Appearing in "Three the Hard Way"
- Kingpin (Wilson Fisk)
- Richard Fisk
- The Rose
- Hobgoblin (Jason Macendale) (Possessed by Demogoblin )
- Triad Brothers
- New York City
Synopsis for "Three the Hard Way"
The Kingpin is in a sparring session with his son Richard.[Continuity 1] As Fisk grabs his son by the throat, he insists that his son be strong and fight back, and much to his surprise, Richard is able to break free from his hold and flip the Kingpin over.[Continuity 2] However, the Kingpin takes advantage of his son's overconfidence and easily overpowers him, explaining that he needs to hone his killer instinct.
Meanwhile, Peter and Mary Jane return home to find that someone has turned their apartment upside down.[Continuity 3] Checking their bedroom, Peter is horrified to find not only a dead body but part of his Spider-Man costume and his web-shooters. Peter worries about who might have found out his secret identity. After hiding his costume, Peter calls the police and they quickly arrive on the scene. The officer in charge is a Sargeant Blume, who insists that the Parkers come down to the station to answer some questions. Peter is not surprised, especially after the attack on his Aunt May's home earlier that evening. That's when Nick Katzenberg comes barging in to take a photo. His off-color comments anger Peter, and Sgt. Blume orders his officers to get Katzenberg out of the apartment. As Peter is asked to come along to the station, Mary Jane notices how on edge her husband is afraid. Later, at a warehouse in Brooklyn, Richard Fisk gets the drop on the Rose with a silenced pistol. However, the Rose is prepared for just such an ambush and at the snap of a finger, Richard is surrounded by a gang of gunmen. However, this was merely a test of the Rose's security. Richard is working in league with the Rose to bring down the Kingpin and his empire. However, the situation has been complicated thanks to the photos that they think were taken by Peter Parker that might compromise their plans.
While at the Tombs prison, Jason Macendale undergoes another reversion back to human form. He curses the demon N'Astirh for cursing him with these demonic powers.[Continuity 4] At first, he revealed in his powers until his recent encounter with Spider-Man, Ghost Rider, and Blaze that these painful transformations back and forth between his demonic and human forms had begun.[Continuity 5] The Hobgoblin's thoughts are interrupted when a police officer comes to deliver a present for him. Opening up the drop box, the Hobgoblin finds a white box. Opening it up, Macendale finds a single rose inside.
The following morning, Peter and Mary Jane are leaving a police station. Peter is furious with the amount of time he has spent in a police station. They are unaware that they are being watched by Nick Katzenberg, who has decided to follow Parker around to get some photos in the off chance that he is murdered by mobsters. When Peter Parker tries to hail a taxi cab, one speeds by. Suddenly, his spider-sense begins going off, warning him that they are being followed. Tired of the threats imposed on his family, Peter pulls Mary Jane into a nearby alley to try and get away. There they are confronted by the assassins known as the Triad Brothers. When they threaten Mary Jane, Peter has to act quickly. In order to maintain his secret identity, he ducks an attack from two of the Triads and rolls into a basement window of the building next to them. Katzenberg comes in closer to try and get his money shot. That's when Spider-Man arrives on the scene and forces the Triad to flee. They part with a blast at a nearby building causing debris to begin falling on Mary Jane. Spider-Man leaps in and pushes her out of the way. That's when Nick Katzenberg appears with his camera taking photos. When Nick calls Peter a coward, Mary Jane strikes him. Having had enough with the police, Spider-Man swings away with Mary Jane, intending to handle things himself. They go to Queens, where Peter insists that Mary Jane take Aunt May to a friends house until it is safe. May is upset, not just because of the danger, but also because the bullets damaged a photo of her late husband, Ben.[Continuity 6] Peter assures Aunt May that he'll take care of everything.
With his family out of harms way, Peter changes into Spider-Man and begins attacking mobsters all over the city to learn why his family has been targeted. When the news reaches Richard Fisk, he is furious that Spider-Man has become involved and calls the Rose to tell him to handle the problem. Although Spider-Man has yet to get straight answers, he manages to locate the Triad Brothers and ambushes them at their hideout. He easily disarms the assassins and demands to know why they had targeted Peter Parker. However, they explain that they were operating on a freelance basis as there is a lot of money out for Parker's head. However, they are not entirely sure who the man responsible for the hit. The best they could come up with is someone named the "gardener". Furious, Spider-Man cuts one of the brothers faces with their own sword. Catching himself, Spider-Man wonders just how far he is willing to go to protect his family and decides it is best to leave before he does something he will regret. As the wall-crawler flees, the Triad Brothers attempt to go after him. Before they can, a limo pulls up blocking their way. Inside the limo is their employer is Deathwatch, who is not happy to see what his hired men have done.
While back in Brooklyn, Richard Fisk pays another visit to the Rose. Neither men know why Spider-Man is protecting Parker. Regardless of the reasons, Fisk orders the Rose to eliminate the wall-crawler.
- ↑ The narrative of this story states that this story takes place before Daredevil #300. In that story, the Kingpin's criminal empire was exposed leading to his downfall.
- ↑ This is not actually Richard Fisk. As explained in Web of Spider-Man #100, this is actually Alfredo Morelli who underwent plastic surgery to pose as Richard. To be clear, the man who appears as the Rose in this story is actually Richard Fisk as Sgt. Blume (who operates as the Rose through most of this story arc) is operating in his capacity as a police officer during this story.
- ↑ Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage is erased from existence by the demon Mephisto as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such, they should be considered a common-law couple here.
- ↑ The Hobgoblin made his deal with N'Astirh in The Spectacular Spider-Man #147.
- ↑ The Hobgoblin last clashed with Spider-Man, Blaze, and Ghost Rider in Ghost Rider Vol 3 #17.
- ↑ Peter's Uncle Ben was murdered years earlier as seen in Amazing Fantasy #15.
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