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Scarlet Spider (Joe Wade)

Appearing in "Rude Awakenings!"

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Synopsis for "Rude Awakenings!"

The Clone Saga continues from Spectacular Scarlet Spider #2...

The FBI is searching the ruins of the hideout that belong to Doctor Octopus. The operation is overseen by Agent Stephanie Briggs who is searching for any sign of her partner, Joe Wade, who had infiltrated the facility by posing as one of the minions of Doctor Octopus. She doesn't know if her colleague is dead or alive, but knows that he deserves to be found. That's when she sees a gloved hand sticking out of the rubble. When she goes and investigates the individual bursts out of the rubble. It is apparently the Scarlet Spider, who had went bad not long before. When the FBI agents draw their weapons, the Spider leaps around, webbing up their guns while spouting gibberish.[Continuity 1] When Briggs asks the Spider questions about Joe Wade, the masked vigilante makes a series of play-on-words and ends by mentioning Stephanie having a weight problem before swinging away. Hearing this, Briggs wonders how the Scarlet Spider could know about her struggles with weight loss.

Later, when Stephanie returns to the Bureau's New York headquarters to file her report, she meets with her superior Nelson Stone. After hearing about the strange encounter, Stone tells her to forget about the Scarlet Spider as any involvement with superhumans will result in the case being taken away from the FBI. He reminds her that the Bureau's job is to recover the solid-holographic technology created by Doctor Octopus. Brigg's also reminds Stone that they are also trying to find Joe Wade and storms out of the office. Once she is gone, Nelson thinks about what he was told and figures that Stephanie may have already found Joe. Meanwhile, the Scarlet Spider is going around the city causing chaos wherever he goes, earning the ire of New Yorkers and leading to altercations with the NYPD. Fleeing the authorities, the Scarlet Spider suddenly stops web-slinging in order to dive into an alley. While the Scarlet Spider goes into the alley, it is the naked body of Joe Wade that comes wandering out of the dark moments later. Weak and disorientated, Joe rushes home, recalling the torture he experienced while he was a prisoner of Doctor Octopus. Getting into his apartment, Wade intends to call his superiors and tell them everything that happened, but he quickly collapses from exhaustion and sleeps the night away.

The next morning, Justice has mobilized Firestar, Powerhouse, and Turbo to assist in hunting down the Scarlet Spider. After hearing news about the hero's crime spree, Justice intends to bring the Spider to the authorities as his activities are affecting the image of the New Warriors.[Continuity 2] At that same moment, Joe Wade wakes up and watches the news reports about the Scarlet Spider. Knowing that this was himself, he decides that he needs to get help. As he reaches for the phone, Joe suddenly feels a pain shoot up his arm but it quickly goes away. He then calls Stephanie Briggs and asks her to meet him in Central Park. When Stephanie meets with Joe she is horrified by how horrible he looks. He quickly explains how his cover was blown while he was posing as one of the henchmen of Doctor Octopus. He also tells Briggs how Octopus forced him into a virtual reality simulator that created a solid-form hologram of the Scarlet Spider and was made to commit crimes. Although Octopus was stopped, the explosion at her lab somehow merged Joe with the hologram of the Scarlet Spider. When he tries to turn himself in, Joe's whole body begins to glow causing him pain. Realizing that he is going to transform into the Scarlet Spider once again, Wade rushes into the bushes to get away from Stephanie.

Try as he might, Joe is unable to stop the transformation and he becomes the Scarlet Spider once more. Becoming unhinged again, the Scarlet Spider decides to resume his activities from the day before. Meanwhile, Firestar is searching the city for traces of the Scarlet Spider. Unaware that she is looking for an impostor, her thoughts are on how she invited the Scarlet Spider onto the team. She worries that her boyfriend, Justice, was jealous of this move and that has added more pressure on him on top of becoming the new leader of the New Warriors.[Continuity 3] That's when she spots a fire on the George Washington Bridge and decides to go and investigate. There she finds the Scarlet Spider attacking the commuters on the bridge and demands to know what he is doing. When he tries to steal a kiss from Firestar, she instinctively uses her powers to force him off of her. This burns away some of the Spider's skin revealing a strange metallic substance underneath. Realizing she is dealing with an impostor, Firestar unleashes her microwave abilities on the impostor. This burns away his costume, enveloping the Scarlet Spider in a cloud of strange smoke. While his presence is obscured, he strikes Firestar with a beam, knocking her out.

Emerging from the cloud in a new metallic form, the Scarlet Spider begins moving in on the young woman, prepared to end her life.

... Nightmare in Scarlet continues in New Warriors #67.


Continuity Notes

Nightmare in Scarlet
Web of Scarlet Spider #3 New Warriors #67 Web of Scarlet Spider #4
  1. In reality, the Scarlet Spider did not go bad at all. This was Joe Wade who was operating a virtual construct of the Spider created by Doctor Octopus in order to ruin the hero's reputation as seen in the Cyberwar story arc.
    Web of Scarlet Spider #2 Amazing Scarlet Spider #2 Green Goblin #3 Scarlet Spider #2 Spectacular Scarlet Spider #2

  2. At the time of this story, the real Scarlet Spider had just recently joined the New Warriors, as seen in New Warriors #62.
  3. At the time of this story, Justice had recently taken leadership of the New Warriors in New Warriors #60.


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