Spider-Man and his friends track the Jackal to his lair.
|Characters: Peter Parker/Spider-Man; J. Jonah Jameson; Miles Morales/Spider-Miles; Harry Osborn; Gwen Stacy; Norman Osborn; The Jackal.
On a giant tele-screen, a news report on the crisis in New York. The city is under a curfew and lockdown as a mysterious pathogen sweeps through it. But, J. JONAH JAMESON assures his viewers, government and industry [shot of the Oscorp tower] are hard at work on a vaccine, and the city will get through it, because this is the "bravest and greatest city on Earth!" Then the tele-screen is shattered by a flying body. SPIDER-MAN and SPIDER-MILES are engaged in hard combat with a pair of Spider Soldiers, and complain that they feel like they're being toyed with, for these are the tenth and eleventh mutants that have erupted in the last two days; it's like they are being deliberately run ragged because a new mutant erupts each time they put down the last one. But they have to buy time until that vaccine is found. In the midst of the battle, Spidey is interrupted by a phone call from HARRY OSBORN, who is trying to call Peter to ask if he is busy. As a Spider Soldier spits webs at him, pinning him and charging him, Spidey confesses that he's "kind of tied up at the moment."
Spidey escapes the attack and helps Miles bring down the adversaries while Peter talks to Harry, who wants Peter's help with a project: Gwen is searching for a cure to the spider virus, and could use Peter's help in searching the data for leads. Peter says he'll be over as soon as he can turn loose.
At Dr. Warren's house, Peter joins Harry and GWEN STACY. Peter remarks that he's glad to see that everyone is talking to each other again, and is also glad to hear that Harry is working with Spider-Man; a surly Harry retorts that it's just an alliance of convenience, that he still doesn't trust the Spider-Guys. Peter asks Gwen if she trusts Spider-Man, but she doesn't answer. Harry pulls Peter aside, and quietly tells him that he needs Peter to work with Gwen because she is angry at him (Harry). Harry and his father are convinced that her missing uncle is behind the attacks— "That's why I'm working with Spider-Man, to help my dad," Harry says—and now she won't speak to Harry out of loyalty to her uncle.
Peter goes in to talk to Gwen, gingerly asking what she's found. "Nothing," she spits back. "I didn't get enough data from those samples before they were stolen and turned into weapon." When Peter suggests searching her uncle's house for more clues, she angrily denies that he had anything to do with it. "But aren't they samples of his work," Peter asks. "Or maybe they aren't," he quickly adds. "Maybe they were someone else's work, and he realized how dangerous they were, and was trying to find a cure." That gives Gwen pause, and she agrees to help Peter search her uncle's house for additional material. Harry joins them, though she pointedly ignores Harry.
The search of Dr. Warren's house turns up an invoice showing that he had rented a storeroom in town, and the trio return to search it; they notice Spider-Miles, in the distance, battling a Spider Soldier. Peter remarks that he would like to help; Harry says the best way is by finding the cure, or the source of the gamma rays that are activating the virus. That stops Peter cold as they enter the storeroom, and he queries Harry on what he just said; Harry responds that it's the same thing that was setting off the earlier human-animal metamorphoses: gamma rays from hidden sources are activating the viruses inside people who get close to the sources. The trouble is that there seems to be no pattern to the outbreaks. Peter asks if Harry has mentioned this to Spider-Man; Harry retorts that it's Spider-Man's job to keep busy fighting the outbreak while the real brains find a way to stop it at the source.
Inside the storeroom—actually a facility the size of a warehouse—they find nothing but a desktop computer, office furniture, and a security cameras. The latter scan the trio, which activates the computer. THE JACKAL appears on the screen, and congratulates "Norman" on tracking down his "Spider Soldier Experiment" before taunting him that it's a "dead end. Your dead end!" Harry and Gwen get out before the door closes, but Peter is trapped inside as laser cannons drop from the ceiling and activate. But he can't change into his Spider-Man costume in front of the cameras.
By throwing furniture around, Peter manages to knock out the cameras so he can use his spider powers. After disabling everything, he is able to let the others back inside. They get into the computer system, and are able to open up a secret door in the floor that leads into a large, maze-like lab. Peter carefully tries to reassure Gwen—"I know this looks bad. Your uncle. The Jackal. A secret lair. But maybe there's an innocent explanation for all of this." Gwen tells him to button it and heads off to look down a dark corridor. Peter edges over to talk to Harry, who is rummaging through some of the equipment. Peter tells him he's glad they're working together to solve this problem. Harry only grunts, then exclaims over the contents of a metal box with the Oscorp logo on it. He takes out his cell phone and calls his father, telling him he's found the mutated spiders that Professor Warren stole from Oscorp. Peter, shocked, asks Harry, "Have you just been using me all this time?" Harry replies that he's doing what he has to do, which is saving the world. Peter retorts that he is also saving his family's reputation—this "spider army" was developed inside Oscorp, and Harry heatedly says that of course he's trying to save his family, and he's trying to save his dad. "Maybe now he'll appreciate me," he adds. Peter: "He's always appreciated you." Harry goes on a bitter rant about how nothing he's done has ever been good enough for his father; but he understands, because his father wants him to always be better; "Maybe now he'll see that I can be better!" He opens the box—but it's empty.
In another part of the complex Gwen searches for a light switch. She finds one, flips it, and discovers she's in a long corridor lined with large tubes, inside each of which floats a clone of Harry Osborn. Her cry brings the boys, who are numbed with horror, at the sight—especially Harry, who wildly wonders why Warren was making clones of him. Peter points out that that's not all. Attached to each tube is a smaller test tube containing a spider. "This is his spider army!" Harry exclaims. "He's making his spider army, and he's using clones of me!" Peter tells him that it's okay, his dad will soon be here to shut it down, but a wild Harry begins jabbing every button he can—"We have to shut down ourselves! I can't let my dad see this!" But his efforts only activate the clones, and the tubes begin to open.
The clones—naked except for baggy trunks—fall out of the tubes, then rise to prowl and surround the trio. They don't speak, but glower and hiss menacingly. Harry prepares to fight, but Peter warns that there's too many of them, and that they need to run and let Norman and his security forces deal with them. They scamper off, pursued, and duck into a storage room, shutting and barricading the door. The blows on the other side rattle the room, so the three of them tear out a floor vent. Harry and Gwen go in first; Peter covers the vent with a desk and changes into his Spider-Man costume. The clones burst in and Peter charges at them, but is shocked when they leap out of the way and stick to the ceilings and walls. A couple of them turn invisible, one shoots webbing out of his mouth, and a third bursts a second pair of arms from its torso.
Gwen and Harry emerge in another room. Harry tries calling his father, but he's interrupted by an explosion.
Elsewhere in the base, Spider-Man is dodging and fighting Harry clones, letting them damage and destroy the lab for him. An explosion rocks the lab and part of the roof caves in. NORMAN OSBORN and a cohort of security men, in armor and riding goblin gliders, descend into the room. Norman begins by challenging Spider-Man, then is surprised into silence by the sight of the Harry clones. Spidey hurriedly informs him that those are the spider army the Jackal was making, and that they need to destroy them before they get loose. But Norman is still speechless, and not until one of the clones leaps at him, knocking from the glider and putting his hissing face to Norman's, does a horrified Norman choke out the order to attack. A full-on melee develops.
Gwen ducks under a desk in the middle of this, clutching a laptop to her. "Please tell me, Uncle Raymond," she mutters, "that you thought to build in a fail-safe when you made these things!"
In another part of the complex, Harry struggles to reach his dad, but Gwen tries to hold him back; only when the fight bursts through a wall does Harry get caught up in it. He takes an empty glider and joins the fray, until he is knocked off his perch by Spider-Man, saving him from a blast from one of the Oscorp soldiers. "You idiot!" Spider-Man yells, "they're shooting everyone and anyone who looks like you!" But Oscorp is getting the worst of the fight, until Norman, wedged up in a corner, is trapped by a Harry clone. Norman holds up a laser pistol to shoot it, but finds he can't. "It looks just like my son!"
"Which is why I used his DNA!" the Jackal exclaims as he enters the lab. He chides Norman for finding his "present" early, for the Jackal had planned to substitute one of the clones for the real Harry, and use it to take Norman down. "But this will work as well." He's interrupted by Spider-Man, balancing on a wall and holding a detonator; Gwen is on the floor next to him. "You shouldn't leave the off switch around where someone else can find it," Spider-Man says, and he clicks the detonator. The Harry clones explode in a mass of goop, leaving only Harry (the dressed one) erect.
Norman, with steely fury, orders his remaining men to kill the Jackal. The Jackal tut-tuts him. "You can't kill me until you've won. And you haven't won yet!" He leaps away and disappears, dodging fire.
When he's gone, Norman and Harry stand regarding each other. Their words and expressions are short and hard: "You did a good job, son." "Thanks, Dad." "I'll take it from here." "I want to help." "You always do." Spider-man (sotto voce): "Well, don't sob all over each other." The moment is interrupted by a frantic call from Miles on Spidey's gauntlet: If Peter can possibly spare himself a moment, he needs help. Everyone climbs or hovers up to the surface to look around. Everywhere, on the streets and inside buildings, citizens are turning into spider-soldiers.
The above, with some changes, is adapted from "The Rise of Doc Ock, Part 4" by Sterling Gates.
"Spider-Man Commentary: Day of the Jackal, Part 2"
Next: "S01E25 "The Day of the Jackal, Part 3""