Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man (2016) #3
“How Pale That Moon Glows, Pt 2: Stare at the Line”
Writer: Neil Bogenrieder
Assistant Writer: Mohammed Jaafar
Editor: Mark Alford
Preferred Art Team: Stefano Caselli and Edgar Delgado
[Cap: The Hospital Room of Carlie Cooper]
[Panel 1: Carlie is lying in her hospital bed. A silent panel.]
[Panel 2: Yuri Watanabe rushes into the room. Present her as frantic and desperate to see her.]
Thank God you’re okay!
Carlie [OP]: Yuri?
[Panel 3: Carlie and Yuri gingerly hug, with Carlie’s injuries preventing them from fully embracing.]
Carlie: It’s… I’m glad you’re here. Thanks.
Yuri: It’s the least I can do after kicking you out....
Carlie: Yeah, about that… I might have to move back in. The place I was staying at got a little toasty.
Yuri: It was just a little fight. I think we might be able to get past that.
[Panel 4: Silent panel. Carlie and Yuri contemplate whether or not they should speak.]
[Panel 5: Carlie speaks to Yuri.]
Carlie: Yuri, I… I don’t know how to phrase this, but…
Yuri: Please don’t let it be about Spider-Man.
Carlie: It’s about Spider-Man.
[Panel 1: Close up of Carlie. A shaken, almost scared look on her face.]
Carlie: No, you need to hear this.
I don’t care if this causes something irreparable to happen. You need to find Spidey. Because if he goes through with what he said when he saved me-
[Panel 2: Horizontal panel of Peter swinging frantically across the cityscape.]
Carlie [Cont’d Capt]: -he won’t be able to just walk away from it this time.
Peter [capt]: C’mon, Parker! Pull it together! Your wife and kid need you!
All that’s between you and them is a crazed man with carbonadium-coated metal arms that has nothing to lose.
No. Can it.
This time he’s crossed the line. You can’t joke when he’s done this.
[Panel 3: Peter is still swinging. Back shot, so we can see the New York coastline as he makes his way towards the harbor.]
The moment Ock dragged MJ and Annie into this, he made it personal. And not that they’ve been put in danger, you need to step up your game.
[Panel 4: Close-up of Spider-Man’s mask, the lenses reflecting the colors of the sunset in front of him.]
Peter [capt]: I swear to God, if he lays another metal finger on them, I’m gonna-
No. You’re better than that. You’re better than Ock. You don’t kill.
But Ock’s gone too far. If he can cross the line-
[Panel 1: MJ and Doc Ock in Ock’s makeshift hideout. The atmosphere is dark and gloomy, your average warehouse hideout.]
Peter [OP capt]: -I have a choice to cross my own line. But here’s a good question: how far over that line would I willing to go?
MJ: I’m usually one for fresh lines. But here’s an old one that I think will work: Peter will come. And right now? Making sure a dying man comes out of this alive will be the least of his concerns. Especially when that man has made it his mission to kill a guy in tights.
Ock: Miss Watson, I appreciate your criticism of this rather… hackneyed approach. But I am not here to kill Spider-Man. No, I have tried many times before, and all have failed.
[Panel 2: Ock’s tentacle scrapes across MJ’s chin, a small drip of blood trickling down the finger of the tentacle.]
Ock: Rather, a new tactic came to mind. In my last moments on this planet, I have decided to give something to Parker. I want to teach him that victory comes at a cost- whether or not it’s a corporeal matter simply makes the idea more challenging.
MJ: So, you want a final play-date with Peter. Then why are we here?
[Panel 3: MJ lashes at Ock, surprising even him with her ferocity.]
MJ: AND WHERE THE HELL IS MY DAUGHTER?!
Ock: I assure you, Miss Watson-
MJ: I said it’s Parker now.
Ock: And as I’ve stated, Miss Watson, such formalities are irrelevant to this topic. You are simply here to incentivize your husband’s hand.
[Panel 1: Ock staring towards the reader]
MJ (OP): If you had kidnapped either of us, he still would’ve come guns blazing.
Ock: I want Parker to earn what he has been working towards, Miss Watson. You are the first step to obtaining what I have to share. Your daughter on the other hand….
[Panel 2: MJ lashes out at Ock yet again, though this time Ock is not taken aback. He’s come to expect fiery, protective parent attitude from MJ, at least what he perceives as such in his mind.]
MJ: You’re a lunatic, Octavius! I’ll kill-
Ock: Yes. I suppose this reaction is natural. However, your daughter is unharmed. That may not be the case in the next few ho-
[Panel 3: Ock topples over, coughing up copious amounts of blue-and-red blood.]
Ock: I -hack- apologize for the display. That was… unexpected.
MJ: You’re dying.
Can I ask you a question?
Ock: I suppose I can afford you the luxury, Miss Watson.
[Panel 4: side view of MJ. She’s not sympathetic, but trying to study Ock, understand him before he dies.]
MJ: If you think you can’t beat Peter, why are you here? Why drag us into this? Why not just… wither away in the Vault or wherever they shove you next?
[Panel 1: Ock contemplating how to respond.]
Ock: I was always taught to achieve perfection when it came to my work. Your husband is a wrench in that machine I have oiled so well. So, before I die…
I want to win against Spider-Man. Not win and run away, no. Win and be able to stand over him and gloat about it before I pass. Not kill, just make sure he’s alive to see that I have beaten him.
And if it means dragging those he loves into the conflict, well…
[Panel 2: MJ, tears of fear in her eyes, growling as Ock draws her near]
Ock: I hold steadfast to the ideology that such losses are unavoidable casualties.
MJ: You’re a sick bastard, you know that?
Ock: So I’ve heard.
[Panel 3: Ock looks up to hear Peter’s war scream echo across New York.]
Ock: Ah. Curtain calling, Miss Watson. I must take my leave and prepare. I leave you to your husband.
[Panel 4: MJ looks terrified of what could happen to Annie, even as we can hear Peter coming for them.]
[Full page: Black and white art, no colors. Black background with white silhouettes of Spider-Man and the skylight he smashes through.]
Spider-Man: Knock knock, Ock.
[Panel 1: Peter rushing over to MJ]
[Panel 2: Peter and MJ are holding each other, each panicking over their current situation.]
MJ: Ock has Annie! What are we-
Peter: I finish the job. Simple as that.
MJ: Peter… make him pay.
[Panel 3: Silent panel; Peter looking away from MJ, whose hand is on his mask.]
[Panel 4: MJ and Peter looking at each other, MJ pulling up his mask.]
Peter: I’m going to save her. The cost is never too high.
MJ: I know.
[Panel 1: Peter and MJ kiss. A silent panel]
[Panel 2: MJ pulling down Peter’s mask]
MJ: Go get ‘im, Tiger.
[Panel 3: Peter swings into the darkness, MJ watching as he charges towards his adversary.]
[Cap: Further into the warehouse]
[Panel 1: Doc Ock looks down at Annie, who seems oblivious to the danger she’s in.]
Ock: You poor, naive child. I sympathize with you.
You have no idea how broken your father is. How tainted he is by the choices he has made. His sins run deep into all of us. We are all victims of his crusade.
[Panel 2: Ock continues to question Annie, who has just now started to realize that she is in peril, at least on the scope a 2-year old can interpret.]
And when you finally grow-up to understand what he does, you will laud him as a hero, and I will be branded as a criminal.
I will not hold it against you. It will be what you are taught. You are simply too young and too simple to understand the nuances of the situation.
[Panel 3: A web-line cracks against the floor, getting the attention of Ock.]
Peter: Nuance this.
Ock: Ah, and here we are.
[Panel 4: We see Peter has outfitted himself with multiple web-lines tied together to form two web-whips.]
Peter: Touch her, Ock? You’ll regret it.
[Panel 1: Ock glaring at Spider-Man]
Ock: How good of you to join us.
[Panel 2: an action panel of Ock’s tentacles rushing towards Spider-Man]
Ock (op): I do apologize, but I’m running on borrowed time.
Spider-Man: I’m willing to let that clock run all the way. But you need to let her go. She’s got nothing to do with this.
[Panel 3: Spider-Man grabs the tentacles by their ends, small dents appearing where his fingers are gripping them.]
Spider-Man: I’m not going to ask twice, Ock.
[Panel 4: Peter analyzes Ock’s arm, noticing a gash in Ock’s metal arm where MJ stabbed him last issue.]
Spider-Man [capt]: He’s not attacking with his bottom left tentacle. MJ must have gotten him with something and left him vulnerable. Just need to get to that tentacle and cripple him. Then I can-
[Panel 1: an action panel of Peter flinging his right hand web-whip to grab Ock’s damaged tentacle.]
[Panel 2: Spider-Man begins a rush towards Ock, aiming to quickly resolve the fight.]
Spider-Man [capt]: His tentacles move fast, but I can move faster. I have to move faster.
[Panel 3: Peter is taken by surprise when the limp tentacle suddenly attacks, wrapping around him and squeezing his midsection.]
[Panel 1: We see Peter dangling from Ock’s tentacles, Ock glaring at him triumphantly.]
Ock: There. I appreciate the view from here far better. You’re an opportunistic one, Parker. You look for openings where your enemies failed to cover, and exploit them. Not me, not today. Today?
[Panel 2: face shot of Ock grinning in glee.]
Ock: I win!
[Panel 3: Ock’s spare tentacle slithers towards a crying Annie, who recoils in fright.]
Ock (op): Now, how shall I celebrate my victory with my last moments? I’m sure further harming your family would be a good way to add to your suffering.
[Panel 4: A shot of Peter’s still-useful lens. We see the tentacle reflected in them.]
[Splash page. Peter being held by the tentacles on a black background. The backdrop is shattered like glass]
[Pages 14 and 15]
[Two page spread. Peter is seen overpowering Ock, grabbing his damaged tentacle and ripping it apart, while also tearing himself free from Ock’s grip. Ock, while remaining calm and somewhat stoic, is panicking at the turn of events]
Peter: Get your hands off my daughter, YOU SON OF A BITCH!
[Panels 1-3: Various panels of Peter thrashing Ock, who has lost a tentacle and the upper hand.]
[Panel 4: Peter has finally triumphed, Ock collapsing backwards. Sound effect of an organ popping.]
Peter [capt]: That did it. That last swing took out his one of his lungs.
[Full page, but divided into four panels. Peter is on Doc Ock, gripping him with one fist, the severed tentacle in the other.]
Peter [capt]: Must’ve taken out his tentacles too. He’s not trying to fight back. Either that or he’s gone.
Peter: Alright, Otto. I’m going to ask you one question, and you’re gonna answer it for me, plain and straight.
All of this. Kidnapping my family. Threatening my daughter’s life. All for one final battle you knew you probably couldn’t win. Let me ask you this…
Was it worth it?
Ock: You really want the truth?
[Panel 5: A small panel off to the far right of the page, which shows Peter’s lenses wide open, shocked by what he’s just heard.]
Ock [op]: Absolutely.
[Panels 1 & 2: Peter (panel 1) and Ock (panel 2) staring each other down]
Ock: After all this time, I decided to ask myself why Spider-Man doesn’t kill. You never see him take a life. And I decided to take it upon myself to determine how far you’d go to save somebody.
And today, remind me what you did. You beat me to shreds, yes? Here we are, one of us on the verge of death, all because of another man’s fist.
[Panel 3: Near copy of panel 3, the single difference Peter’s narrowed lens.
Peter: I would never-
[Panel 4: Same as panel 2, Ock choking on his breaths.]
Ock: Ahh, but you did! Today, I broke Peter Parker! I broke Spider-Man!
[Panel 5: In a final gambit, Ock’s tentacle lashes out towards Annie, Spider-Man’s lenses widening in panic.]
Ock: Tonight-- I win!
Spider-Man: ANNIE! NO!
[Panel 6: From a perspective on Ock, Peter has stabbed Ock with the tentacle he ripped off Ock. A splatter of blood covers the panel.]
[Panel 1: MJ is waiting impatiently. She’s pacing in the same spot.]
[Panel 2: MJ turns her head in notice of a clanging noise. A smaller panel.]
[Panel 3: Spider-Man is walking towards MJ, who is off-panel, carrying Annie, who is hugging her father with some degree of fright.]
MJ[op]: You saved her! You did it!
Spider-Man: I made a promise. Can’t exactly break those. ‘Specially ones you make to your wife.
[Panel 4: The three hug]
MJ: You’re a little quiet, Pete. Are you… okay?
MJ: You did good. You saved the day. Nothing to be…
[Panel 1: Peter squeezes MJ tightly, cutting her off]
Peter: MJ… Ock’s not going to hurt either you or Annie.
[Panel 2: Peter, with a somber and borderline terrified expression on his face. A silent panel, as MJ realizes to herself what Peter has done, a display of grim determination.]
[Panel 3: All three continue to hug, far shot away from them.]
[Page 21: Epilogue 2]
[Panel 1: The hospital room of Carlie Cooper. Carlie now has her laptop on her lap, Yuri resting her head on the bedside]
Yuri: We weren’t able to find him. Looks like you and the folks at Parker’s apartment were the last ones to spot him before he took off.
Carlie: Yeah… figured he’d be good at this by now. I just… I hope he hasn’t done something dangerous.
[Panel 2: Yuri and Carlie turn on the laptop.]
Yuri: Hey, it’s not your fight. It’s his.
Carlie: Wait, turn that up! They found Spider-Man!
[Panel 3: The Daily Bugle. Designed similarly to the offices seen in Big Time. Robbie, Jonah, and Phil Urich are all situated around Jonah’s desk, as they watch the news on his laptop]
[Panel 4: The apartment of Flash Thompson. Flash is seated in an army t-shirt while listening to the radio, the current broadcast catching his interest.]
[Panel 5: Oscorp Headquarters. A standard CEO office where Harry Osborn is situated with Liz and Normie.]
[Panel 6: The home of Felicia Hardy. A very spacious and semi-luxurious room, with Felicia stashing away her Black Cat equipment watching the news as well.]
[Panel 1: Carlie looking away from the feed uncomfortably, Yuri comforting her]
[Panel 2: Robbie and Phil walking out of Jonah’s office, who’s gone on yet another tirade. Whether it’s one of celebration or anger, would be up to the reader to interpret.]
[Panel 3: Flash smashes his radio, in denial of his idol’s actions]
[Panel 4: Harry, Liz and Normie all look away, unable to really decide how to take the news of Spider-Man’s actions.]
[Panel 5: Felicia is holding a picture she and Peter took long ago, when he was still wearing the black costume. It’s clear that the memory is a fond point in time for her, and this suggests that she’d rather remember Peter for that than what he has done this night.]
[Panel 6: Peter sitting on the edge of his now-destroyed apartment, holding his Spider-Man mask in his hands.]
To be concluded.