The worst day in Peter Parker’s life! Spider-Man has been defeated and kidnapped! Wait till you see who did what the Green Goblin, the Kingpin and Doctor Octopus couldn't do! And can Kitty Pryde and Mary Jane team up to save him in time?
The issue opens up with an unconscious Peter (in full Spider-Man suit sans the mask) hanging upside down, wrapped in chains, in what appears to be a warehouse. As he starts to wake up, he's blasted by the Shocker (who is sporting a new outfit). Herman is holding Peter's mask and he can't believe that Peter is just a kid. He's also quite upset about Peter's taunts and tells him to, "tell me a joke," after demanding Peter's name. Then Peter is blasted again.
We're shifted to two hours before the opening scene. MJ is trying to do an assignment reporting on the fall of the Kingpin, but she keeps messing up her name. Peter is supposed to be filming her and laughs every time she screws up. After a few tries, there's a sudden loud screech and explosion from behind them. Yep, it's the Shocker trying his latest heist by blasting everything in sight. Peter tells MJ who the Shocker is and tells her to film the action because it'll be great for her GPA.
Shocker is continuing the destruction and yelling obscenities. On a side note, I haven't seen so many "%$%^" symbols used in an issue in some time. Spider-Man blindsides ol' Shockey and the fight goes as expected with MJ filming away. Herman is laying face-down as Spidey webs Shocker's hands behind his back, but suddenly Spidey gets blasted point-blank in the stomach. With the webbing on his hands in shreds, Shocker keeps blasting Spidey and asking, "How'd that feel?" as MJ looks on, worried and no longer filming. Shocker grabs his loot and the fallen Spider-Man, fires some more blasts around the street, and hops in his getaway van.
Back in the warehouse, Herman asks Peter if he knows how much money Spider-Man has cost him. He starts ranting about Peter being just a kid, Peter's jokes, and how he's going to kill a kid.
At the scene of the fight, the police are looking for witnesses. MJ calls Kitty to ask for help, and the two meet in an alley to look at the recording. MJ doesn't want to show the video to the cops because it would reveal Peter's identity as Spider-Man (she and Peter had joked about the Rhino fight earlier while he was filming her). Kitty tries to call Johnny Storm but he doesn't answer. Finally, she decides to go to the cops.
The police station is in an uproar. One cop says he misses the Kingpin while one woman (who looks a bit like Psylocke from the 616) screams, "Who can you trust??" (Secret Invasion reference, I'm guessing). The captain (Captain Quaid, as we learn) goes into his office. Suddenly, Kitty pops out of the wall. Quaid freaks out and pulls his gun on her, but she says who she is and that she's friends with Logan. She also says Logan told her that Quaid was a friend of the M's and Kitty could talk to him. Kitty begs Quaid for help but insists that Spider-Man keep his mask. There's a great shot of Kitty near the end as she's begging Quaid to let her be the one to go get Spidey. There's a tear running down her cheek and it looks like she's biting her lip as she says, "Please. He's- he's a hero. And he's in trouble. He- he deserves all the-- he deserves--." Quaid asks to see the tape.
Back in the warehouse, Peter and Herman argue over whether or not Shocker got what he deserved. Herman reveals that he was the one to invent his "shockers." Herman beats Peter a bit when he's mocked for just using his inventions to rob banks; Peter suggests Herman should have tried helping people instead. Peter says that he feels bad for Herman, that he thought Shocker was just an idiot; he didn't know Herman was in this much pain. Shocker blasts him multiple times and tells him to shut up and that he knows nothing.
That's when the big reveal comes (and, I suspect, one of the big reasons for this issue beyond filler). Herman reveals that he once worked for Roxxon and was fired after they got his best work. He tells about some of his inventions like rotating gyro splints that could take out a tank or compound genocycles that could paralyze a man--strange inventions for a pharmaceutical company. He says that it's the companies that really rule the world, and even if Roxxon falls another two will rise in its place.
But Peter isn't a faceless corporation, and Herman can do something about Spider-Man. He puts one of his shockers against Peter's forehead and blasts, yelling that he has to stop Spidey from stopping him, from laughing at him. Suddenly, Peter twists in his chains and hits Shocker's hand with his shoulder, knocking the blaster free. The blast is directed upwards and splits the beam from which Peter is suspended. Peter and Herman fall to the floor, and Herman starts to rise only to see an enraged Peter rushing at him, fist raised. Peter uppercuts Shocker, sending him flying, and lifts him by the shirt with his fist raised, ready to end the fight.
Kitty arrives to see Peter with his fist raised and tells Peter not to do that. Peter says he wasn't going to. He asks how she found him and she says, "That would be Mary Jane, investigative reporter." As she tugs the mask back over Peter's head, Kitty tells him that, though she hates to admit it, MJ is an outstanding girlfriend. Peter says, "So were you," and half-collapses against her.
The police bust in, yelling for everyone to freeze. Kitty says the villain and the money are "back there" as promised and that she's taking Spidey home, as was the deal. Quaid tells his men to let Kitty and Peter go--after all, the police couldn't stop them, so why even try? One officer sees Herman laying among the spilled money. "Oh, it's this guy again... What a joke."
Next issue: The Symbiote War