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Appearing in "Tangled Web"

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Synopsis for "Tangled Web"

After being defeated by the Deathweb in Peru, Spider-Woman wakes up restrained in a lab. She is surrounded by her captors and their master, the Manipulator, who also have her daughter Rachel as a hostage. Although Julia is afraid for her daughter's life, Rachel tells her mother that she isn't afraid and knows that she will be saved. Rachel makes an emphasis on calling Deathweb "silly" and that her mother can "con" them, a phrasing that confuses Spider-Woman. Knowing she cannot get through to the Manipulator, Spider-Woman then tries to get through to Antro and Arachne, reminding them that they used to be government agents for the Commission on Superhuman Affairs and asks them to do the right thing. Unfortunately, the pair are more motivated by money and power and refuses to betray their master who has a hold on them anyway -- as he has the much-needed antidotes they require to keep alive.

They soon complete a new batch of neuro-toxin that they recovered from Doctor Carter Napier's notes and inject it into Spider-Woman, in the hopes that they can gauge its deadliness. As the toxin begins working its way through her system, Julia screams in pain. Satisfied, the Manipulator decides that he doesn't need to see anymore, deactivates his holographic projection, revealing that he was never there in person. As Spider-Woman writhes in agony, the facility they are in is suddenly surrounded by a group announcing itself as the FBI. As Deathweb teleport away, Spider-Woman is left to wonder how the FBI could be in Peru and struggles to fight off the effects of the poison and get free from her restraints. Drawing up all her strength, Spider-Woman manages to break free from her bonds. That's when one of the walls of the lab blows out. As it turns out the "FBI" is actually members of the Conclave led by Mike Clemson, a government agent with a vendetta against Spider-Woman. However, Clemson explains that taking down the Manipulator and his minions is more important than his dislike of Julia.[Continuity 1] When Spider-Woman asks what they are doing in Peru, Mike takes her outside, revealing that they are actually in the deserts of California. Clemson has also brought an entire army to help in his goals, but he has no idea where the Manipulator might be hiding. However, Julia has a hunch that they are hiding out in a facility in Silicon Valley.

Along the way, Spider-Woman demands to know why Mike has a vendetta against her. That's when he reveals that he doesn't like her because her mother, Elizabeth Cornwall, used to date him and eventually left him for her father, Walter. After telling her this, Mike then asks how she knows that the Manipulator is hiding out in Silicon Valley. Spider-Woman explains that her daughter kept on saying phrases that made emphasis on the words "Silly" and "Con" and put two-and-two together. She figures that they are hiding out at Thompson Biochemical Industries, a company where Carter Napier worked before the facility was shut down due to an economic recession. With Spider-Woman taking the lead, the Conclave soldiers infiltrate the facility where they find a secret tunnel into an underground lab facility. However, they are too late to stop the Manipulator from injecting the members of Deathweb with an adapted formula from Napier's notes. This new formula boosts their powers, but as Spider-Woman fights them, she realizes that Napier did something to the formula that causes their powers to eventually go out of control, causing them all to exhaust themselves. With his minions down for the count, the Manipulator attempts to use Rachel as a hostage, however, Therak -- fighting unconsciousness -- grabs the Manipulator and injecting him with venom, seemingly killing him in the process.

Freeing her daughter from her handcuffs, Julia asks her daughter if she would like a new name. When Rachel asks why, Julia explains that too many people know she is Spider-Woman and thinks its time to enter witness protection, get a new name, and retire from costumed heroics. However, Rachel tells her mother that she is happy with who her mother is and doesn't want her to give up. Hugging her daughter, Julia asks officers arriving on the scene what took them so long to get there.


Continuity Notes

  1. Mike mentions how Julia quit the Commission for Superhuman Affairs. This was seen in Avengers West Coast (Vol. 2) #85.

Chronology Notes

A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:

See Also

Links and References


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