Appearing in "Foreign Affairs"
- 1400 Club
Synopsis for "Foreign Affairs"
Having aborted their mission to capture Betty Brant, Whisper and Pulse activate their self-destruct sequences, ending their lives. Learning of their deaths, the Foreigner has already selected two new replacements to replace them. As the painful transformation process begins, the Foreigner is told that the new Whisper and Pulse will be ready in about an hour. The international assassin is pleased and figures it is only a matter of time before he has Betty Brant in his possession.
Having learned that Betty is trying to take down the Foreigner for his part in the death of her husband, Ned Leeds, Spider-Man goes to Betty's apartment to keep an eye on her.[Continuity 1] Looking through her window, Spider-Man is shocked to discover Betty loading herself up with weapons as though she is going to war. He decides that the situation needs a subtler approach so he changes back into Peter Parker on the roof. He then goes downstairs. When he sees the hole in her doorway, Peter enters the apartment and asks Betty what's going on. Brant snaps at him at first, saying that she isn't Jonah's secretary or Peter's sweetheart anymore. She then apologizes for snapping at him, explaining that she became an investigative reporter for Jonah and was sent to learn what she can about the Foreigner's organization. She hands Peter an envelope with all of her information and tells him to get it to Jonah and not to follow her. As she turns to leave, Peter manages to plant a spider-tracer on her so he can follow her later.
As Betty drives to New Jersey, Spider-Man follows after her from above. They soon arrive at an office park where the wall-crawler decides to hold back to give Betty some operating room. At the front desk, Betty pulls a gun on the security guard and ties him up. As she heads upstairs, Spider-Man slips in as well. The guard manages to get free and removes a mask, revealing himself to be the Foreigner. He had anticipated this situation and is pleased with how things are going. As Betty goes up the stairs, she wonders what her late husband would think about her now. Not far behind, the wall-crawler follows and thinks about how much both her and Betty have changed over the years. How Betty began to lose her innocence on the day her brother Bennett was murdered.[Continuity 2] Up ahead, Betty wonders what story Ned was investigating about the Foreigner that got him killed. Once inside the office, Spider-Man's spider-sense begins going off and he pulls Betty to safety when bullets begin to fly. Betty tells him that she doesn't need the wall-crawler's help. Pulling an automatic weapon out of her weapon's bag she begins returning fire at their attackers.
His spider-sense buzzing again, the web-head fails to dodge an attack from one of the Foreigner's elite assassins, a warrior calling himself Swift. They are then flanked by Warfare and the new Whisper and Pulse. Outnumbered, Spider-Man webs up Betty and lowers her to the ground below out a broken window. This leaves him open to another attack from Swift, who knocks himself and the wall-crawler out of the window. With a web-line, Spider-Man is able to swing them back into the office. There, he dodges a dagger thrown by Whisper, which embeds itself in Swift's chest. His spider-senses still screaming, Spider-Man dodges as Pulse mows down Whisper, and Pulse is gunned down by Warfare. Fed up with all the senseless killing, Spider-Man knocks out Warfare with a single punch. That's when the Foreigner appears on a nearby television screen. He explains that these men are his new elite group called the Death Squad. super-powered assassins that can be sacrificed and replaced. When Spider-Man asks why he was targeting Betty. The Foreigner said that her investigation in the death of her husband was discovered and considered a pleasant surprise. Knowing that there was some connection to her and Spider-Man, he decides to exploit it to test out his Death Squad.
He then gloats about murdering Ned Leeds because he was the Hobgoblin, knowing that Betty is standing behind Spider-Man and hearing the whole thing. Betty angrily shoots out the television with a shotgun. She then tells the wall-crawler to get her out of there before the building blows up. Sure enough, as soon as they swing out of the building it bursts into flames. Watching from across the street, Betty asks the web-slinger if the accusation is true. Spider-Man's silence is enough to confirm it for her, and Betty feels like she knew, but shut it out of her mind. Realizing that she has been finding it easy to push the blame on Spider-Man over the years because of his anonymity and apologizes.[Continuity 3]
- Ned Leeds was murdered in Spider-Man Versus Wolverine #1, the Foreigner's part in his assassination was revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #289. Ned is referred to as the Hobgoblin. However, Ned was only brainwashed into believing he was the Hobgoblin by Roderick Kingsley as revealed in Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives #1–3.
- Bennett Brant was seemingly killed in Amazing Spider-Man #12. However, Bennett secretly survived and will resurface again in Venom (Vol. 2) #1.
- Ned Leeds "revealed" himself as the Hobgoblin to Betty in Amazing Spider-Man #288. However, she shut it out of her mind as the revelation and Ned's murder caused her to have a mental breakdown.
- First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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