(New York City)
As Nova the Human Rocket tears between the buildings of New York, Wolverine is more than a little disgruntled. He’s aboard a city bus, in costume, and shows his frustration to the gaping passengers, who can do nothing but stare at him. Spider-Man, meanwhile, is more than surprised at discovering the dead body of Paul Patterson’s father.
Paul is rather blasé about having a rotting corpse in the house, and Spidey soon pops the question. “Paul, how did he die? You didn’t…” Paul replies that he killed him. It was the first thing he did with his powers. He manifests a ball of energy from his palms, and explains that he didn’t do it on purpose. He didn’t even know what he was doing. All he knew was that he could shoot light from his hands. He didn’t know he could hurt people, and was just trying to show his father.
Spidey informs him that he can’t just keep a dead body in the house. He’s too young to be living there by himself, and he asks where his mother is. Paul says he was going to call, but didn’t know what to do. Suddenly, his forlorn expression becomes something more sinister. His eyes glow, and he grins. The thing is, he explains, he kinda liked it. He wanted to try it again, and tells Spidey that he should look in the other rooms. “Y’know what? I’ve never killed a super hero before.” The spider-sense kicks into overtime.
Meanwhile, the bus stops and Wolverine gets off, shouting back at the nosey passengers, “Take a picture, why don’t you!” He can’t believe they act like they haven’t seen a super hero before. He saw Nova fly by twice while they were on the bus. In New York you can’t buy a bagel without bumping into Speedball or Darkhawk. He blames Cyclops for having to wear the costume. “We have to astonish them. Give me a break.” He arrives at Paul’s house, after hoping he wouldn’t have to see the place again.
Suddenly, an explosion from within sends Spider-Man crashing through the wooden outer wall and straight into Wolverine, who in turn crashes against a parked car. His adamantium-laced skeleton makes a real mess of the bodywork. As they regain their senses, Spidey tells Logan he’s glad to see him. He apologizes for the whole webbing thing, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Logan, too, apologizes for letting his berserker rage get the better of him, but at least Spidey now knows what they’re up against.
They both look at the house, just as the whole place explodes. Through the smoke and debris stands the naked stocky figure of Paul Patterson. Wolverine points out that Paul’s over there, and Spidey sarcastically replies that he’s so observant; no wonder he’s on so many teams. Paul tells them it’s good that Wolverine’s appeared. He wasn’t looking forward to having to track him down. He explains that he’s learned something over the last few months. While testing his powers, he’s learned that the more he uses his powers, the more powerful he becomes. Now, he can control them much better. He can use them a little, like he did at school earlier today, or a lot, like when he destroyed the house. He hasn’t had much target practice, so he asks them to jump around a little.
He opens fire, expelling energy from his hands at both his opponents. As Spidey leaps, he asks Logan if he has a game plan. Logan uses the car door to shield himself from the blast, and replies that when Cerebra first detected the kid, he appeared as a massive concentration of mutant energy. At first they thought it was a glitch, but Emma isn’t quite as good with Cerebra as Charles or Jean were. Spidey fires some webbing, telling Paul he doesn’t have to do this. Paul certainly thinks he does. The webbing hits a wall behind him, which Spidey pulls onto Paul. Unfortunately, he smiles and tells Spidey that it’ll take a lot more than that to bring him down.
Avoiding another blast, Spidey again leaps away from danger. Logan continues to tell Spidey that Paul’s signature would spike every time he used his powers. The car beside them explodes, as Spidey pulls Logan clear of the blast. Logan finishes off his explanation by adding that, after seeing that a few times, they knew he would have to be investigated. All they really know is that Paul is extremely powerful. Spidey remarks that he thought Wolverine knew more than him.
Despite the two heroes being incredibly experienced, they struggle against Paul’s ferocious onslaught. Time after time, they manage to evade his energy blasts, before settling to discuss their options. Logan says he knew that, when he saw what was inside the house, it wasn’t going to be a recruitment mission.
(at that very moment)
The peace of Latveria’s countryside is broken by a fizzle of energy, followed by an enormous release of lightning. Dr. Doom lands on the ground in a heap. As he looks up, he whispers the name, “Richards!”
(New York City)
The heroes are tossed about like rag dolls, as Paul continues to unleash his aggression in the form of bigger and bigger blasts. Logan theorizes that, if Spidey can distract Paul long enough, he might be able to get close enough to stab him. His adamantium claws might disrupt the current flowing through his body long enough for him to take the kid out. “Flesh wound only?” asks Spidey. “Scout’s honor,” comes the reply. Logan doesn’t know if it’ll work; he isn’t Hank McCoy.
Paul decides that this is becoming dull, and turns his attention towards his neighbor’s house. He levels the front wall with a single blast, forcing the two heroes to look after the innocents who come rushing outside. Paul’s plan works, and he catches Logan squarely with a beam of energy. Spidey asks if he’s okay, but Logan’s adamantium skeleton protects him okay.
Paul informs them that he’s not even breaking a sweat, and could do this all night long. He doesn’t think Wolverine can last that long. Angry, but determined, Wolverine replies that if the kid can dish it out, he can take it. Paul concentrates, and summons a larger amount of energy, unleashing it at Spider-Man, who leaps acrobatically to avoid being caught. Paul’s attention is diverted away from Wolverine as he dismisses the threat that his two opponents pose. “So is this what we’re left with after the Avengers disbanded? Thor must be rolling in his grave.”
Suddenly, he turns and sees Wolverine standing right next to him. He apologizes to Paul for giving him no choice, before extending a claw straight through his forearm. Paul screams and, in a blinding flash of light, Paul explodes, as his entire body is short-circuited. The two heroes are thrown to the ground and, as they recover, Spidey can’t get his brain around it.
He asks if Wolverine’s crew can handle things from here. “The X-Men are used to dealing with stuff like this…right?” Logan stands, and decides not to bother Cyclops with this. He’ll just call S.H.I.E.L D and let them deal with it. Spidey asks if he’s got their number. Logan replies that he has Nick on speed dial. Spidey’s impressed, and replies that he always has to go through his secretary. He didn’t even think Captain America had a direct line. He asks for the number, but Logan refuses to hand it over.
As they survey the scene of devastation, they are watched from afar by a small flying drone with a camera. Logan has forgotten where he left his street clothes, and is annoyed that he’s lost what was a new jacket. Suddenly, several S.H.I.E.L.D craft arrive, and Dum Dum Dugan asks what they’ve got. Spidey asks Wolverine to take things from there. His wife is probably worried sick as it’s almost morning. “You’re married?” asks Logan. Spidey asks if he finds it hard to believe. He’s seen him without the mask. “I’m totally hot!”
Wolverine returns to the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning and is greeted by Jubilee. She’s glad she caught him, as she has to inform him that she’s moving to L.A. When he asks why, she replies that her aunt is letting her stay. It’s kind of a long story. She’s waiting for Hank to take her to the airport, and wanted to see him before she left. He replies that it was good to see her, says good night and asks her to keep in touch. “Good night?” she wonders, “It’s 8 a.m.”
(the next day)
Peter Parker returns to his day job at Midtown High. Kyle and Miss Bradley are telling him about Paul Patterson’s rampage the night before, but Peter is very tired and falls asleep in his food. Even his face hitting the plate doesn’t wake him. Only Kyle’s voice manages to raise him from the dead.
The drone whizzes through the air, and comes to land on an alien spacecraft, which appears to have crash-landed. Several other drones are circling the craft. On board, Titannus watches footage from the drone’s camera of Spider-Man and Wolverine. He doesn’t think they’ll do for his needs. He looks at his beloved, who looks like she is in stasis. He promises her that he will never give up. Their bond will never be broken, and they’ve come too far, sacrificed too much. He’ll do whatever it takes, and will search the entire planet if he needs to. He’ll rally the world to their cause, and turn the entire population into an army with which to achieve their goal. For their love, and their future, he will not fail.