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Appearing in "Breaking and Entering!"

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Synopsis for "Breaking and Entering!"

In Midtown Manhattan, the Hulk is on a rampage outside of Avengers Manson. Although the building is under the protection of an army of SHIELD Mandroids, they are unprepared to face the Hulk and call for back-up. While, not far away, Spider-Man is swinging across the city, testing out a new batch of webbing. That's when he spots the SHIELD Helicarrier hovering over Avengers Mansion and wonders what is going on. Going inside the building, the wall-crawler is approached by a surviving -- but damaged -- Life Model Decoy. Used as a mean to communicate with Spider-Man, SHIELD agents aboard the helicarrier tell the wall-crawler how the building was attacked by the Hulk. Realizing that the situation could boil over and get a lot of innocent people hurt, Spider-Man asks the SHIELD agents to give fifteen minutes to try and contain the situation. Aboard the helicarrier, the commanding officer weighs his options, and with reports of a third figure in the building, he decides to give Spider-Man his chance to diffuse the situation.

Soon, Spider-Man finds the Hulk ripping apart Tony Stark's old lab. When the wall-crawler tries to get him to stop, the Hulk tells Spider-Man to leave him alone, as he is looking for notes by both Bruce Banner and Tony Stark that could save his life.[Continuity 1] Before the pair can come to blows, they are interrupted by the man known as Aquarian. On his way to a world peace seminar, he was drawn to this location when the Hulk attacked. He insists that they find a non-violent solution to this problem, but the gamma-spawned monster is uninterested in doing things peacefully. However, when he tosses a desk at Aquarian, the new-age guru uses his powers to stop the projectile dead in its tracks. When Aquarian then tries to empathize with the Hulk's plight, the creature dismisses the newcomer's concerns. That's when the LMD catches up with them and warns the three heroes that there is an intruder in the Avenger's computer lab. Although the Hulk is initially unconcerned about this new development, both Aquarian and Spider-Man convince him to lend a hand stopping this new intruder.

In the computer room, they discover one of Doctor Doom's Doombots attempting to hack its way into the database. Unable to use his null-field to deal with the robot without damaging the data contained on the computer, Aquarian has to take to the sidelines while Spider-Man and Hulk try to deal with the robot. When attempting to smash the automation, they discover that it is a modular creature that used its components to smuggle itself into Avengers Mansion one piece at a time. In the ensuing battle, the Doombot is deactivated, and their LMD ally has been severely damaged. With SHIELD agents coming down to deal with the situation, Spider-Man discovers that the Doombot still managed to hack into the Avengers computers and the data is now downloading to Doom's servers in Latveria. With the LMD's guidance, the wall-crawler hooks the damaged android into the computer. Although the LMD is unable to stop the transfer of data, he manages to download a deadly computer virus that causes all of the computer frameworks in Latveria to crash. With the crisis over, both the Hulk and Aquarian depart, despite SHIELD's attempts to contain the man-monster.

Appearing in "Lost Souls"

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Synopsis for "Lost Souls"

The patrons at the Rosewater Ballroom are all fascinated by the arrival of a mysterious newcomer who enters the club and instantly swoons a woman off her feet and onto the dancefloor. As the woman dances with this mystery man, she is curious as to who he is and removes his sunglasses. She is horrified to discover that the man's eyes are blood red.

By 2 am, the Rosewater Ballroom is a crime scene after all of the patrons and staff were savagely murdered by someone. Questioning officers on the scene is the Daily Bugle's Ben Urich, who is accompanied by photographer Peter Parker. Detective Karp tells Ben Urich that there are no obvious signs pointing to the motive of this slaughter. The gruesome scene is unsettling to Parker, who doesn't understand how Detective Karp can stomach all the blood and death. Suddenly, Peter becomes aware of Doctor Strange who enters the room and he realizes that this might not be an ordinary crime. When Strange stares at Peter, the photographer wonders if the Doctor has somehow deduced that he is secretly Spider-Man. That's when Detective Karp orders Strange to get out of her crime scene. However, with a simple hypnotic suggestion, Stephen Strange sends her away so he can examine the crime scene himself. Using the Eye of Agamotto, the mage uses his magical abilities to learn what happened. The Eye summons up the image of a bat, and Strange instantly recognizes who the killer is and abruptly leaves as quickly as he arrived. When Ben Urich tries to get answers from Strange he is ignored. It's moments later that the reporter also notices that Peter Parker has also disappeared.

Having changed into Spider-Man, Parker meets with Doctor Strange outside and asks what's going on. Strange tells the web-spinner to go about his life, but Spider-Man insists on getting involved. Unable to dissuade his ally, Doctor Strange explains that the killer he is looking for is the lord of vampires known as Dracula. At that moment, Raynee, the woman that Dracula enthralled at the ballroom, tries to make sense of her situation. None of it feels real, especially the bite marks that she has found on her chest. That's when Dracula enters the room and assures her that this is all real and that it will take time for Raynee to get orientated once she becomes a vampire. Still, the young woman cannot get over all the blood and death she witnessed this past evening. Escorting Raynee to bed, Dracula assures her that people are nothing more than cattle for them to feed upon and that everything. By this time, Doctor Strange has brought Spider-Man back to his Sanctum Sanctorum where he convinces Spider-Man that Dracula is real.[Continuity2 1] Worse, Doctor Strange relates how, during his last encounter with the vampire, Dracula nearly killed the Sorcerer Supreme.[Continuity 2]

Needing to find Dracula right away, Doctor Strange uses the Eye of Agamotto to seek him out. He pulls up the image of a brownstone in the west village where the vampire has been hiding out. However, no sooner as he has done this, Dracula's mystical senses send the spectral image of a wolf which attacks the mage. As soon as the wall-crawler tries to pull the wolf off of Doctor Strange, it dissolves into mist. Seriously injured, Doctor Strange tells Spider-Man that he needs to stop Dracula. The web-slinger refuses to leave without getting Strange medical help. However, the mage insists that he can heal himself and begins to float in the air just as he enters a coma. With no other choice, Spider-Man swings off to face one of the oldest evils in the world. Meanwhile, Raynee explores Dracula's abode and finds a closet full of strange globes that have swirling lights contained within. Touching one causes the energies inside to begin swirling around startling her enough to drop it. When the globe shatters, the energies begin swirling around her, causing her to feel great torment. That's when Dracula enters the room and chants a spell that contains the energies once again. After Dracula tells her that this room is forbidden to Raynee, he senes that someone is coming and both go outside to greet Spider-Man and invites him in. Although the vampire lord is annoyed with Spider-Man's constant references to the books and movies about him, Dracula invites him in for dinner.

Falling victim to the vampire's hypnotic abilities, Spider-Man complies. However, when the vampire begins trying to justify his centuries of slaughter and bloodshed, claiming that he was the hero of his people in Transylvania, the web-slinger snaps out of Dracula's trance and attacks him. In response, Dracula transforms into a wolf and overpowers Spider-Man, intending on turning the wall-crawler into one of his loyal vampires. Meanwhile, in the Astral Plane, Doctor Strange uses his mystical abilities to fight off the vampiric taint that is trying to take control of his body. Fighting off this taint -- appearing in the form of a flurry of vampire bats -- Strange travels through this astral realm where he finds the astral form of Dracula. The two engage in mystic battle, but Doctor Strange is far more adept at the mystic arts than the vampire. The losing battle in the Astral Plane also has an effect on Dracula in the real world, allowing Spider-Man to fight off Dracula's wolf form. As Strange contains Dracula's astral form, Spider-Man beats his physical body into submission. That's when Strange arrives in person and seals Dracula in a mystical cage. To Spider-Man's surprise, Raynee still loves Dracula despite all he has done. However, Strange reveals that she is not a real person, but a Golem created by Dracula to unconditionally love him. When Raynee refuses to believe this, as she has memories of a life and a family before Dracula, Strange summons the mystical globes explaining that they have the spirits of many of Dracula's victims which he used to facilitate bringing her to life.

Raynee pleads to Dracula to deny these allegations, however, the vampire lord plunges his hand into Raynee's chest causing to crumble into clay dust. Furious over this latest defeat, Dracula then turns into mist and swirls away, vowing to get revenge against Doctor Strange once again. Despite Strange's attempt to stop Dracula, the vampire manages to get away along with the stolen souls he had kept. With nothing left to do, Doctor Strange tells Spider-Man to go home and spend time with his wife as the next phase of this battle will not take place in the physical plane.[Continuity2 2] Unable to sleep that evening, Peter Parker wonders if Dracula truly loved Raynee and what his plans are for the future. However, decides that all he can do is hope that love can thward Dracula's plans, because with love always brings hope.

Notes

Continuity Notes

Breaking and Entering

  1. At the time of this story, the Avengers and the Fantastic Four are believed to have died during Onslaught Marvel Universe #1. In this same battle, the Hulk and Bruce Banner were separated and Banner was seemingly killed as well. However, they all survived and continue to live in a pocket universe, as seen in the Heroes Reborn event. They will return to their proper Earth, and Banner merged with the Hulk again in Heroes Reborn: The Return #1-4.
  2. Dracula's clash with Doctor Strange happened in Tomb of Dracula #44/Doctor Strange Vol 2 #14.

Lost Souls

  1. Although Spider-Man crossed paths with Dracula in Giant-Size Spider-Man #1, he didn't actually meet the legendary vampire face-to-face, hence his disbelief here.
  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.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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