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New Marvel Knights
Astonishing Spider-Man #4
Astonishing Spider-Man
Revelations Redux: Part Four
An Enigma for All
by Ryan Jent

Darkness.

Constantly glancing over at her still unconscious Aunt, Mary Jane Parker can not help but fear for her future. Since the very moment Venom had taken them to this place, she'd felt less frightened then a normal woman would have.

Normal meaning, not the wife of the astonishing Spider-Man. As Aunt Anna begins to stir, Mary Jane smiled, taking comfort in the fact that she hadn't been killed. "Mary Jane, Dear..?"

"Aunt Anna," MJ spoke softly, "I'm here. Try to stay quiet."

"Where.. Where are we? What's going on?!"

With a slight hiss, Venom alarms the two that he has returned. Looking upon the creature, Anna Watson can only wince.

"We have returned," Venom stated the obvious, drool sliding from his long tongue, "And we have plans for you."


The Daily Bugle.

"I can't find anything," The newest employee of the Daily Bugle explained to Jameson, "There's nothing on this MacTaggert chick, Boss." Rob was already digging himself deeper.

"I don't need your crap, Velella!!" Jameson barked, "If I wanted it, I'd ask! Get out of my office!"

With that, the boy was gone. But before the door had completely closed, Robby Robertson entered with a sigh. "Jonah.." The concern in his voice was present.

"I know, I know, Robby. ‘Don't be so hard on the new guy'."

Robertson shook his head, "It really is hard to find anything on MacTaggert, Jonah."

"That's their job, Robby. Leave them do it."

"Are you even sure she's dead?"

"Are you questioning me, Robby?! I'll ask the questions around here! Here's one for you!! ‘How am I going to get paid if I keep interrogating Jonah?'".

Stepping back, Robby snarled. "Something's happened to you, Jonah. We've been.. friends.. a long time. I want you to tell me, right now, what is it? What's happening to you?"

"Get. Out."


The Streets of Manhattan

The young woman runs through the dimly lit streets, fearing for her life. What did this man want with her? Whoever he was, he was fast. To be able to keep up with the track team's star player was something not many people could accomplish. "HELP!" She shrieked. Turning down a dark alley, she had no choice but to stop. It was a dead end.

"Please! Leave me alone!" She pleaded.

Before the man could reply, an arrow slammed into his back, causing him to fall to the ground. A woman dressed exactly like Hawkeye save for the ever present sign that she was a woman, and the long pony tail of black hair that came out of the back of her mask jumped down holding her bow with another arrow. "A little brutal, I know. Forgive me," She grinned.

"Wh-Who are you?" The woman stuttered out.

"The name's Marksman," the hero explained, "Sure, it's a little bit of a stretch. When you consider I'm a woman." Smiling, she kicked the man she'd shot down with one of her arrows.

Noticing the man was unconscious, the young lady spoke once more, "Y-You like Hawkeye?"

"Is it that obvious?" She chuckled, "Back when Onslaught hit, I couldn't believe he was gone.. The world needed heroes. Sure, there were some left. Not to mention the Thunderbutts or whatever.. But hey." She grinned.

"Thank you, You saved my--"

"Part of the job." She turned, noticing the police at the end of the alley. "Isn't it funny how they're here now, instead of when you needed them? I'm off." Jumping up, she climbed up the fire escape she'd came from, and off into the night.

Would the world see more of.. Marksman?


The skies.

The troubled Astonishing Spider-Man webslings through the skies of Manhattan, searching for his wife and aunt. Ever since he found them to be gone after coming home last night he's done nothing but worry. He can't help but think that this is somehow his fault. Spider-Man's fault. Someone lashing out at him, striking below the belt, taking his family. Little did he know, it was the scorned Eddie Brock. Venom.

"What the?!" Spider-Man spoke out as he gazed at one of his usual stops. Landing on the building across from it, he could only watch as they knocked down Ralph the Gargoyle. One of Spider-Man's confidants.


The Police Station.

"We're sorry Mr. Parker," The woman spoke, "We found her in a ditch, alone."

Peter couldn't believe his eyes as he looked at Anna Watson, his aunt, huddled up in a chair, rambling senselessly. "C-Can I have a minute?"

"Mary-Mary-Mary-Mary-M-M-ary J-Jane." She spat out in reply.

"Aunt Anna. It's me, Peter. I'm here. Where's MJ?"

"H-He k-k-illed her. G-Gone."

Part of him dying inside just by those words, Peter urged on, "What?! Who did? She.. She can't be dead!"

"Mr. Parker," A policeman approached the two, "We need to talk, alone."

Nodding, Peter hesitantly followed. "What is it?" He spoke when the two were alone.

"It's your wife, Mr. Parker. They've found the body."

"No.." He fell into the chair behind him in the man's office.

"We're sorry."

"I.. I want to see the body. It can't be her."


Hours Later, a Morgue.

"The body's pretty slashed up," A man spoke to Peter and the Policeman.

Taking in a deep breath of air, Peter spoke. "Go ahead."

"Step back please." The worker pulled open the long storage space holding the woman's body.

"Oh god," Peter stepped back, "It's her."

Shutting the storage space, the worker walked off, "You know the way out, Quincy."

The Police officer nodded, and took Parker outside.


Venom's hideout.

"You might think we are crazy," Venom sneered, "But this is for the best."

"What have you done?!" Mary Jane shrieked. "When Peter finds me--!"

"He won't. The fool thinks you are dead, And your Aunt? She will offer no assistance. You are dead to the world now, Mary Jane. And now.."

"NO! Get away from me!"


Yale Hospital.

"You'll be safe here, Aunt Anna," He tucked the covers over his aunt who lay in a hospital bed.

"D-D-Dead."

"Get some rest now." He frowned, walking out of her room to meet a doctor.

"I know you don't want to do this, Mr. Parker." The doctor shook his hand. "But it's necessary for your aunt."

"I'm sure it is. I-I want to stay here."

"I wouldn't advise it," The doctor explained, "Whatever your aunt has experienced has caused severe trauma. It's best for her to be without family and friends for awhile, as to not remind her of it. It usually only remains in this critical stage for several--"

"--You want me to stay away from my Aunt?!"

"Mr. Parker, I know how tough this must be for you, But, Please, understand. It doesn't mean forever. Just for a short time."

"Al-All right."


The Parker Home.

Stepping inside, Peter steps back, finding a woman before him. "J-Jill?"

"Peter," She frowned stepping forward, falling into his arms. "I can't believe she's gone."

"It's a suprise to see you here, Jill." He returned the embrace.

"I know. But I still have the key. How're you holding up?" She wiped her face and sat down.

Sitting down beside her, Peter frowned. "Not so good. Aunt Anna.. No one's supposed to see her. She's down at Yale.. I- I want to scream, but I can't."

"I'm here for you, Sniff!, Peter."

"I know, Jill." He said slowly.

"Call me if you need anything," She wiped a tear from her face again, "We'll be in touch."

Nodding, Peter walked her to the door, shared one last hug, and watched her leave. "MJ.." He moaned out weakly before collapsing on the couch.

"Suit up, Spider-Man." The old woman's voice called.

"What?!"

With a flash of brilliant pink energy, Peter found himself floating mid-air, somewhere completely different. Looking down, he noticed he was in his Spider-Man costume.

Floating out slowly, Madame Web smiled, "It's been far too long, Spider-Man."

"Not long enough," He mumbled.

"As I see it," She began, "For quite some time you are to do nothing but cry for your beloved wife. Mary Jane is no more. Perhaps even actually give up the guise of Spider-Man. If I do not step in at this point in time, such will take place, and horrible things shall occur. Venom is responsible."

"Venom?!"

"Yes, Boy."

"Venom is the reason my wife is dead? In the morgue right now?!?"

"Your wife is not in the morgue."

"How dare you?!"

"Your wife lives.'

"What? You said she was dead.."

"No. I said Mary Jane was no more. Such is true."

"Stop talking in riddles!"

"Mary Jane no longer exists," Madame Web explained, "But your wife is not dead."

With another flash of energy, Spider-Man is on top of an old building, and an echo rings through his ears. "Seek out Venom for your answer.."

"Venom?" He asks himself. Looking down, he grins underneath his mask. "He must be here.. I'm coming for you, Mary Jane!"


Next: Confrontations