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Appearing in "A Sword In Hand!"

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Synopsis for "A Sword In Hand!"

Jessica Drew, as Spider-Woman, finds herself drawn to Britain's Natural History Museum in London, and specifically towards Morgan le Fay's Excalibur. However before she can pull the sword out of the stone, she is confronted by officers of Scotland Yard and is forced to flee. This gives Slapper Struthers, a thief who broke into the museum, a moment alone to pull the sword out himself.[Continuity 1] In doing so, he is connected through the ages to Morgan le Fay, who chooses him to be her tool in the modern age. She sends the soul of a knight to possess Struthers' body changing him into her warrior, Excalibur. When the police officers hear the commotion, Excalibur attacks them, drawing Spider-Woman back to defend them, but she is knocked out by one of his mystical blasts for long enough to allow him to escape. Exhausted by her encounter, Spider-Woman leaves the scene and returns home to rest.

The next day, as Jessica Drew, Spider-Woman attempts to find employment with minimal success. Walking the streets of London she once more believes that people's aversion to her is because experiments conducted on her years ago by the High Evolutionary has made her more than human, and people can sense this on an unconscious level.[Continuity 2] Eventually, she is drawn into the shop of Charles Magnus, who promises to read her fortune for free. He tells her that he sees a great destiny in store for her in America. At that same moment, Jerry Hunt -- a SHIELD liaison to Scotland Yard -- continues to obsess over the files about Spider-Woman and once more orders her to be brought to him. His colleague, Frank, is concerned about his obsession with this mystery woman and asks why he is so determined to find her. After a moment to think it over, Jerry admits that he has fallen in love with the masked vigilante.

Meanwhile, Slapper Struther's is in an Underground station when some force pushes him out onto the tracks. This is Mordan le Fay, who transforms Struthers into Excalibur once. Seeing an approaching subway train as a dragon, he destroys it with a single swing of his enchanted sword. She then orders Excalibur to return to the surface. There he uses his magical abilities to summon a horse so he can carry out his mission for her. By this time, Jessica Drew has returned home to think about what Magnus told her, and contemplates about going to America. Going out for a walk, she sees Excalibur on the rampage and changes into Spider-Woman to try and stop him. She fails to stop Excalibur from making his way to the shop owned by Charles Magus. Setting the building ablaze, Excalibur demands that Magnus turn over a book of spells so that he can give it to his master. However, Magnus refuses to turn over the book as the black arts must not be used ever again. As Spider-Woman recovers from Excalibur's attack, word of her battle reaches Jerry Hunt who rushes to the scene.

At that moment, Magnus distracts Excalibur long enough for Spider-Woman to knock his sword out of his hand. She then prevents him from recovering it long that the warrior reverts back to normal. Slapper Struthers is then knocked out by Spider-Woman with a single punch. In the aftermath of the battle, Magnus explains that Morgan le Fay is an old enemy of his, despite the gulf of centuries that separate them. Then, with a wave of his hand, Magnus makes his shop disappear and tells Spider-Woman that their destinies await them in America. By the time Jerry Hunt and the authorities arrive on the scene the only thing they find is the unconscious body of Slapper Struthers. Pinned to his shirt is a note that simply reads "America Spider-Woman". Deducing that Spider-Woman is going to the United States, Jerry decides to put in a request to his superiors at SHIELD so he can follow her there.


Continuity Notes

  1. "Slapper" is a nickname. His real name is Jason Struthers in Marvel Atlas #1.
  2. Jessica's origins were recounted in detail last issue.

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