Secret War #3

Issue Date: 
October 2004
Story Title: 
Book Three

Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Gabriele Dell’Otto (painter), Virtual Calligraphy’s Cory Petit (letterer), Nicole Wiley (assistant editor), Andy Schmidt (editor), Tom Brevoort (consulting editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), S.H.I.E.L.D database designed by Patrick McGrath

Brief Description: 

Peter Parker is having dreams about an ugly battle in Latveria that he cannot remember, yet knows they aren’t simple nightmares. Alongside him in these memories are several other heroes, including Captain America, Daredevil and Wolverine. He needs to speak with someone about these dreams. He visits Daredevil at his apartment and explains what he’s been seeing in his mind strange images of a fight that never was. Daredevil hasn’t been having similar dreams and thinks Spidey is just imagining it. As Peter prepares to leave, Matt Murdock plays a voice message. It’s from Jessica Jones and she wants Matt, her lawyer, over at the hospital right away. As they leave his apartment, the two heroes are attacked by Scorcher and Diamondback, who are only after Daredevil. Spidey’s unplanned involvement causes Scorcher to flee and, not wishing to hang around, Diamondback warns Daredevil it isn’t over, and also departs. Over at Mt. Sinai Hospital, Captain America confronts Nick Fury. He explains that he was attacked at his apartment by two costumed villains and, when he called S.H.I.E.L.D asking for Fury, he was nowhere to be found. When he mentions the attack, Daredevil appears and explains that he too was attacked at his own home. Cap informs the two new arrivals that tonight is the anniversary of their secret war. Spidey wonders what the hell he’s talking about, especially when he hears he is also already involved. Before a proper explanation from Nick Fury is forthcoming, Daredevil senses a large group of dangerous villains approaching. An ambulance explodes nearby and, before they know it, over a dozen tech-themed villains are right in their faces.

Full Summary: 

(flashback, one year ago)

A battle rages in Latveria, between Nick Fury’s assembled heroes, and numerous tech warriors who sport equipment normally associated with well known tech criminals. One uses Doctor Octopus’s tentacles, another has Mac Gargan’s tail. A third uses the constrictor’s coils and a fourth has the Vulture’s wings. The heroes fight hard, assisted by an unknown entity; Daisy Johnson. She has a seismic power and rips up the ground beneath their opponents. Wolverine slashes his way mercilessly through a group of warriors. The battle is tough, relentless, and strangely… forgettable.


Peter Parker is having dinner in a restaurant with his wife, Mary Jane. The memories of this battle have him at a bit of a loss. Mary Jane snaps him out if this daydream, but he almost drifts back into it as she speaks. “Hey,” she says, blowing a kiss at her husband, “Happy anniversary.” Peter smiles, but he has much to think about.

(flashback, one year ago)

Nick Fury opens fire on more tech warriors, their green-lit armor not able to withstand hi-tech S.H.I.E.L.D. weaponry for long. The heroes beat a retreat behind Fury.

(present, later that evening)

Peter Parker awakes with a start, with the image of Fury stuck in his mind. He is in bed, with Mary Jane lying asleep beside him. He holds his chest as he heaves into life, but relaxes when he realizes this is just a dream. He looks at his costume hanging over the back of a chair, and hangs his head. He wonders what this is all about.

(Mt. Sinai Hospital)

Captain America has Nick Fury by the collar, and yells, “I told you!” at his adversary. Fury wishes to take this outside, but Cap points at Luke Cage, who lies seriously injured in the hospital bed behind them. “Look at him!” adds Cap. Fury exits the room, repeating his request for Cap to join him.

As Cap leaves, he turns to Jessica Jones, Luke Cage’s pregnant girlfriend, and asks if she’s okay; if her baby’s okay. Jessica looks worn out, but replies that she’s fine. Cap tells her that she needs to get away from the hospital. It isn’t safe. He suggests the Baxter Building, home to the Fantastic Four. He asks Danny Rand if his ‘iron fist’ is good to go. Danny says it is, and Jessica asks Cap what exactly is happening. Cap advises her to just keep her baby safe and away from there. He asks for Danny’s help in moving Cage. Too many people have seen him. As Cap and Fury head outside, Iron Fist wonders what the hell is going on. Jessica tells him she’s calling her lawyer.

Against a full moon and through the pouring rain, Daredevil moves through New York City with effortless agility. He swings from flagpole to streetlight, from rooftop to fire escape with assured swiftness. Using his superhuman senses, he knows that someone is in his apartment. Moreover, he knows it is Peter Parker. He and Peter came to an understanding a long time ago. They both know one another’s secret identity; even though the whole world now knows he is Matt Murdock. He can’t say he’s too thrilled to find Parker in his place, but then it’s only Peter. He’s just being paranoid.

Inside the apartment, Peter is drinking some milk from the fridge when Daredevil appears at the window. Parker spits out his drink right at Matt, shocked by his presence. His spider-sense only activates when there is danger, so Matt’s approaching presence went unnoticed. Matt climbs in through the window, and wipes milk from his facemask. He asks Peter to clean it up. Peter apologizes for barging in, and Matt asks what’s on his mind.

Peter closes the window and wipes milk from the sill. He informs Matt that he’s been seeing things. There’s this scene in his head; images really, like a dream, but he’s awake. It’s quite freaky. He continues to explain that in this dream, there’s himself, Luke Cage and the Black Widow. There’s also Wolverine and Captain America, and they’re in Latveria of all places. He doesn’t know how he knows it’s Latveria, but it is. In this dream, they’re up to their ears in crazy goons with big guns. The whole scene is just plain ugly; violent and ugly. It’s weird because he doesn’t remember it.

He turns to Matt and asks if he’s making sense, and Matt replies that he isn’t really. Peter asks why he’s having these flashes of memories of something they didn’t do. Matt looks at him as if he’s crazy. Peter asks Matt if he’s having these dreams, but Matt isn’t. Images in his head of a fight they never had, in a country he’s never been to? No. Spidey gives up. Matt suggests it’s just a nightmare. It’s not like what they do isn’t a high-pressure hobby. Peter replies that he has nightmares all the time; nightmares of Venom, of Carnage, of clones; but this isn’t a nightmare. He asks Matt to forget it. He’s probably three days away from Matt finding him running round Times Square in nothing but his web shooters and mask, wooping it up about power and responsibility.

Matt agrees to forget he never came but, as Peter leaves, Matt plays his voice messages. He has just one, and it’s from Jessica Jones. She tells him that she’s a Mt. Sinai Hospital, and explains that Luke was attacked at their home. She fights off her tears as she informs Matt that Luke is in a critical condition. She adds that they can’t operate on him because of his unbreakable skin. She’s there with Danny Rand, but Nick Fury also showed up and then Captain America, of all people, showed. She admits she doesn’t know what’s going on, and asks for some help down there. Matt readies himself, and Peter asks if it’s okay if he goes too.

Within seconds, they are back outside, the rain having now ceased. Peter thinks this is weird, because Luke was also in his dream, and he’s barely knows the guy. As he speaks, Matt asks him to be quiet. He can hear something, and leaps from the building using his billy-club to slow his fall. Spidey follows him and, as they drop, a huge explosion rocks the rooftop where they were standing. More explosions follow their trail, and as they leap for cover, Peter quips that this is why they call it Hell’s Kitchen. Spidey can see two assailants.

Hovering above the lower rooftops, Diamondback and Scorcher have lost their target. They’ve been ordered to take down Matt Murdock, but Scorcher tells ‘Debbie’ that he is sure he saw Spider-Man. Diamondback ticks off her companion for calling her by her real name. She has enough problems without everyone knowing it. She suggests he torches Matt’s house; he’ll come out. Spidey informs Daredevil that he thinks one of them is Scorcher. He’s fought him a bunch of times. He turns to see Daredevil is no longer with him.

With no sight of their target, Diamondback thinks they should bail. “She said do it tonight. Before the #$%^ goes down at…” Scorcher cuts her off. He’s had some bad experiences with Spider-Man, if it is him. Daredevil suddenly drops at them, landing a kick in Scorcher’s face whilst avoiding Diamondback’s missiles. Diamondback uses her jetpack to follow Matt who uses his billy-club to swing between them. Their tussle is interrupted as Scorcher charges up for an attack.

Fortunately for Matt, Spider-Man arrives and webs up Scorcher’s flamethrowers. He is upset at Spider-Man’s involvement and really doesn’t want to hang around. Spider-Man’s relentless teasing forces Scorcher to rocket away from the scene, leaving Diamondback to hold her own. She’s having none of it. She warns Matt that it isn’t over, before jetting away herself. Spidey tries to catch her with a web, but misses as she flies between New York’s skyscrapers to freedom.

As they watch their foes make their escape, Spidey quips that he wishes someone would make a handbook so they could keep up with all these dumkoffs. He was wondering when one of these lunatics was going to attack Matt in his own home. He’s so glad he was there to share the occasion. Matt tells him that they have to get to the hospital; something’s going on.

(Mt. Sinai Hospital)

In the corridor, as a few members of staff are having a break, Nick Fury and Captain America have their confrontation. Fury asks what happened to him, but Cap doesn’t answer. He insists they get Cage away from the hospital and away from civilians. Fury repeats his question, and this time, Cap responds.


Cap arrives home and is opening his door, when his keys are snatched from his hands by a metallic tentacle. He turns to see two costumed villains behind him. One of them looks like a female Doctor Octopus, and her friend, hovering on a flying glider, looks a little like the Green Goblin. He is holding a glowing pumpkin in his left hand, and looks like he might use it.


Cap informs Fury that he held them off. He bashed the girl in the face with the other one’s flying glider. It’s not his proudest moment, he admits. They panicked and took off. He then called S.H.I.E.L.D. to report it and get some intel on his mystery attackers, only to hear that Luke Cage was attacked as well, and that Fury was visiting. A voice says that he was attacked at his home as well. The two men look up to see Daredevil and Spider-Man arriving.

Cap is surprised that Daredevil heard him say he was attacked from so far away, and Daredevil apologizes for that. It seems, he adds, that those with public or semi-public identities have a price on their heads tonight. “Yes, it would,” replies Cap, turning to look at Nick Fury. Parker quips that he goes to all this trouble to keep his identity a secret, and he still gets caught up in this. Cap tells Spidey that he was caught up in this anyway. “I was?” queries Spidey. Daredevil asks what that means. Cap tells them that tonight’s the anniversary. “Of what?” asks Daredevil. “Of our Secret War,” replies Cap. Fury looks at Cap as if he’s let the cat out of the bag.

As Daredevil senses something and moves to face New York’s impressive skyline, Spidey wonders what everyone is talking about. Daredevil tells them they have to move. His radar must be off, but something wicked this way comes. Glowing lights in the distance move ever closer. Daredevil tells Cap that if he has back up he can call, to please do so. Fury radios in security code 44, whilst Spidey fears the worst. Suddenly, an ambulance explodes right in front of them, taking two cars with it. Cap lifts his shield and Fury grabs an automatic rifle. In no time, they find themselves facing over a dozen tech-themed villains, and they look like they’re out for blood.

Characters Involved: 


Mary Jane Parker

Captain America

Nick Fury

Luke Cage

Jessica Jones

Iron Fist




Hospital staff

Assembled tech-villains: Boomerang, Constrictor, Crimson Dynamo, Crossfire, Eel, Goldbug, Grim Reaper, Hobgoblin, King Cobra, Lady Octopus, Mentallo, Mister Fear, Scorpion, Shocker, Spider-Slayer, Trapster, Wizard

(in flashback)

Black Widow

Captain America

Daisy Johnson


Luke Cage

Nick Fury


Tech warriors


Lady Octopus

Story Notes: 

As with the previous two issues, there is plenty of additional material. The first item is the recording of a phone call Captain America made to Nick Fury, handled by S.H.I.E.L.D. operator Johanna Maley. Nick Fury was ‘off the grid,’ and so Cap spoke to Deputy Director Countess Valentina Allegro Dr Fontaine. Cap explained that he was attacked at his home by two villains, one of whom Valentina identifies as being Lady Octopus. Cap learned that Nick Fury was going to visit Luke Cage.

Next up is a set of character designs featuring the costumes featured in this series.

Thirdly, there is a guide to all the villains who show up on the last page.

Finally, there is some featured artwork from The Pulse #6, which ties into this story. The cover to The Pulse #7 is also shown, which has a nice black and white theme to tie it to the original sixties Fury issues.

The Black Widow, Wolverine and Daisy Johnson only appear in flashback in this issue.

Diamondback is called Debbie in this issue, but as far as is known, her real name is Rachel Leighton. Unless, of course, this is an entirely new character, using the same name.

While one of the villains is identified as the Hobgoblin, it is unclear if it is Robert Kingsley or another, new Hobgoblin.

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