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Appearing in "The Love of Power"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Corona Next Empty (First appearance) (Origin revealed)

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

  • None

Synopsis for "The Love of Power"

Spider-Man is swinging across Manhattan, the wall-crawler spots a woman collapse while crossing the street. As he swings down to her aid, the crowd isn't sure if he is helping her or putting her in more danger. Spider-Man is not surprised after Thomas Fireheart's brief ownership of the Daily Bugle.[Continuity 1] Spider-Man drops the woman off at the hospital, remembering how his inaction cost the life of his Uncle Ben so many years ago.[Continuity 2] Soon, Peter Parker meets with Joy Mercado for an interview with Cedric Forrester at his new building. Although Peter gets an air of arrogance from Forrester but is blown away by the size and sophistication of his laboratory. Both Peter and Joy are more put off by Cedric when he explains that the only awards he accepts is money, and doesn't do what he does for recognition, but because he likes it.

As Peter looks around, he spots a read out from a water experiment and is shocked by the volume of water used and wonders where Cedric Forrester could have gotten such a quantity. Unaware of Peter's scientific background, he snatches the paper out of Parker's hand and tells him not to touch any of the equipment. That's when Joy tells Forrester that Peter is studying biochemistry at Empire State University. Before Peter can get answers from Cedric, there is the sound of loud banging coming from outside. Cedric orders some armed guards to deal with it. As Joy presses to find out what's going on, Peter slips away to see what is going on as Spider-Man. Soon the wall-crawler is outside on the side of the building setting up his camera. He is capturing the arrival of a strange flying woman with metallic skin. Calling herself Corona, the woman is immune to the bullets fired by the armed men thanks to the aura around her. She quickly disarms the guards and enters the lab. There, Corona is sprayed with energy-retardant foam that suppresses her aura. The guards then subdue her. This is all seen by Joy Mercado who demands to know who this woman is. Cedric scoffs at the idea, telling her that this individual is no longer human.

As the guard holding Corona gets rough with her, he is pulled away by Spider-Man. They try to warn the wall-crawler that he doesn't know what he is getting involved in, Corona revives her aura. She then flies past Cedric and steals his laptop computer before flying through the ceiling. Wondering what is going on, Spider-Man follows after Corona and convinces her to stop to explain what is happening. Corona reveals that she is Dagney Forrester, Cedric Forrester's sister. She goes on to tell the wall-crawler that her brother had little care for government regulation as it intruded on his scientific freedom. Any time he got in trouble with the law, he used his political influence to have the cases against him dismissed. Dagney was Cedric's business partner and tried to keep the company on the ethical side. Until his recent experiments required a human subject. He forced Dagney into being his guinea pig, exposing her to chemical and radiation treatments that turned her into Corona. However, she managed to escape, although her brother has been trying to hunt her down as he sees her as the ideal test subject for future projects. Finishing her story, Corona tearfully explains that she is a freak. When Spider-Man tries to tell her all the good she can do with her powers, Dagney refuses to listen to his speeches about power and responsibility. When she suddenly screams in pain. When the web-slinger offers his aid, she dismisses his help and flees.

After dropping off his film to the Daily Bugle, Peter Parker returns home to find his wife, Mary Jane exercising in order to lose some weight.[Continuity 3] When she suddenly faints, Peter discovers she has a burning fever and rushes her to St. Vincent's hospital. There, doctors tell him that Mary Jane is one of many people who has fallen ill. Although they don't know the cause of the illness, they are doing what they can to keep the victims hydrated. As Peter leaves the hospital, he deduces that the woman he saved earlier was suffering from the same thing. He returns to the Daily Bugle to see what he can learn. Speaking to Ben Urich, Peter discovers that this strange illness is being referred to as "Soho Fever" as it is the most affected area. Unfortunately, Urich has been finding resistence from those he has been trying to interview about the emerging epidemic. That's when Joy Mercado enters the office and confirms to Peter everything he learned about Cedric Forrester that Corona told her.

Peter then calls the hospital to check in on Mary Jane. He is surprised when Mary Jane answers the phone. As he tells her that he is going to further investigation on the Soho Fever when suddenly they see some strange lights coming from the Forrester Building. Peter recognizes the lights as Corona's aura. Mary Jane insists that Peter go out and deal with this as Spider-Man, even though he doesn't want to leave her side while she is sick. By the time Spider-Man has arrived at the scene, Corona is fighting back the security at Corona. Spider-Man is surprised to see that the guards are using protonic cannons, something that Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four needed months to get approval to use. Corona informs the wall-crawler that she learned a lot from the stolen laptop that she took earlier that day. She reveals that she was part of the water tests that Peter had read about earlier. Much to Peter's horror, the water was secretly piped in from the city water supply to flush the toxic and radioactive chemicals from the experiment that created her. Cedric was aware of this and has even developed an antidote for the tainted water supply making everyone sick. However, not wanting to be exposed for his involvement he has been keeping this secret until he can use his influence to release the cure on the market and make a fortune off it.

Hearing that Cedric is responsible for Soho Fever angers Spider-Man and he begins lashing into the guards himself. The pair smash their way into Cedric's laboratory where the web-slinger snags the scientist and demands to have words with him. However, Cedric surprises him by explaining that he had just created a massive batch of the antidote and was about to inform the mayor. That's when Dagny turns on Spider-Man, telling the hero that she was a willing participant in the experiments that turned her into Corona. It was actually her brother who was against the experiment and stopped it before the process could complete itself. Now she is trying to steal that antidote as it will finish this process. Before Spider-Man can stop her she suddenly keels over in pain. Cedric coldly explains that his sister is suffering a biological breakdown that will be fatal if she doesn't get ahold of the antidote. Although Corona wants the antidote to save her life, Spider-Man needs it to cure those suffering from Soho Fever. Learning that it would take weeks to prepare more antidote, Spider-Man's unwillingness to let anyone die leaves him in a precarious situation. Becoming angry, Corona tries to blast the wall-crawler who dives out of the way. The stray blast strikes the cylinder containing the antidote breaking it and causing salvation to pour down the drain.

Before Spider-Man can contemplate what he has allowed to happen, Corona begins to scream in pain once more. The masked hero watches in horror as Corona suddenly transforms into a more horrific form. Blaming the wall-crawler for what happened to her, Corona lunges at him.

Notes

Continuity Notes

  1. Thomas Fireheart purchased the Daily Bugle in The Spectacular Spider-Man #156 in order to repair Spider-Man's reputation. However, at the time of this story, he sold the company back to J. Jonah Jameson in The Spectacular Spider-Man #171.
  2. Peter's Uncle Ben was murdered by a burglar he could have caught earlier in Amazing Fantasy #15.
  3. Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage was erased from existence by the demon Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here as opposed to husband and wife.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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