Hello everybody! Welcome to another week of Spidermania in Ye Olde School Café! I hope everyone out at San Diego Comic-Con is having a blast. I’ve been reading non-stop Tweets about it, so it would seem like this year is going great so far. Back here at the ComicAttack.net offices, Kristin is trying to hold down the fort, while our EIC, Andy, is attending the mega event. Honestly, though, I just saw InfiniteSpeech towel snapping Aron‘s white behind in the shower earlier today, and Jeff is dousing both of them with holy water [Editor’s note: What? I didn’t authorize showers. Get back to work!]! Me, I’m just sitting here at my desk, quietly writing my third installment of Birth of Venom! In the past two weeks, we’ve seen Peter starting to head down a path of despair and suffering. This isn’t going to let up until he hits rock bottom….
As we see Spidey in his new black costume swing into a warehouse to bust up some crime, the Black Cat watches from up in the rafters. She’s taking pictures of the incident, but soon leaps into action. She and Spidey beat the crap out of the thugs and then share a kiss on the rooftop. Spider-Man then returns home and develops some pictures for the Bugle. He spots his old costume and gets nostalgic. He retreats to bed, but as usual, the eerie black costume envelops him once he falls asleep. Outside, in the heart of the city, two homeless dudes are fighting over a cardboard box. They see Spidey swing past and it scares the bejeezus out of them. The next day, the Rose is meeting with two of his associates that inform him of the previous night’s debacle at the warehouse. He then orders the men to kill Spider-Man, but then remembers someone that can get it done immediately.
Out in the remote areas of New Mexico, a man, or some kind of animal, stalks two mountain lions. He attacks them like a savage, and easily takes them out. This man or beast is none other than Thomas Fireheart A.K.A. the Puma! He’s honing his great hunting and combat skills against the wildest animals on the planet, but soon he’ll hunt Spider-Man, at the behest of the Rose in New York City. Back in the city, Robbie is checking out Peter’s newest photos of Spidey. He tells Peter he’ll buy them, but also tells Peter that he looks terrible and should get some sleep. Outside the office, Betty tells Peter the same, but before he can answer, he’s startled by a voice from behind. It’s Mary Jane Watson, and she’s all excited to tell Peter about her new job as a model. He seems excited for her and congratulates her, but she can tell something is wrong. Peter walks away hunched over as Betty and MJ talk about Peter’s negativeness. We next see a meeting between the Rose and Puma about the death of Spidey. He immediately changes form, and then picks up Spidey’s scent on a nearby rooftop. Spidey is swinging around for some relaxation when all of a sudden he’s attacked out of nowhere. Puma hurls a lead pipe at him and hits him right in the shoulder. It’s been dislocated, but Spidey shoves it back into place. The pain almost has Spidey on the brink of unconsciousness, and all this while Puma is ready to strike.
As we are about to see the Puma try to decapitate Spidey, the Black Cat swoops in and kicks Puma right in the face. After some pleasantries, Puma lunges at her, but ends up being a victim of her bad luck powers. He tries to swing from a pipe, but it breaks when he grabs it. Puma then falls down into a hole in the roof and disappears. Spidey then makes himself a “web-sling” for his hurting shoulder and the two head back to Peter’s apartment. Peter then has some trouble using his mental commands to make the new costume leave him. The Cat is noticeably frightened by all this, and then the two discuss Reed Richards taking a look at this thing. As they wrap it up with a kiss, the Cat leaves for some fun, but the Puma readies himself for another battle with Spidey.
As peter is contemplating the evening’s events, he hears a knock at the door. He’s stunned to see that Mary Jane is in the doorway. She tells him that it’s time for some celebrating, but before he can react, his spider-sense goes crazy, and the Puma comes crashing through the window! Peter quickly locks MJ in a closet, and the fight is on. Back and forth they go, punching, clawing, kicking, and slicing. All this leads to both of them doing a back flip out the window. While the fight is going on, the Kingpin orders the Rose to rescind the kill order on Spidey, because only he wants to do it on his terms. They even end up smashing their way into a gym, and then the weights start flying all around to make matters worse. Spidey eventually uses his cunning to get out of the clutches of the Puma, but not after Puma proves he’s just as dangerous as any other villain. We see the Rose get confronted by none other than the Hobgoblin, as well. Back at Peter’s crib, MJ has come out of hiding to find Peter and talk this out. She reveals to him that she’s known for quite some time that he is Spider-Man!
Well, that’s all for now, but tune in next week as Peter fights for his life against an enemy he’s never faced before.