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Appearing in "The Final Calculation"
- Arcane Order of the Night (Only in flashback) (Only appearance)
- Rocket Board
Synopsis for "The Final Calculation"
At the construction site of Avengers Mansion, Spider-Man and the Outlaws wait for the Avengers to return to their headquarters.[Continuity 1] Unaware that their actions are being observed by a mysterious figure.[Continuity 2] When the Avenger's Quinjet lands, Spider-Man tells his allies that they should keep a particular eye on She-Hulk. Spider-Man takes the lead by ambushing the Avengers. The Outlaws are all shocked by what happened, especially when Spider-Man gives their position away.
As the Avengers and the Outlaws clash, "Spider-Man" lands out of site and changes back to his true form, that of the Space Phantom. This causes Spider-Man to return from Limbo with no memory of what happened. Confused by what happened, his spider-sense just barely warns him in time to avoid a sneak attack from She-Hulk. The Space Phantom watches from his hiding place gloats over his plan to foil his employer's plans. Unfortunately, the Space Phantom hasn't accounted for the Puma's enhanced senses and is quickly found by the master hunter. Meanwhile, Spider-Man tries to stay away from She-Hulk, trying to explain to her that he didn't attack the Avengers moments earlier. Realising that someone has been impersonating them. He swings into the middle of the battle and convinces the Avengers and the Outlaws to stand down. As he explains that someone was impersonating them, Puma proves this by bringing them the Space Phantom. With Quasar restraining the Space Phantom, both teams take him into the sub-basement of the Avengers headquarters. There, the Avengers explain how the Space Phantom's shape shifting powers shunt the person he is impersonating into Limbo. When the person returns they have no memory of what happens.[Continuity 3] When they ask what the Space Phantom was planning, he tells the gathered heroes that he is as clueless as they are. He explains how he was rescued from Limbo by a mysterious entity who enlisted him to free the strange black swarm. When the Space Phantom suggests that they join forces, but the heroes flat out refuse him.
They then go over the data collected by the Outlaws regarding the property, and lock the Space Phantom into a holding cell. When the creature is alone, his mysterious employer appears and tells him that his usefulness has come to an end and banishes him back to Limbo. Meanwhile, the heroes learn that the property where the black cloud was released was once owned by Ambrose Carpathian was a millionaire and member of an occult society called the Arcane Order of the Night. They used to perform ritual services on the very spot where the swarm was hidden. Carpathian mysteriously disappeared while in Germany during World War One. They also discover that his neighborhood was the site of mysterious murders where the victims were skinned alive. At that moment, Sersi finishes going through old records about Carpathian's past. Ambrose was also an explorer. In 1890, he travelled to the Amazon River Basin. Everyone on his party died and he returned home with the trunk which he refused to open for customs when he returned to the United States. Comparing the dates, Captain America notes that the mysterious murders happened shortly after his expedition. They realize that Carpathian wanted to use the black cloud for his mystical ceremonies but couldn't control it and locked in the crypt below his mansion until Spider-Man was tricked by the Space Phantom to release it.
Boarding a Quinjet the two teams track down the swarm and tries to attack it. It fights back, wrecking the Quinjet. As the heroes abandon ship near the USS Intrepid. There the swarm takes on a humanoid form. The heroes are faring poorly against the creature. That's when Spider-Man believes that they may not be facing a single entity, but an actual swarm. He then comes up with a plan and tells it to the others. While both teams distract the creatures, Spider-Man and She-Hulk go back to the tomb and recover the trunk. Eventually, the combined might of the Avengers and the Outlaws manage to funnel the swarm inside the Sandman's body. Since he is immune to the swarm's hunger, he is able to force them out of his body through a single point and into the trunk. Once it is sealed, Quasar fuses the lid of the trunk. That's when Spider-Man uses a webline to attach the trunk to Thor's hammer. The thunder god then tosses his hammer out into space where it sends the trunk into the void in the hopes that it will never threaten the Earth again.
With the danger over, the Outlaws depart, the Prowler telling the wall-crawler to look them up if he ever needs help with. Once they are gone, Spider-Man apologises to She-Hulk for not trusting her. She-Hulk thanks him, and they all wonder who set enlisted the Space Phantom for this scheme. Spider-Man figures that'll never know and soon the Avengers take off. Once he is alone, Spider-Man is visited by the Space Phantom's mysterious master. It turns out to be the New God known as Calculus.[Continuity 4] He explains that while he could not interfere with humanity, he knew the threat the swarm could have been had the Kingpin torn down the old mansion without knowing what was hidden inside. Unable to get involved directly, he orchestrated the events knowing that Spider-Man and his allies would be able to stop it. When Spider-Man points out that making a conscious effort to arrange the situation is hypocritical as it did involve taking action. Calculus teleports away without answering Spider-Man's question, but it gives him a lot to think about.
- ↑ Avenger's Mansion was destroyed when it was attacked by the Masters of Evil in Avengers #274-277. The Avengers abandoned the site and relocated to Hydrobase until it was destroyed in Avengers #311, leading to the Avengers to begin reconstructing a new headquarters. This headquarters is completed in Avengers #329.
- ↑ The being observing events states that it is the year 1990. However, this should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- ↑ She-Hulk refers to the Avenger's original files on the Space Phantom. The team first faced the Space Phantom back in Avengers #2.
- ↑ Spider-Man remembers Calculus when they met in The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #8.
A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:
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- ↑ First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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