Spider-Man learns that a mysterious figure has put a bounty on his head.
|Characters: Peter Parker/Spider-Man; Hobie Brown/The Prowler; Jack o' Lantern; Halloween Master; Abraham Brown; Hammerhead.
In his bedroom at home, PETER PARKER is still working on his overdue Open House project for Horizon High, and is down to his last eighteen hours. Luck is still against him, for the cheap battery he purchased for it fizzles out on him, and he has to don his Spider-Man costume to get into town to shop for a new one. As he hops over the rooftops, he notices that someone is following him. He dodges the figure and surprises it from behind, demanding to know who they are and what they want. It is the PROWLER, in a full body costume, and instead of answering he attacks Spider-Man with a sonic bomb before leaping at him to kick him in the face.
Spider-Man deflects the kicks, but is quickly wrong-footed by Prowler's attacks with flame swords, smoke bombs, electrified nets. The fight extends over the rooftops, with Prowler making only a handful of admissions: that he is only the user, not the designer of the costume, and that this attack isn't personal -- he intends to capture Spider-Man for a bounty. Once he has learned all that he thinks he needs to learn from Prowler, Spider-Man (who has let himself be chased about), turns the tables and hits Prowler back hard. Prowler tries dropping another electrified net onto Spidey, but Spidey uses his webs to pull Prowler inside the dome-like trap as well, where he incapacitates him before demanding that he turn off the net. But the fight has shorted out the controls, and Prowler repeats that he isn't the designer and doesn't know how to fix it. As he fiddles with the controls, a damaged water tower ruptures, sending a wall of water toward them and the electrified net.
SM insulates his legs with webbing and holds Prowler overhead long enough for the water to pour past them and over the edge of the roof. After that, he takes Prowler's gauntlet and repairs it himself. Prowler is astonished by Spider-Man's action in saving him—he thought that he was fighting in a "costumed menace," and credits The Daily Bugle with convincing him that Spider-Man was a villain. He renounces his intention to capture the web-slinger and tells Spider-Man that there is a bounty on his head, placed there by a shadowy figure with an electronically distorted voice, who addressed a large company of costumed figures such as himself. Spider-Man reasons that that is the reason he has been suffering so many attacks, and asks for more info, but Prowler can't supply any. He can only confess that he is in debt to a criminal who has taken his brother hostage, and that capturing Spider-Man for the bounty was his only way of saving his brother. Spider-Man offers to help, but Prowler refuses and sprints off; but Spider-Man gets a tracker on him before he vanishes. Spidey then returns to the job of finding a new battery for his project.
As he is crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, however, a Halloweenish figure appears on a flying hoverboard: JACK O'LANTERN, whose head is a flaming pumpkin and who wields a flaming scythe. He causes a bus to careen over the side of the bridge, and Spider-Man must dive to catch it with a web. As he tries hauling it up, he is attacked and badgered by the giggling Jack o'Lantern. Spider-Man is forced to break the front windshield of the bus and drag the handful of passengers out before letting the bus fall into the river below. He then turns all his energy onto Jack o'Lantern and succeeds in driving him away.
He follows the fleeing villain, though, for Jack o'Lantern has let slip that he's also after the bounty. He trails Jack o'Lantern to a warehouse that is decorated with Halloween gear. Jack o'Lantern attacks him with bombs shaped like caramel apples and a bazooka that shoots candy corn, but Spider-Man knocks him into the vat of caramel explosives, encasing Jack o'Lantern in a hard shell that muffles him. It seems impossible to question him, so Spider-Man leaves him after announcing that he will call the police as soon as he's found a new battery for his school project. But as soon as Spider-Man is gone, a shadowy figure in burlap—HALLOWEEN MASTER—appears. He looks down at Jack o'Lantern and professes himself satisfied with Jack o'Lantern's "proof of concept."
Prowler is attempting to lock-pick the door to a penthouse when Spider-Man surprises him: "I was in the neighborhood," Spidey says, "and thought you could use my help." Prowler tries to dissuade him, but Spidey insists on going in with him. In a ballroom they find Prowler's brother, ABRAHAM BROWN, tied up in a chair, and they free him. But the doors burst open and HAMMERHEAD and his goons enter with guns to cover them. Prowler announces that he has brought Spider-Man for the bounty, thus paying off his debt, which shocks and angers Spider-Man. Hammerhead orders his men to concentrate their guns on Spider-Man, whereupon Prowler takes three of them down with electrified darts. The fourth, however, is unexpectedly resilient, and reveals himself to be a super-strong cyborg. Hammerhead and Abraham are forced to take cover together during the ensuing fight, which ends when Spider-Man tricks the cyborg into blasting open the sprinklers; the water shorts the cyborg out.
On the rooftop afterward, Prowler tells Spider-Man he has a token of appreciation to give him: the battery from his suit. When Spider-Man asked how he knew that he needed a battery, Prowler says that he overheard Spidey talking to himself about needing one. Spider-Man thanks him and webs away.
The above is adapted from "Bring on the Bad Guys, Part 3" by Gavin Hignight.
"Spider-Man Commentary: Trick or Treat"