Spider-Man is caught between two gangsters fighting over advanced weaponry.
|Characters: Peter Parker/Spider-Man; Spencer Smythe; Halloween Master; The Living Brain; Miles Morales/Spider-Miles; Hammerhead; Silvermane; The Crime Circus; Chief Watanabe.
Nighttime. An alley. SPENCER SMYTHE, in a panic, runs. He is pursued by a shadowy figure (who we will call for the moment HALLOWEEN MASTER) that seems to hover above him. It corners and taunts him, telling him that he (Smythe) can't escape. "If you want to live, you will serve me," it says. "And if you want to serve me, you will bring me this!" It holds up a computer tablet, displayed on which is a large metal canister with a Jackal's head stamped on it.
Dissolve to Horizon High, where SPIDER-MAN is being pursued over the rooftops and shot at by THE LIVING BRAIN. He is being run ragged, and exclaims that the thing is much better armed than he was prepared for. SPIDER-MILES decloaks nearby and smugly informs him that the Brain has been designing its own weaponry. "Why would you want it to do that?" Spider-Man shrieks at him. "Because I can hide from it," Spider-Miles says before cloaking again. The Brain corners Spider-Man. "I have you now, Spider-Man," the Brain intones. "Now prepare to receive your just deserts!"
Peter and Miles, still in costume but with their masks off, enter their lab while wolfing down cupcakes. The Brain enters after them, bearing a plate of cupcakes. "Are you sure you won't have more of your just dessert?" it asks. "There's plenty for everyone!" Peter asks Miles if he taught the Brain to cook; Miles says it is teaching itself stuff now. Peter looks askance at the Brain, mumbles that he's not sure he likes that. But it's time to go home. The Brain interrupts him before he can leave, though, with an alert: an alarm has sounded at the First Fiscal Bank of Manhattan. Peter and Miles look at each other: That was the bank on the data drive that Hammerhead recently stole. The Brain informs them that Hammerhead was released from jail just that morning on bail.
Dissolve to the interior of the bank. HAMMERHEAD yells at his goons, asking which moron forgot to cut the alarm. No one confesses, and Hammerhead directs them to blow the vault. He tells them to never mind the cash or jewels, he wants a little doohickey that looks like this! (He holds up a data drive.) When one of his men worries that the cops will be there soon, Hammerhead retorts that he's not worried about the cops. "We're in Silvermane's territory," he says. "He's the mug we gotta worry about."
Outside, the two Spider-Guys web their way over the rooftops. Spider-Man is glad that Miles is along, as it's been awhile since they've done something like this together. Miles says that since the Brain started improving itself, he has more time for this kind of fun. But there's more fun than they reckoned on when they arrive at the bank and find it surrounded by gangsters. They start picking them off, and have most of them trussed up, when armored vehicles arrive. At first they think it's the cops, but more gangsters pop out, and the Spider-Guys are driven to retreat by cannon fire. One of the armored vehicles batters its way through the wall into the lobby, and SILVERMANE and a henchman dismount. The lobby is deserted, however, and the henchman suggests that the thieves must have scattered. But he is then taken out by hostile fire, and Hammerhead's men swarm around Silvermane. Hammerhead appears, and observes that although Silvermane's men have his gang surrounded, his gang has Silvermane surrounded.
Spider-Man clings to the outside wall, looking in. Through his goggles he takes pictures of the men inside, and transmits them to Miles, who transmits them back to the Brain, but Spider-Man himself can ID the two gangland chiefs inside. When Miles asks if they're having a shoot-out, Spider-Man retorts that they're just talking.
Hammerhead says that the bank belongs to Kingpin; Silvermane replies that Kingpin is in the hospital and not expected to recover, and that the bank is now his; Hammerhead says that that he has Silvermane, which makes the bank his.
Miles gets back to Spidey: the Brain has found him a way to get inside without being seen. Under his directions, Spider-Man rips an AC unit away, and drops through the ceiling into air ducts.
Inside, Hammerhead puts a gun to his (Silvermane's) temple and says that the old man can either have a short time to live, or a shorter time to live. Behind a ceiling grate, Spider-Man prepares to burst out and save the old gangster. But Silvermane parts his shirt to reveal a device embedded in his chest. "My pacemaker," he says. "Wired to a lot of very high-grade explosives scattered about the city. Some of them in places you own. If I go, I take you with me."
Spider-Man reports to Miles that he can't intervene inside, as Silvermane's heart is wired to explosives and in any accidental shootout the old man might be killed. Below, the two gangsters continue to banter and bluff. Silvermane says he knows why Hammerhead is here. Before Kingpin checked out, he broke into the Raft's armory and stole all the supervillain gear from it. He's got it all inside his own gun locker now, and whoever gets to that gun locker will rule the city. But (Silvermane laughs) this isn't Kingpin's armory. Hammerhead, furious, says he knows that it isn't. But he knows where it is, yet he can't get into it without the security codes, and it's the security codes that are locked up in this bank. Silvermane laughs: He's already got the data drive with the security codes. Now he just needs the location of Kingpin's armory.
Spider-Man reports this back to Miles, who says that he's been listening in. He's already put the Brain into crunching all the data it can find about Kingpin's operations. The two agree that if what the gangsters are saying is true, then they have to find the Kingpin's armory and secure its contents before anyone else can get to it.
Cut to another part of New York City. Gangsters are overrunning a warehouse that is being defended by (among others) members of THE CRIME CIRCUS. As the latter retreat they are stopped by a Spider Slayer. Spencer Smythe's face appears on the screen, and asks them to confirm that they are employees of Wilson Fisk, a.k.a. The Kingpin. They reply that the Kingpin is in the hospital and his crime syndicate crumbling—that was Hammerhead's gang back there, taking over another piece of their boss's territory. Spencer replies that he has been authorized by his employer to pay the Circus one million dollars apiece for a job.
Elsewhere, Spider-Miles arcs across the skyline, and tells Spider-Man that he's on his way to Kingpin's armory—it's the first business that Hammerhead's crew took from Kingpin, and the Brain calculates a 90% chance that it's the location of Kingpin's arsenal. Spider-Man tells him to be careful; he will keep watch on Silvermane, who seems to be in some medical difficulty, and looks like he might die at any minute.
Miles arrives at a skyscraper. He makes his way over the roof, inside, then down through the ductwork to basement, sneaking past Hammerhead's patrols. He marvels at the size of the vault door that awaits him in the basement, and attaches a device to the door; remotely, he orders the Brain to start decrypting the lock. But the device has just started working when alarms go off and security 'bots, including Spider Slayers, deploy. Miles does his best to destroy and distract them, but when Hammerhead's men pour in he is forced to retreat. He calls Spider-Man with the bad news.
Down in the bank, a frustrated Hammerhead declares that he and Silvermane are at an impasse. Hammerhead won't give Silvermane the location of the armory, and Silvermane won't give Hammerhead the security codes. Silvermane dryly observes that they can at least "go together"; he feels himself fading fast. When Hammerhead asks if he's got any medicine that can help, Silvermane replies that the only medicine that will help is inside Kingpin's armory: a restorative that Fisk paid millions for and stored away against the day he would need it. Spider-Man drops in, surprising both gangsters and their henchmen. He tells them that he has a deal to propose.
Spider-Man's deal is this: Since neither gangster trusts the other, they will have to trust him as a go-between. He will take the security code and go to Kingpin's armory, out of which he will extract the serum that Silvermane needs. After that, he tells them, the two of them will have to settle who gets what out of the armory. They are skeptical: Spider-Man will just call the cops. He tells them to follow him and surround the location, to prevent the police from arriving. When they ask why he is willing to do this, he says he wants to keep Silvermane alive, as he doesn't want bombs to start going off around the city.
Cut to Spider-Man, racing over rooftops. He is arguing with Miles about his plan. Miles wants to call the cops anyway, but Spider-Man says he's got another plan, and asks Miles to bring the Living Brain out. Miles warns that the Brain hasn't enough armament to stand up to the combined armies of Hammerhead and Silvermane; Spider-Man says that's not his plan.
At the armory's location, Spider-Man lands on the roof and looks around. Miles, remotely, points Spidey to where he can go in, but Spidey says he'll just use the front door. He drops to the ground in front of Hammehead and Silvermane and reminds them that the deal means he will go inside and into the vault alone, and will return (after closing the door and resetting the codes) with Silvermane's medicine; the latter shows him a photo of what it looks like: a small box. Spider-Man promises the failing gangster that he will be back as soon as possible.
Spider-Man takes the elevator down to the basement; he is slightly spooked by the alert but non-hostile Slayers and other equipment, and remarks to Miles that he's not surprised that he (Miles) couldn't get in. He enters a code into the lock on the door, and the vault opens. Miles notes Spidey's gasp and asks what he sees. Spider-Man tours the corridors of the vault and marvels in horror at all the gear that he sees. Spider Slayers and octo-bots; gliders, bombs, guns; even Doc Ock's robotic arms. "We can't let them get this stuff," he tells Miles. Miles: "Have you found what you're looking for?" Spider-Man picks up the box that Silvermane needs and says, "One of them." Then he spots something off-screen. "Give me five minutes, then you can make that phone call," he tells Miles.
Spider-Man exits the vault and prepares to close the door when he is surrounded by gangsters, led by the grinning Hammerhead and Silvermane. "We came to an arrangement while you were gone," Hammerhead gloats. "We figure that once you got the door open, we'd just split the loot fifty-fifty. We'll start with the old man's medicine. We don't want the place going boom with us inside it." Spider-Man tosses the medicine to Silvermane, and even pushes the vault door open wider. "Squash us a spider, boys," Hammerhead orders as Silvermane gulps down his medicine.
Spider-Man leaps about the cavernous basement, dodging fire and webbing who he can, but he is taken down and pinned under a catwalk by fire. Hammerhead prepares to blow his head off, but is interrupted by Silvermane. Hammerhead is astonished by his rival's appearance: young, slick, and dark-haired. "It's a veritable Fountain of Youth," the revived Silverman gloats. "You thought you could outwait a doddering old man. But I'm younger than you now, and stronger!" He begins manhandling Hammerhead as the henchmen turn on each other.
Miles signals Spidey: "Ready." Spidey: "Then what are you waiting for?" The entire security system comes alive and attacks the gangsters as Spidey leaps away. From out of the vault charge Slayers, octobots and others devices. Back at Horizon, Miles watches on a monitor and munches popcorn as the security system scatters and destroys the invading gangsters. He asks The Living Brain if it is overstraining itself by running all those defense systems; the Brain says it has capacity to spare. Miles asks Spidey if he's ready to call the cops. Spidey replies that, yes, it looks like they've had enough.
Dissolve to the exterior of the armory. Spider-Man watches as a handful of police take the wounded gangsters in hand. He wonders that there aren't more cops on hand, and drops down to ask if they need help. They brusquely inform him that they have things under control. Spider-Man notes two cops carrying a canister from the building—a canister with a Jackal's head stamped on it; the lead cop tell him that they have special orders to secure that item. All the cops quickly bundle themselves into their three cruisers and race away. Spider-Man looks around and wonders that they didn't take any prisoners with them. A wounded Hammerhead, glowering on the ground: "Those weren't the real cops, you numbskull!" In the distance, sirens sound. "Those will be the real cops!" Hammerhead tells Spider-Man, who face-palms.
Dissolve to Spider-Man talking to CHIEF WATANABE. She tells him that it looks like only one thing is missing from the vault, but it's bad news: something confiscated from the Jackal's old hideout. (Briefly dissolve to a silent scene: Spencer Smythe and the silhouette of Halloween Master as they open the canister.) Otherwise, the chief tells Spidey, they've recovered everything that Kingpin stole from the Raft, plus more. They also got Hammerhead, she adds, and congratulates him on the bust. What about Silvermane? He got away, she admits. But we'll get him, she promises.
Dissolve to a car speeding away from the city. The fearful driver asks the boss, hidden in the back, if he's okay. The reply, in a piping falsetto: "Just get me out of town, soup for brains!"
"Spider-Man Commentary: A Game of Cops and Robbers"