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Quote1 Let's just pray this isn't a huge mistake. Quote2
Doctor Strange

Appearing in 1st story

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Synopsis for 1st story

As he and Doctor Strange leap through the portal opened by the Ring of Zona, Spider-Man demands to know where they are. Doctor Strange informs him that he picked a place as far away from Baron Mordo as possible: the Arctic. Spider-Man protests that they have to go back for Red Cat, Doctor Strange warning Spider-Man that while he may not have magic powers anymore he still has his intuition and that's telling him something was off about her. As Spider-Man starts to protest that Red Cat is his girlfriend, Doctor Strange retorts that she isn't, asking why he even cares. Grabbing Strange by the front of his shirt and sprouting claws, Spider-Man snaps that he just does. After a tense moment, Spider-Man retracts his claws and lets go; Doctor Strange remarking that he'll warp them to the front door of the Sanctum Sanctorium and that if they're lucky Mordo won't expect them to return so soon. As they disappear through the portal, Morbius - covered in snow - growls that he hates them.

As they appear on the street, Doctor Strange tells Spider-Man they need to come up with a plan and suggests waiting until nightfall. Spider-Man protests that that would give Mordo hours to torture Red Cat, Doctor Strange trying to come up with a more immediate plan. As they think, Red Cat touches Spider-Man's shoulder and asks what they're doing. Leaping away in alarm, Spider-Man recognizes her and sweeps her up in a delighted hug, asking how she got free. Doctor Strange pointedly remarks that he's interested as well, sternly demanding an explanation when Red Cat attempts to excuse her getaway by saying it's what she does. Acquiescing, Red Cat states she hit Mordo and Hobgoblin with knockout gas and planted a bug on the latter so she could eavesdrop on them and find out where the Word of God is hidden: the Nightmare World. Spider-Man reacts in mock-horror, Doctor Strange exasperatedly asking if he even knows where that is before explaining that it's a subsection of the Dimension of Dreams ruled over by the demon Nightmare; admitting that Mordo's hiding place makes a good deal of thematic sense. Spider-Man asks if Doctor Strange can conjure a portal there, but Doctor Strange says he can't with just a Sling Ring, as extradimensional travel is beyond its capabilities. Red Cat remarks that she has an idea and drops a knockout gas bomb at Spider-Man's feet, Doctor Strange telling her to keep watch as he succumbs to the gas. Once both of them are unconscious, Red Cat contacts the Hobgoblin and tells him that she's captured them.

The symbiote posing as Spider-Man's black suit - now sporting jagged eyespots, claws, fanged jaws, and a prehensile tongue - finds itself in the Daily Bugle and asks where it is. Confronting the symbiote, Doctor Strange surmises that it's the entity posing as Spider-Man's costume and asks what happened to the real Spider-Man. Folding its arms, the symbiote bluntly states that Peter has been in a despair-induced coma ever since his aunt died and that it took over to keep him safe; asking how Doctor Strange figured out it wasn't him. Doctor Strange remarks that it's fairly obvious: the symbiote is fiercer than the real Spider-Man typically is, that Red Cat caught it off-guard whereas Spider-Man would have been alerted to her presence by his Spider-Sense. The symbiote asks why they're in the Daily Bugle, and Doctor Strange states they're in Spider-Man's mind. The symbiote asks how they can get into the Nightmare Realm, guessing they need to think of something that Spider-Man is afraid of. A cyborg version of J. Jonah Jameson suddenly attacks, shouting that he's going to end Spider-Man's threat or menace once and for all. The symbiote asks Doctor Strange if there's any point to staying and fighting; retracting its teeth, tongue, and talons when told there isn't.

Booking it for the exit, Doctor Strange and the symbiote suddenly find themselves at Roosevelt Island's gondola lift. Snaring the gondola with a web-line, the symbiote sees the George Washington Bridge nearby, Gwen Stacy plummeting past. The symbiote saves her, only for the Green Goblin to shoot her in the forehead with a Sparkle Blast. Cackling, the Green Goblin states that Gwen's death was a key formative moment in the man Peter Parker became, but is cut off as the symbiote furiously lunges at him and punches him off his Goblin Glider. Snarling that it's going to kill Norman Osborn, the symbiote rips off the Green Goblin's mask only to find itself looking at Mary Jane Watson - who mockingly states that Gwen had to die for her and Peter to get together. Doctor Strange approaches and tells the symbiote it isn't real, just illusions conjured by the Nightmare Realm. A green-haired young woman in a black smiley face-emblazoned crop-top approaches and says that Nightmare is waiting to meet with them, introducing herself as his daughter, Daydream. Doctor Strange protests that Dreamqueen is Nightmare's only child, Daydream admitting that she technically hasn't even been conceived yet but that time doesn't work in a linear manner in the dream world. While the symbiote immediately understands what she's saying, Doctor Strange is still confused and brushes off its attempt to explain. Daydream opens the door to Nightmare's throneroom and ushers them through, closing it behind them and sarcastically remarking that this is going to end well.

The symbiote and Doctor Strange find themselves at a bookstore where Nightmare is signing books. Shoving their way to the front of the line, Doctor Strange confronts Nightmare, who cordially greets him. As Doctor Strange demands to know what Nightmare's game is, Nightmare transforms into his true form and towers over them, intimidating the symbiote. Nightmare asks if they want the Word of God, and when Doctor Strange says that he does Nightmare says he'll take them to it. Incredulous, the symbiote asks Doctor Strange if Nightmare just volunteered to help them, Doctor Strange replying that it appears to be so.

As they traverse the Nightmare Realm, Nightmare states that he doesn't want the Word of God in his dimension, Doctor Strange surmising that's because if other demon-lords learn he has it they'll attack. The symbiote mockingly asks if Nightmare is afraid he'd lose, the dream demon pointedly telling it to hold its copious tongue if it wants his help. Nightmare reveals the Word of God, vanishing as Doctor Strange takes it. The symbiote asks what they should do next, Doctor Strange saying they'll use it to restore reality to its proper state. As he opens it, Doctor Strange realizes they've been tricked: the book is empty save for the words "GOT YOU" and his Sling Ring is gone.

In the waking world, Red Cat gives Doctor Strange's Sling Ring to Baron Mordo, remarking that Spider-Man and Doctor Strange could awaken at any moment. Mordo informs her that he's frozen them in time to prevent that, and when she asks about the Word of God he produces the real tome and then destroys it.

Solicit Synopsis


• Can Spider-Man fix reality, or is he doomed to live in a world not his own?!


See Also

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