Synopsis for “A Matter of Love… and Death!”
Continued from last issue…
Equinox is on a rampage on the Queensborough Bridge, and during the course of his battle against Spider-Man, the Wasp, and Yellowjacket, Equinox had seemingly slain Yellowjacket by exploding a tanker truck full of gasoline. Jean DeWolff and Raphael Scarfe have arrived on the scene to close off the destruction on the bridge. Furious that her husband was seemingly murdered by the villain, the Wasp jumps over the police barricade and attacks Equinox up front. However, the villain is too powerful for her to face on her own, and she is rescued from harm by Spider-Man.
Spider-Man and the Wasp decide to question Margay Sorenson, Equinox’s mother, to see what they can learn from her. The Wasp is furious when she tries to explain to them that Equinox’s rampage is not his fault, prompting Spider-Man to cut in and stop a potential fight. When Wasp questions Spider-Man on what he knows about losing someone he loves, he’s forced to remember the death of Gwen Stacy. The situation is broken up when Equinox resumes his attack on them, and Margay attempts to use her device to cure her son, but it doesn’t work.
Needing to recalibrate the device, the closest place they can get into is the Baxter Building, which Wasp has access to thanks to her Avengers affiliation. Along the way, Margay explains the origins of how her son gained his current super-human abilities: She explains that she was married to successful scientist named David Sorenson and they had a son named Terry. Unfortunately, David proved to be an abusive husband, prompting Margay to take her son and leave him. David would consume himself with work and begin heavily drinking. One night while coming to pick up Terry there was a powerful explosion in the house. With his father trapped inside, Terry ran in to try and save him. However, it was too late and there was another explosion. While David died instantly, Terry was mutated into his Equinox form. Terry and Margay spent months working together to try and find a cure, stealing what they needed to try and accomplish this task. However, Equinox eventually grew to resent Margay and ultimately became mentally unstable and broke out on his own.
Arriving at the Baxter Building, the trio are granted access thanks to the Wasp’s Avengers Priority ID card, which disables the building’s defenses. Meanwhile, down on the streets Equinox has continued tracking the heroes and while fighting the police manages to cause a blackout across the island of Manhattan. This power surge causes the security systems in the Baxter Building to activate, and Spider-Man and Margay find themselves trapped in a room. The Wasp flies off into the ventilation system to try and find the security shut-off. In order to escape gas being pumped into the room, the Wasp realizes that somehow Hank managed to endow her with enhanced strength. Breaking free, she manages to turn off the security system, allowing them all access to Reed Richards’ lab without further incident.
Working quickly, Spider-Man and Margay rig up a harness device that will stabilize Equinox’s powers. When Equinox finally arrives and smashes through the wall, Spider-Man battles him, but is easily knocked away. Before Equinox can attack further, he is shocked by Yellowjacket, who is alive and well. Distracted, Equinox is open to a bio-sting blast from the Wasp, who is surprised to find that even her wasp stings are now much stronger. Yellowjacket promises to explain everything later and takes the stabilizer device and places it on Equinox, neutralizing his powers and knocking him out.
With the threat over, Yellowjacket explains that he survived the blast by shrinking down in size, so that his smaller mass caused the force of the explosion to knock him to relative safety. He then explains that he secretly boosted Wasp’s powers earlier that day as a surprise birthday present for her. They were intended to be activated by an injection of artificial adrenaline, however the adrenal rush she got from witnessing Hank “die” seemed to have triggered them before he could surprise her. With all explained, Yellowjacket, Wasp, and Margay leave with Equinox restrained and being taken to the authorities. Spider-Man decides to stay behind and clean up the mess caused by the battle, completely unaware of a strange and ancient carved wand that is slowly glowing beneath the wreckage.
This story is continued next issue…
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