Appearing in "Red Reign"
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Red Reign"
Nightmares in Scarlet continues from New Warriors #67...
The virtual being calling itself the Scarlet Spider has taken hostages at a television station. Upon learning this, Spider-Man and the New Warriors race to the scene before the creature kills them. Among the hostages is Madeline Baldwin, Speedball's mother, which has prompted the hero to head off before them.[Continuity 1] That same moment, Scarlet Spider addresses a live news feed, telling the viewing audience that he will kill one of his hostages. He also warns that if the feed is cut, he will kill everyone all at once. That's when Speedball comes crashing into the television studio and engages the Spider. Madeline is relieved to see that her son has come to rescue her. As the other hostages escape, Speedball frees the last one by blasting the Scarlet Spider with a barrage of kinetic bubbles.
At the same moment, FBI agent Nelson Stone mobilizes a group of colleagues to deal with the Scarlet Spider situation. He tells the others that they must take the Spider -- in reality their colleague Joe Wade -- alive. He also warns them not to inform Stephanie Briggs, Joe's former partner, as she is too close to this case. However, Stephanie is already on her way to the television studio. She thinks about how Joe Wade has forced to become this new Scarlet Spider by the holographic technology of Doctor Octopus.[Continuity 2] She wants to reach Joe before the rest of the Bureau because she doesn't want Joe to become a lab rat as the authorities try to figure out what makes him tick. She's not the only one to arrive at the police barricade at that moment as Spider-Man and the New Warriors arrive on the scene. They are informed that the cameras inside went dark after some lone hero rushed in to try and save them. As Firestar is in the process of asking who it is when suddenly, Speedball comes crashing out of one of the windows.
As Justice uses his telekinetic powers to catch falling debris, Turbo rescues Speedball. Spider-Man is impressed that Speedball managed to free the hostages when the Scarlet Spider emerges from the building. He catches the Warriors off guard when he unleashes a powerful optic blast. While the New Warriors scramble to restabilize the building, the Scarlet Spider tries to fly away. Unfortunately for him, Spider-Man manages to hitch a ride. On the street below, Stephanie Briggs follows after them hoping that she can stop Joe before he murders someone. Meanwhile, Spider-Man tries to convince the Scarlet Spider to stand down, furious that the creature imitated his old costume and ruined his reputation.[Continuity 3] Hearing that the wall-crawler used to be the Scarlet Spider angers Joe Wade and he redoubles his attacks. His form becoming more and more dangerous, Wade temporarily blinds the web-slinger with a blinding flash of light. When he knocks Spider-Man over the side of the building, he is rescued by Firestar who swoops in to rescue him.[Continuity 4]
The pair are ambushed by the Scarlet Spider and sent falling to the ground again. However, they are saved by Justice who slows their fall with their telekinetic powers. That's when the Scarlet Spider unleashes a powerful sonic blast that decimates the street. As Spider-Man and the Warriors recover, the Scarlet Spider prepares for another blast. That's when Stephanie Briggs rushes out and convinces Joe to stand down. She points out how he injured so many innocent people, herself included, and how his last blast killed some of their colleagues. She reminds Joe that this isn't who he is and he is a nobleman. Realizing what he has done, the Scarlet Spider forces himself to change back into Joe Wade, a process that is incredibly painful. That's when Agent Nelson Stone steps in and takes control of the situation. He takes Wade and Briggs into custody. When Spider-Man and the Warriors demand to know what the FBI Will do to prevent something like this happening again. Stone assures them that with Wade in custody the Bureau has the situation under control. Hearing this, Stephanie Briggs vows never to leave Joe's side. In the aftermath of the battle, Speedball confirms that his mother is safe and she expresses how proud she is over her son for saving her life. That's when Justice and Firestar pull Spider-Man aside. He apologizes for being rude to the wall-crawler earlier, admitting that he was insecure about Spider-Man showing attention to his girlfriend Firestar.
Spider-Man shrugs it off, pretending like he didn't notice anything at all, tossing a friendly wink at Firestar before swinging off. As they watch Spider-Man go, Justice remarks that while they didn't know who "their" Scarlet Spider really was, but knows that he was no Spider-Man. Knowing better, Firestar isn't sure, telling him that only time will tell.
... The Clone Saga continues in Spider-Man #67.