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Quote1.png I know what it's like to have no one, and no chance for a normal life. Quote2.png
Spider-Man (Ben Reilly)

Appearing in "The Game Of Life"

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Synopsis for "The Game Of Life"

At the scene of an apartment fire, Spider-Man performs CPR on a young boy who is stopped breathing. To his relief, the wall-crawler gets the boy breathing again and he is rushed off the scene by paramedics. That's when Spider-Man is approached by members of the media who begin to ask him if he is the original Spider-Man or another individual and if he has any connections to the Scarlet Spider.[Continuity 1] The wall-crawler ignores their questions, hearing the young boy plead for someone to rescue his mother, who is still trapped in the burning building. Although firefighters don't have much hope that a woman could survive in the inferno. Although the boy pleads with the wall-crawler to help rescue his mother, Spider-Man wishes he could as no child should lose their parents. Once the ambulance is out of sight, it is attacked by the mercenary known as El Toro Negro who has come for the child.

Back at the scene of the fire, Spider-Man continues to ignore the reporters so he can web up falling debris. That's when everyone notices a woman fly out of the building. Although her clothes are tattered, she appears to be unharmed by the flames. She calls out to her son, Carlos, who was the boy taken away in an ambulance. The woman suddenly collapses to the ground, prompting Spider-Man to rush to her side. The woman, named Poison, recognizes the wall-crawler and begins telling him that the fire was intentionally set and the person responsible is dangerous.[Continuity 2] When Spider-Man tells her that she needs to calm down and get to a hospital, she becomes upset. The web-slingers attempts to calm her are interrupted by the reporters who are still trying to interview him. Fed up with the constant questions, Spider-Man webs up their cameras and microphones and then promises Poison that he will find her son. Later, Ben Reilly reports for work at the Daily Grind where he takes interest in news reports about Poison. Between the news reports and Buzz, the Grind's ever-present regular, Ben learns about Poison's career as a vigilante taking down drug cartels in Miami. However, Reilly is disturbed to learn that there is no report about the boy that Spider-Man rescued.

Elsewhere, a wealthy man named Paris Scott watches the news, he is a participant in the Great Game and the news about Poison greatly interests him. While at this moment, Mystery -- disguised as Randolph Hines -- has just finished purchasing a television transmitter that will finally allow him to achieve his dreams as well as finally end the life of Spider-Man. Later, Ben Reilly has finished his shift at the Daily Grind and is signing the lease on his new apartment. When his landlord comes back to give him his security key, Ben has somehow left his apartment without her seeing. This is because Ben changed into Spider-Man and left out the window to begin his search for Poison's son Carlos. His first stop is the hospital to tell the woman what happened to her son. She instantly becomes angry that Spider-Man failed to protect her son. He learns from the nurses that the boy never arrived at the hospital, and tell him to leave while the sedate Poison as his presence is agitating her. An hour later, Poison is visited by a Great Game representative named Trenton Lipton III. He has come to give her a new costume, the rules of the Great Game, rules she will have to follow if she wants to get her son back. When Spider-Man returns later, Poison is out of bed and wearing her new costume. As he tries to get her to explain what's going on, she calls El Toro Negro to learn where she can recover her son. Hearing El Toro's name, the wall-crawler warns her that the mercenary cannot be trusted, but she doesn't want to listen to him and flies away.[Continuity 3] When Poison flies off, Spider-Man decides to follow after her to make sure she doesn't get in over her head.

Soon, Poison forces her way into the warehouse where she is supposed to meet El Toro Negro. There she demands that he return her son, however, the villain reveals that he has Carlos strapped with explosives. In his hands, El Toro Negro is holding a "dead man's switch" that will set off the bombs if anything happens to him. He then demands that she call Paris Scott and tell him that she is resigning from the Great Game and that Negro will take her place as Scott's champion. Poison agrees, using the provided phone to tell Scott that she will not participate. That's when Spider-Man comes crashing into the warehouse warning Poison not to trust El Toro Negro. Annoyed by the wall-crawler's interference, and reminded of how a similar individual led to his arrest, he orders Poison to kill Spider-Man in order to get her son back. Desperate to get her boy back, Poison attacks Spider-Man, who is caught off guard by her strength and speed. However, as she tries to strangle the web-slinger to death, Carlos cries out to his mother to stop, telling her that Spider-Man saved his life the night before. This causes Poison to pause, but El Toro Negro reminds her that he will kill her son if she doesn't comply.

Explaining how she has been given powers by an alien force, she uses the energies within her body to seemingly incinerate Spider-Man. However, this is all a ruse, as she actually teleported the web-head close enough to web up the detonator. While Spider-Man knocks out El Toro Negro, Poison frees her son from the explosives. With El Toro Negro webbed up for the authorities, Poison thanks Spider-Man for his help. When Spider-Man asks if there is anything he can do to help Poison and her son set themselves up in New York City, she tells him that he has already done enough and will now live by his example.


Continuity Notes

  1. These reporters are pretty close to the truth. The real Spider-Man, Peter Parker retired from web-slinging in Spectacular Spider-Man #229. This is his clone, Ben Reilly, who took on the mantle of Spider-Man when his reputation as the Scarlet Spider was ruined in Web of Scarlet Spider #2.
  2. Poison met a Spider-Man, that being Peter Parker in Web of Spider-Man Annual #4.
  3. Spider-Man previously encountered El Toro Negro as the Scarlet Spider during the Cyberwar story arc.
    Web of Scarlet Spider #2 Amazing Scarlet Spider #2 Green Goblin #3 Scarlet Spider #2 Spectacular Scarlet Spider #2

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