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The Amazing Spider-Man #447: "King of the Hill: Beginnings" (November, 2003)

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  • Steven Grayson
    THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #447(November, 2003): KING OF THE HILL: BEGINNINGS By Steve Grayson Previously in Amazing Spider-Man: As Peter, Mary Jane, and May
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 6, 2003
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      THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
      #447(November, 2003):
      "KING OF THE HILL: BEGINNINGS"
      By
      Steve Grayson
      Previously in Amazing Spider-Man: As Peter, Mary Jane, and May
      enjoyed a day of from the rigors of super hero life, Silver Sable and
      Prowler battled Rhino and Boomerang to a standstill in Midtown
      Manhattan. At the same time, Crimemaster and Big Man made their move
      to solidify their hold over the Mafia Syndicate by taking out the
      Rose. Using Hobgoblin in an attempt to execute Rose, Richard Fisk
      (the true identity of the Rose) was able to escape the onslaught and
      headed for the office of Liz Osborn.

      The Midtown Manhattan Offices of the Daily Bugle:
      9:30 a.m.

      Peter walks up to the desk of Ben Urich and smiles as he watches the
      man hard at work. He wonders what new tiger that the warhorse has by
      the tail.

      "Hey, Ben, what you working on?" Peter inquires.

      "Huh," Ben starts. "Oh, Peter, sorry I was just doing some research."

      Peter says, "So I see. What's the story?"

      Ben states, "Well, it seems that almost immediately following the
      revelation that the Rose owned Multivex came out that a new owner has
      risen. A mysterious figure that no one seems to know is on the scene.
      But this new player is not satisfied with Multivex. He has also
      pretty much taken over OsCorp as well. I feel in my bones that he is
      somehow connected to this rumored Mafia Syndicate."

      "Sounds like another big story for the big time crime reporter,"
      Peter responds.

      "One can only hope," Ben replies.

      The phone on Ben's desk rings and the reporter picks it up. "Yes, Ben
      Urich here." The reporter listens for a few minutes nodding his head.
      Ben hangs up his phone and smiles.

      "Would you like to help me on the story, Peter?" Ben asks.

      "Sure. How can I help?" Peter inquires.

      "Liz Osborn is a friend of yours, is she not?" Ben muses.

      Peter frowns and replies, "Yeah, why?"

      "Because that was her on the phone. It seems that the former owner of
      Multivex just showed up on her doorstep, so to speak," Ben
      states. "It appears he has a story to tell about this Mafia
      Syndicate."

      "Well then let's go," Peter says.

      The Forest Hills Home of Peter and Mary Jane Parker:

      Mary Jane drinks her tea as he watches her aunt, Anna Watson, play
      with baby May. She smiles at the interaction and ponders how Anna has
      been like a mother to her for much of her life. The doorbell rings
      and she gets up to answer the door. She opens the front door and sees
      a courier holding a sealed envelope.

      The courier smiles, "Hi ma'am. I am looking for Mary Jane Watson-
      Parker."

      "That would be me," Mary Jane replies.

      The courier holds out the package and states, "This is for you. Can I
      get your signature?"

      Mary Jane signs the form and takes the envelope. She closes the door
      and wonders what could be inside the envelope. She passes it from one
      hand to another.

      "What is it dear?" Anna Watson inquires.

      "Not sure," Mary Jane replies.

      "Then open it up," offers Anna.

      Mary Jane sits down on the couch and opens the envelope. Inside is a
      letter on corporate letter head. She reads the letter and can't
      believe what she sees. She reads a couple of more times. Each reading
      makes the smile on her face larger than the one before.

      "Well," Anna questions?

      Mary Jane beams at her aunt. "Aunt Anna, it's a modeling job. This is
      the newest hottest modeling agency around. It goes by the name of O,"
      Mary Jane exclaims.

      "Well congratulations, my dear," Anna states.

      "I can't wait to tell Peter," Mary Jane shouts as she lifts May into
      the air and swings her around.

      The Main Office of Multivex:

      The man with brown hair and blue eyes hangs up the phone and smiles.
      His plans are going according to his timetable. He lights up a cigar
      and takes a deep drag. There is the sound of footsteps behind him. He
      turns to the sound and smiles again.

      "Well, everything is proceeding to schedule," the man speaks to the
      shadows.

      "Good," a voice from the shadows replies. "Your plan will bring us
      everything we could ever want. But, I do have news for you."

      "Yes," the man replies hesitantly.

      "It seems that Fisk has made his way to Oscorp and Liz Osborn,"
      begins the voice. "It seems he is about to provide some information
      to the press. Information that we don't want put among the masses."

      "Then we must make sure that doesn't happen," the man replies. "Right
      now I have to attend to some business. Make the call and send him in."

      "I will."

      Once the man leaves the room, the owner of the voice steps from the
      shadows. He is a huge muscular man wearing a white three-piece suit
      and a brown mask. He picks up the phone and punches one of the memory
      buttons.

      A Penthouse Suite in Uptown Manhattan:

      He picks up the phone and smiles when he hears the voice on the other
      end. "So our little rose still has some of its thorns?" asks the
      man. "Yes, don't worry. Hobgoblin will make sure that he doesn't
      speak a word."

      As he hangs up the phone, Hobgoblin cackles wildly. He opens the
      secret panel in his wall and ponders which one of the orange and gray
      outfits to wear. He finally grabs one and laughs maniacally.
      Hobgoblin loves the thrill of his life and is about to expand on it.

      The OsCorp Plant:

      Richard Fisk slips on the purple mask he has begun to wear more out
      of habit then desire. He hears the intercom beep on the desk of Liz
      Osborn. There is a moment of some talking and then Liz comes into the
      anteroom where he is.

      "They are coming up," Liz comments. "I am not sure I am comfortable
      with this."

      "We have made a bargain, Ms. Osborn," Rose reminds. "You can't reveal
      my true identity. In return, I will provide these reporters with all
      the information they will need to put down the Mafia Syndicate."

      "Yes, Fisk, I will uphold my end of the bargain," she replies.

      At that moment, the front door to her office opens and Ben Urich and
      Peter Parker walk in. She looks at Peter surprised to see him
      here. "Hello, gentleman," she states.

      "Hi, Liz," Peter begins. "Are you OK?"

      "Yes, Peter. Rose is not here to hurt us," Liz Osborn answers.

      "Ms. Osborn is telling the truth," the masked man replies. "I have
      some information on the mysterious `Mafia Syndicate'."

      Ben Urich immediately goes into skeptic mode. "How would you know
      anything about the Mafia Syndicate, Rose?"

      Rose smiles under his mask and sighs, "Because until yesterday I was
      a member of the Syndicate."

      "OK," Ben replies, "so tell me what you know."

      "I am afraid this is not going to be an interview," Rose counters.

      "What?" Liz cries. "Rose, you promised to tell them."

      Peter feels his spider-sense begin to tingle and moves in to protect
      Liz. He is not sure what is about to happen. Rose is not making any
      threatening moves so why is his sixth sense going off.

      Rose pulls a disk out from his suit jacket. He holds it out to Ben
      Urich. "I promise to give them the information they need it is true.
      But, I never said it would come directly from my lips. On this disk
      is the membership and true identity of the leader of the Syndicate.
      You might find his true face very interesting Ms. Osborn."

      Ben takes the disk wondering what that last comment was supposed to
      mean. He deposits the disk inside his jacket and turns to Liz Osborn.
      Suddenly, an explosion rips the office wide open. Through the smoke,
      a figure flying on some type of bat-like glider emerges into sight.
      Rose's eyes open wide at first thinking that it is the leader of the
      Mafia Syndicate coming for him.

      Once he recognizes who is coming through the hole in the ceiling, he
      realizes it is just not in the way he was thinking. Hobgoblin slips
      through the hole and cackles heartily. He surveys the wreckage. Ben
      Urich and Liz Osborn lie prone on the debris strewn floor. Rose
      gingerly tries to get to his feet.

      "How clumsy of me? Did I injure you? I meant to kill you," Hobgoblin
      calls down to the masked man.

      Rose immediately roles to a crouching position and unholsters his
      gun. He fires two shots at the menacing mercenary. Hobgoblin easily
      avoids the bullets and bears down on his assailant. Rose somehow
      dodges the glider in time and dives behind the desk.

      Hobgoblin suddenly turns his attention to Liz Osborn and laughs
      maniacally. "Maybe I should take you out too. It could be a bonus for
      my associate," Hobgoblin cackles.

      Rose sees Liz coming to and notices Hobgoblin's attention on her.
      Without thinking, he leaps at Hobgoblin. He is able to grab onto the
      glider and shifts its weight. He then swings down in-between
      Hobgoblin and his target.

      "This is between you and me Hobgoblin. Leave her out of it," Rose
      shouts.

      "Why in a minute, I am going to leave you both out of it," Hobgoblin
      warns as he aims at Rose and the prone form of Liz Osborn.

      In all the confusion, Peter slips to the outer office. He sees that
      the receptionist has left and takes the opportunity to change into
      his alter-ego of Spider-Man. Leaping out a nearby window; he uses his
      web-lines to bring him around to the side of the building that
      Hobgoblin used as an entrance. He arrives just in time to see the
      maniacal mercenary aiming some type of weapon at Rose and Liz.

      Clinging to the wall, Spider-Man fires a web-line that attaches
      itself to the back end of the glider. Bracing himself, the wall-
      crawler gives a powerful tug and the glider jerks backward.

      "It doesn't look to me like you are being a very gracious visitor,
      Hobby," Spider-Man quips. "Didn't your mother ever teach you and
      manners?"

      "I am afraid I didn't like my mother to teach me anything. So, I got
      rid of her," Hobgoblin says with a deadpan voice.

      With that comment, he hurls a pumpkin shaped bomb at the wall-
      crawler. Spider-Man dodges out of the way in time as it explodes
      against what is left of the ceiling. Spider-Man dives to the floor
      and collects the limp forms of Ben Urich and Liz Osborn.

      He eyes Rose who seems to be barely conscious. "Can you move?" he
      inquires of the masked man.

      "I believe so," groans Rose.

      "Then lets put some distance between us and that maniac," shouts the
      wall-crawler.

      Spider-Man dives head first through the door and is quickly followed
      by the Rose. The outer office is now inhabited by a large number of
      police officers. Hobgoblin comes bursting through to the outer office
      and hurls several razor bats at the officers.

      "Wheeeee! More targets," He cackles. "I feel like I am at the state
      fair!"

      Spider-Man drops Liz and Ben with the officers. "Please get them to
      safety and I will take care of this freak," Spider-Man orders!

      "Whatever you say," the nearest officer responds. The officers grab
      Liz and Ben and head back out to the main lobby.

      In the confusion, Rose slips off his mask and blends into the crowd.
      He thinks to himself, "Sorry guys, but I have one last piece of
      business to finish." He follows the crowd to the main entrance and
      leaves unnoticed.

      Back in the outer office, Spider-Man leaps at Hobgoblin with wild
      abandon. With everyone out of danger, the wall-crawler decides he can
      begin this battle in earnest.

      EPILOGUE I:

      Mary Jane waits nervously in the outer office of "O", a new modeling
      agency that has been on fire. She had just received a telegram
      earlier this morning that had let her know they were interested in
      her. She is very nervous.

      The receptionist looks up at her and says, "You can go in now Mrs.
      Parker."

      Mary Jane stands up and takes one last look at herself and then
      enters the office. As she walks in, she is met by a familiar
      face. "Daniel," Mary Jane gasps, "Daniel Kingsley?"

      "Hi, MJ," Daniel says rather meekly.

      "How have you been? What are you doing here?" Mary Jane asks.

      "Long story short: My brother's company was bought out by an
      enigmatic investor. He left my brother, Roderick, in charge, and with
      his money we were able to make O. Unfortunately, my brother died in
      that attack by the Hobgoblin.(1) Since then, I have been left in
      charge. I knew that you were the model that could make sure this
      company stays on top. Please say you will work with us," Daniel
      Kingsley pleads.

      Mary Jane looks at him and tries to decide what to do.

      EPILOGUE II:

      Frank Castle has been through many wars in his time, but this one has
      been the most exasperating. For every two-bit thug he eliminates, it
      seems ten take his place. But, the war rages on and he will continue
      to punish those who break the law. He eyes the scars on his well-
      defined torso and sighs. Frank feels that each one that was obtained
      in a fight for what is right are well justified.

      "Now I get a chance to take down another of the big men," Frank says
      as he peruses a picture of a well-dressed man who wears an eye
      patch. "Well, Fortunato it is time for you to go down and thanks to
      that anonymous tip you will be put down."

      With that, Frank Castle slips on his Kevlar vest with the white skull
      emblazoned on it. He opens a case full of weapons and pulls out a
      Beretta .9 mm, an Uzi, and an M-16 with grenade launcher. He also
      grabs several frag grenades. Hours earlier, Frank Castle rented this
      room. But now it is the Punisher who exits it.

      EPILOGUE III:

      Crimemaster sits in his office waiting for the pieces to fall in
      place. Soon another threat to his empire will fall. Then with the two
      most dangerous members of the Syndicate out of the way he will
      control them all. He also muses how his plans with OsCorp have almost
      come to fruition. Big Man comes into the office. His heavy footfalls
      echo throughout the empty office.

      "Crimemaster, she has taken the bait and is in talks with our pawn
      right now," Big Man reports.

      "Good," Crimemaster begins. "Soon all the pieces will be in place and
      I will be the "King of the Hill"

      To be continuedÂ…

      Next Issue: King of the Hill continues as the move is made on
      Fortunato. Rose confronts Crimemaster. Mary Jane's first day on the
      job. Spider-Man and Hobgoblin continue their confrontation. Will Ben
      Urich be able to view the contents of the disk and discover
      Crimemaster's identity? Come back here next month and find out.

      (1) The attack Daniel Kingsley is referring to took place in
      Alternate Marvel's ASM #439
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