|John Romita, Sr.
|John Romita, Sr.
|Marvel Tales #128
|Essential Spider-Man #7
|Spider-Man: Clone Gensis (TPB)
Vast sections of New York City are being blacked out. But who or what is responsible? Spider-Man knows that it must be deliberate since, "A massive power failure would black out the whole city - a wiring foul-up somewhere might blackout a building, maybe an entire block - but a consecutive blackout of selected streets has got to be deliberate!"
Spider-Man webs a passing police helicopter and changes into his Spider-Man costume on the fly. But as the helicopter climbs Spider-Man sees the unbelievable. Now he knows who is responsible for the blackouts. The Shocker is writing his name across Manhatten with blacked out city blocks. But the "R" isn't finished, so Spidey knows where the Shocker has to be.
"Well, that answers the 'who' part of the problem," Spidey says to himself, "The only thing left to figure out is - why? In the old days, the Shocker wasn't much more than a safe-cracker-cum-bank-robber - with a little armored car robbery tossed in for good measure. So what does he figure to gain by blacking out half the city?"
Spidey decides to ask Shockie when he sees him. He knows that the only way to cut the power to specific areas the way the Shocker's been doing it is to go to the cables running beneath the streets. So into the sewers he goes.
Spider-Man soon finds the Shocker blasting a cable box and surprises the criminal with a quip and a double kick to the face. "You haven't changed, web-slinger," says the Shocker, "You're still the same wise-cracking arrogant punk!" The Shocker blasts Spidey as Spidey thinks, "Huhhnnff - didn't expect that! I'd almost forgotten how dangerous this bozo can be!"
The Shocker keeps up his assault, battering Spider-Man into a wall of the sewer. Spider-Man keeps up his quips, trying to draw the Shocker in. It works, and Spidey gives the Shocker a facefull of webbing and a sock to the jaw. He gives the Shocker a second blow, and a third, before the Shocker vibrates the webbing from his face.
The Shocker retaliates, hammering Spidey back into a wall of the sewer. Rats fall all over Spider-Man as the Shocker climbs up a shaft to the street. Spidey tries to web the villain but his shooters are either empty or damaged from the fight.
He climbs up after the Shocker who whirls around and fires a double blast at the web-slinger, "Let's see you follow me through this!" shouts the Shocker. The walls collapse around Spidey and he falls the length of the shaft back into the sewer along with the debris from the shattered tunnel. For several long minutes Spider-Man is unconscious until he's awakened by flowing water. The rock pile has blocked the water's flow, and Spidey is in it up to his neck.