Previous Issue: Spider-Man: Crawl Space #3 - Spider-Man Black Part 1
Spider-Man: Crawl Space #4
“Spider-Man Black Part 2 – Face of the Enemy”
By Kevin Cushing
Black Spider Cover by Ted Brandt and Brandon DP
Daily Bugle Cover by Scott J. Larson
Previously in Spider-Man: Crawl Space – Peter and Mary Jane Parker have reversed their deal with Mephisto, returning the world to the way it was, minus the public unmasking of Spider-Man. But the event that spurred this was a sad one, as Aunt May was killed by an assassin named Killshot. Killshot has since been shot dead in his holding cell by the man who hired him – The Faceless Man, who not only has no skin on his face but no memory of who he is. The Faceless Man’s employer, a man calling himself The Black Spider and wearing a costume to match, has dispatched him to take care of the next phase of their plan himself – blowing up the Daily Bugle. Meanwhile, Harry Osborn has returned from the grave, already killing his father and now on his way to do the same to his half-brother, Gabriel Stacy. And when Norman Osborn’s will was read, everyone was shocked to find that he’d left everything, chiefly his multinational business Oscorp, to Peter Parker.
Panel 1: Ext. Night. At the outside door of a little motel in Paris. A fat, bald Parisian stands inside the door addressing Harry Osborn on the front steps.
Look, I know he was here. He may have been staying under the name “Gabriel Osborn.”
Panel 2: We see memory dawning on the motel manager’s face.
Ah, yes! Mr. Osborn was an impossible man to forget. I have had rock stars treat rooms better than him!
Panel 3: Harry’s face remains blank, we see both of them in the panel.
That’s wonderful. Where did he go?
After crashing out of my window on his silly American rocket-bat, he had a big fight with Interpol just down the street. I think they have him now, monsieur.
Panel 4: Harry has turned and begun walking down the stairs without even acknowledging the manager, who looks a bit offended. Harry is annoyed.
Oh well done, Gabe.
Panel 1: Close up on a semi-automatic handgun held in a black-gloved hand and aimed to the left of the panel. The background is washed out in red.
FACELESS MAN CAP:
There was a time – sometime before my memory begins, before the dawn of time as far as I’m concerned – that I knew exactly who I was and what I was capable of.
Panel 2: Int. The Daily Bugle main office. Pulled out now to see The Faceless Man from the side, pointing the gun at JJJ, Robbie, Betty, and several others huddled against the wall to JJJ’s office. The Faceless Man is wearing a bulky jacket over his usual tactical gear.
FACELESS MAN CAP:
Was I the kind of man who would do something like this?
Or will I win back my identity only to find I’m not even that person anymore?
What happens if the lengths I go to to find out who I am render that identity…out of date?
Panel 1: JJJ holds up his finger in a scolding manner.
Now listen, Pizza Face or whatever your name is, I know what you want.
Panel 2: JJJ spreads his arms wide, presenting himself. He has a confident, somewhat arrogant look on his face.
You want to be the man that got J. Jonah Jameson! Of course you do! Who wouldn’t?
Panel 3: JJJ steps a bit forward, addressing The Faceless Man on a more one on one level.
You might have tried to go counter culture by ripping your face off instead of putting a mask on, but you’re just like the rest of ‘em.
You want a crack at the big man.
Panel 4: JJJ puts out his arm, pointing at the others with them.
So how about you stop acting like the coward I’ve always said you people are and let these folks go.
Grow a pair and face me man to man.
Panel 5: Full body shot of The Faceless Man with his gun to his side. The panel is very still to showcase his unmovable facial expression.
Panel 1: Same angle on the Faceless Man, but his gun is raised and he’s spraying bullets over their heads, toward the left of the panel where a large window is.
Panel 2: The window is shattering as bullets hit it.
Panel 3: Back on the Faceless Man, who has stepped closer to JJJ, forcing him back to the wall.
Don’t worry, Mr. Jameson.
Panel 4: Close up on the Faceless Man’s face.
Spider-Man will save you.
Panel 1: Int. Night. Peter is in his costume with his mask half up to show his mouth, standing in the window of MJ and his hotel room facing inside. She is standing just inside talking to him.
So this whole thing is something you can only communicate through punching muggers, huh?
Panel 2: Focus on Peter.
I promise, sometime soon I’ll actually be able to form coherent thoughts and even verbalize them.
And you’ll be the first to know.
Panel 3: Focus on MJ.
You know this decision doesn’t just affect you.
I’ve earned the right to be included.
Panel 4: Peter is leaning down and kissing her on the forehead.
Panel 5: Peter has turned to face the outside, pulling his mask down with one hand and shooting a webline with the other.
Panel 1: Full page. We see Spidey upside down having just leapt head first and facing out from the window. He has a web in one hand. We are looking at an upward angle from the top of his head, and can see the hotel window overhead with MJ half-hanging out of it.
Why is he running away from me?
How can I talk to her when I have no idea what I’m thinking?
Panel 1: Int. The Daily Bugle. The Faceless Man is half-sitting on a desk fairly close to the employees huddled by JJJ’s office, who are in roughly the same position they were before. He still has his gun pointed at them. Among the employees, JJJ is in front still showing no fear.
Weren’t there at least a few secret identities left that didn’t take as much commitment as “The Incredible Skinless Face?”
Panel 2: The Faceless Man is up from the desk, stepping towards JJJ, yelling.
FACELESS MAN (burst):
I don’t remember!!!
I don’t remember anything until after it was gone, ok?!
Panel 3: The Faceless Man is standing close to JJJ now.
Panel 4: Same, but JJJ has burst out laughing.
Panel 1: Jonah is still laughing and pointing at the Faceless Man, who has not moved.
Hahaha, I’ve been wrong about you all along! You’re Emo Man!
Panel 2: Same, but JJJ is making fun of The Faceless man, mock-crying with his fists by his eyes like a little baby.
“I’m so misunderstood I’ve gotta erase my whole identity! Whaaa!”
Panel 3: JJJ is doubled over laughing as The Faceless Man simply walks back toward the desk.
Jonah, shut up.
FACELESS MAN CAP:
Dear God, I never thought of that. What if he’s right?
Panel 4: The Faceless Man stands with his back to them.
FACELESS MAN CAP:
What if I erased my memory and removed my face for a reason?
Panel 5: He is fully sitting on the desk now, sort of slumped on it. We see JJJ yelling from the group of employees.
FACELESS MAN CAP:
What if I don’t want my identity back?
What, not even a violent outburst? I’m working my ass off over here!
Panel 1: Int. Night. The dark little office of an Interpol agent. Focused on the floor in front of the desk, we see a charred corpse with smoke wafting from it.
The Office of Interpol Agent DeMatteis
Listen, yes, my security code is 4452. Agent DeMatteis. I need to know what your office did with that Stacy boy that was calling himself Osborn.
Panel 2: We follow the smoke coming from the body as it wafts up around the side of the desk. There is light coming from the chair behind the desk, which is just off the right side of the panel.
After we took him in, we buried him in an insane asylum as a “John Doe.”
Not long after, he escaped along with another pris – I mean patient.
Panel 3: We see the smoke trailing off at the center of the desk, which we are now focused on. Seated in the chair behind the desk, in a reclining position with the phone to his ear, is Harry Osborn. His hand is the light source, with a small fireball in the center he is toying with.
So this asylum is Stacy’s last known location?
Panel 4: Harry is hanging up the phone.
Going to a nut house while trying to kill a second member of my family is a level of irony I was hoping to avoid…
Panel 1: Ext. Night. We see Spidey swinging through the sky, looking down to spot trouble.
Ok city, give me something to work with here.
Panel 2: From above, we see a woman against a wall next to an alley with her young son looking on screaming. There is a man in front of her, horrendously fat with a shaved head, wearing jeans and a white t-shirt, spraying her with a hose hooked to a nearby fire hydrant.
Panel 3: Back to Spidey, who is leaping downwards. His mask betrays a raised eyebrow on one eye.
This city has a terrible sense of humor.
Panel 4: Closer on the man from panel 2, Mr. Clean, as he’s ranting with glee, spraying the woman with his hose.
That’s right, you hussy! I’m Mr. Clean! And I’ll wash away the sin of this city with my - !
Panel 5: The shot is in the exact same place with Mr. Clean flying forward as we see Spidey’s feet in the air kicking him.
Panel 1: The woman is in the background gathering up her child as she runs away. In the foreground we see Mr. Clean on all fours on the ground as Spidey is landing, standing over him.
You know, you’re lucky Mr. Clean is a cartoon character or he would kick your –
Panel 2: Mr. Clean has lifted up his head and the hand holding the hose and is spraying Spidey. Spider-Man just stands there with his fists on his hips.
Panel 3: Spidey and Mr. Clean are in the same positions but the hose has stopped.
You did not.
You did not just…
Panel 4: Mr. Clean is standing up, and Spidey just looks at him with his head cocked to the right.
Any superpowers to speak of?
Panel 5: Focus on Mr. Clean, fully standing, holding up his hose and preaching.
I have my Holy Hose of Divine Justice!!!
I was cleansing that harlot with a child a no wedding ring!
I’ll use it to cleanse all of Manhat - !
Panel 6: Pull out to show Spidey in the panel with him now, as Spidey is shooting webs and Mr. Clean’s mouth has already been webbed over, with his body currently being webbed.
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Panel 1: Spidey has Mr. Clean webbed to the wall, holding his hose and scolding him.
Ya know it’s really all about the look in this business. Ever heard of Demogoblin?
Pretty much the same idea, but I took him seriously (well, some of the time…)
Ever considered a hood and some claws?
Panel 2: Spidey is at the fire hydrant making sure it’s shut off.
I mean, holy mission or not, you just can’t go making Manhattan your own personal wet t-shirt contest.
Actually, let’s cut off that line of imagery while I’m wearing something this tight…
BLACK SPIDER (op):
Panel 3: Pull out to show Spidey on the left edge of the panel looking up in surprise at the Black Spider, walking down the sidewalk toward him.
Panel 4: Spidey has risen to stand, and the Black Spider stands facing him.
Panel 5: Same.
I’m, uh, flattered, but you really should choose another gimmick.
Off the top of my head there’s already a Black Tarantula, a Spider-Woman…a Spider-Woman, a Spider-Woman…three Scarlet Spiders, which are kinda like a cover band but that’s a whole other story –
I am the Black Spider.
Panel 1: Spidey’s hands are in front of him in a questioning gesture as the Black Spider still just stands there, confident. Mr. Clean is still webbed to the wall behind them, rolling his eyes.
And the accent?
So “Black Spider” isn’t so much a reference to the costume choice as it’s like “Black Goliath?”
No. But you will find out everything there is to know about me in due time.
Right now you have other concerns.
Panel 2: Spidey has one hand behind his neck in a nervous scratching motion.
The lesser concern is that your friends at the Daily Bugle are being held at gunpoint.
There’s a greater concern than that?
The gunman. He has no skin on his face.
Panel 3: Small, close panel of Spidey’s face. His anger shows clear through his mask.
Panel 4: Spidey is poised to shoot a webline, facing the Black Spider for a few last words.
If you’re lying –
You feel no tingle in your head, trust yourself.
I don’t suppose it would do any good to tell you to stay here until I get back?
I will find you, brother spider.
Panel 5: Spidey is leaping in the other direction as he shoots a webline upwards.
Thanks for the tip, but quit calling me that.
Looking at that costume is creepy enough already!
Panel 6: Small panel of Spidey’s upper body as he grabs a web in the air.
Here I come to save the day…
Panel 1: Int. The Daily Bugle. The staffers are still against the wall as the Faceless Man sits on the desk in front of them, gun in hand but distracted.
FACELESS MAN CAP:
I guess it’s a question everyone asks themselves at some point.
Panel 2: Same, but JJJ is creeping up toward the Faceless Man.
FACELESS MAN CAP:
“What kind of person am I?”
Panel 3: JJJ is reaching for the gun, getting close to it.
FACELESS MAN CAP:
I want to think I can be a good man.
But even if I try to be, will my memories just reset me to the kind of man I was before?
Panel 4: Without even looking back at him, the Faceless Man has moved his gun away and grabbed JJJ under the face.
FACELESS MAN CAP:
But maybe it’s just like the Black Spider said.
Panels 5-6: On the left, The Faceless Man has stood up, holding JJJ in the same place but facing him now, and in the process of slamming him to the ground. There’s a bleed effect into the right panel, which shows the Black Spider in his cave, leaning forward to speak.
Just follow your instincts.
They cannot be erased and they will not lie to you.
Panel 7: The Faceless Man has JJJ by the throat on the ground, holding the gun to his head very roughly.
The intention isn’t for you to die, but I have no problem doing it, either.
Panel 1: Spider-Man is crouched in the window the Faceless Man shot out earlier.
You really shouldn’t leave your windows open.
Manhattan’s a dangerous city; you never know who might invite themselves in.
Panel 2: Back to the Faceless Man, with his gun raised and firing toward the window.
Panel 3: Multi-shot of Spidey dodging several bullets.
Panel 4: Spidey is fully inside now, crouched with one hand steadying himself on the ground.
Oh good, you’re an idiot.
This should be fun.
Panel 5: We see Spidey having sprung from his crouching position, flying through the air towards the Faceless Man with arms outstretched.
Panel 1: Spider-Man, still mid-air, has made contact with the Faceless Man and has hold of his jacket, knocking him backward. His face is by the Faceless Man’s ear, whispering.
I know what you did!
Panel 2: Spidey is straddling the Faceless Man on the ground, pummeling him with his fists.
How dare you!
Her and then them?
Do you want me to kill you?!
Panel 3: As Spider-Man is still beating him senseless, the Faceless Man has grabbed the collars of his jacket to rip it open.
Panel 4: The Faceless Man has his jacket ripped open to reveal a bomb strapped to his chest. There is a digital timer reading “00:30”
Panel 5: Close up on the Faceless Man.
Think you can save them?
Panel 1: Int. Harry Osborn is standing at the nurses station in a mental hospital in Paris.
Gabriel Stacy’s last known whereabouts
Panel 2: Harry is flashing a badge at the nurse.
Interpol Agent DeMatteis.
I need the file on a John Doe that escaped from here a few months ago.
He was placed here by the local office.
I called ahead.
Panel 3: The nurse hands Harry a file.
Yes, here you are,
Not much on him, I’m afraid.
Just a picture, really.
Panel 4: Harry walks away with the file. The nurse looks on with a miffed look since he didn’t even acknowledge her as he left.
Panel 5: Ext. Night. Outside the asylum, Harry has the file open. We do not see it.
Panel 6: Harry looks up with a smile on his face.
I know where you are.
Panel 1: Int. The Daily Bugle. Spidey and The Faceless Man are in the same position we left them in, with Spidey’s fist pulled back frozen in what was going to be a punch. The staffers look on in shock. The clock now reads “00:28”
And it’s tamper proof, so don’t bother.
Panel 2: Spider-Man releases the punch, hitting the Faceless Man hard enough in the face to knock him out. The clock reads “00:25”
Panel 3: Spidey gets up to face the staffers as the Faceless Man lays on the ground unconscious. The clock reads “00:23”
Is there anyone else in the building?
No, it’s all cleared out.
But there’s no way we can make it down the stairs in 20 seconds!
Panel 4: Spidey is at the window, looking out and down.
Ok, improv time.
Panel 5: Spidey is shooting webs out the window.
Panel 1: View from outside the window. Hanging there is a large and thick net made of webbing. Most of the staffers are sitting inside it, with Spidey giving Robbie a hand climbing in.
Quick like a bunny, now.
Don’t wanna blow up or anything.
Panel 2: Back inside the room, tight on Spidey, who has turned around, and JJJ in his face.
I’m not getting in that thing!
This was your plan all along!
Get us in your little web all helpless and - !
Panel 3: Spider-Man punches JJJ across the face, knocking him out.
Panel 4: Spidey is handing JJJ into Robbie’s hands in the web.
Oh, I just can’t wait to see tomorrow’s headline.
Panel 5: We see Spidey lowering the net with a thick, reinforced webline.
Panel 6: Spidey calls out the window.
Everybody OK down there?
Panel 1: Tight on Spidey as he has turned around to face the room.
Ok, let’s get your skinless –
Panel 2: Wide view of the room. Spidey is the only one there, the Faceless Man is gone.
Panel 3: Spidey is turned around, shooting a webline out the window to leave on.
Oh, we are so not done yet.
Panel 4: Ext. The Faceless Man stands in a back alley with a trigger in his hand.
Think you’ve won, don’t you?
Panel 5: Tiny inset in panel 6 of the Faceless Man’s thumb pressing the button on the trigger.
Panel 6: Largest panel on the page. We see The Daily Bugle, the entire building, explode.
Panel 1: Ext. Small panel of Spidey clinging to a nearby building, watching in horror as flaming pieces of the Bugle go flying.
FACELESS MAN CAP:
He thought he felt triumph saving the people, but the building is gone.
Panel 2: Ext. Small panel of The Daily Bugle staffers kneeling on the ground in fire light, watching the Bugle burn, and crying.
BLACK SPIDER CAP:
Now he can truly never go home again.
Panel 3: Int. The Black Spider’s cave. The Black Spider sits on his rock throne as the Faceless Man kneels in front of him.
You have done well.
His surrogate mother is dead.
His greatest enemy is dead.
The place that leant him friendship, love, and a livelihood is dead.
Panel 4: The Black Spider reaches into a little wooden box beside his chair.
You have earned your identity back, my friend.
Panel 5: The Black Spider holds up in a clenched fist a rubber and cloth mask. We see purple cloth over his hand.
This is your true face!
Panel 6: The Black Spider has tossed it to the Faceless Man, it is flying through the air as the Faceless Man reaches for it.
And your true name –
Panel 1: Half page. Ext. Paris. We see a close up of the John Doe file in Harry Osborn’s hands. The name at the top reads “John Doe.” There is one sheet of paper, and a picture of The Faceless Man.
I know where you are!
Panel 2: Half page. Int. The Cave. In The Faceless Man’s hands we see the Grey Goblin mask leering up off the page.
BLACK SPIDER (op):
- is GREY GOBLIN!
NEXT MONTH: The Black Spider restores Gabriel’s memories with a little help from a mysterious friend, but the Grey Goblin’s return may be all too brief as he’ll have the Goblin King to deal with! And don’t miss the final page shocker on this one folks. If the end of #2 broke the internet (or at least this message board…) in half, this one will draw and quarter it!
*This issue’s soundtrack: I think the song I was most obsessed with while writing this issue was “Touched” by VAST. No real relation to the story in lyrics, but it would be impossible to deny that a beat like that seeped its way into the writing. Either way, it’s a really cool song, so give it a listen while you’re rereading (because I know you will )!
And don’t forget to stop by the discussion thread and let me know what you thought!
Continue to: Spider-Man: Crawl Space #5 - Spider-Man Black Part 3