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Issue Details
Pages
40
Original Price
$4.99
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Quote1.png This thing... it's alive. It has a right to make choices just as I do. It chooses to be with me, and I... choose to be with it. We're helping each other, I can feel it. It shouldn't be kept in a prison here. Quote2.png
-- Spider-Man


Appearing in "Part One of Four"

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Synopsis for "Part One of Four"

In a nightmare, Peter Parker desperately flees through a grey wasteland, stammering that he's doing his best. Suddenly engulfed by an amorphous black mass, a voice asks him if that's really true, the faces of Felicia Hardy, Mary Jane Watson, May Parker, and the skull of Gwen Stacy appearing and asking why if he's really doing his best so many of his loved ones die. Peter awakens with a gasp, still protesting that he's doing his best. Exhausted but unable to sleep, he notes his nightmares have been getting worse and that his life seems to be falling apart around him - Aunt May stopped speaking to him when he dropped out of college, and he's been messing up his relationships with Black Cat and MJ. As he notes he may as well go on patrol to get some fresh air, his Black Suit oozes off the chair its draped across and covers his body.

Web-swinging over the city, Spider-Man thinks to himself that his suit seems to be the only thing in his life to have gone right, possessing unlimited webbing, the ability to respond to his thoughts, and being made of some sort of alien material that doesn't need cleaning. Noting that he somewhat misses his red-and-blues, he toys with the idea of transforming his black suit into a red-and-black replica of his original costume. Interrupted by an elderly woman screaming for help from a nearby alley, Spider-Man spots a pair of knife-wielding muggers threatening her. Webbing up one of the muggers' hands, Spider-Man quips that the police like to make a game out of guessing what's under his webbing as it dissolves. Grabbing the woman, the other mugger threatens to kill her but Spider-Man web-yanks him and slams him into a wall, pulling back his fist and angrily saying he's tired of the crooks he catches never learning. Webbing the thugs up, he tells the woman he'll send some police he noticed over and is thanked by her; noting that the only time he feels normal these days is when he's on patrol. Noting how exhausted he feels, Spider-Man wonders if he should cut his patrol short and get some more sleep only for a distorted voice to tell him no. Pausing, Spider-Man worries he's so tired he's hallucinating.

In another nightmare, a flaming skull asks if he's the spider or the man. Awakening, he lashes out and throws Mary Jane Watson into a wall. As she berates him for attacking her, he apologizes - saying he's been having awful nightmares - before she stops and says that's why she's here. Apologizing for having walked out on him, MJ says the burden of knowing he's Spider-Man weighs heavily on her, but that no matter how much she wants to run she's his friend. As MJ says he's unravelling, Peter protests he's fine but MJ says it's obvious he's not - he's not sleeping and looks darker. As she picks up his black suit and notes it's not made of fabric, the black suit oozes out of her hands and back onto the chair. Sighing, Peter admits that she's right and that he'll get around to figuring it out sooner or later. Web-swinging through the city, Spider-Man thinks that while he may not be able to solve all his problems overnight he can at least get Mister Fantastic to check out his new costume. Abruptly, the suit refuses to fire a webline; leaving Spider-Man incredlous as gravity takes hold. Firing a web-line from his other hand, he wonders what happened and notes that this just gives him more of a reason to get it checked out. Spider-Man's spider-sense triggers just as an explosion detonates nearby, and he investigates to find the Hobgoblin - who he notes has been a huge thorn in his side lately - in the process of threatening someone.

Punched off his Bat Glider by Spider-Man, the Hobgoblin crash-lands on the hood of a car and throws a grenade, which stuns him. Sneering that he'll miss Spider-Man when he's dead, Hobgoblin prepares to throw another bomb, but Spider-Man web-yanks the car into him. As the Hobgoblin groans in pain, Spider-Man icily states that he's tired of repeatedly fighting the same villains over and over. Hobgoblin nervously asks if Spider-Man is having a bad day, to which Spider-Man retorts that he has had a lot of bad days before backhanding him. The dark voice in Spider-Man's head whispers for him to kill the Hobgoblin, but Spider-Man refuses and instead unmasks him to reveal Roderick Kingsley. His eyes growing jagged, Spider-Man mockingly asks the fashion mogul why he broke bad, and Kingsley replies he wanted power. Brutally pummeling him, Spider-Man - compelled by the dark voice to strike terror into Kingsley - snarls that the Hobgoblin has no clue what real power is; declaring himself to be power incarnate. Contemptuously tossing Kingsley to the ground, Spider-Man decides there's no point in sending him to prison when he'll just break out and instead leaves the Hobgoblin with a warning for the other super-villains: don't cross him. As he web-swings away, Spider-Man thinks to himself that he'd never really follow through on his threat.

That evening, Spider-Man meets with Black Cat and tells her what happened, Felicia approving of his darker attitude and saying that striking a little fear into his rogues gallery might make them less eager to come crawling out of the woodwork so often. Sighing, Spider-Man notes that it's not something he'd normally do before noting that what he usually does isn't working - adding that he's worried about his suit having malfunctioned. Black Cat reminds him he was going to get some super-genius scientist to check it out, and Spider-Man decides to finally stop putting it off.

At the Baxter Building the following day, the Human Torch interrupts Mister Fantastic's latest experiment to announce Spider-Man's arrival, only to be taken aback when Spider-Man snaps at him to shut up. Apologizing, Spider-Man says he's a little cranky due to not having slept well lately; Mister Fantastic saying that he's been eager to look at Spider-Man's new costume. Directing Spider-Man to a scanner, Mister Fantastic asks if Spider-Man has noticed anything unusual about it, and he mentions it refusing to fire a web-line a couple of days prior. Saying he doesn't think his suit is the reason he's so tired, Spider-Man notes that if anything it feels like the black suit is making him more powerful the more he wears it, and that he feels worse when separated from it. Lying down in the scanner, Spider-Man asks if he can take a nap while the scan occurs. As he falls asleep, Mister Fantastic and the Human Torch agree that something definitely seems off about him, Mister Fantastic noting that he has some suspicions but they'll know what's wrong soon enough.

In his dreams, Peter is surrounded by dozens of tiny people when he sees Aunt May calling out for help as a building collapses on her. Peter protests that he can't reach her in time without hurting the tiny people, May telling him he knows that he sometimes has to hurt people to protect others. Trampling the people in his way, Peter catches the building and strains to lift it as he protests he doesn't want to do so. The black suit covers him as its voice whispers that he needs to in order to be strong. Waking up with a start, Spider-Man is informed by Mister Fantastic that they let him sleep through the test, and that his nightmares make sense given that his black suit is actually an extraterrestrial symbiote seeking to mentally and physically bond with him. Spider-Man is briefly shocked before musing that it makes sense, Mister Fantastic suggesting he turn the symbiote over to be studied. Spider-Man refuses, Mister Fantastic insisting due to the damage it could be causing him. Saying that he chooses to honor the symbiote's status as a living, sentient being by accepting its bond with him, Spider-Man prepares to leave. Mister Fantastic reaches out to grab his shoulder only for Spider-Man to grab and crush his arm, icily calling Reed greedy and rebuking him for wanting to keep the symbiote locked up and experiment on it.

Perched on top of the train to Queens, Spider-Man thinks to himself that Reed means well and is probably concocting ways to "save" him, but that all he needs is a good night's sleep with no nightmares - the worst he's had since his Uncle Ben died. Resolving to make things right with his Aunt May, he transforms the symbiote into civilian clothes and knocks on the door to her house. Surprised to see him, May invites him inside - neither noticing the Hobgoblin watching from the shadows.

Inside, May asks if Peter has been doing well and he confesses he hasn't, apologizing for angering her by dropping out but saying he's fallen on hard times and that she's the only person who can bring him back to himself. Embracing her nephew, May apologizes for cutting him out and says she was just disappointed he wasn't living up to his full potential. As they reconcile, Peter's Spider-Sense goes off and the wall explodes, knocking them to the ground. Turning Peter sees the Hobgoblin gleefully perched on his glider, mockingly taunting him about knowing his secret identity. Livid, Peter transforms the symbiote into his black suit and uppercuts the Hobgoblin away, but the Hobgoblin remote-controls his glider to knock him away and snaps that Spider-Man started it by unmasking and threatening him. As Hobgoblin shouts that he ruined the game, Spider-Man shouts for him to shut up and kicks him through a lamppost. Hobgoblin mockingly asks if it hurts when it hits close to home, Spider-Man furiously pummeling him only to turn in horror as May's house catches fire. He tries to rush into the inferno to save his aunt, but the symbiote holds him back - telling him that fire could kill it. As he begs it to let him save his aunt, the symbiote says it can't. May's house explodes, throwing Spider-Man back, and he lets out a scream of despair as the symbiote apologizes and then directs his rage towards the Hobgoblin; Spider-Man turning to see the Hobgoblin limping away. Muttering that this was a huge mistake, the Hobgoblin is snared by webbing and coccooned until only his face is visible, stammering that Spider-Man started it. His rage transforms the symbiote into a more monstrous form, Spider-Man towers over the Hobgoblin and snarls in a distorted voice that he didn't start it, but is going to finish it. Grabbing the Hobgoblin's head, Spider-Man crushes his skull - thinking to himself that no matter what he does the people he cares about are going to get hurt or killed, and that it's past time he started using his power to do something about it.

Solicit Synopsis

WHAT IF PETER PARKER BECAME VENOM?

Peter Parker once put on an alien suit that nearly destroyed his life – but what if he’d never taken it off? Ignoring every warning, Spidey embraces the dark symbiote! Haunted by terrible nightmares and exhausted by an endless barrage of bad guys, Peter can’t seem to catch a break these days. So when the Hobgoblin attacks, he finds a hero at the end of his rope…and vulnerable to new dark impulses. Spider-Man is about to change his rules – but is it truly Peter who is in charge? Creative powerhouses Chip Zdarsky, Pasqual Ferry and Matt Hollingsworth bring you a terrifying tale of a Peter Parker possessed and on the edge!

See Also

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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