Appearing in "Ties That Bind!"
- Sneak Thief (First appearance)
- Life Foundation
- Orwell Taylor
- The Jury
- Jerry Powers (Only appearance; dies)
- Professor Toshiro Mikashi (First appearance)
- Annie O'Brien (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only) (tv reporter)
- Venom (Eddie Brock) (Robot)
- United States of America
Synopsis for "Ties That Bind!"
The Jury is engaged in a training exercise to prepare themselves with their next encounter with Venom, complete with a robotic duplicate of their target.[Continuity 1] During the training exercise, Ramshot becomes too concern for the lives of innocents, prompting their founder -- Orwell Taylor -- to stop the simulation and chastise him for continuing to let this keep him from carrying out their mandate.[Continuity 2]
While on the east coast, Spider-Man has interrupted an attack on the New York Stock Exchange Stone is furious that they were held up due to Styx's constant hunger. When Stone tries to blast the wall-crawler, Spider-Man leaps out of the way making him strike Styx. He quickly knocks out Stone and webs the pair up. He is then thanked by the stockbrokers that were caught in the middle of the battle. They give the wall-crawler some stock tips, mentioning that some crime organization in Washington, D.C. have been affected the market. Deciding to learn more, Spider-Man decides to ask Stone what he knows about this organization. Stone says that this "secret society" was holding auditions for thieves to steal antiquities. Stone turned it down because he and Styx are professionals and don't audition anything. On his way home, Spider-Man wants to investigate this organization, and even though it will take him away from home.
In Washington, at Williams University, student Jerry Sterling is distracted by the newspaper. His teacher, Doctor Toshiro Mikashi tells him to focus on his lessons. He tells Professor Mikashi that he was just reading up on the crime wave that has been plaguing their city. Mikashi warns that he needs to keep his mind on his studies as they have an exam coming up. After class is dismissed, Dr. Mikashi is visited by some men in suits. They demand that Mikashi produce results on the project they hired him to work on. Meanwhile, in a secret bunker, a group of mysterious men are interviewing a cat thief named Sneak Thief. They are asking her to steal a 500-year-old vase that is on display a Williams University. Although her credentials are untested, she is certain she can accomplish the job. Back at the university, Jerry Sterling is working in Mikashi's lab, making sure all of his data is properly organized. Finding a disc that is unlabelled, he decides to try and figure out what's on it.[Continuity 3] However, when he tries to access the data, he discovers that it is password protected. Undaunted, he manages to guess the password. He then finds files on something called the Arachnis Project. Before he can learn any more about the project, he is caught looking through the files and is murdered.
Back in New York City, Spider-Man is busting up a pair of crooks that are robbing a restaurant. One of them tries to make a run for it but is webbed up outside. This happens outside of an electronics store where he overhears a news report about Jerry Powers' murder. He learns about how the lab was run by Toshiro Mikashi, who is also rumored to be working on black projects in bio-genetics for the NSA, claims that are denied. As it happens, Toshiro Mikashi was one of Peter Parker's old college professors. After hearing this, he should go to Washington, after all, to find out what's going on. The following morning, after a quick flight to the nation's capital, Spider-Man is web-slinging across Washingon. That evening, the wall-crawler arrives at Williams University just as the authorities have finished interrogating Professor Mikashi. His mysterious employers have been spying on him and report that Mikashi will keep quiet. When Spider-Man looks in on his old teacher, he notices that the man is crying and wonders if he is doing so because she is guilty or if he is being framed. At the same time, Sneak Thief has broken into the university's antiquities department. Using her ability to be able to walk through any security system without setting it off, she is about to steal the vase when she is caught by Spider-Man.
The wall-crawler webs Sneak Thief to the floor and is about to apprehend her when suddenly the wall behind him is blown open. This was caused by a man calling himself the Spoiler, who was hired by her employers to eliminate Sneak Thief if she failed in her mission. Things get even more complicated when the bounty hunter known as Warrant shows up. Warrant doesn't care what Spoiler does to the wall-crawler but he is taking Sneak Thief with him. However, the Spoiler isn't about to allow Warrant to interfere with his job.
- ↑ The Jury was formed by Orwell Taylor to hunt down and eliminate Venom. This is because Venom murdered Orwell's son during an escape from the Vault in Amazing Spider-Man #375. He formed the Jury in Venom Lethal Protector #2 to capture him.
- ↑ The last time Ramshot's morals interfered with their mission was when the Jury went after Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #383-385.
- ↑ The type of data storage depicted here is a 3.5" floppy disk. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 as this technology is considered obsolete.
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- ↑ First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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