctor William Allen enveloped in flame. As they try to make sense of the unsanctioned experiment he was undertaking, the effects of his work transforms him into the new Carrion. With this transformation, Allen hears a voice in his mind telling him to leave. The new Carrion is pleased as he has finally unlocked the secrets of the Carrion virus and, after subduing the SHIELD agents on the scene, teleports away.

Two weeks later, in Queens, Peter Parker stands in the kitchen and thinks about happier times when he was a teenager living with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben. However, this leads to the eventual memories of how his life had changed on the day Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider. Gaining the proportionate abilities of a spider, Peter became Spider-Man and tried to make money off his newfound abilities by getting into show business. Unfortunately, tragedy struck when a burglar he could have captured later went on and murdered his Uncle Ben in a home invasion gone wrong. When Spider-Man caught the killer, Peter learned the harshest lesson of all: with great power, comes great responsibility. Since then he used his spider-powers to fight crime.[Continuity 1] Walking to the bathroom, Peter envisions a perverse fantasy where he is attacked en masse by an army of his many foes. By this point, he has wandered into the bathroom where his wife, Mary Jane, is coming out of the shower.[Continuity 2] When Mary Jane learns what her husband has been thinking about, and how things could have been different had he stopped that burglar, she reminds him that regardless of what happened his Uncle Ben would be proud of Peter.

Later that day, Peter arrives in Manhattan and is disturbed to see newspaper reports about an alleged Carrion copy-cat. Needing to learn more, he puts in a call to Joe Robertson at the Daily Bugle to find out more. Joe tells Peter that there have been a series of robberies over the past week and that the suspect has left the words "The Dead Walk" written in ash at the crime scene.[Continuity 3] As Peter hangs up the phone he overhears an APB from a nearby squad car alerting officers about a Carrion sighting. Climbing up a nearby rooftop, Peter changes into Spider-Man so he can confront Carrion himself. As the wall-crawler swings across the city, he tries to make sense of what Carrion, a creation of Miles Warren, is and if this recent encounter will allow him to make sense of it all.[Continuity 4]

Chapter Two: Zombies on Broadway

When Spider-Man arrives on Broadway he is shocked to discover that not only is there a new Carrion, but he has also turned innocent people into an army of mindless zombies under his control. This puts Spider-Man at a disadvantage as he cannot harm the innocen people. Meanwhile, Carrion gloats over his abilities while the voice in his head tells him to stop belaboring the situation and kill Spider-Man once and for all. Unfortunately for Carrion, the wall-crawler manages to web him to the roof of a car. With the battle quickly turning on him, Carrion orders his thralls to kill Spider-Man and teleports away. In order to contain these mindless zombies, Spider-Man pens them in a dead-end alley with a bus and webs it into place to keep them from getting out.

Wondering what to do next about these innocent victims, Spider-Man watches as SHIELD helicopters arrive on the scene and gas them all. When he swings up onto one of the choppers, the SHIELD agents inside draw their weapons and order the web-slinger to stand down. Spider-Man is taken to a SHIELD facility under the command of Dum Dum Dugan. Dugan has decided to bring Spider-Man in on this since he has had past experience with Carrion before. He quickly tells the web-spinner that this zombie plague doesn't appear to be fatal, but they have no cure as yet. The only clue they have is that William Allen -- the new Carrion -- kept on muttering about something called "Aces and Eights". Spider-Man is horrified to learn that Allen was examining the Jackal's body when he was exposed to the Carrion virus.[Continuity 5] Regardless of Spider-Man's anger, Dugan is dedicated to finding a cure having assigned Doctor Leslie Miglietta to try and develop one.

That's when the Tinkerer comes barging in demanding to know what has happened to his son, Rick, who is a SHIELD agent. Spider-Man quickly disarms him and Doctor Miglietta quickly explains that Rick was infected with the Carrion virus and they are looking for a cure. Learning that they have not found a cure, the Tinkerer tries to flee. When the wall-crawler grabs the Tinkerer, the villain pushes himself backwards causing both Spider-Man and himself to pass through the wall. The pair find themselves transported into the Tinkerer's lab. The web-slinger quickly learns that the Tinkerer has been repairing the Enclave's Transfer Grid, allowing him to teleport anywhere on Earth. Convincing the Tinkerer to help him, Spider-Man has the inventor create a new wrist band so the web-slinger can be transported to someone who can help.

Chapter Three: Voices From the Past

Soon, Spider-Man is transported to Wundagore Mountain where he is quickly surrounded by the Knights of Wundagore. The web-spinner quickly disarms them and demands to be taken to their leader, the High Evolutionary. The Evolutionary does not wish to get involved in the affairs of man. Spider-Man refuses to give up, reminding the High Evolutionary that his banishment of Warren from his domain and his later attempt to cover up Warren's cloning technology led to these events coming to play. Unfortunately, his pleas fall on deaf ears and the High Evolutionary teleports Spider-Man back to his home in Queens, startling his wife by his sudden appearance. Trying to think about what to do next, Peter remembers he still has Miles Warren's journal in his home. He hopes that the High Evolutionary didn't alter the notes on the Carrion virus.

Using the Transfer Grid to return to the Tinkerer's lab, the device overloads and explodes. There, both Spider-Man and the Tinkerer hear a radio report about a threat being made by Carrion. The creature demands that the web-slinger meet him atop the Empire State Building within the hour or he will unleash his virus over the entire city. Handing the Tinkerer the Jackal's journal, he tells the inventor to take it to SHIELD and try and develop a cure. Spider-Man arrives at the Empire State Building where he is attacked by a swarm of enthralled people. He quickly webs them up and goes inside looking for Carrion. By this point, the voice in Carrion's mind has gotten fed up of Allen putting off killing Spider-Man and decides to take full control. Confronting Spider-Man, Carrion explains that the original Carrion was indeed a clone of himself, a plague carrier of the original Carrion virus that he hoped to use to wipe out humanity and replace them with clones of his own creation.[Continuity 6] Accusing Spider-Man of also killing Gwen Stacy, Carrion tries to use his touch of death on the wall-crawler.[Continuity 7]

Ultimately, Carrion is defeated by Spider-Man due to the conflicting personalities of Miles Warren and William Allen. Taking Carrion back to SHIELD, the creature is quickly put in stasis. That's when Leslie Miglietta enters the room and informs Spider-Man and Dum Dum Dugan that, with the help of Herbert Wyndham -- a scientist from the CDC -- helped develop a cure for the zombie virus affecting Carrion's victims. That's when Dugan and Miglietta suddenly enter a trance state and Herbert reveals himself to be none other than the High Evolutionary. He explains that Allen was exposed to the Carrion virus which was implanted in the Jackal's body. However, Allen's genetics were sufficiently different that it was impossible for Miles Warren's persona to take full control, hence the different abilities and fractured memories. Handing over Warren's journal -- with all the potentially dangerous material expunged -- the Evolutionary tells Spider-Man that SHIELD should find what they need to cure William of the Carrion virus.

Solicit Synopsis

Carrion rises from the grave in this 48-page one-shot! Learn the secrets behind this long-time Spidey foe as he ascends up the supervillain ladder to become a major player in the Marvel Universe.

Notes

Continuity Notes

  1. This recounting of Spider-Man's origins was originally told in Amazing Fantasy #15. In Peter's recollection, he is depicted as appearing on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. Particularly since Carson retired as host of the Tonight Show in 1992 and since passed away in 2005.
  2. 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. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here.
  3. Using ash to write "The Dead Walk" was the modus operandi of the original Carrion as seen in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #25-31.
  4. There is a lot about Carrion to unpack here.
    • When Peter encountered the first Carrion in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #25-31, the creature stated that it was a clone of Miles Warren.
    • In The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #8, Spider-Man was told by the High Evolutionary that Miles Warren did not actually create clones, but a method could transform someone into Bio-Duplicates of others.
    • This appeared to be confirmed in The Spectacular Spider-Man #149, Peter discovered a diary allegedly written by Miles Warren that claimed that Carrion was actually someone else. It was also in that story that Malcolm McBride was transformed into the second Carrion.
    • Peter mentions how McBride has since been cured of the Carrion virus in Amazing Spider-Man #403.
    • Lastly, Peter recounts how Ben Reilly discovered that the High Evolutionary's original claims and the journal that Peter found were all an elaborate hoax by the Evolutionary to prevent humanity from discovering the secrets of cloning. This revelation was made in Scarlet Spider Unlimited #1.
  5. Some facts here:
    • Everyone believes the Jackal was killed in Spider-Man: Maximum Clonage Omega #1. However, he resurfaces alive in Daredevil vs. Punisher #1. There is no explicit explanation as what SHIELD was really dissecting. However, it was probably a clone of Miles Warren.
    • Spider-Man believes that this wouldn't be happening if Nick Fury was still alive. At the time of this story, everyone believes Nick Fury was killed by the Punisher in Double Edge Omega #1. However, this was later revealed to be a Life Model Decoy and the real Fury will later turn up alive in Fury / Agent 13 #1-2.
  6. Carrion mentions how the Jackal made a failed attempt to do this recently. That happened during the Maximum Clonage event.
    Maximum Clonage
    Spider-Man: The Jackal Files #1 New Warriors #61 Spider-Man: Maximum Clonage Alpha #1 Web of Spider-Man #127 Amazing Spider-Man #404 Spider-Man #61 The Spectacular Spider-Man #227 Spider-Man: Maximum Clonage Omega #1
  7. Gwen Stacy was actually murdered by the Green Goblin, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #121.

Publication Notes

  • This issue is reprinted in comics and books, see references for more info.[2]

See Also

Footnotes

  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
  2. This issue is reprinted in the following comics/TPB's:



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