Appearing in "The Time Before: Part 1 of 2"
- Dusk (First appearance)
- High Evolutionary (Herbert Wyndham) (Mentioned)
- Venom (Eddie Brock) (Mentioned)
- Spider-Man Unlimited (Mentioned)
- Carnage Symbiote (Mentioned) (Behind the scenes)
- Negative Zone Symbiote (Behind the scenes)
- Spider-Man's Web-Shooters
- Spider-Man's Suit
- Spider-Man Unlimited's Suit
- Getaway Van
- Patrol car
Synopsis for "The Time Before: Part 1 of 2"
In the Negative Zone, an alien storyteller begins to tell a story to a group of children of events long past, of when the superheroes Spider-Man and Dusk and the supervillain Carnage saved them from the tyranny of Blastaar.
Stripped of his symbiote by Venom, Cletus Kasasy is left to sit alone in his cell - the guards believing they can relax due to him being powerless. However, unbeknownst to the guards, the Carnage symbiote had left remnants of itself within Cletus's blood that could potentially let him reclaim its power. As a portal to the Negative Zone opens up in a New York alley, Kasady senses something resonating with the traces of the Carnage symbiote in his body and looks up, his eyes glowing red.
Elsewhere, Peter Parker is unable to sleep, lonely and miserable after the apparent death of his wife. Looking for a way to vent his despair, he suits up as Spider-Man and heads off into the night. Escaping prison and hijacking a van, Kasady speeds through the night pursued by the police, guided by the remnants of his symbiote to the portal. Spider-Man arrives and tells Kasady to give up, but the serial killer floors the gas pedal. Spider-Man jumps onto the hood and smashes through the windshield, telling Kasady that his symbiote is dead and no amount of red paint will make him Carnage again. Kasady gleefully asks Spider-Man if he's coming along for the ride as they're pulled through the portal, remarking that he can feel something calling to him and doesn't know or care where the portal leads.
Recognizing the Distortion Area, Spider-Man complains that he doesn't want to go to the Negative Zone, an unusual energy storm shredding his costume. Recognizing that something is wrong and that he might die, he tries to make a morbid joke regarding Kasady's fixation with death before noticing the serial killer is gone. Caught up by the maelstrom of power, he is bombarded by the memories of an alternate incarnation of himself - somehow acquiring the technologically-advanced costume worn by said incarnation in the process. Spotting someone tumbling into the maelstrom, Spider-Man assumes it's Kasady and moves in to rescue him, only to see it's a bald alien man in a purple uniform. Initially amazed by his new suit's abilities, Spider-Man recalls how he first met the first met the Venom symbiote and worries it might be a symbiote as well. Grabbing the alien man's hand, Spider-Man crash-lands in the Negative Zone; but before he can remove his new costume he is attacked by Blastaar the Living Bombburst, who demands to know who he is and why he dares interrupt his conquest. Surrounding Spider-Man and the purple-uniformed man with an army of robots, Blastaar - who is hooked up to a power amplification machine - loudly announces his plans to conquer Earth, blasting an alien technician who tries to explain why their attempt to open a portal to Earth failed. Blastaar points in Spider-Man's direction and exclaims that he recognizes the purple-uniformed man. As Blastaar wonders how the man could have survived being cast into the Distortion Field, Spider-Man grabs the purple-uniformed man and escapes.
As Blastaar blocks their escape with an energy beam, the purple-uniformed man tells Spider-Man that Blastaar will destroy the city looking for them and that they need to make sure all of his rebels have evacuated. Spider-Man briefly interrogates a robot before throwing it at Blastaar, cocooning the remaining robots in webbing before they can attack. Furious at his quarry having escaped, Blastaar levels part of the city in his rage. The purple-uniformed man leads Spider-Man into a series of tunnels, assuring him the city can be rebuilt as long as people survive. The refugees swarm them, hailing the man as a savior who will liberate them and returning a black costume to him. Revealing himself to be Dusk, the man dons the costume and asks Spider-Man to join his rebellion. Elsewhere, Cletus Kasady approaches Blastaar, his eyes glowing red.
The suit worn by Peter Parker in this issue first appeared in the animated series "Spider-Man: Unlimited".
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