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Appearing in "Shadow of the Cat"

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Synopsis for "Shadow of the Cat"

Swinging across Manhattan, Spider-Man thinks about how he sometimes forgets how big the city is and sometimes wishes there were two of him, but then quickly changes his mind.[Continuity 1] The wall-crawler then focuses on the task at hand, finding someone who has been tearing a path across the city's underbelly, stop him, and then get home to get a good nights sleep so he can focus on his studies in the morning. He briefly wonders what he was thinking when he decided to go back to school when he already has enough pressures including keeping his marriage together.[Continuity 2] When he arrives at a local dive bar for answers but seeing the storefront window broken and men laying on the street he realizes that he is too late. Going inside, Spider-Man admits that the beat up crooks make his life easier, he just can't condone senseless violence. When one of the patrons notices it is Spider-Man he is relieved and tells the others they can stop playing dead since the wall-crawler is here to protect them.

As the men get off the floor, their leader explains that the man who attacked them tonight said he would be back to finish the job if they didn't get what he wanted. Seeing these tough guys in abject fear, he wonders who is responsible for this. When he notices a cat at the bar, the feline arches its back and hisses at him, making him also wonder what Betty Brant has gotten him into.

Earlier That Evening...

Peter and Mary Jane are relaxing at home when the phone begins to ring. Mary Jane pleads with Peter to leave it be as this is the first night they have had by themselves after everything they have endured in recent times, especially after Peter is still recovering from being bitten in the neck by Morbius the Living Vampire.[Continuity 3] When the answering machine picks up, Betty Brant tells Peter to pick up the phone because she has a photo assignment. Telling Mary Jane that they need the money, Peter picks up the phone to see what Betty wants. Betty is investigating the kidnapping of a young child of a wealthy family and she wants Peter to join her at the building on Park Avenue where the child was snatched to take pictures. Peter isn't sure if he wants to take the assignment because it sounds like tabloid material, however, Betty rings the doorbell, revealing that she is standing outside to pick him up.

Now

Spider-Man has found another gang of thugs who have been beaten up by the mystery attacker. These men are in better shap and Spider-Man hopes he can get more answers from them. However, when he signs his spider-signal on them, the men turn around and begin shooting at the wall-crawler. Dodging the bullets, Spider-Man tries to reason with the shooters but is forced to knock them out. Looking around the scene of the attack he spots the symbol of a cat that has been burned into a piece of wood on the scene. As this is the only clue to who the attacker is, Spider-Man wonders who the Cat could be.

Earlier

Betty Brant and Peter Parker arrive at the Park Avenue apartment building where the kidnapping took place. The place is swarmed with police who don't give them a second look when they walk inside. As they pass through the lobby they see a dozen cops that have been beaten up and need medical attention. With the sheer number of injured people, Betty can't believe that this is the work of a single man. As they enter the elevator, Peter tells her that there is only one way to find out...

Now

On the Lower East Side, three mobsters are trying to make it to a nearby safehouse when they cross paths with a black cat. When one of them suggests that they shoot the feline, their leader tells them that wouldn't be a good idea. That's when the mystery attacker ambushes them from behind, demanding to know what happened to the kidnapped child. The men insist that they don't know anything about it, but one of them heard that the kid could be being kept at the docks.

Although he doesn't kill them, the attacker gives them a beating that they will never forget before picking up his cat and sprinting away.

Earlier

Arriving at the apartment, Peter and Betty notice that the door has been broken off its hinges. Peter suggests that they leave, but they are invited in by the woman whose child was kidnapped. She says that the person responsible is her husband, Shen Kuei, also known as the Cat a martial artist of great skill.[Continuity 4] She goes on to say that Shen was a master of espionage but recently started focusing on darker pursuits, forcing her to leave him. As such, she is convinced that it was her former husband who took their son. Hearing this, Peter abruptly tells Betty that he can't be party to this and that it is a job for the police before storming out. However, this is all in order to slip onto the roof and change into Spider-Man to begin the search that would later take him on a wild goose chase all over the city.

Now

On the docks on Manhattan's West Side, the Cat arrives and demands the kidnappers give up his son as it is he that they want and not the boy. He then quickly turns and tries to kick the person sneaking up behind him. Thanks to his spider-sense, Spider-Man is able to dodge the blow which is strong enough to shatter some nearby crates on impact. The Cat continues to attack, while Spider-Man tries to explain that he is a hero and he has come to help. Stopping his attack, Shen Kuei tells the wall-crawler that he doesn't need any help. However, Spider-Man's spider-sense begins going off again and he shoves the Cat out of the way to avoid an electrical blast.

That's when they spot the men who have kidnapped the Cat's son, the mercenaries known as Shockwave and Razorfist. The two men tell the Cat not to make any moves or his son will be killed. They explain that their employer wanted to send a message to Shen, to tell him that he is to not interfere with their operations in New York City.[Continuity 5] The Cat tries to explain that he has no interest in getting involved. Still, Razorfist is certain that won't be the case for very long. To prove his point, Shen offers them whatever they want. When they demand his life, the Cat willingly offers his surrender despite Spider-Man's protests. When Spider-Man tries to stop him, the Cat is able to fight his way free and gets Spider-Man to promise to make sure his son stays safe, as the boy is more important than his own life. Spider-Man agrees and swings off as Razorfist leaps down to battle the Cat.[Continuity 6] With the Cat gaining the advantage in the battle, Shockwave begins threatening his son in order to remind the martial artist that he is supposed to lose this fight.

That's when Spider-Man comes up behind Shockwave and knocks him out with a single punch. With his son in safe hands, the Cat then chops off Razorfist's mechanical hands and razor blades with a single blow from each hand. Before knocking out Razorfit, the Cat tells him that because of the actions of his employer the Cat will remain in New York City and investigate him now, just the thing they were trying to avoid. In the aftermath of the battle, Spider-Man is glad he was able to prevent the Cat's child from getting murdered, happy to help a family avoid suffering the same loss that he and Mary Jane have.

Later

When Peter Parker returns home, both Mary Jane and Betty Brant are waiting for them. They tell him the news that Spider-Man helped rescue the kidnapped boy and that he is safe. Hearing this, Peter hugs his wife. When she asks him why he is hugging her, he tells her that it is for everything they have and all the things they have lost and apologizes that there wasn't more he could do. As they embrace, the couple are unaware that, outside, there is a black cat sitting on the railing of their poorch looking in on them.

Solicit Synopsis

FROM THE PAGES OF THE UNCANNY X-MEN COMES SHANG-CHI! IN CHAPTER ONE OF A THREE-PART SAGA, THE MARTIAL ARTS MASTER KNOWN AS THE CAT CREEPS INTO THE BIG APPLE. WHEN THE MASTER OF KUNG FU GETS INVOLVED, ITS ALL THE WEB-SPINNER CAN DO TO DODGE THE FLYING FISTS OF FURY!

Notes

Continuity Notes

  1. This is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the recently finished Clone Saga.
    Clone Saga Reading Order
    Prelude
    The Double
    Web of Spider-Man #117 Amazing Spider-Man #394 Spider-Man #51 The Spectacular Spider-Man #217
    The Parker Legacy
    Amazing Spider-Man #400 Spider-Man #57 The Spectacular Spider-Man #223
    The Lost Years
    Spider-Man: The Lost Years #1 Spider-Man: The Lost Years #2 Spider-Man: The Lost Years #3
    Act One
    Power and Responsibility
    Web of Spider-Man #117 Amazing Spider-Man #394 Spider-Man #51 The Spectacular Spider-Man #217
    The Exile Returns
    Web of Spider-Man #118 Spider-Man Unlimited #7 Spider-Man #52 Web of Spider-Man #119 Spider-Man #53
    Back From the Edge
    Spider-Man Unlimited #7 Amazing Spider-Man #395 The Spectacular Spider-Man #218 Amazing Spider-Man #396 The Spectacular Spider-Man #219
    Web of Life
    Web of Spider-Man #120 Spider-Man #54 Web of Spider-Man #121 Spider-Man #55
    Web of Death
    Amazing Spider-Man #397 The Spectacular Spider-Man #220 Amazing Spider-Man #398 The Spectacular Spider-Man #221
    Funeral for an Octopus
    Spider-Man Unlimited #8 Spider-Man: Funeral for an Octopus #1 Spider-Man: Funeral for an Octopus #2 Spider-Man: Funeral for an Octopus #3
    Smoke and Mirrors
    Web of Spider-Man #122 Amazing Spider-Man #399 Spider-Man #56 Spider-Man: The Clone Journal #1
    Spider-Man: The Clone Journal #1
    Players and Pawns
    The Spectacular Spider-Man #222 Web of Spider-Man #123 Amazing Spider-Man #400
    Aftershocks
    Spider-Man #57 The Spectacular Spider-Man #223
    Mark of Kaine
    Web of Spider-Man #124 Amazing Spider-Man #401 Spider-Man #58 The Spectacular Spider-Man #224 Spider-Man Unlimited #9
    Crossfire
    Web of Spider-Man #125 Amazing Spider-Man #402 Spider-Man #59 The Spectacular Spider-Man #225
    The Trial of Peter Parker
    Web of Spider-Man #126 Amazing Spider-Man #403 Spider-Man #60 The Spectacular Spider-Man #226
    Planet of the Symbiotes
    Amazing Spider-Man Super Special #1 Spider-Man Super Special #1 Venom Super Special #1 Spectacular Spider-Man Super Special #1 Web of Spider-Man Super Special #1
    Act Two
    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
    Growing Pains
    Amazing Spider-Man Super Special #1 Spider-Man Super Special #1 Venom Super Special #1 Spectacular Spider-Man Super Special #1 Web of Spider-Man Super Special #1
    The Exiled
    Web of Spider-Man #128 Amazing Spider-Man #405 Spider-Man #62 Spider-Man Unlimited #10
    Time Bomb
    The Spectacular Spider-Man #228 Web of Spider-Man #129
    The Greatest Responsibility
    Amazing Spider-Man #406 Spider-Man #63 The Spectacular Spider-Man #229 Spider-Man: The Parker Years #1
    Act Three
    Scarlet Spider Unlimited #1
    Virtual Morality
    Scarlet Spider Unlimited #1 Web of Scarlet Spider #1 Amazing Scarlet Spider #1 Scarlet Spider #1 The Spectacular Scarlet Spider #1
    Cyberwar
    Web of Scarlet Spider #2 Amazing Scarlet Spider #2 Green Goblin #3 Scarlet Spider #2 The Spectacular Scarlet Spider #2
    Nightmare in Scarlet
    Web of Scarlet Spider #3 New Warriors #67 Web of Scarlet Spider #4
    The Sensational Spider-Man
    Wizard Mini-Comic #3 Sensational Spider-Man #0 Amazing Spider-Man #407 Spider-Man #64 The Spectacular Spider-Man #230 Spider-Man Unlimited #11
    The Final Adventure
    Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #1 Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #2 Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #3 Spider-Man: The Final Adventure #4
    Act Four
    Media Blizzard
    Sensational Spider-Man #1 Amazing Spider-Man #408 Spider-Man #65
    The Return of Kaine
    The Spectacular Spider-Man #231 Sensational Spider-Man #2 Amazing Spider-Man #409 Spider-Man #66 The Spectacular Spider-Man #232
    Web of Carnage
    Sensational Spider-Man #3 Amazing Spider-Man #410 Spider-Man #67 The Spectacular Spider-Man #233
    Blood Brothers
    Sensational Spider-Man #4 Amazing Spider-Man #411 Spider-Man #68 The Spectacular Spider-Man #234 Sensational Spider-Man #5 Amazing Spider-Man #412
    Redemption
    Spider-Man: Redemption #1 Spider-Man: Redemption #2 Spider-Man: Redemption #3 Spider-Man: Redemption #4
    Peter Parker Returns
    Sensational Spider-Man #7 Amazing Spider-Man #414 Spider-Man #71 The Spectacular Spider-Man #237
    Loose Ends
    Amazing Spider-Man #415 Spider-Man #72 Sensational Spider-Man #8 The Spectacular Spider-Man #238 Sensational Spider-Man #9 Amazing Spider-Man #416 Spider-Man #73 The Spectacular Spider-Man #239 Sensational Spider-Man #10 Amazing Spider-Man #417 Spider-Man #74
    Revelations
    The Spectacular Spider-Man #240 Sensational Spider-Man #11 Amazing Spider-Man #418 Spider-Man #75 Spider-Man: Revelations #1 Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal #1
  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. The Parkers have been through a lot recently:
    • Mary Jane mentions the discovery that Norman Osborn is still alive and that they recently lost their unborn child due to a miscarriage. These events happened during the Revelations story arc.
    Revelations
    The Spectacular Spider-Man #240 Sensational Spider-Man #11 Amazing Spider-Man #418 Spider-Man #75 Spider-Man: Revelations #1 Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal #1
    • Peter was bitten by Morbius in Spider-Man #77.
    • Peter also mentions how he cannot take too much aspirin or it will aggravate his ulcer. Peter has had this affliction since Amazing Spider-Man #113.
  4. The woman says that there is only one martial artist more skilled then Shen Kuei. She is referring to Shang-Chi, the Master of Kung Fu, who first clashed with the Cat in Master of Kung Fu #38-40.
  5. The identity of Shockwave and Razorfist's employer is never revealed.
  6. As they fight, the Cat mentions Razorfist's recent defeat at the hands of Elektra. That happened in Elektra #5-6.

See Also

Footnotes



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